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Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Release Day Blitz Fading Light by Angela Dennis




Fading Light
Shadow Born
Book 2
Angela Dennis

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Samhain Publishing
Date of Publication: September 23, 2014

ISBN: 1619224569
ISBN13: 9781619224568
ASIN:

Number of pages: 279
Word Count: 76,000

Cover Artist: Kanaxa

Tagline: Everyone has a breaking point.

Book Description:

Her hundred-year penance lifted, Shadow Bearer Brenna Baudouin returns to the Earthly plane with her partner, Gray Warlow, to keep the peace between humans and supernatural creatures—and to prevent another apocalyptic war from happening.

The attraction between them is nearing a critical point, but their checkered history has left Brenna unable to trust either her heart or her instincts.

It’s chaotic business as usual until humans begin turning to statues of dust. There is no explanation, no sign of magical foul play or a biological toxin. The humans are convinced it’s the work of a deviant supernatural faction, twisting the knife in the already tense relationship between their species. Brenna and Gray agree—the deaths have a former comrade-turned-rogue stamped all over them.

In a race against time, they enlist the help of both friend and foe to save the human race and stop the impending civil war. Along the way, they are forced to come to terms with their past and decide, once and for all, whether they will come together or fall apart.

Warning: Contains a heroine who knows her weapons but not her own heart, an outbreak of supernatural proportions, copious bloodletting, and a race to save an endangered species—humans. All tied up in a tight bow of sexual tension.

Available at Amazon  BN   Kobo  iTunes  Google Play

Excerpt
Copyright © 2014 Angela Dennis
All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. Publication

Darkness embraced Brenna like a thick wool blanket. It wrapped around her, blocking the dim lamplight as she walked toward the seedy bar. Glass residue from the riots crunched beneath her leather boots. Mixed with snow, the bits of broken beer bottles and smashed windows glittered like an army of broken icicles. She breathed deeply, inhaling the cool night air. It smelled of sour beer and clove cigarettes and left a bitter taste on her tongue.

Shadows embraced the sides of the stone structure that housed the Dirty Ruby, one of the few multi-species bars in Denver proper. They stalked across the snow and mixed with the night to merge into a black mass. From its midst stepped a man. Well over six feet, he moved with grace in contrast to his size. The moonlight played across his face, highlighting his chiseled features.

Brenna’s pulse quickened and she took an involuntary step forward. Self-conscious, she ran a hand through her copper curls, freeing them from the careless bun. The thick strands streamed down her back like fire as she moved, her breath coming in quick harsh bursts. She slipped off her black leather duster and draped it across her arm. Without it the tight black corset left her taut belly and back exposed, but she didn’t feel the cold. She never did around Gray.

“Four demons. Thirty humans. Keep the casualties to a minimum.” Brenna brushed past him, tossing him her coat. “I’ll bring them out. You send them back to hell.”

“Hell?” Gray grinned. His teeth gleamed in the moonlight. “You speak human now?”

She shrugged. “When in Rome.”

Her back to him, she turned toward the freshly white-washed door. But before she could move, he had her shoulder in a vise grip. His fingers twined in the hair at the base of her skull. His breath hot against her cheek. “I know your other partners let you boss them around.” He turned her to face him. “I’m not them.”

He stepped forward, forcing her back. They moved in an awkward dance until her ass hit the stone wall. Trapped, she stared at him, wary. A shadow fell across his face hiding all but his piercing violet eyes.

“We enter together. Once they’re dead, we leave.” He stepped back, loosening his hold.

“The humans—”

“Won’t remember a thing.” He crushed his lips to hers even as he slid the duster across her shoulders. “And I’m not your coat rack.” Releasing her, he stepped back.

Brenna rubbed the back of her hand against her bruised lips. Gray would be the death of her.

If she didn’t kill him first.

She leaned against the wall to regain her bearings as he stepped into the light. He moved like a jungle cat. Ropes of strong muscles slid beneath his bronzed skin as his wild untapped power stirred beneath the surface. Akin to a force of nature, he would never go unnoticed. Even incognito, only a fool wouldn’t recognize Gray was dangerous. He was a beautiful, powerful thing to behold. And he was hers.

If she wanted him.

His black hair shimmered in the pale lamplight. It was tied with the usual brown leather strap, but a few pieces had slipped free. They curled around his face, softening his features. The sight of him stirred memories of what they had been to each other. Memories she had struggled for nearly a hundred years to repress. But she still wanted him with a fervor that was both frightening and exhilarating.

A sigh slipped from her lips as she pushed off the wall to follow him into the bar. Wooden planks creaked beneath their feet as they stepped inside. The room was crammed wall-to-wall with sweaty bodies. Humans surged on the dance floor, moving in chaotic abandon. Brenna stripped off her duster. The heat from the wood stoves was overpowering. Sweat beaded on her forehead. It dribbled down her face, sliding across her bare skin to pool between her breasts.

She threw the duster on the seat of a red plastic booth then slid in beside it. Her leather pants moved across the slick fabric like silk as she took a quick inventory of the room. Humans clanked beer bottles together, their shouts drowning out the death metal band screeching in the far corner. She closed her eyes to focus and searched for her prey. It took several minutes, but she found what she was looking for. The stench of rotten flesh and brimstone. It was subtle, but unmistakable. The demon was here, but he wasn’t alone.

Her seat shifted as Gray slid into the booth beside her. “This is new. They don’t usually hunt together.” He tossed a muscular arm across her shoulders.

Brenna leaned into his body. Her head against his chest, she breathed him in. He smelled of sage and wood smoke. “I doubt they’re aware of each other. Demons are territorial. They don’t play nice, and they’re not that bright.”

Gray shrugged. “There’s a first time for everything.”

“True.”

He brushed a stray curl from her face. Unable to resist, she closed her eyes and enjoyed the simple touch.

“You take the males. I’ve got the females.” His breath was hot against her skin.

Her body tightened. She pulled back, a false smile playing on her lips. Beneath it she cursed her inability to keep him at a distance, even on a job. With a quick nod, she tossed back the shot of whiskey he shoved across the table. She leaned into him, her hands pressed against his chest. “We’ll meet at the van.”

“Agreed.” Gray kissed her lips. “Sam knows the drill.”

She could still taste him as he walked away, and that treacherous part inside her yearned for more. The best way to blend in was to act like a couple, but they needed another option. She was already sexually frustrated, and the night had barely begun. But there was nothing more cathartic than a good hunt.

Brenna glanced at the demon. It lounged on a barstool, deep inside a human man around thirty. With a bored look, he watched as a young woman, her shirt in tatters on the dirty floor, straddled him. Her skirt hiked to her crotch, her body trembled as he drained her life force. A second woman stood behind him. Clad in tiny purple panties and a lace bra, she swayed to the music. Glassy eyed, breasts heaving, she waited her turn. It was disgusting.

It had been a human war that had ripped through the Veil between the planes of reality, and the humans had paid the price. Supernatural creatures, the humans now called deviants, had poured onto the Earthly plane, only to be trapped once the Veil had healed. The humans had managed to survive the onslaught by allying themselves with sympathetic deviants, but they had gotten too comfortable. And the demons were taking full advantage.

Brenna slammed the shot glass on the table. Time to play human.

About the Author:

Angela Dennis lives outside Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, son and a sheltie with a hero complex.  When she is not at her computer crafting stories, she can be found feeding her coffee addiction, playing peek-a-boo, or teaching her son about the great adventures found only in books.

You can visit Angela at her blog www.angeladennisauthor.blogspot.com  or at her website www.angeladennisauthor.com

She loves to hear from her readers, so find her on Twitter for a chat @angeladennis






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Monday, September 22, 2014

Interview: Saving the Hero by Sabrina Sumsion



Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.

A: I’m a ninja disguised as a homeschooling mom, former literary publicist, craft-aholic and all around reading diva.  Really, I kick down doors –no, wait, that was my husband when I locked us out of the house . . . Well, I engage in combat on a regular basis –online when I play MMORPGs with my children . . . OK, maybe I’m not a real ninja but my husband says I stole his heart.  Does that count? 

Currently, I write in non-fiction, Young Adult, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy and Romance. I know, it would be a better idea to stick to one genre, but I have writer’s ADD.

No other pen names. I’m rather boring like that. :-)

 Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.

A: Saving the Hero about a loner vampire hunter, Kassandra, who is searching for the cure to the vampire parasite. A recently returned veteran, Mike, is bit when interfering in a hunt. She kidnaps him in hopes that he might hold the key to the cure.

Are you a mom ?

A: I am a stay-at-home, homeschooling mom and I love it. I have three amazing kids and a surprise fourth on the way.

If yes do you find it hard to juggle writing and parenting?

A: Juggling parenting and anything is difficult! For me, I find that I’m most productive when I get up an hour or so before the rest of the house. In the quiet, I can focus on the stories and get that word count out. By the evening, I’m worn out and can’t focus as well.

Have you ever based your book or characters on actual events or people from your own life?

A: I’ve stolen names from people in my past and some character quirks, but no one in my books is a copy of anyone I know or have known in life. There are a few people that I’ve decided need to be characters, but they aren’t written, yet.

Is there a theme or message in your work that you would like readers to connect to?

A: I think a theme I’ve noticed in my fiction is real females that struggle with feeling alone or isolated. I think most humans go through phases where we feel like no one notices us or cares how we feel.

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

A: I think most of my readers that don’t know me in person would be surprised just how nerdy I can be. I love science fiction and fantasy. I’ve recently discovered fandom conventions and nothing is better than getting in a costume of a character and enjoying the company of people who don’t judge you or make you feel bad for being silly and having fun.

When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures?

A: I have too many hobbies to count, unfortunately. I’m going to teach a class at my local library on jewelry making, I can crochet and knit lots of fun things, I have dabbled in stained glass and polymer clay. Mostly, I LOVE renovating houses. There’s nothing better than laying a tile floor. After the baby comes and gets a little bigger, I plan on remodeling our downstairs bathroom with lots of brightly colored tiles in swirly patterns. Yes, this is in addition to writing more novels. At least I don’t get bored, right?

Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet?

A: I have a mystery series that is trying to get my attention right now. I can’t give it much time since I have three more books in Aliens Are Real and at least a sequel in Saving the Hero to write. Right now, I keep making notes and the characters are forming, but that’s all it can be… for now.

If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share?

A: The sequel to Saving the Hero is in the works. There still isn’t a cure, Kassy’s ready to kill Harold and her relationship with Mike is in its infancy. That’s on hold though because I have readers that have been waiting for Aliens Are Real: Part 4. I’m almost halfway through writing that.

What book are you reading now?

A: I’m making my way through the Cheese Shop Mystery series by Avery Aames. I just finished #3, To Brie or Not to Brie. It’s a cute series that I’m enjoying.


Saving the Hero
Book One
Sabrina Sumsion

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Sanguine Publishing
Date of Publication: 8-8-2014

ISBN: 9781500569693
ASIN: B00LWTO9K0

Number of pages: 248
Word Count: 67,000

Cover Artist: Victorine Lieske

Book Description:

Two and a half weeks. That’s all the time he has left.

When loner vampire hunter Kassy is interrupted by nosy veteran, Mike, he ends up bitten, and infected with the vampire parasite. The warrior becomes her prey as she fights to find him before powerful vamps. A couple kidnappings later, she’s hiding in a cabin with him chained to the floor, and an eight-year-old girl in her care.

Death? Inevitable. When the parasite takes control, he’ll do or say anything to get non-infected blood—including seducing her. But, as they spend time together, she finds her resolve weakening. A kiss won’t fix him, but it might mend a deep hole in her heart.

Kassy is too practical to believe in miracles, but if he survives eighteen days without ingesting human blood, there is a chance he could be the hero she's been looking for.

Odds are he’s a dead man.

Excerpt

Chapter 1: Bite, anyone?

 “Vampires don’t lose their souls after turning. That folklore is easy to disprove without venturing into religious debate. In the days of medieval medicine, doctors wouldn’t have known how to find or identify the vampiric parasite.”

Journal Entry, Mark McDougal: April 3, 2005


I stalked a woman through side streets and dimly lit alleyways. Her name wasn’t important. I preferred not to know what to call the victims just like I don’t want to know a rabid dog's name. It’s easier to stay unattached that way. Easier to do my job.
Keeping up with the vampire in the making wasn’t hard. She meandered. The problem was the heat wave and the black trench coat I wore. Noticing it, a few people shook their heads as I passed. They probably thought I was a little crazy, but harmless. Without it, people would call the cops when they spotted my gear.
A bead of sweat slid from my hairline behind my ear, tickling my skin and irritating me. I brushed it away, my fingers momentarily tangled in my frizzy locks, the strands I was chewing on yanked out of my mouth. Once again, I considered shaving the mop I called hair. It wasn’t the lovely auburn tresses that men fantasize about. Mom used to call the orange-red jarring. I’d been told that my hair made me too memorable. Maybe that was so, but it took attention away from the scar that ran from my top lip to my temple. Besides, if I hacked it all away, I wouldn’t have anything handy to gnaw on. I snagged a new small curl and pulled it to my mouth. Mom used to bat my hand away. Now, there was no one to stop me.
Half a block behind the woman, she set the meandering pace. Normally, I’d keep more distance between us. I’d be concerned about the still air making me into an olfactory billboard. I could almost hear Uncle Mark’s voice in my head. “Kassy, the new ones can smell you even if they don’t know what they’re smelling. Keep your distance.” Tonight, this woman was blinded by her hunger. I could have hung back farther, but I didn’t see the point.
Around a corner, garbage cans lined the street. Good for hiding behind; bad for breathing. The muggy weather made the smells more pungent. Who was I to complain? The odor would mask my scent.
The sound of a group of people chatting and laughing echoed down the street. We’d passed a club two blocks back with bass so loud my chest vibrated. By the group’s outfits, I guessed they were heading there to dance. The woman I followed turned her head as they strode by. Her right hand reached over and unconsciously rubbed her left shoulder. The shoulder some psycho had bitten three weeks before. It had healed quickly. Miraculously fast according to doctors.
One of the guys stumbled over a trashcan, knocking my prey against the side of a brick building. She inhaled deeply as he apologized. He and his companions watched their step to avoid the trail of refuse he’d strewn. No one noticed her wrapping her arms around herself, her steps following them, or her abrupt turn into the alleyway. No one but me.
Wisps of steam from storm drain vents filled the narrow passage with an eerie aura. The dim lights reflected off the suspended water, creating a halo around the vampire’s head. The irony wasn’t lost on me. One could argue that she retained her innocence – for now.
I slipped behind a commercial dumpster filled with decaying Italian food and spotted a large box farther on that would be my next hiding spot. Before I moved, she stopped in the middle of the alleyway about thirty feet away. She squeezed her head between her hands. I sucked in a quick lung full of rancid air and waited. She paced, kicking bottles, cans and other debris in her path. She walked over to a wall, rested her head against it, and then hit a few times with her palms. I could almost see the cracks forming in her self-control.
She stopped, sniffing the air.
Busted. The billy club strapped to my right thigh reassured me and I brushed my fingers along its length to find the handle. Muscles taut, I waited for her to draw near. I still had the element of surprise and she had no clue what she could do.
How could she? It’s not like someone had handed her a pamphlet that said, “You’ve been infected: 10 ways to survive turning into a monster.” She didn’t know what her cravings were. She didn’t know why the pickle jar lid popped off so easily. She couldn’t understand why she healed quickly. The guy who had bitten her hadn’t whispered in her ear the secrets to avoiding a guard like me.
She stumbled more than walked to a pile of boxes against the wall across the alley. A drunk or homeless person was trying to sleep there. With her attention averted, I crept closer. The timing had to be just right. I couldn’t let her bite her prey, but she needed the chance to resist the siren call of blood coursing through the body in front of her. Uncle Mark insisted. “Kassy Lassy, they’re still human. Just infected. We have to find one who can survive without human blood. It’s humanity’s only hope.” It was his last request, so I honor it.
He would have tried to take this woman in. Tried to save her. How many people had he tried to help over the years he cared for me? Twenty? Fifty? He’d failed every time. The parasite always ravaged the host body without human blood. I couldn’t stand the sight of the emaciated remains. I figured that a quick death was less cruel. I didn’t kill the newly infected right away, just in case the magical immune savior would appear, but mostly I grant them death. An escape from the monster they will become.
The woman dropped to her knees, sobs echoing through the alley. Legs stuck out of an old dishwasher box before her. The odor of piss and alcohol gagged me. Maybe the stench is what helped the woman hesitate.
Maybe, but not for long. The sobs stopped and I moved closer.
No one ever made a sound before their first kill. None of them ever thought to bring a knife the first time either. She knew what she wanted. I could almost see her thought process written out like a thought cloud in a comic book. How do I get a taste? How do I get to the blood?
I pulled the billy club out of its holster. We hovered at the point of no return. My silent steps drew me closer as she lowered herself down. Brown roots showed against her dyed blonde hair. My heart thumped. Another human, lost to the parasite. One quick crack to the skull and I could drag her off somewhere secluded then finish disposing of her body in peace. One breath, then strike.
“Hey!” someone shouted from the end of the alley.
It startled me. Threw off my rhythm. She looked up. Crap. There went my element of surprise. I swung down, but she ducked out of the way. Adrenalin surged through my body. She needed to go down fast. I put too much into the swing, and stumbled off balance. She leapt at me, her face set in a determined grimace. I matched it with one of my own. Did she have any clue what she could do? I raised my billy club and deflected her to the side. She spun and lunged again. She was fast, but that time, I was ready. I smacked her in the head while stepping to the side. She fell hard and didn’t get back up. I hefted the billy club again to crack open her skull.
A body crashed into mine from behind and hammered me to the ground. I tried to counter with ground fighting tactics, but my lungs were screaming for my attention. All I could do was suck air in. For some reason, my body was stuck and refused to exhale. I’d never felt that sensation before. Normally, I’d tell myself to take deep breaths to calm down. That was worthless advice when you can’t breathe out.
A masculine voice shouted in my ear. “Leave her alone!” This guy was a special kind of stupid. Trying to play the hero. Probably saw a pretty blonde and hoped to score her phone number.
I squirmed under his weight and managed to flip myself onto my back and gasp for air. He grabbed both of my hands and held them above my head. That made breathing even harder.
“Police are on their way. Stop fighting me.” His face was close to mine, a hint of alcohol drifting by. Just what I needed, an inebriated do-gooder poking his nose where it didn’t belong.
My wind wouldn’t come back, so I couldn’t yell at him. The air would only go one way. I needed him off. The idiot was in danger, and I was flopping on the sidewalk like a fish – as helpless as when Uncle Mark died. I stared into his black eyes and wished I could communicate telepathically. He wouldn’t like what I would say, but maybe we’d both survive the night.
The blonde’s face came into view over his shoulder. Fear stilled my struggling against the man. I’d had a feeling she wouldn’t be out for long since the vampire parasite caused elevated adrenalin levels. A smile crept up at the corners of her lips. Crap. The look in her eyes. She figured out a little of what she could do. She was committed to biting, and the fool on top of me would be her first meal if I don’t do something.
The guy looked over his shoulder. “I’m glad you’re okay miss. I have her pinned. The police are on their way. Can you go flag them down at the end of the alley?”
There was no fighting him even while his attention was diverted. Sure, he was strong, but it was the effort to breathe that crippled me. He turned back, and I shook my head, eyes wide, trying to choke words out.
 The monster behind him put her finger to her lips in a silent gesture for me to be quiet. She tip toed up behind him. I fought the man, trying to get him to pay attention.
“Stop struggling!”
He thought I was the bad guy. If I could have, I would have laughed.
She leapt on his back. Her eyes gleamed in the dim light, face contorted in a wild expression of glee. My stomach churned. Let me go and pay attention to her!
He tried to shrug her off and hold me at the same time. The ineffectual move appeared to delight her.
“What the hell are you doing?” The timbre in his voice belied his wavering confidence. Finally, this guy was getting a clue that the blonde was not all she seemed.
She giggled in reply then bit his shoulder near his neck. He bellowed in agony, but her sucking noises were louder. Now, she had his attention. He let go of me and pried at her head. Her death grip wasn’t loosening, so he punched her in the face. At the third blow, she fell back. Blood sprayed from her mouth onto my jacket and the ground. She crouched, a grin on her face, scarlet rivulets running down her chin. She ran her finger along her cheek and lips, wiping the blood into her mouth. “You are delicious,” she said with a satisfied moan. She had watched too many vampire movies. I hated the ones who thought they had to fit the stereotypes.
I scooted back, finally exhaling. Although my heart raced, I forced myself to take even breaths, changing from desperate gasps to a quick, adrenaline-driven pace. The woman loomed over the man, whose hand was clamped over his wound. I grabbed my billy club, hoping she was too blood-crazed to notice me. The iron scent of the man’s blood filled my nostrils. I’d have to go past him to reach her, but he made a good distraction.
When she lunged again, I aimed my billy club at her forehead. With a satisfying crack, the blow landed. She fell. I was pretty sure she would be out for a while, but I wasn’t taking chances. I smacked her on the top of the head again. It wasn’t a death blow, but if I let her live, she would probably have brain damage.
“What is she on?” The man’s voice shook as much as his hands. After a few deep breaths, he looked as though he might be okay again. Most people would have been on the ground crying. He warranted a second glance.
He was taller than my five-foot, ten-inch frame, muscular and dressed as if to pick up women at a bar. He had almond-shaped eyes, dark hair and a slight yellow hue to his skin. His rugged good looks convinced me he would have been successful picking up a woman had he not seen the altercation and come to investigate. Now, he was infected with the parasite. He was another vampire in the making. I would have to kill him, too.
I pushed my hair from my face, wiping the perspiration away –trying to drag my ugly reality with it. My fingers wrapped around a lock and pulled it to my mouth. The chewing helped me relax. Would gum have the same effect? I wished I had money for a luxury like that. I felt stupid with hair in my mouth in front of him. A glance revealed he wasn’t even paying attention to me. He was staring at the blonde.
What was going through his mind? I don’t remember my thoughts from the first time I’d witnessed a vampire succumb to the blood lust. Probably best I didn’t. I doubted that people stayed sane if they lingered in that moment. I stuffed those memories back and focused on the matter at hand.
Time to get out of here. I grabbed the woman’s arms and start dragging her down the alley.
“Where are you going?” he demanded, following.
Not only does he mess up a clean vamp hunt, he has to ask questions. I ignored him. It was easiest to do what I did when I didn’t talk to them. When I knew a victim, it made it harder to remember that they were turning into vicious killers. The last thing I needed to know was if he had a family or even his name. When they had names, it was harder to put them down. I dragged the woman another ten feet.
“You can’t leave. The police will be here any minute!” He shouted as if the police could fix the situation. Poor fool.
We stood about three quarters of the way down the alley. I knew the guy had been traumatized, but he didn’t know what he walked into. It was better for me to leave with the vampire and let the authorities spin this however they might. The headlines would probably say something like a drug crazed female attacked him. The real story would never come out. The government wouldn’t let that happen.
He grabbed my arm, putting his face in mine. “Stop, now!” My muscles tensed. I forced myself to relax. He was obviously used to being obeyed. His grip was strong, and I could tell through my jacket that his hands weren’t soft and manicured. This guy worked hard and gave orders. Military maybe? Possibly a boss at a construction company?
I had a spark of admiration for him that I immediately tried to stomp out. I couldn’t respect him. He was going to become a killer. I’d be back to stalk him after I finished dealing with her.
Right then, if he made much more noise, there would be more spectators. Ones that weren’t hurt. Ones without alcohol on their breath. The authorities who weren’t in the know could write off this guy as in shock and a poor witness. Any more people telling the same story and I’d have a harder time evading the cops.
I dropped the vampire’s hands and faced him. He had a look in his eyes like he was thinking “finally, she’s come to her senses!” The guy’s shoulder wound was bad. His hand was firmly clasped over it, but the blood seeped past his fingers. When I reached for it, he jerked his shoulder back like I would hurt him more.
“You’re bleeding.”
He sneered. “You think?”
“You need to apply pressure.” I reached into my Sash purse hung underneath my leather jacket and found the medical pads and tape I kept there. He snatched them out of my hand and slapped them on the wound. “You were going to drag her away and not give these to me?”
With a shrug I said, “You look big enough to handle yourself. I didn’t realize you would be an idiot and follow me while bleeding everywhere.”
A glare was his only reply. Maybe it wouldn’t be so hard to kill him after all.
Retrieving the woman’s hands, I dragged her further away from him.
“What the hell are you doing?”
Man, he irritated me. “Walk away. You don’t know what you’ve gotten yourself into.” We were almost to the end of the alley. There was a sewer access by my foot, but I couldn’t go there with him watching. He’d rat me out.
He grabbed my arm again. “She attacked me. She needs to be arrested. I don’t know what the heck you were doing in this alley.” He pointed his finger in my face. “But you tried to attack her. You should probably be in jail as well.”
Obviously, he wasn’t good at convincing people to turn themselves in. I stared at his bandages. His efficient wraps told me he probably had field medical training or something. However, blood was still seeping through. I pointed to his shoulder. His glance was the amount of time necessary to catch him flat-footed. I used my billy club to pop him with a brachial stun, and he went down with a groan. The strike had been careful since I wasn’t ready to kill him, yet. He wasn’t unconscious, but I was sure he was seeing stars. Too disoriented to notice where I was going. I only needed a minute to disappear.
 I didn’t like to attack people when they were still in control of themselves, but time was running out. Police response wasn’t fast in this neighborhood, but we’d been dallying about 15 minutes. I needed to leave.
I flipped my jacket back and grabbed the pry bar hanging from my belt. A quick jab and tug later, I had my escape route. I shoved the woman’s limb body through the hole. She slid over the lip and crunched onto the cement below. If she wasn’t dead before, she was now. Her body lay in a crumpled mess below. The dry spell in the city helped me with my job. No slogging through cesspool tides and a quick way to end things. One bright side to my dark task.
The next tool I pulled from under my coat was a whiskbroom. Sweeping back and forth, I obscured the drag marks starting ten feet from the manhole and moving towards my escape. I went around the vet. As he struggled to recover, he’d conceal everything beneath him. When I reached the hole, I scrambled half way down the ladder. The lid was heavy and awkward as I dragged it back to the opening while balancing precariously.
I heard the guy moan again. He rolled a bit as though he was trying to regain his feet. Luckily, he rolled away from me. He didn’t see as I nestled the lid back into place.

The thought of returning to pick up his trail caused my stomach to drop. If my life had been normal, maybe we would have gone to the same club. I’d have spotted him and tried to catch his eye. Probably would have danced too close and drunk too much, then woke up at his place in the morning. Now he was another prey to stalk and kill when he succumbed to the parasite.

About the Author:

I’m a ninja disguised as a homeschooling mom, former literary publicist, craft-aholic and all around reading diva.  Really, I kick down doors –no, wait, that was my husband when I locked us out of the house . . . Well, I engage in combat on a regular basis –online when I play MMORPGs with my children . . . OK, maybe I’m not a real ninja but my husband says I stole his heart.  Does that count?  No?
Shoot.  Well, I love reading and I love writing.  I think imagination is the biggest advantage a child can get in life and I try to allow my children many opportunities to expand theirs every day.

I love teaching authors how to avoid publishing traps and scams as well as how to market themselves and their works.  There is nothing better in life than giving someone information that helps them become successful.

I also take a few hours each week and create jewelry, make lotions or paint something.  I have little creation stations scattered through the house.  My daughter gets into it a lot and scatters things which drives my husband crazy but remember how I mentioned that he says I stole his heart?  Yeah.  I’m not giving it back.  He’s stuck with me forever.  Bwah ha ha ha!





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Friday, September 19, 2014

Interview and Giveaway: Colors of Us by Sandra Bunino


Hi there, Wenona! Thanks for having me on your wonderful site today. Wow – you are a busy lady. May I just say, I’m in awe of your Halloween boxes made out of toilet paper rolls. I love your creativity! :-)

Thank you, I like to work with what I have on hand. Sometimes a little creativity can go along way- for moms and writers :-)

Please share a little about yourself, your genres, any other pen names you use.

I’m in the romance business. It’s what I write and about 99% of what I read. I’m a sucker for the HEA. With a focus on contemporary romance, my work varies in heat levels from spicy to a slow but steamy simmer. Most of my back listed titles are adult novellas and short stories. I’m excited about my newest release because it’s different from anything else I’ve published.

Tell us a little about your latest or upcoming release.

Colors of Us is my first full-length New Adult novel. I love the feel of new adult fiction – it’s fresh, raw and gritty. Hunter and Michelle, the hero and heroine of Colors of Us, have their own demons to face. They’ve both had their share of tragedy and challenges but learn to overcome and heal as their lives cross and intertwine.

Are you a mom ?

I’m a very proud mom! I have three kids, two in college and a high school sophomore. They keep me on my toes, as do my two dogs, Montana and Coco.

If yes do you find it hard to juggle writing and parenting?

Life is a juggle, isn’t it? Now that my kids are older, they don’t require constant supervision, however I enjoy spending time with them as they move from childhood to adulthood. They amaze me every day.

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you?

I was a college professor and taught undergraduate Business Statistics, Accounting, and Corporate Finance classes to adult students.

Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet?

I’ve always wanted to write a children’s book. I pitched an idea to an agent last year and she loved it. Now, I need to find the time to actually write it!

Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why?

Does a mother have a favorite kid? LOL My favorite characters are always the ones taking up space in my brain from my current WIP. Right now that’s Miranda and Alex from Passion of Us, the next book in the series.

If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share?

Yes! Colors of Us is book one in the McAvery Brothers series. Three sexy McAvery brothers give me enough material for three books, and one novella, planned in the series.

What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming book events?

I’m a featured author at the Hot Mojave Knights reader event in Las Vegas, September 25 – 27. I’ll also speak at the BookCon in Belmar, NJ and the NJRW conference in October.

What book are you reading now?

I’m finishing Carlene Love Flores’s Wicked Flower. It released two days after Colors of Us and is from her Sin Pointe series. Carlene and I have a similar style and I really enjoy her writing.

What is in your to read pile?

There are so many fantastic titles in my TBR pile right now. I’m looking forward to reading Rogue with a Brogue by Suzanne Enoch. I think I’ll save that one for the flight to Las Vegas!



Colors of Us
McAvery Brothers
Book One
Sandra Bunino

Genre: Contemporary Romance/New Adult

Publisher: Evernight Publishing

Number of pages: 240
Word Count: 62,000

ISBN: 9781771309783

ASIN: B00MwFP98E

Cover Artist: Sour Cherry Designs

Book Description:

Everything she knew to be true fell apart. Then fell apart again…

Michelle Willis is running from her past. What better place to hide than in the anonymity of New York City. Finding refuge in a tiny SoHo art gallery, she rebuilds her life one painting at a time.

A wrong turn sends Hunter McAvery on a crash course with disaster. He fights his own demons by following his big brother’s lead - drinking and bed-hopping his way through Manhattan.

A glance at Michelle’s self-portrait triggers emotions Hunter can’t tamp down. Driven to meet the artist, he discovers a fiery chemistry as their lives collide. But when their past threatens to tear them apart, can their love survive?
Music Playlist: 
https://play.spotify.com/user/12134886106/playlist/07orDaxcxJE4sfSZW59Loa

Excerpt:
“I think pink is your color. It looks great against your dark hair.” Reaching past her shoulder, he curled a strand of her hair between his fingers and tugged gently before letting it fall onto her shoulder.
Meeting his gaze, she smiled. “Thanks.” Michelle wasn’t used to compliments. It’d been her goal to fade into the crowd and not to call attention to herself. But her self-imposed rules seemed to float away around Hunter McAvery.  
Returning her smile, he continued the lesson. “After you slide your hands into the opening, you’ll wind the long strap around your fingers and wrist like this.” Holding her fingers in his hand, he wound the dangling strap around her palm and over her knuckles. “You want to protect the part of your hand that meets the bag.”
He stepped closer as he slipped the strap around the base of her thumb. When he brushed his fingertips against the sensitive area just below the fleshy part of her palm, a shiver shot up her arm and traveled to her belly. His warm breath ghosted her face as he circled the end of the strap around her wrist and secured the Velcro tab. Before she knew it, strong fingers captured her left hand and guided her arm to the warmth between their bodies. She itched to graze her fingers along his muscled chest, capturing his heat with her palm. Her gaze bounced to his neck and stubbled jaw, which clenched as he slid the other wrap over her hand. Slowly wrapping her other wrist, he secured the strap and held both of her gloved hands in his. “Make a fist,” he said huskily.
Tightening her hands into a ball, she tucked her thumb around the outside of her fingers like he showed her at the gym.
He squeezed her fists. “They look good. You’re a badass.”
Michelle snorted. “A badass in pink.”
“Let’s see what you got. Show me some upper cuts. Right here.” He tapped his abs.
“You want me to hit you?” She giggled.
“Sure. I can take it.”
Turning her palms up, she made a fist and alternated soft punches to his belly. His rock-hard belly. Each strike made her aware of how alive he made her feel. The force of impact sent ripples up his tight shirt, awakening the planes of his muscular form. She gulped back the desire to open her fists and run her fingertips along the line of each thick muscle.
His hands came to rest on her forearms, halting her movement. The pads of his thumbs stroked the sensitive skin near the inside of her elbow causing a delicious shiver up her arm. Michelle’s eyes met his. The fire brewing in his darkened gaze drew her in. Hunter stepped between her legs, nudging her back against the wall next to the mural. She closed her eyes and choked back a groan, wanting—no, needing—to grind her heat on his leg. Raising her arms above her, he pinned them against the wall on either side of her head. His scent flooded her senses as she lifted her chin to close the gap between them.
“I’m trying like hell not to kiss you.” Hunter straightened his back but didn’t loosen his grip on her arms.
Her skin prickled from the nearness of his body. She let her gaze drift to his lips. “Why?” she whispered.
He blew a slow breath between his teeth. “Nothing good would come of it. I’m not capable of giving or feeling… or offering anything much to you.” He shook his head but he didn’t move from her body.
“I don’t believe that.” Michelle wriggled her arms from his grasp. Her fingertips lingered on his corded forearms, which flexed under her touch. Easing a trail toward his shoulders, her fingers reminded her of a paintbrush’s first dab of color on a fresh canvas. She’d always believed each canvas had a personality of its own, and it was the symphony of the brush, artist, and canvas that created the work of art. She wanted to explore the blank canvas of Hunter McAvery.
She studied his arms, still caging her in. Protecting her. Wanting her. Her eyes met his gaze. He stared at her, unmoving, but a spark burned in his eyes. She held her breath, afraid to break his trance. Her palms smoothed over his shoulders and down his chest, stopping at the center of his ribs. Pushing into the muscles of his chest, she felt the strong beat of his heart on her fingers. “Kiss me, Hunter.” Raising her eyebrows, she dared to look him in the eyes, almost afraid of what she’d see.
“You don’t understand. You’re too… good.” He averted his gaze.
“Maybe you should let me decide what’s good for me.” She moved closer, his breath burned hot on her face, and he squeezed his eyes closed.
“Michelle….”
Her hands traveled up his chest and rested on the bulk of his strong shoulders. Pulling him in, her breasts molded into his chest and, finally, he crashed his lips down on hers. She met every stroke of his tongue as her fingers raked through the ends of his hair. Moaning into his mouth, she straddled his muscular thigh as warmth flooded her sex. She’d never felt more alive.
His hand grazed her cheek before taking her chin between his thumb and index finger and pulling away from their kiss. He tipped his forehead to hers, his raspy breath hot on her mouth. “Shit.”
Michelle widened her eyes. “What?” she whispered.
“You. Me. This just can’t happen. Not now. Not like this.”




About the Author:

Sandra Bunino is a romance author of several novellas including The Satin Rose Experience series. Her first full-length novel, Colors of Us from the McAvery Brothers series, released in August. She makes her parents proud by putting her MBA degree to good use dreaming up heroes who resemble David Gandy whenever possible. When not staying up past her bedtime torturing her oh-so-sexy heroes, she can be found shopping for shoes or saving turtles.

As a social media junkie in need of a ten-step program, you can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and her new addiction, Pinterest. Sandra loves to read and chat with other readers, so she formed the Bunino’s Bookalicious Babes group on Facebook where they currently share their love of Jamie Fraser from Outlanders…and David Gandy, of course.






Bookalicious Babes Facebook group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/597429020306289/


Bookalicious Babes mailing list: http://eepurl.com/LuwPL

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