In Three-Quarter Time

Our first day of spring.

By this date next year, Sorcha Alden’s story will out there.

That’s a scary thought—relaxing my control-freak grip enough to set this story free.

I know the time has come, to let go, to look forward, to share the magic of the Equinox Gala…

When the doors swung open, hundreds of candles adorned the walls like burning gemstones. Raimond grasped Sorcha’s hand and raised it to eye level. Stretching out at full arm’s length he presented her in the center of the dazzling ballroom. They turned in a circle, acknowledging the guests around the dance floor and many more ringing the upstairs gallery.

“May I have the honor of your first dance, Lady Sorcha?”

“Yes Duke, but the honor is all mine.”  

“And the music?”

“The waltz, please.”

“The waltz it is.” Raimond turned toward the orchestra director. “S’il vous plait…”

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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!

Enter The Giveaway Here!

You could win 50 Books!

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/

 

xpresso

In The Middle

 Girl moves to new town.

Girl meets Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome.

Cue Happily Ever After.

That’s how the story goes, right?

Except this is Lucy. The same Lucy whose stellar driving skills single-handedly wiped out both of her parents, leaving her with nothing but the suitcase in her hand and the screws in her skull. Not to mention that Mr. Tall, Dark, and Handsome—AKA Oliver—is just as annoyingly bossy as he is hot. According to Oliver, Lucy’s not safe in her new hometown, but he refuses to say why. He just gives her some lame warning about not going out after dark, like that’ll stop her.

When several townspeople vanish, the lethargic community springs to life, fearful of the danger lurking among them. The problem is that Lucy’s the last person to have seen any of the missing. Doesn’t exactly qualify her for the Neighbor of the Year Award.

Lucy’s already given up on Happily Ever After, but now she has two choices left: find out what’s happening in her new home, or become the next victim.

Read an excerpt from…

 

in-the-middlepic

 

“Do you trust me?” he asks. He’s closer to me.

 

“Do I have a choice?”

 

“Not really. We’ve got to get you back to the mansion before . . .” His voice trails off. I want to slug him in the arm for being spooky again, but I’d have to find his arm first.

 

He swoops in without warning, whisking me from my feet. Again, I cry out. He sucks in a sharp breath that catches between his teeth. “Lucy, I’m not kidding—stop making noise.”

 

My blood simmers beneath my skin. “Warn me next time you’re planning on picking me up, then.”

 

“Sorry,” he fires back, his mouth too close to my ear.

 

I want nothing more than for the strength in my legs to return so I can get away from him and his nerve, but Oliver is in control now and holds me pressed unnecessarily tightly to his body. Turning my head from him is my only means of escape. I’d shown him, all right.

 

With a little more energy than necessary, he heaves me up into the blackness. My bottom connects to something soft yet solid—Jasper’s back—and pain spikes down my spine. I gasp as my body starts to curl in on itself.

 

“Okay,” Oliver says. “Slide your right leg over to the other side. I’ll keep you steady.”

My mouth flops open and I wonder if he can see the ever-growing whites of my eyes. Or maybe he’s picked up on the stampede going on between the valves of my heart, because he softens. “Lucy, I’m not going to let you fall. Trust me.”

 

“The only people I’ve ever trusted are dead,” I shoot down to him as I claw around for something, anything, to keep me from falling on my face.

 

Oliver snorts, which sends me over the edge.

 

“What? You think that’s funny?” I challenge him, no longer concerned about keeping quiet. His hand clamps on my leg in piercing reproof. I’ll have bruises there tomorrow, for sure. Through locked teeth, I order, “Let. Go.”

 

“Please stop,” he says. “I’m trying to keep you sa—”

 

A rumble beyond us, where the orchard fades into the rest of the forest, interrupts his plea. Even though I sit astride stoic Jasper, I can feel the ground vibrating beneath us.

 

“What in the—?” I cry, whipping my head in the direction of the growing commotion.

 

“Slide back,” Oliver commands. I know better than to take offense at his bossy tone. I’d made a big mistake, one he’d been trying to protect me from. The fear of horses leaves my body, only to be replaced by the fear of the unknown. Ignoring the bite of pain in my hip, I throw my leg over Jasper’s withers and shove myself backward, using my palms for leverage. A second later, Oliver sweeps himself upward and in front of me on his horse’s back.

 

“Hold on,” he yells over the thunder moving our direction.

 

Purchase Links:

Amazon (www.amazon.com/Middle-S-J-Henderson-ebook/dp/B01MS38HH5/)

Tiny Fox Press (http://tinyfoxpress.com/product/in-the-middle/)

 

jen

 

  1. J. Henderson is the founder of theKid Authors Project, as well as a published author of the DANIEL THE DRAW-ER series. Now that she’s published IN THE MIDDLE, she’ll start working on the next big thing.

 

  1. J. lives on a farm with her husband, four boys, two dogs, and cat. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her riding one of her family’s three horses. She loves to sing and is slowly learning to play the ukulele.

 

 

Website (www.sjhenderson.net)

Facebook (www.facebook.com/authorsunnyhenderson)

Goodreads (www.goodreads.com/SunnyHenderson)

Twitter (www.twitter.com/SunnyJHenderson)

 

 

 

 

Casting Call

 

 

 

Sometimes, I forget how it happened…the rush of being swept away by characters that didn’t exist until the moment they stepped out of the smoke and took the stage.

Three years ago this month, in a January darkened by the aftermath of a different storm, the first story was born.

It was intense, exhausting, addictive, and I’ve discovered…incredibly elusive. The newest cast members have a mind of their own.

While I wait, my mind wanders…to stained glass windows and dangling shutters that framed strange faces…along alleys lined with crooked doorways, when haunting footsteps echoed next to mine. Back to the shadowy labyrinth where I met the monsters…

A doomed commander, blessed with the heart of a savior,

A blood slave, hiding her exotic appetite,

A perfect prince, arrogant and viciously flawed,

A trained healer, born to be a killer,

A legendary warrior, incapable of simple trust,

A second son, unwilling to be held hostage,

A brilliant politician, searching for courage to love,

A city behind walls, glittering and moody, ravaged and reborn,

And a fledgling nurse with the soul of an angel, carrying a spirit fierce enough to make them all family.

La nuit sans fin…