Tuesday 31 March 2020

Priestess of Storms & Stone by Annie Anderson Book Blitz and Giveaway!

Priestess of Storms & Stone
Annie Anderson
(Rogue Ethereal #5)
Publication date: March 31st 2020
Genres: Adult, Urban Fantasy

If there is one lesson I’ve been taught in my life, it’s that fairies are the absolute worst.

Finding a fledgling succubus in Faerie is like locating a needle inside a realm-sized haystack. With a guide I can’t trust and a goal more ephemeral than smoke, my odds of success are tenuous at best. Not to mention, as the last Elemental in existence, I have a giant target painted on my back.
Because one half of Faerie wants me dead, and the other half wants to use me as a sacrifice to open the gates to Earth. But I swore I would find my quarry, and I will. Even if I have to rip the entire realm apart to do it.
There is a storm coming to Faerie, and that storm is me.


It was never a good sign to be drinking bourbon at ten in the morning, but after the week I’d had, I figured I was due. Self-medicating with alcohol wouldn’t take the sting out of my grief, in fact, it was likely to make it worse. But I’d needed a teensy little breather from my housemates after the last truth bomb had been dropped, and wrapping my head around my new knowledge required booze.
I could feel Della’s eyes on me, her acute vampire gaze boring a hole in the side of my face. She wanted an answer to her question, and she likely wasn’t going to leave me alone until I gave her one.
When are we leaving?
That question echoed against the walls of my brain with enough force to give me a headache. Melody was alive. She was alive, and my sister was dead.
But that didn’t make a lick of sense. Melody died right in front of me. I watched Aurelia send her soul on in a way only a phoenix could do. I watched her body burn in the flames of a funeral pyre. I needed answers before I could answer Della’s question.
Because I wouldn’t be leaving to hunt her down unless I was sure this wasn’t some kind of trick. I’d been tricked too many times in the last week, and I wasn’t falling for another one.
“Melody is dead, Della,” I whispered before taking another sip of bourbon, refusing to face my bodyguard. If I looked at her, I’d see either pity or censure, and I couldn’t deal with either.
“Then why is her son gone?” Della pointed out a big hole in the “Melody’s dead” argument.
Shit, fuck, and damn. I made a promise to Melody to keep her son safe. If it wasn’t Melody who had her son—and I highly doubted it was—then I’d have to go get him.
In Faerie.
But hadn’t I earned a break? Hadn’t I earned the right to let someone else take up the slack?
You made a promise. You swore. You can’t turn away just because you’re hurt.
Those words cut through my thoughts sharp enough to bring tears to my eyes. I did. I made a promise to make sure her son was safe. And I’d keep it. Maybe it would make my soul burn just a little less. Maybe if I did this one thing, losing Maria wouldn’t hurt so bad.
Yeah, I doubted it.
I sniffed back the sting of tears, tossed back the rest of the bourbon, and managed to set the glass down without smashing it. I’d been on a smashing kick for the last little bit, and my living room had borne the brunt of it. At the time, I’d wanted to destroy everything Maria had ever touched. If I could just break it, burn it, wreck it, then it would have been like she wasn’t stamped all over every molecule of my house.
Wasn’t that stupid?
Like I wouldn’t see her every time I closed my eyes.
“Okay, I’ll give you that,” I muttered, finally answering Della’s question. “But I can’t just bust down the door to Faerie and find her. If it is her. We need way more to go on than a note and a can-do attitude.”
I peered down at myself. I had on black shorts and a black tank top. It was good enough for summer in Denver. All I needed was some flip-flops. Had I brushed my teeth today? Shrug. Was I wearing a bra? My tank had a shelf bra in it. It would just have to do. Plus, Barrett wouldn’t give two shits about what I was wearing. I located my flip-flops in their spot by the door, shuffled my feet into them, and raised my hand to snap my fingers.
But Della pounced on my hand before I could complete the task.
“What?” My whole body was on red alert, my eyes searching my demolished living room and relatively untouched kitchen.
“You can’t go out like that,” Della whispered furiously, her face a picture of panic.
Frowning, I looked back down at myself. Yep, all my parts were covered.
“It’s summer. Shorts and a tank aren’t going to turn any heads no matter how much ink is on display.”
A dawning realization lit up Della’s face before she winced. “You haven’t checked a mirror since you got back, have you?”

Author Bio:
Annie Anderson is a military wife and United States Air Force veteran. Originally from Dallas, Texas, she is a southern girl at heart, but has lived all over the US and abroad. As soon as the military stops moving her family around, she'll settle on a state, but for now she enjoys being a nomad with her husband, two daughters, an old man of a dog, and a young pup that makes life... interesting.


Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
  • 3x $25 Amazon gift cards


Friday 27 March 2020

By Blood and Magic by Jamie A. Waters Book Blitz and Giveaway!

By Blood and Magic
Jamie A. Waters
(The Dragon Portal #2)
Publication date: March 26th 2020
Genres: Adult, Fantasy

A priceless treasure is hidden within the ocean’s depths…
Sabine barely managed to escape from Akros with her life.
But the ocean isn’t safe for someone whose power stems from the forests.
When their ship is attacked on the high seas and one of Sabine’s companions is taken hostage, only an agreement forged by blood and magic may save her friend’s life.
The pearl of the sea is also the key to the gods’ revenge…
With the dragon portal failing and the gods’ magic threatening to destroy their world, Sabine must choose between following her heart or upholding a sacred oath.
The cost of ending a centuries-old feud may be higher than anyone expected.
All magic demands a sacrifice–even if it’s hers.


Sabine scanned the sea, but she couldn’t see any sign of the missing crew. If the Merfolk were already taking prisoners, they were running out of time. A few more hits like the last one, and the ship would capsize.
“If you have any suggestions, Sabine, now is the time. Otherwise, I agree with Bane. I’ll destroy every last one of these Merfolk for harming those under my protection.”
Without waiting for a response, Malek leaned over the railing toward the lower deck and called out more orders to ready the catapults. Sabine swallowed and tried to bury the sick fear threatening to overwhelm her. Esmelle wouldn’t even have been on this ship if it weren’t for her. The thought of losing one of her closest friends was unfathomable.
Sabine’s hands tightened on the railing as she stared at the angry sea. “They’ll keep Esme and the rest of the hostages alive until they manage to capsize the ship. Those who aren’t enslaved are usually fed to their underwater pets. If they take all of us down below, we’ll lose any negotiating power we might have while still under the sky.”
“I’ve heard the stories,” Bane admitted, caging her with his arms. She leaned back against his heated skin, thankful for the warmth he offered against the chill from the elements. Bane might have difficulties tapping into softer emotions, but he’d made it no secret he admired and respected the spunky witch who was now an unwilling hostage.
“They aren’t just stories,” she said as a daring plan began to form in her mind.
Bane squeezed her midsection and murmured, “You are my priority, Sabine. If we must lose Esme, she will be mourned, but we cannot allow you to fall. We need to get you and this ship out of here.”
Sabine turned and glared up at him. “We won’t be mourning anyone. I will get them back—all of them. And you’re going to help me do it.”

Author Bio:
Jamie A. Waters is an award-winning writer of science fiction and fantasy romance. Her first novel was a winner of the Readers' Favorite Award in Science Fiction/Fantasy Romance and the CIPA EVVY Award in Science Fiction.
Jamie currently resides in Florida with two neurotic dogs who enjoy stealing socks. When she's not pursuing her passion of writing, she's usually trying to learn new and interesting random things (like how to pick locks or use the self-cleaning feature of the oven without setting off the fire alarm). In her downtime, she enjoys reading on her Kindle, playing computer games, painting, or acting as a referee between the dragons and fairies currently at war inside her closet.


Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
  • $25 Amazon gift card & ebook copy of By Blood and Magic


Thursday 26 March 2020

Reaper Unexpected by Debbie Cassidy Book Blitz and Giveaway!

Reaper Unexpected
Debbie Cassidy
(Deadside Reapers #1))
Publication date: March 26th 2020
Genres: New Adult, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Your dead are our business.
Got a loved one who’s passed? Want to ask your dead aunt where she hid that elusive will? Head over to Necro city and look no further than Soul Savers Inc.
One day the world was normal, and the next, it was filled with ghosts. And then the reapers came. Blood-sucking hot dudes with wings and wicked scythes. They took control, and now we have a system.
Now we have Necro city, the hub of all things untethered.
As a soul relocation agent, it’s my job to rehouse the dead until the reapers come to collect, but with so few of those dudes about, the wait isn’t pretty. Thank goodness for decent coffee, frosted donuts, and a pending promotion.
Things are looking good until they’re not.
One bar fight and a dead reaper later, I’m left holding the scythe.
Not just any scythe, but a scythe belonging to one of Lilith’s four favored sons—the most powerful reapers in the world.
For some reason, it’s chosen me.
Now, three very large, very pissed off reapers are on my case.
It looks like that promotion is going to have to wait.
A kickass Urban fantasy with a why choose romance. Vampires, ghosts, angels, and demons. Perfect for readers who enjoy forbidden romance, enemies to lovers, or friends to lovers.

Author Bio:
Debbie Cassidy lives in England, Bedfordshire, with her three kids and very supportive husband. Coffee and chocolate biscuits are her writing fuels of choice, and she is still working on getting that perfect tower of solitude built in her back garden. Obsessed with building new worlds and reading about them, she spends her spare time daydreaming and conversing with the characters in her head - in a totally non psychotic way of course. She writes Urban Fantasy, Fantasy and Reverse Harem Fantasy. All her books contain plenty of action, romance and twisty plots.


Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
  • $15 Amazon gift card


Friday 13 March 2020

Night Hunt by Isa Mikaelson Book Blitz and Giveaway!

Night Hunt
Isa Mikaelson
Publication date: March 13th 2020
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Betrayal takes a backseat to survival.
Called back to his small town in Washington for a funeral, Ezra Zaan finds himself exactly where he doesn’t want to be … in the middle of paranormal problems with the vampire ex who broke his heart. The new owner of the Book of the Dead, Ezra’s tasked with defending the town against the Night’s Huntsmen—a deadly group of ghostly hunters who run a magical competition that ends in death and ruin for all paranormal beings. It is set to begin, and the only way to survive is if the factions of witches, vampires, and shifters band together.
Which is easier said than done when their hatred has them at each other’s throats. Investigating the breaches in the veil between their world and the other, they uncover a conspiracy that threatens to tear them apart.
It’s a race against time and their own tangled past as they prepare for the battle of a lifetime.


Setting the wards is more than a walk around the perimeter, calling out to the elements. They’re keyed into the very being and require blood to take. Cutting my palm, I bring forth fire in the other hand and allow my blood to drip onto the ground.
By Fire I ward thee:
Guard this space from all ill will,
And those who wish me harm.
Heat engulfs me, blowing back the longish strands of my hair, and drawing a line of sweat onto my forehead. I’d never had manifestations like this. My stickh was with the dead. I continue on, ignoring the newly-formed desert in my mouth.
By Wind I ward thee:
Guard this space from all ill will,
And those who wish me harm.
Droplets of blood disappear into the earth as if the land itself is making a personal contract. The incense burning on the ground releases a thick puff of sage and cedarwood laden smoke. Maybe it is. A gust of wind threatens to knock me off my feet as its snags at my jacket with hungry hands. I stumble, swaying like a drunkard. The intensity fades to a gentle breeze, and I right myself.
By Earth I ward thee:
Guard this space from all ill will,
And those who wish me harm.
Rumbling from deep beneath my feet shakes the earth, pitching me back like a horse unexpectedly bucking its rider. Blinking, I find myself ass over kettle. I scramble up, and ride the undulating ground like a surfer on a longboard. Feet planted, I try to flow with the vibrations, instinctively knowing participation is required.
This is my time to prove myself worthy to inherit. Old magic such as this can be nearly sentient. Everything stops abruptly. I fall forward. A mound of dirt piles up beside me. I tense, readying to defend myself from a nocturnal rodent. A tree sapling emerges.
By water I ward thee:
Guard this space from all ill will
And those who wish me harm.
A streak of lightning slashes through the night angrily. A loud clap of thunder vibrates the ground, and the sky opens above me. Cool rain splatters against my clothes, soaking me to the skin. I finish the walk, completing the circuit. Heaviness slams into my chest. I hit the ground, dazed. My vision darkens, and I feel it. The house is built upon a ley line. The wards take their energy from the source in exchange for protection.
Storm clouds crowd in as rain continues to come in sideways. Thunder booms, performing a duet with the crackling lightning streaking across the night sky. I can taste the magic in the air. Mother’s succession of power has begun. Sitting in the mud, I tilt my head back and open my mouth, swallowing down water to quench my thirst as I try to adjust to the drastic changes my magic has undergone. Energy races inside of me, stretching and reshaping. My skin feels too tight.

Author Bio:
Isa Mikaelson is a USA Today Bestselling author starting a new Penname for YA. She lives in Cincinnati with her two daughters and husband. She is known for her strong female leads, detailed fantastical worlds, and compelling romance infused plots. Her mind is a treasure trove of paranormal, historical, and various other random facts.


Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
  • $20 Amazon gift card


Tuesday 10 March 2020

Judas Kiss by K.A. Fox Book Blitz and Giveaway!

Judas Kiss
K.A. Fox
(Murphy’s Law, #2)
Published by: Acorn Publishing
Publication date: March 10th 2020
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

Delaney Murphy is learning what it really means to be the daughter of the Devil and that not everyone appreciates her father’s kinder, gentler side. When tragedy strikes and upsets the fragile balancing act of her life, Delaney will have to choose between the world she’s sworn to protect and the father who has changed the whole of Hell just for her.
As betrayals around her mount, she begins to question herself and those closest to her.
Cut off from her magic, Laney’s tie to humanity is fraying. She’s slipping closer and closer to giving in to the overwhelming darkness growing inside her.
Ultimately, she’ll have to confront her demons or risk losing herself entirely.


I closed my eyes once again, envisioning the shield I held in place around us. Keeping that visual firm in my mind, I pulled up my power, letting it build layer by layer as it spilled out of a well deep within me. The screams of the demons were louder. I felt the shield shudder under their repeated blows. Still, I waited. I needed every demon as close as possible before I struck out at them.
The power continued to build in answer to my call. I felt stretched from within, my skin burning with the strain of holding the energy tight inside. The shield shook around us. Large cracks spiderwebbed across it, the apparent success of their onslaught whipping the demons up into a frenzy. A claw cut through, swiping across my ankle. Moose growled, lunging forward but I pulled him back with my hand tight in his fur. He had to stay next to me.
A hot river of pain flared along the back of my leg, a second demon sneaking a hand through and reaching for me. I held tight, forcing the magic to wait a little longer, promising it would be free soon. Another claw sunk in and I fought against the agony, my body trembling with power. I felt it when the shield finally gave. The energy I’d siphoned into it bounced back and joined with the magic I’d gathered into my core. Moose yelped next to me, his body going rigid under my hand as a scream escaped me. I dropped to my knees, wrapped my arms around him and held on tight.

Author Bio:
K.A. Fox is a proud military brat who has lived all over the world but now calls the Midwest home. She uses her psychological training to facilitate successful negotiations at work and to convince her husband and three sons that she’s always right. When not writing, she can usually be found hiding somewhere with a book and a bit of chocolate, or chasing after her own adorable Hell Hound.


Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
  • $25 Amazon gift card


Thursday 5 March 2020

Fae Hunter by Sarah K.L. Wilson Book Blitz and Giveaway!

Fae Hunter
Sarah K.L. Wilson
(Tangled Fae #1)
Publication date: December 11th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Think you know fae? Think again.
Our lives are nursery rhymes and faerie stories now, Allie.
When Allie Hunter’s twin sister steps through a magic circle into the Faerie realm, she opens the door to deadly fae, bent on causing havoc and harm to Allie’s village.
Rendered blind to all but the spirit world, Allie is frustrated and angry but determined to bring the fae down. No matter what that might cost her.
But in a world where lies are truth, power is sustenance, and every action ripples into violence, how can one mortal stop all of Faerieland?


I opened the door of the cottage, frustrated to find the fire down to nothing but embers and not a single candle lit. I’d finished my work in town, returned the goats to their pens, and I was head-to-toe in mud and soaked to the skin – not to mention that my arms hurt like anything and my fever was getting worse.
I built up the fire, lit a candle, and set to stripping off my wet clothing. It wasn’t easy to do with my broken arm splinted and bandaged. It couldn’t bend, and the fingers on that hand were swollen and thick. It needed rest, but I didn’t have time to rest it.
I was down to my underthings when my blindfold slipped off as I was tugging my shirt over my head. I bent to recover it and then gasped.
The cage I’d set beside the sewing kit was the only thing I could really see without the blindfold. It still glowed a bright but eerie greenish-blue.
Dripping from the cage out onto the worn wooden floor of our cottage was black tar-like blood. And in the center of the cage, the Fae leader stood with black blood smeared across his clothing, a sewing needle streaked in black in one hand and a growl bubbling up from his throat. Under his feet, lay his fallen comrades, pins and needles scattered in their blood and sticking up from their backs.
“I see I have a pair of new pincushions. What have you been doing while I was gone?” I asked, aghast.
“Slaying my enemies,” he said with a fearsome curl to his lip. “What did you expect?”
I leaned down so my face was level with the cage, and I could feel my eyes widening as his glamour showed the full effect of perfect immortal features as he sneered at me.
“Not this,” I said, swallowing. My heart was sinking. I’d counted on having three of them. Three Fae to put back into the Star Stone circle. One to bring back each of the humans within. I hadn’t counted on them killing each other. Fuel, Allie! Use that disappointment as fuel!
My eyes were stinging with frustrated tears despite my reminder as I reached into the cage.
He jabbed my hand with the needle.
Again, and again. His movements were too quick for me to guess in that strange almost stilted and yet fluid way the Fae had. It was as if they were just jumping over little bits of time and space.
I pulled my hand out as fast as I could, cursing.
“Fine. They can rot in there with you. Enjoy the smell of putrefaction!” I sucked the wounds on my fingers.
“Let me out of the cage,” he said grimly. “Let me out and I will not slay you, too.”
I snorted. “You’re holding a sewing needle. You’re going to slay me with that?”
He waggled his eyebrows. “It’s not the size that counts.”
“Keep telling yourself that,” I muttered.

Author Bio:
USA Today bestselling author, Sarah K. L. Wilson loves spinning a yarn and if it paints a magical new world, twists something old into something reborn, or makes your heart pound with excitement ... all the better! Sarah hails from the rocky Canadian Shield in Northern Ontario -
learning patience and tenacity from the long months of icy cold - where she lives with her husband and two small boys. You might find her building fires in her woodstove and wishing she had a dragon handy to light them for her.


Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
$25 Amazon gift card + ebook copy of Fae Hunter


Tuesday 3 March 2020

The Shrike & the Shadows by Chantal Gadoury & A.M. Wright Book Blitz and Giveaway!

The Shrike & the Shadows
A.M. Wright & Chantal Gadoury
Published by: Parliament House
Publication date: March 3rd 2020
Genres: Dark Fantasy, Horror, New Adult, Romance

Men have gone missing before.
The village of Krume is plagued by a haunted wood and a hungry witch. It’s been that way for as long as Hans and Greta can remember, though they have never seen the witch themselves; no one has.
When men start to disappear once again in the cover of night – their bloody hearts turning up on doorsteps – the village falls into frenzied madness.
Hans and Greta, two outcast orphans, find themselves facing accusations of witchcraft and are met with an ultimatum: burn at the stake, or leave the village forever.
With nowhere else to go, they abandon their only home.
As they venture into the strange forest, their path is fraught with horrific creatures, wild and vivid hallucinations, and a mysterious man tied to the witch’s past.
The Shrike is watching, just beyond the deep darkness of the woods.


“See these lines here, my maus?” She tapped the top of Greta’s palms.
“They are your heart lines. The way it curves, you have a caring soul.”
“You must have that, too, Mama.”
“Aha!” her mother exclaimed, and Greta jumped. “These love lines! How auspicious, little maus.”
“What, Mama? What do they mean?” Greta looked up into her mother’s face eagerly. She smiled.
“It will surprise you, this love of yours.” Her mother paused, frowning for just a moment before taking up her smile again. “But not for many more years. You will be ready then…”
Greta’s mother stilled, her words falling from her mouth quietly. She barely heard anything after that.
“Will I be okay?”
“Oh, of course! But to be sure, we must find your fate,” she said, though somewhat distant. “Here they are. And look! They meet here, at your life lines… goodness, so young for such a burden.”
Greta frowned at her mother. “Mama, you’re not making any sense.”
“I know, my maus, I know. I did not expect to see so many… things.”
“Are they sad things? Because you sound sad, Mama.”
Her mother grasped at her hands and held them for a moment. She gave a gentle squeeze and said, “Not all, but some, yes. Some will be sad, and others will be happy.”
Then, Greta’s mother fell into her with an embrace. She locked little Greta into her arms and rocked her slowly. She had felt so warm in her hold, and so content, she had almost missed her mother’s final words:
“It will be a fearsome trial, my love. Your fate is bound to a great and daunting endeavor.”

Author Bio:
A.M. Wright is an Ohio native, perched on the shores of Lake Erie for as long as she can remember. She is a graduate of Walsh University and holds a Bachelor's Degree in Corporate Communications, with two minors in Marketing and Writing. She has a passion for reading, writing, and drawing; and has a particularly strong love for shojo-manga and all genres of anime. When A.M. Wright isn't focused on her day job, she is sorting through submissions, writing too many stories to keep track of, and playing video games with her fiance in a townhouse that's just a fifteen minute drive from "The Roller Coaster Capital of the World."
Author links:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram
Amazon Best Selling Author, Chantal Gadoury, is a 2011 graduate from Susquehanna University with a Bachelor's Degree in Creative Writing. Since graduation, she has published "The Songs in Our Hearts" with 48Fourteen Publishing, and "Allerleirauh" with Parliament House Press, with future titles to follow. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues with that love of writing today. Writing novels for Chantal has become a life-long dream come true! When she's not writing, she enjoys painting, drinking lots of DD Iced Coffee, and watching Disney classics. Chantal lives in Muncy, Pennsylvania with her Mom, Sister and furry-'brother' (aka, puppy) Taran.
Author links:
Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter / Instagram


Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
  • $10 Amazon gift card + 3 ebook copies of The Shrike & the Shadows


Sting by Cindy R. Wilson Book Blitz and Giveaway!

Cindy R. Wilson
Published by: Entangled: Teen
Publication date: March 3rd 2020
Genres: Dystopian, Romance, Young Adult

They call me the Scorpion because they don’t know who I really am. All they know is that someone is stealing from people with excess to help people with nothing survive another day.
But then a trusted friend reveals who I am—“just” Tessa, “just” a girl—and sends me straight into the arms of the law. All those people I helped…couldn’t help me when I needed it.
In prison, I find an unlikely ally in Pike, who would have been my enemy on the outside. He represents everything I’m against. Luxury. Excess. The world immediately falling for his gorgeous smile. How he ended up in the dirty cell next to mine is a mystery, but he wants out as much as I do. Together, we have a real chance at escape.
With the sting of betrayal still fresh, Pike and I will seek revenge on those who wronged us. But uncovering all their secrets might turn deadly…


His fingers brush mine when he takes the knife, and I fight back a shiver, trying to hold my ground.
“Scorpion,” he says softly.
I brace myself for more Pike wisdom, or maybe even a mention of the kisses we’ve shared that we haven’t mentioned.
Instead, he smiles. “You’ve been a very good teacher. Are you sure you want to do this?”
“If you say so.”
He takes his stance, gaze zeroed in on the board. He’s wearing a simple blue shirt, cut off at the shoulders, and his muscles flex when he lifts his arm.
I exhale just as he throws and the knife zooms to the board, hitting inside the widest ring, but not in the middle.
His eyes narrow. I smile.
“I’d like to see you do this with a distraction,” he says.
My heart flutters, but I nod. “No problem.”
I step to the line, a whole head shorter than Pike. I feel his eyes on me. In fact, he’s so close, I feel the heat from his body. But I’m focused, and all I can see is the red circle I’m aiming for.
I squeeze the blade between my fingers and hold my breath, preparing to throw.
Pike blows on my neck.
Chills race across my skin even as I fling the knife. The blade hits the board with a thud, straight in the middle.
Pike curses softly and shakes his head. I turn to him, unable to help the smile stretching wide across my face. “See? I know a little something
about focus.”
“I’m impressed.”
“Looks like you could use some practice.”
“What about on the mat?” He lifts an eyebrow. “Do you have focus there?”
Uh…no. But Pike doesn’t need to know that. “I have focus anywhere.”
He points. “Mat. Now.”
I lift my chin, toss the last knife at the board, and smirk when it hits the center. Then I walk to the mat. I get into my stance before he joins me. I wouldn’t put it past him to attack right away. Pike’s a big fan of not being caught off guard, and he’s taught me accordingly.
Pike stalks the edge of the mat, knees bent. He feigns a lunge, then laughs when I tense.
“You’re lucky I don’t have a knife,” I say, mock warning in my tone.
He takes a step closer. “Luck has nothing to do with it. It’s all about being prepared. Besides, I don’t want a hole in my side like Mongo.”
“He deserved it.”
Pike gives me his dangerous smile and takes another step. Almost close enough to reach me. “You’re not saying I deserve to be stabbed, are you?”
My chest vibrates with a low laugh, but I’m still on guard. “No, Pike. Not today, anyway.”
His smile lights his eyes. And suddenly he stands fully, shoulders relaxing, and closes the gap between us.
I draw in a sharp breath. “What are you doing?”
“What does it look like?”
His hands skim my arms, making me shiver. I lift my chin to meet his eyes, lips parting slightly.
“Pike,” I say, my voice coming out breathless.
Then he sweeps my legs from beneath me. I hit the mat hard, banging my elbows. I kick out and almost catch Pike’s leg, but he’s too fast. He bends and snags my arm, twisting it behind my back as he pushes me flat on my stomach. My breath whooshes out, but I don’t struggle. Crap. So much for proving I can’t be distracted.

Author Bio:
Cindy began creating worlds as a kid, entertaining her siblings with spontaneous ghost stories before bed. She filled notebooks with novels and ideas and realized quickly she wanted to be a writer as an adult.
Now Cindy lives in the foothills of the Rocky Mountains and loves using Colorado towns and cities as inspiration for settings in her stories. She's the mother of three girls who provide plenty of fodder for her YA novels. Visit her website to learn more about her books or subscribe to her newsletter: https://www.cindyrwilsonauthor.com


Blitz-wide giveaway (US only)
  • 2x copies of Sting