Wednesday, July 18, 2018

Being Alpha by Aileen Erin - Book Tour + Giveaway

Being Alpha
Aileen Erin
(Alpha Girl #7)
Published by: Ink Monster LLC
Publication date: February 13th 2018
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
From USA Today Bestselling Author Aileen Erin
For the first time since Tessa met Dastien, life is quiet. The evil witch, Luciana, is six glorious feet under, St. Ailbe’s is closed due to human trespassers, and people are finally getting used to the fact that supernaturals exist in the world. It seems like the perfect time for a honeymoon.
After traveling to Dastien’s house in Provence, clubbing in Paris, and attending Meredith and Donovan’s Full Moon Ceremony in Ireland, Tessa and Dastien head to the Caribbean. Their trip is turning out to be the honeymoon that fantasies are made of-sunset cruises, long walks on the beach, and every romantic cliché you can imagine. Tessa couldn’t be happier. Except that Tessa’s visions are on the fritz. She hopes that means that nothing is brewing. That everything is quiet because all is well. But Tessa’s never been one to assume anything.
When she’s magically attacked and nearly dies, Tessa knows she can’t ignore the signs anymore. Something huge is going on. As much as she doesn’t want to call an end to their six-week honeymoon, it’s time to head back to Texas.
Whoever messed with Tessa is in for a rude awakening. Because if there’s one thing fighting rogue witches and werewolves has taught her, it’s how to be Alpha.

Excerpt
“I wish we could stay here forever…” But I knew we’d have to go home. Maybe soon. There was something coming—
Stop, Dastien’s voice interrupted my thoughts. Everything is fine. There’s nothing—
You don’t know that.
And you don’t know everything isn’t okay. Dastien had said that about a million times today, and I knew it was true. I just couldn’t let this go. Nothing is going to happen.
I wanted to believe Dastien, but the what-if’s were driving me bonkers, and the lack of visions was adding to my nerves.
It might not be as bad as you think. It could be something as simple as your subconscious cutting off your visions so you can deal with how powerful our bond has gotten.
I definitely liked his theory better than my own. I guess that’s possible. There had been a lot of changes in my life in the last few months, but my gut was telling me it was more than that. I couldn’t ignore my instincts anymore.
Before I grabbed my cell from my beach bag, I was going to give my visions one more go. I tightened my grip around Dastien and closed my eyes.
I pictured St. Ailbe’s in my mind. The quad and five buildings surrounding it. I want to see St. Ailbe’s, I thought as I relaxed my mental barrier, willing myself to see what was going on back in Texas.
I felt the familiar tingling along my skin as the vision started, but the mental image of St. Ailbe’s disappeared.
Everything went dark.
My heartbeat thumped in my ears and I tried to picture anything, but all I saw was black. All I got were feelings. Despair so strong I wanted to curl up in a ball and sob. Pain. It was like my heart was being ripped from my chest. Fear. So much fear. Enough fear to cool my sun-heated skin. My breath whooshed out of me.
Dastien’s weight was suddenly gone as he jerked me up to sit, pulling me from the vision. I blinked at him. The sudden brightness was blinding, but it wasn’t enough to shake me free of the vision. A trickle of dread tiptoed up my spine and I wanted it gone. “What was that?” I asked when I had enough air to talk.
“Your heart. It skipped a beat.” His voice was barely more than a whisper.
“What?” How was that possible? I’d never had anything like that happen before.

 
Author Bio:
Aileen Erin is half-Irish, half-Mexican, and 100% nerd–from Star Wars (prequels don’t count) to Star Trek (TNG FTW), she reads Quenya and some Sindarin, and has a severe fascination with the supernatural. Aileen has a BS in Radio-TV-Film from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MFA in Writing Popular Fiction from Seton Hill University. She lives with her husband in Los Angeles, and spends her days doing her favorite things: reading books, creating worlds, and kicking ass.

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Schisms by James Wolanyk - Book Tour + Giveaway


Schisms
The Scribe Cycle #2
by James Wolanyk
Genre: Dark Fantasy

Pub Date: 7/10/2018

Three long years have passed since Anna, First of Tomas, survived the purge
in Malijad after being forced to use her scribe sigils to create an
army of immortals. Safely ensconced in the shelter of the Nest, a
sanctuary woven by one of her young allies, Anna spends her days
tutoring the gifted yet traumatized scribe, Ramyi—and coming to
terms with her growing attachment to an expatriate soldier in her company.
Away from her refuge, war drums continue to beat. Thwarted in her efforts
to locate the elusive tracker and bring him to justice, Anna turns to
the state of Nahora and its network of spies for help. But Nahoran
assistance comes with a price: Anna must agree to weaponize her magic
for the all-out military confrontation to come.
Dispatched to the front lines with Ramyi in tow, Anna will find her new
alliances put to the test, her old tormentors lying in wait, and the
fate of a city placed in her hands. To protect the innocent, she must
be willing to make the ultimate sacrifice. For even in this season of
retribution, the gift of healing may be the most powerful weapon of all.




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The lodge’s main hall was quiet and hazy with a pall of pipe smoke. Most of those lying on the earthen floor were Hazani, their tunics and wraps hanging from the rafters to dry the day’s sweat. A pair of Huuri, gleaming translucently in candlelight, lay huddled together near the door with their packs clutched to their chests. But the stillness was deeper than an absence of guests; the lodge’s ornate silk carpets and silver kettle sets were gone, likely converted to a few stalks or iron bars by a crafty peddler.
Déjà vu crept over Anna, thick and threatening.
Yatrin and Baqir headed for the latrine dugout behind a partition, while Khara slumped down beside the door. The woman fished a cylinder of aspen and a blade from her pack, whittling with rhythmic scrapes, eyeing Ramyi as she wandered aimlessly between cushions and hookahs. When Anna was certain of everybody’s routines, she jogged up the spiral stairwell in darkness.
The muffled cries of babes leaked through locked doors on the second and third levels, but the fourth was silent. Anna wondered if that was conspicuous, or if it might lure unwanted attention from those who searched for that kind of thing, but she trusted in Tensic’s judgment: Many of the veterans in Anna’s company, living or dead, had arranged things through him. Sharp minds and tight lips were rare things in the north.
Anna crossed the corridor and its patches of moonlight, halting at the sixth door. She gave a soft tap with her knuckles and waited.
Silence.
She recalled her infiltrator’s instructions, the exact exchange of one knock for one cough. If she hadn’t been so headstrong, she might’ve fetched Yatrin. But she was. With heartbeats trickling through her core, Anna reached into the folds of her shawl, unlatched a shortened ruj from the clasp on a ceramic-plated vest, and cradled it against her hip. It was the length of her forearm, strangely cumbersome despite her having trained with it nearly as long as it had existed as a prototype among Hazani cartels. Two stubby barrels housed in a cedar frame, a fully-wound cog on its side, payload sacs of iron shavings waiting beside spring plungers. Most of her fighters had taken to calling it by northern
name: yuzel, thorn. Crude, inaccurate, unpredictable—but that had become the nature of this war.
Anna pressed her back to the wall and took hold of the door handle.
Cycles of training coalesced in her stilled lungs, in the hare-twitch muscles of her wrists, inviting peace in the face of unease. Clarity gave form to violence, after all. In a single breath she shoved the door inward, dropped to one knee, swept her yuzel’s dual barrels across the room.
The mirrorman’s body was sprawled out in a wash of candlelight and ceramic fragments, flesh glimmering with slick red. Stale air and sweat wafted out to meet her.
Shes’tir.” Her curse was a whisper, a surge of hot blood.
Anna stood, keeping the yuzel aimed at the shadows around the corpse. Piece by piece, the room revealed the scope of their work, starting with blood-spattered mud-and-straw walls. A dented copper kettle, an overturned table, a tapestry shredded by errant blade slashes. Then she saw it, gleaming
like a spiderweb or silk strand: a trip wire was suspended across the doorway, just above ankle-level, set with enough precision to rival some of Malijad’s best killers.
But subtlety had never been the way of southerners.
After edging to the left and right, examining the chamber’s hidden corners for assailants she suspected were long gone, Anna stepped over the trip wire and approached the body carefully.
His face was distorted, bulging out and cracked inward with oozing welts, both eyes swollen shut. A garrote’s deep purple traces ringed his neck. With some difficulty, Anna discerned that he’d also been a southerner, not a local conscript or hired hand from Hazan; he’d had naturally pale skin, now darkened by years beneath a withering sun. A mercenary. But his role—passing information through a mirror’s glints—had made him their best chance for information on the tracker’s whereabouts.
Their only chance, after three years of frayed leads and compromised operations.
Anna bent down and turned the man’s head from side to side, noting its coldness, its turgid and leathery texture as a result of beatings. His lips were dark, and—
Ink.
A dark, narrow stripe of ink ended at the crest of his lower lip, originating somewhere far deeper in his mouth. The application had been hasty, forceful even. Using her middle finger, Anna peeled the mirrorman’s lip forward. A triangular pattern had been needled into the soft tissue, still inflamed
with networks of red capillaries but recognizable all the same: It was an old Nahoran system, more a product of surveyors than soldiers, aiming to meld coordinates with time.
Here, now, her only chance.
Anna reattached her yuzel to its hook, slipped her pack off, fished out a brass scroll tube and charcoal stick. With a moment of silence to listen, to observe the empty doorway and the night market’s routine din, she copied the symbol onto the blank scroll. She then furled the parchment
and slipped it back into its tube.
Its weight was eerie in her pack, crushing with importance she understood both intensely yet not at all.
She hurried out of the chamber and toward the stairwell, but before she’d cleared the corridor she glanced outside, where she noticed a dark yellow cloth waving atop a post near the paddock. It hadn’t been there when they arrived. Her breath seized in the back of her mouth and—
A door squealed on its hinges.
Anna pivoted around, yuzel unclasped and drawn in both hands, eyes focused to the slender ruj barrel emerging from the seventh doorway. A dark hand followed, swathed in leather strips far too thick for northern fighters. She slid to the left and squeezed the trigger.
It was a hollow whisper in the corridor, perhaps a handful of sand pelting mud, a rattle down her wrists. Iron shavings collided as the magnetic coils accelerated them, sparking in brilliant whites and blues and oranges. The wall behind the shooter exploded in a burst of dust and dried grass, sending
metal shards ricocheting and skittering across the floor. A scream ceased in a single gust, as bone and cloth and flesh scattered just as quickly.
The shooter staggered forward in the haze, howling as he stared at the stump of his wrist.
Anna fired again.
When the dark cloud vanished, the shooter’s upper half was strewn down the corridor and dripping from the ceiling.
She spun away, sensing the tremors in her hands and the hard knot in her throat, and started down the stairwell. Three years of violence hadn’t made killing any more pleasurable, nor even easier, but decidedly more common. In fact, time had only made her more aware of how warriors were shaped: The nausea and terror remained, but everything was so perfunctory, done as habitually as breathing or chewing. Not that she had the luxury of being revolted by that fact. As she descended she  unscrewed the weapon’s empty shaving pouches and replaced them with fresh bulbs.


Scribes
The Scribe Cycle #1

Pawns in an endless war, scribes are feared and worshipped, valued and
exploited, prized and hunted. But there is only one whose powers can
determine the fate of the world . . .
Born into the ruins of Rzolka’s brutal civil unrest, Anna has never
known peace. Here, in her remote village—a wasteland smoldering in
the shadows of outlying foreign armies—being imbued with the magic
of the scribes has made her future all the more uncertain.
Through intricate carvings of the flesh, scribes can grant temporary
invulnerability against enemies to those seeking protection. In an
embattled world where child scribes are sold and traded to corrupt
leaders, Anna is invaluable. Her scars never fade. 

The immunity she grants lasts forever.
Taken to a desert metropolis, Anna is promised a life of reverence, wealth,
and fame—in exchange for her gifts. She believes she is helping to
restore her homeland, creating gods and kings for an immortal
army—until she witnesses the hordes slaughtering without reproach,
sacking cities, and threatening everything she holds dear. Now, with
the help of an enigmatic assassin, Anna must reclaim the power of her
scars—before she becomes the unwitting architect of an apocalyptic war.




James Wolanyk is the author of the Scribe Cycle and a teacher from
Boston. He holds a B.A. in Creative Writing from the University of
Massachusetts, where his writing has appeared in its quarterly
publication and The Electric Pulp. After studying fiction, he pursued
educational work in the Czech Republic, Taiwan, and Latvia. Outside
of writing, he enjoys history, philosophy, and boxing. His
post-apocalyptic novel, Grid, was released in 2015. He currently
resides in Riga, Latvia as an English teacher. 



Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!