Category Archives: Book Excerpt Posts

Book Excerpt Feathered: Swan Maiden Book 1

Book Excerpt

I move to sit up but my limbs feel off-kilter. Since waking, I’ve known something is wrong with me. I don’t know what, but something’s happened to my body. It takes me a few minutes to work up the courage to look down, and when I finally do, I’m greeted with a shock that nearly kills me for the second time today.

I scream. I want to run. But it’s hard to escape when the only thing you’re running from is yourself.

In place of my arms, white, feathered appendages stretch out to my sides: wings. And where my feet once were, orange flaps of rubbery skin now take their place. I appear to be some kind of . . .

“Ah, Princess. I see you are awake.”

My eyes—feeling strangely out of proportion on my new face—narrow at the familiar voice. Only one person I know uses that nickname.

“Elward,” I say. Well, that’s what I mean to say, but what comes out is more of an angry honk. “I should’ve known you’d be behind this.” I still have little control over my new body, but manage to turn my head towards the man in the velvet waistcoat. His face is twisted into the same smug smile he gave me at the guillotine. He understands my animalistic noises just fine.

“Behind what?” He raises a straight black eyebrow. “I believe I have just saved your life, Princess.”

“By doing what?” I squawk back. “Turning me into some sort of . . . duck?”

Elward rubs at the stubble on his chin—a gesture I’ve always despised. I wish he wasn’t so young—then I might hate him a little less. As it is, our proximity in age only heightens my dislike for him. To think I might have anything in common with the sorcerer is enough to make me want to retch.

“The term, my dear, is swan. There is a big difference. I transferred your soul into its body. I found it dying on the bank. Some sort of heart disease, I think. Be thankful it wasn’t a skunk I saw first.”

“You turned me into a swan?” I blink. “A dying swan?”

If I still had hands, they would be clawing through my hair by now. Well, feathers. Curses, has my whole identity been stripped from me?

 

 

About the Book

Title: Feathered: Swan Maiden – Book 1

Author: Rachel Wollaston

Genre: Fantasy

The light and the dark were never meant to be separated.

When her bargain with a malevolent wizard goes terribly wrong, Marion DuVal finds herself trapped between two forms: a beautiful but darker parallel of herself, and a swan. Somehow, she must adhere to the wizard’s wishes, but it’s hard to perform epic magic when your feet are flippers and your neck’s the length of a small fishing pole. Caught up in a lie of royal proportions, her task is to get close to the queen, and such a thing is difficult when a certain handsome prince keeps getting in the way.

One girl; two identities. Marion must stop the darkness inside her before it’s too late.

Based on the classic tale of Swan Lake.

 

Author Bio

Born and bred in Gloucestershire, UK, Rachel Wollaston is a huge lover of all things fantasy. From an early age, her dream was to be a fairy, but the pay was no good, so she decided to become a writer instead. A Creative Writing student, Rachel is the author of young-adult fantasy and loves to build worlds that she wishes she could be a part of.

Besides writing, Rachel also enjoys a range of other artistic hobbies, including dancing, drawing, and an unhealthy amount of arts and crafts. You will almost always find her with a cup of tea and a cat watching old ‘70s comedies.

 

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Book Excerpt Goddess of the Wild Thing

Book Excerpt

Eve sharpened her focus. She saw the sharp nail of a witch’s right finger tracing Graciéla’s image on a foggy mirror in a grungy bathroom, touching the center of the mirror with a hatred so intense, the glass burned red hot. The mirror in Graciéla’s kitchen cracked. Shards jettisoned at the old healer then were magically warded off and drifted in place about her head and neck.

Graciéla’s energy, tired as she was, had fended off the pointed shards. She hadn’t been impaled. But the strain had ushered her from one world to the next. Death came not by the hand of another but by a weakened mind and body defending itself.

Eve, shaken, allowed her soft touch to stay on Graciéla’s forehead, confirming the horror of what she’d seen. Shamanic wisdom, often discussed between the two kindred souls, spoke to Eve as she stroked her friend’s head, remembering that death provided passage for one whose life had been well spent and whose time had come.

Eve wept.

 

After a few moments, she closed her friend’s green eyes and whispered tenderly, “Always my friend, always love, always together in life and in death.” She stood and wiped the tears from her eyes. A gray-brown, green-eyed, great horned owl hooted from the largest cottonwood branch outside the back window.

Eve heard Shirley finishing her call to the EMTs and police, and then walking to the front of the store to await their arrival.

One large shard lay at the end of the table, sharp tip pointed outward. It reflected Eve’s image, a glowing red ember menacingly centered at the brow point.

 

About the Book

Title: Goddess of the Wild Thing

Author: Paul DeBlassie III

Genre: Paranormal Thriller

Goddess of the Wild Thing is a dramatic tale of one woman’s spiritual journey where magical happenings, unexpected turns of fate, and unseen forces influence her ability to love and be loved. Eve Sanchez, a middle-aged woman and scholar of esoteric studies, encounters a seductive but frightening man who introduces her to a supernatural world in which the wicked powers of a surrogate mother’s twisted affection threaten love and life. In the mystic realms of Aztlan del Sur, Eve and three friends struggle with whether bad love is better than no love and discover that love is a wild thing.

 

 

Author Bio

Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D. is a depth psychologist and award-winning writer living in his native New Mexico. He specializes in treating individuals in emotional and spiritual crisis. His novels, visionary thrillers, delve deep into archetypal realities as they play out dramatically in the lives of everyday people. Memberships include the Author’s Guild, the Depth Psychology Alliance, the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, and the International Association for Jungian Studies.

 

 

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Book Excerpt No Quarter – Wenches

Book Excerpt

Dr. Sander Strangewayes stood at the forecastle of the ship smoking his pipe. Over the past few months, he learned never to take solid land for granted and relished the times off ship. Although his medical skills were highly valued and his shipmates were now friends, he felt his age – sixty. It was time to claim a small patch of the world and call it a day.

Red Legs Greaves stood beside him in a kilt, leaning on the rail. “There’s le Grande’s Toro and Coxon’s Dorado.”

“Such manly names, ever notice that?” Strangewayes admired the bull figurehead with sharp horns on Toro’s bow and Dorado’s horse figurehead.

“What flag are they expecting?” Mason asked.

“No flag,” Red Legs said.

“Take us in, Mr. Culliford,” Mason ordered.

Cully climbed up to the quarterdeck. “Aye, aye, Captain Mason, sir.”

“Steady as she goes, Mr. Culliford. We’re among pirates now.”

Once anchored, they took the longboats ashore. Large illuminated tents were erected among the trees and rowdy pirates roared with laugher. The meat cooking in a nearby spit made Strangewayes’s stomach growl. Ship rations were no match for a mouth-watering roast. He, Red Legs and Mason headed into the main tent.

A dancer draped in sapphire blue with a crystal in her belly button paraded by. A Nimcha sword balanced on her head while she clicked brass castanets with her fingers. She shook her hips provocatively.

“Oh, not for me, thanks,” Strangewayes said. “I just finished pillaging the eastern Caribbean, I doubt I could raise more than my drink tonight.”

 

About the Book

Title: No Quarter: Wenches – The Complete Series

Author: MJL Evans and GM O’Connor

Genre: Historical Romance

Behind every successful pirate is a cunning wench! In 1689, Atia Crisp finds herself imprisoned in the wickedest city on earth, Port Royal, Jamaica, while the refugees from Strangewayes’s plantation in the Blue Mountains are on the run and seeking a new home, deep in the Caribbean. Captain Jean-Paul la Roche must get them to safety and find a way to liberate the woman he loves while waging a war against the English with the pirate Laurens de Graaf.

While besieged people suffer and starve, a group of women form a secret and illegal society deep from within the bowels of the city called: WENCH. A network that deals with smugglers, merchants, cutthroats and thieves. Dragged into the struggle for supremacy of the Caribbean, the women are divided and find themselves engulfed in bloodshed. The pirates of Port Royal and former enemies may be their only hope of escape.

 

Contains Volume 1-5

 

 

Author Bios

MJL EVANS wanted to be a writer since she was ten years old and in 2014 she finally got her act together and pursued her dream. Author of No Quarter: Dominium and No Quarter: Wenches, she is a huge fan of Monty Python, Red Dwarf, and other BBC shows, her time is devoted to acrylic, oil and watercolor painting, catering to her two senior cats and of course, writing.

You can connect with MJL Evans on Twitter at @artistmjlevans or noquarterseries@gmail.com

 

GM O’CONNOR is a huge movie fan, writer and visual artist. A lover of sci-fi and history, half his brain lives in the 17th century while the other half sails perpetually through space. Author of No Quarter: Dominium and No Quarter: Wenches, he hopes to one day bring the No Quarter Series to film and/or graphic novel format.

You can connect with GM O’Connor on Twitter at @gm_oconnor or noquarterseries@gmail.com

 

 

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Book Excerpt Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail

Book Excerpt

As she held the lantern up over her head, she could see old carvings on the cave walls. She raised her hand to touch one of the walls and noticed a strong dampness in the stone. It was cold and damp to the touch. She wondered if there was a good bit of water behind the rock causing all the dampness. But, then again, as dark and hidden as the cave was in the coolest section of the woods they had so far discovered, it didn’t really surprise her.

Magdalena happened to notice a second lantern a few feet from where she was standing and asked Gabriel to grab the lantern and light it. Maybe with two lanterns there would be enough light to get a better view of the cave drawings. Curiosity was in overdrive now. It was the same kind of curiosity that would leave her teachers scrambling crazy by the end of the school day. She continued to study the cave walls waiting on Gabriel. The carvings felt as though they had been etched very deeply into the rock.

Meanwhile, Hubert stood in the cave entrance chanting something over and over that sounded like, “Lord, help me, please. Get me out of here. I won’t eat everything ever again. I promise!”

Gabriel had just finished lighting the second lantern and walked over to stand right behind Magdalena. He stood looking over her shoulder as she was crunched down trying to get a better view of the drawings. She squinted her eyes as her brain was trying to process what she was looking at, and then it came to her. The drawings seemed to resemble some sort of sacrifice, which seemed so odd to her in this day and time. Did those things really exist back in the day? Especially in or near a small, quaint town like Lily Brooke. She had always assumed that sacrificial rituals were something that really only happened in scary mystery books or horror movies. Of course, these things didn’t happen in real life. Was this her mind trying to calm her nerves, or the shock of what was in front of her own eyes causing denial?

Gabriel and Hubert must have realized what the drawings were resembling about the same time as Magdalena because as she turned around to speak, she was face to face with four very frightened eyeballs. Hubert had decided to move in closer to get a good look. Boy, he was really regretting it, at the moment. Scary woods, crooked paths, cold temperatures and breezes, shrill ringing noises, cave drawings resembling rituals, and mumbling ghostly voices. Hubert was now praying out loud.

“God, please, please take us home. Please let me never remember this place again. God, please make Magdalena decide to leave this place before we get eaten alive, or worse!”

 

About the Book

Title: Magdalena Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail

Author: M. Gail Grant

Genre: YA Fantasy

The enchanted secret of Lily Brooke was safe and sound, until Magdalena and her thirteen-year-old friends accidentally unleashed the revengeful demons of the past. How were they supposed to know that a friendly expedition in the woods on a stress-free Saturday morning would lead to the most intense and scary moments of their lives? So many mysterious happenings have occurred ever since they found that crooked trail leading to the sacrificial cave, and hidden monstrosity of a treehouse. With the chanting voices and shrill noises that only Magdalena could hear, the friends decide there is something sinister living amongst them. Time is of the essence to save Lily Brooke and their childhood club, the Mystical Alliance of Lily Brooke, knows it is up to them to capture the demons hiding in their community and set the town free. Witches, wizards, and some black magic may just be what it takes for Magdalena and her best friends to save the day.

 

Author Bio

Melinda Gail resides in Canton, Georgia with her three daughters, husband of over twenty years, and two adorable fur babies.  Surrounded by the north Georgia mountains, the scenery provides for inspirational settings for her novels. Being raised in the south, she brings a little southern flair and tradition to her characters, all the while remembering the adventurous nature of middle grades to young adult age children. With a passion for the extraordinary and imagination, Melinda hopes you enter a world of fantasy as you see life through the eyes of the characters.

Writing has always been her underlying passion in life. With a Bachelor of Science degree in Psychology, and a minor in Sociology, she felt understanding and studying human behavior on the individual and collective level, would apply to anything and everything chosen to do in life. Identified as being a strong writer for her age at the time, she attended a summer literary writer’s camp around age twelve. She flourished and loved every moment of the experience and it has stayed with her throughout adulthood.

The desire to write has always been an integral part of who Melinda is, and about eight months ago she decided it was time. Having always been an avid reader of topics from intense young adult fantasy and thrillers, to light hearted summer romances, she chose juvenile to young adult ages for her book. In middle school summers, she would stay up to the wee hours of the morning reading because she just couldn’t put the book down. This basic idea, not being able to put a book down, is the principal she built on while writing Magdalen Gottschalk: The Crooked Trail. It has moments of ease, moments of intensity, moments of humor, striving to offer some of her own personality in her writings. There is a time for sweetness, a time for seriousness, and always a time for kindness and life lessons. Her style isn’t made up. It is simply who she is, on paper.

 

 

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For author signed paperback and hardcover editions:   http://www.MelindaGailBooks.com

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Book Excerpt Seven Threads

Book Excerpt

Life is a Rummage Sale

Part 1 – Feeling is believing

 

The only sounds piercing his ears were heavy raindrops pounding the concrete slabs around him. The occasional engine hummed by without a care while he sat and closed his eyes. It was dark. The only light he saw was from the vehicle headlights that passed him by.

 

To his left was a cart of belongings, if you could call them belongings at all. To his right, an old dog with only an umbrella for comfort. He sat with his bum on the unforgiving slab, his knees and feet drawn close to his chest. This was his only method of staying warm while the rain poured from the sky.

 

The shirt he wore was at least long-sleeved, but his clothes were not thick enough to withstand the temperatures outside. They would have to do, though, as anything else he could wear was either torn or short-sleeved. His boots were fairly new; he’d stolen them from a street vendor a few weeks ago. It was either that or go barefoot again.

 

His cart was the building block of a cardboard box that fit as his home. It wasn’t much of anything, really, but at least it covered all three sides. The opening allowed him a view of what was coming his way, whereas a fully enclosed box would have completely isolated him from the world. The cart held it in place by applying pressure to the side. Otherwise, the box would fall over, limp and useless.

 

This was his life. It hadn’t always been this way. There was once a time when he was prosperous and well-known in his community. He had a house, a family, a job he loved, and of course a younger and healthier looking dog by his side; life was good. It’s interesting, though, how small turns of events can change the course of one’s life, blinding you with every turn until you finally see where you are and wonder how you ended up here.

 

Now, this concrete slab was home. Tired and alone, he looked over at his dog who was laying down, trying to sleep. He wished he was like his dog: somewhat carefree, his only concerns being where to get his next meal and obeying his master. That would be so much easier to deal with. He reached over and stroked the wet dog on the head, scratching behind his ear. The dog lay motionless but opened its mouth as a sign of enjoyment.

 

About the Book

Title: Seven Threads

Author: Jason Atkinson

Genre: Short Story Collection

Seven Threads is a book of 7 short stories full of twists and turns. A girl on the run, a man accused of murder, a homeless man who finds his way, and much more. While each story is unique, they all offer the same human compassion that is sometimes lacking in today’s world. The reader is sure to find each story a page turner full of emotions, and left wanting more!

 

Author Bio

Jason Atkinson is a 32 year old, married man with one adorable toddler. With Seven Threads being his third book, he certainly enjoys writing and also spending time getting to know new people.

 

Links

www.alifeofheart.com

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Book Excerpt To Dodge A Duke

Book Excerpt

Logan smirked and stood to tower over her. “I think you welcomed my advances very much. I would prove it if you ask.”

Eleanor glared at him and took a step back. “That is unnecessary. I already know I did not appreciate the first example.” Besides, even if she had enjoyed it, it would be inadvisable for her to allow another kiss to transpire. His smirk remained glued to his handsome face, and she said, “Oh, stop it. You think much too highly of yourself.”

He chuckled in response and took a step closer. Eleanor, naturally, took another step back until he reached out and pulled her to him in a rough embrace. Incensed, Eleanor asked, “Who do you think you are? There is never an acceptable time for you to behave so impudently toward me!”

His arm imprisoned her as he smiled down on her. “Isn’t there? Would it have been preferable to fall into the ravine?”

She swung her head around to find they stood mere steps from the rushing waters. She gulped and turned to face him. Obviously, it was best to stay away from the ravine, but she would not concede his point. “Yes. It would have been much more desirable.”

 

About the Book

Title: To Dodge a Duke

Author: Naomi Boom

Genre: Historical Romance / Regency

When a duke gets a chance to pursue a lady as someone else, he would be a fool not to take it.

Logan Eastworth, the Tenth Duke of Waking, returns to England to find a woman to marry. When Miss Eleanor Ashford assumes he holds the title of baronet, he does not correct her error. Instead, he plays on her misconception and arranges a house party where he can make her fall for him and not his title.

Miss Ashford desires a marriage of convenience to an earl or higher. Not to some low-life baronet with an estate in the far reaches of England. She has no time for love, even if the green-eyed baronet with a charming smile tries to convince her otherwise.

Miss Ashford has a choice to make. To wed a duke or the baronet setting her heart aflame. Her choice might not be as simple as she believes.

 

Author Bio

Naomi Boom is an author who never expected to love writing. Her inspiration struck when she searched for the perfect historical romance novel to read. Nothing sounded appealing, so she decided to write her own. That one novel has morphed into a series, and hopefully many, many more.

She resides in her home state of South Dakota with her husband and toddler. Her dream is to someday find an acreage where she can raise chickens, and continue her writing.

 

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Book Excerpt Until Ray

Book Excerpt

RAY

_________ 

“If it isn’t Raymond Saint. What’s up, man?” I hear a familiar voice coming from behind me as I pose in front of a floor-length mirror in the women’s shoe department at Hudson’s admiring the suit I just got out of the layaway at Man-oh-Man. I have two more to get out next payday.

Joseph Morris steps into my view, and I turn to face him. “Joe, man, what’s up? I haven’t seen you since we graduated.” We share a brotherly handshake. “How’ve you been?”

“Couldn’t be better, honestly. Life is real good. I’ve been in town for about a week, visiting family. I’m actually flying back tomorrow. I was just picking up a few things before I go.”

“You moved out of state?”

“Yeah, after I graduated from U of M. I’m starting my second year of law school at Stanford.”

I’m pretty sure Joe’s father is either an attorney or a doctor.

“Man, good to hear that.” Joe was part of the crowd I hung with at Cass Tech. I’ve been out of high school since 1980. Six years now. Damn, that’s a long time to still be doing nothing.

“I see you’re still staying sharp.” Joe brushes my lapel.

“Trying to.”

“So, man, what are you doing these days?”

“You know, the usual. Right now I’m just waiting for my girl.”

He nods. “Where did you end up going to school? It’s hard to keep up with everybody. Cass is so big, and we knew everybody, didn’t we?”

I place one finger up to signal for Joe to wait, and then I unclip my pager. “This is my girl paging me right now actually. I need to find her.” I’ve got to get rid of him before he finds out the truth and every Cass Tech alumni knows that the guy voted most likely to succeed is now selling shoes. Why am I in denial? I’m sure most of them already know.

“Really, that’s cool. I was on my way out. I got what I came for.” Joe raises a Hudson’s shopping bag.

“Ray.” I hear the forceful voice of a female. I turn to see Cynthia Meyers. This has the potential to get real ugly, real fast.

 

On Saturday, my off day, I open the side door and notice a white Ford Escort parked out front. Cynthia Meyers is sitting in the driver’s seat. She’s at my mom’s house. I never brought her here or told her I live here. Is this girl stalking me? I’ve never had a stalker before. I’ve had women come over here after I stopped calling, which usually happens after we have sex. A few got on their knees, grabbed my ankles, and begged me to stay with them. But none of them have ever stalked me. It took my mom to get those women straight, and I never heard from them again. My mom has to do the same with Cynthia Meyers because I never want to see or hear from that girl again.

I rush into the kitchen in a panic. My mom is at the breakfast table with a cup of coffee in one hand and a cigarette in the other reading obituaries in the Free Press, her favorite pastime. “Miss King, listen, there’s a crazy woman outside. I need you to talk some sense into her.”

My mom sets her cup down and takes a long drag of her cigarette. “The only reason there’s a crazy woman outside is because you just like your daddy. Y’all drives them womens to be that way. They ain’t born like that. But once they get to messin’ with a Saint—your last name should be Sinner—they get to losin’ they mind.” She shakes her head and puckers her lips. “What you do to the girl? And don’t lie.”

“I ain’t do nothin’ to her. She too loose.”

“Loose? She loose ’cause you mens made her that way. You mens kill me, callin’ a woman loose. You the one laid down with her, what that make you?”

“But she’s too young to be that loose.”

“Young? How young? You best not be messin’ with no teenager. You almost twenty-four years old. You need to grow up and start actin’ your age. Get your own place. When you movin’ out?”

“She’s not that young. She’s twenty-one. Just talk to her, please.”

“Where she at?”

“In her car, sitting outside our house.”

“Stakin’ your ass out. Ain’t it sad the lows some womens go to behind mens. Let her ass sit there. I don’t care. It’s a free world, and last I check I don’t own any of these city streets, includin’ Santa Clara.”

About the Book

Title: Until Ray

Author: Cheryl Robinson

Genre: Women’s Fiction

Two people in the same city but worlds apart.

Until Ray is an unconventional love story of how two young people transitioning into adulthood find each other and develop a bond that will be tested through three decades.

HE IS LOST…

Ray lives in northwest Detroit in a four-family flat with his mother. When he’s not at home, Ray’s either at the mall selling women’s shoes or in the club. In both places, he’s focused on one thing—picking up women. Dissatisfied, dysfunctional, and leagues behind his peers, Ray’s ready for a change but isn’t sure how to make it happen.

THEN SHE ARRIVES…

At twenty-four, Sarita has an MBA, is a CPA, and works in upper-level management at GM. But all that success comes at a cost: she’s lonely and craves the one thing she’s never had—attention from men. Until now. Dr. Graham Emerson wants to marry Sarita, and her parents expect her to, but Sarita isn’t convinced he’s the one for her. On a blind date, she meets Ray Saint and is immediately drawn in by his good looks and sense of humor. But his reputation for being a ladies’ man raises several red flags. Ray swears he’s changed. Is giving up a sure thing for a maybe worth the risk?

Set in the mid-eighties, Until Ray explores life and love through the lenses of colorism, classism, and family dysfunction.

Author Bio

Cheryl Robinson was born in Detroit, Michigan, the youngest in a family of five. She grew up in Palmer Woods, a residential historic district that is now one of the settings in her forthcoming novel, Until Ray. For the past fifteen years, she has been busy writing contemporary women’s fiction. For Penguin/NAL, Cheryl wrote six novels: If It Ain’t One Thing, It’s Like That, Sweet Georgia Brown, In Love with a Younger Man, When I Get Where I’m Going, and Remember Me. Cheryl is now an independent author and the owner of Rose Colored Books. With her company, she has published The One, Like Mom, and the forthcoming Until Ray Trilogy.

Cheryl currently resides in Florida.

To learn more about Cheryl and the Until Ray trilogy, please visit http://www.untilraytrilogy.com

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