Posts Tagged ‘urban fantasy’

The Witch’s Touch
by Rosie Wylor-Owen
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Criminals are going missing. Felons or not, Detective Meeks is duty-bound to
find them, with little to go on but a suspicious encounter between
the latest missing person and a local business owner. As the case
unravels, Meeks struggles to make sense of a world he thought he
understood. Yet this twist of fate could be his chance to truly
making a difference to the community he holds dear.
Amanda Solanke is used to making waves, but never with the police. The last
person to see the latest missing criminal, she is dragged to the
heart of a police investigation. A small business owner in the eyes
of the community, behind closed doors Amanda and her partner Leona
guard a magical secret. The closer they are watched, the closer
Amanda and Leona come to facing the ultimate danger: exposure.

Guest Post

4 Reasons Why Reading is Better than Watching TV

I’ll admit, I’ve binge-watched my fair share of awesome TV shows. Westworld, Charmed, Avatar: The Last Airbender (<<< THIS). Their plots are mind-blowing, with characters you just want to set off an adventure with, even if their special effects don’t always stand the test of time.

While a TV licence isn’t worth the price tag these days, Netflix subscriptions definitely are! For anyone outside the UK wondering what on earth I’m talking about, yes, we have to pay $183 a year for the privilege of watching TV. Scandalous, isn’t it?

But here’s the thing about books – they are arguably the better way to escape reality. Before the TV fandoms throw rocks through my windows, let me explain why. (I’m just kidding fanboys and girls, we know you’re all a lovely bunch.) Here are four reasons why reading is way better than TV.

We Can Read Anywhere

I’m not just talking about reading in the bath – we have phones and WiFi now, we can’t pretend we don’t watch TV while swimming in bubbles. The only real difference there is that we risk electrocution.

But are the flight attendants going to tell you to put your book away when the plane comes down? If they do, they’re just jealous of your hardback. Say goodbye to Brooklyn 99, and whip out the Prison of Azkaban until you are safely at the landing gate.

Where else are our electronics banned? Phones off in the hospital, people. They say it’s for safety – though we’re not sure how – so, we’re forced to pick up a magazine and the latest John Grisham. Forced? What am I saying? We GET to.

The Special Effects Are Never Outdated

Sorry, Charmed, but your orbs and fireballs just don’t stack up against the special effects we have today. Jurassic Park has stood the test of time, and even twenty-five years later, the quality holds up. Though it usually depends on the budget, TV shows and films run the risk of losing their quality over time.

Books? They’ll never have that problem. Our imaginations set the standard when we read, and for that reason, we are never disappointed by the special effects. The content might be disappointing sometimes, and that isn’t easy to work with, but how we imagine the worlds we read about is always satisfying to us. You won’t find any bad CGI here!

It Makes Us Look Smart

We could be watching documentaries, but it doesn’t matter. We’re still staring at screens and looking like zombies on ritalin. Head down, staring at our phone screens, some Cheeto dust in the corners of our mouths. It’s not the most intellectual look.

Imagine instead sitting on a train, book in hand and holding your chin as though you are considering something incredibly thoughtful. When in fact we’re actually reading Manga tucked into the pages of “The Great Gatsby.” The public perception of reading is generally good – if you read, you look like you’ve got a few brain cells to rub together. Until we can make watching TV look just as intellectual, people are going to judge us more favourably for holding a paperback than our iPads.

We Don’t Need Electricity

Can I get an amen? Electricity is cheap and so are chargers, but if our Kindle dies when we’re out and about and there are no outlets, what are we going to do? Wait until you get home to finish watching Love Island, that’s what.

Books get tatty and worn but their words don’t change, and they certainly don’t disappear entirely if they run out of battery. We are in no danger of boredom on our 9 hour flight to New York when we’ve got our trusty, tangible and electricity-free books.

In my opinion, books will always triumph over TV. We learn more, they don’t carry on without us when we fall asleep and they stand as a material reminder of our love for literature. In any case, one day our first editions are going to be worth a fortune!


Rosie Wylor-Owen was born in Worcester, England at the height of baggy
jeans and boy-band popularity. Her work has been featured in the
literary magazines The Fiction Pool, Anti-Heroin Chic and Ariel
Chart, and the Manawaker Studios Podcast. Her short story “Arm-in-Arm
with Alchemy” was accepted for publication by Otter Libris for
inclusion in the anthology “Magical Crime Scene Investigation.”
In February 2018 she won third place in the Fiction Writer’s Global
flash fiction contest for her story “In Exchange for Your Sins”.

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Shadow World Trilogy Boxed Set
by Brandy Nacole
Genre: Urban Fantasy
801 pages
I must dare to be different in a world where I’m unwelcome in order
to save the one person left in my life, my half-sister Addie.
This deluxe boxed set contains the complete Bestselling Shadow World
Trilogy (Uniquely Unwelcome, Blood Burdens, and Sacrifice: A New
Dawn).
Enjoy the thrill as power is pushed to its limit, hearts are broken, and
some pay the ultimate price as Racquel fights an ancient evil that is
determined to make the Earth bleed, and Racquel with it.
The box set includes:
Uniquely Unwelcome
The Shadow World Volume 1
Racquel is unique. The bloodlines of four of the most powerful beings in the
Shadow World are intertwined within her DNA. She has never craved
attention. She just wants to be able to live as normal life as she
can. But she’s about to find that even though she’s uniquely
unwelcome wherever she goes, her abilities also make her the best
chance the Shadow World has to stop a threat to all the Shadow races.
Once arriving home, Racquel finds that greater evils exist and that
the person she cares for most in this world, her half-sister Addie,
has been kidnapped along with other Shadow World beings. Racquel
finds herself facing horrible odds with those who would rather see
her dead than alive. As her journey continues, Racquel learns more
about herself, what she is capable of, and that not every being looks
at her as an abomination. Coy, a human captive that Racquel saves
from the Vampires, starts showing kindness toward her. Racquel tries
putting distance between her and the human boy but as they spend more
time together it becomes harder and harder for Racquel to fight the
affection she wants and needs. But will Coy’s friendship and her new
found discoveries be enough to help Racquel unravel the strangest
mystery that has ever plagued the Shadow World?
Blood Burdens
The Shadow World Trilogy Volume 2
As someone with four Shadow bloodlines, Racquel is uniquely unwelcome
even among her fellow werewolves, shape-shifters, vampires, and
witches. Growing up, she was bullied and tormented for being a
“hybrid,” a condition frowned upon by Shadow society. After
saving her sister and a number of other kidnapped Shadows from a
diabolical plot to create a Shadow army, many have found a new
respect for Racquel, but she is far from accepted in Shadow society,
and the evil is far from over. To complicate matters, Racquel now
finds herself torn between two brothers. Coy is caring and has helped
Racquel through her struggles, and Micah, who Racquel has only met
once but who is somehow, having dream conversations with him. Racquel
becomes torn between following her heart while breaking it at the
same time. In the second installment of the Shadow World series,
Racquel and her sister Addie face off with the Shadow leaders against
a threat that could bring the world to its knees. Power will be
pushed to its limit, hearts will be broken, and some will pay the
ultimate price as Racquel and her group of Shadows fight against an
ancient evil that is determined to make the earth bleed and Racquel
with it.
Sacrifice: A New Dawn
The Shadow World Trilogy Book 3
Racquel was once uniquely unwelcome, an outcast in both the human and Shadow
worlds. In desperation, the Shadows—the loose alliance of Vampires,
Werewolves, Witches, Shape Shifters and Faeries—turned to Racquel
for help against the sorceress Cerelia, who threatened all Shadows.
Now that Racquel has protected the Shadows by defeating Cerelia, it
seems like things are picking up. Racquel is ready to challenge the
Shadows’ Ruling Council on the injustice of the laws that made her
and her family outcasts among the Shadows, and which is causing
suffering among her friends. Racquel has little time to enjoy her
victory. Micah, an innocent subjected to experiments by Cerelia and
now the only other person in the world like Racquel, is summoned to
appear before the Ruling Council to be examined. The Council has
already warned that if Micah is deemed to be “unclean” and a
threat to the Shadows, he will be executed. And there are agendas
hidden in agendas, as well. A secret faction wants to challenge
Racquel, who they still see as being an unclean creature due to her
mixed-Shadow heritage. Worse still, the mysterious prophecy made by
Kaya, queen of the Fay, is about to become true, and Racquel is about
to be faced with her deepest fear: that she is still unwelcome in the
world. Betrayed trust and a new danger to the Shadow world are
waiting for Racquel, and in the end, she may have to make the
ultimate sacrifice in order to save the world and her friends from
destruction.
Gemini Brandy Nacole is a writer of urban fantasy and paranormal books
published by Ponahakeola Press. A reader from a young age, Brandy has
always loved folklore and stories of beings that go bump in the night.
Whenever she’s not reading or writing, Brandy is spending time with her
family and friends, throwing around crazy ideas, teaching, and
singing like a rock star at a concert for no one else but herself.
She loves plants, but unfortunately is a killer of anything that
requires water but can’t voice (scream) their needs.

Excerpt

 

Chapter One:

I often wonder if my great grandparents could see the torture I am enduring now, would they still have married? I would like to think not. Who would want to put their own flesh and blood through such humiliation and pain? I wouldn’t.

The ropes around my wrists cut and pinch my skin, causing blood to drip down the frayed rope and onto the ground. I try again to pull against their hold, hoping to break them so I can run, but it does no good. The pain is bearable, but not by much.

“Let’s see how she likes this.”

Irving, the vampire dick who captured me scavenging through the woods for food, unravels a whip. I want to scream, beg, and plead for them to show some mercy, but it wouldn’t do any good. These bastards are in this for the thrill and giving them what they want, to see me weak, isn’t going to happen when I know it will do me no good.

Ravyn runs her black manicured nails up Irving’s arms and across his shoulders, her eyes dancing with delight as she looks at me.

“You know I could do so much more,” she pouts in Irving’s ear.

I narrow my eyes, seeing as it’s the only thing I can do, and bite my tongue. I want to tell the witch to go to Hell, but she’d enjoy that too much. From the moment I was dragged through the gates of their little village, her blue eyes have shown with hatred and maliciousness. They hate me, and although the law keeps them from killing me, it doesn’t keep them from having a little fun. What they consider fun anyway.

“You had your fun earlier,” Irving hisses. “Now it’s my turn.”

Oh yes, the air being shoved against my chest until I couldn’t breathe had been a blast. Let’s do it again.

Irving steps forward, his grip tight on the black leather whip, and his black eyes trained on me. The crowd cheers him on as he unravels the whip from his grip and lets it fall to his side, preparing it for use. I do my best to mask my fear, it will spur them on if I don’t, but I know it’s there. I can’t help it.

Irving brings the whip up and I close my eyes, bracing for the impact. The sound of whip cracks, and I jerk, waiting for the sting. But instead of the sting from his leather whip, I feel the bite of the leather seat in front of me as I dig my fingers out from it. God, I hate reliving those horrid memories. First time around was enough.

Taking a deep breath and setting back against my seat, I cringe at the torn leather in front of me and hope I can get off the bus before anyone notices. At least I didn’t scream this time.

I glance out the window to see where we are and am surprised to see we’ve already arrived in Cloverville, Va. My hometown. As it turns out, you can always return home, true, but it doesn’t mean you will be welcomed. Sorry gramps and grams, there was no such luck like you had hoped here in Cloverville.

The bus comes to a staggering, brake squealing stop right in downtown. No one makes a move to get off the bus and I begin to wonder why the driver stopped, when he rises from his seat and starts my way. His uniform is snug, the buttons almost popping over his pudgy belly. Sweat beads on his balding head and I can hear his heart racing faster with every step he takes toward me.

I know he is coming to talk to me. I’m the only one sitting near the back. Funny that I was the last one on the bus, but when I first sat down I had neighboring passengers all around me. Now, they all are sitting toward the front. It’s no real surprise. The witches who had been sitting in the seat next to me had no problem showing their disgust once I took my seat. They were quick to get up and move to the front. It was the humans that slowly started easing toward the front during the long drive from Nashville.

When the driver is a few feet from me, he stops and raises his hands as if I’m a hostile passenger. “Excuse me ma’am, I believe this is your stop.”

Glancing out the window again and seeing the hustle and bustle of civilians and Shadows going about their day, I look back to the driver and shake my head. “I’m getting off at Red Tree Street.”

He wipes the sweat from his forehead. “I’m sorry Miss, but this is the only stop in town. We had to cut back on stops due to economic reasons. There is no stop near Red Tree anymore.” His voice shakes from his nervousness, a reaction Shadows often get from humans – es

ecially me. It’s as if their sixth sense is kicking in just a bit to let them know something isn’t right. It’s not that our appearances are different. We each look human, our supernatural abilities well maintained and hidden.

What gives me away, are my eyes. Most Shadows have a natural shade of eye color, which helps them blend in with the humans. Not me. Mine are pearly silver, outlined by darker silver, with dark purple pupils that sets the silver off. My long black hair gives it that final pop that screams she isn’t normal.

Mumbling my thanks, I reach down to gather my stuff. By the time I get to my feet, the driver has already scurried back to the front, buckled his seat belt, and is anxiously waiting for my departure.

Each step toward the door is agony. Was it ever my plan to come back to this godforsaken town? Never. I know what’s going to happen the moment I step off this bus. Foot traffic will stop, eyes will turn, and accusations will begin. Welcome home, Racquel.

As I pass the other passengers, most turn to look out the window and ignore me all together. However, there are a few who give me the stank eye as I pass, and what sounds like a good farewell back to Hell. How classy.

It’s funny. I’ve prepared myself for the last two weeks. Kept telling myself this is the best thing for me and that it would all work out somehow. I was fine. But the moment my feet hit the asphalt and the bus doors squeak shut behind me, unease hits hard. It could be due to the glares and gasps of shock. But I expected that.

The truth. I’m a failure. When I left home last year, I had every intention never to set foot in this town again. But after a few beatings and almost starving to death, I realized my journey was pointless and had no choice but to return here. It’s all I’ve ever known, even if all I’ve ever known is hatred.

Whispers reign all around me as I make my way past group after group of Shadows now gathering to gossip.

Screw them and their pure blood.

Follow the tour HERE
for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!
The Grey Eyed Storm
The Occuli Series Book 1
by Christie M. Stenzel
Genre: YA Urban Fantasy
In the tradition of HARRY POTTER AND TWILIGHT, comes a captivating
fantasy tale that will have you on the edge of your seat and keep you
reading late into the night as you go along on an unpredictable
journey with the Occuli!!!
Have you ever received shocking news that changes everything?
Imagine being eighteen-year-old Remy Verbetta, and finding out that
you are not ‘human” and are not from this world.
Remy’s entire life has been a lie. Another world is living and
breathing beside our own, an alternate dimension.
On her eighteenth birthday, Remy finds out that she is a member of an
ancient and almost extinct race called the Occuli. Each Occuli has
different magical powers, based solely on their eye color.
This 7 time award-winning, supernatural fantasy novel, follows Remy on a
journey of self-discovery, magic, romance and betrayal, as she learns
about her new powers and tries to figure out a way not only to
survive, but also how to get back to her true home while saving the
Occuli from extinction!

 

(Recommended for ages 16+)
**2017 Readers’ Favorite BRONZE MEDAL WINNER for
BEST FANTASY BOOK!!!
**2017 Book Excellence Awards FINALIST for BEST FANTASY BOOK!!
**OFFICIAL FANTASY SELECTION – 2016 New Apple Book Awards for
Excellence in Independent Publishing!!!
**2016 The Wishing Shelf Book Awards FINALIST for
BEST FANTASY BOOK!!
**2016 Readers’ Favorite BRONZE MEDAL WINNER for
BEST FANTASY BOOK!!!
**OFFICIAL FANTASY SELECTION –
2015 New Apple Book Awards for Excellence in
Independent Publishing!!!
**Awarded 2016 BOOK OF THE YEAR from Books Go Social!!
“RIVETING FROM START TO FINISH!!” by Tom
Through Golden Eyes
The Occuli, Book 2
GOLD MEDAL WINNER – 2016 AUTHORSdb.com Book Cover Contest!
“FIVE STARS!” by Ellie and AJSW
“LOVED THE JOURNAL FORMAT! RECOMMEND THIS SERIES!”
by DJS
The first short story in the Occuli series is here!
A Golden-Eyed, or “Aureus”, has one sole purpose in life: to
protect. Raised from children to be bodyguards, these Occuli are both
the fastest and strongest and are commonly used as fierce
weapons.
Frequently they are not what they seem however, as they can be tempted
by too much power and control over those they protect. This can lead them
down a dark and dangerous path.
This supplement to Book One of the Occuli series, gives the reader a more
intimate look at the character of Zias. In this story the reader is
taken through Zias’ personal journal, giving his perspective on the
journey so far with Remy and the other Occuli. He tells the story
through his eyes about his struggle to remember his past and break
from traditions and curses, while putting it all on the line for the
love of his life, Remy Verbetta.
The Violet Eyed
The Occuli Series Book 3
“Christie Stenzel’s incredible writing style is intoxicating, drawing the
reader into a magical world where anything and everything is
possible… I thoroughly enjoyed The Violet Eyed, and wholeheartedly
recommend it to readers aged over 15 years, who are fans of the
paranormal, mystery, drama, romance, and finding oneself through it
all…” Excerpt from the 5 STAR review from Readers’ Favorite,
March 2017
This tale of mystery, romance, intrigue and deceit, follows Remy’s sister
Violet through her tragic life.
As we delve into secrets of the past, present and future and explore
Violet’s relationships, we learn about her struggle against the
darkness as she learns who and what she truly is and that her entire
life has also been a lie.
A unique breed of Occuli, Violet’s eyes match her namesake. Being
cursed from birth, will she find the strength to defeat the darkness
within, or will she succumb to the darkness that is her nature?
Irresolute Amber Eyes
The Occuli Series Book 4
***Voted one of the “50 BEST INDIE BOOKS of 2017” by
Readfree.ly!!!
***BRONZE MEDAL WINNER – 2017 AUTHORSdb.com
Book Cover Contest!
Book Three of the Occuli Series picks up where Book One left off!
Remy and the other Occuli have just discovered that they were able to go
back in time and are trying to determine exactly what the
consequences of those actions are.
As the book progresses, it becomes apparent that a Golden-Eyed has now
“turned Amber” and the Occuli family and friends must come
to terms with what this means and what the end result will be….
Writing and reading are my passions! My dream to be a writer began, when as a
five year old child I would ask my mother to write down the stories I
would make up about talking dogs.
Since growing up and becoming further educated with a Bachelor’s Degree in
English (I have an affinity for classic literature), a Master’s
Degree in Leadership, and a degree in Ultrasound, I have begun to
pursue that dream in hopes of one day making it my career. I have
many interests and ideas so my ultimate goal is to release works of
fiction in multiple genres. Fantasy will always be my first love
however, as I have always had an intense imagination that threatens
to inundate me if not expelled onto paper.
I currently have six published books: an ongoing fantasy series with
four installments so far (and a fifth one coming soon!), a fantasy
short story, and a suspense/thriller short story. Several of my books
have won awards, but the first book in my fantasy series, The Grey
Eyed Storm: The Occuli, Book One, has now won 7 wonderful awards
which is very exciting!
Aside from writing, I enjoy physical activities like running and yoga. I am
blessed to have an amazing family, close friends and two beloved
canine companions.
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