Coming Soon! IndieGoGo Campaign for The Power of Three by Lucy Pireel

It won’t be long before the Indiegogo campaign launches for

The Power of Three

(working title Origins Revealed)

cover campaign

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When a priest unleashes an evil that could wipe out all life on this side of the veil, werewolf Sakima Nutus and vampire Celeste Divinus must join forces to rid Earth of the demons released.

Sakima, the most successful vampire hunter in the history of all werewolves, must now work with Celeste, the last remaining pure blood who is more powerful than the strongest werewolves combined.

Both are born to lead, but only one can dominate.

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The funds raised will be used for

Editing

Cover art (original photography)

Cover Design

Marketing

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The campaign will launch January 27th and all donations will be appreciated, as well as any effort to help spread the word about it.

Review Carniepunk: Parlour Tricks by Jennifer Estep

AMAZON | PAPERBACK

This short story had all it needs. A full story arc, fully fleshed out characters, and a scene setting to draw you right in from the start to hold you until the final full stop. If this is how this author writes I would certainly want to read more by her.
My gripe with the rest of this book is that it’s only teasers/excerpts in this book. To read the full stories you’d have to buy { Carniepunk Paperback } Caine, Rachel ( Author ) Jul-23-2013 Paperback, of which I thought I had. An omission on my part because I failed to read the description properly and just downloaded this book on the recommendation of a friend. She was right, because I loved the story by Jennifer Estep, but had I known the rest was mere excerpts I wouldn’t have gotten this one, but gone for the full version of Carniepunk, because the excerpts of the other stories make me think I would love those too.

Release Day Blast for The Perfect Player

It is my pleasure to introduce Devon Winterson’s new and exiting work

 The Perfect Player

TPP Cover final new

Get your copy from

AMAZON | CREATESPACE | THE AUTHOR’s SHOP

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A forbidden tryst exposes a threat and sets a secret plan in motion, and twenty-year-old Marisa of Mynae discovers her life is all a lie. But even as a cryptic journal reveals her true purpose and a trail of hoofprints leads her to a demon renegade, Marisa balks at fate’s course until evil devours her people and imperils her father’s life. Only then does she learn what it takes to play—and win—a deadly game of predator versus prey.

???????????????????????????????I’d like to tell you a little something about the author. Not too much, just enough to get an idea of the woman behind the author.

Kimberly Grenfell (a.k.a. Devon Winterson) has been an avid reader of fantasy books since childhood, and has studied creative writing and editing both on her own and through college and independent classes. Since 2008, she has been a line editor, a contributing editor, and an art director for Writer’s Beat Quarterly, a free online magazine for The Writer’s Beat writing community. Kimberly has contributed several articles to this e-zine under the regular features “New Writer on the Beat” and “Mechanical Snippets” to help novice writers understand and master the craft of writing and its mechanics. She has also served as an acquisitions editor and line editor at a small publishing com.

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I’ve been fortunate enough to have read a part of this great book before it was done, it was enough to make me want to read the whole book. I am happy the wait is finally over and I can enjoy the whole story. For those who wonder why, I’ve added an excerpt below.

Late evening crept over the lands as Marisa hid near the mouth of the tunnel egress, waiting and watching. She’d already glanced up the curving main trail several times, then into the eastern sky where the almost-full Roseate peeked through the leafy boughs. Soon the gates would be secured for the night, and though her insistence to be left alone to study would keep Abigale from her chamber door, Marisa knew she’d been outside the city walls far too long. Eventually, her absence would be noticed, with reprimands to follow. She drummed her fingers on the slab of rock.“Come, Tayib. Where are you?”

Early evening had brought Kahlil in secret, before the border patrol, to which Tayib had recently been assigned, set out into the forest, an urgent message on his lips: “Slip away as soon as you can and meet my brother by the tunnel egress. He has something to give to you. And don’t breathe a word of it.” But before she could question him further, he’d scurried off, wary of stirring trouble.
Slip away? she’d wondered. Was this particular something important enough for him to risk leaving patrol rounds? She’d hoped so, for his sake. Yet . . .

She slumped in umbrage. “It’s not any easier for me to sneak out,” she muttered, and gave another surreptitious glance at the Roseate, higher now. Surely the patrol had finished its work securing the border, and she felt stupid crouching in the thickets, snubbed and alone. She made to rise . . . but a sharp crack and a nearby yelp lodged her heart in her throat and forced her back into the underbrush. Breath held, she scanned the moon-dappled forest.

There, beyond the pillarstone-marked border of the Unclaimed Lands, writhed an enormous, shadowy figure. It lurched, bucked, and whipped its horned head in snarls of rage with lips taut, fangs bared, spittle flying. A thin, tufted tail lashed. Fur bristled along its back.

Marisa crushed herself against the rock slab in terror. Dear Maker! The stalking demon — caught!
Body stiff and heart ramming her ribcage, she let out a tiny, strangled whimper and willed herself to vanish within the thickets. But instead of discerning her scent and driving her from the brush, the demon let out a low groan and limped off into the moonlit depths of the woods. Marisa huddled stone-still as slowly, almost excruciatingly so, the demon’s crackling retreat softened with distance, heavy hoofbeats dragging like a wounded heart: thump-thud, thump-thud, thump-thud. . . .

Silence.

In a cold rush, her body drained. Wild relief flooded in, and she made to rise again, to run back to Mynae . . . until a breeze tickled her face.

She paused. Odd. Normally, the play of a light wind was commonplace, easily ignored, but this one — she cocked her head to listen — this one hummed.

In a trice, the breeze strengthened. It breathed out from the tunnel, laced in the scent of aged elixir, and swirled through her hair like spectral fingers weaving ribbons, then it tingled up her spine to her ear, where it whispered a single, urgent word — Follow — before it dissipated with a crackling hiss.

Her brow furrowed. Follow? Follow what, the demon? She scoffed at once. Right. Utter madness, that . . . along with a speaking wind. She crawled from the underbrush.

Yet as she turned to hasten away, a curious notion began to rouse in her chest. What if she did shadow it, what would she learn? What would the creature unwittingly tell her? Secrets strong enough to help secure a better defense? Hidden weaknesses? Lore missing from the old stories? Marisa pivoted toward the Unclaimed Lands, her arousal now flame-fierce. Studying the threat, even a stolen glimpse, would gain her needed knowledge and offer powerful advantages . . . over Lamont. With fleet-footed soldier stealth, she could be out and back, quick and easy, forthcoming reprimands be cursed.

She grinned.

Champion.

Now determined, Marisa padded down the slope to the trickling stream, where she leapt soundlessly along its exposed rocks, then picked her way through the slowly darkening forest. At the edge of the border, she paused and crouched near a white pillarstone. Crushed thickets and snapped branches beyond it indicated in which direction the demon had shambled off, and she at once scanned the nearby ground. Concealed within the forest debris lay death: snare barbs glinted in speckles of moonlight; dagger-sharp jaws gaped, hungry for the flesh of the careless or unaware. Yet . . .

Churned soil in a narrow swath beckoned her forth — a clear path.

Marisa slipped through, thwarting the lethal mechanisms to either side, and crossed over into the Unclaimed Lands.

Skirt hitched up to her knees, she followed the trampled pathway for a time. She stepped lightly in a furtive dance through the forest as she shadowed the demon, confident her footfalls meshed with the scurrying sounds of frightened woodrodents through the underbrush. Leaves rustled overhead; the breeze caressed her face full on. Good. No scent to expose her, but an odd smell had wafted her way — earthy, with a strange, underlying tang. Soon, a hulking form came into view and, stifling a gasp, Marisa darted behind a small copse nearby. She clasped a hand to her mouth.

By the Maker! The demon . . . it was unreal!

It sat — or sagged, rather — on the mossy forest floor a mere stone’s throw away, bathed in the Roseate’s soft angled light. More than thrice her stature, the creature’s muscles bulged beneath crimson skin shades richer than the purest blood, as smooth as finely polished stone and pelted in a wide strip of coarse black fur down its spine. Two heavy, sickle-shaped horns sat on either temple, points curved toward one another. Its face was long and angular, with wide nostrils and a broad forehead partially obscured by a dense tuft akin to a length of fringe.

Marisa gaped, awestruck. Straight from the stories of old this creature was, brought alive in perfect reflection. How accurate would the tales prove? At this thought, she shrank farther behind the copse, reluctant to find out.

But the demon paid her no heed. It clawed in angered frustration at its lower leg, gnawing, tearing out clumps of fur, spitting them into a heap. Each tug-and-rip tightened its face in a wince, and soon a dark sap-like substance began to ooze from raked-raw skin around something embedded. Moonlight glinted, and Marisa startled. A snare! It bit hard, drawing forth the demon’s blood.

At once, fervor swelled into pride — Father’s strategy had worked perfectly! — but it quickly ebbed as a rumble rolled in her chest. She froze. Rumble rose to growl, then a snarl, and then the demon suddenly arched back, throwing its snout skyward, clutching at its face. It drew in a deep breath, fangs bared and jaws clenched. Marisa crunched down, hands over her ears, bracing herself for a furious and terrifying roar . . .

Yet nothing came. Instead, the demon flinched, twitched its head, and squeezed its eyes closed. Then it slumped forward in a long moan to lie motionless like a massive sack of seeds. A wretched, outstretched lump. Marisa blinked, dumbfounded. Pain? Did these creatures actually feel pain? Had her mother been right?

She huddled behind the copse, torn. Self-preservation was strong. Any rational person would abandon the demon to its misery, threat that it was. But as it sprawled upon the forest floor and breathed out miserable groans and pathetic whimpers — something she hadn’t expected to hear — Marisa’s gut wrenched. The defense had proven its worth; it had protected Mynae, warned the demon of its own retaliatory bite. Already a cruel experience for something so reasonless, primitive, and ignorant. Did the creature still deserve to suffer?

She had to release that snare.

Quickly, Marisa sized up the situation. Five strides forward lay the wounded leg. Two strides back, the escape route. In between, scattered woodland debris; not much, but enough to possibly crackle her approach. Mentally, she picked a safe path, then lifted her face into the breeze. Still upwind and with the demon’s snout pointed away from her, no scent would alert it. Perfect. She could be out and back, quick and easy, and the creature would be none the wiser.

She eased silently around the trees.

At once, she shrank into shadow. Ahead, the demon lay quiet and still, breaths now calm and steady; had it not been for the bloody wound torn raw, its rest might have been mistaken for a peaceful slumber. But Marisa suspected it couldn’t have been very comfortable. Not with the snare’s unforgiving hold. She edged forward.

Inch by inch, she crept toward the creature in a semi-crouch, one hand clutching the bundle of tightly gathered skirt to her hip, the other stretched downward for balance. She curled around thickets, stepped along a cushion of mossy ground. Time and again she stopped, breath held to listen and observe, to see if the demon sensed her approach. But it remained motionless, and Marisa skulked ever closer. Four strides . . . three . . . two . . .

A stride and a half away, mud-encrusted cloven hooves came into view. Carefully, she lowered herself to her hands and knees, then stretched forward as far as she could to examine. There, in the pale moonlight, glinted the snare . . . and the release latch. Her fingers twitched. Could she do it? Did she dare? One tiny twist. That’s all it would take. . . .

Another groan rumbled and rose to a whine. Heart in her throat, Marisa lifted her gaze to the demon’s face scrunched tight as the breeze sighed swells of encouragement at her ear. Now. She had to do it now, before she lost her courage. And then she had to run. She reached out a slow, trembling hand . . .

Crack-twang!

The snare pinged off into the woods, and the demon roared, writhing upward — a furious behemoth armed with frothing fangs and dagger-sharp claws. Marisa shrieked, reeled backward, and crashed to the ground.

In a trice, tapered horns hemmed her in. Nostrils flared, searing breath blew as emerald eyes glowered hostile, still. Thick hands flexed and clenched, poised to crush her in their grasp. Marisa’s heart seized. She closed her eyes. Dear Maker! Stupid! Stupid and vulnerable! What madness drove her, filled her with pity — stupid, stupid, stupid! Lamont wasn’t worth this, and neither was the demon. And now she was as good as dead. She whimpered with hot tears. Oh Father, I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry. . . . She cringed, flattened, braced herself.

But no attack came.

For a long, tense moment, Marisa lay in a queer silence, puzzled, before she eased her eyes open to the massive creature looming above. Slowly, it lowered its snout, snuffing at her throat, chest, face, and hair. Then it rumbled, soft and light, and lowered its clawed hands, drew back and trained its slit-pupil eyes to her.

And spoke.

“I know your scent,” it said in a voice clear and resonant. “I have been searching for you. At last we meet.”

If you want to read more, go to the sample on Goodreads, come back here and let me know what you think.AMAZON | CREATESPACE | CAENDORIAGOODREADS

Confronting the Demon by Ciara Ballintyne

The gates to hell are thrown wide when Alloran is betrayed by his best friend, Ladanyon, and framed for forbidden magic. He is hunted by the guards and the wizards both, tormented by the gruesome murder of his friends and loved ones, and crippled by fear for the living.

Now Alloran must face his demons, or damn the woman he loves.

Also featuring bonus short story ‘A Magical Melody’

Genre – High Fantasy (17+)
Length – 110 pages
Published – September 24th
buy-the-book
October 12th Indie-Vengeance Day Special!
Trade Paperback -†Amazon US†|†Amazon UK

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What early readers are saying about the novella

“Ballintyne gives wonderful descriptions and I found myself becoming lost in the magic of her words in a picturesque world with every turned page” Bella Doerres

“The power-packed action will leave you breathless and the eerie suspense will make you chomp on your own nails, beware!” Satarupa

With imagination and detail that paints a full scene for the mindís eye, Ciara takes us on a short but exciting journey into a world of magic, love and demons from hell.“†Miranda Wood†of DustyKatt’s Stuff Reviews

“I actually enjoyed a good fantasy novel that didnít take days and days to read, but still offered the opportunity to get caught up in its world and story.” -†Tracy Riva†Global eBook Awards Judge

In honour of Indie-Vengeance Day Ciara Ballintyne is offering up ìConfronting a Demonî for the sale price of 99¢

On October 12th after more than a year of planning, more than a dozen bestselling indie authors from around the globe (seriously!) will gather in Dallas, Texas for an once-in-a-lifetime signing and meet-the-author event; Indie-Vengeance Day.

Come join authors from the U.S, Canada and Australia and meet some of the most notable and recognized writers in the indie author movement.

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Alloran huddled in the shadows of the alley mouth across from the west gate, watching the guards search every man and woman leaving the city of Ehsan. He sweltered within the confines of his light dust cloak. The hood concealed his face, and a few days worth of stubble blurred the shape of his jaw. Anything to make him that much harder to recognise. Unfortunately, he couldnít hide his indigo wizard eyes from another wizard or a sorceress, though a spell concealed their colour from normal vision.

A queue of backed-up traffic wound out of sight along the Avenue of Falling Stars. Travelers, merchants, and farmers waited with resigned patience.

Seven hells, after three months, the delays were normal. Surely, theyíd give up soon.

Will they? For such a heinous crimeÖ.

It was not a thought he liked to dwell on. He slouched to hide his unusual height, and squinted at the mailed guards. They represented a minor inconvenience. The quartet of three wizards and one sorceress, though, were entirely different. Thereíd be no escaping their notice, even though the soldiers might be fooled. Almost involuntarily, his gaze flicked to the castleñnot the kingís castle in the central district but the wizardsí. Perched atop the mountain overshadowing the city, its turrets clawed the sky. Home, once. Now he hid from it like a beetle scuttling away from the sun. Only enough luck to fill the seven celestial levels kept him safe.

The wizards stood as the guards inspected each traveler and allowed passage. One, in linen shirt and leather pants with a sword on his hip, spoke companionably to the guard nearest him. The silk-swathed sorceress gazed down the street towards Alloran, or perhaps past him, with eyes that were yellow or purple, the mark of a woman of power. Easing back into the shadows slowly enough to avoid attracting attention, he headed to the square where Dek and the unfinished statue would be waiting.

A peaceful lassitude crept over Alloran at the thought of the statue. Three months ago, the notion of hacking a statue out of a lump of rock would have been distasteful, to say the least. Now, the act of creation gave him a refuge that he couldnít find anywhere else.

Stripping off the cloak, he tramped through the back alleys, his boots squelching through something he didnít care to examine too closely. Summer heat left the narrow streets ripe with the stench of rotting garbage. The muck would take weeks to clean from his boots, assuming he wouldn’t have to traipse through the same decomposing food tomorrow. But he knew better.

He heaved a sigh for the soft leather half-boots heíd favoured in another life. Of course, theyíd be ruined even faster than the heavy work boots. Oh for a clean street.

In the past, heíd waded knee-deep through any kind of muck as long as an answer lay on the other side. Two lives ago, that had been. Now, he did it in the hope of prolonging his pathetic existence one more day.

A tangled pile of crates blocked most of the alley. When he squeezed between the stack and the alley wall, the splintered wood scratched the stiff canvas of his smock and snagged his stonemasonís mallet. It was impossible to avoid the rubbish piled between wall and crates, and he wrinkled his nose at the stench.

If only he could take the main streets, kept clean by an army of royal sweepers, but theyíd be watching for him there and at the gates. No one at the citadel would expect to find him in this stinking back alley. No, not him. Not the man of silks and velvets.

As he slipped through the narrowest point, the crates shifted, allowing him a glimpse into the middle of the pile. An eye stared back at him. A fixed and glazed eye.

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Ciara-Ballintyne-smallCiara Ballintyne was born in 1981 in Sydney, Australia, where she lives with her husband, two daughters, one masochistic cat, and one cat with a god complex.

She holds degrees in law and accounting, and has been a practicing financial services lawyer since 2004. She is both an idealist and a cynic.

She started reading epic fantasy at the age of nine, when she kidnapped Castle of Wizardry by David Eddings from her father. Another two years passed before she began her first attempts at the craft of writing. Confronting the Demon is her debut book.

She enjoys horse-riding, and speculation about taking over the world. If she could choose to be anything it would be a dragon, but instead she shares more in common with Dr. Gregory House of House. M.D.

Website†|††Goodreads†|††Facebook†|†Twitter†| Pinterest

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a Rafflecopter giveaway

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join-the-tour

The Finishing Fairies is hosting a full two-week virtual book †tour for “Confronting the Demon” by Ciara Ballintye is now accepting tour hosts. We are looking for Reviews, Guest Posts, Interviews and †a few limited special spots available.

The tour will be taking place on Monday through Friday; 12-3 through 12-13, just in time to fill those Christmas e-socks 😉

If you are interested in participating please GO HERE and FILL THE FORM.

Hosted By:

Finishing-Fairies-small-banner

Of course I have read the book when Kriss was so enthused about it. She got me a review copy and here’s what I thought after reading it, twice! (yes, it was that good I actually read it twice!)

Demons and magic, betrayal and love, and a mystery as the cherry on top. This short story, or is it a novella, was well rounded, but so well written I wanted more when I reached the end.

I rooted for the characters almost from the start. The world and scenes were all very skilled written and had me imagining how it would all look. The Demon, now that was a surprise, and from now on I’ll not be able to eat a certain kind of seafood without thinking of this little book of surprises.

As a bonus the author threw in a short story to compensate for the fact that the main feature was only a mere 69 pages on my ereader. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t think it was too short at all, but I want more!

Right, the short bonus story. More magic and magically written too. A well crafted love mystery with an end that made me smile.

(I received no compensation for this post, nor the review)

A Bea-YOU-tiful Tour – In Shadows by Alison F. Prince

Today the Bea-YOU-tiful Tour stops on my blog
On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Image of Alison Prince

Alison F. Prince lives in Hoboken, NJ where she works as a school psychologist (M.A. Marist College), author, and jeweler. She is the author of In Shadows of Magic, a new YA novel out from Astraea Press (2013). 

Hi Alison, and thanks for taking the time to answer a few questions during this busy time.

Grab a drink and make yourself comfortable, cause you’re about to be ‘grilled’. 🙂

How long did it take from first to final draft?
I was so inspired by my idea that I spent every waking moment that I wasn’t at work writing, so I finished my first draft in four months.  Then, I attended several writer’s workshops.  I had friends, beta readers, and family members read my first draft.  Then, I began editing and revising which was a longer process.  It was close to a year from the first draft until the final copy.
Why did you write this book?
I always wanted to write a book.  I have a notebook full of hand written ideas.  When this idea came to me, I just couldn’t get the characters and plot out of my head.  I started writing and couldn’t stop.
Did you have trouble coming up with the title?
Yes!  My original title was “Imbalance of Power” which I loved, but I realized sounded more like a textbook than the title of a young adult paranormal novel.  I spent a long time brainstorming before I came up with “In Shadows of Magic”.  The title is part of a line from a pivotal moment in the book.
Did your characters ever try to take the story in a different direction?
I had a pretty solid outline when I started writing, and I didn’t stray too much.  There were a few scenes that my characters did indeed take control of!
How did you celebrate writing ‘The End’?
I went out to my favorite restaurant with family and friends.
Is there any beverage or dish a constant in the book or your life?
My favorite cuisine is Italian.  Next summer I plan to go to Italy and finally sample some real Italian food!
Can you give me the recipe of your favourite dish?
I like to eat healthy, but I love pasta and seafood!  This is a delicious low calorie recipe for Scallop Piccata.  http://www.eatingwell.com/recipes/scallop_piccata_on_angel_hair.html
picture and recipe from http://www.eatingwell.com/

picture and recipe from http://www.eatingwell.com/

Look delish! I think I would like that too. Shoot I might even try and prepare it one day.
Can you tell me something about yourself none has ever heard before?
I’m an open book, so there isn’t much that no one has ever heard.  A few fun facts: I make jewelry.  My favorite games are Scrabble and ping pong.  I love Taylor Swift, and her song “Fifteen” reminds me of characters in my book.  I love animals, but I’m definitely a cat person.  My black and white rescue cat is cuddled up on my lap right now as I type this.
Thanks again Alison for being here and sharing these little facts with me and our readers. But let’s get on with the tour and let me share with the folks what you have to say about self-confidence.
Bea- YOU-tiful:  Real Confidence in Yourself
 
Don’t let others bring YOU down
 
Nobody’s perfect and everyone makes mistakes.  All too often, people are far too quick to point out your flaws (as if you didn’t notice that huge zit in the center of your forehead).  When people around us are negative, it can be difficult to brush it off.  Their nasty comments can resonate in your mind and cause your self esteem to plummet, but only if you allow it!
Brianna McKinney often feels down on herself.  She wishes she were prettier, more popular, better at playing the guitar, and that her longtime crush would finally notice her.  Brianna should be careful what she wishes for.  When Brianna finds a way to use magic, she might just get everything she ever wanted, and realize that it’s not what she wanted at all.
 
Will Brianna continue to worry about what others think of her?  Or will she finally learn to be happy with herself and rock out harder than ever before?
 
And maybe her new, proud attitude will spark an amazingly gorgeous guy to fall head over heels in love with her!
 
Even the popular girls will be turning green with envy!
 
The next time someone tries to bring you down with their words, remember that their comments are most likely coming from a place of insecurity.  You aren’t perfect– but neither are they.  You are Bea- YOU– tiful!  Your quirks make you who you are– so hold your head up high and be proud of YOU!
Join witches Brianna and Mandy on their magical journey of self discovery in the new Young Adult Paranormal novel by Alison F. Prince, In Shadows of Magic.To learn more about In Shadows of Magic and author Alison F. Prince, follow these links!

Of course let’s not forget the Tour-Wide Giveaway!

$50 Amazon Gift Card from Alison

10 eCopies of In Shadows of Magic by Alison F Prince from Astaea Press.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Follow the schedule and don’t miss a single stop on the Tour

7 – Launch – Breaking News!!

16 – One a Day YA

21 – Grand Finale