Tuesday, 31 March 2015

Stones and Finger Bones by Jessica Minyard Blog Tour and Giveaway!



Hi guys, welcome to the Stones and Finger Bones by Jessica Minyard Blog Tour. I'm so happy to be part of this and am delighted to share a wonderful Guest Post below. This book has such a cool cover and an awesome name!! Don't forget to check out the rest of the stops HERE.
Stones and Finger Bones by Jessica Minyard (The Black Towers #1) Publication date: February 10th 2015 Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Synopsis:
Aurelia Barone, Jewel of Starry Stone, harbors no illusions about the purpose of her life as heir to the throne. But after two failed betrothals, she starts to feel like nothing more than a pawn being moved aimlessly about a game board.Until the night she loses everything.
Kidnapped by a wise-cracking mercenary with more than one identity, Aurelia embarks on a mission across land and sea to avenge her father’s death.
But an evil is rising from the ashes of memory. Insidious magic is stirring. The dregs of a once-powerful nation are thirsty for blood and revenge.
They seek to harness Aurelia. To tempt her. To manipulate her.
And if necessary, to destroy her.


Purchase:
--Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-US/ebook/stones-and-finger-bones?utm_source=linkshare_us&utm_medium=Affiliate&utm_campaign=linkshare_us&siteID=TnL5HPStwNw-HV0mBotgLnAHmCQ83yJSbA

Guest Post : 

Deleted Scene from Stones and Finger Bones

Today I get to share a deleted scene from Stones and Finger Bones!

What you are about to read wasn’t actually cut from the story until one of the final editing passes before publication. I was working on polishing the manuscript for my editor – it was the very last time she was going to see it! – when I decided this scene needed to go. It was a rather random, and short, foray into Rycen’s POV right in the middle of a chapter told from Aurelia’s POV, and didn’t serve much purpose other than to showcase my skills at writing hand-to-hand combat scenes.

I probably need to practice those skills.  


Rycen slipped into the darkness, keeping close to the deep shadows cast by the numerous trees. The bitter cold seared his exposed hands and face, but he was too devoted to the task at hand to pay trivial pain much mind.
A tingling sensation slithered up Rycen’s spine as he felt its presence in the woods. Rycen kept his body close to the ground, the muscles in his legs taut as bowstrings. He moved along in a crouch, his free hand sliding across tree trunks, boots squishing silently through the mud. He held his blade level with his chest, knuckles white from the cold and the power of his grip. Even with all his stealth and agility, he could not foresee tricks of the forest. A gnarled root protruded from a pile of dead leaves, at perfect ankle height. It snagged Rycen’s boot, and with a startled grunt he stumbled, cursing. In moments he regained his footing and the shelter of the shadows, wiping mud from his face.
And then he heard it: the hollow, rattling sound of air being drawn over bone. Rycen realized he was at the edge of a small clearing. The silver moon created a glowing pool of light, illuminating the clearing and its contents. Rycen peeked out from behind the trunk and his breath caught in his throat.
Standing in the middle of the clearing was a figure, clothed in shadows and smoke, the moonlight glinting dangerously off a long, serrated sword.
Rycen fell back behind the safety of his tree, then noticed the creature staring directly at him. He could feel the being’s eyes, though he could see nothing but the blackness of a deep hood. His back against the tree, Rycen wiped the blade of his sword on his pants. He brought the blade to his lips, relishing the icy kiss of the steel, then stood and stepped out to face the darkness.
He stood before the monster, sword at the ready. He took one cautious step forward, turning his body slightly, so that his right foot was in the lead. The creature never moved, but Rycen noticed the hand holding the perilous blade twitch, as if itching to tear soft flesh and spill warm blood. He dug his left boot heel into the ground, his grip on the sword hilt tightening, preparing.
In a sudden burst of movement, Rycen sprinted the few feet separating him and his adversary. He launched himself into the air, deftly twisting his body so that he could strike with his right hand and protect his abdomen. The creature was faster than he had predicted. Moving with inhuman speed and agility, the creature dodged Rycen’s attack and struck out with a gauntleted hand. Rycen plummeted to the ground with a bloody nose. He swung his sword over his head purely on reflex, just in time to catch the deadly blade before it ripped him in two. Blade screeched along blade. Rycen brought his legs up, pounding the creature in the chest with both feet, trying to stop it from gaining more ground above him. With his free hand, Rycen pulled a small blade from his boot, just as the creature’s free hand came toward his chest.

AUTHOR BIO

Jessica wrote and illustrated her first story in the fourth grade. “The Dragon of Grindley Grun” was about an evil wizard, a princess, and a dragon who was actually a prince. She likes to think her writing has evolved since that very first story, even though she still writes about magic and evil wizards...sometimes.
She likes to sing loudly and dance on occasion without being particularly talented at either. Her interests include reading, writing, procrastinating, animal advocacy, musicals, accessories, memes, Harry Potter, and sweet tea.
Jessica lives in Kentucky with a spoiled pitbull.

Author links:

Giveaway:


Tour-wide giveaway
--A signed paperback of Stones and Finger Bones and 4 prints of hand painted, original character portraits.


Time Of Death: Induction by Shana Festa Audiobook Review!



    Time of Death: Book 1: Induction (A Zombie Novel) | [Shana Festa]
  • Written by: Shana Festa
  • Narrated by: Sarah Tancer
  • Length: 6 hrs and 43 mins 
  • Unabridged Audiobook
  • Release Date:08-04-14
  • Publisher: Shana Festa
  • Purchase: Audible/ Amazon/ Book Depository 
  • When no one or nowhere is safe, where do you go to escape the monsters? 

  • In a few short days, 37 year old Emma Rossi’s hard work will finally pay off. She will don her cap and gown and graduate with a degree in nursing, but not before she loses her first patient and is confronted with a new reality. In Cape Coral, Florida, a storm approaches. The dead are coming back to life. 

  • And they’re hungry. 

  • Infection ravages the Eastern Seaboard with alarming speed while attempts to contain the spread of infection fail. Within days, a small pocket of panicked survivors are all that remain of civilization. Fighting to survive the zombie apocalypse alongside her husband Jake and their dog Daphne, Emma comes face-to-face with her worst nightmare. 

  • Relying on snarky wit and sheer determination, she is forced to commit atrocious acts to protect her family and avoid joining the ranks of the undead.
  • My Thoughts : 

    This was fan- freakin- tastic!!! I loved everything about it. 

    Emma was such an awesome heroine. She is fun loving, smart and snarky as hell. She goes from being a trainee nurse to surviving the Zombie apocalypse in the matter of days but she keeps her sense of self and does everything in her power to keep herself, her dog and her husband safe. I really loved her strength! 

    We have a lot of amazing secondary characters too. We have Emmas' husband Jake. When the Zombies start coming, he enters military mode and makes the hard decisions, though they may not always be for the best. Along the way to finding safety, both encounter plenty of people, all of whom add something extra to the story and then we have Daphne, Emmas dog. Emma does all she can to keep the dog safe, despite what Jake thinks! There is a certain scene that had me crying when Jake does what he does to Daphne!! My heart was in my mouth. Every single character was well written and developed, even those we only meet for a short time!

    We are basically thrown straight into the action and it's pretty much non stop from there. The outbreak happens in a matter of days and it spreads so quickly that it seems only a handful of people survive. The author isn't afraid of gore but it's not overly gory so even the most squeamish will enjoy it!

    This book will absolutely break your heart! The author is in no way afraid of writing people off. She isn't afraid to take chances and make bad things happen to good people! SO many times I was left gasping at the deaths that were happening and in the way they happened. Im not going to say too much more in case I spoil something so all I'll say is be prepared with plenty of tissues because this book will make you cry. 

    Anyway, in all, this is a fantastic Zombie Apocalypse book. It's well written, fast paced and has lovable characters. This book will grab you from the very first page and not let you go. So many times I was crying and yet so many times I was laughing out loud too. The authors ability to wrench your heart out in one scene and yet make you laugh in another was phenomenal. Emmas wit was astounding and added much needed levity to the story. 

    I listened to the audio of this, and let me tell you that it was fantastic. The narrator, Sarah Tancer, did an amazing job of Emma. She portrayed her snarkiness and wit perfectly. She knew how to ramp up the tension when needed and had me biting my nails so many times. I'd highly recommend the audio because it really brings you into the story. 

    An amazing book and one I can't recommend enough. I can not wait to read the next one!! 


Scarred by Marie Long Book Blitz and Giveaway!



Scarred by Marie Long Publication date: March 3rd 2015 Genres: New Adult, Romance


Synopsis:
Sometimes, love comes with a price…The past is always gonna try and bring you down, but you gotta fight. Fight hard for what you love. Fight to win is what twenty-two-year-old Dominick Anderson believes, but his life is a struggle. Growing up with an abusive father has made Dominick slow to love and trust, and he relies on his brother Kevin to keep him on a straight path. Dominick fights his demons every day, every night. Now a sophomore at the University of Washington and working a steady job at a mechanic’s shop, Dominick wants to create a better life and find the future his father never wanted him to have.Dominick suppresses his identity and feelings until he meets Denise Ramsey. Smart, stunningly gorgeous, and sharing his love for motorcycles, Denise is everything Dominick longs for in a girl but knows he can never have. When a past love threatens her life and brings out Dominick’s suppressed dark side, he must decide if she’s worth the risk.


Purchase:

Excerpt : 

Chauncey’s is pretty busy by the time we arrive. With the place being only blocks away from campus, it’s one of the most popular bars, and our favorite hangout spot. Kevin finds a space across the street to park, and we get out, hustling across the street as rain pelts us.
“You know, you look ridiculous wearing those at night.” I point at his sunglasses.
Kevin adjusts his ball cap and stuffs his hands in the pockets of his brown hoodie. “I don’t give a fuck. I’m not in the mood to deal with fans right now.”
Dim lights and the smell of stale beer welcome us as we enter. The groups of college students that frequent here are standing or sitting around in their usual spots. Kevin and I find two empty stools at the bar, near where a bunch of frat guys are playing darts.
“You’re Miss Dee Dee tonight, li’l bro,” Kevin says with a smirk, and then points out the vodka to Olivia, the bartender.
I roll my eyes. It’s an inside joke Kevin and I have whenever we go out and drink. The one who’s named “Miss Dee Dee” first is responsible for driving, so they’re not allowed to get hammered.
“Whatever you say, Miss Daisy,” I say, and order my usual.
Olivia fills three shots and slides them in front of Kevin. He downs the first one in a single gulp, and then winces and hisses through his teeth.
I spin around in my stool so my back’s against the counter and watch the crowd at the dartboard. I recognize a few guys from Xi Rho Nu. The girls watch each guy who takes aim like predators assessing their prey. I look sidelong at Kevin, who quaffs his second shot. “Hey, Kev. You still single?”
Kevin looks up. “What the hell kinda question’s that?”
“An important one, ’cause . . . well, I met this girl at the club the other night, right? Name’s Trinity. Pretty sexy. Thing is, she’s one of Denise’s friends. She knows you and I are brothers.”
“Mmhmm.” Kevin downs his third shot and then signals Olivia to fill up three more.
“She’s cool,” I say. “But I don’t think we’d make a pair, y’know?”
“What? You can’t like her?”
“Not anything more than friends. I mean she already knows I have a thing for Denise. But the moment I mention your name her panties practically drop.”
Kevin smirks. “I tend to have that effect on the honeys.” Three more shots slide his way. He picks one up and tips his head back, emptying shot number four.
“She’s a good girl who’s looking for love, bro. You should talk to her.”
“Naw. I’m done with relationships for a while. Not after the shit I went through with the last one.”
I shake my head. “Seriously, I don’t think she’s anything like that. She’s Denise’s best friend, and from what I’ve seen, Denise doesn’t hang out with skanks like Justine.”
“Justine was worse than a skank.” Shot number five disappears quicker than I can blink.
“Trinity loves the fact that you play basketball,” I say.
“You told her that?”
“Yeah. And she thinks it’s hot.”
“Does she, now?” He traces his thumb across his smiling lips.
“Yup, and she said she wants to watch you play sometime.”
“Play what?”
“Basketball!”
He nods absently. Has the vodka already started to kick in?

AUTHOR BIO:

Marie Long is a novelist who enjoys the snowy weather, the mountains, and a cup of hot white chocolate. She's an avid supporter of literacy movements like We Need Diverse Books (WNDB) and National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo).

Author links:

GIVEAWAY


Blitz-wide giveaway (INTL)
  • Swag bag incl. necklaces, themed drink coasters, wine glasses & more
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, 30 March 2015

Victim Souls by Andrew Terech Blog Tour and Giveaway!



Welcome to the Victim Souls by Andrew Terech Blog Tour! I have a wonderful Excerpt for you below but the tour is full of Interviews, Reviews and Guest Posts too, so check out the full schedule HERE.

Victim Souls by Andrew Terech 
Publication date: November 8th 2014 
Genres: Horror, Young Adult


Synopsis: 
Sometimes, only bad guys can beat the Devil…The plan is simple: get the money and deliver the car. What could possibly go wrong?What can’t?Things start to go south when Sam Drake realizes that his brother Johnny is hiding something, a secret about Sam’s troubled childhood that goes beyond his most feverish nightmares…Then Johnny’s girlfriend, Ash, starts sending Sam the kind of mixed signals that can only lead to big trouble…As the trio of small time crooks falls deeper into an abyss of betrayal and violence, they will discover that the greatest danger they face is not of this world.With everything he believes about himself and the world around him shattered, Sam will become the unlikely champion in a battle with true evil, a fight to save a soul that has already been forfeited to darkness.His own.

Purchase:

Excerpt : 

My hands dragged along the rough floor. Rocks pressed into my knees as I crawled through nothingness. One of the guards had sliced its claws across my chest. The wound wasn’t deep, but it burned badly. 
I couldn’t see a damn thing. I might as well have closed my eyes. A gauntlet of chains with what felt like hooks dangled from somewhere above, so I kept low. 
Silence plugged my ears. 
The room stunk like a mound of death, a scent I had become all too familiar with. I imagined a mass of mutilated corpses hanging from a web of torture, dripping the byproducts of their decay all around me. Discouraged, I wanted to call out; to demand to be tortured, or whatever they had in store for me in this godforsaken place. Instead, I kept my head down and moved forward, unwilling to give in to my frustration.
My knees ached, so I paused and rested a moment. Hoping to stand, I reached above to feel if it was safe. Nothing. My muscles tightened as I rose expecting one of the hooks to swing into my jaw. I got to my feet in one piece.
“Hello?” I asked the void. 
The echo of my own voice answered back. If I still had a normal threshold for fear, I’d have lost my shit. My head pulsed, as saliva pooled in my mouth, begging for a smoke. Empty pockets didn’t stop me from checking for a lone cigarette. I froze as my hand grasped Riley’s lighter. I didn’t even know I had it. I flipped the lid open. Did I really want to see what was in this place?
After a few spark-filled attempts, a small blue and orange flame came to life. It stood eerily still in the dense, stagnant air. I scanned my surroundings. A hook with a large barb on the end hung from the bottom link of a chain— it looked thick enough to string up an elephant. I held the light closer. Small spots of rust formed at its base, but other than that, it was surprisingly clean. The flame weakened and drifted away, sinking me back into darkness. 
I flicked the lighter on again. Thankfully it still had enough juice. I held it above my head. Several chains disappeared into the darkness above; more giant hooks, but no dead bodies. The smell must have been coming from somewhere else. 
Heat built up on my thumb and began to burn. I dropped the lighter. Its echo skipped like a rock. “Shit!” I yelled as I flapped my hand, and stuck my burnt finger in my mouth. 
I crouched, reaching out to grab it, shuffling the darkness. My hand caressed something warm and flesh-like. Fingers. They twitched. I gasped and yanked my hand back. 
“Who’s there?”

AUTHOR BIO

Andrew’s a horror fiction writer who is also a massive fan of the genre. He’s been writing short stories and working on his novel for over 5 years. He has several short stories published, as well as some editing credits. He moderates a writing workshop in Phoenix, AZ where he’s been exposed to many different forms of fiction, which have broadened his influences. He aims to write stories that creep out his readers, while offering well-developed, rich characters they can sink their teeth into. He’s also a fan of experimenting with form and structure to create something uniquely my own.
Andrew grew up on Long Island in New York, and has lived in Arizona for the past 7 years. His professional background is in psychology where he’s carved out a nice career for himself. However, writing has always been his passion.
Currently, he’s hard at work, developing additional content to publish. He hopes to find an audience that loves the genre, and is up for a good scare.

Author links:

Giveaway:
Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
--5 signed copies of the Special Edition of Victim Souls that contains the short story that inspired the novel.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Bone Dry by Cady Vance Book Blitz and Excerpt!


Welcome to the promo event for book 1 in Cady Vance's paranormal series, Bone Dry.

24466321
Series: Soul Shamans #1
Release date: February 3rd 2015
Publisher: Sagan Press

Purchase: Amazon

Synopsis via Goodreads:

Sometimes it isn’t as easy as choosing right or wrong.
Sixteen-year-old Holly Bennett is a comic book nerd, a con artist, and a shaman. Most days Holly wishes she could trade in her power of spirit communication for something more useful--like fireballs or Wolverine claws. She knows spirits aren't exactly Casper the Friendly Ghosts. They're dangerous beings from Lower World who snack on human life, and messing with the magic from their world is an express ticket to big trouble. But when a shaman sticks her mom's mind between their world and ours, Holly becomes the unexpected breadwinner in the family. She uses her burgeoning shaman powers to set up fake hauntings and "banish" the so-called ghosts from her wealthy classmates' bedrooms. For a fee, of course.
When actual spirits start manifesting, Holly discovers that other shamans have come to town, summoning life-sucking spirits for their own ends. And the newcomers may just hold the clue Holly's been looking for--the one that can release her mom's mind from its Lower World prison. With the help of both a cute web comic artist and her partner-in-con, Holly plots to take them down, throwing her into a whirlwind of speedboat getaways, breaking and entering, and astral projections into the spirit world. And as her mom's mind slips further away, Holly has to fight to save her, and the rest of the town, before they get sucked into Lower World permanently.




EXCERPT


There are times when I listen to the moralistic words of the angel on my right shoulder rather than the wicked whispers of the demon on my left. With Kylie Wilkinson leaning across the cafeteria table, eager to hand over cash I so desperately needed, I couldn’t help but smack the halo off that perfect little angel.

“Two hundred bucks,” I said, holding my hand palm up. The eagerness on Kylie’s heart-shaped face fell into a scowl. She tucked a stray strand of glossy hair behind her polka-dotted headband and shifted in her seat.

“You’ve got to be kidding me, Holly.”
I pulled back my hand, closed my fingers into a fist and pretended to be interested in my bologna sandwich. That move got them every time. The din of cafeteria chatter rose up around us as we sat in silence. Girls laughed, plates clattered and sneakers squeaked. Five seconds passed before Kylie cleared her throat.

“Okay, wait.” She reached into her Eddie Bauer backpack and pulled out her wallet. 

I kept my attention on my sandwich, nibbling away while she anxiously counted the cash. She had exactly four fifties which made me think she already knew what I charged and had been playing me to see if I’d go lower.

A guy walking by our table stopped to watch the transaction. I turned to raise my eyebrows at the tall, thin figure towering over us. Nathan Whitman, Kylie’s ex-boyfriend. He flashed a grin at me, his dark, wavy hair curling on his forehead, his high cheekbones carving a V on his otherwise boyish face. I smiled around my sandwich and hoped I didn’t have bits of meat stuck between my teeth.

“Is our friendly, neighborhood ghostbuster in action again?”

I’d taken a case for Nathan last year. He’d thought he was being haunted—they all did. Before that day, I’d considered Nathan just another bland guy navigating the Seaport High popular crowd. A preppy sailor only interested in country clubs and stock points. But after seeing the stacks of comic books in his room, I decided there might be an interesting guy hiding behind the polo shirts.

Not that I’d ever had the time to find out.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Cady Vance

Cady Vance is the author of YA and NA speculative fiction. After growing up in small-town Tennessee, she decided to embark on a grand adventure by packing up her bags and moving to NYC. Now, she studies for her PhD in the UK and dreams of seeing the world.










Red Sky Dawning by Ian J Malone Cover Reveal and Giveaway!



Welcome to the cover reveal for Red Sky Dawning by Ian J Malone!


Synopsis 
Five years after the historic Battle of Dulaston, Danny Tucker, Lee Summerston, and the Renegades have settled nicely into life on Aura — yet none more so than Tucker. Fueled by a rising career as an ASC staff sergeant and a love unlike any he’s ever known, Danny is in the prime of his life and at last free of the demons that have stalked him for years.
Some demons never die, though, and when an old enemy beckons to settle a personal score, Danny soon finds himself swept up in the backlash of a climaxing civil war, and straight into the crosshairs of a father’s bloodlust for revenge.
RED SKY DAWNING is the much-anticipated sequel to 2013’s MAKO, and the tale of one man’s quest to bury his past and protect those dearest to him as the fate of billions hangs in the balance. 

“Thematically speaking, this is very much a story about growing up,” says author Ian J. Malone, a native Floridian who now resides in Durham, North Carolina with his wife and step son. “Whereas book one was this plucky little tale about five bar-flies, rocking through hyperspace on the road trip of a lifetime, book two chronicles a lot of the unforeseen fallout stemming from decisions they made along the way. From an author’s standpoint, it was an intense story to write, but I think readers will really like where it leaves the saga entering the third and final book.”

Among the things readers can expect from RED SKY DAWNING are an array of new characters, a deeper look into the Alystierian Empire, and a healthy dose of political intrigue.

Still, Malone insists that MAKO fans will still find all of the action, humor, and pop-cultural charm that have since become the series’ calling card. “C’mon, guys. What’s a MAKO book without beer jokes and Funyuns?”

RED SKY DAWNING arrives on Amazon April 30, 2015. The audiobook will follow shortly thereafter on Audible and iTunes.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR
As a graduate of Florida State University, I’ve written in a number of arenas over the years ranging from public health to news and sports. When it comes to my fictional work, however, I’m a firm believer that nothing shapes an author’s writing like experience. That’s why I credit my tenures in radio, law enforcement, sport management, and the military for much of my thematic inspiration, plus the legion of family and friends who’ve stood with me along the way.
Beyond writing, I’m an avid fan of audiobooks and sports, though it’s also not uncommon to find me at a concert (LOVE music!), a movie, or somewhere out by a grill.
At present, I reside in Durham, North Carolina with my incredible wife, son, and our two dogs — but I’ll always be a “Florida boy” at heart. ;)


--Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

Winner will receive a Signed Copy of MAKO, a Signed RED SKY DAWNING Poster, and a bag of Funyuns (inside joke for those who read the books)

Winner will receive a $20 B&N gift card, a Signed RED SKY DAWNING Poster, and a bag of Funyuns

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The Dead Days Journal by Sandra R. Campbell Book Blitz!



The Dead Days Journal by Sandra R Campbell Publication date: March 30th 2015 Genres: Dystopia, New Adult


Synopsis:

The daughter of a radical doomsday prepper, Leo Marrok spent her entire life preparing for the end. A skilled fighter and perfect marksman, Leo is her father’s second-in-command when Armageddon comes to pass. Together, they lead a group of survivors to a secure bunker deep in the Appalachian Mountains.Vincent Marrok is willing to take extreme measures to repopulate their broken world. Leo’s refusal marks her as a traitor. With father and daughter at odds for the first time, their frail community is thrust into turmoil. Until the unthinkable happens, a blood-thirsty horde arrives. The impending attack will destroy all that they have worked for.To protect her home and everything she believes in, Leo puts her faith in the arms of the enemy—a creature only rumored to exist—the one she calls Halloween. An alliance born out of necessity evolves into feelings Leo is ill-equipped to handle.The Dead Days Journal is a post-apocalyptic story of love and family told through Leo Marrok’s first-hand account and the pages of Vincent’s personal journal, giving two very different perspectives on what it takes to survive.Mature themes, adult language, sexual situations, violence and gore. 18+



Purchase:

Excerpt : 

I’m alive, but I should be dead. I’m moving but not walking… Someone’s carrying me.
The sounds of the forest were all around me, except there wasn’t a single footstep rustling the forest floor. I only sensed the movement through the person who held me—superior strength and superior grace. I felt his powerful strides advancing as he clutched me to his solid chest, the strong arms that cradled my damaged body.
Can the dead dream? No.
There was no way of knowing how long I’d been unconscious. My memories were slow, spotty, coming back in short blasts of terror that started with the recollection of my father’s demands for a grandchild. I remembered running away, being attacked by a man in a mask, and waking up on the ground alone, the hungry beast dropping out of the tree.
Are the attacker and the monster one and the same? 
I tried to recall the struggle. I’d stabbed the strange monster in the gut and made it bleed.
I hurt it.
The monster had retaliated by taking a chunk out of my neck.
It hurt me back.
I cringed as I remembered the terror and the agony I felt while it fed from my vein. An odd sort of throbbing in my neck quickened as my heart raced. How am I still alive? Panic stole my breath and uncontrollable twitches jerked at my limbs. The arms holding me tightened in response, restraining my erratic movement.
Something slid past my lips into my mouth. I tried to turn my head, working to keep my mouth clamped shut but failing. Nothing stopped the intrusion, which I thought to be a finger, from the size and feel. Whatever he forced me to eat left a sticky residue on my tongue that tasted sweet and bitter, like a bad dessert wine. I wanted to open my eyes to see who carried me, but I couldn’t. So I tried to call out, several times, but nothing came out of my mouth.
He’s taking me somewhere I don’t want to go.
“Is she going to be okay?” It was a man’s voice, a voice I knew. I’m not in the arms of the monster. Jack must have heard my screams. He saved me and now he was taking me home to Ben. A sob of relief pushed past my lungs to escape my mouth.

AUTHOR BIO:
Sandra R. Campbell lives along the tranquil waters of the Chesapeake Bay with her husband and weight challenged cat. She can trace her passion for the macabre back to reading Edgar Allen Poe as a child, with her pet crow, Big Fellow, by her side. She has since submerged herself in a wide range of dark literature. An avid thrill seeker, Sandra is always looking for her next big adrenaline rush, and when spelunking, diving and monster hunting fails to deliver, she turns to the creation of through-the-rabbit-hole worlds and sends her characters on their own adventures. Sandra also writes children's stories, is a member of the Maryland Writers' Association, the head of a M.W.A. critique group, and the founder and co-author of Waterfrontwriters.com.

Author links:


 
Imagination Designs
Images from the Meadow of Dreams kit by Irene Alexeeva