The Jesus Nut @JohnPrather3 @RABTBookTours

Contemporary Adult Fiction/Satire

Date Published: June 1, 2021

Publisher: Atmosphere Press

The Jesus Nut tells the parallel stories of three unlikely pilgrims—a reviled professor, a delusional homeless veteran, and a priest who loves strip clubs—searching for the greatest religious relic of the 21st century. Thrown together after a raucous showdown with evangelists, they decide to ignore their differences and work as a team in pursuit of their holy purpose. Their journey to New York City leads to a fateful encounter with a former advertising executive, whose mad ramblings suggest he might be the very oracle to help them fulfill their destiny.

A quirky, subversive novel that addresses timely issues and lampoons evangelical hypocrisy, The Jesus Nut ultimately reveals itself to be a story of second chances and agape love. Along the way, you’ll meet self-righteous academics, a curious and ambitious stripper, a farmer with a remarkable peanut, a trucker fascinated by the constellations, a profane church maintenance crew, and more. Prepare for an irreverent journey which will remind you of the value of friends and the miraculous power of faith.

Advanced Praise
Jerry MacNeil, author of Rules of Thumb “Three people share a life-changing adventure. Pilgrimages are more rewarding during the journey than at the destination, and The Jesus Nut is a great ride.”
“Masterful raconteur Prather pulls out all the heretical stops… A highly original mix of belief and balderdash.”

Review

This was such a clever piece of writing. It really did make me laugh at many moments, it made me take a deeper look into several of the aspects it highlighted as well. It really does give the reader so much insight while also bringing on the laughs.

About the Author

John Prather is a baseball fan, satire aficionado, mustard enthusiast, and film noir devotee. Now retired from teaching and coaching, he lives in Carlsbad, California with his long-suffering wife, extraordinary teenage son, and neurotic Bichon/Poodle mix. He once ran, a lot. His favorite color is orange. He has broken his nose 15 times. Visit him at JohnPratherWriter.com.

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Accident Among Vampires or What Would Dracula Do @E_Guizzetti @RABTBookTours

Standalone, set in the Paper Flower Consortium world

Paranormal (Vampires)

Date Published: June 21, 2021

Publisher: ZB Publications

Issaquah, Washington, USA

1951

My name is Norma Mae Rollins. I’m fourteen and an illegal vampire. I miss my mom, but new ghoulish appetites force me to remain with my creator.

Bill didn’t mean to transform me. At least, that’s what he claims. His frightening temper, relentless lies, and morbid scientific experiments makes it hard to know what to believe. However, someone snitched about Bill’s experiments to a nearby coven. Now both of our corpses will burn.

Bill won’t run. He is curious what happens to a vampire after final death. I don’t want to die again. It hurt so much the first time. Bill thinks his vampire boyfriend might shelter me. I must brave an eternal existence with elder vampires and other monsters who don’t think I ought to exist. Oh and figure out who I am allowed to eat.

A vampire’s reality is nothing like the movies.

Excerpt

From the diary of Norma Mae Rollins

Icy fingers, too big to be Teddy’s, gripped my arms.

The Fuzz, I thought.

The sheriff would call Mom. I had a few sips of beer and smoked, but I wasn’t blitzed. At worse, Mom would be “very disappointed” and give me extra chores.

My feet lifted from the ground. Wind bit the bare flesh of my arms, legs, and face. Branches whipped past me in frenzied movement. Nothing made logical sense. I seemed to fly underneath the dark shape which held me. I was dropped onto the concrete floor of somewhere cold that smelled of rotten meat and filth. Fangs loomed in front of me.

Vampires aren’t supposed to be real!

I screamed and struck the vampire with my flashlight. His pale lip split open and quickly stitched back together. He yanked the flashlight from my hand. I protected my throat with my arms, because in the movies, vampires always bite people in the throat.

He punched me.

Dazed, I fell backward into a metal table. He lifted me onto it and rolled me over.

I spotted the pit half-filled with rotting bodies. Their mottled flesh twisted in bizarre angles. Cloudy eyes stared at the ceiling.

I wildly kicked backward. I felt air. I connected. He grunted and leaned one hand on my back, pressing me into the metal. With his other hand, he ripped off my shoe and bobby-sock. His fangs pierced my heel. When he reopened his mouth, he whispered something about Achilles.

I tried to lift myself off the gurney, but the vampire still had me pinned as he dictated into an old Sound Scriber.

Cold leeched through my summer blouse. My muscles ached, then spasmed. The barn spun. Darkness.

No! Mom’ll wake up…I won’t be home… She won’t know what happened. I’ll be a rotting body covered in lye.

The vampire loosened his grip to check his stopwatch. I twisted. With my uninjured leg, I kicked the vampire as hard as I could.

Freed but light-headed, I sat and elbowed him in the chest. Agonizing pain radiated into my arm. Ignoring the throbbing, I punched him in his mouth, maybe his nose. Blood sprayed onto my face. My eyes teared, burning with his fiery blood. My lips tasted like copper.

The vampire grabbed me.

With one final burst of strength, I lunged and clamped my teeth onto his hand. Salty, syrupy blood coated my mouth….

Journal of William T. Caruso

Subject 073, Adolescent Female

Method: Bloodletting though the heel

Status: Transformed

How is it possible I created a vampire from this girl when grown men have perished by my fangs?

I simply wanted to discern the rate of blood loss if I opened the posterior tibial artery near the Achilles compared to other methods. This is an unexpectable complication, but now I comprehend the pain in creating a vampire. I have created one, I can create others.

I had been hunting for suitable subjects when flashlight beams on the west side of Tiger Mountain attracted my attention. Six teenagers played in an empty field. I originally thought about taking a boy, but I couldn’t tear my eyes away from Subject 073.

My mind linked with hers per the magnetic connection I share with Derrik. Another telepath? A modern teenager like her did not believe in anything beyond her human existence. Vampires were movie apparitions, superstition. Yet, she looked at the tree where I concealed myself.

Mostly her mind was full of the pleasure of girlish infatuation, but her hidden wish had nothing to do with boys. Better she be my victim than see her future dreams die long before she did. After the world squashed her, she would be a farmer like her mother. Or some idiot would drop The Bomb. Wasting such spirited blood would be a sin…

About the Author

Elizabeth Guizzetti is an author, podcaster, illustrator, and a collector of dragons — the ceramic kind. Elizabeth lives in Seattle with her husband and poodle. When not crafting stories, she can be found hiking, birdwatching or hanging out at the dog park.

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The House on Camp Ruby Road @BookBuzzet @RABTBookTours

Ghosts of the Big Thicket, Book One

Southern Gothic, Mystery

Publisher: Zimbell House Publishing

The House on Camp Ruby Road is the story of three generations of women living in the Big thicket of deep East Texas. It is a mystical place where Eden Devereaux, a college student in the early 1060s, is drawn into a haunting world full of damaged and grotesques people, reminiscent of Southern Gothic literature. After inheriting a crumbling southern homeplace in the Big Thicket upon the death of her mother, Eden must find out why she is entitled to it. But more importantly, who wants to make sure she doesn’t inherit it, and why.

The story weaves around three women; our heroine, who is searching for answers to a childhood dream; an elderly black woman who is living in the house and who holds the key to the mystery of the dream; and a young girl from the river bottom people, fleeing an unbearable life. They form an unlikely bond through adversity. Eden is aided in her search by handsome Jeff Callahan, who better understands the strange world in which she finds herself.

Will she be driven away by blood feuds, dark secrets, and ghosts? Or will she take a stand and claim what is hers? Through her true Texas grit and determination, she will find out the truth about who she really is, and who it is she truly loves.

 
Other Books in the Ghosts of the Big Thicket series:

The Girls of Cemetery Road

Ghosts of the Big Thicket, Book Two

Gothic, Mystery, Paranormal Women’s Fiction

There was something very dark about Kitrina Katim’s part of the Big Thicket. It had taken Libby, one of Kit’s best friends, in the dark of night when Kit was just a girl. Kit couldn’t imagine leaving her life and he best friends, the Sisterhood of Cemetery Road. But leave them, she did. And she did not return until ten years later when she was forced back to sell her parent’s house.

Nothing had changed, including Mad Maddie McPhearson, who lived down the road, always sitting on her front porch, always trying to make Kit’s life miserable. Miss Maddie, an angry elderly woman, owned Bellewood, an old Plantation house that was crumbling around her. Kit’s attemps at kindsness only fed the old woman’s hatred. But Kit didn’t understand why. Not then anyway.

It was that hatred that awakened dark voices in the thicket and threatening figures that terrified Kit. Was it Libby? Had she come back to them? Or was it something else, something horrifyingly familiar?

Would it be the Sisterhood, or handsome Colton or his brother Jackson, who would come to Kit’s aid when the time came to do battle with the dark forces that were slowly overtaking the Big Thicket?

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The Voices at the End of the Road

Ghosts of the Big Thicket, Book Three

Coming July 2021!


About the Author

Twyla Ellis is a descendent of pioneers who came to Texas in the 1840s, while Texas was still a Republic. She grew up roaming the dense pine forest in the Big Thicket around Livingston, Texas, at the home of her grandmother, great-aunts and uncles, and cousins. Her family was one of the founding families of Livingston, and her great-great-great grandfather was the first city treasurer in the 1840s. She fell in love with the haunting feel of the Thicket; its sounds and sights and smells. Her goal is to make people aware of the mystique and uniqueness of this novel part of Texas, one of only four rainforests in the U.S.

She holds a degree from Howard Payne University and has taught English and Music, and has been a member of NEA, TSTA, and TETA. She was a statewide officer and conference speaker with TETA (Texas English Teachers Association).

She has run her own children’s party and event planning business as well as Remembrances Antiques and Gifts in the Houston area. She is certified in computer graphic design and free-lances in her spare time.

Nothing makes her happier than road trips with her family to interesting old Texas towns. She loves church, antiquing, fossil hunting with her husband and sons (they hunt, she writes), Big Bend, the Alamo (Don’t all Texans?), exploring deserted buildings with a camera, and especially, the Big Thicket of deep East Texas.

If she had to give you a one-sentence bio of herself, she would probably say, “That obnoxiously joyful, hug driven, southern relative that you’d like to hide in the attic, just might be me.”

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An Unwitting Trickster @RABTBookTours @KaiStrand

Young Adult Fantasy / Mythology

Date Published:
06-08-2021

Immortal Trickster, Luke, is starting a fresh life in a new-to-him
seventeen-year-old body. With yet another lifespan stretched out in front
of him, he’s questioning what purpose his endless compulsion to play
tricks serves.

Agnar, a Thor look-alike claiming to be his adoptive brother from the
planet Asperian, appears to declare Luke has been away from home too long.
One problem. Luke doesn’t remember Agnar or living on another planet.

With more questions than answers, Luke cautiously agrees to accompany his
“brother” back to Asperian, but the travel portal rejects him, leaving him
behind to continue his mundane life of trickery. When interplanetary
soldiers show up intent on killing him, he’s forced into hiding and his
list of unanswered questions grows.

Will Luke remain trapped on Earth forever, pulling meaningless pranks? Or
will he finally figure out his true purpose?

 

Review

It’s a vivid world that Kai Strand has created and stayed true to from beginning to end. It plays out like a movie in the readers mind.
There is plenty of action and mystery. I loved the mythology and how it really blended in with the fantasy world.
If you are a fan of young adult, fantasy, or mythology, you won’t want to miss this.

About the Author

Award winning Kai Strand, author of the action packed Super Villain
Academy series, is often found exploring hiking trails and snapping
pictures of waterfalls in her Oregon hometown. Mother of four, Kai uses
her life experiences to connect with young readers. With middle grade
works such as Save the Lemmings, The Weaver Tale series, and The Concord
Chronicles series, and emotional YA adventures like Finding Thor, I Am Me,
and Worth the Effort, Kai has written compelling stories that tweens,
teens, and their parents love.

Kai has given numerous presentations in classrooms, to writer groups, and
at workshops about her work and the writing process. She loves interacting
with teens and gaining their insight on their latest reads as well as what
they would like to see in future stories.

To find out more about Kai, please visit Kaistrand.com.

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As Long as it Takes @BookBuzznet @RABTBookTours

Literary Fiction, Literary Mystery

Published: March 2021

Publisher: Luminare Press

Kincaid planned an idyllic holiday from his life of violence, but that was before he met Jillian.

After ten years and two dozen countries as a “security consultant”, Chance Kincaid craved solitude. The province of Palawan, with its pristine beaches, was the perfect place to relax as a “tourista”. But even in this remote part of the world, kidnapping, murder, and a missing pilot combine to make Kincaid’s trip anything but a holiday. And he soon finds himself involved with terrorists, the local authorities, and a mysterious young woman.


About the Author


EE Sample is an accomplished musician, composer, and author currently living with his wife in Florida. His first novel, The Last Siren, is available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble and in bookstores around the world.

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The Awakening of Rae @BookBuzznet @RABTBookTours

The Rae Series, Book One

Romantic Erotica, Lesbian Erotica

Published: January 2021

Two years ago, Rae had a chance to bring joy and adventure into her life. After her husband’s death in Afghanistan, her friend, Andrea became a light for her, until fear took over and Rae ended any hopes of a relationship with Andrea. With her son, Mark getting ready to graduate from high school, she is awakening to the realization that she might have made a mistake by letting Andrea go. Rae tried to stay busy helping other military spouses who had lost their loved ones in the war, but it only went so far. One day, the phone rang, and the door reopened to the passion and love she had known so briefly before.

Other Books in The Rae Series:

Her Heart’s Awakening

The Rae Series, Book 2

Published: January 2021

Rae was a highly conservative, 38-year-old woman, married to a U.S. Air Force Lt. Colonel with two teenage children, and it wasn’t until her husband was shipped over to Afghanistan for nine months that she was able to find herself. She was alone, the world on her shoulders once again, but she was trying to stay strong for the sake of her children.Andrea was a free spirited, 28-year-old, vibrant woman wanting to fulfill her life for the next nine months with something worth-while.To keep some modicum of sanity, Rae decided to try a yoga class. During her efforts to find one, she met Andrea at the recreation center on base. A friendship was struck, and the two women began walking down a path of exploration and growth.

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About the Author

Sananda Allsgood is a new author who says his inspiration comes from his soul. The story line playing out in his mind and then transcribing it to the written word. This is the fifth such book he has written in this manner, although different genres. Sananda started writing after a huge shift in his life and an experience of Spiritual proportions that took him in the realm of Near-Death-Experiences, although he maintains it wasn’t Near Death, but actual physical death only to return moments later, after the experience completed.

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Moonlighting @ScottLuckStory @RABTBookTours

TV history

Date Published: 6/1/2021

Publisher: The Fayetteville Mafia Press

Once upon a time ABC-TV’s Moonlighting was among the most buzzed-about shows in the country, thanks largely to the bravado of creator Glenn Gordon Caron, who never met a television convention he didn’t want to break, and the sizzling on-screen chemistry between glamorous erstwhile film star Cybill Shepherd and a New Jersey bartender nobody had ever heard of before named Bruce Willis, who bickered and flirted ceaselessly on screen and engaged in epic off-screen battles that all these years later remain the stuff of Hollywood legend. This combustible blend of creative brilliance produced some of the most acclaimed, audacious, and innovative programming of the eighties, including a black and white tribute to film noir, with an introduction by Orson Welles; a parody of Shakespeare’s The Taming of the Shrew, written in iambic pentameter; an homage to The Honeymooners; and countless metafictive episodes breaking through the fourth wall — almost unheard of at the time for hourlong comedy-dramas. Without a doubt, Moonlighting helped pave the way for the era of prestige television we are now all enjoying.

The real story of this pioneering television series and the extraordinary behind-the-scenes challenges, battles, and rewards has never been told — until now. Author Scott Ryan (The Last Days of Letterman, thirtysomething at thirty: an oral history, The Blue Rose, Scott Luck Stories) interviews over twenty people, including the actors, writers, directors, and producers who made Moonlighting such a dynamic, unforgettable show, delving deep into their thoughts and feelings as they relive this magical moment in pop culture history in this full color oral history.

 

Review

I feel like it’s the perfect time for this book. It’s a time where people are really hyped up for things from their past and looking back at them again.
I like the way this book was put together. It’s cohesive and includes a lot of information but it’s given to us in different ways. It goes in depth into so many different aspects of the show. It’s not just surface level stuff.
A great read for those who loved the show.

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I Hear the Black Raven @ishiayetoro @RABTBookTours

A Petite Memoir

Memoir

Date Published: 06-04-2021

Publisher: Equal Age

At 31 years of age, Claire Ishi Ayetoro has lived enough lives to fill an ensemble cast. In this, her first memoir, no topic is off-limits as she paints portrait after portrait of her triumphs and her battles with bipolar disorder, religiosity, and that ever elusive cure-all: love. A vividly compassionate depiction of psychosis, Ayetoro weaves words of wisdom, encouragement, and inspiration into every layer of her storytelling. Journey with her through the mountains and valleys of manic depression, guided by that singular spirit of flight: the black raven. You never know, it may even be calling to you.

About the Author

Claire is an African-American author and a creative at heart. Born in the southern hills of Mississippi, she graduated with a bachelor’s degree in Mechanical Engineering and has been re-designing and re-defining her world to live her best life ever since. She is an advocate for human rights and helps others to find freedom of mind through her coaching. When she is not writing, she can be found catering to Rupert (the family cat), daydreaming about warm spring days and cool fall nights, and whistling (a favorite pastime taught to her by her beloved “Papa Ray”).

Sign up for her email list at www.ishiayetoro.com and receive a free gift. Become an advocate with her by exploring www.equalageco.com.

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The Dark Lord @RABTBookTours @BookBuzznet @AllieMcCormackK

When Darkness Falls, Book 2

Paranormal Romance, Fantasy Romance, Vampire Romance

Release Date: June 17, 2021

Book 2 of a sweeping romantic saga in a medieval Arabian Nights type setting

Held captive in the Catacombs, Alyssa struggles with coming to terms with the loss of the life she had made for herself in the palace. She also has to learn how to deal with her strange magical powers that everyone but her seems to know she has. And she has to find a way to accept her new life with the ancient vampire who insists that she is his… but doesn’t seem to know what to do with her.

Lord Damien never thought to have a human woman in his life, and this one baffles him. He doesn’t understand his own need for her, but knows only that he must have her, at any cost. He had been prepared for anger and recriminations, but Alyssa surprises him with her determination to accept her new life, as well as her unexpected compassion and humor.

*Please Note, this is a trilogy! Books 1 & 2 have cliffhangers and are not meant to be read out of order.

Excerpt

Chapter 9 – The Craft Hall

Some distance from the city, Damien paused, holding up one hand. “We glamour,” he stated. “Until we reach the Craft Hall.”

Gabrielle and Kayja complied, a faint shimmering disturbing the early morning desert air as all three cast the small spell that would cloak them from untrained eyes. The sun wasn’t yet above the horizon, the days already shortening with the oncoming of fall. Damien focused his attention to the East, storm clouds gathering, building at his command, delaying the effects of the sun on himself and Gabrielle. Kayja, pure demon, was unaffected by the sun’s rising. Damien, with his demon father’s blood, could tolerate the sun until it was fully above the horizon, but Gabrielle would be susceptible to the sun’s influence much more quickly.

They reached the city, moving swiftly past through the lines of those waiting to enter through the huge gates. Passing unseen, the trio headed into the heart of the lower city, Damien leading them unhesitatingly toward the Craft Hall. He knew this city, every block, every stone. He had been here when it was a walled village. Had walked the construction at night as the city was built, the palace towering above all. There was no corner, no shadow, that he did not know.

Most of the shops and stalls were closed tight still, aside from a few stalls dispensing tea and thick bitter coffee, and flat bread with beans and fried balls of ground grain and herbs to early workers. The craftsmen, however, would already be up and working in their high-ceilinged hall deep within the city.

Indeed, the wide double doors of the Craft Hall were open, workers within milling about on various tasks. Standing just within the doors, Damien and his companions shimmered into sight of those nearby. There were startled gasps, then a wave of rippling murmurs, followed by silence, spread through the hall as craftsmen, journeymen and apprentices turned toward the great doors. The tension in the suddenly quiet hall was palpable. There was stirring, shifting of a group at one side of the room, and a man emerged, approaching the trio at the entrance. He was stockily built, with graying hair framing a lined face. Sharp, intelligent eyes held a wary defiance; not outright hostility, but Damien sensed little flashes of anger from the man, who wore a Master’s badge on one shoulder.

He knows your little human,” Kayja spoke on their private pathway. “I see her in his mind, his concern for her well-being.”

Damien gave a tiny, barely discernible inclination of his head, acknowledging her words.

The Craft Master came to a halt some few feet from them, bending at the waist in a slight bow.

My Lord Damien.”

Craft Master Ahmed.”

Damien suppressed his amusement as the man started in surprise. He was Lord over these lands. Of course he knew all those who rose to prominence. Craft Masters, even prominent journeymen who were rising swiftly in the ranks; he made it his business to know everything in this city.

The man made a swift recovery, schooling his face to express polite inquiry. “How may we help you, Lord?”

Again Damien sensed that flash of anger from the man, swiftly suppressed.

We have come for furnishings,” Damien told him, his gaze drifting about the spacious circular hall, sectioned into areas… tables, chairs, beds and divans, lounges, lamps, screens. He brought his eyes back to the Craft Master. “You are acquainted with the young Scribe from the palace?”

A swift startled murmur swept the room, starting with those in earshot who passed word to those nearby. Relief crept into Master Ahmed’s face, and some of the rigidity left his stance.

Alyssa? Indeed, I know her well. All of us do,” and he made a gesture with his right arm, indicating the room at large. “She… she is alive, Lord? She is well?”

A rush of impatience swept him. “Of course she is alive,” he retorted. “What did you think I was going to do, eat her?”

Absolute silence. His lips tightened in exasperation. Obviously, they had. Humans! His stern gaze swept them all, meeting their eyes, commanding their attention.

Do you truly believe,” and he raised his voice so that all in the hall could hear him. “That Zahira, your Sultana, would have permitted me to carry off one of her Court… indeed, any citizen of this city… without being assured that no harm would come to her? You do your Sultana a great disservice in this. Zahira would have gone to war, rather. She insisted upon, and received, my promise that no harm of any kind would come to the girl. She was prepared to risk outright war, had I not given her my word on this.”

The silence continued as the last echoes of his voice faded, then shifting and movement as the men and women returned to their various duties. Noises began to fill the hall…. sanding, pounding, hammering. Damien turned back to the Craft Master. The man was smiling, his relief almost palpable.

What is it you would wish to see, Lord?”

Kayja stepped forward at this point. Her tail was twitching, to the apparent bemusement of a nearby apprentice, a boy barely into his teens who’d apparently never seen a demon before, from his fascinated stare. “We need furnishings for Alyssa. A bed to start. A clothing press. Tables, chairs. These will be delivered to the Temple in the desert.”

Ahmed nodded thoughtfully, gesturing them to an area across the hall. “This way my Lord, Ladies,” he added a bit doubtfully, with a glance at Kayja’s red skin, her curved, pointed black horns and shiny black hooves.

This is excellent,” Kayja all but purred on their private pathway. “The human’s mind is already full of what he calls extras to include with the delivery, for Alyssa’s comfort. At no additional charge.”

I can see his thoughts for myself,” Damien reminded her in some exasperation. Kayja huffed, her horned head tossing irritably.

They stopped before a display room, set back off the main hall, filled with bedroom furnishings. There were massive, carved poster beds, and simpler lounges and chaises. Gabrielle stopped before one, a pretty, low bed with soft sheets and a light throw, topped with several pillows. She leaned down to poke experimentally at the mattress, testing its firmness.

What about this?”

No.” His refusal was instantaneous. Ahmed had moved off to point out to Kayja a monstrosity of a bed with heavy wooden posts carved with fantastic animals, sure to appeal to the demon. Maybe he should have brought Aleksei instead. He turned to Gabrielle, leaning close to murmur. “It’s very similar to her bed in her tower room, in the palace. I don’t want it to be a constant reminder to her.”

As he straightened, his eye was caught by a burst of colors across the way. He moved toward the bed that had caught his eye. It was a combination piece, clearly designed for multiple uses as lounge, bed or sofa. A carved wood base rested on wood legs that rose high to support a flat lattice work above, like a canopy. The mattress was low and large, covered in bright turquoise damask. Gracefully carved spindles rose from the base to a smoothly polished banister, framing the bed on three sides, a warm backdrop for an array of colorful cushions, embroidered and sequined, propped against the supporting spindles.

He was aware of his sister and Gabrielle joining him, Ahmed at a respectful distance.

Gabrielle pursed her lips thoughtfully. “It looks more suited to a patio perhaps, or a balcony, than to a cave.”

Kayja glanced her way. “He already has a stone crypt that’s perfectly suited to a cave. That’s why we’re here.”

True.”

It’s suited to Alyssa,” Damien stated, his tone brooking no argument. “That’s what is important.”

Indeed, my Lord, I think she would love this,” Ahmed concurred. “It would certainly brighten a… a cave,” he glanced at Kayja standing beside him. “If that is your purpose, this would do well. And Alyssa loves the jewel tones. Always, the jewel tones are what draws her. There is a chest for clothing that would go well with this. The workmen could put together a grouping to match, it would take perhaps a day or two, no more. Floor cushions, a chaise lounge. A mirror set into a mashrabiyya frame.” He warmed to his theme. “We could create an inlaid table using the same wood, the spindles, and inlay the top with hues to pick up the colors from the cushions.”

Damien nodded decisively. “Bring this bed and the chest, and whatever else you have made now, to the Temple by mid-day. Then the rest as it is completed.”

Ahmed bowed low, far different from the stiff, polite gesture he’d offered when they had first arrived. The man exuded good will.

It shall be done, Lord.” He paused. “If you would send some of your human servants to the city, Lord, the bed will need to be disassembled to transport. We will show them how to put it back together again.”

Leaving the Craft Hall, they again assumed a glamour. Gabrielle hurried for the distant Catacombs, using the preternatural speed of the vampire to outrun the rays of the sun, rising swiftly now above the mountains to the east. Damien, his demon blood making him less susceptible, took longer in following, strolling leisurely through the streets with Kayja as they made their way to the great gates of the city and then taking flight for the longer distance to the mountains.

Entering the Catacombs, Damien made his way to the Great Hall, ringing the bell that summoned the khadam and the other human servants not immediately in service to the vampire they looked to as Liege.

His indifferent gaze scanned the humans gathered before him. “A number of pieces of furnishings are being delivered to the Temple later this morning. At least two males are needed for the heavier pieces. Also I need one of you to visit the Woodworkers Craft Hall in the city for instruction in assembling the parts.”

Instantly two men stepped forward, and several women. One, a bubbly, rounded redhead, jiggled in place, seemingly excited.

Is it for Alyssa?” she asked, apparently flushed with excitement. “Is it a surprise?”

He turned his full gaze on her, little red lights flickering in his eyes. Fangs extending, he snarled at her. She gulped, visibly paling, and the humans closest to him fell back a step, watching him warily.

Not deigning to answer the woman, he turned on his heel, stalking away to his private chambers, where Alyssa still lay deeply asleep, faint smudges beneath her eyes. The sleep of exhaustion. He stood looking down on her. Yesterday had been difficult for her. He must remember she was mortal, and young. He reached down to stroke her hair, his fingers slipping through the short, silky strands.

A surprise. The idiot woman’s words came back to him. As if. He was no fairytale prince. And yet… an image arose in his mind’s eye. Alyssa’s eyes alight, her gasp of delight, her radiant smile as she saw the furnishings.

He straightened, turning away, dismissing the notion with a flick of his hands. He was vampire. Demon. An ancient. He had no place in his world for such human nonsense. And yet the image could not quite be dispelled, lingering in the back of his mind.

Other Books in the When Darkness Falls Trilogy

When Darkness Falls Book I: The Palace

Released: June 3, 2021

When Darkness Falls Book III: The Prophecy

Release Date: July 1, 2021

Amazon

About the Author

A former career medical transcriptionist and disabled Veteran, Allie McCormack is now writing from home full-time. Allie has traveled quite a bit and lived many places all over the U.S., and also a year in Cairo, Egypt as an exchange student, and a year in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia under contract to a hospital there, plus a short stint with NATO while she was in the Army. Allie now lives in the beautiful southern California with her family and her two rescue cats.

Allie says: “A writer is who and what I am… a romance writer. I write what I know, and what I know is romance. Dozens of story lines and literally hundreds of characters live and breathe within the not-so-narrow confines of my imagination, and it is my joy and privilege to bring them to life, to share them with others by writing their stories.”

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In the Eye of the Beholder @mmooha @BoroughsPubGrp @BookBuzznet @RABTBookTours

Victorian Romance, Historical Romance

Release Date: June 17, 2021

Publisher: Boroughs Publishing Group

THE TRUE BEAUTY

Intellectual, frank, and outspoken, Eleanor Sherbrook is everything a Victorian lady should not be. Her sister Julia is a stunning beauty who can have anyone she sets her sights on – and she sets them on the man Eleanor loves: the gallant and handsome Lieutenant Joshua Griffiths Wentworth.

Brokenhearted, Eleanor leaves England to become a nurse at the infamous British Army hospital in Scutari, Turkey near where Joshua is mired in war. As a member of the ill-fated Light Brigade, he and his comrades make the charge into the Valley of Death.

Thrown together, and forced to face cruelty and loss in a war-torn land, Eleanor and Joshua’s bond grows deeper every day. The folly and glory of the Crimean War forever changes them as they struggle to find a love strong enough to emerge from the ashes of their shared ordeal.


About the Author

I’ve always been a storyteller. When I was little, I used to tell my sister stories before we went to sleep. Most of them were serials – Superman and the like. It never occurred to me until much later in life that I should try my hand at writing.

Most of my career, I’ve been a music teacher. I’ve found music such a help when crafting a story. I actually see the structure of a book as if it was a musical composition. As for the nuts and bolts of my life, I grew up in the Chicago area and was a teacher there for quite a few years. I had a chance to teach at an international school in Tanzania, and spent two years there. After adopting my son, we spent four years at an international school in the Philippines. During that time, I began writing. Now I live in the western US.

Most of my work has been screenplays. Over the years, I’ve won or placed well in competitions. I’m telling you this so you don’t think I sat down one day and wrote a novel out of the blue. I’ve spent many years working and learning.

A long time ago someone called me “an insatiable romantic.” I hope that’s still true.

 

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Smashwords