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Monday, July 28, 2014

Pandora #Paranormal Box Set Author Showcase: Apryl Baker

Introducing bestselling author Apryl Baker!
Blurb:
Snap...crackle...pop. The sounds of bones breaking and shifting and of muscles tearing haunt Alexandria Reed.

For the last five years, Alex has been locked up at Compton Academy, a "school" for the emotionally challenged. She calls it the politically correct way of saying they’re all nuts and Alex has no doubts she’s insane. She comes home to Jacob's Fork to face the demons she left behind her after deceiving the doctors into believing she’s well. Soon after her arrival home though, news of her estranged mother's death brings her uncle back into her life and she and her brother, Jason, learn a terrifying secret about their family.

After questioning her sanity for the last ten years, she discovers the night terrors she's suffered for so long has become a reality. She and her brother are now being hunted because of the secret her family has killed to protect. Her world has been turned upside down, every belief she held true destroyed. Aided by her new friends, who have some dark secrets themselves, can she and Jason survive long enough to figure out the secret behind the secret?

Excerpt:
Prelude

Alexandria Nicolette Reed
August 3, 1996 – August 25, 2012
Loving Daughter and Sister
Mental Patient,
Shy, Quiet, Reserved
Weird, Insane, and Invisible
May You Rest In Peace
And Never Return
You Will Not Be Remembered

I remembered that day in the park. I remembered writing the eulogy into my journal, tearing it out and shredding it. The pieces floated away on the wind like dandelion wisps. I remembered how I’d felt that day—excited, scared, determined.
Looking back now, I realize how innocent I had been. I’d thought The Event had changed me all those years ago, but I was wrong. It had been those words I’d written on that piece of paper which had truly sealed my fate.
I am Alexandria Nicolette Deveraux and this is my story.
********
I ran through the woods, the sunlight warm on my face.
The sounds of the forest blended into the wind that tore at my fur. The ground gave way beneath my paws as I launched myself through the trees. Never had I felt so free, so exhilarated. I owned these woods. Branches tugged, trying to slow me down as I bounded through the maze of trunks and undergrowth. The cold autumn air smelled of dying leaves—their moldy, decaying odor signaling the birth of fall.
I was home.
I slowed, catching the scent of a deer and wove between the trees until I saw it. A doe stood before me drinking from the stream that wound its way down through the mountains. I admired the beauty of the animal. I found the deer's gentle eyes rather expressive. They glowed with a shy innocence. 
I inched closer, testing the wind. It blew towards me. My scent wouldn't reach her and I wanted a chase, a more challenging kill. As I eased forward, I made no attempt to hide the sound of the leaves crunching beneath me. I wanted her to hear me. 
Turning toward the noise, she saw me and went completely still for a heartbeat. Her eyes reflected her fear, her sudden panic. 
Her tail twitched and she bolted.
Growling, I barreled after her, letting her think she could be fast enough to get away. Silly creature. As if she could ever be faster than me. I lived to run
She streaked through the trees and I let her have her way for a bit. I enjoyed the chase. The sound of her deep, labored breathing drove me on, the smell of her fear driving me a little crazy. The thrill of the hunt wormed through me, building the sense of anticipation of the kill. I could almost taste all that hot blood gushing into my mouth. Her fear smelled sweet to my senses and made my hunger increase. I howled a challenge at her. She turned to start up the mountainside. I snarled and jumped, taking her down in one leap.
My teeth bit into her neck even as she bucked beneath me, trying to free herself. Adrenaline surged through me—the exhilaration of the hunt flooded my senses with her futile struggles. I had taken her down. She was mine. Victory made my snarl all the more fierce in the face of her soft whimpers. Mine. All mine.
As I had no wish to make her suffer I killed her quickly. Then I set to enjoying my kill. Her warm blood filled my mouth, coated my muzzle. I ripped and tore at the flesh until my stomach became full and sated. I left the carcass for the smaller animals. I was done and there were others that were hungry.
Running softly, I splashed into the creek to enjoy the feel of the cold water as I rinsed the blood from my coat. The water always soothed me. I blinked my eyes, more than a little sleepy now and thought I might find a quiet place to rest. I stepped out of the water and the unfamiliar scent hit me. 
I tasted the air around me. A sweetly bitter scent, not one I recognized teased my senses. It did not belong in these woods. I started to track the smell, listening for sounds. I heard nothing, but the smell became stronger the farther out I searched.
He jumped in front of me and shook his head, warning me to go no further. Rage filled me. Who was he to tell me what I could or could not do in my own forest? I growled a warning low in my throat.
He snarled at me in reply.
His head whipped around as he too caught the scent I’d been tracking. I stared past him. 
A new hunter had arrived.
He stood silently watching us, an indulgent smile on his lips. I felt fear gazing into that smiling face.
The hunter started forward.

About Apryl:
So who am I? Well, I'm the crazy girl with an imagination that never shuts up. I LOVE scary movies. My friends laugh at me when I scare myself watching them and tell me to stop watching them, but who doesn't love to get scared? I grew up in a small town nestled in the southern mountains of West Virginia where I spent days roaming around in the woods, climbing trees, and causing general mayhem. Nights I would stay up reading Nancy Drew by flashlight under the covers until my parents yelled at me to go to sleep.

Growing up in a small town, I learned a lot of values and morals, I also learned parents have spies everywhere and there's always someone to tell your mama on you. So when you get grounded, what is there left to do? Read! My Aunt Jo gave me my first real romance novel. It was a romance titled "Lord Margrave's Deception." I remember it fondly. But I also learned I had a deep and abiding love of mysteries and anything paranormal. As I grew up, I started to write just that and would entertain my friends with stories featuring them as main characters.

Now, I live Huntersville, NC where I entertain my family and watch the cats get teased by the birds and laugh myself silly when they swoop down and then dive back up just out of reach. The cats start yelling something fierce...lol.

I love books, I love writing books, and I love entertaining people with my silly stories.

You can reach me at any of these places:
Blog: http://apryl-baker.blogspot.com/
Twitter:@AprylBaker

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Sunday, July 27, 2014

Pandora #Paranormal Box Set Author Showcase: Heather Kenealy

Introducing award winner, Heather Kenealy! She is another great author joining in on the Pandora Box Set.
Blurb:
The greatest betrayers of Myth, Religion and Legend are released from hell, returned to the world, to use this second chance to clear their name, to receive the adulation that should have been theirs, to be loved... but what price does the Devil demand for His generosity?

Excerpt:
The three had been here for longer than they themselves knew.

There was no ceiling to this round room, or if there was it was so high that it could not be seen. The walls were pocked with blackened windows that filled with demons now and then that watched the trio and laughed and mocked. Gnarled creatures with eyes like coal and twisting horns ringing their heads like sham crowns. Each of these men saw them differently, and each man heard their taunting cries in their own language. 

But they didn't know this. The language of the damned is always the same.

Screams echoed through the room, sometimes. The tormented souls outside suffered differently than the three who waited in here. They were Betrayers, afforded a special place in the Eternal Confinement, for was their Jailer not a Betrayer, Himself? Did He not rise against one who trusted Him, and was He not cast down for it?

There was a bonfire in the middle of the room and the three reclined around it on hard marble benches stained black with the soot that did not touch these damned souls.

They were stained enough already.

Loki Shapeshifter, Judas Iscariot and Mordred Le Fey.

Loki was long and thin, fair in the manner of his people. His hair was red as the flames that surrounded him and there was a fine network of scars around his red and green eyes from where the serpent dripped its poison on his face in the time before Ragnarok. His lips too were scarred where once Brokk the Dwarf sewed them shut as punishment for an insult. His legs and arms were shapely but the ankles and wrists bore red never-healing burns from where he broke his chains when the time came for him to end the world.

Sometimes in this place, he became a woman, who batted flirtatious eyes at the others with mocking laughter on her lips. Sometimes, he was a horse, who nickered softly and paced the room, restlessly. Sometimes he was a bird, who flew upwards, looking for the way out of this room. He could never maintain these forms for long, that power had been limited here in this place, restricted by being reduced to myth. It was how he was chained here, though there were no chains to be seen. Loki was the only one to ever sleep here but when he did he woke up in the middle of a nightmare, flailing at the serpent that was no longer there, feeling the poison's burn on his face, calling for Sigyn, his good and godly wife, who had gone into exile with him. 

She was at rest now, now that Ragnarok has come, rewarded for her devotion to an unworthy man who never said a nice word to her. She was at peace but Loki never would be.

He was forever dressed in only a white fur trimmed tunic and high-laced sandals that he had worn for eternity, a gold torque about his throat the only ornament. He was here in this place longer than the others, longer than this place was even known of. Once upon a time, this place was ruled by his little daughter Hel, but no more. She died at the World's End and this place was given to another.

Judas was next to him, Judas dark and bearded, reddish highlights in his deep brown hair. He did not look at the others. He did not speak to the others. He lay on his back, his brown-almost-black eyes seeking the Heaven that he would never see, the mark of the rope that throttled the life from him burning red on the tan skin. Now and then, his lips moved in prayer, but always they stopped again, as if he had forgotten the words.

Sometimes despair came upon him and he wept, beat his chest, pulled his hair and tore the pure white robe he wore. Always the rips were mended and the scratches his nails left in his cheeks were healed. The angry welt on his throat would burst and the black blood dried quickly in the heat of this place, but that would never heal. It was the mark of his death.

"Why?" Judas sometimes murmured. "Why me? My Lord, forgive me." 

Mordred, who called himself Le Fey, was the last. He was a Pendragon by birth, though Arthur never recognized it. The youth who should've been a prince didn't acknowledge it either. He looked like Arthur, though, strawberry-blond and handsome, blue eyes that reflected only pain and heartache. He was small and delicate, barely twenty years of age when he died, well formed except for the one shoulder that raised itself the tiniest bit higher than the other.

Well that, and, the hidden deformity in his chest.

Beneath the white and gold velvet tunic that he wore, there was a gaping hole. His heart had been there, but Arthur's rejection had ripped it from him. He had plunged his pike through that empty space, and Mordred's hatred had given him the strength to pull himself up the length of the shaft to kill his murderer.

That hole had never healed.

He did not look at the others, either. Why should he? He did not trust people. People turned on him. People judged him. People betrayed him. What good would it do to place his faith in these two? After all, they were betrayers already. That's why they were here.

There was only the confinement, the mockery, and the waiting.

So, forever, the three waited. They didn't know what they waited for. They didn't know how long they would wait.

But, they waited.

For there was nothing else for them to do. Myth, faith and legend joined in their evil, joined in their betrayal, awaiting redemption—maybe---awaiting an end--certainly.


About Heather:
Heather Kenealy is the Winner of Cinescape's Short Story contest, and of the Stan Lee Presents The Seekers contest held by MTV Geek and POW! Entertainment. She is an avid comic book reader and writer, and besides short stories has written several screenplays and other entertainment based media.

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Saturday, July 26, 2014

Pandora #Paranormal Box Set Author Showcase: Conner Kressley

I have featured Conner and the Breaker's Code before, but it's such a great book and part of Pandora that I'm going to do it again.


Blurb:
Three weeks shy of her sixteenth birthday, Cresta Karr wakes to find she has a pimple the size of Mt. Vesuvius, that the necklace her father left her is mysteriously missing, and that her house is minutes away from exploding. To top it off, Owen, the enigmatic, if slightly off-kilter guy of dreams, tells her that not only is he NOT interested in going out with her, but he's also a superspy sent by a clandestine organization to keep tabs on her.

Turns out Cresta is the subject of a 500 year old prophecy, and if Owen and the other “Breakers” can't find a way to circumvent the future before she turns sixteen, Cresta is destined to bring about the end of the world -- something she'd rather not have on her college applications. That is, of course, if the gun-toting cult members piling onto her front porch don't get to her first.

Happy birthday, Cresta.

My Review:
The first chapter drew me in and didn't let go. I think it was the fast pace of the novel. I LOVE fast paced novels. Of course, fast pace can't completely hold my interest. The story itself was intriguing. It was based on the debate of free will vs. destiny. Can one really fight the events that unfold and seem to lead them down one path?

The characters themselves were pretty deep and enjoyable. I would ahve liked to a little more about some of the antagonists, but that was minor. I can say I am a major Casper fan and can't wait to see more of him in the next book.

In fact, I'm really looking forward to the next one. Get to writing, Mr. Kressley.

Excerpt:
I stared at myself; half in shock, half in horror. A wedding dress, an honest to God wedding dress. It fit perfectly, hugging all the right places, and flattering all the wrong ones. I almost looked like a woman. I almost looked beautiful.
“You forgot the veil.” A man’s voice sounded from behind me. I spun, the fabric of my gown ruffling, to find Allister Leeman leaning against the doorway. He smiled a wide, dark smile. The raven at his throat seemed to caw and move; its wings flapping against his Adam’s apple. His dark hair was slicked back, and a toothpick peeked out from between his lips. His eyes cut into me. A delicate white veil danced around in his fingers, and he was dressed in a tuxedo that, sickeningly enough, seemed designed to match my dress.
“Where are my friends?” I asked, trying to steady my voice. 
“You don’t have any friends.” He plucked the toothpick from his mouth. “If you mean the people that were captured with you; they’re fine.”
“And my mother?”
“She’s fine too,” he answered, and started to make his way toward me.
I flinched away. “I want to see them. I want you to let them go. I’m here. I did what you asked.”
“You did part of it,” he thumped his toothpick onto the floor in front of him. “I’ll let them go when you do the rest. “ He reached for me, and ran his disgusting hand through my hair. I shivered and slapped it away. “Though, I don’t know why you’re so attached to them,” he grinned. “They don’t care about you, my darling. Not really.”
“They risked their lives for me,” I snorted. 
“They don’t even know you. To them, you’re something to kill, something to change. Even your mother-Or, more appropriately, the woman who calls herself your mother, has only the most conditional of loves for you. None of them accept you for what you are. They would never try to understand you, or embrace the truth of who you are. That’s why they’re here, Cresta Karr. Not for you; it was never for you. They’re here because they can’t stand the idea that you are more than them; that we’re more than them. I’m the only one who understands you, Cresta. Because I know what it is to be called for something so monumental. I share your pain and your exhilaration in the same way that I will soon share your bed and your life, because it is mine as well.”
“We’re not sharing anything!” I couldn’t help it. I slapped his stupid face. I probably shouldn’t have done it. After all, he did have everyone I cared about in the entire world in his clutches. But he was just so smug, pushing all my buttons. “What the hell is the matter with you anyway?” I shouted. “What kind of lunatic actually wants the world to end?”
He put a hand up to his quickly reddening face. “The kind that knows it has to.” A broad dangerous smile crept across his face. His eyes glowed menacingly. “They haven’t told you all of it, have they?” He did a little shuffle with his feet, almost like he couldn’t wait for what came next. “This isn’t about the way the world ends. It’s about what comes next. The world has ended a hundred times before; with ice ages, and floods, and meteors that have purged this planet of everything it could find. But each time, the world has come out of it for the better, stronger, and more evolved.”
There it was, that word, evolved. 
“Just as human replaced the dinosaurs, we will replace humans. It’s the way of the world. The strong always replace the weak, my darling.” He held the veil out toward me. “And you are the one who will set it all in motion.”
I slapped it away too. “I would never hurt anybody.”
“Just as the wave would never hurt the mountain. Still, the mountain erodes. “He picked the veil up, folded it, and put it in his pocket. “They paint you as an antichrist, but you are a messiah.”
“I’m not,” I said. “I’m not the Bloodmoon. I’m not anything. Look, I’m not going to kill anybody. So, I can’t be the Bloodmoon. The sun will be up soon, and then everybody will know. So, just give me my mom and my friends, and let me go.”
“Still, with these friends, “he muttered. “Come here. Let me show you something.”

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Friday, July 25, 2014

Pandora #Paranormal Box Set Author Showcase: Carol Lanham



Blurb:
THERE ARE MONSTERS IN THIS WORLD, I'VE LEARNED, AND SOMETIMES I HAVE FALLEN PREY TO THEM AND SOMETIMES I HAVE BEEN ONE…

When Lilabet last saw Iago, they were ten years old. Whisked off to America by his father in a desperate attempt to escape the dark superstitions of Wales, Iago’s letters have been the single thing to connect them. Now, fourteen years have passed and Iago has asked Lilabet to be his bride.

Eager to begin a modern life in an exciting new land with the man she has loved for all her days, Lilabet is about to discover that black magic may find a home on any shore. Three red-haired witches have been playing a deadly game of revenge with Iago and if she wants to have a life with him, Lilabet will first have to fight the dark forces that have claimed her young husband for their own.

Excerpt:
13 June 1897

It’s dangerous for me to keep going to him but Iago says the only time his head is clear is when we’re together. I’ve explained to him what Bethan is doing; calling him to her, making him hurt himself. I’ve told him to listen for my voice instead whenever he hears Bethan intruding in his thoughts. If we can work together to overcome what she’s doing, I think he’ll be able to leave.

1 July 1897

Today Iago came running like his hair was on fire and all because of me. Bethan made me call him. ‘Tell him to bang his head against that wall,' she instructed.

His beautiful cheeks are still scratched from yesterday when she commanded he tear off his face. I didn’t want to see him bang his head on the wall but I kept thinking about what she did to Ceiro that last day and I didn’t want to make her any angrier than she already was. I spoke inside his sweet trusting head and he hammered his skull until blood poured in his eyes. ‘That’s wonderful, Meriel. What a good little witch you’ve turned out to be. He’ll do anything for you, won’t he?’

Poor Iago. He was still hitting his head on the bricks. ‘I’ve got a better idea,’ Bethan said. ‘Why don’t you ask him to show Gwendraith and me what you’ve been doing to him every night?’

‘Stop it!’ I said, fed up to my core. ‘This has gone far enough. We need to let him go.’

Bethan grabbed him by the hair to stop his thrashing. ‘Show me what Meriel does to you when you’re alone, Boy’ she said. When I tried to block her voice, Gwendraith put my head in a bucket and held me under water. By the time she let me up, he was kissing Bethan. She made me watch this for several moments before shoving him away. Her smile was covered with his blood. ‘I want you to punch my sister in the head as hard you can now, Boy.”

He didn’t hesitate. The first blow struck me across the jaw. The second, crunched my ear. Between the pounding of his fists, Bethan pounded me too. ‘How dare you take him for yourself!’ she said. ‘He belongs to all of us!’

She gave him the ax. ‘Kill her.’

‘No Bethan!’ Gweny said.

I looked at my sister who I loved. I’d followed her blindly, I loved her so. I waited for her to put an end to all of this. Iago lifted the ax and she folded her arms.

He swung.

Luckily, he lost his balance and his aim was bad. I saw the tops of the fingers on my left hand come off. They scattered across the floor between us and there was a lot of blood, but I didn’t feel it.

Iago staggered to his feet and we all looked at Bethan, expectantly. Bethan kicked the tip of my little finger across the room. ‘Lock her in the barn, Gwendraith.’

About Carol:
Carole is the author of the book The Whisper Jar, 24 short stories, and one novella. She lives in the St. Louis area with one mighty fine husband, two wonderful kids, and a huge collection of aprons.

Visit her at carolelanham.com, horrorhomemaker.com, and Morrigan Books

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Thursday, July 24, 2014

Pandora #Paranormal Box Set Author Showcase: Louise Caiola

I am honored to feature bestselling author Louise Caiola today. Her new novella, What Truly Knows will be a part of Pandora. It's so exciting to join with so many great writers in this project!

Blurb:
She was born with the Magical Knowing – a gift, some said. A curse, said others. But for Truly, it was the very thing meant to save her life. If it didn’t kill her first.

Excerpt:
Mama said that eighteen years ago I was plucked from her belly with the Magical Knowing right there waiting for me. She said it was like somehow I knew there’d been a cord wound tight as an ole’ clock spring round my neck, keeping me from my rightful first breath of life. And yet, I wasn’t bothering with fussing over it, ‘cause just as soon as those doctors wrestled me free, the story goes, I looked Mama square in the eye and winked. Much as it sounded like a whole mess of hogwash, Mama swore on the Holy Book that it was true. I reckon she oughta know for real. Though some said Mama did her fair share of fibbing, when it came to the Magical Knowing, Mama didn’t lie.
It was on account of this that I had a horrible feeling someone was due to be dying on Skinners Bridge that night. With the Magical Knowing a person could sense beginnings and endings real clear, the way some folks could tell if it was planning to rain by the way their joints started up with aching. I was hoping it wouldn’t be so. Really hoping.
But then there was that moon that hung over our heads, all crimson-colored and with a mean look on its face. If that wasn’t a deadly moon I don’t know what was.
Locals in Madison County, Alabama say that Skinners had seen its equal split of love and tragedies. Seeing as how it was situated at the butt end of nothing more than some silly little lake, a chunk of trees, and practically no light, kids for years saw fit to visit and do the things nature led ‘em to. Mama says most girls around these parts had babies brewing in their britches from the time they could toddle across the kitchen floor. Lots of those young’uns were shot from their daddy’s lustful limbs right down under those wide oak, only yards from the mouth of the bridge.
As for the tragic part, well that was a tale for unfolding like a linen hanky in a dainty lady’s lap. This was how the Magical Knowing grew into more than Mama or I had ever imagined it could – in a calamity that intended to be much, much more.
On the night in question, Ridley Fisher and I were set to meet Jayden Collins at Skinners to square matters. Jayden had been all bowed up over the very notion that Ridley, who’d arrived in my universe all the way from South Africa if you can imagine that, was fixing to steal my heart and all that went along with it. Not that Jayden and I were a thing. At best we were the very closest a boy and girl could be without ever having locked lips. Our houses were so near you could lie down in between them and have your head in his garden, your toes in mine. Suppose that was one of the reasons Jayden felt like he had some ownership of me, since we’d been next-door neighbors for six years and counting.
Didn’t matter none that when it came to my affection, it wasn’t a lick of Jayden’s concern. Didn’t matter none that Jayden could have practically had me a hundred times over if he really tried. Which he never had up till then, and thusly my heart was officially up for the taking.

About Louise:
Louise Caiola, former administrative assistant and small business owner, has authored several works of genre fiction, including WISHLESS, released in 2011, and THE MAKING OF NEBRASKA BROWN, an Amazon bestseller released in 2014. Her two-book short story collection PETIT FLEURS and VIGNETTES will be released in September 2014.
Louise has just wrapped up work on the first installment of a romantic fiction series, LITTLE MAY BIRDS. She has also begun crafting another contemporary mystery entitled COUNTING SNOW DOVES. WHAT TRULY KNOWS is her first paranormal novella debuting on August 5, 2014.
Visit her at www.louisecaiola.com or on Twitter via @AuthorLouiseC and @lcwritten.

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Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Pandora #Paranormal Box Set Author Showcase: Angela Fristoe

Today we have award winning author Angela Fristoe and a feature of her story Lie to Me, a wonderful story that will be a part of Pandora.


Blurb:
Phoebe Matlin has always felt broken. While one of her sisters sees the future, and the other can heal people, Phoebe has come to accept that her truth telling gift just doesn't work.

Then her best friend, Tonya, lies to her and Phoebe's gift flares to life. With Tonya pissed at her, being a Truth Teller suddenly doesn't seem like such a great gift. Although, it is nice knowing she was the reason her crush, Nathan, dumped his stalker girlfriend.

But in lies, intention is everything and Tonya's lies are a cry for help. The fear that her friend is covering darker and more serious truths is something Phoebe can't ignore. But knowing when someone is lying is the easy part. Now she has to decide what to do about it. And with Nathan and his doubts about her ability confusing things, finding a way to help Tonya isn't as easy as Phoebe thought it would be.

Excerpt:
Vivian was such a drama queen. What did Nathan ever see in her? I rolled my eyes, then slid the note over to Tonya. Her soaring eyebrows made me wish I hadn’t. No way would she believe me about the first note now. My best chance against her questioning was a quick escape after class, before she started the interrogation.
Luck, however, deserted me. The bell rang and Tonya grabbed my bag, holding it hostage behind her as she stood with the table between us. That was the problem with having a best friend; they always knew what you were going to do. She was almost as bad, or good depending on your point of view, as Chloe sometimes, though I’d never say that to Chloe. Doing that would just open Chloe’s vision floodgates and I’d be constantly bombarded with every detail of every soon to be minute of my life.
I refused to struggle for my bag. Tonya would only take it as confirmation that I was hiding something from her. Instead, I screwed my face up in confusion and hoped she’d buy it.
“What’s wrong?” I sank back further in my chair, tipping it up on its back legs again as Mrs. Schaeffer went out the door, following the rest of the students. Owen and Bianca stopped behind Tonya, waiting, Owen looking mildly disinterested, while Bianca was completely confused.
“What are you hiding?” Tonya asked, her head tilting to the side.
“Noth-”
“Cut the crap, Phoebs. Vivian is pissed and you’ve been looking guilty all class, well at least the part where you were awake.” Her eyes narrowed, and she crossed her arms over her chest, ignoring my bag as it swung around and bumped her hip. There was no way to get out of this, but if I told her now it’d be all over campus within an hour.
“Fine, but not at school. I’ll tell you when you come over tomorrow.”
“I can’t tomorrow.” Her face shuttered and she turned around, tossing my bag to me in a quick motion. I caught it as it slammed into my chest.
“Why? I thought we were gonna go Christmas shopping? You already ditched me last weekend.” There were only six days left to shop and I needed to get, well, everything, and Tonya was one of those people that managed to find the best things the instant she walked into a store.
She shrugged and twisted a strand of her straightened hair.
“I’ve gotta go see my mom.”
Liar. It whispered through me, my stomach churning to the point I thought I’d puke. There was a moment when my brain tried to make sense of what I was hearing, what I was feeling, then it came again. Liar.
“Liar.” The word slipped out, unrestrained in its harshness, and almost instantly, my stomach settled. Until I saw the expression on Tonya’s face.
“What did you call me?” Her back stiffened and her head reared back. Shit. Owen and Bianca went bug-eyed behind her. Tonya’s lips pursed and her eyes narrowed, darkening from brown to black.
“I...I...” My voice faded, unsure if I should call her on it again, or try and fib my way out of it. This wasn’t the first time I’d called her a liar and she’d always laughed it off before. Her reaction and the flush coloring the soft brown of her cheeks told me I’d actually caught her.
“Screw you,” she snapped as I stood there with my mouth moving like a gasping fish. “I don’t need to tell you every move I make, and I don’t need my best friend calling me a liar.” She spun, shoved Owen out of her way, and took off out of the room, slamming the door behind her.
My bag thudded to the floor. Owen and Bianca stared at me, the question in their faces a reflection I was sure of my own. What the hell had just happened?

About Angela:
Born in Northern Canada, Angela grew up on the Canadian prairies amid dreams of becoming the next Dian Fossey or a world famous flight attendant. Those, however, were never meant to be. Instead, she moved to Texas and then eventually beautiful Colorado where she divides her time between her family, writing and her other job, teaching.

Angela was the winner and double finalist in Romance category of The Strongest Start 2010 Contest hosted by TheNextBigWriter.com. Songbird, published by Little Prince Publishing, is Angela's first novel.
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Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Pandora #Paranormal Box Set Author Showcase: DelSheree Gladden

Today I present DelSheree Gladden, another bestselling author who is a part of Pandora.



Blurb:
Olivia’s best friend is not imaginary. He’s not a ghost, either. And she’s pretty sure he’s not a hallucination. He’s just Mason.

He is, however, invisible.

When Olivia spotted the crying little boy on her front porch at five years old, she had no idea she was the only one who could see him. Twelve years later when new-girl Robin bumps into the both of them and introduces herself to Mason, they are both stunned.

Mason couldn’t be more pleased that someone else can see him. Olivia, on the other hand, isn’t jumping at the chance to welcome Robin into their circle. Jealousy may have something to do with
that, but honest fear that Robin’s presence will put Mason in danger is soon validated when a strange black car shows up outside Olivia’s house.

The race to find out what Robin knows in time to protect Mason from whatever threats are coming becomes Olivia’s only focus.

Excerpt:
Without warning, catching my breath seems impossible. I don’t know if I can handle the thought that someone might actively be trying to hurt Mason. Before I can stop myself, I feel tears begin sliding down my cheeks. I’m not the only one who feels them. Mason reaches up and touches my face, seeming startled when he realizes I am crying. Not that I can blame him. I’m about as much of a crier as he is.
“Oh, Ollie,” he says softly. His strong, but gentle arms easily pull me out from behind him and nestle me against his body. I curl against him as I try to shut out the fear that is quickly swallowing me up.
“Mason, I can’t bear the thought of losing you,” I whisper against his chest.
His arms press me against him so tightly there is no space left between us. “I’ve already lost one family. I won’t lose you, too.”
The night quiets as we lay in each other’s arms. Slowly, Mason’s breathing calms. As he relaxes, my own fears begin to calm as well. They don’t disappear, but they come down to a manageable enough level that I can think and ask the question lingering in both of our minds.
“Mason, what do we do now?”
He sighs. His fingers stroke my hair softly. “I don’t know. I’m not sure how to get more information out of Robin without telling her the truth.”
“We can’t tell her the truth. We have no idea who she’s really involved with. It’s too big of a risk.”
“I know, but we have to stay close to her, too. If she is a threat, we can’t be blind to it.”
I know he’s right, but I don’t like to think about Mason being so close to someone who could potentially hurt him. But what choice do we have? I look up at Mason and find him already staring down at me with a look of concern. Something about the moment makes my heart lurch. It takes me a few seconds to gather my thoughts.
“Mason, we’ll figure this out,” I promise.
As his fingers brush against my cheek, that strange sensation flashes again, but I am too anxious to pay it much attention.
“Out of everything Robin told us today, do you know what hurt the most?” Mason asks, surprising me by his change in topic. He doesn’t wait for me to answer. “Robin said something like sometimes it’s hard to remember ‘I wasn’t human,’ that I was sent here to be raised by Caretakers. Do you realize what that means? Not only am I not human, my family isn’t even my real family. All of the sudden, I’ve lost another family, one I never knew, maybe one that didn’t even want me to begin with.”
“We’ll find answers, Mason.”
I know it’s not much as far as comfort goes, but I don’t know what else to say. I have no idea why anyone would give up someone as wonderful as Mason. If his biological parents didn’t want him, their stupidity was our gain. I can’t imagine my life without Mason.
I have no idea what time it is, but weariness begins to creep over me. My eyes are starting to close when Mason asks one last question.
“Do you think Robin is right about me not being human?”
A yawn stretches my jaw before I can answer. “I don’t know. Maybe. You are invisible.”
“Does that bother you?” he asks quietly.
My shrug is more of a twitch as sleeps tries to steal me away. “Why would it? I love you no matter where you came from.”

About DelSheree:
DelSheree Gladden lives in New Mexico with her husband and two children. The Southwest is a big influence in her writing because of its culture, beauty, and mythology. Local folk lore is strongly rooted in her writing, particularly ideas of prophecy, destiny, and talents born from natural abilities. When she is not writing, DelSheree is usually reading, painting, sewing, or working as a Dental Hygienist.
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For Kobos, Nooks, iPads, and NOW Kindles Pandora is available for Preorder!
Or Sign up for the mailing list to be notified once Pandora is released.