Friday, October 19, 2018

NERD BLAST: The Lantern's Ember by Colleen Houck


We have a 5-day Nerd Blast + Giveaway for Colleen Houck's The Lantern's Ember! Today, on the last day of this Nerd Blast, we have an exclusive Chapter excerpt to share! So... Check it out and grab your copy now!!!

Genre:
Young Adult
Paranormal/Fantasy Romance
Publish Date:
September 11, 2018
Publisher:
Delacorte Press

Synopsis:
Welcome to a world where nightmarish creatures reign supreme.

Five hundred years ago, Jack made a deal with the devil. It’s difficult for him to remember much about his mortal days. So, he focuses on fulfilling his sentence as a Lantern—one of the watchmen who guard the portals to the Otherworld, a realm crawling with every nightmarish creature imaginable. Jack has spent centuries jumping from town to town, ensuring that nary a mortal—or not-so-mortal—soul slips past him. That is, until he meets beautiful Ember O’Dare. 

Seventeen, stubborn, and a natural-born witch, Ember feels a strong pull to the Otherworld. Undeterred by Jack’s warnings, she crosses into the forbidden plane with the help of a mysterious and debonair vampire—and the chase through a dazzling, dangerous world is on. Jack must do everything in his power to get Ember back where she belongs before both the earthly and unearthly worlds descend into chaos.  


       
  

*Excerpt*
CHAPTER 1
CROSSROADS
         Jack sat on top of the covered bridge in his favorite spot, his arm draped over his carved pumpkin. The gourd wasn’t his first choice to house the ember of his immortality, but then again, he’d never really been given a choice.
         It wasn’t the first time he’d heard of foolish men who’d made deals with the devil. During every scary story he’d been told as a child on long winter nights, he’d clutched his covers to his throat imagining frightening specters, red demons, or wicked- clawed ghouls looming out of swaying shadows, ready to snatch up unmindful children and trick them with beguiling words. His imagination never came close to the truth. And he’d certainly never envisioned those devils walking earth as mere men, dressed as pirates, storing stolen souls in harvest vegetables.
         The devil who’d conscripted him five hundred years ago was named Rune. Jack barely remembered the town he was attempting to save by negotiating with Rune, or the boy he’d been when he’d done it. Now all the villagers were long dead. But not Jack. He wasn’t so lucky. Instead, Jack was stuck in a monotonous job, the same job Rune once had. And Jack had the pleasure of looking forward to another five hundred years of doing exactly the same thing day in and day out.
         It wasn’t like the job was too difficult. It was mostly quiet, but when it wasn’t, he did everything from exporting entire herds of gremlins, to clearing caves full of werewolves, to capturing a flock of Otherworld bats. Jack had even done the highly dangerous job of evicting a nest of half- breed vampires from an underground necropolis, entirely on his own.
         Admittedly, the swaggering pirate Rune had come to Jack’s aid a time or two, helping him avert what could have been disasters. But Jack quickly learned he didn’t appreciate how Rune handled mortals. Too many of them died or went insane under his care.
         Eventually, Jack ended up at his current assignment, a quiet New England town called Hallowell that butted up against one of the most boring, sleepy crossroads in the entirety of the Otherworld. Rune had probably thought Jack would complain about the placement, but the town was pretty, if small. There were plenty of large oaks and maples, elms and dogwood trees to offer him shade during the day. And in the fall the colors were beautiful. There was something to be said for a quiet life.
         It was lonely, but Jack was used to being alone.
         He was about to summon his horse so he could ride through the forest while the red, orange, and yellow fall leaves rained down upon his head, when he heard a noise.
         “Must you sit all the way up there?” Rune groused, emerging from the covered bridge and looking up at him. Smoke trailed in after the large man, pooling around his polished boots and caressing his ankles with long fingers. Stepping forward, Rune peeled off black leather gloves and stroked his short, boxed beard, shaved in thin lines and curls. “Someone could get past you before you could intervene. Besides, I hate craning my neck to have a conversation.”
         Jack shrugged. “I like keeping my pumpkin far from the road, so there’s no risk it could get trampled on. Besides, I’d hear someone long before they got close.” Jack’s pumpkin never aged or decomposed, but it could be broken, and that made his soul vulnerable.
         “Yes.” Rune fingered his firefly- shaped earring, a far better choice of vessels for a lantern to hide his ember than a fat orange gourd. He smiled up at Jack. The shaggy hair that slipped from his careless queue hung down to his shoulders, dark, except for a white streak that fell across his eyes. “I suppose, then, that’s a wise choice.”
         “What do you want, Rune?” Jack asked.
         “There’s been a rumor.”
         “About?”
         “Your town. It would seem a witch wind is blowing and it’s coming from your crossroad.”
         “My crossroad?” Jack said, leaping down with his pumpkin and landing easily next to Rune, feeling thin and pale next to Rune’s sun- kissed tan and deep- V silk shirt. “Are you certain?”
         All the lanterns were apprised when a witch wind blew. The Lord of the Otherworld gathered winds from the mortal world in a great funnel. Most of the time, the winds blowing through the crossroads were normal, but every so often, a special wind blew, indicating that a witch had grown strong enough not only to enter the Otherworld but to undo it completely. Unless the witch was captured and his or her energy contained, the Otherworld as they knew it could be destroyed. Only one witch was permitted in the Otherworld. She was trusted not just to avoid destroying it, but also to run it. She was the high witch, the Lord’s wife, and provider of all the magical energy in that realm. All others were a dreadful danger.
         “There are whispers,” Rune insisted. “Whispers in the wind of a powerful witch. One much more skillful than any you or I have dealt with before.” Rune’s own light glowed brighter, his earring winking as his dark skin brightened showing the skeleton lying beneath.
         Jack sighed. “You must be mistaken,” he said. “I’ve peered beneath the skin of every citizen of this town. There’s not a drop of witch blood among them.” He was relieved to be able to tell Rune the absolute truth for once. Hallowell was full of very content, happy mortals.
         “It’s not that I’m doubting your abilities, Jack,” Rune said, giving him a meaningful look that made Jack wince. “I just need to verify it for myself. You understand.”
         Jack waved his hand in resignation and Rune sent his firefly high above the town. It zipped back and forth, pausing occasionally while the lantern himself stared into space, seeing through the eye of his light. His eyes glowed with a silver sheen and then finally dimmed.
         “Told you,” Jack said. “Do you think it’s possible she got the location wrong? You could tell the high witch to look again.”
         “If a witch wind is blowing, you can be sure there’s a witch or warlock out there. Look, I’m just asking you to watch. Be on your guard. And, if you see something, let me know.” He clapped Jack on the back. “Don’t worry, son; if you can’t finish the job, I’ve always got your back.”
         Jack frowned, bristling at the slight. “Fine. I’ll send word if I find any trace of a witch,” Jack said.
          “You do that.”
         Rune left and Jack was too distracted to head off on his morning ride after all. Jack sat thinking about how strange it was for a witch wind to blow in his territory three times. Most lanterns never even had it happen once, but he’d been there when witches were detected at both Roanoke and Salem. It didn’t make sense. Perhaps he was just terribly unlucky.
         He was thinking about it all day as he walked the borders of the town, and into the evening as he settled down for the night on top of his bridge. The light flickered in his pumpkin and he turned it so he could trace the eyes with his fingertip. He’d long ago hollowed out the orange globe and carved a smiling face. His only companion on long days and even longer nights. It comforted him to see his ember’s glow in the pumpkin’s expression. The light warmed him, giving him hope that somehow, somewhere, there was a spark of freedom waiting for him, even if it was at the end of a very long, weary road.
         Jack had just fallen asleep when he heard the thunder of hooves on the road leading to town. Summoning his black stallion, he leapt off the bridge and onto the monstrous horse’s back as it materialized from the Otherworld, nostrils steaming and eyes glowing with fire. The horse reared and Jack, with the pumpkin tucked beneath his arm, kicked the horse’s sides, and they galloped toward the road.
         He stopped on the hill and saw a carriage, shiny and new, a fine pair of horses pulling it quickly down the path. Jack chose not to show himself, but sent a moaning wind that frightened the driver who glanced right and left and cracked his whip to make the team run faster.
         Jack, the lantern, sat and watched as the carriage made its way to town. Just as it passed him, the curtain moved and a small, white face was lit by a moonbeam. It was a wide- eyed little girl, her brown hair curled in ringlets. She pressed her hands against the glass and her pink mouth opened in a circle as she stared right at him.

Copyright © 2018 by Colleen Houck

Praise for THE LANTERN'S EMBER

"[Houck] offers a fresh spin on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow...with some genuine surprises in store." —Kirkus

"A wild and seductive adventure...a must-have for YA collections." —SLJ  

~~~~~

**About the Author**
Photo Content from Colleen Houck
New York Times Bestselling author Colleen Houck is a lifelong reader whose literary interests include action, adventure, paranormal, science fiction, and romance. When she’s not busy writing, she likes to spend time chatting on the phone with one of her six siblings, watching plays, and shopping online. Colleen has lived in Arizona, Idaho, Utah, California, and North Carolina and is now permanently settled in Salem, Oregon with her husband and a huge assortment of plush tigers.  

Stay connected with Colleen Houck
    

~~~~~

***The Giveaway***


Giveaway is Open Internationally | Must be 13+ to Enter

Note: Not Responsible for Lost & Damaged Prizes in Your Mail Box
Nerd Blast Organized by

EXCERPT REVEAL: Shadow and Ice by Gena Showalter


Today, we have a sneak peek into the first title in a new paranormal series by Gena Showalter with this Excerpt Reveal!!! The Queen of Paranormal Romance, New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Gena Showalter, stuns with Shadow And Ice, the first title in her scorching new paranormal romance series Gods of War Series. Check out the sneak peek below and pre-order your copy of Shadow And Ice today!

Genre:
Adult
Paranormal Romance
Series:
Gods of War, #1
Publish Date:
October 23, 2018
Publisher:
HQN

Synopsis:
Gena Showalter, the New York Times bestselling author who brought you the Lords of the Underworld, introduces a scorching new paranormal romance series… Gods of War.

Knox of Iviland has spent his life competing in the All Wars, where vicious warriors with supernatural powers fight to the death to claim new realms. One winner takes everything—and all losers die. Enslaved as a child for his ability to control shadows, the most ruthless champion in history will stop at nothing to kill his king. But first he must win the battle for Earth. When a fearsome weapon imprisons every combatant in ice, centuries pass without progress…until she walks in.

Vale London craves a fun arctic getaway with her foster sister before settling down to open a bakery. Street-tough but vulnerable, she is unprepared to find ancient gods escaping a frozen cave—merciless beings who target her when she inadvertently enters their war.

Though Vale is now his enemy, Knox is consumed with lust and a fierce need to protect her. But only one combatant can prove victorious, and he will have to choose: live for freedom, or die for love.


      

*Excerpt*
Wearier by the second, Shiloh scrubbed a hand down his face. “This is my first All War. I knew it would be tough, but I am my home’s strongest competitor, and I believed I could do…anything. I was wrong.”
“You sound as if you’re eager to die. Good news. I’m happy to help.”
“I’m sure you are, but I don’t want to die. I don’t want to kill, either.”
“Ah, I see. You’d rather make your people suffer.”
Shiloh glowered.
For the “privilege” of participating in an All War, a realm’s sovereign had to give the High Council thou­sands of children. The exact number depended on a combatant’s order of elimination. The faster you were eliminated, the more your realm had to pay. But in order to forfeit a war entirely, sovereigns had to hand over even more children.
From infancy to the age of eighteen, boy or girl, chil­dren were chattel, commodities raised to be Enforcers.
Only the winning realm was exempt.
“My people already suffer,” Shiloh said. “Our realm is overcrowded.”
Iviland was overcrowded as well, more and more im­mortals born or created every day. New realms were desperately needed.
In the beginning, whenever a new one was discov­ered, multiple armies invaded at once. Battles raged, the trespassers hoping to seize control. Violence spread far and wide, ultimately destroying everything, leaving the lands uninhabitable.
Under the guise of saving future domains, ruling factions created the High Council and All War—an on­going battle between a single representative from each otherworld, the new realm acting as the arena.
In the past few months, the people of Terra had begun fighting back and setting traps. Not a first, but definitely a problem on days like today. The citizens weren’t bound by assembly rules. But then, they had no supernatural abilities and were no match for immortals.
Knox had seen no sign of a human army today. Maybe they’d fled in fear? To them, combatants were gods.
Knox, they’d nicknamed Loki, the “evil trickster.” A moniker he bore with pride.
“When I killed a woman I respected, a part of my soul died,” Shiloh said, pulling him from his thoughts. “Why can’t the realms reach terms without bloodshed?”
“Greed.” Why else?
Movement at the side of a mountain. Knox slid his gaze across the ice—at last. Zion. A man of six and a half feet, like Knox, with dark hair, wide shoulders and a body honed on the most savage battlefields with no hint of softness. Also like Knox.
But unlike Knox, he refused to use the weapons he won. Reasons unknown. The choice angered Knox, even though it aided his cause. Such a waste.
He tightened his grip on his most prized possessions—the daggers he’d taken from his first victim. The blades were serrated, hooked at the tip, and had brass knuckle hilts. With a single blow, he could slice, dice and pul­verize.
Zion reached the check-in point and spread his arms, all Here I am, come and get me. Embedded in his arms were jewels, each one set in specific patterns, as bold as the man himself. On his hands, a pair of spiked metal gloves able to punch through anything.
I want. I take.
Locked on tonight’s target.
Anticipation resurged and redoubled, burning inside Knox, and growing hotter by the second. Zion was a warrior he would gladly slay.
“Come.” Knox jumped from his perch, falling down, down, landing a few yards away from the check-in point. Though the impact jarred him, he walked forward without a hitch in his step, boots crunching in the snow.
Shiloh jumped, as well, and hurried to catch up.
As they passed the invisible wall that sealed them inside the clearing, Knox experienced a familiar and abhorrent vibration from the top of his head to the soles of his feet. His ability to control shadows had just been neutralized.
“So nice of you to join us,” Bane said, his tone as smug and condescending as ever.
Like most Adwaewethians, he had pale hair, golden eyes—and a beast trapped within. When the creature took control of his body, his appearance changed. He became a monster, hideous beyond compare, strong beyond compare, and developed an appetite for blood. No one and nothing was safe.

Copyright©2018 Gena Showalter

Praise for Shadow And Ice

“I love this world…this is Gena Showalter at her best!”—J.R. Ward, #1 New York Times bestselling author

“The Gods of War series is my new obsession.”—Christine Feehan, #1 New York Times bestselling author 


~~~~~

**About the Author**
Gena Showalter is the New York Times and USA TODAY bestselling author of the spellbinding Lords of the Underworld and Angels of the Dark series, two young adult series--Everlife and the White Rabbit Chronicles--and the highly addictive Original Heartbreakers series.  In addition to being a National Reader's Choice and two time RITA nominee, her romance novels have appeared in Cosmopolitan (Red Hot Read) and Seventeen magazine, she's appeared onNightline and been mentioned in Orange is the New Black--if you ask her about it, she'll talk for hours…hours!  Her books have been translated in multiple languages.

She’s hard at work on her next novel, a tale featuring an alpha male with a dark side and the strong woman who brings him to his knees. You can learn more about Gena, her menagerie of rescue dogs, and all her upcoming books at genashowalter.com or Facebook.com/genashowalterfan

Stay connected with Gena Showalter
    


Excerpt Reveal Organized by

RELEASE DAY BLITZ: Subzero by Cambria Hebert


Today, we have a Book Blitz + Giveaway to celebrate the release of Cambria Hebert's Subzero, the fourth and final title in the BearPaw Resort series!!! Each title can be read as standalone novels. To celebrate this release, we have an  exclusive excerpt to share! So... Check it out and grab your copy now!!!

Genre:
New Adult/Adult
Romantic Suspense/Thriller
Series:
BearPaw Resort, #4
Publish Date:
October 19, 2018

Synopsis:
My best friend, Liam Mattison, was born with snow in his veins.

Me? Ice.

Maybe that’s why my eyes are this color. Maybe it’s because I was born in Caribou, where there’s more snow than sun.

I always knew I had a chill within me, but after my time with the army, that chill froze over. I saw and did things most people couldn’t fathom. I made contacts with people who were more beast than man.

I came home altered, and there was no going back.

Except I did. It had to be done, and I didn’t regret it.

But now I’m thrust back into a world where people had forgotten my name. Back into a past I walked away from.

Memories of all the things I’ve done, of the people I’ve left behind, are floating to the surface.

The late-night summons wasn’t really unexpected.

The request was.

Saying no is impossible when you’re the only man equipped for the job. Saying no is difficult when what you really want to say is yes.

So here I am, past and present colliding with a woman I intentionally left behind. A woman who needs me to keep her alive.

I made a promise, and I will keep it.

Even if I die doing it. Even if it means the ice inside me goes subzero.


    
☆FREE on Kindle Unlimited☆

*Excerpt*
The gun I held with both hands hit the dirt, and I hit my knees. “Kitten,” I rasped out, shoving Liam away and reaching for her. “Kitten, honey, where are you hit?”
I gripped her shoulders and pulled her into me, scanning her face, her neck, her shoulders, panicking, searching for a bullet wound, looking for blood.
Her eyes popped open. “Alex,” she whispered.
My stare sprang to hers. “Tell me, baby. Tell me where you’re hit.”
She sighed a little and snuggled close, then suddenly stiffened and wrenched away. I went to grab her back, still freaking the fuck out, but she yelled, “I’m not shot!”
I reached for her anyway. She grasped my hand and glared at me. “Alex! I’m not shot!”
I fell back onto my haunches, still gripping her hand so she had to move a little with me. “You aren’t?”
“No.” She held her arms out. “See?”
Anger filled my throat. “Then what the fuck were you groaning on the ground for?”
Good God! She took nearly twenty years off my life!
“Because this creep threw me on the ground and jumped on me!”
Daniel came out of nowhere, grabbing up Liam by the back of his neck and putting him a choke hold.
I lurched up and shook my head. “It’s Liam.”
Daniel dropped him immediately. “My bad.”
“You’re fucking lucky you didn’t put a bullet in him,” I swore.
“Sorry,” Daniel said, sheepish.
Liam straightened his shirt and glanced at me, lifting a brow. “Kitten? Honey? Baby?”
“Fuck you, Mattison.”
He turned to Sabrina. “You have a real name?”
She crossed her arms over her chest and sniffed. “You’re bigger on TV.”
Liam grinned. “Still took you to the ground.”
“You better watch yourself.” I warned him.
Liam took my threat mildly, squinting at me. “I take it you know this little criminal?”
Sabrina gasped.
I laughed.

Copyright© 2018 Cambria Hebert


 

~~~
 Binge read the BearPaw Resort series...
  
(covers link to Goodreads)

    
FREE on Kindle Unlimited


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**About the Author**
Cambria Hebert is an award winning, bestselling novelist of more than twenty books. She went to college for a bachelor’s degree, couldn’t pick a major, and ended up with a degree in cosmetology. So rest assured her characters will always have good hair.

Besides writing, Cambria loves a caramel latte, staying up late, sleeping in, and watching movies. She considers math human torture and has an irrational fear of chickens (yes, chickens). You can often find her running on the treadmill (she’d rather be eating a donut), painting her toenails (because she bites her fingernails), or walking her chorkie (the real boss of the house).

Cambria has written within the young adult and new adult genres, penning many paranormal and contemporary titles. Her favorite genre to read and write is romantic suspense. A few of her most recognized titles are: The Hashtag series, Text, Torch, and Tattoo.

Cambria Hebert owns and operates Cambria Hebert Books, LLC.

You can find out more about Cambria and her titles by visiting her website.

Stay connected with Cambria Hebert
        
email: cambriahebert@rocketmail.com

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***The Giveaway***

Giveaway Open Internationally
Note: Not Responsible for Lost & Damaged Prizes in Your Mail Box
Book Blitz Organized by