The Secrets of Eden by Brandon Goode

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The Secrets of Eden

by Brandon Goode

Genre: YA Fantasy

Release Date: March 18th 2017


Summary from Goodreads:


When Eden discovers he possesses forbidden magic, keeping his affair with the crown prince a secret becomes the least of his worries. 


Eden has always obeyed the laws of Rolaria. He spends his days teaching children how to read in order to distract him from his mother’s bizarre disappearance. She worked in the castle before suddenly vanishing, and when Eden mistakenly receives an invitation to the Royal Ball, he goes to feel closer to her. 


That same night, Prince Jared must find a bride. But after an unexpected encounter between Eden and the prince, a relationship begins. After a night with the prince, Eden explores the castle on his own. Lost in the corridors, he stumbles upon a hidden room and finds his mother’s journal, whose pages reveal a lineage of outlawed magic. 


He soon realizes the castle walls not only hide his romance with Jared but secrets about his mother’s disappearance. In order to unravel the mystery and understand his awakening abilities, Eden must risk exposing his relationship and thwarting Jared’s chances to rule Rolaria. 


The closer Eden gets to the truth, the closer he finds himself facing the same fate as his mother.

 
Pre-Order Link:Amazon  
 

EXCERPT:

I.

I arrived at the ball with no help from a fairy godmother, no pumpkin carriage at my disposal, and certainly no glass slippers on my feet. The clock struck at half past eleven while serenading music emanated from the room as a chamber orchestra played a familiar composition. Being from the impoverished side of the kingdom, I wouldn’t usually attend a masquerade ball, but somehow a royal invitation arrived at the front door of my cottage.
In the Kingdom of Rolaria, there were strict laws forbidding us lower class citizens associating ourselves with the upper class. It had been said since the beginning, Rolaria would be frozen in time. The penalty for breaking any of the kingdom laws was death or a lifetime in prison. In any case, I was already at the ball so if the invitation was delivered to me by mistake or coincidence it was too late.
After giving my coat to one of the royal doormen, I proceeded toward the dance floor where I saw the King’s Waltz already in progress. I arrived alone and couldn’t participate in the graceful dance. The king and queen were at the center of the dance floor, boasting their mediocre dancing skills to all of their admiring guests. Taking advantage of this affair, I made my way to the banquet tables where all of the delicious food was residing.
Two roasted ducks served as the centerpiece for the lavish feast. Blue sweet potatoes sat next to the golden corn, and squared briberry dinner muffins were neighbors with the tangy kimberry sauce. Sweet little dessert pastries were sprinkled throughout the table so that guests did not have to fight over them in one location. To the east of the buffet tables were two sets of double doors that opened out into the castle garden and to the west were seating areas to enjoy your plate of delicious goods.
The last meal I had like the feast before my eyes was the one my mother prepared for me before she disappeared. Every evening she would prepare a grand feast of chicken breast with two fixings that we would share, but one night was different. She prepared more than just the usual chicken breast. She prepared a turkey that evening for our dinner. She encouraged me to begin eating without her because she had important business to attend to that wouldn’t keep her long, but she never returned.
My mother vanished when I was ten years old, and my father ran away with a woman from the market before I was born. I grew up in a cottage in the kingdom marketplace with my mother. Growing up, she would always tell me stories about princes who fought dragons and saved the day, fairies, and other magical things. At the end of every tale she would say, “No matter who you are or where you come from, everyone has a story that should be told. Why not go out and make yours a remarkable one?”
My mother always made sure I never lacked anything while growing up. She was able to sneak me books from her job within the castle and taught me reading, writing, and arithmetic. If my mother were here, she would’ve forced me to attend this ball. There was nothing more interesting to partake in this evening, other than teaching young children in the marketplace how to read.
The King’s Waltz finally ended, and everyone began socializing. I overheard conversations about the royal prince and when he would marry and, if so, to whom. At a side table, there sat a few gossiping women in identical bird masks, talking about the king’s numerous extramarital affairs he had with his maids. This was the typical talk I assumed happened at balls, so I nodded to seem interested although I felt out of place. My eyes searched around the room to escape the remedial conversations and to admire the costumes being worn by all of the guests.
I was surrounded by extravagant colors such as ivory and lavender on my left, and on my right the colors of peach, olive, and cream circled in socialization. There was a slender woman sporting a skin-tight green silk gown with a golden wire masquerade mask. Her slim figure and costume choice reminded me of a green tree python. Royal army men wore black masks with their scarlet uniforms. When they would group together it portrayed the image of a sea of rose petals, fighting across the current of the dance floor.
Everyone was dressed in some of the best clothes I’d ever seen. I was definitelyout of place. My costume was made from drapes I stole from the marketplace bookstore. They were black with golden lace and white pinstripes. I made my mask from one of the white lace dresses my mother used to wear so a piece of her would be with me tonight.
“Are you Thaddeus?” a drunken gentleman who wore a harlequin mask asked me from behind. It startled me, but I didn’t want to be rude. I turned around to introduce myself.
“I’m sorry, but I’m not Thaddeus. I’m…I’m…”, I paused before I told him my name. I feared that I could be identified from the marketplace, and I could be kicked out of the ball or even punished. But then I remembered that he was drunk and he would probably forget it in a matter of seconds. “My name is Eden.”
My mother told me that my name was one of the most creative and appealing in the entire kingdom. Every other boy in the kingdom was named something like Lancelot, Arthur or Charles. They were named after heroes that set out to make a name for themselves with impossible feats.
“Eden? I think I have heard that name somewhere before. Are you related to the Micklen family by chance?”
“No, sir. I’m not.” Nervously I readjusted my mask to make sure my face was not recognizable. Wasn’t he supposed to be drunk?
“Oh, I did not mean to bother you, young man. I thought you looked like someone I knew. I will be on my way now. By any chance have you seen any of the champagne being served tonight? I would love another drink. I feel like a fish out of water.” he said with a drunken grin. I pointed toward the end of the buffet tables where the champagne was being poured, and he skipped his way to another glass.
After my exchange with the drunkard and with sudden dizziness from the gaudy costumes I made my exit to the garden. I’d never been inside the castle before but I needed air, and the garden seemed to be the best place to go catch my breath and rest for a minute.
Stepping out into the garden, the aroma of jasmine and lilies permeated the air and struck my nose with a gentle kiss. Beautiful cherub inspired sculptures and two large fountains called the garden home. Looking around, I noticed different types of flowers were planted in a design that paid tribute to the royal family’s crest of white, lavender and green.
“It’s magnificent isn’t it?” A voice startled me from behind.
“Why it is one of the most magnificent gardens I have ever seen. You must have read my mind,” I replied without turning around.
“Why are you out here by yourself? Why aren’t you inside with the other guests dancing and parading around?”
“I just needed some air, but I was going to go back inside soon.” realizing that my response might sound insulting, “The ball is very wonderful, but I wanted to escape for a few minutes to admire this garden.”
The lie escaped from my mouth to cover up the truth that I really did not belong in there; hopefully, this inquirer would believe me. Quickly turning around to see the stranger, I was shocked at what I saw; this mysterious gentleman was handsome.
He was about a foot taller than me with straight brown hair styled over his forehead and down onto his mask. His skin was like milk mixed with a pinch of cinnamon and some honey, which gave him a rich complexion. The bone structure of his face was sharp with his defined jaw line. He had slight stubble prickling out, and his nose was slender and raised at the tip making it the perfect shape. He flashed a short smile from behind his full lips, and his amber eyes became illuminated in the mystical moonlight. I could tell this gentleman was established from his exquisite white and silver costume, and the mask that covered the top of his face was lined with diamonds. He stood with his arms folded tapping his foot. He then started to shift his weight from one foot to the other.
“Do I know you? You look like someone who has played a game of royal chess with me.”
“I don’t believe so. I’m new to the kingdom,” I lied again.
“Ahh, I see. There aren’t that many young gentlemen at this ball, so what brings you here?”
“I received an invitation from the royal messenger, and I try not to disappoint people so I came.” I smiled because I could feel his eyes trying to hypnotize me. They were staring right into mine and the moonlight gave them a celestial gleam.
I started to walk back inside to escape this stranger, but he stuck out his arm blocking the doorway back inside. His attractiveness was leaving me defenseless to his questions and my escape back into the ball would have been the quickest exit.
“Don’t leave yet. We’ve just started to get to know each other. I rarely talk to people in this kingdom because they seem so mundane, but, looking in your eyes, I feel that you are different. So, don’t leave so soon. I may be making a new friend.” He then looked into my eyes again, and, this time, I felt drawn to this mysterious gentleman. We both reached out our hands to go for a handshake, but my hand fell short and his hand brushed the top of mine.
When our hands brushed there was a spark, and I knew from that moment, this mysterious stranger would possibly become something more than a friend to keep me company at the ball.
“I’m sorry. I’m normally good at these things. I know how to shake hands and introduce myself. I don’t know why my hand didn’t quite meet yours.”
“It’s okay, and no need for apologies.” His lips curled into a grin, and I could tell he was thinking of something by the way his eyes started to wander.
“Okay, so why are you out here in the garden talking with me instead of inside enjoying the ball?” I questioned, attempting to throw off whatever he was thinking.
“To be completely honest, I needed to get away. There are just so many people, and I wanted to avoid my parents, so why not slip outside? Then all of a sudden a drunken man approached me and said he spotted someone from the marketplace among the guests in the party, and suggested I check it out. The only issue with that is this is a masquerade ball, so how would I be able to identify this attendee? Anyways, none of that is important.”
“That’s understandable. I, too, had a run in with the drunkard.” I nervously laughed. I was glad that he paid no attention to the drunkard’s words of an uninvited guest. I noticed that he was situating himself closer to me. If anyone else tried to get close to me I would have run away by now, but for some reason, this felt different. He was taking baby steps thinking that I wouldn’t notice, but I caught on to his movements. The moon that was playing hide-and-seek behind the clouds all night finally decided to reveal itself. When the moon was out completely, I noticed that the stranger’s features were ten times better than when they appeared in the shade.
“You know what they say about the moonlight and two people?” he asked, and I felt puzzled. I didn’t have a clue as to what he was talking about. I’ve never heard anything about two people and moonlight. Was this something important that only certain people knew around the kingdom?
“I don’t know what they say. Would you care to enlighten me?”
He then flashed that notorious smile of his and quickly leaned in close right before our noses were going to meet and whispered, “They kiss in the moonlight.”
Before I could react to his answer, he grabbed my shoulders and kissed me. Our lips met as if they were hungry animals going in for a kill, and I became intoxicated. The kiss didn’t last long, but I was now hooked onto this mysterious friend I had made.
After the kiss, I was silent from shocked passion, and my words couldn’t formulate properly in my head. The stranger analyzed my paralysis and he looked worried.
“I hope I did not frighten you, it just felt like it was the right thing to do.” He then began to pull me in closer to him, and our eyes met again.
“It’s okay,” I assured him. “I trust you for some reason, and oddly, it felt fitting to me, as well.” I’d never kissed a stranger before, but it seemed right.
“I lied to you earlier.” he looked at me nervously, “The reason I’m in the garden is because I saw you come out here. I saw you when you made your entrance into the ball and I had to introduce myself. You arrived alone, and I took it as a sign that you don’t belong to anyone so I acted on my instincts to talk to you before tonight was over. I also noticed your slight dismissal of the King’s Waltz, and I have to admit that I don’t care for it either.” His eyes were locked in on mine, and I could feel him trying to convince me not to leave.
“Well, thank you. I’m charmed. No one has ever said that to me before. I guess I should tell you my name?” I wondered if he would care that I was from the marketplace instead of coming from wealth like him. Would he run away from me after knowing the truth about who I was?
“Not just yet, I do like the mystery between us. Something about this mystery makes our meeting more interesting. It’s like fate brought us together tonight and led into the garden where the moon would bless our meeting.” His words were soothing and everything that he said sounded like pure perfection.
“If you don’t want to know just yet I guess our identities can be a secret for quite some time longer.”
He then took my hand and led me to a bench that sat closer to one of the fountains in the garden. We spent almost an hour talking about the evening and where we hoped our connection would go. The evening started off isolated and confusing then somehow turned into something special. Who knew that coming to a masquerade ball would end with such a lovely encounter?
Suddenly, I heard the king cry out from inside, drunk and slurring. “Jared! Jared!” I had never met the prince, but from the way the king was yelling I could tell he probably always avoided his father. “Jared! There is someone in here I would like you to meet! Jared!” In my time with the stranger, talking in the beautiful garden, I had forgotten where I was. I was at a ball. It sounded like the king wanted to show him off to a lovely young lady he’d found sitting alone inside. “Jared! Where are you hiding?” The king was known for being loud and boisterous, and if I were his son I’m pretty sure I would try to disappear when he was drunk as well.
I felt my handsome stranger begin to move, and I started putting this puzzle of an evening together. He gently removed himself from my side, stood in front of me and casually removed his mask. For some reason, it felt as if my eyes were playing a cruel trick on me or I was in some sort of sick dream because the friend that I had made now stood before me with all of his mystery gone. The man who stood before me was none other than Prince Jared.
Jared was the prince that all of the women and their daughters swooned over. The gentleman every little girl in the kingdom said they were going to marry when they’re older. There were rumors that he was a womanizer, and that he only took pleasure in taking advantage of girls he courted. After our little garden session and the kiss, I assumed that girls never interested him, and these were just silly stories gossips created about him. I couldn’t believe I kissed Prince Jared. What would his parents think if they found out? They threw the ball in hopes of finding him a beautiful bride. The king and queen were known for trying to set him up with some young girl. This was the third ball they held this year.
Here stood the prince before me, no longer mysterious. He flashed his smile that I swooned over and promised me, “I’ll return as soon as I can. Do you see why I was trying to avoid them? They enjoy embarrassing me in front of guests. Please don’t go anywhere; I want to get to know you more. I promise that I will return, so please don’t leave the ball without me coming back to see you. ”
Prince Jared dashed away as quickly as I could blink. I heard the crowd from inside applaud when he made his royal appearance of the evening. The room quickly went back to their business, I assumed, because the orchestra started playing again.

 

So, here I sat on a cold bench in the castle garden, surrounded by cherub statues waiting alone in the moonlight for the prince to return to me. What would my mother have thought of this meeting? Was this where she saw my life story going? I was the only one masked away in mystery, with many questions crossing my mind and not knowing how this night would change the rest of our lives. Who knew what the gossips would say about him now?
 
About the Author

Brandon Goode grew up in the small beach town of Melbourne, Florida. He attended Eastern Florida State College and Florida International University. He has written for publications such as Florida Today, Florida International University Student Media, and the Disney Internships and Programs Blog. Brandon loves motivating and inspiring others, enjoys traveling, and eats an insanely amount of sushi every chance he gets. Oh, and he is obsessed with all things on the Bravo network.


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Anarchy Missing (Super Alpha #2) by J.A. Huss

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Anarchy Missing
J.A. Huss
(SuperAlpha, #2)
Publication date: March 6th 2017
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance

#SupervillainsFallInLove

Everyone wants justice.

That’s what Assistant DA, Lulu Lightly, tells me. “Cathedral City needs you to set things right,” she says. “To rid this place of corruption, once and for all.”

I’d like to rid Lulu Lightly of her clothes. And maybe her moral superiority. But mostly her clothes.

“I want you to fight the good fight with me,” she says.

Hell, yeah. I’m always up for a fight.

“We should stand up and be the voice of the people,” she says.

Sure, I hear voices. Sometimes I even listen to them.

“Figure out what’s good for the City and put it first,” she says.

Oh, honey… what’s good for the City is bad for the people. Trust me, I know. I’m Case Reider—insane Alpha, nefarious inventor, and I understand this town better than anyone.

Cathedral City needs me all right. Just not the way you think.

I’m not the justice you’re looking for, Lulu Lightly.

I’m still the same villain you left behind.

Only now… there’s something very, very wrong with me.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / Kobo

EXCERPT:

“What?” I ask. “What is it, Randy? Tell me what’s going on.”

He takes one last photo out of the folder and pushes it towards me. “You’re here because of him.”

I almost stop breathing.

Case Reider.

The one boy I desperately didn’t want to leave behind when my father moved us out to Wolf Valley seven years ago.

“Yes,” I whisper. “I know him.”

“I know you know him,” Randy says softly. He places a hand on mine just as Lisa appears with another cup of coffee.

I take it from her, muttering some thanks, and then take a long, long sip before coming up for air and letting it out in a sigh.

“He was your escort for the Debutante Ball.”

“How do you know that?” I ask.

“I was there that night.” He smiles sheepishly. “Someone else’s date, obviously. I saw you with him.”

“I haven’t seen him in forever.”

Randy waves a hand in the air. “Doesn’t matter. We’re not after him.”

I feel so relieved.

“Not yet.”

My relief disappears.

“We know for a fact that Lincoln Wade is a black-hat hacker, Lulu. And Detective Molly Masters has been dating him since she came to town. But the real problem is… Lincoln Wade and Case Reider have been best friends since childhood. Do you remember those two boys who went missing twenty years ago, without a trace, then reappeared several years later with no explanation?”

“Oh, Jesus.”

“Yup,” Randy says. “Those two boys were Case and Lincoln. We think Brooks was involved somehow, but we’re not sure where they intersect. They are close now, at any rate. Lulu,” Randy says, leaning across his desk to take both my hands in his. “We need Case Reider to get to Lincoln Wade and Molly Masters, and we need you to get him for us.”

Author Bio:

JA Huss is the USA Today bestselling author of more than twenty romances. She likes stories about family, loyalty, and extraordinary characters who struggle with basic human emotions while dealing with bigger than life problems. JA loves writing heroes who make you swoon, heroines who makes you jealous, and the perfect Happily Ever After ending.

You can chat with her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/AuthorJAHuss), Twitter (@jahuss), and her blog, New Adult Addiction (www.jahuss.com).

If you’re interested in getting your hands on an advanced release copy of her upcoming books, sneak peek teasers, or information on her upcoming personal appearances, you can join her newsletter list (http://eepurl.com/JVhAr) and get those details delivered right to your inbox.

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Reason to Love (Credence Curse #3) by Sedona Venez

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Reason to Love
Sedona Venez
(Credence Curse #3)
Publication date: March 15th 2017
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance

Can sworn enemies cross the line and fall in love?

Reason Orlov, a vampire-human, is the princess of the vampire coven. Never quite feeling like she fits in, the hybrid has spent her life trying to rise to the expectations of her father, the vampire king.

Jack Alagona—better known as Jackal—is the second-in-command in his wolf pack. Set in his domineering alpha ways, the wolf-shifter closed off his heart long ago when vampires took what was most precious to him.

Even though a relationship between vampires and shifters is practically forbidden, all Reason knows is that she wants Jackal with a passion she’s never felt.

And, although Reason drives him crazy in a way that he thought he wouldn’t feel again, with memories that rule his present life, Jackal can’t risk being more than friends.

Can Reason convince Jackal to let her into his heart, or will their pasts get in the way?

Reason to Love is the third book in the Credence Curse Saga, a series of adventure-packed shifter romance tales. If you like dark magic, powerful women, steamy love scenes, heart-pounding romance, and piles of sexy shifter secrets, then you’ll love the latest romp from author Sedona Venez.

Goodreads / Amazon / iBooks / Kobo

Previous books in the series:

EXCERPT:

He arched down, grabbing my face between his callous palms, and a weird jolt of energy pulsed through me. Instead of pushing him away, strangely, the only thing I could think of was how long it’d been since I felt a man’s hands on my skin. His full focus was on me, the attention sending little tremors of awareness through me, as we stared at each other, speechless, our faces mere inches apart.

Move, Reason. Just fucking go.

My mind and body staged a mutiny by refusing to cooperate, as if daring the shifter to make another move. He did by pressing his lips against mine.

No, no, no. This will not do.

Reaching up, I slapped my hands against his wide shoulders with every intention of shoving him away. Instead, my fingers gripped him tight, pulling him closer. My lips parted before he sucked my tongue into his mouth.

Oh, baby Jesus. Why does he taste like my three favorite things—coffee, mint, and cinnamon?

 

Author Bio:

Sedona Venez is a romance author with a dirty mind. She lives in New York City with her hot ex-military hubby–hooah–and their fur baby. She loves writing sizzling, sexy intricate stories about strong but broken characters who push limits, overcome their fears, and risk it all for love.

You can chat with her on Facebook (www.facebook.com/SedonaVenez), Twitter (@SedonaVenez), and her kick-ass romance website, (www.sedonavenez.com).

If you’re interested in getting your hands on an advanced release copy of her upcoming books, sneak peek teasers, you can join her newsletter list (http://eepurl.com/2ixqj) and get those details delivered right to your inbox.

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Give Me Chaos (The Wolfgang Series #5) by Jillian Ashe

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Give Me Chaos (The Wolfgang Series #5)

by Jillian Ashe

Genre: YA/NA Science Fiction Adventure

Release Date: March 16th 2017



Summary:



The fifth book in the Wolfegang series follows Katerina back to the top secret military base, Enzo, where she is Lt. Donnelly’s prisoner. The lieutenant puts her through tests and experiments to find out what makes her so special, and why the genetic enhancements aren’t degrading her brain. He wants answers for his own cure. Katerina might not survive his search for answers until General Ryojin shows up and changes the game completely.

 
 
 
 
Pre-Order
Link
:
Amazon

 

Other Books in the Series
Book One:
My Delicate Destruction (The Wolfegang Series #1)
 
Summary from Goodreads:
 
They Promised her Hope…

My name is Katerina Anderson. In 2016, a drug called Hope was created. Administered during suspended animation, the drug was supposed to cure the cancer my twin brother and I had. When an earthquake leveled Los Angeles, we were presumed dead. 

Forgotten, we slept. 

The day I woke up, I realized everything had changed. My brother was missing, and everyone else I knew was dead. I booked passage on a ship to find Kris. The government thinks I’m a criminal and the cure did more than just cure my cancer. My brother is the only one who might have the answers I need, but that drug and all its false hope set me on a path I’m not sure I can follow.

Will I find my twin and learn exactly what they did to me before it’s too late?
 
Book Two:
Riding on Whispers (The Wolfegang Series #2)


Summary from Goodreads:


I used to be a normal college girl.

Now I’m a fugitive from the Galactic Federation. 

I’m frantically searching for my twin brother, I have to find him before the Federation catches up to me, but he is only spoken about in whispers by the ones who know him. Finally, I have a location – Enzo – but it’s a top secret, military base that performs genetic enhancements and alterations on soldiers. It’s the last place I should go, but I don’t have a choice – not if I want to find Kris.

I’m afraid of what I’ll learn. Will I find the answers I’ve been looking for, or will I be walking into a trap?
 
Book Three:
When Elements Collide (The Wolfegang Series #3)
 
Summary from Goodreads:
 
Some things that are lost aren’t meant to be found… 

We hope to find the coordinates to Asgard where I will find my brother, on a planet at the edge of space that has ties to the ancient Norse culture. Celeste, Ricky, Wolfe, and I have to overcome the native’s dislike for outsiders; their distrust and suspicion well-founded as they are one of the last societies free from the Federation. 

To get these coordinates my crew and I have to brave the harsh environment of the Northern Continent which is covered in ice and snow year-round. The location of Asgard isn’t the only thing waiting for us in this icy wilderness. The locals speak of monsters that hide in the dark recesses of their land, guarding something no one is brave enough to find. Will we survive long enough to acquire what we came for?
 
Book Four:
Far From Safe (The Wolfegang Series #4)
 
Summary:
 
Katerina Anderson’s adventure continues as she and the crew of the Wolfegang are on their way to the planet Asgard…

I never really thought we would make it this far. Not only are we so close to completing our mission for the Norse king, but my brother is almost within my grasp. Kris and I will no longer be alone in the vast reaches of space.

The only problem is the Federation is catching up to me and the crew and we might not have the time we need to complete our mission. I just hope we make it to Asgard before the Federation

 

Excerpt:
General Ryojin wasn’t particularly fond of the genetic program on the Enzo base, but on occasion it produced some excellent results. Lieutenant Donnelly was one of the few great accomplishments of the Heishi Project and at present he ran the program.
The general had been ordered by his superior to check on Lt. Donnelly’s new pet project. It was a project he’d been promised by the lieutenant would cure some of the less than pleasant side effects of their patented serum. If Lt. Donnelly was correct in his assumptions he would be up for promotion.
The general slid his hands in his pockets and walked through every check point without stopping to present identification.  Soldiers saluted as he passed by. Every general was given a certain level of security clearance provided by a chip inserted in their arm. Checkpoints automatically registered the serial number and allowed them to pass.
He flicked his longer than regulation hair out of his face. There weren’t many people above him in rank and no one brave enough to enforce the policy on hair length. He’d lost count how many checkpoints he’d passed as he made his way deeper into the base, through levels of security, a tiny fraction of the population on the base even knew existed.
The Heishi Project was one of the best kept secrets of the Federation.  Some of the details leaked to the masses. The enhanced soldiers who came from the project became a type of bogeyman. No one knew the exact extent of the project and so wild tales arose to fill the holes.
Ryojin stopped outside the last checkpoint. The soldier stared and fumbled with his ‘sir’ as he tried to salute at the same time. Ryojin knew the effect he had on his soldiers. He was the youngest general in history at thirty-three but it wasn’t always the reason they stared.  Ryojin was almost pure Japanese, and one of the few remaining noble families able to keep their bloodlines pure.
He was a rarity among the mutts of humanity.
Ryojin heard screeching and a crash from the genetic labs. His eyebrow rose at the young soldier. Those were not sounds he wanted to hear. The young man stuttered again and opened the door for him, trying to explain but his words were jumbled. Ryojin sighed. He walked through the door and around the corner.
The general stopped in his tracks as he witnessed something he did not usually see in the labs. A young woman with the whitest skin he’d ever seen screamed at three of his soldiers. All of the soldiers were men and all of them were at least three times her weight. She flipped one over her shoulder and hit the second with enough force to drop him like a rock.
The general frowned. He got a look at her eyes.  No, she wasn’t Japanese. Something was not right. He intended to find out what exactly was going on.
Donnelly had some explaining to do.
The general walked forward with purpose as she whipped around to face the third soldier. The soldier gritted his teeth but didn’t back down. It amused Ryojin to see him try to take her on though it was clear how outmatched he was. She feinted a punch and then kicked him in the genitals; a low blow.
When she turned on the general, neither of them hesitated. Her fist flew at him with impressive speed. He caught it easily enough without breaking stride and spun her around. He held her close, incapacitating both her arms without too much effort. The girl was strong, but not stronger than him.
General Ryojin was the shining achievement of the Heishi Project.
She growled low and animalistic, bucking against him but he held her tight as he quickly inspected her. The girl was malnourished which angered him. There were marks and bruises all over her body, some were from the mandatory tests, but there were other marks that shouldn’t have been there.
He sighed as the realization came to him.  Donnelly had been slipping again without reporting it. They couldn’t manage the sickness if it wasn’t reported. The lieutenant would need to be dealt with.
A doctor came out casually from her lab with a syringe in hand. He arched an eyebrow at her nonchalance. “Care to explain, Lyn?”
Lyn Tallis was a woman he knew from childhood, but they had taken separate paths to reach the point in their lives they were at now and it was mere coincidence she worked for him.
The girl in his arms laughed in a manner which concerned him. He frowned down at her and wondered again where she’d come from.  Pure Europeans were nearly extinct. At most a few thousand remained in the icy north of Earth and his guess was generous.
“Only a test, cousin,” Lyn said. She stepped over one of the fallen soldiers and approached the girl. “She did amazingly well.”
Suddenly the weight in his arms doubled as the girl collapsed. He almost stumbled forward before he caught himself against the sudden change in balance.
“It’s all right, Lyn,” the girl whispered. “You don’t need to sedate me.”
He watched the exchange closely with narrowed eyes. Clearly there was more going on than had been on the report. This girl was a captive subject and not a willing one. That information changed everything.
“Where is the lieutenant?” Ryojin demanded. He needed to be debriefed. Immediately.
He didn’t let go of the girl. He didn’t trust her.
“I didn’t know you had cousins,” the girl said.
Lyn grimaced, her version of a smile. “Of course, Katerina. Now you can go back to your cell or finish the test.”
“The cell.”
Ryojin propped her up and let her go. When he finally looked into her eyes they were dead and lifeless. None of the fire in them he had seen moments before. He needed answers.
Her eyes snapped to his and the grey flashed like lightning. The sudden light allowed him to witness the raging storm inside before shuttering once more as she followed Lyn.

He was going to like her.

 


About the Author

I currently live and work in Southern California, writing about characters in a variety of different genres. I started writing when I was only seven and was first published in the La Jolla Light Newspaper when I was twelve. Currently I attend University in the hopes of becoming a Professor of English.

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Release Day: Project Emergence by Jamie Zakian

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I am so excited that PROJECT EMERGENCE by Jamie Zakian releases today and that I get to share the news!
 
If you haven’t yet heard about this wonderful book by Author Jmaie Zakian, be sure to check out all the details below.
 
This blitz also includes a giveaway for a DVD of Passengers, US Only or the complete eBook set of Fire In The Woods, International, courtesy of Month9Books. So if you’d like a chance to win, enter in the Rafflecopter at the bottom of this post.
About The Book:
 
Title: PROJECT EMERGENCE
Author: Jamie Zakian
Pub. Date: March 14, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books
Format: Paperback, eBook
Pages: 292
An ancient Hopi myth says people arrived on tiny silver pods that fell from the sky.
But the truth is far more terrifying.
Two-hundred fifty-eight teens are sent from a dying Earth to a terraformed Mars as part of the Emergence Program, mankind’s last hope before solar flares finish off their planet and species. Among the brave pioneers are sixteen-year-old Joey Westen and her twin brother, Jesse.
After only minutes in space, something triggers a total ship lock down.
With the help of their roommates, the Matsuda twins (notorious hackers and shady secret-keepers), Joey and Jesse stumble onto an extremist plot to sabotage the Emergence Program.
But Joey and Jesse didn’t travel to the deepest pits of space and leave their mother behind to be picked off in a high-tech tin can. They’ll lie, hack, and even kill to survive the voyage and make it to Mars.


Excerpt:
Beads of sweat formed between Winslow’s palm and the device, but he held tight. All his screens, which provided invaluable data, sat as black as the infinite cosmos before him. Flying blind, in ancient throughways created by… only God knows who—it unsettled and disturbed the mind. 
 
However, the bowed windshield provided him a spectacular view without the instrument panel aglow. Leaning over, he searched for the orange glimmer of Earth, but after ninety minutes in hyper drive, the scorched planet was far from view. The bright streaks of distant stars overshadowed any hope of glimpsing home.
 
“Do you really think that woman can stop the … ” Natalia glanced around then leaned in to whisper, “attack.”
 
“We’ve made it farther than all the other expeditions. That gives me
hope,” he replied softly.
 
“We had a great run though, didn’t we?” Natalia smirked as she tucked a stray hair behind her ear.  “Remember that time—”
 
“This sounds an awful lot like a goodbye speech, Kozlov.”
 
“Ooh, Kozlov,” Natalia drawled. “You haven’t called me by my last name since I was a cadet. Geez, you must be serious.”
 
“We have to have faith.” Winslow looked to the men and women stationed at the far end of the control room, then to the shining rod in his grasp. “The human race can’t end with us; we’ve come too far. We have to persevere.”
 
“You know. After you told me about the other ships, I almost resigned from this voyage.” Natalia turned her chair from the control panel, facing him.  “Do you know why I didn’t?”
 
Winslow clicked his chair around, staring at Natalia. A pink tinge flushed her cheeks, her nails drumming out a steady beat on the armrest. She looked so anxious. Risky test flights, solar flares, bombs, nothing shook her nerve so far. Yet right now, her lips trembled.
 
“I’m in love with you, Gerald. If we’re gonna die in thirty minutes, I thought you should at least know that.” Her eyes darted away, and she repositioned her seat.
 
His jaw dropped open. He tried to speak, but his words bunched in his throat. Natalia stole a glance and a hard thump rattled his chest. He never noticed that sparkle in her blue eyes, which gleamed against her olive skin, until now.
 
A wisp of brown hair fell from behind her ear, and his heart skipped faster. He looked to his watch, his hold on the jammer tightening. Only twenty minutes left. What-ifs and could-bes didn’t much matter anymore, these were most likely his final moments.
He unfastened his safety belt, scooting to the edge of his seat. A smile threatened to invade his lips, but he held a straight face. The shuffle of crewmembers faded as he pulled the lever beneath Natalia’s seat, spinning her chair to gaze upon her face. An unexpected flutter ran through his stomach with her stare, her smirk. It drew him in, brought him to one knee. Their lips found each other, and he kissed her, softly, under the glow of starlight.
Jamie Zakian is a full-time writer who consumes the written word as equally as oxygen. Living in South Jersey with her husband and rowdy family, she enjoys farming, archery, and blazing new trails on her 4wd quad, when not writing of course. She aspires to one day write at least one novel in every genre of fiction.

Giveaway Details: 1 winner will receive a DVD of Passengers, US Only.   1 winner will win the complete FIRE IN THE WOODS eBook set, International.

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Paid in Full (Jax Rhoades #2) by Rachel Rawlings

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Paid In Full: A Jax Rhoades Novel
The Jax Rhoades Series Book 2
Rachel Rawlings 
Publication Date: March 14, 2017
ASIN: B06WRN82P6
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: R Squared Publishing
Cover Artist: Najla Qamber Designs
Demon hunter Jax is back- battling the beasts of Hell in Baltimore’s underbelly. Dealing with the Devil is as dangerous as ever, especially when your immortal soul is on the line.
But that’s nothing compared to the Angels.
Charged with finding the one relic that can end her life, Jax puts her faith in the only man she can trust – the Sin Eater.
Dane swore to protect her, but can he save her from herself and her personal demons?
Caught between Heaven and Hell, Jax’s next move might just be her last.
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About the Author:
Rachel Rawlings was born and raised in the Baltimore Metropolitan area. Her family, originally from Rhode Island, spent summers in New England sparking her fascination with Salem, MA.  She has been writing fictional stories and poems since middle school, but it wasn’t until 2009 that she found the inspiration to create her heroine Maurin Kincaide and complete her first full length novel, The Morrigna.
When she isn’t writing, Rachel can often be found with her nose buried in a good book. An avid reader of Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Horror and Steampunk herself, Rachel founded Hallowread- an interactive convention for both authors and fans of those genres.
More information on Hallowread, its schedule of events and participating authors can be found at www.hallowread.blogspot.com  and www.facebook.com/Hallowread .
She still lives in Maryland with her husband and three children.
Goodreads Author Page http://goo.gl/FZW0RN
Amazon Author Page http://goo.gl/Q6Ubn1

The Monster Upstairs (Bloodseeker #2) by Elle Klass

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The Monster Upstairs
Elle Klass
(Bloodseeker, #2)
Publication date: March 7th 2017
Genres: Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

A mysterious blinding white light followed by a vision haunts Mandy until something unthinkable happens. She comes home from school to find her mother badly injured. On instinct, through her tears, forces from within her surge through her fingertips into her mother, giving her a second wind. She urges Mandy to take a note and leave but she can’t, not yet.

Her hot dark haired, muscle-bound neighbor Joel finds her and drags her crying towards the door. What awaits them on the other side sends them back into the house where she learns Joel isn’t who she thought. Her entire life gets turned upside down as her destiny sends her and Joel deep into the world of supernatural creatures and Bloodseekers.

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EXCERPT:

Before she finished her thought he grabbed her hands. Energy excited her molecules and zipped through her body. She recognized the feeling and wasn’t shocked when he let go of her hands and they were behind the stadium in the field where she first learned Veronica was a witch.

“It’s more private here. We don’t need people listening to us. And your friend is on her way,” he said with grin.

“What?” she said before she remembered witches were telepathic. “Never mind,” she followed up with.

“I’m Cody.”

“Alison.”

Within a few minutes Lacey joined them, jumping right into it and getting to the point. “I’m so happy you found us. We could use you on our side.”

He smiled. “My parents are powerful witches. As their offspring, I have a collection of all their powers; telekinesis, telepathy, lighting balls and bolts, teleportation, and pretty much anything. Anyone in a witch bloodline has magic, but it has to be practiced.”

Lacey stomped her foot and folded her arms over her chest. “You’ve known about us. You see our glow, so why didn’t you come to us sooner?”

He chuckled. “I’m a witch. I know this is new to you, but we don’t get involved unless you need us. We created Slayers. One person, every other generation in a witch of the light bloodline, that the spelled amulets call to and who can use the magic inside the amulet.”

Alison rolled the idea around in her head. That wasn’t news, but she grasped again at the light witch bloodline thing. A thought clung to her brain and manifested. They didn’t derive all their power from the amulets. They each had magic inside them that accentuated the magic in the amulet.

Lacey twisted her face. “You can help us?

“I can help you draw on your own magic that makes the magic in the amulets stronger. Don’t get me wrong, you won’t be able to share each other’s magic unless you are connected by touch but you can strengthen the spelled magic in the amulets and do most anything with it,” he paused.

“I don’t know if you’ve felt it, but there’s disturbance in our energy field. Something big is happening, coming our way. We need to be prepared and ready and you need to tap into powers that other Slayers naturally tap into overtime. You don’t have that time,” he said, his face and voice grave.

 

Author Bio:

Elle was born in Redwood City, California and spent her childhood growing in and around the San Francisco Bay Area. She graduated from the University of North Florida with a bachelor’s degree in education. For fun she reads, spends time at the beach, travels, and enjoys time with her favorite friends, and family. She is night-owl and gets the majority of her creative writing done during the dark hours.

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Daybreak (Girl from the Stars #1) by Cheree Alsop

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Daybreak
Cheree Alsop
(Girl from the Stars #1)
Publication date: October 7th 2015
Genres: Action, Adventure, Science Fiction, Young Adult

Liora Day, half-human, half mess-with-her-and-you’ll-die Damaclan, had been thrown onto a rough path at a very early age. But when she is broken out of a cage by Devren, the young captain of the SS Kratos, she is shown that perhaps humanity does have a heart. The Kratos is set on a mission to rescue fallen surveyors from the Revolutionaries, and Liora is given the choice to follow her Damaclan instincts, or trust Devren’s dark eyes and captivating smile that promise an adventure unlike any she has ever experienced.

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EXCERPT:

Liora twisted the bent end inward until she felt the teeth slide free. She slipped the bar from the handcuff and let it fall off her wrist. In two more seconds, the other cuff was on the floor.

The lock of her cage proved to be more difficult. Luckily, Liora had the two pieces of the tweezers to work with. She bent the second one to match the angle of the first. Following the same steps the apprentice had done so many times, Liora pushed the bent end of the first piece into the lock opposite the pins. She turned it slowly upward until it was in tension.

Inserting the second piece, Liora raked it slowly along the pins. The small metal on metal sound set Liora’s nerves on end. If Malivian found out what she was doing, she would be tortured again. The voice in the back of her mind whispered that perhaps she wouldn’t survive a second round.

A subtle, metallic click sounded. Liora’s heart jumped. She pushed at the bars. Her breath caught in her throat when the door swung outward. Liora stepped onto the cold floor and stumbled lightheadedly. She caught herself on the next cage, pushed upright, and ran down the hall.

The alarm sounded when she hit the button for the hatch to open. As soon as the gap was wide enough, Liora jumped out. Her feet, then her knees, hit the deck of Gaulded Zero Twenty-One. She shoved up to her feet once more and ran past the other starships.

Even at the late hour, the Gaulded’s landing deck was filled with activity. It appeared the Kratos and Kirkos weren’t the only ships who had been attacked. Blow torches, plasma cutters, and blazers filled the contained air inside the Gaulded’s hold with the acrid scent of metal. The sound of mallets and hand saws sounded from every corner.

Crew members of the ships Liora passed turned to watch her go. She felt conspicuous and alone as she darted between space crafts and around repair gear. A giant pallet of artillery swung over her head. Liora ducked and made her way along the stripped hull of a Copper Crow painted to look like an iridescent fish. The name Space Poseidon glowed near the hatch.

Liora ran around the corner and slammed into Devren.

“I was about to come looking for you—” he began.

Tariq cut him off. “Dev, her face.”

Devren gently pushed her back so he could see her better. Liora dropped her gaze at his gentle probing.

“Malivian did this to you?” he asked.

The anger in his voice made Liora look up. Devren appeared ready to kill someone.

“Calm down,” Tariq told him. “Let’s get her to the ship. It’s the only place we’ll have leverage.”

Devren put a protective arm around Liora. Tariq walked behind them like a bodyguard. Liora felt as though she had entered some different reality. Somehow, even with the thought of Malivian coming after her, she felt safe between the two humans who had entered her life by accident.

Author Bio:

Cheree Alsop is an award-winning, best-selling author who has published over 30 books, including two series through Stonehouse Ink. She is the mother of a beautiful, talented daughter and amazing twin sons who fill every day with joy and laughter. She is married to her best friend, Michael, the light of her life and her soulmate who shares her dreams and inspires her by reading the first drafts and giving much appreciated critiques. Cheree is a fulltime author and mother, which is more play than work! She enjoys reading, traveling to tropical beaches, spending time with her children, and going on family adventures while planning her next book. Cheree and Michael live in Utah where they rock out, enjoy the outdoors, plan great quests, and never stop dreaming. You can find Cheree’s other books at http://www.chereealsop.com

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March Spring Fever Giveaway

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Welcome to the Spring Fever Giveaway Party!

A dozen authors over at YA Author Rendezvous have put an awesome giveaway together – with over TWENTY chances to win!

One grand-prize winner will walk away with a signed, first edition hardback of Witch and Wizard which just so happens to be written by one of the biggest names in fiction – JAMES PATTERSON! On top of that, they get a $100 amazon gift-card!

And all if takes is a minute or two and a few clicks of the mouse.

DON’T MISS YOUR CHANCE!

Check out these other amazing prizes they have for you here.

Spring Fever Giveaway!

 

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Falling for Boston by Leslie Kate

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Falling for Boston
Leslie Kate
Publication date: October 13th 2016
Genres: Adult, Comedy, Romance

As the youngest of four, Dylan has always been the baby. But don’t let that fool you; she’s not your average baby sister. Growing up with three older brothers left Dylan with a lack of femininity and in its place, a real guy’s girl personality. Sports, beer, burping, you name it; but don’t even think about going near her feet with a pair of heels.

When Dylan meets Tyler Vaughn, the famous and devastatingly attractive football superstar at work one morning, she’s thrilled by his good stats, not his good looks. But the wide receiver—and sweet romantic—throws her for a loop when he pursues her despite what she knows is missing, her feminine charm.

Now Dylan must reconcile the fact that this guy may actually like her, and even scarier, she may like him back. Dylan speaks sports and sarcasm fluently but romance, now that’s something completely foreign to her. What’s an emotionally-allergic guy’s girl supposed to do with a hopeless romantic?

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EXCERPT:

“What?” I asked, concerned.

But he didn’t answer. Actually, he did, but not with words. He gently rubbed his hand over my bump before he slid it down brushing my cheek with his thumb and slid his hand back around my neck.

I didn’t know what to expect, I was so surprised by the intimacy of his touch and the wild beating of my heart in my chest at his closeness. Whereas this would be the part where I’d crack a joke to break the tension, I couldn’t even think. My brain was blank, barely registering the way his hands felt on my skin or the sight of him so close to my face. Formulating words were beyond me.

He slowly closed the distance between us. His other hand rose up and slipped it into my hair same as the first before he gently leaned down, stealing the lightest whisper-soft kiss.

He didn’t linger, it felt like the kiss was over in the blink of an eye. But even despite the brevity, I still felt like I had been given a swift kick in the chest. My heart was beating a frantic rhythm, and I was winded like I had just run an all-out sprint.

He pulled back enough so I could look up into those blue eyes of his that were so light that you could still make them out in the dark. His hands were still holding me, and my own hands were gripping his shirt tightly, clinging to him for balance.

What the hell just happened?

“What,” I stuttered, unable to speak because he’d annihilated my senses.

“I wanted to wait, to give you time. But tonight, watching you, and hearing you laugh, I just couldn’t stop myself. I had to kiss you,” Vaughn said, his words feathering over my skin.

“Oh,” I said, still stunned. I was still missing something. I continued to look at him, my brain misfiring. I couldn’t get it to work, I just stood there mindlessly.

Vaughn leaned down again, my stomach clenching in nervous anticipation. But this time, he only pressed a kiss to my forehead.

He finally stepped away from me, but he was smiling again. The seriousness that had been on his face earlier was wiped clean just like a Magna Doodle. “I better go.”

“Okay,” I answered breathlessly. My heart had yet to slow down. Vaughn chuckled quietly. “Goodnight, Dylan.” “Goodnight, Vaughn,” I whispered, unmoving.

“This is the part where you go inside,” he said, his smile widening. “Uh-huh,” I nodded stupidly.

Vaughn laughed before taking my keys out of my hand. He unlocked the door for me and gently pushed me through.

I looked back at him again, trying to riffle through the scores of information that had entered my brain in the last ten minutes but had yet to be processed.

“I’ll talk to you tomorrow,” he said smiling. He gave me a quick wave before he walked away.

I numbly walked up the stairs. It wasn’t until I was inside my apartment, sitting on my bed that my brain finally started working again.

I touched my fingers to my lips, the phantom feel of Vaughn’s moving against them still lingering.

He kissed me.

This whole time I had been convinced that I’d get over my crush eventually. I’d been sure that this was just a friendship, nothing more. But I was wrong.

Slippy? Slappy? Swanson? Samsonite, I had been way off. I smiled. He kissed me.

Well, that changed everything.

 

Author Bio:

Leslie Kate, despite growing up in Upstate New York, is crazy about everything Boston. She attended the University of Massachusetts Amherst where she studied sports broadcasting. There, her lifelong Boston sports addiction blossomed into the fanatic she is today.

Having dabbled with the idea of writing a book since high school, she finally put pen to paper (or fingers to keyboard) and wrote her first book, “Falling for Boston,” where she combined her passion for the written word with her passion for sports and the City of Champions.

Aside from being a sports nut, Leslie Kate love reading (much to the chagrin of her boyfriend), movies, music, and being active (she’s a spinning instructor at her gym.)

She also loves cooking, but not cleaning; dogs, but not cats; and shoes, but not purses or jewelry. She owns one pair of Christian Louboutins that she sometimes just wears around the house because she likes to look at them.

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