Thursday, December 24, 2015

Excerpt from "The Third Throne: Angel of Death", by Tabitha Barret

I'm excited to announce that my third book in the Third Throne series, "Angel of Vengeance" is almost finished!  To celebrate, I wanted to release an excerpt from my second book "The Third Throne: Angel of Death" to introduce the series to new lovers of steamy Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy.


"The Third Throne: Angel of Death" is where Anjali's journey beings to find her ten angels who are meant to tempt the mortals and gage how far they have fallen into sin.  She decides to search for Alazar, the Angel of Death, in Romania.  Unfortunately, a group of paranormal investigators have come to explore the Romanian castle that Alazar is hiding in.  Anjali befriends the mortals to keep them safe from her dangerous angel.

Complications arise when Alazar vows to kill her and attacks the mortals.  Anjali must face another difficult challenge when she falls in love with one of the mortals, who has no idea who she really is.  Can she save the Spirit Experts? Can she stay away from the handsome mortal?

In this excerpt, Alazar has tempted Pete, the co-founder of the Spirit Experts, and Derick's best friend, to kill himself.  Anjali, using the mortal alias "Annie" desperately tries to save Pete from taking a swan dive off the tower.  Can she save him from a horrific death?


**Please note that this text is copyrighted and may not to be reproduced in any way. 

Anjali slowly moved closer to Pete realizing that Alazar was determined to win.  “Your problem is with me.  Let the boy go.  He means nothing to you,” Anjali replied calmly.  She tried not to let Alazar see her concern for Pete.
              
“Yes, but he means something to you.  That’s good enough for me,” Alazar replied darkly.
     
“Why do you still want to hurt me?” she sneered, trying to understand where his head was at.
               
Rayan’s final words to Alazar came back to him as he watched her body become rigid and distant.  “If you kill her, you will be damned forever.  You will never know peace.  Regret will be your only friend.”  After experiencing peace, however briefly, by her side, it was entirely possible that Rayan’s prophecy was correct.  Could he live without peace?  He had thus far and he was still standing.  As tempting as her power had been, he would rather live with regret and be free from her tyranny.
               
“I would rather live out my final days cold and alone, than have to beg for your forgiveness to receive one moment of compassion.  I refuse to give myself to you.  You willingly went to Lucifer to ease his pain, yet you rebuff me when I need you,” Alazar snapped.
               
“You just tried to kill me,” she replied bluntly.
                
“Lucifer did kill you, yet I have no doubt that forgave him,” Alazar hissed.  With that, Alazar waved his hand like a magician performing a slight of hand trick, and bowed.
                
Anjali watched Pete climb up the window ledge with renewed purpose.
                
“No,” she whispered.
               
"Good luck picking up the pieces, Destroyer,” Alazar nodded to her and disappeared from the room.


Pete mindlessly pulled himself up onto the windowsill.  “I have to.  I have to tell them,” he muttered as he lumbered to the opening.
               
Anjali quickly became Annie and lunged forward to grab Pete.  He was about to step over the edge when she snagged the back of his jacket and kept him from moving.
               
“Pete, no, you have to stop.  You can’t end your life like this,” she yelled, snatching his arm and tugging at him.
               
She was about to forcefully pull him back from the ledge when she heard Derick’s voice over the walkie-talkie.  She had ignored it while dealing with Alazar, but now his voice was louder.  She swore when she realized Derick was in the hallway.
               
“Derick, help me,” she had little choice but to ask for his help.  She wasn’t sure if she could break Alazar’s hold on him once she got Pete off the ledge.  Having felt his temptation first hand, she knew how alluring it was.
                
Pete was agitated and didn’t want to be pulled away from his objective.  He kicked wildly at Annie, forcing her to let go of him.
                
“I have to do this.  They need to know,” Pete growled.  His eyes were vacant.
               
Derick came rushing into the room as Annie grabbed Pete around the hips and pulled him from the window.  Pete tumbled to the ground but immediately jumped to his feet.  He retaliated by swinging his forearm into Annie’s face.  She recoiled, but leaped forward to throw her arms against his chest and hold him back.  Derick’s flashlight blinded her and ruined her night vision, but she managed to keep Pete from climbing back up.
               
“What the hell is going on?  Why weren’t you answering me?  Did you feel that storm shake the castle?” Derick yelled.  He was trying to figure out what was happening.  He stopped when he saw Pete swinging wildly at Annie.  Despite Annie being nearly a foot shorter than he was, she was actively blocking him.
                
“I found him talking nonsense, saying that he had to end his life, and that he needed to tell them.  I have no idea what he’s talking about, but he’s trying to jump from the ledge.  He smacked my walkie-talkie away.  Now help me, or he’s going to jump to his death,” she shouted and ducked Pete’s flailing arms.
                
Pete spun to his right and sidestepped Annie’s outstretch hands.  He jumped forward and threw himself onto the ledge, dangling halfway over the edge.  He scrambled to his feet on the narrow windowsill and prepared for his swan dive.
                
Derick couldn’t believe what he was seeing.  His best friend was pushing Annie away and trying to throw himself from the tower.
               
 Derick quickly propped the flashlight on the opposite windowsill so that he could see them and ran to help Annie.  He reached out for Pete’s arm, but he had to duck twice to avoid Pete’s elbow connecting with his face.
                
“Grab his arm and I’ll get his legs,” Annie said, frustrated that she couldn’t contain him.  She calmed herself and focused, not wanting to break Pete by grabbing him too harshly.  She hoped to get him out of this in one piece.
               
“Okay,” Derick grunted.  Pete twisted from his grasp and nearly toppled over into the night air.
               
They simultaneously grabbed Pete and hefted him off the ledge and down onto his back.  The second Pete hit the ground, he roared and threw them off.  Scrambling to his feet, he tried to get back to the ledge.
                
“Pete, you have to stop!  What’s wrong with you?” Derick yelled, terrified that his friend would make it to the ledge.
               
“This is the only way.  I have to see them.  They have to know!” Pete threw Derick aside and barreled toward the window.
               
 Annie had to get through to Pete or he would never stop.  She tackled him and threw him back to the ground.  Her hands came down on his shoulders and she mounted his hips.  Using her full strength, she controlled his thrashing with her arms and knees.  He snarled at her, spraying her with spit.  He was deranged.  Jumping from the ledge and dying was now his sole purpose in this world.  He no longer cared about finding spirits or filming a documentary.  The compulsion had complete control of him and he would go through her to achieve his goal.
               
“Pete.  Stop this.  You aren’t thinking.  You don’t want to do this.  Think about everything you will lose if you do this.  Death isn’t the answer.  Think about your friends and family.  They are more important than the answers you’re looking for,” she pleaded.
               
Derick knelt next to her, unsure of what to do.  He watched helplessly as his friend lost his mind.  He was snapping his teeth at Annie, trying to throw her off.  Pete was crazed and nearly unrecognizable.
               
“I have to see them.  I have to tell them.  They need to know!” Pete ranted, not speaking to anyone in particular.
                
“Who is he talking about?” Annie yelled, trying to hold down his forearms.
                
“His parents.  They’re dead,” Derick whispered.  He finally understood Pete’s motivation to die.
                
“Pete, listen to me.  You will never see your parents, not like this.  There is nothing waiting for you on the other side, but pain and misery if you throw yourself from the window.  Don’t destroy your life like this, please.  You need to stay here with Derick, Josilyn, Morgan, Wedge, and all of your friends.  You have to show the world what you have found out about spirits.  You can’t do that if you become one of them!” Annie shouted, not wanting to see his face day after day in the Realms of Torture.
               
“I have to see them one last time!” Pete howled and shook his head violently in frustration.
                
Annie debated if she should take off her ring and use her power to reach out to Pete, but she had nearly killed him when she’d lost control earlier.  She knew that she could wield death, but she didn’t know if she could bring someone back from the brink of suicide.  The Destroyer was meant to kill, not to save people from death.  It was a long shot, but she had to try.
               
“Derick, grab his head, and hold him still.  I don’t want him hurting himself accidentally.  He’s having some kind of episode or fit.  He doesn’t know what he’s doing.  I’m going to try to get through to him, but I don’t want him flailing around,” she winced when Pete kicked her back with his knees.
                
Derick was staring at Pete, trying to figure out why this was happening.  Annie had to yell at him to snap him out of his trance.  He blinked at her and nodded his head, comprehending her orders.  Shuffling around to Pete’s head, he looked at Annie, one last time, hoping that she knew what she was doing.  He was clueless about how to fix this, but was amazed that she had somehow taken control of the situation.  He did as she asked and gripped Pete’s thrashing head, holding it so that Pete had no choice but to look up at the ceiling.
               
Annie leaned down and stared into Pete’s eyes, searching for some rational part that she could appeal to.
                
She let her power rise as close to the surface as the ring would allow.  She spoke quietly, but authoritatively to make him understand that this was a threat, not a bedtime story.  “Listen to me Pete, there is nothing but pain if you continue in this pursuit.  You will feel like you’re flying as you fall from this height, until you hit the ground.  Agony will explode throughout your entire body, and then you will feel cold and numb.  After that comes the darkness, but it’s brief, ever so brief before you see the red glow of Hell.  Everyone who kills themselves ends up in Hell.  You will have the pleasure of experiencing every single torture that Hell has to offer.  Suicides suffer more than anyone else, because they threw away their precious gift of life.  God hates when people don’t live their lives to the fullest.  You will be drowned, burned, beaten, starved, frozen, poisoned, and ripped to pieces for what seems like a thousand years, only to start the process again.  The worst part is just when you think you can’t endure it anymore, Lucifer himself will tempt you to become his servant for eternity.  That is something you don’t want.  If you deny him, you go back into the realms until you have served your time.  Whatever you need to tell your parents isn’t worth all of that,” her eyes bore into his, trying to make him understand the truth.
 

Will Pete survive?  Will Derick blame Annie for this friend's sudden madness?  Will he figure out who she really is based on what she said to Pete?  Find out in "The Third Throne: Angel of Death", available for Kindle and in Paperback.  If you have Kindle Unlimited or Amazon Prime, you can read the book for free!


Purchase The Third Throne: Angel of Death at Amazon.com
Read for free with Kindle Unlimited and Amazon Prime!


For more information about the Third Throne series, you can go to www.thethirdthrone.com or follow me, Tabitha Barret, on: 



Friday, September 4, 2015

Author Spotlight Heather Dahlgren, author of "Behind the Book"



Title: Behind the Book, Book Two in the Sexy Series

Author: Author Heather Dahlgren
Genre: Contemporary Romance

Release Date: 9/4/15



















Synopsis:

London Tweed is a well-known author. She keeps to herself, and doesn’t get involved with men. She is doing what she loves – writing. She has a past, one that no one knows about and she isn’t willing to share.



Blake Foster is a model who loves the ladies as much as they love him. He is always out for a good time, always the life of the party. He never thought he’d find someone that would change him.



After having Blake on the cover of her book, London invites him to attend a signing – a signing that will change both of their worlds. It may take time for Blake to break down London’s walls, but when he does it transforms them both. Making London remember the person she used to be and Blake the man he wants to be.



But can the past stay in the past? Can the love they have for each other be stronger than the world around them?



Judging a book by its cover may not be fair, when you don’t know what’s going on behind the book.



* Though this is book two in a series it's okay to read this without reading book one first but be warned characters from book one do appear as secondary characters*

Be sure to check out Behind the Lens, Book One in the Sexy Series. 9/4 is the last day to grab this amazing kick off to the series at only .99cents

Buy it now on Amazon: http://amzn.com/B014V1A8DM

Enter the Giveaway here



Click here to add Behind the Book to your Goodreads List



Author Heather DahlgrenAbout The Author:

I am 36 years old.  I am married to my high school sweet heart.  We have been married for almost 12 years and have 3 amazing kids.  I’m a stay at home mom and my kids definitely keep me busy.  I live at the Jersey Shore and love all there is to do here.  I love nature, birds especially.  I enjoy hiking and fishing with my family. 


I have always loved to write.  In high school I used to write stories, poems and a lot of love notes!  I absolutely love to read.  I love the way I can get lost in a book and forget about the world around me.  Now that I am writing books, I feel the same way, only it’s my book I’m getting lost in.   


As for now, I am loving this journey of becoming an author.  It has been more then I dreamed it would be.   


You can always find me online.  I love social media, so please feel free to interact with me.





Monday, August 17, 2015

Author Spotlight: Margaret Locke "A Man of Character (Matters of Love)"

I recently had the pleasure of reading Margaret Locke's paranormal romance, "A Man of Character" and wanted to learn more about the book and the woman behind it.  I spoke with Margaret and asked her the questions that I was dying to know after reading this charming romance.  I fell in love with her Catherine and Eliza and hoped to gain more insight into how this gem came to be.
Book Title:  A Man of Character (Matters of Love)
Book Genre: Light Paranormal Romantic Comedy
Book Audience:  Adult 18+ (2 sex scenes, 1 detailed scene "sweet  heat") 
Book Description:  What would you do if you discovered the men you were dating were fictional characters you'd created long ago?

Thirty-five-year-old Catherine Schreiber has shelved love for good. Keeping her ailing bookstore afloat takes all her time, and she’s perfectly fine with that. So when several men ask her out in short order, she’s not sure what to do…especially since something about them seems eerily familiar.

A startling revelation - that these men are fictional characters she’d created and forgotten years ago - forces Cat to reevaluate her world and the people in it. Because these characters are alive. Here. Now. And most definitely in the flesh.

Her best friend, Eliza, a romance novel junkie craving her own Happily Ever After, is thrilled by the possibilities. The power to create Mr. Perfect - who could pass that up? But can a relationship be real if it’s fiction? Caught between fantasy and reality, Cat must decide which - or whom - she wants more.

Blending humor with unusual twists, including a magical manuscript, a computer scientist in shining armor, and even a Regency ball, A Man of Character tells a story not only of love, but also of the lengths we'll go for friendship, self-discovery, and second chances. 


What made you decide to become an Author and write a book series?
 
I’d pledged to write romances in my teen years—partly in defiance of the flak I received over my reading genre of choice, and partly because I just love stories about love. It took me a very, very long time, however, not to mention a career change or two, to do it.


After a stint as a doctoral student in medieval history, in which I did everything but write the dissertation, I then took on being a stay-at-home-mom. Both of those periods in my life were intense; both I loved. 


As the kids have gotten older, though, it was time to figure out what I really wanted to do when I grew up—and it came right back to what I’d declared I’d do as a kid: write romance.
I wanted to see if I could emulate the authors I admired, craft those oh-so-alluring heroes, those flawed-but-loveable heroines, that sizzling sexual chemistry, those witty, seductive verbal exchanges. I’m not claiming to have succeeded on the level of, say, Julia Quinn, but I’m having so much fun trying. 


As for writing a series? That’s because I fell in love with so many series written by authors like Eloisa James, Sabrina Jeffries, and the like. It’s fun to follow characters from one story to another, to see minor figures go to major heroes and heroines, to get glimpses into the lives of earlier couples long after they’ve found their own Happily Ever Afters. It just seemed the thing to do. 


Plus, well, that’s what “they” say readers want. Hook ‘em if you can and they’ll keep coming back, because they know what they’re getting and are likewise invested in the characters already. (Is that true? It is for me.)


What inspired you to write a story about fictional characters coming to life?  Which fictional characters would you like to interact with?
 
The short answer is, it’s the first idea I thought of. The longer answer is, I was mulling over what to write after finally fessing up to husband this was what I wanted to do. But if I was going to do it, I needed an idea! 


While I always assumed I’d write historical romance, it being my first and forever love, the idea that popped into my head involved not dukes and d├ębutantes, but wondering what a woman would do if she figured out the guys pursuing her were characters she’d made up. I just couldn’t let go of it.
 

As for part two of the question, I want to hang out with Elizabeth Bennet and Fitzwilliam D’Arcy (would I like them in real life?), chill with Harry and Hermione (Ron can go drink butterbeer elsewhere; he never was my favorite), and have tea with too many romance heroes and heroines to name (though I don’t like tea, and they’d think I was weird). And, well, if I got the chance to hang out with the two very real actors who played the two fictional characters of King Arthur and Merlin (Bradley James and Colin Morgan) on the BBC show Merlin, I wouldn’t turn that down. No, sirree.

The main character Catherine has three different types of men that come into her life: the popular guy, the passionate lover, and loyal and devoted caring boyfriend.  What made you choose these particular types of men for Cat to interact with?  Were there other types of men that you considered sending in her direction?

I tried to think which kind of man would have been desirable to most women at those specific life stages—and yes, I intentionally sought out stereotypes. 


In our teens, don’t we all dream of dating the most popular guy in high school, who often happened to be the star football player? 


In college, at least among a lot of the people I knew, flings were the thing, and it was fun figuring out what kind of guy might make the coeds sigh (also, I, er, have a thing for intelligent men.)
And the Prince Charming idea, the fantasy of the rich, hot guy falling for the slightly-less-than-stellar woman, is ubiquitous in our culture. I happen to dig that (hello? It’s why I read romance!). 


Regardless of how we feel about said fantasy, it’s one with which I think most women are familiar, culturally speaking. Pretty Woman, anyone? 

As for other possibilities—if I thought them up at one point, I’ve since forgotten. These three guys came so quickly and easily to mind, I didn’t need others.  


There are elements of magic or fantasy in the book that Catherine has a hard time believing in and accepting.  Why did you decide to create this genre of book instead of a Contemporary Romance where Catherine finds these men by chance?  What made you decided to write a book with elements of fantasy?

The premise itself, of characters coming to life, necessitated, of course, some form of magic, of suspension of disbelief. 


I suppose it could have worked that she ran into each type of man and summarily dismissed them without anything supernatural being involved, if that is what you are suggesting—but that’s not how the story wrote itself in my head! 


And I particularly like that Cat must analyze her own ideal fantasies, these men crafted just for her. It’s a tantalizing idea, that you could create your Perfect Man. But it also begs the question of whether what (and whom) you think is perfect for you, really is.

Catherine’s best friend Eliza seems to have the most amazing journey of anyone in the book.  I won’t spoil the surprise, but was it a difficult decision to craft Eliza’s storyline knowing that it might surprise readers?


Eliza’s storyline wrote itself! I kid you not. Eliza popped up when I decided Cat needed something else going on besides just weird guys coming out of the woodwork at her. She needed a friend, a bestie, her opposite in many ways, but someone who’d help Cat figure out what she needed. Sure, I made her a Jane Austen fan on purpose, because I love Austen and the Regency period, but I was undecided as to where Eliza’s story was going for quite a while – and didn’t expect it to take over as much as it did. I love it, though.
 

Looking ahead to the next book, “A Matter of Time - Eliza and Deveric’s story,” what should your fans expect to see since you will most likely need to change genres slightly?  Was this book planned when you started writing A Man of Character, or did it develop as you wrote about Eliza?  

Wow, you ask great questions. And this probably does get minorly spoiler-y, but I’ll answer it anyway. 


Was A Matter of Time planned? Yes and no. Yes, in that I’ve always intended to write Regency romance. I’d even decided to center them on a family with the family name of Mattersley, so that most of my book’s titles could have the word “Matter” in them, to immediately bring the family to mind and as a kind of cool little (geeky) trick. (In fact, it was five years ago, before I even began writing A Man of Character, that I sat around with my sister-in-law one night, giggling over potential romance titles. I hit upon the Matter thing and ran with it, and now have at least twenty to thirty potential titles utilizing that single word!)


But no, A Matter of Time wasn’t planned, in that I didn’t expect those Regencies to tie themselves to my first book, originally. In fact, I knew I was in trouble when my first book turned out to be a contemporary romantic comedy. How was I going to get from there to the nineteenth century in England? Would readers come with me?


Mulling over that question definitely influenced some of the events and outcome in A Man of Character, and in fact is why I said Eliza’s storyline rather wrote itself—I knew where I needed her to end up. 


I’m hoping readers of my first book will take a chance my future books, but I know I run the risk of that not working. 


A Matter of Time definitely is a more traditional romance, in plot and story structure. My third book, The Demon Duke, is also a Regency romance in the vein (I hope) of my Quadrumvirate—those Regency authors I simple adore: Eloisa James, Sabrina Jeffries, Sarah MacLean, and Julia Quinn (and there are many more, of course). Book number four, A Matter of Scandal, returns us to twenty-first century Charlottesville. We will see Cat again, and some other familiar characters, though each novel stands on its own.  


Still, whether I write more chick-lit-esque romance in the vein of A Man of Character remains to be seen; my guess is, if the readers want it, it will come.  





Author Biography:  As a teen, Margaret Locke pledged to write romances when she grew up. Once an adult, however, she figured she ought to be doing grown-up things, not penning steamy love stories. Yeah, whatever. Turning forty cured her of that silly notion. Margaret is now happily ensconced back in the clutches of her first love, this time as an author as well as a reader. Margaret lives in the beautiful Shenandoah Valley in Virginia with her fantastic husband, two fab kids, and two fat cats. You can usually find her in front of some sort of screen (electronic or window; she’s come to terms with the fact that she’s not an outdoors person). Please visit her at margaretlocke.com.

To learn more about Margaret Locke, check out these sites: