Friday, 28 November 2014

Christmas fiction - stories to download this Christmas


It's time to Deck The Halls and shake those Jingle Bells because it's Beginning To Look A Lot Like Christmas. That's right elves and elvettes, it's Christmas and that means Christmas stories. I'll feature a couple of my selections over the next few weeks. Here's the first and it's a collection of stories from Down Under authors.
Santa says this is a gift from him to you. This collection is free to download at Smashwords.
 
A Season to Remember
 

A Christmas anthology from four Australian authors
Eva Scott, Susanne Bellamy, Elizabeth Ellen Carter, and Noelle Clark
Release Date:  November 17, 2014  -  Available now
Free download from Smashwords:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/493542

 
Four short stories on the Christmas theme, spanning time, places. Uplifting, funny, thought-provoking, heart-warming, ‘A Season to Remember’ will make your heart sing.

 

Excerpts

‘Three Ships’ by Elizabeth Ellen Carter

 
Blurb:

An adventure romance set in the early 19th century on the Devon Coast. Laura Winter lives on St Joseph’s Rock, a tidal island that is home to a lighthouse that protects Ashton-on-Sea. On a late November day a violent storm brings not only the handsome Lieutenant Michael Renten but also a clutch of pirates bent on wreaking mischief.

Excerpts from Three Ships

Laura’s father watched her shoulder the long coil of rope.

“I’m not happy, dear girl. I should be the one going down there, not you.”

She gave a pointed look at his injured foot. The way down to the beach was not sheer but it was no gentle slope either and the footing would be treacherous. “Well, needs must,” she replied firmly. “I’ll be back quickly.”

His response was a grimace. He secured the trailing end of the coiled rope to Acorn’s saddle.

“Watch your step, Laura,” he admonished.

Trailing the rope out as she went, Laura picked her way with caredown the side of the hill where the low-growing grass was slick. She grew up here and knew the cliffs well enough to treat them with respect. The saltiness from exploding waves filled her nostrils. She could even taste it on the back of her throat.

The beach filled and emptied as the waves churned in.

She scrambled over one rock, then around another to reach the man. The hem of her skirt darkened in the splashing water.

Still a few feet away, she called out.

“Sailor! Sailor, ahoy!”

The man remained still.

Laura looked back up the thirty feet to where her father peered back, concerned. He called to her but his words were ripped away by the wind.

Her only choice was to approach the man.

The sailor’s shirt was torn and shredded, the sodden fabric dark and clinging to the contours of his back. His black hair whipped in the wind like the damp grass around the chickens.

She touched his cheek. His skin was cold.

It might already be too late!

Laura drew a deep breath and grasped his shoulders.

“Come on sailor, time to wake up,” she said hopefully, shaking him.

The man obliged her with a groan; Laura matched it with a sigh of relief.

“Help is here,” she said.

The man raised himself to his elbows and looked blearily at her. It was hard to determine his age. He seemed much younger than her father but older than Dickie Wells.

“Where are you hurt? Your back? Your legs?”

The man sat up gingerly, shaking his head at each question.

“We’re going to haul you out,” she said.

The man looked her up and down and flashed her a quick smile, his pale blue eyes twinkling with sudden merriment.

“My guardian angel…” he rasped, interrupted by a hacking cough. “Where is the rest of your heavenly choir?”

 

‘Sands of Time’ by Noelle Clark

Blurb:

Kitty faces her first Christmas without the love of her life. She looks back with fondness on the memories of Christmases past and, with the love and support of her grandson Joe, finds inner strength to face the future with anticipation. Kitty realises that, as she gets older, time passes so quickly. Although sad and happy memories flood through her on this special Christmas day, she chooses to embrace every moment of life.

Excerpts: Sands of Time

They were nearing Kingfisher Island. Not a grain of the tract that joined the small sandy cay to the mainland was visible. A couple of small boats were moored along the deep channel on the southern side of the causeway, with people fishing from them. The boats bobbed up and down on the whitecaps, sometimes disappearing from view, then emerging again.

“Just over there, please, Joe. Near that clump of mangroves.”

Joe pulled on one oar, turning the bow of the boat towards where she pointed. Within a minute, she heard the sand scraping against the keel under the boat. Clamping her hand on the gunwale for support, she stood carefully and jumped over the side, landing in knee-deep water. Joe shipped the oars and joined her, the water not even reaching halfway to his knees. He grabbed the pointy prow and pulled the boat up onto the beach.

She gazed around her, the familiar sight of the few remaining stumpy mangrove trees, and the covering of pigface on the small dunes bringing a lump to her throat. The mauve star-shaped blossoms of the coastal succulent groundcover looked exactly as they had done for all these years. Nature’s legacy, constant and predictable, unlike humans, whose term on this planet was fleeting. For a moment she recalled the faint, salty perfume of the little dune succulents whose strong roots helped the sandy hillocks from washing away with each tide. When crushed, they emitted a soft waft of delicate scent. Not for the first time, she wondered why they’d been given the hideous name of pigface.

Joe’s outstretched hand appeared before her eyes, inviting her to take it. She refocused her vision, reached out, grasped it, and took a few steps through the water and up towards the sandy beach. Joe tugged gently on her hand, helping her to stand upright in the choppy waters which made the little boat bob roughly. A cascade of spray caught them both in the face as it slapped against the side of the wooden boat with a thud. They laughed in unison, blinking at each other through salt-filled eyes.

“Gotcha, Nan.” Joe’s smile, always so generous, beamed at her. She smiled back, raised her arm, and wiped her face with the sleeve of her blouse.

He held on to her hand until she reached the dry beach, then he stretched into the prow of the dinghy and pulled out an anchor attached to a sturdy rope, walked further up the beach, and buried it firmly into the sand. When it was secured, Joe turned and retrieved the picnic basket and the rest of the things they needed for their visit to the island, and deposited them where the low dunes met the beach. She walked to the picnic basket, leaned over and opened it, took out an old blue blanket, and spread it down on the sparse tufts of grass. Ignoring her sand-encrusted feet, she stepped onto the blanket, sank back on her elbows and gazed dreamily up at the cobalt sky.

 

‘All That Glitters’ by Eva Scott

Blurb:

Molly is a modern day Cinderella, second best to her half-sister Aimee and never measuring up to her step-mother’s expectations. Now Aimee has the chance to marry an elderly millionaire and Molly is expected to keep the man’s grandson, Connor Rathmore, from sabotaging the event. Handsome, charismatic and very, very sexy - how is she going to keep him from sabotaging her heart?

Excerpt: All That Glitters

“Well, are you ready?” She sounded rude but it was all she could manage to say. On the way over to pick him up she’d been too preoccupied to consider him at all. Instead she replayed the conversation she’d had with her stepmother. After receiving a reprimand for arriving late, Maria had grilled her over Connor Rathmore and found her answers less than satisfactory. Then the lecture started on her appearance. Where were the shoes? She’d kicked off those horrible expensive shoes at the airport and hadn’t given them another thought. An unforgivable act in her stepmother’s eyes. It was impressed upon her that she must try harder and remember her sister’s happiness. Of course. Molly loved her half-sister, Aimee, despite the fact the girl was spoilt rotten. Underneath all the embellishments she really did have a good heart. It wasn’t Aimee’s fault she’d been raised to be a life-sized doll.

She appraised the man before her. She steeled herself not to react to him. When he’d opened the hotel room door, more primal male than any man she had ever encountered, something unexpected happened to her. Bam! Right to the heart. Very inconvenient and impossible, the idea could not be entertained. Not for a millisecond. The consequences would be devastating.

“Good evening to you too.” He bestowed what she assumed was his best killer smile. “Shall we go?”

He stepped through the door, so close the heat radiating off his body hit her like a furnace. Her natural reserve began to melt. The scent of him was so… masculine and her knees wobbled as she caught her breath. Moving away wasn’t an option, even if she tried.

He smiled as if aware of the effect he had on her. Without looking back he strode towards the elevator and pushed the button. They stood in silence side by side while they waited. The animal magnetism between them shimmered, increasing with every passing second.

Molly’s senses scrambled. She stumbled into the lift. This situation would need careful handling. The man beside her must not guess his presence caused a meltdown. Her attraction to him created a complication she did not need. Just one week. Please help me make it through this one week. If her stepmother suspected an attraction between Molly and Connor, all hell would break loose.

 

‘A Touch of Christmas’ by Susanne Bellamy


Blurb:

As Starship Bluefire settles into orbit around Earth, Captain Andra Veluthian anticipates meeting her favourite human, Colonel Nick Madigan. Have his efforts to save the planet succeeded? And if so, will she lose any chance to be with him?

Knowing Andra’s fascination with all things Terran, Nick has planned a surprise for her. After all, it is Christmas, the season of giving. But when Earth’s leader and the Gravlarian captain spend time planet side, the temperature soars.

Excerpts: A Touch of Christmas

Starship Bluefire – Log entry #1878 Orbit established around Planet Earth. Local time: 0715 - 22 December 2525 AD

 
“Reverse thruster off. Docking complete, Captain.”

Captain Andra Veluthian ordered her viewing screen to retract, rolled her shoulders then rested her head against the padded headrest of her Conforma-chair and looked at the view. Framed by a huge window on the bridge, planet Earth appeared close and surprisingly whiter than on her last stopover two years earlier. Through breaks in the dense cloud cover she could even discern the long coastline of what Earth dwellers used to call South America and, just appearing on the western edge across an expanse of ocean, was the island continent they called Australia. Home of the wombat, wallaroo and one handsome colonel.

Colonel Nicholas Madigan, political leader and guiding hand in Earth’s struggle against extinction.

Last visit, the fair-haired colonel had set more than a few hearts pounding among her crew. Including hers.

 
Author Profiles:


Elizabeth Ellen Carter
A future with words was always on the books for Elizabeth Ellen Carter who started writing her own stories when she ran out of Nancy Drew mysteries to read at the age of ten. Using her mother’s Olivetti typewriter with all italic keys, she spent endless school holidays making up her own (italicised) stories and then using the Dewey Decimal System to arrange and categorise her bookshelf.

Somewhere around the age of 13, she determined to become a journalist and at 17 was awarded a newspaper cadetship. She covered news, council, education and health but had the most fun as an entertainment and features reporter covering film, TV and music.

Best of all, she met her husband at the newspaper and, together, they started a small award-winning media, marketing and advertising agency. Today, she works as marketing manager for an international organic skin care company.

In 2012, Elizabeth also returned to the keyboard to write stories (and found laptops are so much better than manual typewriters).

Her debut novel, Moonstone Obsession, was shortlisted for the 2013 Romance Writers of Australia’s Emerald Awards for unpublished manuscripts.

Elizabeth is a member of the Romance Writers of Australia, the Australian Romance Readers Association and the Gold Coast Writers Association. She is currently published by Etopia Press.

Website:  http://eecarter.com/

Noelle Clark

Noelle Clark is an Australian author of contemporary romance and commercial historical fiction novels. Her books weave romance, intrigue, and adventure into colourful, exotic, and interesting locations around the world. Widely travelled, Noelle uses real life experience of places, culture, and people as a backdrop to her stories, giving the reader an authentic taste of the location. Her novels feature strong, mature heroines and heroes, who—often without knowing it—are ready for new beginnings.

She lives close to the sea and shares her home with two cats and two dogs. She has two grown up children, and five very small grandchildren. When Noelle's not writing and travelling, she plays guitar, tends her vegetable garden, enjoys the company of family and friends, and—of course—reading.

Noelle is a member of Queensland Writers Centre; YON Beyond Writing Group; Romance Writers of Australia; and Australian Romance Readers Association, and is currently published by Etopia Press and Secret Cravings Publishing.


Website:  www.noelleclark.net

Eva Scott
Eva Scott writes contemporary romance set in her homeland of Australia and historical fiction set in the Ancient World. Her books offer passion and adventure in some of the most beautiful and intriguing places in the world. Her heroes and heroines are strong, sassy and ready to rise to their challenges, and learn a little bit about themselves along the way.

Having lived overseas for several years, Eva returned to study Anthropology before heading off to live in Papua New Guinea for a year. There she met the love of her life, author G.W. Gibson, who was stationed there with the Australian Defence Force. The rest is history, romantic history.

She now lives on the Redcliffe peninsula with her husband, small son and an assortment of animals. When Eva is not writing she enjoys mentoring first-time authors, cooking up a story, practising yoga and getting out on the bay on her stand-up paddle board.

Eva is a member of Romance Writers of Australia; North Lakes Writers Group; Queensland Writers Centre and Australian Romance Readers Association. She is published by Musa Publishing and Harlequin Escape.

Website:  http://www.evascottromance.com/

Susanne Bellamy

Susanne is an Australian author of contemporary and suspense romances set in exciting and often exotic locations. Her heroes have to be pretty special to live up to the real life one she married. He saved her life then married her. They live on the edge of bush land on a mountain in beautiful sunny Queensland, Australia with two children and their dog.

Paris will always be one of her top spots, and she fell in love with Scotland when they visited the west coast (nothing to do with fine single malts!), and recently had her first real trip to Italy--tick off one Bucket List item!  She has enjoyed New Year in Kathmandu and trekked in the Annapurnas, sailed in Ha Long Bay on a junk, and stayed on a floating hotel beside a tethered elephant in Thailand. The Peak in Hong Kong and Mt Faber cable car ride in Singapore are favourite spots. Susanne loves travelling to new places and exploring the culture and history, and meeting new people. These experiences are gradually being incorporated into her stories.

Her as yet unrealised dream is a trip into Earth’s orbit.

Susanne is a member of RWA and enjoys mentoring new authors. She is published with Escape Publishing, and will be a 2015 release author with Entangled Publishing.

Website:  http://www.susannebellamy.com/


Wednesday, 19 November 2014

Countdown to Christmas, author message

Sorry that my blog site has resembled a billboard for book releases lately. I belong to a very productive and supportive author group and a part of being in that group is providing exposure to their work. I'm so happy and thrilled every time they release a new book. And they're not slowing down.

Plus I've been busy completing my current WIP. I'm halfway through Book Two. I don't want to give anything away yet because Book One is with Momentum Publishing (a division of Pan Macmillan) for consideration and I don't want to jinx it.

Anyway, it's coming into the Christmas season. Everyone is shoving gifts in our faces (me too, let's be honest I have to earn money so if you are looking to purchase books I have six of them to choose from hint/hint) when it's nobody's birthday except baby Jesus's. And we place a bigger emphasis on the appearance of the food on the Christmas table than on the guests around it. We send ourselves insane with completing everything before the guests arrive that we're too exhausted to talk to them.

There's a reason why Christmas is called the silly season.

I was accused of "taking the Christ out of Christmas" when I sent out my Nov/Dec newsletter this week. The message was about humanity and I didn't once mention Christ. Sorry, Jesus. It is your birthday we're celebrating, after all. Am I upset that someone unsubscribed from my newsletter because "I took the Christ out of Christmas"? Absolutely not. People are entitled to their opinions and thank God some of us live in a place where we can express them.

While authors are writing stories about love and Christmas romance, this has sparked an idea to write a story about a character who takes the Christ out of Christmas. It'll be fun to write something dark about this jolly time of year.

That's what I'll be doing this weekend. I'm preparing for the silly season by recharging the batteries with a quiet few days camping on a lake. Pen and paper - no laptop. A book in one hand and a glass of wine in the other. And all the serenity I can handle. Unless it rains.

How do you prepare for Christmas? I'd love to hear your thoughts.

Thanks for reading!
D L Richardson

 

About the Author
 
D L Richardson is the author of speculative fiction. She has six books published. The Bird With The Broken Wing reached number 2 at OmniLit and number 38 at Kobo Books. Feedback reached number 1 at OmniLit. Little Red Gem was 2nd place Best Books of 2013 Paranormal Cravings and the book trailer which features an original song performed by the author appeared on USA Today website. She lives in Australia on the NSW south coast with her husband and dog.

Contact information

Email                   dlrichardsonbooks@bigpond.com 
Blog               www.dlrichardsonwrites.blogspot.com
Website         www.dlrichardson.com
Facebook          http://goo.gl/560JXl  
Twitter              www.twitter.com/#!/DLRichardson1 
 

Saturday, 15 November 2014

New release - Honor's Debt by Noelle Clark


 
Honor’s Debt
by Noelle Clark
(Book 1 of the Robinhill Farm Series)  
 
On a quest to make amends for a long-ago indiscretion, Honor unexpectedly discovers the one thing she’s been missing in her life.
 Honor Quirk arrives in Ireland excited—and a bit anxious—about meeting up with the estranged family of her late great-grandmother. The welcome from the residents of Robinhill Farm, Dermot and Bryan, is confusing and far from comforting. One is warm, the other aggressive. The outwardly antagonistic Bryan makes it very clear he doesn't want her there, branding her a gold digger.
 
Dermot, on the other hand, is delighted to meet her.
 
But Honor is no pushover and stands up to Bryan, letting him know that his bad attitude and trail of baggage have nothing to do with her. Despite their confrontational and hostile relationship, an undeniable attraction to each other creeps insidiously into the house on Robinhill Farm. They both desperately try to stifle the sparks, but living under the same roof makes it impossible. Unable to cope with the turmoil of living with Bryan, Honor runs away, straight into the arms of a charming newfound friend, Sean, who offers her a home—and love.
 
Shattered, Bryan finally takes control of his irrational belief that all women are evil, and fights to bring back the woman he loves. But is it too late?
 
Genre: Contemporary romance
Release date: November 13th, 2014
Publisher: Secret Cravings
ISBN: 9781631053917
Cover: Dawn Dominque
 
 
 
Buy Links  
 
Available for order from
 
Secret Cravings Publishing
 
Amazon 
 
Barnes and Noble 
 
Kobo

 
 
About Noelle Clark
 
 
Noelle Clark is an Australian author of contemporary romance and historical novels. Her books weave romance, intrigue, and adventure into colourful and often exotic locations around the world. Widely travelled, Noelle uses real life experience of places, culture, and people, as a backdrop to her stories, giving the reader an authentic taste of the location. Her novels feature strong, mature, heroines and heroes, who—often without knowing it—are ready for new beginnings.

She lives close to the sea and shares her home with two cats and two dogs. She has two grown up children, and five very small grandchildren. When Noelle's not writing and travelling, she plays guitar, tends her vegetable garden, enjoys the company of family and friends, and—of course—reading.
 
Contact Links
 
Twitter @noelle_clark

Read an extract:
 
The sound of a noisy vehicle coming to an abrupt stop outside made them both look up.
“That’ll be himself now.” Dermot stood, the smile that seemed to so easily grace his face suddenly gone. He went to refill the kettle then, as if on impulse, turned back to look at her. “Now, don’t you go worryin’ about Bryan, okay?”
The kitchen door opened and a shadow fell into the room. Honor glanced up to see the doorway totally filled by the silhouette of a tall, muscular man wearing dark clothing. His features were impossible to see, but a shiver rippled its way up her spine as the hulking figure oozed bad vibes in her direction. He didn’t move, just stood there.
The room seemed to tremble as his deep, resonant voice entered the small space of the kitchen.
“So, if it isn’t the crazy English tourist who can’t drive. I take it you’re lost now, and asking for directions.” He paused and his dark gaze flicked from Dermot’s to hers, obviously taking in the scene before him. “Well, if this isn’t a picture of perfect domesticity. Bacon and eggs?” His mocking tone stung and he stood, still blocking the doorway.
She glanced at Dermot whose face showed no trace of the relaxed, affable man of a few minutes ago. Instead, he looked at her for a second then over at the man in the doorway.
“Oh won’t ye come in now Bryan. Come and meet Honor.” Dermot reached over and picked up another cup and saucer from the sideboard behind him and placed it on the table. His voice was somehow different. “There’s still another cup in the pot.” He picked up the teapot and swilled its contents around, then poured it into the empty cup. The air in the kitchen had suddenly got very cold.
Slowly, the hulk in the doorway moved and entered the room. She gasped as she recognized him. The jet-black, short-cropped hair and beard, the strong jawline, those black eyes…now she understood what he meant about the mad English woman. A shiver ran through her as she realized that things had, all of a sudden, taken a turn for the worse. Ill-humor darkened his face, his eyes smouldered with disdain, and his countenance was most unfriendly. She took a deep breath and, even though her knuckles under the table were white from squeezing, her voice came out strong.
“It’s a pleasure to meet you at last, Bryan.” She extracted one hand and held it out to him, hoping he wouldn’t notice the slight tremor of her fingers. A flash of uncertainty showed in his eyes, ever so slightly. Good, he’s not as tough as he’d like to think.
His large paw reached out and took hers to give it an almighty squeeze. She couldn’t tell if the pain was meant to be a punishment, or whether he always shook hands like that. Whatever it was, it was certainly a different welcome from the warmth and affection she’d received from Dermot. She stared at his long fingers, the dusting of black hairs on the back of his hand and his olive skin.
“Here, Bryan.” Dermot handed him the cup and saucer. Bryan released her hand and wrapped it delicately around the fine china. The man’s a litany of opposites, she thought, vacillating from harsh to gentle in a heartbeat.
“Can I cook you some breakfast?” Dermot’s friendly smile was back. Honor breathed a sigh of relief and took a sip of tea.
Bryan pulled out a chair and sat down opposite her, staring at her with a mixture of loathing, curiosity and familiarity. Dermot busied himself at the gas range and the sound and aroma of bacon sizzling on a hot pan once again filled the small kitchen.
“Honor.” His voice, deep, almost a growl, sounded like it came from way down in his boots. “I’m truly sorry about your car. I’ll pay to have it fixed.” There was no doubting the sincerity of his words. Relief swept through her. She glanced at Dermot who, although curious, seemed obviously pleased that Bryan was now being sociable.
Her shoulders relaxed slightly. “Those narrow roads are really something, aren’t they?” She held his black eyes with hers, never blinking. “I appreciate your apology, but I think the insurance will cover it.”
A deep frown transformed his face. Did she imagine it, or did he glower at her now? Maybe he’s not used to women standing up to him, she thought.
Dermot broke the awkward silence as he placed a plate, piled high with shiny, steaming bacon rashers and fried eggs, in front of Bryan. “I’ll make ye some toast.”
Bryan’s eyes held hers as he responded. “Thanks, Derm. I could eat a horse.” A small sigh escaped his lips and he broke the intense gaze and turned his eyes to the meal before him. He grabbed the knife and fork and attacked the food.
The kettle on the gas hob began to whistle, the toaster popped, and the telephone rang. Honor, breaking her fixated stare at this brutish man, snapped into action. She grabbed the teapot, whisked off its woollen jacket and took it over to the kettle. While she busied herself adding tea leaves and filling it with boiling water, she glanced back over her shoulder. Bryan shovelled food into his mouth as though he hadn’t eaten in weeks. Dermot chatted on the phone, something about a delivery of lucerne bales. She placed the now filled teapot on the table, grabbed the toast and placed it next to Bryan.
He looked up at her and again their eyes held. This time, though, she noticed that some of the fire had gone out. In fact, he appeared tired. Exhausted. There were fine lines etched at the corners, near the place where his thick, dark brows ended and his beard began.
“Your eyes. You have Dermot’s eyes.”
She stared, unblinking, as his deep voice resonated in her ears. It was as though he had two personalities, she mused. For some strange reason, she felt a surge of tenderness for this aggressive, bad-tempered, beast of a man.
 
 
 
 
 

 

Friday, 7 November 2014

Ally Shields Guardian Witch series book #6 "Wild Fire" release party Nov 7

I wrote earlier about what happens when the release date is pushed back. You can read that article here.

Well, it's with great pleasure to announce that the release date for the sixth novel in the Ally Shields Guardian Witch series is out November 7. And Ally is hosting a treasure hunt style giveaway. Details are further below and highlighted in red.


Blurb:
A vision. A lost talisman. A dangerous journey through time...

A month after their bonding, Ari and Andreas are still adjusting to married life when they learn the hard way that the O-Seven, the terrifying and brutal vampire elders, still have them in their sights. A three million dollar bounty hangs over each of their heads, and there’s no lack of assassins eager to collect.

When the local seer has a terrifying vision of the destruction of Riverdale, it’s up to Ari—as usual—to keep everyone safe. Only this time, an enemy from the past has bound her fire powers, and the city’s string of arsons seems connected.

Daron, the vampire prince in Toronto, has information that two of the vampire elders are on their way to Riverdale. Which can’t be good. Only a risky and unprecedented journey through time can provide the help they need. But that will leave Andreas to face the O-Seven alone... 

Buy Links:
Also available at most online booksellers
Book Trailer on Youtube: http://youtu.be/nGO1wudi7xQ

Excerpt:

The tracks in the snow gradually moved up the slope toward the older parts of Riverdale, out of the tourist district, past residential homes, angling toward the cliff area that overlooked the Mississippi River. Then it took a sharp swing north.

Ari looked ahead, her gaze following the tracks through the gate and into the Riverdale Cemetery. "I don't like this." She came to a stop with one hand on the gate. "Don't you think the trail is a bit too obvious? As if he wanted us to follow him?" Her eyes scanned the cemetery grounds for anything unusual, a shadow, a hint of color out of place among the stones and crypts. The only sizable tracks went behind a tall mausoleum.

"A trap?" Ryan drew his pistol. "Do you sense something?"

"Maybe. But there is a lot of magical interference in graveyards." Ari frowned. She sensed a flicker of Otherworld power, but it didn't feel right. Shielded? Would a halfling demon be that good? She eased through the gate; Ryan followed close behind. Her magic stirred, raising the hairs on her arms, and she stopped, extending her witch senses to probe the area around them—tasting, smelling, touching the environment. Her magic roared to life.

"Back!" she shouted. "Power. And lots of it."

Two gigantic figures leaped from the top of the nearest crypt. A howling rent the quiet of the cemetery. By the time the creatures landed—one in front of Ari and Ryan, and the other cutting them off from the gate—both had morphed into fiery red, eight-foot demons, their eyes deep black holes. Each carried a metal shield and swung a five-foot mace.

"Hellsgate warriors!" Ari crouched, raising her fingers to call the witch fire to her command.

Author Bio:

Ally Shields was born and raised in the Midwest, along the Mississippi River, and considers herself a "river rat." The setting and folklore of that area are often incorporated into her Guardian Witch series. After  a career in law and juvenile justice, she turned to full-time writing in 2009. She loves writing, reading and traveling. Way too often she can be found on Twitter. @ShieldsAlly


Other books in the series:
Awakening the Fire (#1); Fire Within (#2; Burning Both Ends (#3); Blood and Fire (#4); Fire Storm (#5).


More titles coming soon:  

Cross Keys, an Elevenrude novel (October, 2014)
Eternal Fires (Guardian Witch #7) (TBA)


Blog Tour GIVEAWAY: Nov 7-10: 

Readers and writers always talk about characters in books, but settings are almost as important, and they play a huge role in the Guardian Witch series. Wild Fire is no exception, and this blog tour is revealing several settings that are the backdrop for major events in the book. In fact, I think they're so important that I'm running a special contest.


If you collect the names and numbers of all ten settings, you could win your choice of three ebooks in the series (including this latest release) or a $15.00 Amazon gift certificate. It's easy to do. Here are the rules.

Visit the blogs on this list -- or enough to collect all ten settings -- then email me at allyshieldsbooks@gmail.com by 9:00 a.m. EST, Monday, November 10, 2014 with your completed list. You will automatically be entered in the random drawing (two winners).

NOTE: A setting may appear on more than one blog, so be sure you have 10 different settings before turning in your entry.

Here is the list of participating blogs*:

If you can't find any of the posts, return to allyshields.com for updated links.)

Now for the setting: #2

Setting #2:  Olde Town Magic Hall - The Magic Hall houses the Magic Council, the governing authority for Riverdale's Otherworld residents. The Magic Council is Ari's boss, and her office is in the attached Cultural Center.






Good luck! Thanks for  joining Wild Fire's release celebration!

More Fun: Those of you who read this before 6:00 - 10:00 p.m. EST on November 7, are invited to join us at the official Facebook release party (https://www.facebook.com/events/314795258698003/) for games and prizes, including books, swag and more gift certificates

Author Contacts:

Website: http://allyshields.com
Blog: http://allyshields.com/blog.html
Facebook: http://facebook.com/AllyShieldsAuthor
Twitter: http://twitter.com/ShieldsAlly
Goodreads:  http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6527209.Ally_Shields
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/allyshields