The First Move…

“Quit stalling in there!” Steven pounded on the bathroom door while Rayna, Julia, and Penny paced the floor. When Sorcha emerged in her slip, she was pushed into a chair in front of her dressing mirror. More maids scampered through the door and went to work painting her nails and setting her hair in curlers.

Lily babbled as she applied false eyelashes, strand by strand. “I recommend the dark lip stain—less smudging.”

Penny spritzed sample perfume on linen strips.

Steven grabbed his nose and sneezed three times. “You know not to spray that near me.”

“The spicy jasmine, please.” Sorcha patted Steven’s back.

“It’s just allergies. That slip is beautiful enough to be the dress itself.”

“Your allergies are in your tiny mind.” Julia snorted.

“Oh, shut up.”  Steven held a handkerchief over his face and collapsed in a coughing fit.

“Ok, stop,” Sorcha said, “I want a short break and Steven could use some air. You all need to get dressed, too.”

Julia stormed out.

The rest of Sorcha’s attendants hesitated until she gave each a sincere hug. “You’ve made me feel like a movie star. Steven, how in the world do you have allergies?”

“Never mind.” He dabbed the corners of his eyes with a sleeve. “I’ll see you downstairs.”

“Can someone send for Raimond? I need to have a word with him.” Digging in her nightstand, she found a smashed pack of cloves. Glad I don’t have allergies. Sorcha straightened the least damaged cigarette and lit it in the doorway of the balcony.

“I’ve been summoned?” The duke appeared out of the shadows, dressed in tuxedo pants and unbuttoned shirt, missing his tie and shoes.

“That’s a dashing look—you should attend the party as you are,” Sorcha said, “I especially like the slicked-back hair.” Sultry and dangerous.

“Touché.” Raimond scanned her outfit. “Is that underwear or your gown?”

“Ha-ha. There’s an important question I need answered. I want to know the procedure to change a human into a vampire.”

He shook his head and his finger in unison. “Way too soon.”

“I’m serious—I need to know.”

“Do you require my assistance?” The prince appeared on the balcony, like a phantom in a silk robe…

 

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YALit Giveaway Blitz!

XPRESSO Book Tours is throwing a magnificent #YALit Giveaway Party!

A bunch of authors got together to bring you a YOUNG ADULT Big Box of Paperbacks Giveaway! One luck winner is going to win FIFTY Young Adult Paperback Books! How’s that for an epic Book-Lover’s Prize?

THIS BOX OF BOOKS IS VALUED AT OVER $500! And this giveaway is open worldwide! Their first giveaway went to a winner in Romania–and yes, they’re willing to pay the insane shipping on this oversized, overweight package to get the prize to WHOEVER wins!

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Here’s an excerpt from just one of the featured authors…

 

Curse of the Sphinx

Exclusive Excerpt

By Raye Wagner

 

The box slipped from her hands, the contents spilling on the asphalt. The sleeve of her mom’s sweater landed in the gutter, the splash of red contrasting with the darkness around her.

Even before Hope turned to the car, the fermented stink of alcohol wafted on the breeze. Two men, just more than shadows, came from the left, their drunken gait slow as they ambled toward her car. Even if she ran, she couldn’t get in the car before they reached her. Sucking in a deep breath, she turned to face her fate. Adrenaline washed through her, and her muscles tensed. The sound of her heartbeat pounded in her ears, and pages of a book rustled in the wind.

One of the men sucked in a sharp breath, and Hope tried to measure her risk.

The shorter man leered, and his brown eyes bespoke his mortality, and his smirk promised pain. In his fist, he clenched the handle of something. A hammer? No, a wrench.

The taller man’s gait was steady, and something about his features was . . . off. Wrong. Washed out. And . . . his eyes! Two solid orbs of pitch.

Skia.

She swallowed back fear as it clawed up her throat. Hope grabbed for the golden dagger in her back pocket but came up empty. In another second, they would be in striking distance.

The human raised his arm, and instinctively, she moved. Stepping to the left, she hooked his wrist as he moved to strike, rotated her grip, and lunged behind him. She brought his arm with her, applying torque until she heard the snap. Before he had time to register the pain, she kicked his knees with the heel of her foot, buckling him to the ground. Not even a second later, he screamed. He dropped the wrench and clutched his shoulder.

She spun to face the other attacker and dropped back into a defensive stance, her arms up in a guard position. The Skia chuckled, a ghostly wheezing sound. They circled each other twice, and Hope struck. She jabbed twice, measuring his ability. Fast and hard. He knew how to fight.

“You are not as you seem,” he rasped.

He reached as if to grab her, and she swung her left leg up in a crescent kick, clearing his arms. Before she brought the leg completely down, she shifted her stance and kicked him in the ribs. Sliding close, she delivered a hook punch where his liver would be, as if the dead still had their organs.

He bent over, exposing his left side, and she slammed her elbow into his jaw. The Skia crumpled to the ground.

Her legs trembled, and it felt like she was running through water, her movements lethargic and contorted. The man wrapped his warm hand around her forearm, and she stumbled.

Panicked, she lashed out with the heel of her palm, bringing her right hand back at the same time as she struck with her left. Over and over and over again. Using every ounce of force, she struck. Bones crunched and warm wetness covered her hands. Only when the man released her arm did she stop.

Hope looked around for the Skia.

The tall figure leaned against the wall of the alley, the shadows lapping at his feet, the weight of his gaze fixed on her.

She shifted back into a defensive stance, waiting for him to attack.

“Interesting.” He tipped his head. “Little monster . . .” He stepped into the shadow and disappeared.

 

Purchase Link (or read for free on Kindle Unlimited): http://www.amazon.com/dp/B013PD4U5O/

 

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Ocean of Stars

 

Ocean of Stars
by Belle Malory
♦ ♦ ♦
 

One keeper down. Eleven to go.

Kennedy Mitchell has just survived an alien attack, but at what cost? The world still isn’t safe. The keepers still aren’t strong enough to defend it. The people still have no idea how much is at stake.

The Department of Extraterrestrials is planning an important mission, one that means seeking the help of another planet in order to save theirs. Kennedy is reluctant to leave at such a critical time, but her role in the mission is essential to its success. With everyone she loves still at risk, she’s willing to do anything to find the key to survival.

Even if that means crossing the universe.

Previous books in the series:
 Ocean of Stars
by Belle Malory
(Twelfth Keeper #3)
Publication date: January 7th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Young Adult
belle
AUTHOR BIO:

I don’t consider myself a writer. I’m a storyteller.

My two great loves are books and coffee. If it weren’t for books, my heart wouldn’t feel as full. And if it weren’t for coffee, I wouldn’t know what mornings are. That being said, the guy at Starbucks knows me well. He sings to me sometimes.

I live in Orlando, Florida with my family and two rescue mutts. Their personalities are like night and day. One is gold. The other is black. The gold one doesn’t like to sleep in. Before I’ve had my coffee, we are enemies.

You can visit me at http://www.bellemalory.blogspot.com. I love hearing from readers!

Author links:
 

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