a-very-scary-christmas-banner-oubliette-2
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Have a Very Scary Christmas
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This time of the year is often
happy, filled with cheer and the spirit of giving. For those who enjoy
something a little darker, though, there are plenty of thrills on the movie
front.
If you like things that are
twisted and dark, then here are the top five scary holiday movies you can
watch:
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Jack Frost
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Nothing like a killer snowman
named Jack Frost to get you in the mood for the holidays, right? This 1997
thriller is a classic holiday romp you are sure to enjoy. The movie takes place
in the fictional town of Snowmonton, where a truck carrying serial killer Jack
Frost to his execution crashes into a genetics truck. The genetic material
causes Jack’s body to mutate and fuse together with the snow on the ground. As
you can imagine, what happens next is pretty freaky and fun!
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Gremlins
 

As cute as those little buggers
are when they are soft, fuzzy Mogwai, they are delightfully evil as Gremlins.
They wreak havoc during Christmas when a boy inadvertently breaks three
important rules about getting his new pet wet. This is a family favorite and if
you’ve never seen it, now it is the season.

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Silent Night, Deadly Night



A slasher flick that brings us
all back to the 80s, this film is perfect for fans of serial killer movies.
It’s tehe story of an escaped maniac who returns to his childhood home on
Christmas Eve, which is now a sorority house, and begins to murder the sorority
sisters one by one. There is lots of blood and gore, watch this one with the
lights low after the kids are in bed.

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Krampus
Released last year, Krampus is
based on a German legend and takes the notion of St. Nick and spins it in a
whole new direction. It’s about a boy who has a bad Christmas ends up
accidentally summoning this festive demon to his family home. Lots of jumpy
moments make this a must-watch during the holidays.
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The
Nightmare Before Christmas
Okay, this is considered a
Halloween flick, too, but it certainly crosses over and spans two of the best
holidays of the year. You see, Jack Skellington, king of Halloween Town,
discovers Christmas Town, but doesn’t quite understand the concept. Can you
blame him? Tim Burton is a master and this film can be enjoyed by young and old
anytime during the season.
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Oubliette: A Forgotten Little Place
Vanta M. Black
Genre: Fiction, Thriller, Paranormal, 
Historical Fiction, Genre-Fiction, 
New Adult, Horror
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Publisher: Black Chateau Publishing
Date of Publication: March 2016
ISBN: 978-0-9964488-2-6 / ISBN: 978-0-9964488-1-9
ISBN: 978-0-9964488-0-2
Number of pages: 566 / Word Count: 247,912
Cover Artist: Black Chateau Enterprises
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My Review
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This is a rather long book but reads quickly as the author transports you back in time and forward to the present, giving you multiple perspectives that enrich this tale of historical horror.  And it all starts with a ten-year-old girl, Veronica, suffering from what everyone believes are night terrors.

The author then flashes to the present. Veronica is all grown up and struggling to make it on her own as an interior designer. A mysterious invitation to come to France for the summer and do a complete makeover at the historical Le Chateau du Feu Ardent, which means The  Castle Of Blazing Fire, sounds like a dream come true to her. But she could never have imagined the nightmares that await.

Veronica invites her sister, Nikki, to come along. Nikki is a bit spoiled and self-centered but I still found her a delight. She adds that light- hearted humor that provides a break in the suspense, allowing you to fully connect with these two sisters. But all isn’t light and laughter as the two are exposed to something dark, insidious. It will be a summer they’ll never forget, and maybe won’t survive.

Oubliette is filled with historical fact that blends the real and fictional. The author’s ability to do this shines in her descriptions of the different periods. You feel like you’ve stepped in a time capsule and are actually seeing the places she reveals.

The cover was what first caught my attention. I thought I was getting a horror story. And I did. But I also got much, much more, and I highly recommend this tale.

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4 Stars
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Book Description
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Veronica knows the monsters aren’t “just in her head”, but no one listens to the headstrong ten-year-old as they tie her to a hospital bed every night.
Years later, after being dumped by her business-partner/boyfriend, Veronica finds herself on the verge of bankruptcy. Then a late-night call promises the perfect solution — a job opportunity decorating a castle in France.
Will Veronica risk what little she has left to chase a fairytale?
When the shadowy things that once terrorized her come back, Veronica must decide how much she’ll sacrifice for them, for her sanity, and for her life.
This epic book consists of interwoven stories with paranormal twists. A horror-filled historical fiction adventure, it spans nearly two millennia.
You’ll be transported to an ancient Pagan ritual, Roman-ruled Gaul, the bloody Inquisition of the Knights Templar, France as it’s ravaged by the Black Death, the duplicitous Reformation, the Paris Catacombs, and the gory French Revolution, while you unravel Oubliette’s cryptic layers.
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Amazon    BN    Author Website
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Excerpt One from Oubliette—A Forgotten Little Place by Vanta M. Black – From the Prologue to Veronica’s Story
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Veronica didn’t understand why they looked for the monsters in her head, that’s obviously not where they were. Instead of listening, the doctors stuck pads with wires to her temples and increased the dosage of an IV that dripped into her veins.
They also told the nurses to tie her down with thick, leather belts every night.
The tethers didn’t matter though, because when the monsters came, she wouldn’t be able to move anyway. The only thing Veronica could ever do was scream.
The doctors called them “night terrors”. The pudgy lady who talked funny –– she told Veronica it was her accent –– said they were “spirits”. Mommy used the term “shadow people”. Veronica just called them “monsters”, and wished they’d stop scaring her when she slept. 
They wanted her. Deep inside, on a primal level, Veronica knew the monsters –– or whatever they were –– craved her, and if given the chance, they would do something very, very bad to her. 
The little girl tried to explain this to the doctors, the nurses, the accent-talking lady, and her mother, but none of the adults really listened. Instead they argued and shouted at each other, and huffed in and out of the room –– but the thing that frightened Veronica the most, is when the adults would simply shrug their shoulders, and admit that they really didn’t have any idea what the monsters were at all.

 

 

 

 

About the Author:
Vanta M. Black, author of Oubliette—A Forgotten Little Place, enjoys uncovering the dark mysteries of our Universe.
In addition to writing,  she enjoys traveling to provocative places and studying all things esoteric.
Black has degrees in English, communication and art. She resides in Southern California with her husband and two pug-mix dogs, and spends her time in support of causes that empower women and advance science and technology.
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HORROR WRITING PROMOTION
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 The Oh Lá Lá Oubliette Fan Fiction Contest gives writers the opportunity to win a trip to France! This is ideal for horror fans who love to read and write. 
 
The criteria is simple. Writers are asked to submit between 500 and 10,000 words. 
 
Any of the many story lines or characters from the book may be used for inspiration. A judging panel will evaluate fan fiction submissions on story structure, creativity, and authenticity to the book. 
 
Entries can be flash fiction, biographical, historical, poem, or 
nearly any other narrative format.
 

 

 

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When Blood Reigns
Barbara Cluster
Publication date: December 5th 2016
Genres: Adult, Horror, Science Fiction

Marked for death, Alexis accompanies her lover, Yeron, and four survivors of a zombie invasion on a search for the renegades who created a chemical that induces a zombie-like state. On the way, ravenous flesh-eaters attack Alexis’s team; one survivor turns on her. She realizes too late that the renegades have been tracking her every move. When officials capture her, she becomes deathly ill. Can DNA splicing save her? Will Yeron’s attempts at rescue jeopardize all their lives?

The author wanted you to know the book will be on sale fro $2.99 – regular 3.99 for the first month of release!

Goodreads / Amazon

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EXCERPT:

Teodon pointed toward Laurel and held a finger to his lip.

“Do not speak out loud. I will understand the answers you think.”

Okay, Yeron’s badly hurt and so am I. I can’t move him without making his injuries worse.

“All right, then I will levitate him. I know how and I will not see him die. Go ahead of us and lead me to Quyeba’s laboratory. You must forget your injuries and pain. It may seem impossible, but Yeron needs your help. I cannot carry two injured people safely, and if you stay, Laurel will come after you again.”

I understand. Alexis struggled onto her hands and knees.

Harsh chewing and slurping sounds issued from Laurel. Despite the pain wracking her body, Alexis crawled toward the door.

She had to find her way back to the lab. Yeron was moaning, and his cries were growing weaker. Teodon lifted him. He depended on her to lead the way. Any second, Laurel would tire of Woehar and come after her.

Never mind the pain. Find help.

Gritting her teeth, Alexis began her Bataan Death Crawl. Her incisions telegraphed bolts of stabbing pain with each movement. It doesn’t matter; Yeron’s life is on the line. She mind-opened the panel and led Yeron and Teodon through the exit.

Once in the hallway, Teodon hesitated.

“Left or right?”

Woehar had made a sharp right to enter the killing field, Alexis remembered. Left.

She edged along the long stretch of hall. The throbbing from her incision and back brought to mind the pain she’d felt from the rheumatoid arthritis during her job as a respiratory therapist. Her chest tightened at the prospect of navigating that long corridor the way it used to when she faced a heavy shift. No painkillers were forthcoming. She kept going.

It was simple. Woehar had guided right from the laboratory, and then a long stretch of hallway, past two sets of doors, before making her right into the death camp. So Alexis retraced Woehar’s steps and looked for steel doors on her left leading to the lab. Adrenaline would carry her. She’d once read a tale about a mother whose adrenaline rush allowed her to lift a car off her child’s injured body.

Agony bled into her incision with every shift of her knees. The pain was worse in her lower back, where Laurel had kicked her. Sweat rolled down her forehead, dripping on the grid floor. She was leaving bloody handprints and a ribbon of blood. None of that mattered. She strained her ears, listening for familiar voices.

Seconds later, she did hear Quyeba and Zoltar. A few paces further, ungodly spasms tore through her back. The black dots returned. She called for help. She last saw Teodon kneel over Yeron, placing something on his wounded shoulder. Behind them, Laurel emerged from the corridor, growling, her mouth opened wide. The dots swelled and the screams died in Alexis’s throat as the darkness took her.

 

Author Bio:

Barbara lives near Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, where she works full time as a respiratory therapist. When she’s not working with her patients, she’s enjoying a fright flick or working on horror and science fiction tales. She’s published Night to Dawn magazine since 2004.

Other books by Barbara include Twilight Healer, City of Brotherly Death, Infinite Sight, and Steel Rose; also novellas Close Liaisons and Life Raft: Earth. She enjoys bringing her medical background to the printed page, and then blending it with supernatural horror. She maintains a presence on Facebook, Linkedin, Twitter, and The Writers Coffeehouse forum. Look for the photos with the Mylar balloons, and you’ll find her.

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

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Better Off Thread
by Amanda Lee

A true cozy lover’s cozy that might just surprise you at the end.
~Laura’s Interests

I really enjoyed this book with the themes of Christmas and of course murder…
~Community Bookstop

I’ve really love all the characters in this book and their friendships. I feel like I’m visiting friends when I read a book from this series..
~A Chick Who Reads

better-off-thread

Better Off Thread (Embroidery Mystery)
Series: Embroidery Mystery (Book 10)
Mass Market Paperback: 304 pages
Publisher: Berkley (December 6, 2016)
ISBN-13: 978-0451473851
E-Book ASIN: B01CZCW26A

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My Review

Another fun cozy in the Embroidery Mystery series. I’ve read several of these and am always glad to revisit old friends, see who got snuffed and why, sift through the clues, and see if my guess on who did it is correct.

It’s a busy time at Marcy’s embroidery shop, but she just can’t refuse when her friend, Captain Moe, asks her to play an elf to his Santa for sick kids at the hospital.

It’s all fun and laughter until the hospital’s administrator is found dead and Rudolph’s shiny red nose points at Moe as the main suspect. I guess no good deed goes unpunished.

It was good to visit with Marcy again and see how her relationship with Ted was going. And always glad to see more of Angus, her Irish Wolfhound. He’s such a character and plays a bigger role in this one. He’s got a nose for clues.

Being from a small town myself, I’m drawn to cozies. They feel so much like my community. Most people know each other and that breeds familiarity. A murder that’s close to home has everyone looking at their neighbor, wondering just how well they really know each.

A fun misadventure for the holidays, you can’t go wrong here.

4 Stars

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Synopsis

Santa finds himself in a stitch of trouble in the tenth in the series from the national bestselling author of The Stitching Hour…

Marcy is busy helping her customers make hand-crafted ornaments at her embroidery shop, the Seven-Year Stitch. But despite the yuletide bustle, when her friend Captain Moe asks for her help, she can’t refuse—especially when the favor is to play the elf to his Santa for sick children at a local hospital. Despite the ridiculous outfit, Marcy finds herself enjoying spreading cheer—until the hospital’s administrator is found murdered.

Although the deceased had plenty of people willing to fill her stocking with coal, evidence pins the crime on Moe. Now it’s up to Marcy, with the help of her police officer boyfriend Ted and her Irish Wolfhound Angus, to stitch together the clues to clear Moe’s name—before someone else winds up crossed off Santa’s list for good…

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Gayle

 

About This Author

 Gayle Trent (and pseudonym Amanda Lee) writes the Daphne Martin Cake Decorating series and the Embroidery Mystery series. The cake decorating series features a heroine who is starting her life over in Southwest Virginia after a nasty divorce. The Embroidery Mystery series features a heroine who recently moved to the Oregon coast to open an embroidery specialty shop. She also writes the Down South Café Mysteries as Gayle Leeson. 

Author Links

Facebook / Twitter

Purchase Links:

Amazon B&N kobo

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Tour Participants

December 1 – Laura’s Interests – REVIEW

December 1 – Community Bookstop – REVIEW

December 2 – A Chick Who Reads – REVIEW

December 3 – Grace. Gratitude. Life. by Marie McNary – REVIEW

December 3 – StoreyBook Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

December 4 – Melina’s Book Blog – REVIEW

December 4 – Author Annette Drake’s blog – SPOTLIGHT

December 5 – The Book’s the Thing – REVIEW

December 5 – T’s Stuff – SPOTLIGHT

December 6 – The Power of Words – REVIEW

December 6 – Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – GUEST POST

December 7 – fuonlyknew – REVIEW

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December 8 – deal sharing aunt – REVIEW

December 8 – Mystery Thrillers and Romantic Suspense Reviews – SPOTLIGHT

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December 11 – 3 Partners in Shopping, Nana, Mommy, &, Sissy, Too! – SPOTLIGHT

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 Falling For The Stars

A Stunt Gal’s Tattle Tales

by Lisa Loving Dalton

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Amazon

Synopsis

AMAZON #1 BESTSELLER!

This Behind-the-Scenes Tell-All About Doubling for Celebrity Superstars Also Reveals the Compelling Life Story of an Insecure Hollywood Arrival Who Rises to the Top of Her Field, But Pays a Hefty Price.

Addiction

Chauvinism

Big Egos collide with the surprising kindness of superstars.

Discover the magic and the tragic stories of many great films & TV shows through the eyes of a stuntwoman. Dalton reveals what it took to hang over cliffs, get hit by a moving car, drop from five stories up, dodge an avenue full of speeding cars–and to ignore the Universe’s more gentle prompts that it was time to quit and follow her passion into acting full-time or teaching acting.

The resulting career-ending spinal injury has a story of its own, how she researched medical and alternative paths that form the heart of what she shares with the world today. “What stands out in this book is the indomitable spirit the author has, despite the extraordinary price she paid for her stellar career–including misogyny, a miscarriage, and a life-long back injury. And each juicy story she relays in her fascinating chronicle, brings home an important life lesson for the reader–one that she learned the hard way.

Stunt Gal Lisa Dalton tattles about humorous and harrowing tales culled from over 200 films, television shows and commercials including
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Ghostbusters

Money Pit

Crocodile Dundee

Married to the Mob

FX

Legal Eagles

The Last Dragon

Saturday Night Live

Splash

The Highlander

World According To Garp

Working with or doubling such superstars as Meryl Streep, Cher, Madonna, Grace Jones, Robert Redford, Katherine Hepburn, Sean Connery, Tom Hanks, Chevy Chase, Robin Williams, Ed O’Neill, Michelle Pfeiffer and more.

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Falling For The Stars: A Stunt Gal’s Tattle Tales

Author Interview Lisa Loving Dalton

Amazon #1 Bestseller

 

  1. What were the scariest stunts you did?

 

I leapt across a six-story alley, I dodged a train, I tripped on a twenty sixth-floor ledge in Grand Central Station. I got hit by cars and crashed motorcycles on cue. I think those were the scariest things. There are pictures of some of those in Falling For The Stars: A Stunt Gal’s Tattle Tales.

falling-for-the-stars-from-author

 

  1. Did you ever play a character that got shot? If so, what was that like?

 

I used to do a live western stunt show at parties and corporate events and got shot pretty regularly from a distance. But there was one special time when it was a bigger deal.

I was murdered for a television movie called Brass with Carroll O’Connor in one of the opening moments of the story. It took place on the roof top garage structure on a pier at 57th St. in New York. Here’s the set up for it:

Kidnappers grab a woman and throw her in the van. Three bystanders start to come to her aid when one of the kidnappers pulls a gun and shoots them at various stages of their trying to escape. Then he walks up to each body and shoots them directly in the back of the head, mob assassination style.

So my first part was to turn and run away, get shot in the back and fly to the ground.  This part was pretty easy to time, acting like I got hit and falling forward to the pavement because they put a little explosive on your body that rips a whole in your clothes and breaks a blood packet.  There is a metal plate that goes against your body, keeping the explosive from hurting you. You can still feel the kick though and then is it just a matter of reacting.

 

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Next part was to get shot point-blank in the back of the head.

It happened to be just a few days after an actor who knew his gun had blanks in it jokingly put the gun to his head and pulled the trigger. The impact of the blank caused his brain to implode.

So everyone was a bit nervous about shooting or getting shot point blank.

They showed us how the energy of the blank had real force by shooting it into a piece of heavy cardboard. Once we all could see exactly where the force went, we set the scene up with the camera positioned so that it looked like the gun was right in the back of my head, but it was actually just to the side.

PS: Don’t do this at home!

 

  1. Why did you become a stuntwoman?

I was thrilled at an early age whenever people watched me do crazy things. I was knocking boys off the top of the jungle gym in kindergarten and making sure everyone saw it happening. While the teacher tried to flunk me for bad behavior, those impulses eventually led to being an athlete and actor who specializes in physical theatre-like clown, mime and stage combat.

I saw an opportunity to do stunts in movies and thought it might be a great way to get more acting parts. So I got into it primarily to further my acting career. Then it became a career in itself and eventually stunted my acting opportunities. My book goes more fully into what happened.

 

  1. As a woman in the movie industry, were you treated differently than men?

Yes, there is no question about the stunt industry being very male-dominated. When I first started, we were doing all we could to get the right to double women. Many small male gymnasts were doubling for the women. Plus the roles they asked of the women characters were mostly “victim” based. There were a few heroines like Daisy Dukes, Wonder Woman and Bionic Woman but those were rare.

The stunt business works with what is known as a Stunt Coordinator. At the time I was working, the coordinator was almost always a guy. He is the one who hires the stunt people so to get a job, you have to be liked by that guy to get a job. It was harder for me to get hired because I was happily married and wasn’t willing to do what other women were doing to get work. I did flirt to an extent, in a plan I hatched with my husband. And it worked until I got cornered in an elevator and had to make my position very clear. That guy never hired me again.

Another difference was that the Stunt Coordinator also sometimes has the choice of who gets screen credit and who doesn’t. If production can only have ten names on the stunt list, he is going to put his buddies on it, because they will hire him back and do the same. That is why you will see on many stuntwomen’s www.Imdb.com credits the term “uncredited.”  IMDB won’t even give you certain credits if you are unlisted, like that movie Brass-is not on my resume there, despite the fact that I have submitted it several times.

 

  1. Are you a thrill seeker by nature?

Absolutely, Guilty as Charged! I love cruising on my motorcycle and have ridden in all fifty states and nine provinces. I have driven four racetracks, and scuba when I can. I think, though, the biggest thrill for me is still acting on a stage, emotionally vulnerable and connected to a higher stream of art flowing through you. Staying out of the way and letting the character and the story take over in communion with the audience-that takes courage.

 

  1. What was the biggest thing you learned as a stuntwoman?

A film is not worth a life, no matter how great the story is. I learned that I was more than the incredible things I did. I learned that I have more important things to do, like sharing the wisdom I gained through the entertainment field and from having to live life with a crippling injury because of stunts. I went from feeling like superman to an invalid in an instant. That was the greatest gift I ever gave myself.

 

  1. Are you planning on writing more about your life?

Lisa Loving Dalton

Yes, I am releasing Murder Of Talent: How Pop Culture Is Killing It in February and it will tell much more about what happened to me as an actress. And I am thinking about another book about my rowdy, biker life, including my biker rally wedding where we had a wet T-shirt contest and downed twenty-seven kegs of beer. I have a couple of academic books about healthy acting techniques and my blogs that frequently focus on Fear Less Living Lessons from a Stunt Gal where stories from my life reveal ways to help others to live more lovingly and less fearfully.

~~~~~

Author Lisa Loving Dalton

Lisa Loving Dalton

From a bullied, dyslexic, messy, freckle-faced, klutzy pixie, Lisa Loving Dalton grew into a statuesque and skillful stuntwoman, actor, director, teacher, author, filmmaker, leadership and life coach, and ceremonial minister. Always seeking and finding the silver lining, she has made the most of whatever life threw at her. She says, “I spill stuff, trip and drip all of the time so I made a career out of it. My advice: Embrace what is as perfect.”

Dalton appeared in more than 200 films, television shows and commercials in New York, Hollywood and Texas, including work in Ghostbusters, Money Pit, Crocodile Dundee, Married to the Mob, FX, Legal Eagles, and Splash on the big screen and ER, HBO’s Carnivale, Dr. Quinn and Melrose Place among her many TV credits.

Connect with the author:

Website  ~  Twitter  ~  Facebook  ~  Pinterest  ~  Youtube  ~  Instagram

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from-gods-newFrom Gods by Mary Ting

***2013 InD’Tale RONE Award Finalist for YA****
Did you just see a flash of lightning across the sky on a clear sunny day?
Don’t blame Mother Nature.

Skylar Rome can’t wait to spend her last summer before college with her cousin, Kayla. Everything changes when they meet the Grand brothers. Skylar is sure she should stay away from Mason Grand, but their attraction is undeniable. Then Skylar’s life erupts into turmoil. She steps into a world where descendants of ancient gods have super powers, evil beings chase her, and questions arise about her own identity. She is running out of time and running for her life, while trying to unravel the mystery of what they want from her.

Forced into a battle set into motion long before she was born, will Skylar find the answers she seeks, or will she die trying?

 

From Gods by Mary Ting is FREE from December 6th to 8th

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Praise for the Series
“From Gods takes mythology to a whole new level of imagination with its incredible plot and amazing characters. It’s full of hotness that you never want to end!” Michele, Insane About Books

“From Gods by the AMAZING AUTHOR Mary Ting is OMGods good!! If you even LIKE Greek Mythology, set aside some time because you will DEVOUR Mary Ting’s Demi Gods and Vultures!!!” Mindy, Books Complete Me

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Mary TingAuthor Mary Ting
International Bestselling, Award-Winning, Author Mary Ting/M. Clarke resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children’s chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.

Social Media Website Social Media Blog Social Media Facebook Social Media Twitter Social Media Pinterest Social Media Goodreads
 

 

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Blast Giveaway

$50 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash

Ends 12/18/16

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

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The Pawn
Skye Warren
(Revenge and Seduction #1)
Publication date: December 6th 2016
Genres: Adult, Contemporary, Romance

The price of survival…

Gabriel Miller swept into my life like a storm. He tore down my father with cold retribution, leaving him penniless in a hospital bed. I quit my private all-girl’s college to take care of the only family I have left.

There’s one way to save our house, one thing I have left of value.

My virginity.

A forbidden auction…

Gabriel appears at every turn. He seems to take pleasure in watching me fall. Other times he’s the only kindness in a brutal underworld.

Except he’s playing a deeper game than I know. Every move brings us together, every secret rips us apart. And when the final piece is played, only one of us can be left standing.

THE PAWN is a full-length contemporary novel from New York Times bestselling author Skye Warren about revenge and seduction in the game of love.

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EXCERPT:

A sense of familiarity fills the space between us even though I know we haven’t met. This man is a stranger, but he looks at me as if he wants to know me. He looks at me as if he already does. There’s an intensity to his eyes when they sweep over my face, as firm and as telling as a touch.

“I need…” A thud against my ribs as I think about all the things I need—a rewind button. One person in the city who doesn’t hate me by name alone. “I need a loan.”

He gives me a slow perusal, from the nervous slide of my tongue along my lips to the high neckline of my dress. I tried to dress professionally—a black cowl-necked sweater and pencil skirt. His strange amber gaze unbuttons my coat, pulls away the expensive cotton, tears off the cotton fabric of my bra and panties. He sees right through me, and I shiver as a ripple of awareness runs over my skin.

I’ve met a million men in my life. Shaken hands. Smiled. I’ve never felt as seen through as I do right now. Never felt like someone has turned me inside out, every dark secret exposed to the harsh light. He sees my weaknesses, and from the cruel set of his mouth, he likes them.

His lids lower. “And what do you have for collateral?”

Nothing except my word. That wouldn’t be worth anything if he knew my name. I swallow past the lump in my throat. “I don’t know.”

Nothing.

He takes a step forward, and suddenly I’m crowded against the brick wall beside the door, his large body blocking out the warm light from inside. He feels like a furnace in front me, the heat of him in sharp contrast to the cold brick at my back. “What’s your name, girl?”

The word girl is a slap in the face. I force myself not to flinch, but it’s hard. Everything about him overwhelms me—his size, his low voice. “I’ll tell Mr. Scott my name.”

In the shadowed space between us, his smile spreads, white and taunting. The pleasure that lights his strange yellow eyes is almost sensual, as if I caressed him. “You’ll have to get past me.”

My heart thuds. He likes that I’m challenging him, and God, that’s even worse. What if I’ve already failed? I’m free-falling, tumbling, turning over without a single hope to anchor me. Where will I go if he turns me away? What will happen to my father?

“Let me go,” I whisper, but my hope fades fast.

His eyes flash with warning. “Little Avery James, all grown up.”

A small gasp resounds in the space between us. He already knows my name. That means he knows who my father is. He knows what he’s done. Denials rush to my throat, pleas for understanding. The hard set of his eyes, the broad strength of his shoulders tells me I won’t find any mercy here.

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Author Bio:

Skye Warren is the New York Times bestselling author of contemporary romance such as the Chicago Underground series. Her books have been featured in Jezebel, Buzzfeed, USA Today Happily Ever After, Glamour, and Elle Magazine. She makes her home in Texas with her loving family, two sweet dogs, and one evil cat.

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