Thursday, February 28, 2013

Guest Post & Giveaway: "Betrayed by Shadows" by Nancy Gideon

Once Upon a Time: The Grimm Truth by Nancy Gideon

Is it just me or is it impossible these days to throw a glass slipper without hitting a movie or TV show based on a fairytale?  What gives? Why the sudden popularity?

I was pondering this while viewing Hansel and Gretel for the second time (the first was at an early screening in IMAX 3D and the second in less eye straining 2D so I could follow all the action nuances to better appreciate Mr. Renner in leather . . . and better yet, without it . . . but I digress!) When you consider that fairytales were the original YA paranormals, it makes perfect sense given the influx of young and new adult readers these days. Fairytales are teeming with the things young people angst over: popularity, abandonment, persecution from those in authority, the wish that an uncertain future could magically become all they’d ever dreamed of. These tales are not bedtime stories for little children (at least not the Grimm version unless you want them in therapy and sleeping with a nightlight for the rest of their lives).  They’re life lessons for those on the cusp of adulthood.  Being a grown up is scary business. It’s the monster under the bed, the wolf in a parental cloak, being left in the woods with limited resources to battle overwhelming threats . . . and win. There’s always the security of that happily-ever-after   . . . unless, because you predated Freud and no therapy was available, you had to become witch hunters to deal with your childhood trauma.

Fantasy is much more fun than the pending obligations of reality . . . especially when you throw in dazzling CGI and Chris Hemsworth! 

What are our paranormal romances but fairytales in adult clothing?  Beauty and the shape-shifting beast, Cinderella at the ball, Snow White kicking urban fantasy butt and taking names? And always the happily-ever-after. 

Readers grow up, but they never grow out of their dreams of Prince Charming.

Balancing a criminal empire and a preternatural clan war, reluctant front man Giles St. Clair doesn’t need a problem like Brigit MacCreedy . . . How much trouble can the head-strong and manipulative Shifter beauty get into in two weeks? Plenty when her schemes range from kidnapping to fleeing the retribution of her dead lover’s clan.
With her family’s lives on the line, Brigit is willing to do whatever it takes to save them. The only thing standing in her way is an immovable stone wall of a man she can’t bully or beguile . . . a human, no less, who has promised to protect her from the secrets and dangers she conceals.

Risking her own safety gets complicated when an honorable and annoyingly desirable man puts himself between her and her powerful enemies in a battle he can’t win in this Taming of the Shrew meets Shifter Goodfellas on the Bayou tale of consequences, redemption and finding love in all the wrong places.


Brigit slit her eyes open to the brightness of midmorning. She was alone in the bunk. Harsh-smelling coffee warmed on the hot plate, and Giles was nowhere in sight. Then she heard the unmistakable crack of ax into wood.

Feeling tired and sticky and . . . fabulous, she stretched and reached for the crimson-colored sweatshirt Giles had left folded on the edge of the mattress. Harvard? She slipped it over her head to swim in generous folds that came almost to her knees. Rolling back the cuffs, she found the shoe she’d tucked Boyd’s cell phone into, discouraged to see no message from Silas. She tucked it under the sleeping bag on the top bunk, pushed bare feet into her shoes, and went to pour coffee. Her whole body ached gloriously, making her smile as she stepped out onto the tiny back porch.

Because she could still hear his voice, rough with passion.


Giles had his back to her, splitting wood in the glare of morning light, a beautiful sight in his revealing muscle shirt. Strong, sexy. A light sweat had broken out on his shoulders, gleaming amid scores of scratches, some nearly healed from their passionate tussle in New Orleans and some raw stripes from hours ago. Chagrined, she put a nail trim and manicure on her agenda for the day.

He’d taken the batteries out of the flashlight to power an old cassette player and was timing his swings to the raucous beat of a late-eighties hip-hop tune that probably dated back to days spent here in male bonding. Something ridiculous about Humpty Dumpty dancing? Her gaze followed the suggestive rock and bump of his hips as the sassy backup singers crooned, “Do me, baby.”

Oh, yay. Good idea.

Time to whip up something for breakfast.

She’d taken a step forward, intending to initiate some moves of her own, when the music dialed down and muted as another sound reached her.

The cup fell from her hands, shattering on the wood planking, as all her senses trembled and went taut.

And a single cry ripped from her.

“Giles, behind you!”

Giles spun, continuing his momentum with the ax so it caught his assailant midleap in the upper chest, flinging him to the ground. Even as he wrestled the blade free, his attacker was gaining his feet, falling into a menacing crouch as his lips pulled back from a mouth full of dagger-like teeth.

Alarm became coldly dangerous intentions when he recognized the disfigured Shifter from Brigit’s description.

“Brigit, get inside!”

He didn’t look around to see if she obeyed. There was no time as the creature sprang.

Driven to the ground on his back, Giles couldn’t angle for another swing as he was forced to grip the ever thickening throat to keep those deadly teeth away from him. A battle he knew he wasn’t going to win as the beast completed its change of form into something monstrous and impossibly strong.

Run, Brigit! That was all he had time to think. Run!

All he had to do was stay alive long enough for her to get a head start.

There was a deafening report from the porch, and suddenly, the figure hunching over him was plucked off and sent rolling away.

Giles risked a glance toward the cabin to see Brigit with her feet planted wide, his pistol braced in both hands. The pistol he’d wisely loaded with silver rounds.

As he scrambled to his feet, his attacker was gaining his own, obviously struggling not to revert back into humanlike form from the effects of the silver. Brigit’s shot had taken him in the other side of the chest. Giles’s first blow from the ax had already healed. Making him no less lethal as he sprang a second time. No less quick.

And this time Giles didn’t respond fast enough.

 An author of over fifty novels since 1987, Nancy Gideon thrives on variety. Under her own name and several pseudonyms, she’s written award-winning series suspense, historical and paranormal bestsellers, earned a “Career Achievement for Historical Adventure”, and has had two original horror screenplays optioned for film. A Michigan native, she works full time as a legal administrative assistant and feeds a NetFlix addiction.

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Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Guest Post & Giveaway: "Omega" by Susannah Sandlin

Life Lessons from a Vampire

By Will Ludlam

(transcribed by Susannah Sandlin)

Okay, so I’m a vampire, right? I’m not the oldest vampire on the block, being a whippersnapper at sixty, give or take a year or two. But I’ve learned some stuff over the course of my life.

Being third in command in the town of Penton behind two four-century-old vampires has been an education in itself. Aidan? He’s like the kindly uncle who encourages you, gives you moral support, and is there to bail you out of trouble. Mirren? Well, he’s like the crotchety old hermit uncle who lives up on the mountain and will kick you down the hill if he takes a notion to do so, but then he’ll help you up.

So here are the Life Lessons I’ve learned as the newest master vampire in Penton.

FATHER DOESN’T KNOW BEST. I mean, seriously. Have you met my father? His name is Matthias and he is a sociopathic nutcase. I’m being kind. He’s worse than that. Matthias was turned vampire at his own request when I was twenty. When I was twenty-two he turned me just so he’d have a fawning acolyte lapping at his heels for eternity. Um. No. Sorry, Dad. Didn’t work out that way, did it? For decades, I stayed on the run, then finally met Aidan and settled down in Penton. Loving the ladies. Living my eternal life. And then who should show up one day but Dear Old Dad. Game on, old man.

OPPOSITES DON’T ATTRACT. I used to think they did. I mean, look at Glory and Mirren. Jeez-Louise, those two are the oil and water of the vampire world. But then I met Randa, and she sort of changed my outlook on this whole love business. We are so much alike that we drive each other crazy. Both of us needs to have the last word. Neither of us likes to admit we’re wrong (of course, I never am). We’re both smartasses (but I’m better at it). But she does have beautiful hair.

REVENGE IS BEST SERVED WARM. Yeah, I know the old saying is that you can think through your nefarious vendetta better if you wait a while and don’t act in the heat of the moment. But I’m more of a “the creepazoid is right in front of me—why not do him in now” kind of guy. You know, instant gratification can’t be overrated.

YOU CAN’T KEEP A GOOD VAMPIRE DOWN. Well, yeah, you can. I have three words for you. Well, actually one single word and one compound word: silver-laced rope. We use it a lot in Penton. We occasionally have to tie members of our community to beds in order to drain out their blood and replace it. Sometimes, a certain someone (ahem, Glory) needs to tie another certain someone (ahem, Mirren) to the bed. And damned if it didn’t get used on me recently when Aidan tied my leg to a board. I was unconscious at the time, or it never would’ve happened.

THE GOOD OLD DAYS WEREN’T THAT GREAT. I mean, sure, back in the old days human blood hadn’t turned poisonous to vampires so there was a more plentiful food supply. But before Aidan formed this little vampire utopia in an isolated corner of Alabama, we had to go out and hunt our feeders. The Vampire Tribunal, which sets laws for the vampire world, was filled with bureaucrats and toad-sucking….oh, wait. It still is. Did I mention my father?

Penton Vampire Legacy, Book 3

Susannah Sandlin

Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Date of Publication: February 5, 2013

ISBN: 978-1612183596

ASIN: B0073XV3L2

Number of pages: 328

Word Count: approx. 88,000

Amazon        Barnes & Noble        Book Depository

Book Description:

The bloody war between the Vampire Tribunal and the defiant scathe of Penton, Alabama, rages on, forcing its residents and their bonded humans to retreat into the underground fortress of last resort: Omega. There, Will Ludlam is charged with the care of Penton's humans, though he longs to fight alongside his vampire brethren. He knows the risks: as the renegade son of the Tribunal's vicious leader, Will's capture could doom the resistance.

Yet he is determined to prove his worth to his adopted scathe, to his vengeful father and to former US Army officer Randa Thomas, his beautiful, reluctant partner. Randa has little faith that a former member of the vampire elite has what it takes to fight a war. But as their enemies descend upon Omega, Will's polished charm and Randa's guarded heart finally give way to the warrior within.

Fans of Susannah Sandlin's Penton Legacy are sure to devour this long-awaited third installment of the steamy paranormal series.       


The Penton Legacy, Book 2

By Susannah Sandlin

Release date: October 9, 2012

Publisher: Montlake Romance

Book Description:

With the vampire world on the brink of civil war over the scarcity of untainted human blood, battle lines are being drawn between the once peaceful vampire and human enclave of Penton, Alabama, and the powerful Vampire Tribunal.

A Scottish gallowglass warrior turned vampire in the early 17th century, Mirren Kincaid once served the Tribunal as its most creative and ruthless executioner—a time when he was known as the Slayer. But when assigned a killing he found questionable, Mirren abandoned the Tribunal’s political machinations and disappeared—only to resurface two centuries later as the protector and second-in-command of Penton. Now the Tribunal wants him back on their side—or dead.

To break their rogue agent, they capture Glory Cummings, the descendant of a shaman, and send her to restore Mirren’s bloodthirsty nature. But instead of a monster, Glory sees a man burdened by the weight of his past. Could her magic touch—meant by the tribunal to bring out a violent killer—actually help Mirren break his bonds and discover the love he doesn’t believe he deserves?

It’s a town under siege, a powerful warrior in a battle with his past, and one woman who can make the earth move—literally—as the Penton Legacy continues.


Book One Penton Legacy series

By Susannah Sandlin

Following a worldwide pandemic whose vaccine left human blood deadly to vampires, the vampire community is on the verge of starvation and panic. Some have fanned into rural areas, where the vaccine was less prevalent, and are taking unsuspecting humans as blood slaves. Others are simply starving, which for a vampire is worse than death—a raging hunger in a creature too weak to feed.

Immune to these struggles—at first—is Penton, a tiny community in rural Chambers County, Alabama, an abandoned cotton mill town that has been repopulated by charismatic vampire Aidan Murphy, his scathe of 50 vampires, and their willingly bonded humans. Aidan has recruited his people carefully, believing in a peaceful community where the humans are respected and the vampires retain a bit of their humanity.

But an unresolved family feud and the paranoia of the Vampire Tribunal descend on Penton in the form of Aidan’s brother, Owen Murphy. Owen has been issued a death warrant that can only be commuted if he destroys Penton—and Aidan, against whom he’s held a grudge since both were turned vampire in 17th-century Ireland.  Owen begins a systematic attack on the town, first killing its doctor, then attacking one of Aidan’s own human familiars

To protect his people, Aidan is forced to go against his principles and kidnap an unvaccinated human doctor—and finds himself falling in love for the first time since the death of his wife in Ireland centuries ago. 

Dr. Krystal Harris, forced into a world she never knew existed, must face up to her own abusive past to learn if the feelings she’s developing for her kidnapper are real—or just a warped, supernatural kind of Stockholm Syndrome in which she’s allowing herself to become a victim yet again.

Susannah Sandlin’s REDEMPTION is the first in the Penton Legacy series. Book two, ABSOLUTION, will be out September 18, and book three, OMEGA, on December 18.

Susannah Sandlin is the author of paranormal romance set in the Deep South, where there are always things that go bump in the night. A journalist by day, Susannah grew up in Alabama reading the gothic novels of Susan Howatch and the horror fantasy of Stephen King. (Um…it is fantasy, right?) The combination of Howatch and King probably explains a lot. Currently a resident of Auburn, Alabama, Susannah has also lived in Illinois, Texas, California, and Louisiana.

Indie Bound:

 In addition to the tour wide giveaway Susannah is offering Individual tour post giveaways of one print,  ebook, or audio book of the  winner’s choice from the series: Redemption, Absolution, or Omega. Just leave a comment with your email address to enter.

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