About the Book

Title: Blood Moon

Author: Nancy Gray

Genre: YA Fantasy

Mercy finds herself on a ship bound for the Ashen capital with her companions. But things don’t go smoothly there after Mercy, Mirilee, and Erebus decide to sneak ashore to take part in a festival. They get more than they counted on when they witness a public execution of Sylvan Islanders and Mercy is captured after being mistaken for a Sylvan spy!

Dark and sinister secrets are revealed on their perilous journey. Erebus is forced to confront his inner demon, while Mercy discovers a demon of her own. In the midst of it all, Mirilee has a dark vision of the war they are trying to prevent. What will become of Mercy and her friends?

 

Author Bio

Nancy Gray lives in West Columbia, SC, with her husband, two daughters, and two crazy cats. She attended college at the University of South Carolina and attained a BA in Media Arts with a cognate in English. Her original career was as a graphic designer but writing is her calling. Her favorite genres to write are horror, fantasy (particularly young adult), steampunk, cyberpunk, urban fantasy, and occasionally light science fiction (space opera).  Many of her short stories and novels also blur the lines of genre fiction.  Nancy is an avid reader and also enjoys drawing, video games, and table top role playing games. She also enjoys anime and manga.

 

Links

Website: www.nancygray.net
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/WriterNancyGray/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/NancyGrayWriter
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Nancy-Gray/e/B01LZSB78L/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/15639927.Nancy_Gray

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Book Excerpts

Excerpt 1

            “I know, decisions, decisions. How should we start, with a lie or with the truth? I know my physiology. You’re not from the Sylvan Islands. But, what are you going to tell me?”

            “I’m not from the Sylvan Islands. I’m one of the Forest Tribe.”

            He smiled very slightly. “Ah, so we start with the truth. I can already tell you’re going to be a very fascinating subject. Now, why were you in Crevane?”

            “I’m an escaped slave. I took an Ashen lover in Concord, and he convinced me to come to the capital with him. He sold me into slavery and told my masters that I was one of the Sylvan people.”

            The doctor sighed and said, “And now a lie.”

“I wasn’t lying.”

            The doctor acted like she hadn’t spoken. “You see, the body is an amazing thing. Eyes dilate, people sweat, they avoid eye contact, and everyone has a unique ‘tell’ for when they’re lying. You just have to know what to look for, but what to do about it? That also depends on the individual.”

            He put the scalpel down and began to look over his tray of tools. There were several types of knives and scalpels, a hammer, and some tools that she couldn’t place at all. He glanced at Mercy and then at the row of tools in front of him, and finally picked up the hammer. He grabbed her left hand and slammed the hammer down on the nail of her little finger. Mercy shrieked in pain, unable to hold the sound back in her shock and immense pain.

            “Now, that was for lying. Are you going to lie to me again?”

            Mercy swallowed hard but didn’t say anything.

            “You’re very bright. If you said no, I would have to do that to another finger. It’s in everyone’s nature to lie if they think that they have good reasons. You didn’t want to tell me that you were of the Forest Tribe, so I have to assume you’re a spy for them. Are you a spy?”

            Mercy said confidently, “No.”

            He frowned. “Hmmm…interesting. Then I’ll ask again. What were you doing here?”

            The doctor exchanged his hammer for a scalpel and held it just above Mercy’s right eye. Mercy felt herself beginning to sweat and found that she couldn’t pull her eyes away from the sharp object. He didn’t have to tell her what he was going to do if she lied to him this time, but she also knew if she told the truth it would mean he would hunt down her friends. Then they would be the next ones strapped down to the table.

            “I’m waiting. For every minute I wait, the scalpel gets closer.”

            He took a strange-looking golden device from his pocket. It clicked in a rhythmic way, and he stared at it intently, moving the scalpel closer and closer.

            Mercy shivered and closed her eyes.

            “Don’t make me pry your eyelids open. I have tools to do that too. Tick-tock.”

Excerpt 2

Erebus flinched at her expression as though he suddenly realized who she was. “Please, don’t look at me like this. I’m so thirsty. That whale carcass outside smelled so strong, and I came down here for a drink only to find this.” He continued in a terrified whisper, “There’s no blood. We’re weeks away from a port, and there’s no blood left here!”

“Don’t panic. We can provide blood for you. In the desert, Merilee and I gave you blood. And even if you don’t like them much, I’m sure that Beryl, Pyron, and Kylas would donate some blood for you too.”

He began to pace like a caged animal.

“But if I don’t get some soon, I don’t know what’s going to happen. I feel like I’m losing control. There’s something unnatural about that carcass, Mercy. Someone did something to it. It smells like it’s bleeding human blood.”

Mercy shivered. “Then you should take some blood from me. Since we’re still under the pact, you can’t take too much.”

“But what if I do? I’ve never fed from you when I was this thirsty.”

“I trust you.”

Erebus looked horrified. “Don’t, not right now. There’s something I didn’t tell you. The thing that Kylas saw in my shadow, it’s like the alternate version of me. I feel like I’m fighting to control it right now. I’m afraid if I lose to it then I won’t be able to come back.”

Mercy unbuttoned the top of her shirt and exposed most of her neck. “Then don’t. Take some blood from me.”

Erebus made an agonized sound and buried his face in his hands. When he looked up again, his eyes were no longer violet. They were the strange red color she thought she saw when she walked in. The expression on his face was a cruel grin, and it made her instinctively want to run screaming out of the room. He ran his tongue along his fangs, and when he spoke it sounded as though another voice was superimposed over his own.

“Well, if you insist.”

Mercy tried to run, but he moved so quickly that she barely even saw the motion at all. In an instant, he knocked her roughly to the floor and bit down hard on her neck. She had never felt so much of his venom. It made everything seem cloudy and surreal, like drinking too much blackberry wine at a celebration. The little light from the oil lamps lining the walls was misty. There were haloes surrounding the light like stars seen through tear-stained eyes. Mercy’s emotions were flowing in a spectrum of euphoria and terror as she felt him sucking up mouthful after mouthful of her blood. She tried to fight him off, but eventually she found herself not wanting him to stop.

Questions flooded the logical part of her mind as she felt her body becoming weaker and weaker. “Is this really how I die? Killed by the person that I love most? What will he do when he realizes he’s killed me? What will the others do to him?

Excerpt 3

Mercy reached for her silver knives. They had not been there a moment ago, but appeared as if summoned by her will. She ran the sharp edge against her hand, making the creature within the cave drool with desire. He strained harder against the chains, almost in frenzy. She waited patiently for him to settle down, like a spider waiting for a struggling fly to wear out before descending the web for its meal. She felt Erebus grabbing her by the shoulders, trying to pull her away and begging her to stop; but Mercy knew this place was in her mind, and she was the one in control.

“I’m blood bound to Erebus until we find the source of the rain. I know that you were involved in that as well. You’re a part of him, and you aren’t bound to me, at least not yet.”

The creature cackled its high-pitched laughter again. “You want to make a bargain with me, little girl?”

“Yes. First, I want you to swear that you won’t hurt or kill me or any of my friends, since that was the first thing that you tried to do the moment that you gained control.”

Erebus moaned and gripped her shoulders tighter. “Mercy, this is not a good idea!”

“Second, you’re to lay dormant again after Erebus gets enough blood to satiate his thirst – not your thirst, but his.”

Erebus’ demon just regarded her with a silent smile.

“And third, you owe me a favor to repay me for the blood I’ve lost to you. This pact will last until I claim my favor.”

It laughed. “You are a clever one. I’ll give you that, but now for my terms of the agreement. First, you will not harm me or my host, should he lose control again.”

“Very well.”

“Second, you’ll drink a few drops of my blood before you leave here.”

Erebus shouted, “NO! You won’t feed Mercy any of your tainted blood!”

It acted as though Erebus hadn’t spoken. “And finally, when the time comes for your favor it can’t be anything that requires me to dissipate, merge with Erebus, or any nonsense like that.”

“What will happen if I drink the blood?”

The creature smirked. “It will bind you to me and my host. You’ll be more attuned to him, more connected. You’ll even be able to tap into his power. The more of my blood that you drink, the more power you’ll gain. I’ll let you choose how much. It’ll be enough for you to have a taste of what it means to be a Weaver of Shadows.”

“It’ll taint you, Mercy. It’ll start to change you. Please listen to me! You don’t want to do this!”

“Only one drop.”

The creature grinned, cut its palm with the claw of its other hand, and reached out to shake. “We have an agreement, and may the powers that be strike the one down that breaks this vow.”

 

 

Dark Fantasy, Thriller, Horror
Date Published:  March 2017
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United by destiny, they must stand together to face an ancient evil…..
Ceri Edwards and two school friends lift the lid on an ancient book of recipes belonging to Betty Williams, a volunteer at the local hospital in Pontypridd, South Wales. Two Kansas City cops step off a flight at London Heathrow and one of them falls to the ground with a painful conviction that there’s something evil in the air.
United in their destinies, Ceri and the police officers are drawn into a world where prophecies are pitted against invisible forces planning to raze London to the ground and bring down the Royal Family.
It all rests with Dai Williams, recently knighted MI5 agent and reluctant hero, to bring some order to the improbable events and to ensure that afternoon tea at The Ritz continues for another hundred years. A great cross between Kim Newman and Ben Aaranovitch and a thrill for any fan of contemporary urban horror.
Excerpt
 
A decent, pot-bellied, cast iron cauldron usually sold for a hundred pounds. One that was antique and appropriately fire-tarnished doubled the sum. Use by an accredited witch—specifically a member of the Dynion Mwyn tradition—could nudge that figure into the stratosphere. That was because a well-used cauldron was believed to absorb spells into the metalwork, supposedly making incantations more effective. Debunking that idea was as fruitless as rubbishing homeopathy—particularly now that Welsh folklore remedies had royal approval and were being marketed under the Cymry Originals brand, with a crest of giant leeks crossed like swords under a flying harp.
None of that was of the slightest interest to the three girls peering into the bubbling contents of the vessel. Ceri, Dilys and Bronwen liked to imagine their Celtic magick delivered with Grimm determination and lashings of David Giuntoli whom they had already accorded the title of ‘Honorary Welshman’. He would know a good potion if he saw one and would have no time for fictional fripperies like wands. They were for stupid kids who knocked themselves out walking into the wall between platforms at railway stations. Owls were cool, though, although they were far too self-important to be used as posties.
All three would-be witches were outfitted courtesy of Georgio @ Asda. ‘Gold Witch’ was an absolute steal at three pounds—if zero carat bling rocks your cwch. They had also considered the ‘Mental Patient’ blood-spattered straitjacket costume, but Bronwen’s mum was a social worker and thought the mentally ill deserved more respect than a few pence-worth of garish polyester. A gorily-streaked, plastic meat cleaver was an optional extra and she thought it was very realistic.
It was all for show, of course. They had no need of such embellishments, but it kept their mothers happy—and, hopefully, ignorant of what they were up to. The fact that Halloween—or, more accurately, All Hallows’ Eve—was just around the corner, provided the perfect smokescreen for their activities. There was always the chance Ceri’s mum might enter the room while they were in the middle of adding an eye or two of newt, so they had the music system turned up loud and playing Super Furry Animals. Actually, newt eyes were so yesterday. They’d read that modern witchery had honed the ingredients down to essences of magic which could be bought over the internet if you knew where to look. Currently, they had no internet thanks to the stupid British government, so they’d had to improvise— after tossing salt over their left shoulders, crossing their fingers and reciting a hundred Hail Marys.

Other Books by David Graham:
Publisher: Austin Macauley Publishers
Published: July 2015
Horror, Supernatural, Thriller, Crime
What causes an adolescent – straight A student Brandon P Marshall – to walk downstairs naked, armed with a pair of Glocks, and go all Charles Manson on his family? This is only one in the horrifying trail of incidents that brings together Detective Sergeant Dale Franklin of the Kansas City Police Department and his poster-boy rookie, Steve Abrams. Meanwhile, across the pond, Dai Williams, in Battersea London, safe inside his improvised Faraday cage, is coming to terms with his special talents – talents that will take ‘getting-into-the-mind-of-the-killer’ to a whole new level. Al-Qaeda? Drugs Cartels? Internet freaks? David Graham’s The Screaming leaves no possibility untouched as Dai enters a bizarre and horrifying world where kids scream.
About the Author

David Graham lives in an ostensibly carbon zero house in rural Kent with his partner and cat amidst fields of maize and poly-tunnels of strawberries. Previously, he lived and worked in London as a consultant in the National Health Sservice. His previous non-fiction titles include: Medical Computing and Applications, Creative Sound and Computer-Assisted Medical Learning: Clinical Anatomy. David turned his attention to writing fiction in 2012. Since then, he has written one self-published novel (Looks Could Kill) and two traditionally published novels (Captive and Wet & Wild) under the name David Ellis. Looks Could Kill was in the Amazon Kindle Top 10 of spy thrillers and was downloaded more than 3,000 times. Captive was nominated for a Lambda Literary Award. He has also written two romance novellas under the name Richard Longfellow. His horror thriller The Screaming was published by Frostbite Publishing in the US in 2014, and by Austin Macauley in the UK in 2015. His new book The Knowing is the sequel to The Screaming and is due to be published early 2017 by Urbane Publications.


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Literary Fiction
Date Published:  April 2017
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The Other La Bohème is literary fiction that depicts the lives and loves of four friends who pursue opera singers’ careers in present-day New York City. Jennifer (soprano), Stephanie (mezzo-soprano), Henry (tenor), and John (baritone) met in music school in Manhattan, where they performed Puccini’s famous opera La Bohème at their graduation concert. After graduation they banded together as a group called the Dolci Quattro, pledging to support one another in their professional pursuits. Several years later, they have landed the roles of Mimi, Musette, Marcello, and Rodolfo in the nearly forgotten opera La Bohème by Leoncavallo—known as “the other La Bohème”—which is to be produced by the New York Bel Canto Opera.
Alluding to the opera form, the novel opens with an Overture, a hymn that leads into Act I. Scene 1 begins with arias and a duet sung by Henry and Stephanie in the Café Momus. Jennifer and John come in, and they congratulate each other on their new roles. Immediately, though, the thoughts of the current state of their personal lives cool their enthusiasm.
Each Scene that follows is narrated alternately by one of the four members of the Dolci Quattro. As the story unfolds, Jennifer discovers that her fiancé, Richard, an investment banker and a fiction writer, is having an affair with another woman. Stephanie struggles to find a steady love, while perturbed by a strained relationship with her father, a billionaire hedge fund manager, who abandoned her late mother. Henry faces a pressure from his family to renounce his bohemian life for a more respectful career as he meets his new love, Christine, a poet. John receives a summons for divorce from the lawyer of his wife Michelle, a painter.
Set in the rich artistic backdrop of New York City, as the novel proceeds from Act I to Act II, Act III, Intermezzo, and Act IV, the Dolci Quattro’s lives and loves go through ups and downs in joy and despair, while true to their pledge they give one another much-needed moral support. As the opening night nears, the Dolci Quattro make their utmost efforts to perfect their singing for the opera that will determine their future.

Other Books by Yorker Keith
Publisher: BookBaby
Published: April 2016
Literary Fiction
Remembrance of Blue Roses follows a man and a married couple in New York City, whose intricate relationship oscillates among friendship, love, love-triangle, and even obsession. Its romantic ambience is interwoven with classical music, opera, art, family legend, and international affairs, illuminating the lives of international civil servants at the United Nations and the UN peacekeeping mission in Sarajevo, and those with direct experience of the Israel-Palestinian conflict and the Holocaust.

About the Author

Yorker Keith lives in Manhattan, New York City. He holds an MFA in creative writing from The New School. His literary works have been recognized four times in the William Faulkner–William Wisdom Creative Writing Competition as a finalist or a semifinalist.

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