Guardian Witch Book Five
Sometimes you just need to stay alive to fight another day.
Six months ago Ari moved in with the vampire prince Andreas. They defied the vampire elders in Europe, killed their enforcer, and have waited for retaliation that never came.
On a trip to Italy, Andreas is captured by the vampire rulers, the notorious O-Seven, and taken in chains to their stronghold in Germany. Ari goes after him, even though it’s against the orders of her Magic Council. She is fired for her actions, losing her special Guardian powers at a time she needs them most.
But the vampire rulers are not through with her or with those who attempt to help her. They launch attacks in Europe and at home in Riverdale. Ari is forced to fight them on several fronts, and victory grows increasingly uncertain.
Her last chance to rescue Andreas is a daring plan that places her in the hands of the O-Seven and relies on untested witch magic, the final hope for their survival.
You can find Fire Storm at:
Andreas is missing in Italy. Ari and her friends are tracking him and his abductors.
“The scent stops here,” Ramon said. “They followed it to some kind of circle drawn on the ground, where it ended. To be certain, they’ve searched a half mile radius.”
Samuel and Ramon pulled back the brush, and the group entered the clearing. Ari drew back a step. An oppressive black aura, a dark thundercloud of haze, hung over the immediate area. She didn’t say anything, because the others couldn’t see it, but other remnants of the sorcery circle were obvious to all. The scent of sulfur, the ring of ashes. She moved forward to examine the ash used to draw the circle and recoiled in disgust. Human ashes. Not unexpected because the ability to teleport was produced by a dark arts spell. The most complex spells required a level of power typically achieved through human sacrifice or at least the use of human remains.
She stood and walked the circle. Sophistrina’s coven used black magic to teleport, but this wasn’t big enough to hold thirteen witches. This ring held no more than five or six creatures, and some of them had been werebears. And Sophistrina didn’t use human remains. At least not when Ari knew her.
The air at the edge of the circle shimmered. “Intruders,” she shouted. “Get out of here.” She leaped forward to protect her companions, throwing up a temporary barrier with the magic powder she always carried in her pockets. Lilith pulled both her guns; Samuel began to morph into tiger form, and the foxes snarled a warning, but backed away, ready to run.
Energy crackled, and as if Ari’s earlier thoughts had pulled them in, Sophistrina and her coven materialized outside the prior circle.
“Hold everything. It’s Sophistrina.” Ari thrust out a restraining hand to keep her companions from attacking, but she kept her eyes on the witches, waiting to see the coven’s mood. The last leader of this group had indeed tried to kill her. It paid to be cautious. Especially when they showed up at this particular spot.
“Why do you seem so surprised?” The high priestess smiled at her from the other side of the barrier and cocked her head to one side. “Didn’t you call me?”
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Also by Ally Shields
Beautiful & Broken
Molly's a hot mess and her life is falling apart.
Just when she thinks she's about to get her happily ever after, her sister steps in to have an affair with her fiancé on her wedding day. Determined to bring Molly out of her funk, her friends take her out for a night on the town, only for her to go home with a professional boxer who pops in and out of her life when she least expects it. Her mother tries to push her back into the arms of her cheating ex, but forgiving Jason is the hardest thing Molly will ever have to do. And even if she can forgive him, does her happily ever after include her ex-fiancé, or the charming boxer with a shady past?
To set up the scene, this happens shortly after Molly intervenes in a fight between Sawyer and one of his friends, and she inadvertently gets caught in the crossfire.
I'm to meet the client at the Red Line Coffee House the following day. It's this little cafe on the main floor of the Dover Hotel— the same hotel I did the walk of shame at after sleeping with Sawyer. Sigh. Being here makes me uncomfortable and I massage the back of my neck as I feel a flush of heat in my face.
I check my watch and it's twelve forty five. I’m fifteen minutes early and I'm dressed to impress, wearing my best outfit: a black pencil skirt and white silk blouse with a fitted red blazer and matching pumps that Jason bought me for Christmas last year. Looking down at them as I sit at the table near the counter, I can't help but feel nostalgic.
Why can’t I stop missing him?
"This seat taken?" says a familiar, deep voice.
I begin to smile as I look up, but my smile quickly fades. Then my temper fires. Sawyer slides into the seat opposite me. He smile is timid, like he’s not sure if I’m happy to see him or not. Newsflash: I’m not. He wears brand name track pants and a henley shirt. His hair is freshly showered and damp, falling over his eyes so he flicks his head to push it back.
"Yes, it is. I'm waiting for someone."
"Oh, really. A date?"
"That's none of your business." I fold my arms across my chest and sit up straight. I need to be on my toes with this one. I barely know him and yet everything about him disturbs me. "Haven’t you done enough damage?" I say as I lean in. He leans in to meet me.
He points to my face and drops his hand onto the table. "Your face doesn't look so bad."
I make a face. "Thanks. Just the kind of compliment every girl wishes for.”
He clears his throat and changes the subject. "Does it hurt?"
"What do you care? The damage is done. Now if you don't mind, I'd really rather not see you ever again."
“Dane said you were insulted that I sent him.”
“I’m not a gold digger. And you if you wanted to make things right, you could have come to the hospital and apologized instead of sending your lawyer. I mean, it's not like we're complete strangers, is it?" I feel the heat pooling in my cheeks. I really don't want to think about that night we spent together. I can barely remember it anyway, but the look on his face, the frown and the head tilt, I wonder if he remembers me at all—other than our incident at the party.
"Did we hook up?" He points to his chest and mine.
I want to slap him across the face. Okay, we were both drunk, but could he make me feel any smaller? The heat in my cheeks burns hotter, this time from anger. At least I remembered sleeping with him—sort of. The least he could do was afford me the same courtesy.
“I wasn't at my best when I saw you at the party,” he adds.
"No. We didn't." I look away hoping he doesn't see through my lie.
He shifts in his seat and taps his thumbs on the table. His eyes go blank, as if he's somewhere else.
"I am sorry about the…" He points to my head.
I take a deep breath and study his face. Somewhere on the edges of his cheeky smile, I see a flash of sincerity. As much I’m decided on accepting his apology, now is not the time for making amends. I have more pressing things to deal with. My watch reads one-oh-five.
“What were you even fighting about? Let me guess, a girl? Maybe the girl you slept with at the party? Real classy, by the way.”
He scratches at the scruff on his cheek and takes a deep breath. “How did you know about the girl?”
“I was in the bathroom when I heard your marathon sex session.”
I expect him to be embarrassed, to blush or something, but he doesn’t. He just looks a little surprised.
He massages the back of his neck as he chuckles. “This really isn’t going the way I planned.”
"Listen. We're cool. I accept your apology, but you need to go, all right? I'm waiting for a client."
"A client, huh? What kind of work is it that you do?”
I glance around the room. I have no idea who I’m looking for. Dina said the client would find me. "Real estate."
"Really. Well now that’s a coincidence, because I'm in the market for a new house."
Drew's life just got a whole lot harder. Her relationships are falling apart, her little sister is failing math, and her parents are leaving for Florida to take care of Grandpa. Now not only does she have to play surrogate parent, study to graduate from her last semester of college, and deal with the looming threat of full-on adulthood, she has to do it all while running the family's mini-golf course by herself. Even the upbeat Drew is starting to feel like she just drove her ball down the unfairway.
Her luck takes a turn when she meets Weston, the snarky geometry teacher. He's smart, capable, dependable, and handsome—a real hole in one. But even Weston has a few hazards of his own. Now Drew will have to decide whether his secret is the wedge that drives them apart, or pushes them together.
You can find Above Par at:
Watcher of Worlds
Senior year should bring fun, friends and happiness. Not portals, treachery, and murder.
Seventeen-year-old Mia Taylor, gatekeeper to an interdimensional portal, wants nothing more than to heal from her romance gone wrong. Illegally falling for her co-worker Regulus had been a huge mistake. But when Regulus goes rogue to hunt down a murderer, Mia must forget her broken heart and use her unique abilities to save him. Traveling across dimensions, she enters a strange and hostile world where a rebel faction holds the key to their escape. Her gift of synesthesia is in high demand, and a secret organization of the otherworldly kind has her in their sights. But sabotage and murder may be the least of her worries. Her ex-boyfriend wants a relationship. Her dad wants her to act normal. Her friends want her to stop moping. Who knew faking happy would be the easiest part of senior year?
**********************Watcher of Worlds EXCERPT:
Jingle BellsI detested planned surprises.
I could read the expectation in the air from the shimmery orange vibe that glowed like a Cheetos binge gone bad.
A few months ago, my friends had discovered my secret. The secret I’d hidden so teachers and doctors wouldn’t treat me like an amped up sensory perception freak. So friends wouldn’t ask.
Synesthesia. The condition sounded like the name of an electronic punk band. I’d made the full round of emotions about my sensory perception and being able to find portals. First, I’d hid it like you hide an ugly rash. Later, I’d learned to trust my friends with my secret. I’d even embraced it.
Now, I was back to wishing for normal.
Working with Regulus and Arizona was like playing Pop Goes the Weasel—a surprise around every corner. And did I mention I hate surprises?
Give me predictable any day. Then I could be ready. It’s why I made sure I knew the contents of every box under the Christmas tree.
Available now on amazon
Brinda Berry is the author of The Waiting Booth (Whispering Woods #1),Whisper of Memory (Whispering Woods #2), and Watcher of Worlds (Whispering Woods #3). She also contributed a short story to the anthology, Wild at Heart, Vol II.
Currently working in higher education administration, she spends her days thinking of ways to improve education for college students. Brinda spends her nights devising exciting tales that involve teens who might be saving the world.
Connect with Brinda on the Web:WEB BLOG FACEBOOK TWITTER GOODREADS YOUTUBE
I'm joined today by author Elizabeth Ellen Carter
as she talks about mean girls!
We all know them and we’ve all been tormented by them.
Or perhaps that was just me who still winces at the memory of awkward high school days...
There’s something fascinating about how certain types of young women interact with one another.
Thick as thieves one moment, mortal enemies the next.
It’s one of the reasons why young adult fiction is so interesting and so cathartic – even for those who have long past our teen years.
High school and early university/college days are where we are placed in social competition for the first time, our focus turns inward as we try to relate our place in the world outside the safety of our family.
Our relationship with girlfriends and female peers gives us a superficial benchmark by which to compare ourselves – are we pretty enough? Are we popular enough? And later, are we successful enough?
That’s not to say boys and men don’t go through the same peer pressures, they most certainly do but different genders deal with matters differently:
Elaine: (on boys giving wedgies, etc.) Boys are sick.
Jerry: What do girls do?
Elaine: We just tease someone 'til they develop an eating disorder.
Young women use words and social exclusion to either reward or punish their social peers almost exclusively. It is only fairly recently where there has been an upswing of physical violence between girls.
Social inclusion is a powerful weapon in a society where individuals are more dependent on one another and rely on their good opinion for success.
And yet, as Coco Chanel pointed out in the 1920s, there is only one thing worse than being talked about and that is not being talked about…
Cady: And they have this book, this "Burn Book" where they write mean things about girls in our grade.
Janis: Well what does it say about me?
Cady: You're not in it.
Janis: Those bitches.
-- Mean Girls
Ah, being ‘sent to Coventry’… a distinctly English phrase traced back to the 17th century and the English Republican wars where the defeated loyalists in Birmingham were imprisoned in the Republican stronghold of Coventry where they were pilloried and shunned by the locals.
The phrase came into common usage in the late 1700s to mean social exclusion.
From a literary perspective, using words instead of fists as weapons, makes for fascinating reading – oh those witty zingers and lightning fast rejoinders that very few of us can manage in real life are delicious to experience on the page.
And let’s not forget another thing – the gleeful joy at the end of the book when the ‘mean girl’ finally gets her comeuppance.
The finest example of classic ‘mean girl’ literature is the 1930s play The Women by Clare Booth-Luce which was turned into a hugely successful movie in 1939 and a real dog of a production in 2008.
Mary Haines: [about Slyvia and the model arguing] Oh it's just professional jealousy, they're really very good friends!
Sylvia Fowler: Of course! She adores the Fowler family. Particularly my husband.
Countess Tamara: Are you accusing me of flirting with Howard?
Sylvia Fowler: No, my little pet, but of trying to! I'd like to see Howard bat an eye at another woman!
Countess Tamara: Well I've seen him, and she's not bad either!
Sylvia Fowler: Did you get her innuendo?
-- The Women
According to Hollywood legend, The Women was born out of an overheard conversation in a ladies powder room and, rather fitting, the film’s dramatic showdown takes place in one too.
Proof positive that inspiration can strike an author in the most unexpected of places.
Moonstone Obsession is set in 1790, a period in time where women exercised their social and political power obliquely through elaborate social rituals and mores. It features several ‘mean girl’ style conversations involving our heroine and three other young ladies (including our hero’s former lover). All of which are great fun to read.
Here’s an extract:
“And you still won’t tell me who you’re going as,” Edith pouted.
“I thought the whole purpose of a masquerade was to conceal your identity?” Selina replied.
“It is,” assured Catherine. “It’s just that little Miss here has not the patience, nor the attention span of a gnat.”
Edith pulled an unladylike face before skipping around the room singing,
“Catherine is more tetchy than usual because she’s in love with the Colonel and is so sad that she won’t see him again for three whole
Selina watched as Catherine’s face darkened with thunderous rage.
“You little minx! I told you that in confidence!”
Catherine darted towards her. Edith squealed and ran from the room, dodging around Abigail sailing in through the door.
Selina decided to ignore her and continue painting her silk, but Abigail would not let her.
“Are you feeling well, Selina?” Abigail asked in an exaggeratedly conciliatory tone. “You were looking awfully pale this morning and after the fainting spell yesterday, James and I are most concerned for you.”
So that hadn’t
gone unnoticed, Selina thought with chagrin.
concern for my welfare comes as an unexpected surprise,” she responded. “James on the other hand, makes his interest abundantly clear.”
Abigail’s eyes flashed with anger momentarily, then were cool and calculating again.
“I’d like to give you the opportunity to be the first to congratulate me,” she began. “There’s going to be an announcement at the Masquerade Ball. James and I will be announcing our engagement then.
“I did warn you.”
“Does James know about your supposed engagement?” Selina enquired sweetly.
“Why do you think he’s having tea with the vicar?”
Catherine, listening some yards away while pretending to read, snorted, then feigned interest in the West Country Farmer’s Almanac
“James knows what his obligations are and as an honourable man he knows what he must do,” Abigail pronounced.
“At least we can be agreed on something,” nodded Selina. “James is
an honourable man, but I fear where we differ is whether you and I have the same definition of honour. Now,” she continued, shifting on her stool and picking up a paint brush, “if you'll excuse me, I’d like to finish some more painting before the light goes.”
From the corner of her eye, Selina watched Abigail consider her and then Catherine who had withdrawn to a further distance, determined to keep out of the discussion.
“By all means dear,” said Abigail as she seated herself on a wicker back sofa. “It’s nice to have a little talent, so important to keep the wolf from the door.
“You keep up the good work; you’ll need to earn your living one day.”
Catherine was unable to resist. “Abigail’s little talents earn her an income too,” she chimed in, “but there’s a lot of competition on the streets around Covent Garden.”
Abigail gave her friend a hateful stare, then Selina too, who was doing her best not to laugh.
Moonstone Obsession to be published by Etopia Press on October 18 Continue the conversation with Elizabeth Ellen Carter Web: www.eecarter.com Facebook:
Thank you, Elizabeth!!
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Lacey Everhart has carved out a tough existence in the wilds of 1880s Wyoming, working hard to build a secure life for herself and her younger brother, Luke. She will stop at nothing to protect what’s hers and keep them safe. Even if it means keeping a secret that could destroy their lives.
Marshal Dylan J. Kane is a man who considers everything as black and white, right or wrong. He's never seen life any other way until he sets eyes on Lacey. Suddenly the straight and narrow that he's followed has a few twists and turns. Loving Lacey offers the home life for which he hankers...but can he really love a woman who seems to be plain lawless?
You can find Andrea Downing's books at:
Congratulations on the release of Lawless Love!
Tell us a little about yourself, what do you enjoy doing when you’re not writing? My greatest love outside of writing is traveling. Nothing I like more than going somewhere new, learning about different cultures, and seeing outstanding scenery and sites. Of course, I love going west and a road trip to me is heaven. My daughter and I have done a few now and clocked up nearly 3,000 miles on each.
What genres do you write? I don’t really like being pigeon-holed into a single genre. The two books that are currently out are both western historical romance but I am also working on a contemporary and on one that’s literary fiction. No matter what I write, there’s usually some sort of western setting at some point in the book—I’m just constantly drawn to the people who inhabit that part of the country.
How long have you been writing? As long as I can remember. I recall writing my first ‘book’ in a school notebook, one of those black and white mottled things. Can’t remember what the book was about, of course. I have a feeling the first line was something like, “She walked down the street.”
Who is your favorite character from one of your books? Oh, it would have to be Jesse, of course, from Loveland. I think every girl must love a guy who knows with just how much he should let you get away but also knows when to take control, who is kind and gentle and stands up for you and understands you!
Do you plan your stories or do they evolve as you write? In general, I know the beginning and the end but not always how I’m going to get from A to Z. I’m definitely a pantser and my characters seem to take control. I have a few signposts ahead of time but I don’t know the entire road.
Who are some of your favorite authors? I admire a very wide array of authors: Michael Chabon, Margaret Attwood, John Irving, Maggie Osborne, Nora Roberts, Paul Auster, Bella Pollen…phew! Better stop there. All good storytellers.
Tell us a little about your current work in progress. Which one?? LOL! The next one I hope to get finished is another western historical romance, which I’m hoping might be suitable for The Wild Rose Press Love Letters series. When a letter goes to the wrong address, a young woman sees the money and ticket within as her chance to change her life by going west. Of course, the ticket brings her out to meet the young man who is expecting someone else. I’ll leave it there I think, Dani-Lyn, except to say thanks so much for having me here today, the day Lawless Love is on general release. It’s been great to celebrate with you.
Thank you for joining us today, Andrea!
To learn more about Andrea Downing, visit:
Amanda in the Summer
Three generations of women…and the secret that strengthens their love.
A line of women, all named Amanda, stretches back for generations. Each with her hopes, her joys, her pain—each pouring out her heart in correspondence with a dear family friend who shares their lives, understands their loves, and joins in their sorrows.
But within the correspondence lies a secret. And as the youngest of the Amandas retraces the journey through the years—beginning in post-war America and following through to modern day—the letters reveal, layer by layer, the Amandas who came before her. Soon, the truths and lies hidden in the letters lead her down a path of self-discovery that forges a bond between her past and future.You can find Amanda in the Summer at amazon.
I was born and raised in Arizona. Outside of Arizona, my travels had only gone as far as California, Nevada, and New Mexico until I married a man doing a stint in the Army. If the Army offered nothing else, we at least had the opportunity to see a good part of the world. And we found we liked moving around.
Our frequent moves continued into our civilian life. Our gypsy lifestyle has finally landed us in the northern prairies of Arizona. We're transitioning from city people to country folk. We share our rambling farmhouse with our son the farmer, his wife, my granddaughter and three dogs. Together, we’ve embraced an age-old lifestyle that has been mostly lost in the United States - multiple generations living under one roof, who share the workload, follow their individual dreams and reap the benefits of combined talents.
I've been writing all of my life. Early on my writing consisted mostly of the captions on my artwork. I was certain my destiny was to be an artist. In high school, my writing took on new meaning with the psychedelic age, and writing became an art in itself with loopy scrolls and color. It wasn't until after college that I found more satisfaction filling a blank page with words than an empty canvas with color. I left my paints behind.
Although I didn’t start out to write romance, I’ve found all good stories have to involve complicated human relationships. I’ve also learned, no matter a person’s age, a new discovery is right around every corner. Whether humorous or serious, straight contemporary or mystery, all my books revolve around those two facts.
Visit Brenda at www.brendawhiteside.com
Or on FaceBook: www.facebook.com/BrendaWhitesideAuthor
She blogs on the 9th and 24th of every month at http://rosesofprose.blogspot.com
She blogs about prairie life and writing at http://brendawhiteside.blogspot.com/
With time running out, there’s no pussyfooting around…
After her fiancé’s last betrayal, Mahri Lassler decides she’d rather become a crazy cat lady than live with another man. Yet when her sister drags her to the animal shelter to make that dream a reality, Mahri just isn’t ready to commit. Not even to a litter of cuddly kittens. But when an odd black and white tomcat reaches through the bars, it’s almost as if he’s choosing her
Cursed by a scorned lover for all eternity, Scottish clansman Morgan Felix resigns himself to living eleven months each year as a cat. Now, nearly a millennium later, he’s trapped in a cage at the animal shelter with no hope in sight. He has to escape before the first day of spring, when he’ll change back into his human form and find himself in a very tight squeeze. So when the pixie-like woman stops just outside the cage, he takes the situation into his own paws and reaches out to touch her hand…
All Romance eBooks:
Title: ENDURE (Book One of the Endure Series)
Author: Laura Diamond
Publication Date: July 12, 2013
Genre: YA dystopian
Seventeen-year-old Justin's anemic blood is a blessing. Or a curse. It all depends on who you ask.
To most of the immortal Vie, his blood is a scourge: untouchable and useless. To some Vie, his blood is a drug. To Justin, it’s something that gets him in a lot of trouble. Being poisoned by a Vie is just one example. His sister getting kidnapped is another. Whether it’s being coerced by a deluded cult leader, or negotiating with Alex—an Vie scientist addicted to Anemie blood—Justin struggles to keep every mutated drop of blood he’s got.
His fight for survival gets more complicated when he meets Alex’s slave, Cara. Despite coming from different worlds, they’re both prisoners, at risk of being drained by a hungry Vie any moment. When she risks her own neck to help Justin find his sister, he's left with a terrifying choice.
Saving what's left of humanity.
Saving his sister. Saving the girl he loves.
Or sticking a stake in Alex’s chest.
Justin can't decide which option will get him killed first.
Please visit ENDURE on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/review/new/18112776-endure
About Author Laura Diamond:
Laura Diamond is a board certified psychiatrist and author of all things young adult paranormal, dystopian, and horror. Her Young Adult Paranormal Romance novelette, NEW PRIDE, and novel, SHIFTING PRIDE, debuted late 2012 from Etopia Press. A spin off short story based on the lions of Tsavo, TSAVO PRIDE, is now available on Amazon. Forthcoming novels include EVOKE, Book Two in the ENDURE series, from Etopia Press, and a Young Adult Paranormal Romance, ZODIAC COLLECTOR, from Spencer Hill Press. When she's not writing, she is working at the hospital, blogging at Author Laura Diamond--Lucid Dreamer
and renovating her 225+ year old fixer-upper mansion.
Find Laura Diamond on the web:
Facebook Author Page: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorLauraDiamond
Amazon author page: http://www.amazon.com/Laura-Diamond/e/B009Y7L432/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1353277817&sr=1-2-ent
Goodreads author page: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5815639.Laura_Diamond
Dune Road, gateway to the Hamptons, where the rich come to play.
When Cole spots Ashleigh on Dune Road, staring out at the ocean, her vulnerability calls to him. A playboy at heart, he wrestles with developing feelings he doesn't understand. But he's also hiding a secret--he's not who Ashleigh thinks he is--and someone is trying to kill him.
Wary of strangers and struggling with ghosts from the past, Ashleigh fights her attraction to Cole. Will she lose him when she tells him that for her it's marriage or nothing?
When Cole realizes just how different Ashleigh is from the women he usually dates, he not only puts himself in danger, but her as well. Ashleigh and Cole are both keeping secrets. Will those secrets tear them apart? Or bring them closer together before the killer has time to cover his tracks?Coming soon from The Wild Rose Press