The Temptress – Cover Reveal and Off a Friend Winner

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DRUMROLL!!!! 

 

The third book, The Temptress, has an official cover! The first two are getting a makeover as well as part of the new Half Light Publishing home.

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I think it’s my favorite cover yet! (Although I say that with each one) and of course all due to the brilliance of my amazing cover designer, Jason Vollario. Who just gets me.

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Also, we’re going to have beautiful black and white prints available for those coming to our events! (Without the watermark)

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And, if you’re subscribed to my newsletter, then you’ve already seen the announcement, but big congrats to

Arianna Grenawalt

You’re going to be brutally slaughtered thanks to the people who love you! That’s love I tell ya.

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Anna Hyde in Jekyll Park- TEASER

Anna Hyde in Jekyll Park is book 2 in the Twisted Fairy Tale Series due to come out next month! Inspired by a recent question on my Facebook page: What’s a quirky and/or unique trait you  have, I decided to post this teaser.

I normally wouldn’t post this long of a teaser, but based on the inspiration – felt it was imperative. This one’s for you, Melissa!

Chapter 1

Anna

Like tendrils, the Willow branches whipped against itself in the onslaught of rain and biting wind. It was possible a frog croaked somewhere near the base of the tree. Though, it was hard to tell with the angry sounds the late summer storm brought. The lake was in danger of spilling over onto the roadway if the relentless rain didn’t stop. Yet, I found solace on the park bench. I wrapped my arms around myself and I was sure the glint in my eye would reveal my intentions.

“Everyone has a price,” I said, loud enough to be heard over the rush of the storm.

Gannon chewed his lip nervously. I could tell he wanted to argue with me and I mentally dared him to.

He nodded. “I have nothing to put a price on,” he said so low I could barely hear him.

“I’m not sure I heard you.” I leaned in, lowering my head and forcing him to make eye contact with me. His eyes glistened and threatened to spill tears.

“Ms. Hyde, you’re quite caustic, aren’t you?”

“What makes you think I’m being anything but serious?” I narrowed my eyes. Surely he didn’t think this was a joke.

“You jest.”

I laughed, even though it was anything but funny. He shook his head at me and then turned his gaze toward the lake. Something skimmed the surface of the water. Perhaps a drowning beetle, I hoped. I hated beetles.

“As I said – what makes you think I’m being anything but serious?”

His chest rose and fell with a deep sigh. “And as I said, I have nothing to put a price on.”

“Well, you and I both know that isn’t true.”

He clenched his fists for a brief moment. If I hadn’t been looking in his direction, I would’ve have noticed. It was the first reprieve he gave me and I was taking it. I felt the corners of my mouth turn up against my will.

“You’re smiling,” he said, sounding defeated.

“It’s a beautiful day.”

Gannon grunted. A garter snake slithered along the rod-iron leg of the bench, unknowingly heading toward my right foot, just eight inches away. Seven. Six. Five. Four. Three inches.

On the intake of a breadth, I threw my foot out and pressed the toe end of my boot on top of the snake’s head, crushing its head against the drenched grass. The tail slithered and twitched as I pressed harder. My heart drummed gloriously in my chest. Disappointingly, the twitching was over too soon and the snake went still.

I sighed in relief.

“That wasn’t necessary,” Gannon said. He frowned, looking at the dead snake by my foot.

I shrugged at his remark. “Animals are unsatisfactory,” I said. “When you snuff them out, it’s like turning off the light. There’s no prelude, no climax, no twist. It’s a very boring story.”

Gannon shifted in his seat, sliding an inch away. It opened room for me to turn and face him. I rested my left arm on the back of the bench, grazing my thumb against the wool of his coat. With my right hand, I touched his cheek, feeling the rough stubble beneath my fingers. Ignoring his flinch, I continued running my fingers down his throat and felt his pulse beat frantically under my palm.

“You’re nervous,” I whispered. If the rain didn’t pound down on us I was sure he’d be covered in sweat.

He chewed on his lip again. “I don’t understand what you want from me.”

“I already told you.”

He laughed, surprising – then delighting me. It was the unexpected human reaction that fed me. I took a deep, cleansing breath. Yes, I could smell his sweat – I was sure of it.

“It will never happen,” he said, his voice strong.

So the dance began again. “Gannon,” I whispered, edging closer to him until I was sure he could feel my warm breath against his rain slicked neck. “Everyone has a price. Just think of what the money will do for you.” My hand on his thigh, squeezing softly – reassuringly. “You need the money,” I reminded him. “Are you really going to deny what it will do for you? For your family? Are you really willing to make that sacrifice?”

It was strange how I could tell the difference between the tears on his cheeks and the raindrops. It was as if the tears were escaping a certain fate, falling quickly to his chin while the raindrops stayed where they were – completely oblivious to the danger lurking just a few inches away.

Chapter 2

Lucy

A worm lost on the sidewalk, desperate for dryer soil. A frog croaking in the long grass. And then there was the snake under the bench.

“You poor thing,” I whispered while petting its smooth scales, though, it was long gone. I placed a small daisy by its head, disturbed by the grotesque nature in which its life had ended. My stomach churned at the site.

Then, one-by-one, I placed each worm in the grass, hoping it had dried enough for them to find their home. “Bye bye little one,” I said – mentally giving each a name; Joe, Sandy, Rylan, Chris, Alex, and Bobby. I was careful to select unisex names for the worms. They were hermaphrodites after-all.

On the park bench was a single gold coin. “Thank you,” I whispered as I slipped it into my pocket. Nature always rewarded me. Nature was kind. Nature was beautiful.

When my work was done, I removed my boots and my favorite purple eyelet socks with the yellow lace trim around the ankles. There used to be tiny yellow bows on the lace, but they had long fallen off – or washed away in the magical place where all the mysterious items in my wash had gone. A sock here, a shirt there, a scarf somewhere…

I waded into the lake, feeling the ice-cold water and mud between my toes. I squealed in the loveliness of it all. As my body adapted to the shock of cold my thoughts drifted to the snake under the bench. I knew in my heart someone had killed that poor snake and it made me sad.

It was difficult to enjoy the beauty of the lake after the rain when I was haunted by what happened. Whoever it was would be back and they would hurt more of my animals. I just needed to find out who and stop them.

Win the Book Lovers Giveaway!

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What you’ll win:

A limited edition, numbered and signed collectors cover print of Alice Hill in Silent Wonderland. (Coming to the Big Screen in 2016)

A signed copy of The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly of Sales and Marketing

A signed copy of Sun Gate (Bohemian Grove Trilogy #2)

A signed copy of CLUSTERS: Case of the Missing

A signed copy of The Apocalypse: Undead Winter

See the Rafflecopter below to win!

CLICK HERE TO ENTER ~> a Rafflecopter giveaway

More News for Alice Hill

 

What’s in store for Alice Hill? The second edition (which includes interior illustrations) will be released sometime in October. (I don’t have the date on hand right now)

I know many of you have requested that Alice Hill be expanded. Alice Hill, the story for me, is done. However, Alice’s story may not be. As far as stories go, when you create characters you own the rights to them. That is, until you sign your rights away when getting a publisher, hoping that publisher will love and cherish those characters as much as you do – and do right by them. Which, unfortunately, isn’t always the case.

In my situation, it is. So, I still have full rights to my characters, but I’ve also given them the freedom to be at the hands of other authors who may want to take them on and write side stories through my publisher, AZ Publishing. I know that my publisher has already spoken to a couple of amazing authors so — this may not be the end of Alice for you guys.

 

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On a slightly different note. Alice Hill in Silent Wonderland is the first short story in a compilation of alternative fairy tale short-stories I’m writing that will range in levels of darkness. What kind of range? Alice Hill would be on the lighter side while the darker stories will make Apocalypse seem like a warm-up.

The next in the series will be The Temptress on Robin Lane – which is Robin Hood ah la serial killer. 

Anyway, if you’d like to pre-order Alice Hill (second edition) you can do so on my website by clicking here. We’ve updated the site so that the shopping cart is much easier to use and you don’t have to hop all over the website to order each book – and… you don’t have to buy each book via a separate transaction. Yeah, it’s like a normal shopping cart – I’ve entered the 21st century.

If you’ve read Alice Hill – let me know what you think of the story and which characters you’d most be interested in seeing the story expanded on!

 

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Alice Hill Teaser

Moonlight 3 is complete and so I’ve jumped right into Alice Hill, which I’ve been itching to write. Here’s an opening teaser to the novella. Leave your thoughts in the comments. I decided to go in first person because I think it works better for horror but also because the book revolves around Alice Hill. So it’s really a matter of her perspective anyway. Besides, it’s important that we only see her perspective in this. You’ll see when when the book is complete.

I also decided to go a bit more… formal? With the writing. For those of you who have read my other books, you know I don’t really stick to one style in anything and I write what I think fits the story. Maybe I’m a bit bi-polar that way, but so far I think it’s working. What do you think? Is this style good?

Just like Undead Winter was a book based off of my nightmare, so is this one. I’ll let you know which parts were in my dream when it’s complete.

The vibration of the road sent shivers up my spine as I peered at Michigan City just ahead, looming in a bed of fog and water. The iron gates stood open, just enough to let us through – the lone car on the way to the trial. Rabbit, my loyal golden retriever was curled up in a ball next to me, softly snoring as Buck sat in the passenger seat up front, forlorn and forgotten.

We rode in silence the entire way and I felt a mix of trepidation and animosity. The large, belly heavy crows squawked above us just as we passed through the gates, heaving their hate towards us. Yes, even the birds hated us. Harry sipped his tea as he drove, mindless to the tension building around him. I think he enjoyed himself.

The bony and starving citizens of Michigan City peered around building corners as we passed, sneering at us – the passengers on the way to Buck Frost’s trial. I wasn’t sure if Buck noticed them or not, but he appeared unmoving in his seat, probably lost in thoughts of his demise. Harry drove the winding roads with ease toward Looking Mansion, through the dire streets of Michigan City and deep into Queen’s Gardens, where Looking Mansion stood alone.

As we entered the property perimeter a smile teased the corners of Harry’s mouth.

“We’re here,” he said as he turned to face me – a full grin on his ugly face.

I knew he enjoyed tormenting me, but not as much as he enjoyed tormenting Buck. I was Buck’s only friend here. Well, besides Rabbit, that is.

Buck opened the door and got out without a word, so I followed suit. Rabbit hopped out of the car and wagged her tail, bouncing around me in happy circles.

“Easy girl.” I patted her head.

I heard the gates of Looking Mansion slam shut behind us, locking us in – hopefully not forever as the grand front doors opened themselves to our entry. I wanted to ask Buck about the cycles of the house but he didn’t look to be in a talking mood. I turned to Harry who walked with his chin and nose up in the air behind us — happy to see us suffering.

Winter 2014
Winter 2014