The Awakening of Artemis – Blog Tour #Dystopian

The Awakening of Artemis

by John Calia

Genre: Dystopian

Orphaned and disillusioned about her career, Diana Gutierrez-Adams is on a routine military assignment when she and her team are kidnapped by a domestic militia. She learns from her captors that her cryogenically-frozen grandfather is at the center of a high-stakes caper to steal technology for greed and great fortune. Challenged by the conspiracy and pulled by emotions she doesn’t fully understand, Diana begins a rescue mission that will change her life.

Set in 2049 America — a world where the elites make all the rules and artificial intelligence enforces them – the real danger is that the technology will be lost in the ensuing chaos. With her life under threat, Diana is forced into a desperate bid to escape, taking with her Gabrielle, her soulmate and the one person she knows she can trust.

To evade a devious enemy who is one step ahead of them at every turn, Diana and Gabrielle must outsmart the global monitoring systems that tracks their every move. On a trail littered with the dystopian remains of middle-class America, they will come face-to-face with an artificial intelligence that threatens the future of all humankind.

What happens to her is unexpected, perhaps miraculous – an adventure that embraces all her hopes for finding her true self and her place in a world dominated by powerful elites and even more powerful artificial intelligence.

**Only .99 cents until 9/28!!**

Goodreads * Amazon

A Brooklyn-born, second generation American and the eldest of three boys, writing is his third career and the one about which he is most passionate. Following graduation from the US Naval Academy and active duty in the Navy, he embarked on a career in business. He began writing his blog “Who Will Lead?” in 2010 attracting over 120,000 readers. It inspired him to write his first book, an Amazon five-star rated business fable titled “The Reluctant CEO.” Currently he makes his home in Fairport, NY, a village on the Erie Canal.

Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

$15 Amazon giftcard – 1 winner,

ebook of The Awakening of Artemis – 10 winners!

a Rafflecopter giveaway https://widget-prime.rafflecopter.com/launch.js

The Persecution of the Wolves – Lucy Felthouse – Spotlight #Paranormal #Werewolves #Shifter

OUT NOW—The Persecution of the Wolves by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) #paranormal #wolves #werewolves #shifter #thriller

 

Blurb:

Someone’s got it in for the Adams brothers. But who? And why?

Werewolf brothers Matthew and Isaac have lived in the peaceful village of Eyam, Derbyshire all their lives. The villagers know what they are, and have their reasons for keeping quiet. But this secrecy comes at a cost—the brothers can’t risk romantic entanglements.

Then, at the next full moon, a sheep is slaughtered on Eyam Moor, by what could only be a large animal. Even the brothers’ staunchest supporters begin to have their doubts about who—or what—could have done it.

As the brothers fight to clear their names, things are complicated by unexpected opportunities to indulge their lust. Isaac is intrigued by a handsome newcomer to the village, and a vivacious visitor is happy to offer Matthew her all.

Can the men prove their innocence, or is their centuries-old secret about to be revealed to the outside world, bringing their carefully crafted existence crashing down around their ears?

Please note: This book has been previously published. This version has been re-edited.

Universal Link: http://books2read.com/wolves    

 

*****

Excerpt:

Chapter One

Modern day Eyam

As Matthew and Isaac Adams stepped through the front door to their house, the telephone started ringing. Matthew sighed. “Typical. No rest for the wicked. I’ll answer it—you go and get ready for work.”

Isaac nodded and headed off to do as his brother advised. Matthew, the older of the two, walked up to the ringing phone and snatched it off the hook. Then, remembering the person on the other end of the line would have no idea what a rough night he’d just had, he made the effort to inject some politeness into his tone.

“Hello? Adams residence.” Isaac had told him time and time again the last part about the residence was old fashioned, that people didn’t say that anymore, but Matthew couldn’t seem to shake it.

“Hello, Matthew? It’s Richard.” The village vicar’s voice, even though he’d only spoken four words, sounded strained, almost panicked. “You boys just get back?”

“Yes, a moment ago. Why, what’s up?”

“I, uh… I got a call. A dead sheep has been found up on the moor. Not just dead. Mutilated. Like an animal attack.”

An unpleasant feeling wormed its way under Matthew’s skin and his stomach flipped. “Oh?” He paused, then figured he had nothing to gain by not saying the next words he wanted to. “You don’t think it was us?”

The vicar’s gasp was instant, one of genuine surprise. “Lord, no! Absolutely not. I just phoned to let you know and I was wondering if you’d come up there with me and take a look? You and Isaac are probably more qualified than anyone else in the village to tell what did this.”

“Isaac has to work. He just went to get ready. But yes, I’ll come up. I’ll let my brother know where I’m going, then I’ll be straight over. Are you at the rectory?”

“Yes. Okay, I’ll see you soon. Thanks, Matthew. Bye.”

“Goodbye.”

Matthew hung up the phone with another sigh. The horrible feeling that had crept under his skin and taken over his gut seemed as if it was there to stay, and it was never a good sign. The vicar’s news was surprising, yes, but he also had an inkling it was going to spell trouble, or at the very least inconvenience for him and his brother.

Pulling in a deep breath in an attempt to calm his jangling nerves, Matthew walked upstairs and towards his brother’s bedroom. The door was closed. He knocked. “You decent?”

“Yeah,” Isaac replied, “close enough.”

Matthew stepped into the room and looked at his brother. He was half-dressed, almost ready for his shift at the doctors’ surgery, where he was a general practitioner. “Sorry to interrupt, mate, but that was Richard on the phone. Someone’s found a mutilated sheep up on the moor, and he’s asked me to go with him to check it out.”

Isaac paused with one arm pushed into his shirtsleeve. “He doesn’t think—”

“No. He was quite adamant about that. He just thought we’d be able to help figure out what did it. I explained you’ve got to go to work, though. I’m going to head across there now and go up with him.”

“I could phone in, let them know I’ll be late.”

Matthew held up his hand. “There’s no need, brother. Relax. Just go to work and help the sick people. I’ll let you know what—if anything—I find out.”

Isaac opened his mouth, then closed it again, apparently having thought better of whatever he was going to say. He continued to dress. “All right, I will. But make sure you let me know what happens. Send me a text or something, and I’ll phone you as soon as I have a gap in between patients.”

Matthew grimaced. He hated texting. Hated mobile phones, actually. Technology was one of the things he disliked most about modern-day life, though it was a necessary evil. It solved as many problems for him and his brother as it created, so he dealt with it as best he could. Fortunately, Isaac had always had an affinity with computers and phones, so he tutored Matthew.

“Yes, all right. I’d better go and find my phone first then, eh?”

Smirking at his brother’s rolled eyes, he left the room and headed for his own bedroom, where he thought he’d left the device the previous night before he and Isaac had headed for the caves. On spotting the mobile phone—which Isaac often made a point of telling him was akin to a brick—he grabbed it, stuffed it into his pocket, and made his way downstairs.

Retrieving his keys from the hook by the front door, he called up to his brother. “I’m going now, Isaac. I’ll see you after my shift at the pub. I’m working until closing time.”

“Okay. Don’t forget to keep me posted.”

“I won’t.” As if he could forget. The dead sheep was going to be a big thing, he just knew it. The vicar might not think he and his brother had anything to do with it, but some of the other villagers might. When there was no proof either way, just his and Isaac’s word, it was understandable, really. Since he and his brother changed into wolves every full moon, it was a natural conclusion to draw. Particularly since wolves had been extinct in England for over five hundred years.

 

*****

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight, and The Heiress’s Harem and The Dreadnoughts series. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 170 publications to her name. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Join her Facebook group for exclusive cover reveals, sneak peeks and more! Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter here: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter

 

Release blitz organised by Writer Marketing Services.

Echoes of the Rune – Blog Tour #Fantasy #Romance

Echoes of the Runes
Runes #1
by Christina Courtenay
Genre: Fantasy Romance
*** 2021 Romance Writers of America Vivian Award Finalist ***
Winner of the 2021 RNA Romantic Fantasy Novel Award.
‘Wow! This book should come with warning! It’s almost as addictive as chocolate!’ 5* reader review
‘Fabulous. Highly recommended for fans of Barbara Erskine and Susanna Kearsley – and if you want a thumping good read’ 5* reader review
Brimming with romance, adventure and vivid historical detail, Christina Courtenay does for the Vikings what Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander and Clanlans does for Scottish history. This pacy, evocative and romantic dual-time novel is perfect for fans of Barbara Erskine.
***Don’t miss Christina’s stunning timeslip novels, The Runes of Destiny, out now and Whispers of the Runes, available to preorder now! Search 9781472282682.***
‘Completely magical’ NICOLA CORNICK
‘A rich, dual-timeline story that totally drew me in’ SUE MOORCROFT
‘A fabulous adventure, with characters I loved!’ JO THOMAS
Their love was forbidden. But echoed in eternity.
When Mia inherits her beloved grandmother’s summer cottage, Birch Thorpe, in Sweden, she faces a dilemma. Her fiance Charles urges her to sell and buy a swanky London home, but Mia cannot let it go easily. The request to carry out an archaeological dig for more Viking artefacts like the gold ring Mia’s grandmother also left her, offers her a reprieve from a decision – and from Charles.
Whilst Mia becomes absorbed in the dig’s discoveries, she finds herself drawn to archaeologist Haakon Berger. Like her, he can sense the past inhabitants whose lives are becoming more vivid every day. Trying to resist the growing attraction between them, Mia and Haakon begin to piece together the story of a Welsh noblewoman, Ceri, and the mysterious Viking, known as the ‘White Hawk’, who stole her away from her people in 869 AD.
As the present begins to echo the past, and enemies threaten Birch Thorpe’s inhabitants, they will all have to fight to protect what has become most precious to each of them…
‘Courtenay’s writing brings the past vividly to life, using dual-period narrative to brilliant effect’ Historical Novels Review
‘I was compelled to read on as I was caught up in the adventure, intrigue and romance of the dual timelines’ SUE FORTIN
‘Sparklingly authentic – and page-turning’ MAGGIE SULLIVAN
‘Rich in Viking history…intrigue, adventure and romance’ GLYNIS PETERS
‘Christina Courtenay weaves the threads of her contemporary and Viking love stories together expertly and the novel moves along at a cracking pace. The characters are appealing and the rural Swedish setting is engaging’ JUDITH LENNOX
Christina Courtenay writes historical romance, time slip and time travel stories, and lives in Herefordshire (near the Welsh border) in the UK. Although born in England, she has a Swedish mother and was brought up in Sweden – hence her abiding interest in the Vikings. Christina is a former chairman of the UK’s Romantic Novelists’ Association and has won several awards, including the RoNA for Best Historical Romantic Novel twice with Highland Storms (2012) and The Gilded Fan (2014) and the RNA Fantasy Romantic Novel of the year 2021 with Echoes of the Runes. Whispers of the Runes (time travel published by Headline 24th June 2021) is her latest novel. Christina is a keen amateur genealogist and loves history and archaeology (the armchair variety).
Follow the blitz HERE for special content and a giveaway!
$75 Amazon giftcard OR Paypal

A Stitch in Time – Blog Tour and Giveaway- Paranormal Romance

A Stitch in Time
A Stitch in Time Book 1
by Kelley Armstrong
Genre: Paranormal Romance
*** 2021 Romance Writers of America Vivian Award Finalist ***
Thorne Manor has always been haunted…and it has always haunted Bronwyn Dale.
As a young girl, Bronwyn could pass through a time slip in her great-aunt’s house, where she visited William Thorne, a boy her own age, born two centuries earlier. After a family tragedy, the house was shuttered and Bronwyn was convinced that William existed only in her imagination.
Now, twenty years later Bronwyn inherits Thorne Manor. And when she returns, William is waiting.
William Thorne is no longer the boy she remembers. He’s a difficult and tempestuous man, his own life marred by tragedy and a scandal that had him retreating to self-imposed exile in his beloved moors. He’s also none too pleased with Bronwyn for abandoning him all those years ago.
As their friendship rekindles and sparks into something more, Bronwyn must also deal with ghosts in the present version of the house. Soon she realizes they are linked to William and the secret scandal that drove him back to Thorne Manor. To build a future, Bronwyn must confront the past.
Kelley Armstrong is the author of the Rockton thriller series, the Stitch in Time gothic romance series and the Royal Guide to Monster Slaying middle-grade fantasy series. Past works include the Otherworld urban fantasy series, the Cainsville supernatural mystery series, the Nadia Stafford thriller trilogy, the Darkest Powers & Darkness Rising teen paranormal series and the Age of Legends teen fantasy series.
Follow the blitz HERE for special content and a giveaway!
$75 Amazon giftcard OR Paypal

The Broken – Blog Tour #crimefiction

The Broken
by J.J. Hernandez
Genre: Crime Fiction
Just released from prison, Julian Serrano is determined to get his life back by reconnecting with his son, maintaining a legit job, and steering clear of the life of crime that led him to prison in the first place. All while under the watchful eye of his parole officer, Diana Rivera. But while Julian fights to stay out of the life that cost him everything he loved, Diana struggles with her own heartache and loss.
Thrust back in the life when things don’t go as planned, Julian must decide who to trust and what plays to make. All while trying to keep Diana believing he’s staying on the straight and narrow. In an untangling web of betrayal, lies, and old debts come due, Julian and Diana must come together to save each other from the ghosts of their pasts.
J.J. Hernandez was born in Brooklyn, New York and raised in Brooklyn and Miami, Florida. He is a graduate of Sam Houston State University and has been a law enforcement officer in Central Texas for twenty years. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and two daughters.
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
Signed Copy of The Broken,
$15 Amazon giftcard
-1 winner each!

Mob Ratbag – Spotlight and Blog Tour #NewAdult #Romance #Suspense

Mob Ratbag
by L.R. Starr
Genre: New Adult Romantic Suspense
Rat ta tat tat. I’m just a ratbag on a bike.
Living for the freedom of my wheels. Boston.
She’s my turf and I ride her like a well-tricked pony.
I ain’t doing sh*t wit my life and I ain’t shit.
Money, bikes,cars, girls, and four years at Lexington private school.
My destiny is already carved out for me, but what if I don’t wanna?
Then Chantelle came along… The goody-two-shoes from the Eastside. She ain’t like the others looking for a bad boy like me.
She’s no pushover and I like that.
She loathes me and it makes me want her.
Bad.
I’m gonna make her mine, except I got this little family business problem…
Once you’re in the ‘familia’ there’s only one way out, and if I’m gonna get the girl…
Come join the emotional ride through Lexington private school to see if Chantelle and Sam can make it through.
**Only .99 cents!!**
L.R. Starr is a lover of mysteries, witty dialogue, suspense, romance, and fantasy. If you like to travel through your books strap in for the ride she’ll take you across the country.
When she’s not I’m writing she’s usually exploring, and coming up with yet another devious plot or pursuing her other love which is painting and drawing. Enjoy the bedlam friends!
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
Mystery Swag Box!!

Book Spotlight – Missing in France #Crime #Mystery

 

Title:  Missing in France  (Book #4 in the Anna Davies Mystery Series)

Author:  Rita Lee Chapman

Genre:  Crime mystery

Main character description (short).

Anna Davies is the protagonist of this series.  She is curious, persevering and tenacious.

Synopsis:

When Mike accepts a two-year contract in France, Anna is delighted at the prospect of spending time in Paris and Marseille.  She doesn’t anticipate being drawn into yet another mystery, one which puts her own life in danger. 

Brief Excerpt 250 words:

Chapter One

The Chase

I could hear footsteps behind me as I ran down the cobblestone street.   It was narrow and dark and I knew I had to get to where there were some people.  My chasers were closer now, their footsteps echoing off the walls and I didn’t know if I could keep going for much longer.  My breathing was coming in heavy gasps and my chest was burning. At my age, I was not used to running.  Surely there were people around somewhere, it wasn’t very late.  I had to find help, or somewhere I could hide. 

Everything was closed; there didn’t seem to be anyone around.  I turned a corner and flew up a flight of steps to the next street, where I could see street lights throwing their welcoming light.  The men were not far behind.  I had no idea who these men were or why they were chasing me.  Did they want to kill me, or only to frighten me?  I didn’t know – but I wasn’t slowing down to find out.  I felt real fear enveloping me.  In fact, I was terrified.  I had to keep running.

I saw people lying in the street up ahead.  Why were they lying in the street?  Were they dead?   As I came closer, a few heads popped up, but nobody moved to stand up or to help me.  Why was no-one trying to help me?  They stared at me with eyes that didn’t see and turned away.  I ran past them, they couldn’t, or wouldn’t, help me. I kept running; down another cobbled alleyway, around another corner.  I had a stitch in my side now and I was gasping for breath.  How much longer could I outrun them?  

Why should readers buy this book (50 words max)?

This book will appeal to readers who enjoy mysteries combined with travel and a touch of romance.  As a stand-alone book, it is not necessary to have read the previous three books in the series.

 

 

Links etc.

Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08WZ4KCN3/

Paperback: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08X69SNJZ

Large Print: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08X63F2BN

https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08X63F2BN/

 

Website:  http://www.ritaleechapman.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/rita.chapman

The War of Nytefall – Savagery #Vampires #Fantasy #Adventure – Book Spotlight

Title:  War of Nytefall: Savagery

Author:  Charles E. Yallowitz

Genre:  Fantasy, Vampires, Action Adventure

Main character description (short):

In the magical world of Windemere, Clyde was your average vampire thief who ran a gang of criminals.  Then, the Great Cataclysm struck in the middle of his execution and transformed him into a new breed of monster.  Able to retain his strength in the sun and possessing a heartbeat, Clyde realized he could pass as mortal.  He also learned that he could turn old-world vampires into what would come to be known as Dawn Fangs.  For years, he has defended the hidden kingdom of Nytefall as he waits for the day vampires and mortals can coexist.  It doesn’t help that he really enjoys fighting and keeps looking for trouble.

Synopsis:

After years of defending Nytefall and the Dawn Fangs from all enemies, Clyde may have met his ultimate challenge.  Matching the destructive vampire in power and ferocity, Alastyre the hunter is the first to make him feel fear.  Before he knows what is happening, Clyde has been driven from his home while his friends remain trapped with this new threat.  His only hope is to find a way to become stronger and return to reclaim his kingdom.  Yet, how can a monster who splits mountains with a single blow become more powerful?

Brief Excerpt:

The instant the longbow clatters on the floor, Clyde and Alastyre vanish for a moment and reappear on opposite sides of the courtyard. The force from their failed strikes create matching blasts of air and they whirl around in unison to face each other once more. Another charge results in the combatants crashing together, the shockwave sending a circular wall of sand billowing away from them. Palms pressing against each other, they appear to be evenly matched until Clyde is struck by a swift headbutt. Having been caught by surprise, his back-leg bends and he loses the leverage that was preventing him from being forced away. With his knee on the ground, he is bent backwards and left open for another shot to the face. It is only by increasing his Lord’s Rage that he avoids falling and musters the strength to shove Alastyre to the side. He dislocates his wrists to free his hands from the hunter’s grip and creates four illusions of himself to gain time to heal. With his own body masked to blend into the nearest boulder, the Dawn Fang crouches in order to pounce on the first opportunity. Instead, he has to leap away when his enemy ignores the decoys and punches exactly where he is lurking.

“I’ve studied your tactics, so your tricks are pointless,” Alastyre says as he throws the cracked boulder over his shoulder.

“Guess I’ll have to take you seriously then,” the Dawn Fang retorts with a grin.

Why should readers buy this book?

The only reason to buy this book is because it’s a fun adventure.  I write to entertain with humour, exciting action scenes, and colourful characters.  Like my other books, War of Nytefall: Savagery is pure, relaxing escapism.

https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0921ZGG44

 

The Siren’s Call Blog Tour and Guest Post

The Siren’s Call
Pirates of the Withering Coast Part 1
by Alonna Williams
Genre: Lower YA Fantasy
Oh little one, the darkness is waiting, oh little one, run from it if you can; come little one, where the light can find you…”
This was a familiar shanty to Manchester born, Trevor Henderson; having grown up being mesmerized by stories of swashbuckling rogues, adventurous pirates and captivating aquatic creatures, he was no stranger to sea shanties. These tales instilled in him a longing for the sea.
Upon turning sixteen, he begins hearing whispers in the night, coaxing him to leave his posh life behind and follow his dreams; when Trevor finally takes the risk, he’s swept away on an adventure he never expected.
He soon learns the truth about his own identity and history, causing him to wonder if he should have set foot outside his comfort zone…
Alonna Williams is a children’s book author and has been writing ever since she was a little girl. It started with a short story and soon progressed to novels. Alonna has worked on, and grew up with a Pirate series entitled, Pirates of the Withering Coast, her favorite series of all, as well as a mystery series, a Sci-Fi/Superhero series and more! When she’s not writing you’ll most likely find her dancing, whether it be, Tap, Ballet, Jazz or Lyrical, or watching a good classic movie or cozying up to a Disney film!
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!
$10 Amazon

 

CAN YOU TELL US A LITTLE ABOUT THE CHARACTERS?

To start, Trevor of course was far different in the first draft, he was originally from a poor family and was unseen by his town. He was generous and sweet and he had two sisters. But something told me to make him spoiled and arrogant, I kind of like those characters more because I feel like they have more to learn.

Then we have Arjan, the gentle giant of a Siren who we learn about in the first few chapters of the book. He will have a prequel coming out soon so you can learn even more about him. Arjan originally had a very tiny role in the story but as time went on, and I crafted his backstory, I fell in love with the character and I think most people will too!

Lastly, I’ll talk about Labyrinth, Labyrinth is a lot of fun to write! He’s very child-like and his innocence is refreshing compared to Trevor’s brash arrogance. His design was fun to imagine as well and I can’t wait to write more about him in the next few books.

TELL US ABOUT YOUR FAVORITE CHARACTER FROM A BOOK:

Okay, so, he doesn’t originate from a book but he’s in a few and it’s Luke Skywalker. I think he’s my favorite fictional character ever and I do aspire to write a character like him one day.

I think he’s one of the best examples of great development as he went from a nerdy farm boy to a powerful Jedi and he didn’t feel out of character by Return of the Jedi.

This is something I’m striving to accomplish with Trevor; he has a lot to learn and no one wants to see him become all powerful overnight, they want to join him on his journey as he learns about himself and how to use his abilities (which you’ll learn of in the series :D)

 

Book Spotlight – The Long Night – Lucy Felthouse – Paranormal/Vampires/Reverse Harem

OUT NOW—The Long Night by Lucy Felthouse (@cw1985) #PNR #vampire #paranormal #reverseharem #whychoose #rhromance #reverseharemromance #military #uniform

 

Blurb:

Forever is a long time for a vampire… but is all that about to change for Lailah?

Lailah’s neighbour, Loulou, is well known for hosting wild, extravagant events, so as Lailah heads over there for the much-anticipated annual Halloween bash, she thinks she’s prepared for pretty much anything. Soon after arriving, though, she discovers Loulou has outdone herself—and presented Lailah, who, as well as being an actual vampire, has come in fancy dress as one, with the opportunity to have a little joke at her own expense.

What Lailah’s not prepared for, however, is the appearance of three gorgeous men in uniform. Their out-of-place getup piques Lailah’s curiosity, and as polite conversation turns to flirtation, Lailah gets the weirdest feeling nothing is ever going to be the same again.

But how will Luke, Leo and Jack react when they discover Lailah’s vampirism isn’t just for Halloween?

Note: This novella has been previously published as part of the Duty Bound with Bite anthology.

Available from: http://books2read.com/thelongnight  

 

*****

Excerpt:

I’m prepared for pretty much anything on my way to my next-door neighbour’s house for her Halloween party. Loulou is well known across north London for her wild, extravagant events, a few of which I’ve had the good fortune to be a part of—they’re always good fun. So I’m expecting something spectacular—she wouldn’t let me help, or even have a sneak peek at the decorations, so whatever she’s gone for will be a complete surprise to me.

The nearest streetlamp to our houses is providing just enough light to show off her outdoor decorations. I smile as I push open her fake-cobweb-covered front gate, duck as a plastic bat swoops toward my head, then make my way up the garden path, which is lined with creatively carved pumpkins, the tealights nestled inside each helping to illuminate the way to the door.

For all intents and purposes, I’m walking through a graveyard. Headstones in varying states of decay litter the grass. Noises ring out periodically—the hoot of an owl, the howl of a wolf, the yowl of a cat. There’s even a dry ice machine secreted somewhere, as a sinister, low-lying fog hovers over the ground.

I jump and gasp as I pass a large tree to find a decrepit, bloodstained zombie grinning at me from behind its trunk. Tutting, then chuckling at my own silliness, I mount the three steps up to the porch, where more of the same greets me, as well as some macabre smiling skulls, blood dripping from their mouths and spiders crawling from their eye sockets. It’s great, it really is, but there’s nothing unusual about any of it. This is Loulou we’re talking about—I’m waiting for the ‘wow’ factor, that extra something she’s thrown in to make her party an event that’ll be talked about for weeks, maybe even months, to come.

A sign with Gothic blood-red print is fixed to the door.

PARTY THIS WAY. ENTER IF YOU DARE.

Obviously, I dare. With a roll of my eyes, I depress the door handle—which has a large plastic spider hanging off it—and step inside. It’s only a few minutes past the official start time for the party, so it’s still pretty quiet. I’m fine with that—it gives me the opportunity to have a good look around at what Loulou has done with the décor before it gets too busy, too heaving with bodies. Live ones, that is. The dead ones dotted around the place don’t seem to care one way or the other.

I don’t bother announcing my presence to my neighbour—we’ll find each other before long. Instead, I immediately start exploring, exchanging the occasional polite nod with other early partygoers as we pass. The scent of pumpkin spice hangs in the air. So far, so typical—more cobwebs, spiders, pumpkins, skulls, bats, black cats, ghosts, witches, zombies, black floaty material draped everywhere, creepy music…

Then something catches my eye. Toward the back of what is usually Loulou’s enormous living room—the properties in this area, including mine, are huge—is a sectioned-off area. A partition, designed to look like an old stone wall. It’s dark, gloomy, spooky. I love it. And that’s before I notice the sign affixed to the arched doorway embedded in the wall.

THE VAMPIRE’S LAIR

A snort escapes me, and I quickly look around to make sure nobody noticed. I’m alone, thankfully—probably the others are diving into the drinks and snacks which are most likely laid out in the dining room, getting their hands on all the best stuff before other people arrive.

I open the door carefully, since I don’t know how sturdy this whole shebang is, and I don’t want to wreck it—Loulou’ll kill me—and enter, eager to find out exactly what Loulou thinks a vampire lair looks like.

You’d think she’d have an idea, really, given she lives next door to one. Not that she knows, of course—I don’t make a habit of announcing my true nature to people. It just results in disbelief, asking for proof, which then often leads to screaming and freaking out. I just can’t be doing with that kind of drama. Therefore I keep my supernatural status to myself, and move around just often enough to ensure people don’t start to notice I haven’t aged a day since they first met me.

 

*****

Author Bio:

Lucy Felthouse is the award-winning author of erotic romance novels Stately Pleasures (named in the top 5 of Cliterati.co.uk’s 100 Modern Erotic Classics That You’ve Never Heard Of), Eyes Wide Open (winner of the Love Romances Café’s Best Ménage Book 2015 award), The Persecution of the Wolves, Hiding in Plain Sight, and The Heiress’s Harem and The Dreadnoughts series. Including novels, short stories and novellas, she has over 170 publications to her name. Find out more about her writing at http://lucyfelthouse.co.uk, or on Twitter or Facebook. Join her Facebook group for exclusive cover reveals, sneak peeks and more! Sign up for automatic updates on Amazon or BookBub. Subscribe to her newsletter here: http://www.subscribepage.com/lfnewsletter

 

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