Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Blog Tour: Excerpt By Dora Machado Author of The Curse Giver




The Curse Giver


The Curse Giver
Dora Machado

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Romantic Fantasy, Fantasy Romance, Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Twilight Times Books
Number of pages: 510
Cover Artist: Brad Fraunfelter


Short Description:

Betrayed and condemned to die for a crime she didn't commit, an innocent healer must ally with the embittered lord pledged to kill her in order to defeat not only the vile curse obliterating their lives, but also the curse giver who has already conjured their ends.

Long Description:

Lusielle's bleak but orderly life as a remedy mixer is shattered when her husband betrays her and she is sentenced to die for a crime she didn't commit. She's on the pyre, about to be burned, when a stranger breaks through the crowd and rescues her from the flames.

Brennus, Lord of Laonia is the last of his line. He is caught in the grip of a mysterious curse that has murdered his kin, doomed his people and embittered his life. To defeat the curse, he must hunt a birthmark and kill the woman who bears it in the foulest of ways. Lusielle bears such a mark.

Stalked by intrigue and confounded by the forbidden passion flaring between them, predator and prey must come together to defeat not only the vile curse, but also the curse giver who has already conjured their ends. 

About The Author

Dora Machado

Dora Machado is the award winning author of the Stonewiser series. She is one of the few Hispanic women exploring her heritage and her world through the epic fantasy genre today.She holds a master's degree in business administration and graduated Phi Beta Kappa with a degree in history from Georgetown University. She was born in Michigan but grew up in the Dominican Republic, where she developed a bilingual fascination for writing, a preference for history, and a taste for Merengue. After a lifetime of straddling such compelling but different worlds, fantasy is a natural fit to her stories. She enjoys long and winding walks, traveling, and connecting with the amazingly clever readers who share in her mind's adventures. She is currently working on several projects, including her next novel, The Curse Giver, which is set to be published August 15, 2013. She lives in Florida with her indulging husband and three very opinionated cats.

To learn more about Dora Machado and her award winning novels, visit her website athttp://www.doramachado.com/. You can also email her at Dora@doramachado.com, find her on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/DoraMachado101 or follow her on Twitter @DoraMachado.


Chapter One

    Dread stared at Lusielle from the depths of the rowdy crowd. Concealed under a heavy hood, only the stranger’s black eyes dared to meet her gaze among the growing throng. The man’s eyes refused to flinch or shift from her face. His stare was free of the hatred she had gotten from the others, but also devoid of mercy. He held on to her gaze like an anchor to her soul, testing her fortitude, knowing full well her fears’ vast range.

She had always been meant for the fire. Even as she had escaped the blaze that killed her parents and burned the inn to the ground, Lusielle had known that the flame’s greedy god would return to claim her life. But she hadn’t expected it to hap¬pen after days of torture, surrounded by the raging mob, found guilty of a crime she didn’t commit, betrayed and condemned.

The town’s cobbler, one of her husband’s best customers, tight¬ened the noose around her neck until it cut off her breath. She had waited on him countless times at the shop, and had always padded his order with a free measure of coriander to help with his wife’s cough.

But none of the town’s inhabitants seemed to remember any of her kindnesses as of late. On the contrary, the crowd was booing and jeering when they weren’t pelting her with rotten fruit. They treated her as if she were a common thief.

The brute who had conducted her torture shoved the cobbler aside, tying her elbows and wrists around the wooden stake. Orell. She remembered his name. His bearded face might have been handsome if not for the permanent leer. Like the magis¬trate, he wore the king’s burgundy colors, but his role had been more vicious. Had he been granted more time, he might have succeeded at extracting the false confession he wanted, but the magistrate was in a hurry, afraid of any possible unrest.

Orell yanked on the ropes, tightening her bonds. The wound on her back broke open all over again. She swallowed a strangled hiss. It was as if the thug wanted her to suffer, as if he had a pri¬vate reason to profit from her pain.

But she had never seen him until three days ago, when he and the magistrate had shown up unannounced, making random accusations.

Lusielle couldn’t understand any of this.

She knew that the king’s justice was notoriously arbitrary. It was one of the main reasons why she loathed living under King Riva’s rule. But she also knew better than to express her opinion. Ruin and tragedy trailed those who dared to criticize the king. That’s why she had never mentioned her misgivings to anyone.

What had she done to deserve this fate? And why did they con¬tinue to be so cruel? After all, she wasn’t fighting them anymore.

True, she had resisted at first. Out of fear and pride, she had tried to defend herself. But in the end, it hadn’t mattered. Her accusers had relied on the testimony of the devious liar who had turned her in—Aponte Rummins—her own husband.

The mock hearing had been too painful to bear, too absurd to believe. Aponte swore before the magistrate that Lusielle was a secret practitioner of the forbidden odd arts. It was ridiculous. How could anyone believe that she, who had always relied on logic, measure and observation to mix her remedies, could possi¬bly serve the Odd God’s dark purposes? And how could anyone believe Aponte’s lies?

But they did, they believed him as he called on his paid wit¬nesses and presented fabricated evidence, swearing that he him¬self had caught her at the shop, worshipping the Odd God. In the end, it had been her husband’s false testimony that provided the ultimate proof of the heinous charge for which Lusielle was about to die.

Burning torch in hand, the magistrate stepped forward. Still in shock, Lusielle swallowed a gulp of bitter horror and steeled for the flames’ excruciating pain. She didn’t want to die like a shrieking coward. But nothing could have prepared her for what happened next.

The magistrate offered the torch to Aponte.

“The king upholds a husband’s authority over his wife in the kingdom,” the magistrate shouted for the crowd to hear. “There can be no protests, no doubt of the wisdom of royal justice if a husband does as he’s entitled to do by his marital rights.”

Aponte could have forgone her execution. Considering the magistrate’s proclamation, he could have chosen a different pun¬ishment for her. Instead, he accepted the torch and, without hesi¬tation, put the flame to the tinder and blew over the kindling to start the fire.

“Go now,” he said, grinning like a hog about to gorge. “Go find your dark lord.”

Lusielle glared at the poor excuse for a man who had ruined her life many times over. She had known from the beginning that he was fatally flawed, just as he had known on the day he claimed her that she couldn’t pledge him any affection.

But Aponte had never wanted her affection. He had wanted her servitude, and in that sense she proved to be the reluctant but dutiful servant he craved.

Over the years he had taught her hatred.

His gratification came from beating and humiliating her. His crass and vulgar tastes turned his bed into a nightmare. She felt so ashamed of the things he made her do. Still, even if she loathed him—and not just him, but the slave she had become under his rule—she had tried to make the best of it.

She had served him diligently, tending to his businesses, reor¬ganizing his stores, rearranging his trading routes and increas¬ing his profits. His table had always been ready. His meals had been hot and flavorsome. His sheets had been crisp and his bed had been coal-warmed every night. Perhaps due to all of this, he had seemed genuinely pleased with their marital arrangement.

Why, then, had he surrendered her so easily to the magistrate’s brute?

Aponte had to have some purpose for this betrayal. He was, above all, a practical man. He would not surrender all the advan¬tages that Lusielle brought to him—money, standing, common sense, business acumen—without the benefit of an even greater windfall.

Lusielle couldn’t understand how, but she was sure that the bastard was going to profit handsomely from her death.

The scent of pine turned acrid and hot. Cones crackled and popped. The fire hissed a sinister murmur, a sure promise of pain. She didn’t watch the little sparks grow into flames at her feet. Instead, her eyes returned to the back of the crowd, seeking the stranger’s stare. She found him even as a puff of white smoke clouded her sight and the fire’s rising heat distorted his scarred face’s fixed expression.

The nearing flames thawed the pervasive cold chilling her bones. Flying sparks pecked at her skin. Her toes curled. Her feet flinched. Pain teased her ankles in alarming, nipping jolts. Dear gods. They were really going to burn her alive!

Lusielle shut her eyes. When she looked again, the stranger was gone from the crowd. She couldn’t blame him. She would have never chosen to watch the flame’s devouring dance.

A commotion ensued somewhere beyond the pyre. People were screaming, but she couldn’t see through the flames and smoke. She flinched when a lick of fire ignited her shift’s hem. A vile stink filled her lungs. Her body shivered in shock. She coughed, then hacked. Fear’s fiery fingers began to torment her legs.

“Come and find me,” she called to the God of fire.
   
      And he did.


For a free excerpt of The Curse Giver, visit  Here


Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Monthly Wrap Up September '13


 The Collector (Dante Walker, #1)     Existence (Existence Trilogy, #1)  

Predestined (Existence Trilogy, #2)    Ceaseless (Existence Trilogy, #3) 

Just For Now (Sea Breeze, #4)     His Risk to Take (Line of Duty, #2)   

No Strings Attached (Falling for You, #1)    Under the Covers (Maverick Montana, #2)   

Hold Me Down Hard     Down and Dirty (Dare Me, #2)   

Protecting What's His (Line of Duty, #1)     Officer Off Limits (Line of Duty, #3)   

Until I Break    Reckless (Renegades, #1)

Tempting the Player (Gamble Brothers, #2)      Tempting the Best Man (Gamble Brothers, #1) 

Leif (Existence Trilogy, #2.5)   Untouched (Beachwood Bay, #0.5)   

Unbroken (Beachwood Bay, #1)   Untamed Hearts (Beachwood Bay, #1.5)   

Unafraid (Beachwood Bay, #2)    Wait for You (Wait for You, #1)   

For You   Reckless (Renegades, #1)

All Over You (Devoured, #0.5)    Devoured (Devoured, #1)

All of You    Mine for Tonight (The Billionaire's Obsession, #1)

Mine for Now (The Billionaire's Obsession, #2)   Mine Forever (The Billionaire's Obsession, #3)

The Billionaire's Salvation (The Billionaire's Obsession ~ Max)   Knight (Unfinished Hero, #1)

Kiss Me     Translation of Love (Of Love, #1)

Heir Untamed (Latvala Royals, #1)       Tempted (The Dark Hart Chronicles, #1)      

Against The Wall (Against The Wall, #1)

I read 37 books this week. I. CAN'T. BELIEVE. IT. They were all really good.

Itara

Spotlight & Giveaway Of Hot Flashes



Hot Flashes

Hot Flashes
Author: Leila Gaskin
Published: August 23, 2013

Book Description:
“Dragons do not exist.” Ella Hixson shrieked as the mythical beasts dove from the sky, shredding the roof of her vehicle with their long talons, and sending her careening across the road in an attempt to avoid the being flambéed. Escaping her car, Ella frantically searched the sky for signs of the attacking beasts, only to find nothing but clouds heavy with their payload of rain.

Hallucinations, relationship destroying fights with her only surviving relative - her mother, and - thanks to a bodaciously bosomed, bottle-blond - jobless, Ella needs the universe to cut her a break.

Be careful what you wish for.

Circumstances conspire and Ella’s mundane existence evaporates when she discovers she is Drakkon, the hidden heir to an ancient dynasty, and she has an enemy who would see all the Drakkon race enslaved or dead.

No more ordinary days for Ella as she learns what it is to be Drakkon, tries to save a world she knows nothing about, and still be home in time to feed her dog.


Excerpt: The Interview
“Have a seat.” Sindie gestured to the ladder back wooden chair sitting to the side of the door and gave the door a brisk rap. “Ms. Oakton will be with you in a minute.” She winked as she turned to leave. “Seriously, relax! Ms. Oakton gave up cannibalism a couple of centuries ago.”
Eyes wide, Ella stared after the strange woman. A fluttering movement caught her eye. Something long and skinny with a tuft peeked out from under the long tunic, tangling with the apron strings. Ella knew people didn’t have tails. After a second look, all she saw was free swinging strings. She stuffed the experience into the ‘weird things’ box in the back of her brain and firmly shut the lid.
The door opened to reveal a small woman with a tightly wound bun of steel-grey hair adorning top of her head. “Ms. Hixson?”
Despite Ms. Oakton’s petite figure, she exuded an aura that demanded respect. At only five foot four inches herself, Ella had to squelch the urge to apologize for her height. “Ms. Oakton, it’s a pleasure to meet you.”
“We’ll see.” Ms. Oakton stepped back, signaling for Ella to follow. Ella resisted the urge to fidget as sharp brown eyes took in every element of her less than perfect appearance. Handing her resume to the woman, she waited for the interview to begin. Silence stretched out between them.
Then, an intrusive force filled Ella’s mind, picking apart her memories, weighing each moment for its worth. Unable to move, she sat helpless. An indistinct murmuring narrated the entire event. Nothing should have been shuffling, muttering, or moving around in the chaos of her mind. As abruptly the incursion began, it stopped, leaving Ella dazed.
The woman’s gaze never left Ella’s as the wall clock resolutely ticked each second. Finally, Ms. Oakton glanced at the resume and started the interview. The familiar give and take lacked energy, leaving Ella feeling the distinct bite of failure.
“What would you do if you found a fairy ring?”
Ella blinked. “Excuse me?”
“You heard me,” Ms. Oakton snapped.
“A fairy ring. Really?” Ella’s shuffled-through mind snapped back into its chaotic glory, and it was un-amused. “I’d avoid it.”
“Why?”
“I have too many responsibilities in the here and now to be trapped for any amount of time in the Underhill.” Ella snorted. “Who knows when I’d get back? Time flows differently there. I’d have to be enticed or trapped by a member of the Fae. Seeing as I don’t believe they exist, I don’t think a trip to the Underhill will be an issue.”
The diminutive woman got up from her desk and flung open the office door. “The interview is over. You may leave.”


About The Author

Leila Gaskin

Born on a dark and stormy night on the other side of the world from Richmond, VA, Leila Gaskin began a life full of imaginative wanderings. Inspired by her journey, Leila takes inspiration from the places she’s lived. She is the author of several short stories ranging from horror, speculative fiction, and science fiction. HOT FLASHES, her debut novel, will be published August 2013.

With her dog as her co-pilot and the cat as the navigator, Leila explores her world and tells her stories. 




Itara


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BlogTour: Returned And Before By Keely Smith




Returned (Pendle Hill, #1)

Returned
Pendle Hill Series
Book One
Keeley Smith

17 year old Cora Hunt has one wish, to live the life of a normal teenager. Her wish never comes true.

After her reluctant move to a sleepy village in the middle of Lancashire Cora's life is turned upside down when she discovers she is a witch. Cora is not just any old witch, she is the daughter of Alizon Device who was one of the most powerful witches of her time.

Dealing with her new found powers is quite a challenge, but when the past she didn't know about unearths new complications in the form of Jack Thomas, her life becomes increasingly dangerous with each waking minute. Jack also has a secret past, a past that clashes with Cora's.

A confrontation between the two results in a life or death situation. The brutal events of 1612 happened hundreds of years ago, but what Jack and Cora face is a definite déjà vu.

The only question is, will their fate be the same as those who perished in 1612?



Before

Before
A Pendle Hill Novella
Keeley Smith

Cora and Jack are childhood friends who have always lived next door to each other in a beautiful, idyllic part of Lancashire. What binds them as lifelong friends are their powers.

As young witches, life is hard. If the commoners find out their secret, they will be killed. But Cora is lucky, she has her best friend Jack by her side.

Having grown up together they know each other, they trust each other, they love each other. However their blossoming relationship is cut short by the events of one day. A date that will bring their perfect worlds crashing down around them.

20th August 1612

Cora and Jack are forced to face the reality of being a witch during these turbulent times, however they don’t know that their lives will become part of one of the most famous witch trials to have ever hit England.
The Pendle Hill witch trials of 1612.


About the Author:

Keeley Smith

I've always loved reading, it is a common known fact that I pretty much demolish a book a day. Expensive hobby, but a great one! I've dabbled with writing since the day I could actually write. So, it was only fitting that I had my first book published when I was 15.

If I'm not writing you would generally find me reading, creating jewellery, trawling social networking sites and listening to music. I will pretty much listen to any kind of music but I have two favourites, country music which has been with me since I was a little toddler and I also love to listen to movie scores, especially when I'm writing!

I currently live in Yorkshire with my husband.







Giveaway of a Before keyring & a Returned bookmark.

  

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