Tag: Sunday Spotlight

Sunday Spotlight: From Unseen Fire by Cass Morris

Posted April 15, 2018 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 2 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Today we’re featuring From Unseen Fire by debut author Cass Morris.

Set in an alternate Rome where elemental magic shapes the rule of the land, FROM UNSEEN FIRE weaves history and fantasy into a thrilling plot about a republic on the verge of collapse. Brimming with magic and adventure, Latona, an elemental mage, must unleash her magical potential to save the city she loves. As senators, generals and fellow mages vie for the power over the city of Aven, Lavona’s burgeoning relationship with a rising politician may jeopardize the very future they seek to build in Aven.

I’m in love with this premise and couldn’t wait to share it with all of you. From Unseen Fire sounds amazing.

Sunday Spotlight: From Unseen Fire by Cass MorrisFrom Unseen Fire (Aven Cycle #1) by Cass Morris
Series: Aven Cycle #1
Published by Daw Books
Publication Date: April 17, 2018
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

The Dictator is dead; long live the Republic.

But whose Republic will it be? Senators, generals, and elemental mages vie for the power to shape the future of the city of Aven. Latona of the Vitelliae, a mage of Spirit and Fire, has suppressed her phenomenal talents for fear they would draw unwanted attention from unscrupulous men. Now that the Dictator who threatened her family is gone, she may have an opportunity to seize a greater destiny as a protector of the people -- if only she can find the courage to try.

Her siblings—a widow who conceals a canny political mind in the guise of a frivolous socialite, a young prophetess learning to navigate a treacherous world, and a military tribune leading a dangerous expedition in the province of Iberia—will be her allies as she builds a place for herself in this new world, against the objections of their father, her husband, and the strictures of Aventan society.

Latona’s path intersects with that of Sempronius Tarren, an ambitious senator harboring a dangerous secret. Sacred law dictates that no mage may hold high office, but Sempronius, a Shadow mage who has kept his abilities a life-long secret, intends to do just that. As rebellion brews in the provinces, Sempronius must outwit the ruthless leader of the opposing Senate faction to claim the political and military power he needs to secure a glorious future for Aven and his own place in history.

As politics draw them together and romance blossoms between them, Latona and Sempronius will use wit, charm, and magic to shape Aven’s fate. But when their foes resort to brutal violence and foul sorcery, will their efforts be enough to save the Republic they love?

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Excerpt

Prologue

686 ab urbe condita

The Palatine Hill, City of Aven

Lucius Quinctilius was not, by nature, a reflective man, so perhaps it was just as well that the Dictator’s men gave him little time to contemplate his fate.

The morning of his execution dawned cool and fair, and no one in the household but Quinctilius himself had the slightest inclination that anything was amiss. Even Quinctilius suffered only a mild prick of unease, no more troubling than a splinter. His tongue had overrun him during his last public speech, but as a few days passed and retribution did not fall on his head, he convinced himself that the lapse had been overlooked. He had not meant anything by it, just a stray comment during legal proceedings, though it may have edged too near to criticism of Dictator Ocella. Lucius Quinctilius privately had many things to say that would have edged much closer, but he was of no mind to be a political hero for a lost cause. That had never been his intention. And surely no one was paying such close attention to the minor financial courts, not with the turmoil in the treason courts, not with riots threatening to erupt in the Subura. Surely, he was safe.

Still, suspicion twinged at the back of his mind. When he rose and dressed that morning, he considered confiding in Aula, his excellent wife. But she was so pleasant-spirited, so cheerful, even in this dark season of proscriptions and danger. He could not bear to disrupt the simple pleasure she managed to wring out of the tumultuous world.

It certainly did not occur to him to share his concerns with the other lady in his household, Aula’s younger sister, Latona. For all Quinctilius knew, she was living with them only for companionship while her husband was touring his holdings in the provinces. It would have been a blow to his dignity, had he been aware of Latona’s true motive: to watch after them, knowing that Quinctilius’s foolish streak of nobility might get the better of him, all too aware that Aula was so dizzy with motherhood and marital bliss that it had turned her a bit feather-brained.

Latona had not kept her eyes and ears alert enough outside of the household, or she might have known in time about Lucius Quinctilius’s final act of honorable idiocy. Had Latona heard of his lapse, she would not have hesitated, but packed the whole family off to her husband’s country villa that very night. But though she had returned to watch over her sister and her niece in the city, Fate kept the tale of his indiscretion from her ears a few hours too long. When six pairs of hob-nailed boots thumped up the too-quiet street to the Quinctilius domus, when six pairs of burly arms forced open the front door, she was in the back garden, unaware.

Ocella had power enough to feel no need to carry out his assassinations under cover of darkness. The lictors set upon Quinctilius in his own study, early in the morning. Ocella’s lictors were not the honorable attendants who usually accompanied politicians of consequence, but his own private killing force, a sacred and venerable office perverted to new and abhorrent purpose. They asked no questions of the man who gave their orders and issued their pay, and they made swift work.

Quinctilius hardly had time to rise from his chair. One short sword penetrated his gut; another slit his throat as he staggered to his knees; and then it was over. The expression of astonishment remained frozen on his face as his blood pooled on the geometric mosaic set in the floor, slipping like crimson mortar between the tiles.

“So much for him,” one of the lictors said, nudging at Quinctilius’s shoulder with his toe. “Where’s the next one?”

“No.” His colleague rubbed at the back of his neck. “Not yet. This one’s got a wife and a tot.”

The other lictor nodded. Proscription touched the family, as well. Quinctilius’s brother and sister resided in a province, and so his wife, Aula Vitellia Prima, eldest of the Vitelliae daughters, would have to suffice for an example— an excellent one, really, from a noble and ancient family that had not yet presented Ocella with an opportunity for chastisement.

The noise attracted Aula’s attention, drawing her across the atrium from her own rooms. A short scream escaped her before she choked it back. She scarcely had time to process her husband’s death before she had to dive to stop Lucia from toddling in and seeing her father’s corpse. The lictors had not even wiped the blood off of their blades, and in a wrenching moment, Aula realized they did not mean to do so. A shadow dimmed the pale sunlight streaking in through the open door: the Dictator himself, come to bear witness to the deed.

Ocella was a man of impressive presence, with the lean grace and threat of a panther. His hair was so fair it resembled the winter’s dawn, icy and unforgiving, but his eyes were dark pits, a blue so deep as to be nearly black, and utterly unreadable. They rested on Aula for only a moment before he made a quick gesture to summon his lictors forward.

Aula collapsed, her knees unequal to the task of holding her upright in the face of such incisively cold malice. Lucia, too, started to cry, stared up at Ocella, mouth hanging agape. “Please, Dictator,” Aula said. “P-Please. We are n-nothing. Not my baby. Sh-she’s just a child, she couldn’t—” But when Ocella held up a hand, Aula fell silent, though tears continued to stream from her eyes.

Latona flung herself through the doorway just as two of Ocella’s lictors advanced on her prostrate older sister and the frightened child. Ocella flicked his wrist, and Lucia set up a tremendous wail. Aula grabbed the girl and clutched her close, holding a hand over her mouth to stifle her cries. “Pray, do not take this personally,” Ocella said, even as Aula wept and Lucia struggled against her mother’s grasp, her pale blue eyes wild with abject fear.

“No!”

Latona’s cry cut through the air, and both Ocella and Aula’s heads whipped about— Ocella indignant at the interruption, Aula horrified by Latona’s nerve. Mastering her shaking limbs, Latona strode forward with mustered confidence. “No, great Dictator,” she said, more softly, smiling at Ocella almost impishly, as though they were sharing a great joke. “Of course you don’t mean harm to Aula or Lucia. I’m sure I’ve misunderstood.”

“Have you?” Ocella said, his expression utterly unchanged. “Pray, tell me what has led you to that conclusion.”

Though Aula, tears in her eyes, shook her head in a mute plea for Latona to leave herself out of it, Latona had a plan. Not, she admitted to herself, a wholly good one, but it was certainly better than watching her sister and her niece butchered in the atrium— and likely sharing their fate. What scrap of a chance they all had rested now on Latona’s gifts.
Blessed by Juno and Venus, Latona had power over the elements of Spirit and Fire, and it was Spirit that would come to her aid now, if anything could. She could not consider the possibility of failure, and as she spoke, the words tasted of cinnamon on her tongue.

“There’s no need, and it would look so ill. Everyone thinks well of Aula, and she thinks well of everyone. Especially you, Dictator. If her husband displeased you, I know she sorrows for the trouble it caused you. You can only have done right in disposing of him, we all know that. But Aula and Lucia? A cheerful woman and such a pretty child? Why, they should be allowed to speak your praises! Such magnanimousness would only make your star burn the brighter.”

Latona’s breath was shallow and hesitant, but she did not let the gracious smile fall from her lips, and she prayed that her eyes would not betray her. If Ocella suspected her of using magic against him, that would be the end of Aula, Lucia, Latona herself, and probably every other son and daughter of the Vitelliae that Ocella could get his hands on. His paranoia was even more acute concerning mages than his other foes. Never minding that ancient law prohibited mages from seeking higher political office, Ocella remained convinced that they would somehow surmount the prohibitions and use their powers to usurp his position. He had executed men and women on mere suspicion, and many more had fled the city rather than have the suggestion of treachery fall on them.

But she couldn’t think about that; any flicker of uncertainty could give her away, and doubt could shatter the spell. She let the soothing magic roll off of her, a golden wave of positive emotions washing over Ocella, and she flung silent prayers at Juno that her efforts should move him.

“Aula never chose her husband, nor Lucia her father,” she went on. “They renounce him if he caused you any misery. I pray you, mighty Dictator, do not punish them for the misfortune they’ve already suffered. Rather, show all Aven what a kindness you’ve done them, to free them from that pernicious man. They will tell all the city of their gratitude, I promise you.”

Aula was ghastly pale, her hand still clamped firmly over the weeping Lucia’s mouth. Latona had never seen her sister so frightened, a doe caught in the gaze of a ravening tiger. But after the long, horrible silence, Ocella nodded slowly. “Yes,” he said. Latona fought to keep relief from coercing her into releasing the spell too soon. “Yes, I believe you are right, Vitellia Latona,” he went on. “Your sister is such a charming woman, and this fair creature promises to be of her ilk. No need to harm them. In fact—” He twitched his finger at his bodyservant, a balding man who hovered several steps behind him and who moved immediately to scrawl Ocella’s words on a wax tablet. “We shall invite them to holiday with us in Capraia this summer. You as well, Lady Latona.” He stepped closer to her, too close. When his fingers touched her shoulder, toying idly with the brooch that fastened her gown, she held as still as death, refusing to let trembling flesh give away her terror. “We wish to see if rumor speaks true of your many talents.”

Latona blinked. “I . . . am all astonishment, honored Dictator. I cannot think what anyone could say of a simple matron to be worth your notice.”

“Come now, no false humility. Not from one blessed by Juno . . .” His thumb trailed along her collarbone, then pressed at the tender notch at the base of her throat. “And by Venus.” His easy smile warred with the intensity swirling in his unfathomable eyes, but the threat in his voice matched that of his hand at her neck. “I have such a keen interest in the magical arts, you know, though the gods did not see fit to bless me with them. Would you come to Capraia and show me, Lady Latona?”

There was a bargain in the air, and the weight of it pitted in Latona’s stomach. ‘You have walked into the trap Father feared.’ Ocella collected women and he collected mages, and she was both— an irresistable prize. ‘This is why Father wanted you married to a provincial, tucked safe away in the country.’ But neither husband nor father could stop Dictator Ocella pursuing what he wanted. Swallowing fear and revulsion, Latona nodded her assent. She would pay the price in flesh and soul, if it kept her family safe.

“Wonderful. So much better to be surrounded by charming women instead of bickering old men. And little Lucia Quinctilia might make a fine playmate for my boy. They’re of an age.” Then he laughed, that sudden burst that could come from nowhere, like the flash of lightning out of impenetrable clouds. “Perhaps we’ll have to arrange a marriage.”

And then he was gone, a storm swept out to sea, and as the footsteps of his lictors faded away down the stairs, Latona’s knees buckled underneath her. Never before had she exerted so much energy in one go, and the sudden evacuation of her focal point, combined with the weight of the bargain she had taken upon her shoulders, robbed her of even the strength to stand. One of the slaves moved fast enough to keep her head from cracking against the floor, and the last thing she heard before fainting dead away was Aula dissolving into hysterical sobs of sorrow and relief.

Aven Circle

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Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

Image taken from Goodreads

Cass Morris

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | GOODREADS

Cass Morris lives and works in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia with the companionship of two royal felines, Princess and Ptolemy. She completed her Master of Letters at Mary Baldwin University in 2010, and she earned her undergraduate degree, a BA in English with a minor in history, from the College of William and Mary in 2007, where she was accepted into the Alpha Delta Gamma honor society for Medieval and Renaissance Studies. Cass served on the boards of student theatrical production companies at both Mary Baldwin and William and Mary. She reads voraciously, wears corsets voluntarily, and will beat you at MarioKart.


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Sunday Spotlight: Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon by Kerrelyn Sparks

Posted April 8, 2018 by Holly in Features | 4 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

Last year I was introduced to Kerrelyn Sparks. The Embraced follows a group of adopted sisters as they discovered they have elemental or magical powers. I really enjoyed the previous books in the series and I’m looking forward to this one.

Sunday Spotlight: Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon by Kerrelyn SparksEight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon (The Embraced, #3) by Kerrelyn Sparks
Series: The Embraced #3
Also in this series: How to Tame a Beast in Seven Days (The Embraced, #1), So I Married a Sorcerer (The Embraced, #2), So I Married a Sorcerer (The Embraced, #2), Eight Simple Rules for Dating a Dragon (The Embraced, #3)

Publication Date: March 27th 2018
Point-of-View: Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance, Fantasy
Genres: Fantasy, Historical Romance, Paranormal Romance
Pages: 448
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

From the brilliant imagination of Kerrelyn Sparks comes a bold new fantasy romance series in which passion and magic collide. Behold the Embraced…

Gwennore has a talent. An Elf able to track down the cause of an illness and heal it, she’s a valuable asset to her people. But when the kidnapping of a young girl thrusts Gwennore into the very heart of the realm of the dragons, she discovers not only a place of power and magic, but also a haunted land, plagued by an ancient curse that all but ensures extinction to the royal family. But when she meets the smoldering General Silas Dravenko, they strike a bargain—save the country from its cursed illness, and he will return the kidnapped girl. She’s been raised never to trust a dragon, but never did making a deal with the devil feel so good…

Silas has no way of curing the family he’s loyally served for years. But when a beautiful elf, long considered the enemy of the dragons, comes bursting into his world, Silas is awakened to passion and desire in a way he’s never felt before. But can he trust a sworn enemy to save the very existence he holds dear? And can their love survive those that threaten to tear them apart?

Order the Book:

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Excerpt

fluff, she thought about wishing for that magical world where the tall and handsome stranger was waiting for her. But what were the chances of that actually happening? It made more sense to wish for something that could possi- bly come true. A long and happy life for Eviana and Eric.

“I’m weady!” the little girl announced.

“Me, too!” Gwennore took a big breath and started to gently blow.

Eviana huffed and puffed, spitting more than blowing, then giggled as white florets detached from the flower head and floated away on a breeze. “We did it!” She danced about. “Guess what I wished for!”

“Ye shouldn’t say, or it won’t come—”

“I wished you not be sad.”

Gwennore stiffened. Good goddesses, was she so obvious that even a three-year-old could tell? “Ye think I’m sad?”

Eviana nodded. “ ’Cause we get pwesents, and you don’t. But I’ll give you some fwowers, too.”

Gwennore smiled. “That’s very sweet of you, but ye needn’t worry. My birthday will happen in the fall at the Autumn Embrace. I have the same birthday as yer papa. And Brigitta, Maeve, and Brody.”

“Weally?”

“Yes. Really.”

Eviana clapped her hands together. “Then we can have another party?”

Gwennore nodded. “Now let’s get some flowers for Sorcha, so we can head back to camp.”

“All wight!” Eviana skipped away, stopping every now and then to pluck a flower.

A large shadow swept over them, and Gwennore glanced up. Good goddesses! Her heart lurched.

Dragon.

She scrambled to her feet. What was a Norveshki dragon doing here? Was that what had been circling them? Why would it be interested in her? Not me. Icy-cold terror crept into Gwennore’s bones, freezing her for a few seconds. Eviana. Dragons were known for kidnapping small children.

With a shriek, the dragon swooshed down. Fire burst from its mouth and hit the ground, creating a wall of fire between the hill and the encampment. Heavenly god- desses, it was cutting them off!

“Eviana!” Gwennore dashed toward the little girl. She would grab her and run for the nearby forest. There, the larger trees could shelter them from the dragon’s view.

Eviana’s eyes grew wide with terror, and the flowers tumbled from her hand. She turned and ran. Away from the forest.

“Nay!” Gwennore struggled to catch up with her. The dragon swooped down.

Gwennore heard the beating of its wings and its breath huffing just above her head. She reached out a hand to grab Eviana, but the dragon shoved her with its powerful back legs, flattening her facedown on the ground. She barely caught her breath before she saw the talons of the dragon’s forelegs curl around Eviana.

With a squeal, the little girl squirmed.

“Eviana!” Gwennore scooted forward on her elbows while the dragon hovered a few inches above her. She seized its talons and attempted to pull them back. But they only tightened, digging into Eviana’s skin till beads of blood blossomed on the girl’s white dress.

“Stop it!” Gwennore cried. “Ye’re hurting her!”

Whoosh, whoosh. The air around them stirred as the dragon beat its long, black wings.

It was going to take off! Gwennore frantically yanked at its talons, but it enveloped the little girl in its forelegs and pulled her tight against its smooth chest.

A bolt of lightning struck the ground just as the dragon rose in the air. Leo was attacking. The ground beneath Gwennore trembled from the impact, and a booming noise deafened her ears.

The dragon rose high enough for her to gain her foot- ing. A sudden blast of wind shoved the dragon to the side, causing it to collide with her and knock her back down. That had to be Brigitta’s husband, using his wind power to attack.

As the dragon struggled to regain its equilibrium, she scrambled to her feet and grasped one of the creature’s forelegs to try to keep it from flying away. If the two kings succeeded in frightening the dragon enough that it re- leased Eviana, she would fall, and it would be dangerous for her to fall more than a few feet.

A second lightning strike ripped past them, then an- other one, dangerously close to the dragon’s head. The air sizzled with energy, buzzing in Gwennore’s ears.

With a screech, the dragon shot up into the air. Gwennore gasped as she was pulled off the ground. Her arms strained, and panic threatened to overwhelm her. Should she let go? No! She couldn’t leave Eviana alone.

Higher and higher, the dragon rose. The people below grew smaller, their screams more distant. The Norva River was now a blue ribbon, winding through a minia- ture forest. Luna and Lessa help her! If she lost her grip, she would plummet to her death.

Another bolt of lightning streaked past them, and she cringed. Poor Leo! He had to be frantic, but what could he do? If he hit the dragon directly, the shock would kill his daughter. And if Ulfrid used his wind power to make the dragon crash into the ground, Eviana would die.

“Gwennie,” Eviana whimpered.

“I’m here!” Gwennore’s arms burned. How long would her strength last? How long could she hold on with this fierce grip before her hands began to cramp?

Don’t think about it. She hissed in a breath between clenched teeth. She had no choice. Letting go would mean death. Letting go would leave Eviana unprotected. “I won’t leave you.”

A squawk sounded in the distance, and she spotted an eagle following them. Brody. Thank you. She wasn’t alone.

But could she hold on all the way to Norveshka? If only there was a way to reason—

Of course! If the dragons worked for the Norveshki army, then that meant they were able to follow orders. They had to understand the Norveshki language.

“Can you hear me?” she yelled in Norveshki. “You must return us immediately!”

No answer, but then how could a dragon reply?

She raised her voice. “You have kidnapped a princess! She’s the daughter of the king and queen of Eberon and the niece of the queen of Tourin. Those countries will declare war on Norveshka! They will attack you!”

The dragon made an angry huffing noise.

“Return us now!” Gwennore screamed. “Return us or hundreds of Norveshki will die. Take us back now!”

Do as she says, brother.

Gwennore flinched as a deep male voice reverberated in her head. Who—what was that?

No, another male voice answered.

She gasped. There were voices in her head? And they were arguing? Goddesses help her, she had to be losing her mind. She twisted in the air, looking around.

Another dragon! It was coming from Norveshka and flying straight toward them.

Is it true what the woman says? the deeper voice asked. Have you taken a princess?

The queen needs a princess, the other one replied.

She was hearing the dragons, Gwennore realized with a shock. The voices were speaking Norveshki, and there was no one else around, other than Brody, who was far behind.

This is a mistake, brother. You must return the child, the deeper voice insisted.

That had to be the newcomer. “He’s right!” Gwennore yelled. “It’s a terrible mistake. Take us back now!”

Silence.

Was it just her imagination, or had she felt the muscles in the dragon’s foreleg flinch? The dragon that was carrying her and Eviana had grown tense.

She heard us, he hissed. The damned elf can hear us!

Stay calm, the newcomer urged him.

No! The dragon shot straight up into the sky.

Gwennore cried out, struggling to keep her grip. The wind buffeted against her, threatening to tear her loose. Good goddesses, the dragon was trying to kill her!

“Gwennie,” Eviana whimpered.

“I’m here!” Tears stung Gwennore’s eyes as the ache in her shoulders and hands became more agonizing.

The dragon went into a series of rolls.

As Gwennore was tossed about, one of her hands slipped loose. No! Luna and Lessa, help me! The dragon used his back legs to kick her loose.

Down, down, she was falling. Dear goddesses, am I going to die? The wind rushed past her ears, mingling with the little girl’s screams. Eviana. I wanted to protect you.

Something dark blocked her vision, then bam! She struck something so hard, it knocked the breath out of her. Stunned, she was unable to think for a moment. Then, with a rush, her mind raced. She was still alive. Black,leathery legs held her suspended in the air.

The Embraced

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

Kerrelyn Sparks

WEBSITE | TWITTER | GOODREADS

Apparently, she has issues with reality. After writing 16 books about vampires and shifters, Kerrelyn has now completely gone off the deep end and wound up on another planet.

Although Kerrelyn is best known (so far) for the Love at Stake series, which has hit as high as number 5 on the New York Times list and 22 on the USA Today list, she hopes her readers will love The Embraced as much as they did her merry band of vamps and shifters.

Kerrelyn lives with her family in the Greater Houston area of Texas. You can visit with her on Goodreads or her Facebook page, where she does a monthly contest. On Twitter, she posts as @KerrelynSparks.


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Sunday Spotlight: Covert Game by Christine Feehan

Posted April 1, 2018 by Holly in Features | 5 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

I have been enjoying this series for a long time. I took a break for a few years, but really got back into it about three years ago. It’s the camaraderie between the GhostWalkers that makes me love this series so much. They would literally die for each other and many of them have. The men are strong alpha males, but then women are just as strong and won’t be held back by their men. At the same time, they don’t apologize for wanting to make their men happy. That’s another thing I love about this series. The women. They’ve been through so much, but they are survivors. If you love paranormal and haven’t tried this series, you definitely should!

Sunday Spotlight: Covert Game by Christine FeehanCovert Game (GhostWalkers #14) by Christine Feehan
Series: GhostWalkers #14
Also in this series: Murder Game (GhostWalkers, #7), Covert Game (GhostWalkers #14)
Published by Berkley Books
Publication Date: March 20th 2018
Point-of-View: Third-Person Alternating
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 400
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

Treason, torture and temptation haunt the GhostWalkers in their most dangerous adventure yet, as Christine Feehan's #1 New York Times bestselling series hits an explosive new high.

Rescuing an industrial spy from the hands of a criminal mastermind is a suicide mission for the GhostWalkers. And there's no one more up to the task than Gino Mazza. He's the perfect killing machine--a man driven by demons so dark and destructive that his blighted soul has given up trying to find solace. But his laser-sharp focus on his target has transformed into something nearing desire.

A treasonous senator dangled top secret GhostWalker data in front of a Chinese crime lord, and he bit. Zara Hightower, one of the world's leading experts on artificial intelligence, was sent in to psychically wipe the crime lord's computer network. She succeeded, but at a huge cost. Now she's the captive of a man who has descended into paranoid madness. Torture and death await her...

But GhostWalkers never leave one of their own in enemy territory. And it's up to Gino to save Zara, or kill her if it turns out she's led them into a trap. Either way, heaven or hell won't stop him...

Order the Book:

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Excerpt

Excerpt from COVERT GAME by Christine Feehan

Gino felt Zara stir in his arms while Zeke sorted their identities with the guard at the gate. He wasn’t listening. The tension in her ratcheted up another notch. Her body shuddered. Shivered. “Need your coat, Rubin.”

Rubin immediately shrugged out of his jacket and helped Gino wrap the shivering woman in it. She had her head turned away from Gino’s chest and was looking out the gate toward the security guards. Her breath left her lungs in a long rush of fear. Gino not only heard the small whimper of terror, but felt it. His eyes followed the turn of her head to the sleek car that had pulled up in front of the gates. A man slid out of the leather interior.

Bolan Zhu. Gino recognized him from his photographs. He looked like a movie star, his dark hair slicked back, his suit immaculate. He simply stood on the walkway, eyes on Zara’s face. Gino turned her so she couldn’t see the bastard. They all knew the big son of a bitch was the one doing the torture for Cheng. If her reaction to him was anything to go by, she was petrified of the man.

Deliberately, Gino locked eyes with the bastard. Let him know where the true threat was. Zhu could beat a defenseless woman, but it was something altogether different to come at a man looking forward to the altercation. He didn’t smile. Not even a taunting smile. He didn’t feel like giving him that much of a warning. He just stared at the fucker and then, contempt on his face, leaned down to nuzzle the top of Zara’s head.

“I’m right here. I’ve got you,” he whispered. “You’re safe.”

She shook her head and pressed her swollen face against his shirt. “I’ll never be safe.”

“Princess,” he said softly. “Look at me.”

She raised her head and peered up at him. He felt the impact all the way through his guts—through that monster punching at him to get out and rid the world of a man like Zhu who would commit such a crime against an innocent. Zara Hightower needed protection, not the cold monster lurking inside him, but he knew it was the same thing. His monster was her protection.

“I take care of what’s mine. He won’t get his filthy hands on you again. That’s my promise to you.”

He held steady while those little pinpoints of what was left of her eyes searched his. She must have caught a glimpse of that demon inside of him, the one ready to be let loose, the one punching and stabbing to get free.

“You understand me?” Because he was telling her so much more than the words conveyed.

She swallowed again and nodded.

“Keep your eyes on me. Don’t look at him. Don’t think about him. A man like that is beneath contempt.”

She nodded again, and once more, Gino lifted his gaze to Zhu’s. The bastard was staring at him, stupid enough to think he might be intimidating. Zhu thought Gino was like the others, a white knight. Maybe he would have been, but that was long gone, ripped from him when he was a child and he’d been shaped into something completely different. He was a demon now, still rescuing the innocent, but with so much more in his arsenal.

Zhu refused to look away, or go away. He wanted Zara to be afraid of him. The man didn’t realize she’d already recognized the monster in Gino and was willing to give herself to him for his protection. She saw. She believed. That was enough for Gino.

Gino turned with Zara in his arms, cradled close to his chest by his heart, and he walked away without once looking back.

Posted by arrangement with Berkley, a member of Penguin Group (USA) LLC, A Penguin Random House Company. Copyright © Christine Feehan, 2018.

GhostWalkers

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About the Author

Christine Feehan

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Christine Feehan is a #1 New York Times bestselling author multiple times over with her portfolio including over 40 published novels, including five series; Leopard Series, Dark Series, Ghostwalker Series, Drake Sisters Series, & the Sisters of the Heart Series. All five series hit the #1 spot on the New York Times bestselling list as well. Her debut novel Dark Prince received 3 of the 9 Paranormal Excellence Awards in Romantic Literature (PEARL) in 1999. Since then she has been published by various publishing houses including Leisure Books, Pocket Books, and currently is writing for Berkley/Jove. She also has earned 7 more PEARL awards since Dark Prince.


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Sunday Spotlight: What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora Bell

Posted March 25, 2018 by Rowena in Features, Giveaways | 4 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

I read my first book by Lenora Bell last year and when I finished, I started on my second book by her immediately after and then I started my third book directly after that. I enjoyed her The Disgraceful Dukes series a lot so I’m looking forward to trying out this new one.

The first book in her School for Dukes series comes out on Tuesday and we’re over the moon to be featuring What a Difference a Duke Makes here on the blog today.

Sunday Spotlight: What a Difference a Duke Makes by Lenora BellWhat a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes, #1) by Lenora Bell
Series: School for Dukes #1
Also in this series: What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes #1), What a Difference a Duke Makes (School for Dukes, #1)
Published by Harper Collins, Avon
Publication Date: March 27th 2018
Genres: Historical Romance
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads

Wanted: Governess for duke's unruly children

Edgar Rochester, Duke of Banksford, is one of the wealthiest, most powerful men in England, but when it comes to raising twins alone, he knows he needs help. The only problem is the children have chased away half the governesses in London. Until the clever, bold, and far-too-enticing Miss Mari Perkins arrives.

Lost: One heart to an arrogant duke

Mari knows how to wrap even the most rebellious children around her finger. But their demanding, wickedly handsome father? He won't be quite so easy to control. And there's something else she can't seem to command. Her heart. The foolish thing beats so wildly every time the duke is near.

Found: A forbidden passion neither can deny

As his employee, Mari is strictly off-limits. But what if she's the one breaking all his rules? In the game of governess versus duke, how can Edgar maintain his defenses when the only thing he wants to do is let the tempting beauty win?

Order the Book:

AMAZON || BARNES AND NOBLE || KOBO

Excerpt

“Are you happy, Miss Perkins?”

“Very happy. The sea is more spectacular than I ever imagined.”

“Isn’t it?” Adele picked up a speckled gray rock, smoothing it with her finger. “But there’s one thing missing, isn’t there?” She avoided Mari’s eyes, staring at the rock instead.

Mari shaded her eyes with her hand and looked over the horizon, where the sea met the sky.

“Yes,” she said, “I wish your father were here as well but he’s very busy right now with his steam engines. He’s going to build an engine that will fight even the worst fires and save many lives.”

He’d said he hadn’t been back to Southend since the fire that claimed his house, and nearly claimed his life.

The painful memory had kept him away for so many years. She couldn’t help thinking that if he had come with them it might have helped bury the dark memories for good.

“You smile more when Father is near,” said Adele, throwing the rock toward the sea.

“Do I?” Mari replied, flustered.

Adele nodded. “What’s Father’s real name?”

“Edgar,” Mari said, her voice catching.

Adele hopped up and grabbed a sharp stick of driftwood.

“E-D-G-A-R. . .” she wrote with the stick, etching his name into the damp sand.

She surveyed her handiwork. “Edgar,” she spoke. “Yes, it sounds like him. Hard around the edges but with a promising ahhh in the middle.”

Adele was definitely going to be a poetess.

“What’s your first name?” Adele asked Mari.

“Mari. Like Mary, but with an i.”

Adele spelled out Mari in the sand next to Edgar.

Michel approached and took the stick from Adele. He gave Mari a devilish grin and drew a heart around both of their names.

“Why did you do that?” Mari asked.

“Because you belong together,” shouted Michel, already running away.

Adele chased after him and they both disappeared behind a jagged outcropping of rocks.

Edgar and Mari, written in crooked, childish script and bordered by a lopsided heart.

Mari rose, intending to sweep the names away, but something stopped her. The words danced in her vision and a sharp-edged thought scratched at her mind.

If Edgar was learning to care for his children . . . could he learn to care for her?

Because she didn’t just love these intelligent, inquisitive children. She cared for their father as well.

She reached down and lifted a conch shell to her ear. She had a secret to whisper into the shell’s dark interior. “I’m falling in love with Edgar,” she announced.

She lifted the shell to her ear. No answer except the roaring of her own blood pounding in her ears.

“I know it’s a thoroughly impractical thing to do,” she told the shell. “I know it will end badly and I’ll be hurt. But do I really even have a choice?”

Of course the lonely governess tumbled madly in love with the handsome duke. It happened all the time in the novels she read.

It was happening to her right now.

Awww, how cute is this scene? I’m super stoked about the release of this book. Enjoy!

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

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Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

About the Author

Lenora Bell

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | INSTAGRAM | PINTEREST | GOODREADS

Lenora Bell is a USA Today bestselling, award-winning author of historical romances. She grew up in a small Alaskan town that still has no traffic lights and she blames those long, dark winters for turning her into a lifelong bookworm. She has lived and worked on five continents but can currently be found in an old farmhouse in the Pacific Northwest with her carpenter husband and two tiger-striped rescue kitties. In 2014 she won the Romance Writers of America’s Golden Heart Award for Best Historical and her first Regency romance was published by Avon Books in 2016.


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Sunday Spotlight: The Darkest Promise by Gena Showalter

Posted March 18, 2018 by Holly in Features, Giveaways | 7 Comments

Sunday Spotlight is a feature we began in 2016. This year we’re spotlighting our favorite books, old and new. We’ll be raving about the books we love and being total fangirls. You’ve been warned. 🙂

Sunday Spotlight

To celebrate the mass market paperback release of The Darkest Promise, we have a short excerpt for you.

Sunday Spotlight: The Darkest Promise by Gena ShowalterThe Darkest Promise by Gena Showalter
Series: Lords of the Underworld #13
Also in this series: The Darkest Torment, The Darkest Promise (Lords of the Underworld, #13)
Published by Hqn
Publication Date: March 27th 2018
Genres: Paranormal Romance
Pages: 384
Buy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble
Goodreads


New York Times
bestselling author Gena Showalter returns with a sizzling Lords of the Underworld story about an iron-willed sovereign and the somber beauty who melts him with a glance

Possessed by the demon of Misery, Cameo isn't allowed to experience joy. If she dares, her memory is wiped clean. With no other recourse, she sneaks into a land more fantastical than any fairy tale, determined to find the one man with the key to her redemption.

Lazarus the Cruel and Unusual rules his kingdom with a single unwavering focus: to build his army and annihilate his enemies. Nothing distracts him - until Cameo. He is relentless in his quest to make her smile and seduce her into his bed.

As dark forces conspire against them, threatening to destroy the fragile bond they've forged, the once-calm Lazarus grows crazed. Every heart-stopping kiss and wicked touch causes Cameo to teeter on the brink of happiness. But if she falls, she risks forgetting him forever

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Excerpt

“Don’t try to stay ten moves ahead of your opponent. Stay behind him with a knife.”
—Excerpted from Becoming the King You Are Meant to Be, a work in progress by Lazarus the Cruel and Unusual

LIKE ALICE ON HER WAY TO WONDERLAND, CAMEO, host to the demon of Misery, tumbled end over end down a long, dark cavern. When the bottom finally appeared, she braced for impact…only to slip through a glistening portal. The cavern walls vanished, and she spilled from a midnight sky—straight into a new realm.

Never should have touched the Paring Rod. One brush of her fingertips against the pretty glass bulb that tipped its handle, and the ancient artifact had opened a door between the physical and spirit world. Voilà! In a blink, her descent had begun.
As she plunged toward a flat clearing, she braced for impact…

Cameo smacked into the ground. A scream split her lips, her brain banging against her skull, her lungs emptying and multiple bones shattering all at once.

Agony seared her, black dots weaving through her vision. Warmth drained from her hands and feet, collecting in her torso. Her body was in shock.

Hours passed before she gained the strength to roll to her side, her wrecked heart tap-dancing a wild rhythm against broken ribs. Her head swam but thankfully her pain ebbed. Able to breathe again, she noted the sweet scent of ambrosia—the drug of choice for immortals—hung heavy in the air. She almost laughed. For once, lady luck had been on her side. If you had to crash-land, what better place than an ambrosia field?

She drifted in and out of consciousness, the passage of time evidenced by the healing of her injuries and the shift from dark to light. When a beam of sun stroked her, blistering her pale skin, she finally woke for good.

Her nose crinkled as she inhaled. The scent of ambrosia had been replaced by burnt foliage. Where had she landed? Hell? The sun blazed so hot it had scorched sections of land.

Cameo crawled into a shadowed haven, exhaling with relief when her skin cooled. She scanned the lavender sky with its pale green clouds then looked over an unfamiliar forest filled with towering pink trees and plots of azure grass.

Oookay. This is new. A forest fit for a storybook princess. Too bad Cameo was the villain of the tale. Browniebitch and the Twelve Immortals. For her and her family of demon-possessed warriors, nothing had ever been just right.

Cold fingers of dread crept down her spine as a butterfly the size of her fist fluttered past her. Over the centuries, the wretched insects had become an omen. Death and destruction await…

The heavy weight of depression settled on her shoulders, and she wallowed about the travesty of her life.

Lost so much already. All because she’d made one teeny tiny mistake when she’d lived in Mount Olympus.

That mistake? Helping her friends steal and open Pandora’s box. An appropriate punishment would have been a hand amputation or two. Maybe a few hundred years in the slammer. Instead, she was forced to play host to the demon of Misery for eternity, free will a thing of the past.

To commemorate the occasion, a butterfly tattoo had appeared on her lower back.
The beginning of the end.

Lords of the Underworld

Giveaway Alert

We’re giving one lucky winner their choice of one of our Sunday Spotlight books. Use the Rafflecopter widget below to enter for one of this month’s features.

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Are you as excited for this release as we are? Let us know how excited you are and what other books you’re looking forward to this year!

Gena Showalter

WEBSITE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS | PINTEREST | INSTAGRAM

Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld, Otherworld Assassins, and Angels of the Dark series, as well as two young adult series–Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles–and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series. In addition to being a National Reader’s Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine. She was interviewed on Nightline and has been mentioned in Orange is the New Black. Her books have been translated in multiple languages.

She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees.


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