Category Archives: Urban Fantasy

Pre-Order Tour & Giveaway – Loving Riley – Liz Durano

 

 

LOVING RILEY

Celebrity series, book 2
by Liz Durano
Genre: NA Contemporary Romance
Cover Model:Stuart Reardon
Photographer:Franggy Yanez
Some secrets can’t stay hidden forever…

To his fans, Ashe Hunter is the perfect man, the classically trained British actor taking Hollywood and Broadway by storm. To his American girlfriend, Riley Eames, he is a man in love and he’ll do anything to keep her safe from the prying eyes of paparazzi suddenly digging into her life.
But to someone from his past, Ashe is her ticket to Hollywood fame and she’ll do anything to get it even if it means tearing down the image he’s built for himself ever since he left her. 

“What did she mean when she said I was so vanilla?” asked Riley.

Ashe had known this was coming, that Riley would ask questions. Well, why shouldn’t he just answer her truthfully?
“It has nothing to do with your hair, petal,” he said. “Unfortunately, Catriona Marks is not known for her subtlety.”
“What does it mean, then, ‘She’s so vanilla’?” Riley asked, her voice mimicking Catriona’s words as she pulled her hand away and crossed her arms in front of her chest.
“Catriona’s tastes are what might be called ‘alternative’,” explained Ashe. “In some circles, she’s better known as ‘Mistress Cat’.”
“Like a Dominatrix? How would you know that?” Riley paused, raising her hand. “No, don’t answer that, Ashe. I’m not sure I want to know.”
For a few moments, she didn’t speak. He watched her bring her hand to her mouth, her expression distraught as if a vision of Ashe and Catriona together had come to her mind unbidden. Then she turned her face toward the window, watching the snow outside as the car made its way through the streets.
“You used to date her, didn’t you?”
“Yes,” he replied.
“It would have been better if you’d just said she’s your ex-girlfriend,” Riley said. “She is, isn’t she? Is she the actress who discovered you?”
“Yes, she is.”
They spent the rest of the ride in silence. Ashe had much to say, but this was not the ideal place to tell Riley the things he wanted her to know about his past and the people who belonged there. 

Loving Ashe



A booty call. A stuck elevator. A chance to move on.
Three years after her ex-boyfriend left her to pursue his Hollywood dream, barista Riley Eames’ life is still on hold, hindered by questions only he can answer. So when he asks to meet her for a booty call while he’s in town, she reluctantly agrees, only to find herself stuck in the hotel elevator with rising British star, Ashe Hunter.
He’s gorgeous, charming, and before the night is over, smitten.

But a celebrity romance may not be enough to get Riley’s love life moving again, not when the ex-boyfriend is back in town and with him, the secrets that will change her life forever.
Though Liz majored in Journalism in college, she discovered that she preferred writing fictional stories over proofing news and ad copy. These days, Liz is the author of five full-length novels including Everything She Ever Wanted, Loving Ashe and A Loving Riley.
When she’s not arguing with her muses about their story arcs, she’s usually hanging out with her little prince, stepping on Legos and building train towns. She’s probably also guzzling down coffee and sneaking in the chocolate while learning about the world from other peoples’ writings. And she’s always asking questions. Always.
Facebook ✯ Website ✯ Twitter ✯ Goodreads ✯ Amazon

CLICK ON IMAGE TO ENTER THE GIVEAWAY

 

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Filed under Blog Tour, contemporary, excerpts, giveaway, Promo, Romance, Series, Urban Fantasy

Promo Tour & Giveaway – Orlosian Warriors Series – Dariel Raye

 

ORLOSIAN WARRIORS series

Books 1 & 2
by Dariel Raye



Genre: Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

CALM ASSURANCE

Two hearts, two different worlds, uncompromising love.

 

A straight-laced Nephilim-descendant and a human trouble-magnet?
When Asriel – Orlosian Warrior, descendant of Nephilim, law enforcer – is sent to guard Malina, a human with a penchant for drawing trouble like a tornado, she becomes his obsession.
With no hope of finding love in his dimension, he breaks the cardinal rule, leaving his home to protect her, but she has also drawn the attention of his enemies, and he is forced to face demons from his past. If Asriel chooses to stay with Malina, not only does he risk forfeiting his right to ever return to his dimension, but he will need her blood to survive.

 

 

DESTINY’S FAVOR
His world shifted the moment she was born. Now, nothing can stop him from making her his…
Imagine a man who looks like an angel, wings and all. What would you do if you met such a man, and he told you that he exists for only one purpose, to claim you and only you?
Destiny Carter is a feisty, take-charge, Rubenesque beauty with a tough façade. She finds herself caught in that age-old quandary of always being the bridesmaid but never the bride. A string of lackluster relationships leaves her hopeless and ready to settle for whatever comes along, until she meets Japheth, the man her fiancé claims is his best friend. Japheth’s arrival is heralded by an attack on Destiny’s life, but somehow, from some instinct deep within her, she knows this is only the beginning.
Born more than 200 years ago, Japheth looks like an angel, but he’s far from it. In his world, the ratio of men to women is 500 to 1, and although he’s a superior being, he’s willing to break the most sacred law of his brothers, even to drink human blood, if it means having the one that he believes is meant for him alone. When he meets Destiny, he knows she’s the one he’s been searching for. To claim her, though, Japheth will have to betray a friend, risk his life, and, perhaps hardest of all, humble himself enough to win her love. 

Still too far away to get a good look at the legendary J, Destiny watched the two men pull each other into a brief man hug. As she did, her mind wandered back to her conversation with Memaw: “Destiny, you be extra careful the next few days, okay? Memaw’s got a feeling.” She wondered what all the sudden drama was about, especially since she was always careful. The older woman was always right, though, so she couldn’t help glancing around cautiously as she walked. Memaw had said those same words to her the night she was attacked, so it was always good to heed her advice, always better to be safe than sorry.
J bent to pick up his one bag, and before she could even close the gap between them, they were heading back toward her.
Destiny overheard part of their conversation as they neared: “Man, I know it’s after two and all, but I’ve never seen people sleepin’ at a bus station like this before. I swear, everybody’s laid out but you.” She also couldn’t help but notice J’s striking gait as he stalked closer, almost graceful but with a natural swagger. All jungle cat in a man’s body, was the only thought that came to mind. Realizing that she was staring far too much, she dragged her gaze from Robert’s friend and surveyed the station, but she was still hesitant to stop admiring him. Something about the way he moved sent a jolt of energy rushing through her, punching her guilt button in the process. Surely, she and Robert were not a match made in Heaven, but that certainly didn’t make it okay to have the thoughts she was having about his best friend.
Even during that beautiful season of the year, the dreary bus station looked and felt dank, grim, and hopeless. The floodlights, although strategically placed, barely pierced the darkness, and the skinny trees left over from the last time anyone cared reminded her of how she really felt about being alone.
A sudden blur of movement caught Destiny’s attention as they walked on, and fear and nausea invaded her, welling up from their hiding places. A tall, dark figure rushed toward her, his hands reaching out like claws, eager to grab her. Time stood still as waves of nausea struck, rendering her unable to move, a predicament she’d never found herself in until that reality-changing attack.
Destiny stumbled and fell to the ground. Every one of her survival instincts kicked in, and she was ready to fight if necessary, but just as quickly as the shadow appeared, it was gone. The station was eerily quiet and still again, and she found herself standing there, with no memory of getting up from the ground. She glanced around, checking all sides, then turned to face Robert and J as they stopped in front of her as if nothing had happened.
“Baby, this is Japheth Danaelson, J. J, this is Destiny Carter, my fiancé,” Robert casually said.
She tried to dismiss the hazy monster as nothing more than a flashback, but subconsciously, she knew better; Destiny was convinced that something really had just tried to attack her again, even if it did stop in its tracks and vanish. Despite her disorientation, wobbly knees, and the feeling that she had somehow skipped through time, and despite the fact that her mind was now reeling with doubt over what she’d just seen, Japheth’s presence overshadowed everything else. Up close, he was absolutely breathtaking.

 

 

Dariel Raye is an animal lover, animal rights activist, musician, and award-winning author of powerful paranormal romance and dark urban fantasy with IR/MC (Interracial/Multi-cultural) alpha male heroes to die for, and strong heroines with hearts worth winning. She fell in love with books and started reciting stories at the age of 3. A counseling psychologist, classically trained vocalist, and pianist, she plays over 11 musical instruments, and naturally incorporates behavioral psychology into her characters. Her stories tell of shifters, vamps, angels, demons, and fey (the Vodouin variety). She is also a Netflix paranormal TV series binger.

Dariel is currently writing two series: “Dark Sentinels” (wolf shifters), and “Orlosian Warriors” (Vampire-like Nephilim). For more about Dariel, follow her blog or visit her website. She also publishes a new release newsletter. If you enjoyed this book, please post a review on review sites. You can also follow her and contact her on Twitter, Facebook, or Pinterest.

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Filed under Blog Tour, excerpts, Fantasy, giveaway, Mixed Genre, Paranormal, Promo, Romance, Series, Urban Fantasy

Release Blitz – All Who Wander Are Lost – Bruce Blake

 

ALL WHO WANDER ARE LOST

Icarus Fell series, book 2
by Bruce Blake

Genre: Urban Fantasy
If we’re good, we go to Heaven; if we’re bad we go to Hell. No one wants to go to Hell.
Except one man who wishes people would just remember to call him Ric.
In the aftermath of a serial killer’s murderous spree, souls who didn’t deserve damnation went to Hell. The archangel Michael doesn’t seem concerned, but Icarus Fell can’t bear the guilt of knowing it’s his fault they ended up there.
But how can he save them when the archangel forbids him from going and his guardian angel refuses to help?
The answer comes in the form of another beautiful, bewitching guardian angel who offers to be his guide. They travel to Hell to rescue the unjustly damned one by one, but salvation comes at a cost and the economy of Hell demands souls.
Is it a price Icarus is willing to pay?

Chapter One
When your guardian angel and her friend, the archangel Gabriel, tell you to stay put, it’s probably a good idea to listen.
I should have, but I have inexplicable difficulty with authority figures. It gets me in trouble. A lot.
An old Buick sat to the right of my motel room door looking like it hadn’t moved in a decade or so, and it certainly hadn’t budged since I checked in; a few other cars were parked in the motel’s lot but there were no people. I stepped across the threshold and closed the door behind me, the click of the lock firecracker-loud in the winter night.
I paused. Still no one around. I breathed deep and stepped away from the door, the first time I’d been outside the dingy, musty-smelling room in weeks.
A month ago, the police found a tranny prostitute named Dante Frank dead on a bed in a five-star hotel, hairy chest and hairless vagina exposed for the world to see along with the biblical references his killer carved in his flesh. Dante, whom I’d known as Danielle Francis, was the last victim of the serial killer dubbed the Revelations Reaper by the media. The police had a suspect in the string of killings: me.
I didn’t kill any of them but, if the truth be told, their deaths were on me.
Forget the angels telling me to stay indoors, the fact the local news had been flashing an unflattering picture of my face on the screen every night until a week ago should have kept me inside my seedy room. But you know what they say about common sense…it ain’t so common.
Icarus Fell: living proof.
I didn’t think that because they finally stopped plastering my face all over the six o’clock news they’d stopped looking for me. Every cop in the city likely still carried my picture like they were at war and I was their girl waiting for them back home, but after four weeks in my motel-room-prison, the prospect of remaining inside held as little appeal as being girlfriend to a bunch of cops. I’d spent every moment of the last month thinking about my role in the deaths, wishing things were different. Another minute trapped alone with my guilt might prove one too many.
I slipped away from the motel and down a side street, disappearing in shadows and down alleys wherever I could. The taste of impending snow in the early December air fortified my lungs.
As I ranged farther from the motel, the garbage strewn on the streets and graffiti tags spray-painted on walls — ‘Big Turk Wuz Hear’ and other poetic gems — became less frequent until they disappeared completely. I’d made my way to a neighborhood where people cared, a fact which should have rang alarm bells in my head and made me more careful, but the lack of hookers and drug dealers lifted my spirits and my worry ebbed taking caution along with it.
Dumb ass.
I paused at the intersection, the lights of an approaching car reflecting on the frost-rimed pavement as I waited to be sure it would obey the stop sign. Without the fresh air loosening my wits, I’d have waved him through, but freedom made my head light in the way of a non-smoker after a few drags on a cigarette. The car’s brakes squeaked as it rolled to a halt. I stepped off the curb and raised a hand in thanks, squinting against the lights, but couldn’t see the driver. Hand replaced in pocket, I continued on my way, thinking nothing of it until I heard the hum and chatter of a power window in need of repair.
“Hey, you.”
The words weren’t spoken with the timbre of someone in need of directions. The caution and worry the beautiful night had leeched from me flooded back; I quickened my pace.
“Stop.”
I broke into a run before his engine roared and tires chirped. Cutting across a well-manicured lawn, I hopped a fence, ran through a back yard dominated by an inter-locking brick patio and an in-ground pool emptied for the winter, then vaulted another fence into a rear lane, cursing my stupidity with every step.
Despite a house between us, I heard the car’s engine rev and labor as the driver gave chase. I dove through a line of tall shrubs, their branches scratching my face, and into another yard, keeping my flight to places the car couldn’t go. Ten minutes of fence-jumping and shrub-diving later, I emerged on a sporadically lit street. Familiar graffiti scrolled across the side of a building; Big Turk and his poor spelling were back. Close to my motel. My lungs labored, the cold air hurting my chest instead of refreshing it as a stitch in my side dug in and grabbed hold. I stopped to catch my breath, bent at the waist, hands grasping knees like the world’s worst marathoner run out of steam, but rest didn’t last long. A siren wailed behind me and I forced my legs back into action.
I darted into an alley and the all-too-familiar stink of garbage and piss, depression and decay hit me immediately. I’d lost so many days and nights of my youth in alleys like this, sleeping off a bottle of vodka or poking a needle in my arm. I forced the thought from my mind. This was no time to self-analyze by way of shitty memories.
Tires screeched at the mouth of the alley. I didn’t look back, my attention taken by a figure stepping out of the shadows into my path. A Carrion, I assumed–a human-shaped demon sent to collect souls and make my life difficult–but I quickly realized the silhouette was smaller and more feminine, leaving two possible people. Angels, really. I halted a few paces beyond arm’s-reach in case I was wrong.
“Hey, mister. Long time, no see.”
I recognized the voice immediately. The angel stepped into the light and I saw her gingerbread hair, glimpsed the freckled skin of her cheek.
“Gabe.”
The Archangel Gabriel is the messenger. She brings scrolls with my assignments inscribed on them: who’s scheduled to pass, where, when, and where to take them when it’s done.
I couldn’t think of a worse time for her to show up.
“Did you miss me?”
Her pure voice echoed off the alley walls and a chorus of swallows which always accompanied her, but that I couldn’t see in the dark, chirped and chittered on a fire escape overhead.
“Don’t have time right now, Gabe,” I said breathlessly and glanced over my shoulder. The alley remained empty, but it wouldn’t for much longer.
“Here.”
She offered a scroll which hadn’t been in her hand a second before.
“Really, Gabe? I don’t–” I gestured toward the alley at my back, offered a pleading look. She shook the scroll at me and raised an eyebrow.
I’d learned the hard way that harvesting wasn’t the kind of job you could slack off at; the hard way seems to be how I learn pretty much everything. I gave in without any real fight.
My finger brushed hers as I grasped the rolled parchment and an electric charge prickled the hairs on my arm, bringing with it a longing to spend time with her, to be in her presence as long as possible. I nearly forgot the man chasing me.
“Gabe, I–”
She smiled and shrugged. “You don’t have time, remember?”
Swallow wings beat the air above my head as she walked away. I stared after her for a second before pulling myself from the angel-induced stupor to look at the scroll in my hand. This was my second assignment since everything went down: the deaths, the media frenzy, the explosion at the church. What happened to souls during my seclusion? Did they make other arrangements or were they okay with everyone going to Hell for a few weeks while I got my wits about me? Great vacation for me, but kind of sucked for everyone else.
Unrolling the scroll unnerved me. After being given one inscribed with my son’s name, I couldn’t help but hold my breath. Probably would every time I did it.
Shaun Williams.

I set my captive breath free. Didn’t know him. The address scrawled on the yellowed parchment wasn’t familiar either, but I knew the city well enough to recognize it was close. I read the time of death, then checked my watch.
Two minutes from now.
The sound of shoes hammering pavement reverberated off the alley’s brick walls. I got my legs moving again and took a corner, feet tangling in a pile of garbage bags and spilling me to the pavement. My shoulder hit hard and I skidded a couple of feet along the damp ground, filth snow-plowing onto my jacket. I scrambled to my feet, glanced ahead and behind as the footsteps grew louder, and realized the futility of my flight. Facing my pursuer seemed the only option. Maybe I could talk my way out of it before my appointment came and went.

Damn it.

Bad things happen to good people when I miss appointments. And to bad people; also, the Swiss.
I backed down the alley and didn’t have to wait long for the man chasing me. He rounded the corner, avoided the garbage bags which had tripped me, and skidded to a halt in a pool of light cast by a security light mounted high overhead. The dress pants he wore looked a year or so beyond their best-before date; a long wool coat covered a rumpled dress shirt which may never have made a dry cleaner’s acquaintance. I might have noticed more but the gun in his hand distracted me.
“Mr. Fell,” he said between panted breaths. “If that’s really your name.”
“It’s the name the bastard gave me,” I muttered glancing from gun to a face I’d met a few times and seen many more on the news. The muscles in my jaw clenched and released as I silently counted the passing seconds in my head. “We seem to meet under awkward circumstances, don’t we, Detective?”
“Sometimes happens between serial killers and cops.”
“I didn’t kill anyone.”
“Right.” He leveled the gun, his eternally tired eyes unwavering. “And I’m Serena Williams. Put your hands behind your head.”
A little firework went off in my brain, interrupting my mental countdown. He obviously wasn’t Serena Williams — wrong sex, wrong skin color, and he didn’t look like much of a tennis player — so why pick her out of a thousand possible celebrities to use sarcastically? I chanced pissing him off and stole a peek at my watch: t-minus one minute. My gut wrenched one twist to the right.

If I don’t get out of here quick–

The thought cut off half-formed, bullied aside by another. The detective was the lead investigator in the Revelations Reaper case, the guy the newscasts interviewed no matter how uncomfortable he looked on camera, so I’d seen his face a hundred times on TV. And every time they showed him offering his oft-quoted ‘no comment’, they emblazoned his name on the screen in white letters.
How did I miss it?

Detective Shaun Williams.
I raised an eyebrow. “Detective Williams?”
“Yeah, that’s right. Now that we’ve been properly introduced, put your fucking hands behind your head before I shoot you.”
I peered past him, then to both sides. With his name on the scroll in my back pocket, there had to be someone waiting to ambush this man scheduled to die in about forty-five seconds.
“You need to get out of here,” I said, eyes still searching the shadows. “You’re in danger.”
“Me?” He stretched his arm toward me, pushing the barrel closer. “If you don’t get your hands up right now, you’ll never walk again.”
The seconds ticked off in my head, echoing down the hallways of my mind. I gritted my teeth, fought the compulsion to try and save him.
Not my job.

They sent me to retrieve his soul after his death, not prevent it. But so many already died because of me and my poor choices. Maybe this was an opportunity to make amends–with myself, if no one else. My eyes found his and held his gaze for a second; I didn’t have much more than that.
“You’ll thank me for this later,” I murmured and darted toward him, moving faster than he expected an out-of-shape-almost-forty guy like me could.
He squeezed the trigger but I was on him before he got the shot off. The gunshot nearly deafened me, the explosion echoing through my head, ringing in my ears. My arms encircled him, pinning his at his sides, and inertia carried me forward, driving him to the ground. Breath whooshed out of his lungs when we hit, but I didn’t let go.
“This is for your own good,” I said into his ear. His body jerked but my grip held. The last few seconds counted down in my head.
Five…four…three…two…one.

When I reached zero, I held on a few seconds longer in case my timing was off or my watch was slow. Nothing happened. No gunshot, no one jumping from the shadows; a grand piano didn’t drop from a balcony. Nothing.
I leaned back, a hand on his gun arm to prevent him from shooting me. Some thanks that would be for saving his life. I gripped his wrist expecting him to squirm away, but he didn’t. His lack of movement should have tipped me something was wrong, but I was too concerned with making sure we weren’t about to be attacked to notice. Nothing moved in the shadows, no one approached down the alley.
Could the scroll have been wrong?

Unlikely, but it happened before, when other forces manipulated events. How did I know the same wasn’t the case this time?
I didn’t.
A small movement caught my eye and I looked left to see a figure standing five yards away. Fear forced bitter, electric saliva into my mouth like I’d bitten down on a piece of aluminum foil, and I snatched the gun from Detective Williams’ hand, jerked it toward the silhouette. The man didn’t react, but simply stood watching. His presence made a knot form in my stomach which worked its way quickly into the back of my throat. The figure stepped forward into the light and the muscles in my forearm tensed, my finger brushed the trigger. It only took a second to realize he wasn’t as opaque as he should be.
This wasn’t a man, but a dislodged soul.
“What–?” I began but the lump in my throat got the better of my voice.
My brain finally registered the detective’s lack of movement and I looked from the soul to the detective’s face. His tired eyes stared up at me blankly; a dark circle of fluid spread across the grungy pavement beneath his head.
“No, I–”
The sight of his glazed eyes hit me like a spinning kick to the gut, stealing my breath and energy. My gun arm sagged, the police-issue .38 resting against my thigh, forgotten. I resisted the urge to shake him by the lapel of his wool coat or slap him awake, call out his name. I already knew what the result would be. The overhead light reflected in the pool of liquid around his head making a grisly halo.
I was responsible for another death.
I shook my head in disbelief and looked back at the spirit. There were no black bags under its eyes or worry lines at the corners of its mouth, but there was no mistaking to whom the soul belonged: except for the felt fedora tilted over the soul’s left eye like he’d stepped out of a Mickey Spillane novel, the spirit wore the same clothes.
“I didn’t–”
My words stuck again. Or maybe I didn’t want to complete the sentence because it would make what happened real. No need to worry, the ghost took care of that piece of business for me.
“You killed me.”
To some, death is the end; to others, a beginning. To Icarus Fell, it should have been a relief from a life gone seriously awry.
But death had other plans.
Icarus doesn’t believe that the man awaiting him when he wakes up in a cheap motel room is really the archangel Michael, or that God’s right hand wants him to help souls on their way to Heaven. Icarus doesn’t believe there’s a Heaven, so why should they want his help?
But the man claiming to be the archangel tempts him with an offer he can’t ignore–harvest enough souls and get back the life he wished he’d had.
It seems Icarus has nothing to lose, until he botches a harvest and the soul that went to Hell instead of Heaven comes back to make him pay by threatening to take away the life he hoped to win back.
To save the wife and son he already lost once, Icarus will have to become the man he never was. Somehow, he will have to learn to believe.
Bruce Blake lives on Vancouver Island in British Columbia, Canada. When pressing issues like shovelling snow and building igloos don’t take up his spare time, Bruce can be found taking the dog sled to the nearest coffee shop to work on his short stories and novels.
Actually, Victoria, B.C. is only a couple hours north of Seattle, Wash., where more rain is seen than snow. Since snow isn’t really a pressing issue, Bruce spends more time trying to remember to leave the “u” out of words like “colour” and “neighbour” than he does shovelling (and watch out for those pesky double l’s). The father of two, Bruce is also the trophy husband of a burlesque diva.
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Filed under Book Blitz, excerpts, New Release, Promo, Release Day, Series, Urban Fantasy

Release Tour & Review (with Giveaway) – Rise of the Alpha – Lorenz Font

RISE OF ALPHA – THE PRODIAN JOURNEY

by
Lorenz Font
Official genre of book: Young Adult/Urban Fantasy/Coming-of-age

All Brian Morrison wants is to be an ordinary teenager with normal teenage problems, but his uncontrollable twitching and phonic tics make that impossible. The butt of jokes in school, he is nothing but a laughing-stock until a visit to a local tarot shop turns his life upside-down.
The psychic’s strange prediction thrusts him into a mysterious world of ghastly creatures and bizarre events, and he must come to terms with the abrupt changes if he is going to survive. One mother’s plea for help presents him with an impossible challenge, but it also brings him closer to the most popular girl in school. Brian must overcome threats from all sides to honor his promise, and he is determined to succeed. His heart won’t let him turn his back on someone in need, especially when he’s fallen in love with her.
Protecting Shannon McKesson soon becomes the greatest purpose of his life. Brian discovers many things on this new journey, but the biggest one might be the truth about who he is. If only he and Shannon can stay alive long enough to unlock the mystery.
“Bro, you’re acting weird today—weirder than usual, anyway. I know you well enough to know something’s up, so spill the fava beans!” Mark made that Hannibal Lecter hissing sound from one of our favorite movies.
“Yeah, you ran out of that psychic shop like you’d seen a ghost.” Darryl seconded. “Then you got sick and wouldn’t answer our calls until this morning. Spill, dude.”
I wavered between the truth or a lie about what had happened over the past few days. Telling them would also mean I had to tell them about Shannon. For some selfish reason, I wanted to keep her all to myself. My own little secret.
“We’re your best friends, in case you’ve forgotten. We’ve shared dirty secrets since middle school,” Mark reminded me.
As long as I could remember, these two had been watching my back.
I still hesitated, but the overwhelming need to share my fears with them overcame the urge to keep Shannon to myself.
“Fine. It’s weird, and I expect you to keep this on the down-low, aʼight?”
They nodded.
“That night at Madame Elizabeth’s, she said something that scared the crap out of me. I know it was bogus, but it freaked me out bad.”
“What did she say?” they asked in unison.
I mimicked Shannon’s mom. “With your curse comes a blessing.”
“Really?” Mark narrowed his eyes. “That scared the shit out of you?”
“Yeah.” I was sure they’d start making fun of me, but when neither of them said anything, I continued. “She’s creepy, bro.”
Again, there was silence except for the crunching sound of their chewing, and the music of the forgotten video game’s menu screen.
After a moment, Darryl began picking at his ear piercings, a nervous habit of his. “Okay, fine. Madame Elizabeth confused the hell out of me with my reading. I got the man hanging upside down. She said that it symbolized self-sacrifice and adapting to changes. Like there’s going to be a pause in my life until I give up something for the greater good. So I asked what it really meant, because my creep-o-meter shot through the roof. She said that my friend would be going through a transition and I needed to be there for him.”
Mark and I looked at each other while Darryl resumed his assault on the chips.

“Who is transitioning?” I asked, not sure what it meant.

Mark raised both hands and shook his head with a grin. “Don’t look at me. My voice doesn’t squeak. I’m circumcised, and all cylinders are a go.”
I socked Mark in the arm. “You’re stupid.”
“What did Madame E tell you?” Darryl asked him.
He was thoughtful for a moment. “Well, mine was kinda freaky, too. She had me pick a card, and I got temperance. She said it meant I had self-control and was able to handle tough situations, but that I had to deal with impatience and conflict. It could also mean angels and guardian spirits were around, but in my case, she said I was it.” He sighed and looked over at me. “Go figure what that means. Anyway, now you can tell us whatever it is you’re holding back.”
Cornered, I knew it was time to tell them about the dreams. I turned my desk chair around and straddled it. “That night, I started having weird dreams. First, this creature was chasing after Shannon McKesson. It was all a blur. I went back to sleep and dreamed something different. This random woman was being bitten by a rattlesnake. It was like I was there watching it happen. Then the next day, there she was in the news.”
I stopped to take a deep breath, and my friends stared at me like I’d lost my marbles. “See, I told you it’s weird. But that’s not all. I dreamed about Shannon and the weird creature again. It woke me up. I went back to sleep, I had another dream. This time, there was a girl running away from a man, and he was holding a bat. I could see everything around them, but I had no idea where they were. The next day, Shannon came over, and she and my mom were watching the—”
“Hold it right there! Shannon was here?” Disbelief was all over Mark’s face. Darryl stopped chewing, mirroring Mark’s surprise.
My secret was out. “Yeah, she came over when I didn’t show up for class yesterday.” I tried to make it sound like it wasn’t a big deal.

REVIEW:

Silver Stars 4

Usually, Font’s book suck me right in from the very first word, but I have to admit, the first 15-20% were a bit of a struggle to get into and I can’t even explain why. However, once I got past that, I read the next 70% in one sitting without even realising.

Right off the bat, we’re introduced to Brian, a kid who’s been fighting for acceptance his entire life thanks to his Tourette’s. He has a couple of close friends and he’s mostly happy with his life. Then he goes to a tarot card reader one night and his entire life changes…

Becoming friends with Shannon is Brian’s biggest change and he’s not quite sure how to act around her as not only she pretty, but she’s one of the most popular girls in school, yet she accepts him for him. Tics and phonic tics and all.

That’s not the strangest thing to happen to him, and all I’m telling you for fear of spoilers. Once things start to change for Brian, this story is one of the most consuming I’ve read for a while. You honestly have to keep reading to find out what happens next.

Naturally, there’s a twist at the end. It wouldn’t be a Lorenz Font book without one… and I have to admit, I didn’t see it coming at all, and because it’s the first in the series, the ending is left open – not a cliffhanger, for her to build upon the world she’s created. Believe me when I say you will want book two, yesterday.

A great opener to what promises to be an exciting series from Font.

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A professional daydreamer, Lorenz Font discovered her love of writing after reading a celebrated novel that inspired one idea after another. Since being published in 2013, she has been conspiring, butting heads, and enjoying her spare time with vampires, angels, samurais, and other creatures she has created in her head.
Her perfect day consists of writing and lounging on her garage couch (a.k.a. the office) with a glass of her favorite cabernet while listening to her ever-growing music collection. She finds writing urban fantasy exhilarating and places an intense focus on angst and the redemption of flawed characters. Her fascination with romantic twists is a mainstay in all her stories.
Lorenz lives in Southern California with her supportive family and three demanding dogs.
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