Here’s a snippet from the last book in the string of The Diner snippets that I have to spotlight (ironically it’s first in the set). This snippet is from M.S. Murray’s book, A Hold On The Stake. Less than a week left until release!
A sharp pain radiates up my entire left side. I scrunch my face up and pant through the agony until it’s bearable again.
“I think you might have a broken rib.”
“No shit I might have a broken rib. I think you pulverised my entire rib cage when you tackled me like Frank Farmer.”
“Who?” His brow furrows.
“The Bodyguard? Whitney Houston?” He stares at me blankly. “Nevermind. Help me up.” With a loud sigh, he moves towards me. In a blink, I’m upright and slightly hunched as I begin to feel every bruise, cut and possibly broken bone. I’m pretty sure my wrist is fractured on the same side as my ribs.
Today’s snippet comes from K.J. Lavalee’s book Revealing The Truth inside the shared world box set, The Diner. Just a few more weeks until release so pre-order your copy now! You don’t want to miss this box set if you love all things paranormal, fantasy, and romance!
I bolt up in bed. Panic fills me. Not from me, but she’s panicked. Something isn’t right. But she’s also resigned.
The emotion subsides and I relax. She probably had a bad dream and is worrying about her life now, and then thinking of her uncle, mother and father.
I get up and start putting my shit back into my duffle when a sharp pain pierces my gut. Not mine, Ella’s.
I must have made a pained noise, because Gellevel is at my side in an instant. “What is it?”
“Ella. She’s hurting.” I groan. “It’s like, torture.” I don’t have anything else to compare it to. I was tortured before. This is like that. Like being stabbed in the gut repeatedly to see what you can withstand.
“Did you see where she was?”
“No,” I say through gritted teeth. “When I… spoke to her… she didn’t want… me to find her.” I take a deep breath. “She wants to keep me safe.”
My brother growls. “You’re the warrior. You don’t need protection.”
The pain stops, I can feel her relief for a brief moment, then white light shoots through me.
Gellevel drops to the floor, and rolls away. Afraid the light is going to hurt him. It very well might have.
Several minutes pass when the light finally fades. I pat my body making sure I’m okay. That’s not my magic, and elves magic is green. Not white. That’s Ella’s.
“I think the block has been removed.”
Gel grunts. “You think? I can’t imagine the destruction she can wreak if that much power came through you. You’re her mate, and you lit up like a fucking bonfire.”
“She is a Bennet witch,” I say, as if it’s obvious.
“So I saw. Guess she’ll be needing to learn how to control that magic.”
Breathing as if I just ran a marathon, I flip him off. “Obviously. She hasn’t had her magic since she was a little girl. She isn’t going to be able to control it without extensive training.”
Even as I say the words, pride fills me. My mate, she’ll be a formidable foe. And she’s mine.
“What do we do now?”
“We continue searching. But this time, we look online. Someone had to have reported that surge of light. We can narrow it down that way,” I tell him. I dig my laptop out of my duffle, and load it up. I will find you, Ella. And I will help protect you, whether you like it or not.
I haven’t done one of these in a while, and I really need to because I’ve come across so many interesting creatures while researching for my First Blood series. There are so many creatures of folklore and mythology out there that I’ve never heard of or that I forget about since it’s not as commonplace. So, let’s have some fun learning about these different creatures! I’ll also throw in how I used them or changed them.
Today’s creature is: the Freybug.
Come again? The what?? What about a bug???
Would you believe me if I told you that this is actually a very large black dog? That’s right. In folklore and myth, it was known to travel along roads and scare travelers! Wouldn’t that be fun? For the Freybug anyway.
The Freybug is actually from English folklore according to Wikipedia, so I’m sure it has a different pronunciation than how I’d say it. Still, I find the name hilarious. So, how do I use this creature?
Well, it hangs around a road scaring people, right? So that’s exactly how I use it. You’ll just have to read Third House to find out more of the juicy details!
If you’re like me right now in this time with the COVID 19 virus, you don’t have any more time available to you than you had before because you’re able to work from home the same hours you did before. Or you’re a medical professional, grocery store employee, or other essential worker who don’t have the choice but to go to work to help the rest of us. However, I know many people who don’t have the ability to work from home or their places of employment have closed and have more free time than they’ve had because of it. Many authors did sales to help those in this situation to have more books to read. Good for them, but I wasn’t ready to throw mine in yet.
So, I held off, and now I have my freebie ready for those who are still looking for social isolating reads! It’s also a way to celebrate that Fourth Bunker, the next standalone in the series, has finished being written!! This book should be released this summer and more information will be given at a later time. However, I will say that this is Avery’s book and the events take place after Third House. Thus far, betas are loving it!
If you’ve read First Blood and enjoyed it, please reach out to your friends and let them know it’s free! Hopefully it can spread some good vibes during this rough time in our lives. I know I’m handling social isolation much better than so many of my friends and family, but many others are like them and this is a difficult time. Hopefully you’ll enjoy this book and it can bring some fun to your life.
Like most other college students in the United States, Koda Niklane’s dream is to join the government’s most advanced military unit: the Elite. Since the President’s great reveal of supernaturals living amongst humans, every college student is required to Interview for the Elite. Being human and unable to fight are setbacks for Koda, but she soon learns she isn’t quite as human as she’d thought, or rather, she’s not human at all.
When a purple-eyed blood drinker named Raven Cartana, a Captain in the Elite, announces publicly that she’s one of his kind, Koda refuses to believe him. As her new Elite trainer, Raven’s job is to keep Koda alive and teach her the ropes. Teaching is the easy part as Raven, Koda, and their team work to keep the streets safe from Threats. It soon becomes apparent that keeping Koda alive will be much harder than Raven had anticipated as the attacks on her become more personal.
As Koda works with Raven and the Elite, she can’t help but wonder how much of herself will remain once her maturity has finished. Will she still be Koda, or will she be something different? And is that why someone has their sights set on her?
Am I the only person who loves the trend where authors create a wolf shifter and have them called a werewolf because real werewolves are a myth but shifters are real?
I know I can’t be. In my opinion, that opens up so many more options. However, I still do love me some straight up naturally evil werewolves! So today, let’s talk about this.
The werewolf from legend/mythology is that one who changes at the full moon and can’t control that shift, and is pretty much a normal human being the rest of the time. Legend says they can be killed by a silver bullet, and that being bitten by a werewolf is all that it takes to start turning into one every full moon. They’re usually depicted as a wolf who stands more like a human on their hind legs than an actual wolf on all four, though they are versatile when chasing their prey.
Meanwhile, wolf shifters keep their true wolf form for the most part, and can secondarily in some cases choose to stand straight like a human. I’ve read where some are also prone to being killed by silver, and others were any means that would kill a regular wolf would kill them. However, in these cases they can withstand far more than a regular wolf and heal more quickly in wolf form.
A lot of these similarities and differences can be found in movies as well as books (and obviously this is the case in a book to movie adaption.) It’s always fun to see what the artists in both mediums do to portray these creatures.
When I was working on First Blood, I knew I wanted to incorporate both versions of the Werewolf, what I call the true version and shifter version. While Jackson is only a shifter, and is referred to as such, many wolf shifters use the name werewolf loosely. I guess that makes Jackson a werewolf in some circles. That left me with the real werewolves. Creating rules around their species, specifically the laws they have to abide by, was so fun. And when the werewolves got out…well that was bound to happen, lol.
Off the top of my head, some books with one of the other version that I would recommend are:
Karen Lynch: Relentless Series
Melissa Haag: Judgement of the Six Series
Melanie Gilbert: Alpha King
Julie Trettel: Westin Pack Series
Heather Hildenbrand: Dirty Blood Series
Quinn Loftis: Grey Wolf Series
Addison Carmichael: Sons of the Alpha Series
Rachel Jonas: The Lost Royals Saga
Others I have in my TBR Pile:
Bethany Wicker: Unexpected Alpha
Karina Espinosa: Shift
Olivia Wildenstein: A Pack of Blood and Lies
Leia Stone: Matefinder
I’m probably forgetting several, but off the top of my head, this is what you get! Hopefully you found this fun. More creatures to come!
Today’s snippet comes from First Christmas which is currently FREE until Dec 17th!
Move out of the way, dragon. She is ours, Drake ordered the man at my back.
“No, she is mine. If you try to harm her, I will kill you.”
My ears pricked at the sound of my mate’s deep, husky voice. I fought a shiver from the lethal edge that chilled the threat in his words. It even caused the dragons on my side of the fight to take a step back. Whoever my mate was, he was not a dragon to be taken lightly, and he hadn’t even thrown a punch or shifted yet.
You should move on, dragon. She isn’t yours. We found her first. Now, step aside. I took notice that Drake’s words were less confident.
The dragon on my left took a step closer, heading toward me, but my mate swung his head around to face him, pulling his top lip back in a feral human snarl. “My mate is not yours. Now, leave before I tear you to pieces. This is your final warning.”
Before I get into my newly regular What is it Wednesday post, I’d like to explain this weekly (or so is the hope) post. In my books, I have a lot of different creatures, and they’re so fun to work with. Some of them are real (as in popular among the general public) and others I’ve completely made up. In my most recent series, there are so many different species of creatures that even my mom told me it was difficult to know what was real and what I’d invented. Hopefully these posts will be fun and informative at the same time! And let you know what’s real and what isn’t!
So, let’s start this off with Shifters!
Lately when explaining my books to people, I’ve found that quite a large majority have no idea what a shifter is when I tell them I write shifter novels. I then have to explain it. So, for those of you who have no idea what a shifter actually is, it’s a person who can shift into something, usually an animal of some kind, but it doesn’t have to be an animal. It’s kind of like the “Animorphs” series. And though it’s rare, I have seen where it’s an animal who can shift into a human (the biggest difference is that they started off as an animal but through magic or some sort of power became human and then have the ability to shift back and forth and must learn about their human side).
All of my books have shifters of some sort in them, whether it be tigers, dragons, polar bears, gargoyles, and let’s face it, the First Blood series is loaded with them (snow leopard, gorilla, fox, wolf, raccoon, etc). Why do I love writing shifters so much? Because there’s so much you can do with them! They have greater use of their senses. They’re not quite human or animal so anything is possible (like scenting emotion or hearing heartbeats). Their bodies might even be able to withstand more than a regular human and they could be stronger.
And who doesn’t love animals??? This allows me to write an animal-like character (such as when they’re in animal form) with a human intelligence. That’s fun. At least for me. It opens up so many possibilities!
What are some of your favorite shifters? Do you have characters from books that you absolutely love who can shift between forms?
More to come on my specific shifters in weeks to come!!
It’s Snippet Saturday again! That week rolled by pretty quick. Today’s snippet comes from the upcoming Christmas book, Snowbound Christmas. Here we have Flint meeting some of the North Pole’s occupants! Cider is one of my new faves.
Cocoa House was on the corner of Mistletoe Lane and Christmas Crossing, and like the Bakery, it was bustling inside. A tiny elf with spiky black hair with red tips noticed us walk in and she squealed as she ran around the counter and straight for Lizzette.
“You’re back!” She threw herself into Lizzette’s arms and the two hugged one another for longer than was customary, so they had to be friends, if the excited greeting wasn’t enough to prove that. “Who’s this?”
“This is Flint, he’s the polar bear shifter we brought back with us from Alaska. He likes hugs too.” Lizzette winked at me before the elf threw herself into my arms for a tight squeeze that wasn’t nearly as long as Lizzette’s hug had been, but I didn’t expect it to be any longer considering we were strangers. “Flint, this is Cider, my best friend in Christmas Village. Actually, she’s my bestest friend in the whole of the North Pole.”
Cider stepped back and surveyed me, tapping her fingertip against bright red lips. “Polar bear, huh? I heard Santa was bringing one of them back. So, what, you’re on tour guide duty?” She arched a brow at Lizzette, who grinned and shook her head.
“No, Flint is a friend.”
I’d better end up being more than a friend by the end of this or I’d done something seriously wrong. My bear and I had taken quite a bit of time while shoveling to study our mate, and not in a friendly way. If Lizzette had noticed, she hadn’t said anything. Then again, would she have called me out if she had caught me staring?
Of course she wouldn’t. We weren’t supposed to be anything more than that publicly. This was depressing.
Cider studied me again, and I kept my gaze locked on hers until she nodded. “He’ll do. Okay, now boy, follow me.”
Turning to Lizzette, I gave her a questioning stare, but she shrugged and motioned me to follow her friend. Before I moved, I handed over our muffins, my stomach complaining about giving the food away. Then I followed Cider behind the counter, hesitating to do so until she crooked her finger at me.
“Take your coat off,” Cider ordered, and I did. She took it from me and tossed it into a back room before returning to where she’d left me and handed me a tray with four mugs of hot chocolate on it with four cookies on a center plate. “You see that table in the far corner, this goes to them. Hurry up before it grows cold.”
If you’ve followed me for any length of time on social media, it’s probable that you already know this, but I’m a Christmas fanatic. Yes, I’m one of those people who not only has their tree up (Since Nov 2) but my apartment is also fully decorated for the season. We’ll skip the argument of whether this is skipping Thanksgiving and move on to the subject of this blog post: This year’s book is up for pre-order!!
If you haven’t read any of the other books in the Collection (this is #4), that’s perfectly all right. They’re written in a way that you don’t have to read them in any order. I try to do a good job of explaining who everyone is as they enter the new books. This was the first written in a guy’s point of view, and it was interesting. I’ve written in male POV’s before, but this one was just different. Maybe it’s because I’m so used to a Christmas fanatic as the leads for the Christmas books, and Flint is not. He likes Christmas, but he’s sooooo not on the elf level of Christmas loving.
So, why a Christmas book every year? Well, it started with wanting to write a Christmas book (Cause, you know, I like Christmas), and then I realized there was so much to this world that I couldn’t NOT explore it. Then readers began requesting certain elves’ stories (Holly and Jolly) so I wrote those. I’m loving these characters and what they have to offer. Plus, these books make me happy. I love the world they throw me into and to see what happens next. While not my most successful series, I’m never going to stop writing these Christmas books. They are too much a part of who I am at heart. So, with that being said, here’s more about SNOWBOUND CHRISTMAS!
What’s worse than being friend zoned by your ultimate crush? To Flint, not much, especially now that his Alpha brother has found love for the second time. If that wasn’t hard enough to deal with, Santa wants a polar bear ambassador to join him in Christmas Village, and he’s requested Flint by name. Leaving another new home once again, and this time his pack as well, Flint’s only consolation is that he’ll know one person in Christmas Village.
Even the dragon clan in Christmas Village doesn’t know much about Lizzette. Being a private person, she only has a few close friends, and her newest one is a polar bear shifter. Once they land in Christmas Village, pounding snowstorms land with them, raging through the North Pole one after another. With Christmas already on the line, can this unlikely pair find a way to help the elves dig out while discovering the relationship neither had anticipated?
First Blood is still free through tomorrow night, so of course today’s snipped comes from that book! It’s also perfect that it’s time for Daylight Savings in the USA so you have an extra hour to read tonight!
“Can I ask a personal question?” I asked Shannon, who turned in her seat to stare at me. The wind blew her hair around her face, so she tucked it behind her ear. From the driver’s seat, I could see Luella’s eyes flicker to keep tabs on the conversation.
“Sure, ask away.”
I looked between Shannon and Jackson. “What exactly is your relationship?”
Jackson snorted. “I’m leaving this one to you, Shan.” With that, he turned away from me to curl his body into as much of a ball as he could with the seat belt restraining him. I wasn’t sure how long it would take him to fall asleep, but once he stopped moving, he didn’t move again.
“Well, it’s complicated,” Shannon giggled, answering my question once Jackson was asleep. “We’ve known each other since high school, and he’s been at my side ever since. We were seniors in college when he bonded himself to me as my familiar. Now he can belong to no one else. Me, I’m still free as a bird, but I can’t do that to him. He’s my best friend, and maybe someday more than that. Until then, he’s bound to protect me and assist with my needs.”
“Speaking of men,” Luella crooned. “What about you and Raven? He sure has mellowed out since you drank his blood.”
“Maybe to you,” I grumbled, remembering Raven’s less than stellar mood this morning, “but to me he’s still the same old Raven.”
“Uh huh. That’s why he can’t keep his eyes off you whenever you aren’t looking.”
He did what?
“He likes my eye color.” My floundering retort only served to give Luella another case of the giggles. Even Shannon snickered.
“I hate to say it, Koda, but Luella has a point. He may have been grumpy this morning, but Raven was more mellow this morning than he has been in the years I’ve known him. What happened between you two yesterday?”