Thursday, June 30, 2016

THEN COMES MARRIAGE by Emily Goodwin

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Title: Then Comes Marriage
Author: Emily Goodwin
Publication Date: June 30, 2016
Genre: Contemporary Romance
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Blurb
Fall in love—check. Get engaged and plan a perfect wedding—check and check. Find my fiancĂ© with another woman—I never thought I’d check that off the list, yet here I am, putting a giant “X” in that box just months before we take our sacred vows. Along with recovering from a broken heart, I’m left with the mess of canceling all things wedding. The venue gave me the deposit back. The florist canceled my order with no charge. The resort we booked for the honeymoon—yeah, they’re not giving me a dime. But I’ll be damned if I throw away a chance to spend two weeks in a tropical paradise, lounging on the beach with a drink in my hand, looking for anything but love. When I see Derek Turner—a sexy homicide detective I’ve run into a few times before—walking along the beach, I’m not sure if he’s stalking me or if it’s fate. Dark and brooding with a past he refuses to talk about, Derek is the last thing I need…and is exactly what I want. But when what started off as a rebound turns into something more, something neither of us can deny, I’m left with love’s greatest irony: finding the right person at the worst possible time.  
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About the Author
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Emily Goodwin is the author of the twice banned dark romance, STAY, as well as over a dozen other titles. Emily writes all types of romance, from love stories set in the zombie apocalypse to contemporary romances taking place on a western horse ranch. Emily lives in Indiana with her husband, children, and many pets, including a German Shepherd named Vader. When she isn't writing, Emily can be found riding her horses, designing and making costumes, and sitting outside with a good book.
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Can’t Forget by Colleen S. Myers


Can’t Forget
Solum Series
Book Two
Colleen S. Myers


Genre: Science Fiction Romance


Publisher: Champagne Books


Date of Publication:  June 6th, 2016


Number of pages: 253
Word Count: 82,000


Cover Artist: Elaine Smith

Book Description:
Is it better to be safe or loved?
Four months have passed since the E’mani destroyed the Earth and scooped up the remains. Elizabeth “Beta” Camden was one of those taken. With the help of their enemies, the Fost, she escapes and confronts her prior captors successfully. Though she knows she should remain vigilant toward the E’mani, she follows her heart instead and falls in love with Marin, the sexy Fost warrior..
She should have trusted her first instinct.

This time the E’mani don’t come in force--they slip in silently. And any hope Beta had of a peaceful life is lost. She leaves in the dead of night to find the E’mani stronghold and end them once and for all. But love is a tricky bitch.  It takes a threat to Marin’s safety to make Beta realize, if she can’t forget her past, she won’t have a future.

Chapter One
The snowball hit the back of my head dead-on. Bam.
I stumbled forward from the force of the blow. The flakes created a halo of white powder around my head in the cool, crisp air then settled all over my face and neck.
What the…oh no he didn’t. A growl rose in my throat. I turned to confront my foe. I creased my eyebrows and I glared at him, mean-like.
With a smug expression on his face, Marin stared back, tossing another snowball between his hands.
“Elizabeth, you appeared distracted. I wanted to help.” His voice was smooth, deep like aged rum, and echoed in the unique way of his people, the Fost, almost like he was being dubbed. The sound got me every time causing me to shiver, or maybe it was the snow dripping down my back.
“That was helping?” My ass.
“Yes, you were about to walk into a tree,” he said dryly, dropping his ammunition.
I whipped around. Sure enough, a tree loomed in front of me. Dark-gray bark, feathery fronds interspersed with lethal spikes, blue moss climbing its trunk. Yep, that was a tree. Well for here anyway, not like on Earth.
I glanced back at Marin, who stood so trustingly under the boughs of another nearby tree laden with snow. A smile tugged at the corner of my mouth. See, I could help too. He looked hot, literally and figuratively.
“Okay, thanks.”
With a thought, my power twisted deep inside, and I sent out a burst of air through the branches. They shuddered in response and unloaded their cold, wet contents on Marin’s head with nary a sound.
The snow dusted his brows, his cheeks, and obscured the single streak of dark green that coursed down the left side of his mahogany hair and framed his face. A single flake melted on his lips.
Our gazes met and held. His light brown eyes had a slit pupil that dilated then contracted as he focused on me. I used to find it…disconcerting, but it was just him, along with his long limbs, sharp features, and elaborate tattoos called jatua. All small differences but strange enough to have unsettled me in the past. Now it was so damn unfair how sexy I found him, alien race and all.
Marin raised an eyebrow and licked at his bottom lip, watching me watch him. My gaze followed the path of his tongue.
Heat spread through me as I imagined myself tasting those lips. I tucked a strand of red hair behind my ear. My breath slipped out in a sigh.
He smiled wide. “Lands, I love how you look at me.”
“Stop.” I blushed, twirling back and starting down the path we’d been walking before he ambushed me.
“How much farther?” I asked when he caught up and bumped into my side.
“We are close,” Marin replied. He was  so busy shaking the snow out of his hair, he didn’t see my smile.
“Are we there yet?”
“No.”
Ha, so literal. “Are we there yet?”
His hands stopped and his brow crinkled. He looked so confused I had to laugh. Then I tripped flat on my face in my clunky snowshoes and it was Marin’s turn to snicker. He picked me up and settled me against him, my face tucked into his shoulder.
“You all right there?” His words whispered past my ear.
“I’m fine.” My voice came out a lot breathier than I intended. Damn it.
The corner of his lips curled up. He traced the side of my face. Tingles trailed along my skin. I put my fingers over his and stood on tiptoe in invitation. Marin obliged and brushed his mouth along mine. Our lips clung for the briefest of seconds before he shoved snow down the back of my coat.
I shrieked, dancing backward. Cold, cold, cold.
Marin bolted down the path, much more sure in his steps than I.
The jerk. He was lucky he got out of range, or I would have gotten payback.
I fiddled with my jacket to get the rest of the snow out, shuddering at the feeling of wet fabric sticking to my back.
God, I hated winter. The first snow, I marveled like everyone else. Oh, so pretty. The world sparkled underneath the coating of white. Then the freeze set in, the biting wind, the forced isolation. And did I mention the cold? Give me spring or summer any day.
We were traveling to the mines outside the city of Groos. The miners had reached a type of rock they’d never seen before. It was dense and coarse. They couldn’t blast through it, and their efforts were destabilizing the tunnels. They tried to dig around it, but so far they’d had no luck. Nobody knew how thick the vein was or how far it reached. They wanted me to try magical means to remove it. Fat lot of good that would do.
When I caught up to Marin, I gave him the evil eye.
Marin grinned. “What?”

I flipped him the bird.

He grabbed my middle finger, “What does that mean? You do it all the time.”
“Nothing.”
His brows wrinkled again. “Woman.”
“Man. And don’t talk to me. You put snow down my back.”
Marin laughed. “Sorry.”
“My ass, you are not the least bit sorry.”
“Wait, what does your bottom have to do with this?”
I blinked. Ha, I forgot sometimes that certain expressions didn’t translate. “Nothing.”
He growled and kissed my knuckle before dropping my hand. “I hate when you say that.”
“I know, thus, why I do it.” I grinned and stepped ahead of him with a wiggle in my step.
He swatted me on the ass as I passed. While I acted angry outside, inside I loved when he played. He only ever did it when no one could see him. He was Clan Chief after all, even though he was only five years older than me at twenty-five. The position left him little time for fun and his own sense of responsibility precluded it.
A few minutes later and we reached our destination. A box canyon opened up in front of us, filled with barren trees and snow. At the far end of the canyon, a cave entrance loomed, braced by wood. A single railroad track led out of the opening to the left and a snow-laden press stood to the side, up against the high stone walls.
Con waited outside the entrance, his red and green Mohawk vivid against the backdrop of white. His stout form and kind face emphasized his resemblance to a Santa, A badass one. No fluffy red suit for him.
Marin inclined his head, straight to business. “Show us this rock.”
With a flourish, Con gestured ahead, and we entered the mines with cautious steps. Just past the entrance, the light from the two suns outside faded and darkness fell. I slowed and Marin’s hand brushed my lower back.
“Let your eyes adjust for a moment,” Con muttered from behind us.
As I stood there, the walls started to glow. Streaks of aqua phosphorescence lit the pathway ahead.
“What is this?” I asked in wonder, moving in a circle.
“Theris, a weed. It grows in the caves. When you break its shell, it glows.” Con held out a small stick almost like an aloe branch that he snapped before our eyes, and a thin, clear liquid trickled out. “The glow lasts almost a week. We carry some on us at all times. Come, follow me.”
Con led the way down the cramped passageway. Gravel and ice crunched underfoot. The smell of dust filled the stale air. My breath steamed. Damn it. I shivered and rubbed my arms through the jacket. Marin ran his hand down my spine.
It took about five minutes of hiking to reach the antechamber. When we got there, Con stared at me with a hopeful expression.
“Okay, you want me to, you know.” I made woo-woo gestures at the wall.
“Yes,” Con replied.
Four months ago, I’d escaped from an E’mani spaceship and ended up here on Solum. The Fost, Marin’s people and the sworn enemies of the E’mani, took me in and hid me from their foes, but the E’mani didn’t give up easily. In one of their attempts to draw me out of hiding, they set bombs at these mines. Several people had been trapped inside. I’d used my magic to move the rock—how I got
magic, I still don’t know—and created a new entrance. Now they wanted me to do it again. No pressure, right?

I reached out and touched the wall. The dark surface crumbled under my fingertips. All throughout the flaky stone, a silver metal streaked. Not dust or ore. This was metal, hard and thick. No wonder they couldn’t get through it.

With a deep breath, I closed my eyes. The power sprang eagerly to my summons. Heat spread outward from my core and my palm tingled where it touched the rock. The chill from being deep in the cave during winter faded.. A pulse vibrated in the air around me, pulling me deeper. I concentrated on that sound, letting it center me. My heartbeat synchronized to the sensation.
One. My skin grew tight. I let my breath rush out in a slow exhale.
Two. The stone warmed underneath my fingertips.
Three. The ground shook in response to the power rushing to my call. I kept my hands square on the wall.
Four. My hair stood on end, strength rushing through me, filling me until the force of the earth beneath my hand made me feel stretched like taffy. My mind screamed from the pressure and I squeezed my eyes shut. I needed to hold it as long as I could. My body shuddered until every pore sweat and my body strained from the contact, pushed to its limits and beyond. And then I shoved all the power out with my mind into the rock.
Please move. Please.
A beat.
Nothing happened.
“Anything, Beta?” Con asked right next to my ear.
I jumped.
“Nope,” I squeaked out, trying to bring my pulse under control, oddly empty.
“Keep trying,” Marin said and touched the rock to my left. Con did the same on my other side. We all focused this time, but unlike the time we freed the miners, there was no movement. The metal seemed inert. Its light gray color contrasted starkly with the dark-brown stone.
My shoulders slumped. “Nothing. I’m sorry.”
“And this means we cannot mine the ferok, doesn’t it?” Marin asked, rubbing his forehead.
“Correct, it covers the veins,” Con said.
My fists clenched. The Fost had found another metal--ferok. It was pliable and could be imbued with magic. With it, they could shatter the technological defenses of the E’mani. That was a good thing, but the metal kept us from it. And we had so little of the ferok to begin with. This was not happy news.
“Land’s sake, why can it never be easy?” Marin echoed my thoughts.
Marin slapped Con on the back. “We will search the library for more information. You continue to try to mine this rock. See what you can do.”
Con nodded in agreement as Marin gathered me up and we trudged out of the caves. Silence reigned for the next half hour.
“Stop worrying,” Marin said.
“I’m not worrying.”
“I can practically hear the thoughts racing through your head.”
“I am not worrying.” I enunciated slowly, my steps deliberate
“Yes, you are.”

“Well, fine, I can’t help it. I can’t stop thinking about the E’mani. Without the ferok, we only have our magic and we need more. And there’s this feeling of dread,” I splayed my hand across my chest, “right here, and it’s getting stronger. The E’mani are out there. I know it. I’m not sure why they haven’t attacked us yet, but they will. We need a weapon.”

The E’mani wouldn’t have forgotten about me or the Fost. I didn’t hold out hope that they’d forgotten about the men they’d lost in their attempts to recapture me either.
“The land protects us,” Marin replied.
A snort escaped me. “Magic vs. machine. That didn’t work out so well for you guys the last time.”
Marin tossed me a chiding look. “We survived, did we not? That is what matters. And we have lived as we are meant.”
God, his words made my teeth itch. “You can’t think the E’mani aren’t planning retaliation. They are not a forgiving race.”
I’d know having been their prisoner and all. And the more I thought about the E’mani, the more hatred stirred inside me. I loathed those pale freaks. They’d destroyed my world, in their never-ending quest to “make things better.” Then they brought me here. I didn’t remember much of my time with them, not yet. But I recalled enough to despise them. They were not kind masters.
White eyes stared at me through amber glass, E’mani eyes.
“Hello, Elizabeth,” Xade crooned. Light flashed off the razor sharp edge of the scalpel in his hands. “Time for more samples.”
Marin’s words snapped me out of my memories with a jolt. “We all know the E’mani are coming. But the winter has been harsh, more so than usual. And before they came after you, it had been ages since the last time we saw them. They left this world long ago to recoup their losses after the war. They left even while we were still fighting and maintain only a small presence out in Industry.”
My jaw set. “Good. Industry is where I need to go. I need to find one of their labs.”
Marin sighed. “We have talked about this, Elizabeth. First, you have no idea where to find a lab. And second, you have no idea what you need to do if you did find it.”
“I remember some of what they taught me. And being in the labs, where they kept me, will help me remember even more. I scared them, Marin. Me. When I confronted them—”
“It might not have been you. It might have been all the lightning you were throwing around, or the blade Zanth wielded,” he argued.
I grit my teeth until my jaw hurt. Damn him. Why wasn’t he listening? Tears blurred the path in front of me.
“It was me; I could tell. I know something that can hurt them, I can feel it. The E’mani were frightened enough of me that they came in force to capture or kill me and it has to do with the labs. I know there is something I’m meant to do, and soon. If not, something bad is going to happen.” Chills shivered down my spine. I heard the faint echo of screams—men’s and women’s—from long ago. They had a plan for us, just like they had for Earth. How could I stop it? “Marin?”
“Yes.”
“If I asked you to, would you leave with me, today, and travel to Industry?”
Marin blinked. “Today? No, we need to plan these things, you know that, Elizabeth. To go now would be stupid.”
I stomped forward on the trail. “Of course it would be. How silly of me. You’re right.”
“Elizabeth, please.” Marin caught up and put his arm around my shoulder. “We will go to Industry soon. I promise.”

“Yeah, yeah, you keep saying that.” I let my head fall against his shoulder. Arguing with Marin never seemed to end how I wanted it to. No use being pissy about it now. And he was right, which was even worse. To go during winter would be foolish, but still…

A few minutes passed. The snow crackled beneath our feet. It was cold enough, I’d long since lost feeling in my toes.
The entrance to the city of Groos came into view. There was a large chiseled gate built into the natural arch that fronted the valley. They built the gatehouse into the valley walls itself and tunneled above the gate, giving the guards a clear sight line of anyone approaching.
Bas-relief scenes covered the arch’s surface blending with the rock face. One scene depicted a Fost couple embracing in a corner their arms wrapped around one another. In the other corner was a Coreck, a catlike creature that stood on two legs, with a long tongue. Yet another showed a battle. Men fought with swords and spaceships flew overhead. The pictures were so vivid, they seemed to flow across the rock, lifelike and real. My fingers itched to touch the stone. Every time I saw it, I was struck by how natural it appeared. It fit.
Unlike me.



About the Author:

Colleen Myers was raised in a large family in the outskirts of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania where she grew up on Harlequin teen romances and stories from her mother’s work as a paramedic. She was her high school salutatorian and attended Allegheny College on the Presidential Scholarship.
After college, Colleen spent a year in service in the Americorp giving back to the community at a local Pittsburgh Women Infants and Children Clinic (WICC) before attending Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine on a military scholarship.
Upon completing medical school, Colleen attended residency at Andrews Air Force Base in Maryland during 9/11. She earned three meritous service awards from the military along with outstanding unit awards. After serving seven yearsof active duty, she promptly landed a position at the VA to provide fellow veterans with optimum medical care. Still an avid fan of romances into adulthood, her love of the genre inspired her to hone her craft as a writer, focusing on contemporary romance and science fiction. Her background in medicine and the military provide an inspiring layer of creative realism to her stories and characters.

Her first book, Must Remember, the first of the Solum series, is being published by Champagne Press. The sequel, Can’t Forget is the recipient of the 2015 RWA New England Readers Award.

Colleen currently resides in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania with her son, and spends her spare time writing novels.
Tour Giveaway

$25 gift card and ecopy of Must Remember

Wednesday, June 29, 2016

New Cover Reveal Carpe Noctem: Immortalis series~Katie Salidas


Carpe Noctem
Immortalis Series Book One
Author: Katie Salidas
  • Print Length: 301 pages
  • Publisher: Rising Sign Books; 3 edition (March 2, 2010)
  • Publication Date: March 2, 2010
  • Cover art by: Willsin Rowe

Synopsis:
Becoming a vampire is easy. Living with the condition... that's the hard part. 

Newbie vampire Alyssa never asked for this life, but now it’s all she has. Rescued from death by Lysander, the aloof and sexy leader of the Peregrinus vampire clan, she’s barely cut her teeth before she becomes a target. 

Kallisto, an ancient and vindictive vampire queen - and Lysander’s old mate - wants nothing less than final death for her former lover and his new toy. She’s not above letting the Acta Sanctorum, and its greatest vampire hunter, Santino, know exactly where the clan can be found. 

With no time to mourn her old life, Alyssa’s survival depends on her new family. She will have to stand alongside Lysander and fight against two enemies who will stop at nothing to destroy them. 



About Katie:
Katie Salidas is a Super Woman! Endowed with special powers and abilities, beyond those of mortal women, She can get the munchkin off to gymnastics, cheerleading, Girl Scouts, and swim lessons. She can put hot food on the table for dinner while assisting with homework, baths, and bedtime... And, She still finds the time to keep the hubby happy (nudge nudge wink wink). She can do all of this and still have time to write.

And if you can believe all of those lies, there is some beautiful swamp land in Florida for sale...

Katie Salidas resides in Las Vegas, Nevada. Mother, wife, and author, she does try to do it all, often causing sleep deprivation and many nights passed out at the computer. Writing books is her passion, and she hopes that her passion will bring you hours of entertainment.

You can find out more about Katie Salidas,and her novels at 

www.KatieSalidas.com
https://www.facebook.com/katiesalidas
https://twitter.com/QuixoticKatie



Daemon Persuasion by S. K. Gregory


Daemon Persuasion
Daemon Persuasion Series
Book 1
S. K. Gregory


Genre: Urban Fantasy


Publisher: Mockingbird Lane Press and SKGregory.


Date of Publication: Jan 2013


ISBN: 978-0985690632
ASIN: B00DRAX2P0


Number of pages: 222 pages
Word Count: 46k


Cover Artist: Jamie Johnson

Book Description:
When Mackenzie Murphy goes looking for her father she finds herself caught in the middle of a demon war between three rival families. Still trying to master her own demon abilities, who can she trust to help her? The mysterious Lucien? Or Taryn, the son of the enemy? With all three families hunting for a talisman that could shift the balance of power, Mackenzie must get to it first and finish what her father started, or die trying.


Daemon Persuasion Excerpt:

Chapter 1

Ten Years Later

Mackenzie prowled the backstreets of downtown Los Angeles searching for her mark.
Johnny Beckman was the name her boss had given her, but he usually went by Ace, because he always seemed to be able to pull one out of his sleeve when the stakes were high. Unfortunately, his luck had taken a turn for the worse lately and he owed her boss over ten grand. Money that Mackenzie was going to collect.
She had spent most of the night talking to people, trying to track him down. Rumor had it that he liked to hang out in a bar called Pot Luck.
The club closed at two, so she loitered outside waiting for Johnny. She stood against a wall trying to look casual, staring at the reflection of the neon green Pot Luck sign in a nearby puddle.
“Hey there sweetness, why don’t we go back to my place?” A bald drunk leered at her as he left the club. He tried to cop a feel, but before he could touch her she grabbed his wrist and twisted it up his back. He cried out, trying to wrench his arm away.
“Keep your hands to yourself,” she said. She let go of his wrist and he hurried away, calling her a few choice names as he went. Nothing she hadn’t heard before. She had fended off more than a few unwanted admirers in her line of work. At five foot ten, she towered over a few them, and that intimidated them.
Although some of them looked past that to the curly black hair, green eyes and a body with curves in all the right places.
A half hour later, Johnny finally staggered out. He was shorter than her by three inches. Dressed in a sports jacket which he wore over a checked shirt, he bumped into one of the bouncers at the door. He was loaded.
“Watch it,” the bouncer growled.
“Drop dead,” Johnny muttered, not loud enough for the bouncer to hear, but she heard it.  She kept her distance until he was away from the club. The stench of urine in the alleyway was overpowering. Breathing through her mouth, she crept along behind him. There was little light, so Johnny wouldn’t see her until she was right up on him.
She passed a pile of blankets tucked between two trash cans. Pausing, she checked to make sure they were empty. She didn’t need some homeless person as a witness.
Johnny stopped to light a cigarette and Mackenzie closed the distance between them.
“Hey, Johnny, how’s your luck been?” she said, in a friendly tone.
He turned around, the lit match still in his hand. Weariness lined his pudgy face. Running a hand through his greasy black hair, he eyed her through small, bleary dark eyes. He reminded her of a pig. And not the cute one from the film.
“Who’s asking?” His tone was guarded but his body was relaxed. He didn’t view her as a threat and she found that insulting.
“Mr. Clayton is wondering about his money,” she replied.
That got a reaction. She didn’t relax her stance. Things could turn ugly in a moment’s notice and as they said in her kickboxing class, ‘Never let your guard down.’
“You tell Clayton that if he doesn’t have the decency to send his heavies for the money, then he can wait for it. Seriously, how old are you, sweetheart?” He was right up in her face now and she could smell his stinking breath.
Ever since she’d been a kid, she hated when people invaded her personal space. It made her edgy and more than ready to do whatever she needed to get them to back off.
“Old enough to do this,” she said. She brought her knee up into his groin. He let out a muffled grunt of pain as he doubled over. Grabbing the back of his head, she slammed her knee into his forehead. He cried out again and fell to the ground, clutching his balls and head simultaneously.
“Mr. Clayton wants his money by midnight tomorrow or…” she left the sentence unfinished. Leaning over him, she checked his pockets and found over a grand tucked away. He was still earning his nickname.
“I’ll take this as a down payment.”
Eager to get out of the alleyway and away from the stench, she turned away.
“You fucking cunt,” Johnny yelled. He shoved her hard from behind and she fell to her knees. Something wet soaked through the left leg of her jeans. I really hope that’s rain water. From behind her she heard the distinct click of a blade.
“That was a big mistake,” he said, pointing it at her, “How about I send Clayton a message in the form of your dead body.”
“A little help here,” Mackenzie said. She whispered a few words in Latin.
The streetlight above them blinked out, as Mackenzie climbed to her feet.
A cold wind swirled around them. A trashcan tipped over, spilling its contents over the ground. The smell of rotting food filled the air.
“What the hell is going on?” Johnny said, his eyes wild with fear. He backed away from her, his eyes darting back and forth. The knife flicked out of his hand and bounced away.
Mackenzie saw the Shadow move in behind Johnny, flipping him off his feet. He hit the ground, smacking his chin on the concrete.
As the Shadow moved over him, she knew what was coming next.
“Subsitso,” Mackenzie barked. The Shadow halted, poised in anticipation, waiting for further instructions.
She looked at Johnny whimpering on the ground, “Excedo,” she commanded.
The Shadow sank slowly into the ground and disappeared.
“Get the money Johnny,” she said.
Breathing hard, she walked away, angry that Johnny had gotten the jump on her. She hated having to call the Shadow for help when she was perfectly capable of taking care of herself.
It had appeared a few times over the last ten years, especially as she had a knack for getting into trouble. At first, she had been terrified and convinced she was going crazy. When it appeared, it would whisper to her in Latin. Once she figured out it was Latin, she memorized a few simple commands, which it seemed to prefer to English.
Constantly moving as a child meant she never had anyone to confide in about the strange and sometimes scary phenomenon. She had tried telling Suzie in the children’s home about it, but that had been a mistake. Suzie had laughed in her face and shoved her down, calling her a nut job. Unwittingly, Mackenzie had summoned the Shadow and Suzie ended up in the hospital with stitches in her head.  This Shadow thing craved violence and Mackenzie knew it would have loved to have killed Johnny, but it followed her orders without question. At least so far. Over the years, it had become a kind of guardian for her, but considering the outcome of its last visit, that night with Ramone, she had sworn she would never call for it again. Calling it was a mistake, but sometimes she did it without thinking.
Still, she had what she came for. As she left the alley, she felt a prickling sensation on the back of her neck as if she was being watched. She stopped, searching the area, but saw nothing. There were shouts in the distance, more drunks no doubt. Crossing the street, she glanced over her shoulder.
There was definitely someone watching her. She looked up and found him, standing on a fire escape on the building opposite. He was tall, wearing a long coat, which flapped around him in the wind, but that was about all she could see. She couldn’t see his face but she knew he was staring right at her. Something about the man sent chills down her spine. She turned and hurried away. She’d had enough surprises for one night.
Blue Moon was the club Mr. Clayton owned. Its usual cliental consisted of the dregs of society or out-of-towners who didn’t know about its reputation. They played mostly dance music, which personally Mackenzie hated, but she had learned to drown it out over the last couple of years. She let herself in the back door hoping to leave the money and go, but a few people were still up, including Clayton.
“Johnny sent you a little present, Mr. Clayton,” Mackenzie said, dropping the money on the table in front of a blonde woman in her late forties. Two bodyguards stood on either side of her.
Her ice blue eyes gave nothing away. She was dressed in a simple blue calf length dress, but Mackenzie was sure the woman could make sack cloth look classy.
“You gave him my message?” Mr. Clayton asked.
“Yes, he’ll pay,” Mackenzie, replied.
“He’d better,” the woman replied. Mr. Clayton was in fact Greta Clayton. She had taken over from her husband after he was shot two years ago. Even though he was dead, his name still meant something among the locals. Since he was rarely seen, Greta kept up the pretense that he was still alive. Mackenzie knew that if the locals knew a woman ran the show, there would be chaos.
Mackenzie worked odd jobs for her, usually bartending and deliveries but more recently ‘collections.’ Greta had seen her take down a couple of drunks a few weeks earlier and decided that she was worth promoting. She didn’t argue when her promotion came, especially since it tripled her salary.
“Any trouble?” Greta asked, counting the money.
“Nothing I couldn’t handle,” she replied.
Greta smiled, transforming her face, “Good girl. Your payment will be ready in the morning.”
Mackenzie never asked, but Greta had a presence about her. Mackenzie often wondered if she had been an actress back in the day. It seemed every young girl who came here wanted to be one. A few lucky ones got their big break. A lot more got swallowed by the city. The appeal of acting was lost on her.  It was hard enough making ends meet.
Mackenzie left the way she came in. In the ally, she climbed onto her motorbike. Some people said that in a city this size you needed a car, but she preferred her Ducati. Back tire squealing, she headed home.
As she drove over the crest of a hill, someone stepped into the road. She slowed slightly, wondering what someone would be doing out this late, on such a deserted stretch of road.
Flames erupted in front of her. Mackenzie braked hard, jerking the bike to the left. A wave of heat hit her. The bike went out from under her, straight over the cliff edge. She skidded on her back a few feet and came to a stop inches from the flames. Heat tinged her face like a lover’s kiss.
Unable to catch her breath, she lay motionless. A man stepped through the flames, unaffected by the heat. He loomed over her, face hidden in shadow. Could this be the same guy from the roof? He was about the same size. Her heart jack-hammered in her chest, leaving her breathless.  A medallion in the shape of an eagle hung around his neck.
“Consider this a warning,” he hissed, “Stop messing with things you don’t understand.”
Without another word, he turned and disappeared into the flames, leaving her speechless and suddenly very afraid.
Mackenzie struggled into a sitting position, the flames dying around her. Her back burned and she was sure her leather jacket was a write off, as was her motorbike. She wasn’t sure what had just happened, but somehow knew, this wasn’t the end.
The man was gone. He had vanished into the flames as though he’d never existed.
Son of a bitch.
Apparently, Johnny was better connected than she thought. Or someone was. Greta had a lot of enemies and since no one could get near her, it made sense they would go after her employees.
Checking herself over, she was relieved to find that she wasn’t badly hurt, just a few scrapes and bruises. She started the long walk home, already plotting her revenge.

Daemon Madness
Daemon Persuasion Series
Book 2
S. K. Gregory

Genre: Fantasy/Supernatural

Publisher: Mockingbird Lane Press

Date of Publication:  Oct 26th 2015

ISBN: 978-1944169220

Number of pages: 206
Word Count: 46,000

Cover Artist: Jamie Johnson

Book Description:
Mackenzie Murphy thought her demon troubles were behind her, but with Taryn as her new roommate and his father still out to kill him, it seems there's no getting away from them.

When Taryn begins to act erratically, Mackenzie discovers that he has to face the consequences for saving her life. Deadly consequences.

So it's up to Mackenzie to save him, while avoiding the attention of a local cop and her homicidal boss.

Maybe demons are the least of her worries.


Daemon Madness Excerpt:

Chapter One

Walking as silently as he could through the St. Patrick’s church, Taryn watched for any movement. He had an iron-bladed knife in one hand and a small glass vial in the other.
He scanned the ceiling of the church. A fluttering noise in the rafters caught his attention. Illuminating the pews, light streamed through the stained-glass window, but the ceiling remained in shadow. He knew it was there though. He could feel it watching him.
As he turned, he saw it—a leg suspended between the wall and the ceiling. As he moved toward it, Taryn heard its ragged breathing and as he got closer, it growled softly. “You know how this ends, Bartlus. Let’s stop playing games.”
Taryn threw himself forward as the demon launched itself toward him. Taryn hit the floor and the demon overshot, landing hard on the wood floor and came instantly to its feet. Taryn spun to face it.
Mackenzie Murphy’s face stared back at him. Her full lips twisted into a sneer; her normally green eyes black. Ropey salvia oozed from her mouth onto the floor. She hunkered down, preparing to pounce, looking more like an animal than a person.
“One way or another you are going back in this bottle,” Taryn said.
“You won’t hurt this body,” Bartlus said in its guttural voice.
“Don’t be so sure,” he lied.
Bartlus grinned at him, the expression turning Taryn’s insides to water. He had to remain in control. If the demon realized he had one second’s doubt as to whether he could actually kill the demon that had possessed Mackenzie, it would all be over.
“I can see her thoughts.” It tapped the side of Mackenzie’s head. “Her memories. You killed your own kin to save her. She’s still in here, screaming to get out.”
“You’re not leaving this church.”
As it leapt at him, it knocked him sprawling. Taryn flipped over, pinning Mackenzie’s body underneath him.
“Is this what you want?” It asked, “Do you fantasize about this?” It wriggled suggestively.
Taryn held it down by the throat and chanting the old incantation in Latin put the vial under its nose. It screamed, bringing Mackenzie’s knee up and connecting with his groin. Taryn groaned and loosened his grip as pain ripped through him.
Bartlus took the opportunity to get free. He pushed Taryn over and made a run for it.
Taryn tossed the knife. It struck the altar, and Bartlus skidded to a halt. The knife had missed by inches. Bartlus spun in the opposite direction, and Taryn teleported in behind and flipped the demon onto the floor. This time he made sure to pin all of Mackenzie’s limbs.
As he finished the chant, black, oozing smoke poured out of her mouth and nose into the vial. When it was filled, Taryn sealed it.
Mackenzie choked and sputtered.
“You okay?” Taryn asked, sliding off her and onto the floor.
“What the hell was that?” she moaned.
“Possessor demon. I warned you not to touch anything.”
“Well, the bottle didn’t exactly come with a warning label, ‘May cause possession when opened,’” she snapped.
Taryn sighed. She was such a pain in the ass.
“Is it gone?” Father Jared asked as he crawled from under the pew where he had been hiding. He sweated profusely, his dark hair plastered to his head.
“It’s back in the bottle.” Taryn tossed it to him.
Father Jared fumbled it, his thin face losing even more color, leaving him looking like a ghost, but he got a grip and held on as though his life depended on it—which it did.
Taryn knew Father Jared had only just joined the church and was still learning about demons. He had a long way to go. What was the man thinking? Leaving the bottle unguarded!
“I’ll lock this away,” Father Jared said, holding it at arm’s length. “Father Thomas will be back this evening. You can come and talk to him then. Alone.”
“Good idea,” Taryn muttered.
Mackenzie glared at Taryn as she picked herself off the floor.
“I didn’t let the demon in on purpose,” she said.
“I know. Let’s just forget it, okay?”
He didn’t want to fight; he was in too much pain. They walked down the aisle to the door.
“So what do possessor demons do? Other than body-jack you?” Mackenzie asked.
“Not much. They’re demons who have had their forms taken from them.”
“Can they possess dead bodies?”
“Only the recently dead. They can keep bodily functions going temporarily but not for long. Once the body expires they return to their vessel. In this case, the bottle. They need living hosts.”
Mackenzie shivered and pulled a face, “Let’s go home. I need a bath after that.”
Taryn frowned. She said it so casually. Home. He had only been staying at her apartment for a few weeks, sleeping on the couch. Just because his father had a contract out on him didn’t mean it was permanent. He didn’t intend to stay much longer. It wasn’t like she got anything out of the arrangement anyway, other than picking up a few fighting techniques and learning about demon lore. Once he found a base somewhere he was leaving.
As they made their way down the front steps of the church, Taryn saw him. He froze. Across the street by a bus stop, he had caught a glimpse of Lucien. A car passed, blocking Taryn’s view, and by the time it car moved away, his brother, Lucien had vanished. Taryn scanned the street, but it was as though Lucian never been there.
“What’s wrong?” Mackenzie asked.
He shook his head, “Nothing.” He must have imagined seeing his brother. It had been weeks since Lucien died. If he hadn’t appeared by now, then he wasn’t going to, was he?



Daemon Battle Book 3 will be available to pre-order July 2

To Be Released in September 2016.


About the Author:

S. K. Gregory was born in Northern Ireland in 1985. She is the author of several series of books including the Daemon Persuasion series, which was published by Mockingbird Lane Press. Her latest novel is Hell Hath No Fury: Queen of Hell Book 1.
She loves horror movies, reading and archery. When she isn’t writing, she helps authors through her website by supplying reviews and promotion. All of her works are available to purchase through Amazon.




Tour giveaway
$25/£25 Amazon Giftcard
Signed Paperback of Daemon Persuasion and Madness
Your name in Daemon Battle + a signed copy of the book when released
a Rafflecopter giveaway


Facebook Event Giveaway:

Join the Inner Daemons Facebook Event July 2nd and 3rd

Daemon Persuasion will be free to download on Kindle during the event.

Any person who purchases the second book, Daemon Madness, either on Kindle or paperback and posts a selfie with the book or their kindle during the event will be entered into a draw to win a Kindle Fire 7” WiFi 8GB.
To enter please attend the event July 2 and 3 –https://www.facebook.com/events/275533266128060
   
Locate the Kindle Fire Giveaway post and comment with your selfie. For anyone who has purchased the paperback and is waiting on it arriving, you may post a screenshot of the sale instead.

Winner will be announced on July 4th 2016 and the item will be mailed to the winner. (Name and address will need to be supplied by the winner)