#SampleSunday from Dark Debt

Dark_DebtI started reading Dark Debt (#11 in the Chicagoland Vampires series) by Chloe Neill. I just love Merit and Ethan. Well, how can you not love Ethan when he looks David Beckham?!! In this book, Merit and Ethan have to deal with the return of Ethan’s Master, Balthasar, who conveniently is no longer dead. Huh.

Here’s the official description:

A vampire never gets old. But neither do his enemies. When a figure from Ethan’s dark past makes a splashy debut in Chicago, Merit and her Master don’t know whether he’s friend or foe. But they’ll have to figure out soon, because trouble is brewing in the Windy City.

At an exclusive society soiree attended by the upper echelons of the human and supernatural worlds, Merit and Ethan barely stop the assassination of a guest. When the target turns out to be a shady businessman with a criminal edge, Merit suspects a human vendetta. But the assassins have fangs….

The connections to Chicago’s Houses go deeper than Merit knows, and even one wrong move could be her last….

Continue reading “#SampleSunday from Dark Debt”

Welcome Author Stephen del Mar with a #SampleSunday

I’m so excited to have Stephen on my blog today. He’s here, talking about Return to Cooter Crossing (one of his Bennett Bay stories). I was lucky enough to interview Stephen about this story and life in general. Before we get into that, let’s get some info on his story.

Return to Cooter Crossing 200 x 320Blurb

Aidan Quinn is having a good day, possibly the best day of his life, at least since moving to Dublin. He just received word that his degree committee approved his PhD and he’s on his way home, with lamb chops, chard, and a bottle of wine. Time to celebrate in the little cottage he shares with his mentor and lover, Dr. David Stokes. But, something is wrong when he gets home. Dr. Stokes has found a new student to “mentor.”

Like any good Irish-American lad, he gets drunk and heads home to his mother. He hopes to find himself and make plans for a new future in the quiet backwater town of Cooter Crossing. But, he forgot what it’s like being part of a large family in an extremely small town. He gets off the plane in Tampa and finds his little sister is pregnant and won’t tell anyone who the father is. His next two older brothers, Danny and Dillon, are keeping secrets, and the oldest, Rory, shows up with his son, Sean, expecting Aidan to help him navigate Sean’s coming out.

Just as Aidan thinks he’s finally getting ahead of the family drama, and settling back into life in a small Florida village, someone shoots him. And people start dying. Will he find a way to put all the pieces back together? Will he find a new direction for his life? And, what really happened to Mrs. DeWitt’s prize rooster?

“Return to Cooter Crossing” is a contemporary southern family drama with strong characterization and set in Stephen del Mar’s rich world of Bennett Bay and Big Cypress County, Florida. Although not a part of the paranormal series “The Live Oak Tales,” this story takes place after the events in “Hunter Moon and the Red Wolf” and includes a few familiar characters from that series, such as Innes Callahan and his sister Fi, Allen Clark, Deputy JJ Jackson, Max Crawford and Marcus Murphy, among others.

You can find it for sale as of July 31st on Amazon.

#SampleSunday…check out this excerpt!

“Son, we’re going to land soon.”

Oblivion dissolved around him. Aidan opened his eyes. His face was stuck to the small airline pillow by dried drool. The nun gently shook his arm. He pealed the pillow from his face and pulled his glasses out of his shirt pocket. Everything was still blurry even with his glasses on. His head throbbed and his stomach churned. He eyed the vomit-bag in the seat pouch. The nun pushed something at him. She was holding a little plastic bottle of orange juice in one hand and a few tablets in the other.

She said, “Take these.” Continue reading “Welcome Author Stephen del Mar with a #SampleSunday”

The Force of Wind

I’m totally hooked on the Elemental Mysteries series by Elizabeth Hunter. I’m currently 63% done with the third book in the series, The Force of Wind. For my #SampleSunday I wanted to highlight a cute passage in the book (trust me, it was difficult to pick just one). Most of this book has been set on Mount Penglai, a hidden island near China. The Eight Immortals live here of whom Tenzin’s father is one. B, Gio, and Baojia (B’s bodyguard courtesy of her uncle) travel to the island. To keep things interesting, guess who also shows up?? Lorenzo. Needless to say, things are a bit tense for the good guys.

Ok, getting to the scene. Baojia has been flirting with B during weapons training and letting his feelings be known despite the fact her lover (Gio) is a powerful fire vampire. After training, B returns to Gio, and he immediately picks up that something isn’t right – she seems guilty. She explains that Baojia was flirting with her.

“Yeah.” She waved a hand. “He was joking about ‘knowing your options’ about weapons and, you know, there’s some kind of obvious jokes and . . . yeah, just being silly.”

Gio doesn’t cut her any slack so she chucks a pillow at his head, hitting him square in the face. He then tells her, “You’re very cute when your embarrassed.” She clarifies that she’s not embarrassed, just irritated.

Gio then asks, “Did he ask if you wanted to play with his sword?” Her response is “Stop.” She continued with “I’ll have you know,” she said, gasping, “I told him that I only like European spears.”

I suppose I should have included the conversation between her and Baojia. He has a spear in each hand and asks her if she prefers European spears or Asian spears? She, of course, answers European as Gio is Italian. However, the spear she takes from Baojia is Asian.

I am really enjoying this book. Things are progressing quickly . . . I fear the battle with Lorenzo is not far off. Guess I will have to wait and see!

More Adam and Mercy

So, I might be a little bit obsessed with Mercy and Adam (Patricia Briggs’ Mercedes Thompson series). They are my second favorite urban fantasy couple. First is Kate and Curran (Ilona Andrews’ Kate Daniels series).

I just finished reading Silver Borne, book 5 in the Mercedes Thompson series. I am dying to get my hands on book 6. I can’t believe I will have to wait until 2013 for book 7! Grr! At least I will have some other books to keep me distracted in the meantime… looking forward to the next Downside Ghost book by Stacia Kane and the next in the Chicagoland Vampire series by Chloe Neill.

My #SundaySample is going to be two passages – one from Bone Crossed and one from Silver Borne.

First, the passage from Bone Crossed (pp 64-65 Mercy speaking):

“Thank you, Adam,” I told him. “Thank you for tearing Tim into small Tim bits. Thank you for forcing me to drink one last cup of fairy bug-juice so I could have the use of both of my arms. Thank you for being there, for putting up with me.” . . . “Thank you for making the tough calls, for giving me time.” I stood up and walked to him, leaning against him and pressing my face against his shoulder. “Thank you for loving me.”

Now, the passage from Silver Borne (p. 99 Adam speaking):

“No apologies from you,” he told me, his voice soft enough to melt my knees and most of my other parts. “First of all, as I already pointed out – you would make the same choices again, right? So an apology doesn’t work. Secondly, you, being who you are, could have made no other choice. Since I love you, as you are, where you are . . .”

#SampleSunday – Terror

The following #SampleSunday piece resulted from a Writing Exercise, which was found in What It? Writing Exercises for Fiction Writers by Anne Bernays and Pamela Painter.

The exercise description:

Psycho: Creating Terror – You’re taking a shower in your house/ apartment.
You are not expecting anyone; the front door is locked (bathroom door is
not). You hear a strange noise in a room beyond the bathroom.

Sidney, What Now?

“What should I wear tonight?” I muttered to myself as I smeared shaving cream on my leg. “It has to be something sexy, yet not too revealing.” My mind scanned the skirts and jeans in my closet as I ran the razor up my calf.

The shower door rattled on the track. “What the –”

I swiped at the moisture on the door. “Silly cat, what do you want?” I cracked the door open a smidge. “Crazy girl, you don’t like water, remember?” Sidney, my
Garfield-looking orange cat, was trying to paw the door open even farther. Her
eyes met mine, pleading for me to hurry up and give her some attention.

She could wait. I needed to finish my shower. I closed the door and then heard the unhappy “meow” and imagined Sidney prancing away, tail up and flicking back and forth, her body brushing the bathroom door open even farther as she headed into the

“I could wear the acid-washed jean skirt and my cowboy boots.” A breeze of cold air
wafted over the top of the door, causing me to shiver despite the heat of the water. I sighed, “What has that cat gotten into now?”

I put the razor on the caddy and decided if I stayed in any longer I would resemble a
prune – not a good thing for picking up a hottie. I turned off the water and
opened the door. Poking my head out, I yelled, “Sidney, what are you doing?”
Not really expecting an answer, I grabbed the towel and dried off.

I stepped out, towel wrapped around my sopping mess of hair. A loud crash sounded from the living room. I reached for my robe and decided to corral the cat before she
wrecked the house.

I walked into the bedroom and saw Sidney curled up on top of my pillow. She couldn’t be bothered to look at me as she nestled her nose under her paw. “Huh.” So if
she’s not the one making the noise. . .

Staying out of view of the open doorway, I scurried to the far side of the bed. I whispered to the cat, “What can I use as a weapon? Help me out here.”

My eyes flitted around the room. “I need a weapon, I need a weapon” was my mantra. Thankfully, I caught sight of my marble Buddha bookends. Success.

A deep, wicked laugh sounded from the living room. Goose bumps raced across my body; my pulse skyrocketed. I jerked the towel from around my head, balled it up, and threw it towards the door. I needed a distraction until I had my makeshift
weapon situated.

“Why don’t you come out to play, my pet?” the voice spread across my bare flesh like a festering rash.

I hefted the bookend; it felt solid in my hand. The pointiest part was facing out from my white-knuckled grip. I shuffled towards the door on my knees. Heart pounding
like a bass drum, I strained to hear any sound that would clue me in to my
predator’s location.

Another evil cackle slithered my direction.

“Lord, help me.” I wasn’t religious, but now seemed to be a good time for a prayer.

I made it to the door. Slowly, so very slowing, I peered around the corner into the living room. A high pitch scream sounded. It was coming from me.

The End

Sorry the spacing is wacky. Thanks, WordPress *sigh*