Welcome to the Anniversary Blog Hop!
On the SCP site, we’re playing a game. Each of their participating authors has been given a letter, and you need to match the letter to it’s holder to win. So….if you want to win some awesome prizes, you’ll have to bounce around some blogs and find all the letters in SECRET CRAVINGS PUBLISHING. Write the author’s name that hold’s each letter and send it in to win. There’s more info on the site, so check it out! You can win an IPAD 2, a Kindle Fire HDX, $50 gift card and $25 gift card. AND you can use your prize to buy my books. Awesome, right?
And….apart from this, I’m giving away a copy of my upcoming release, Forever Black, the second book in my Nightwalkers series. Double awesome! Just leave a comment with your email address and I will pick a winner on February 4th. (If you don’t want to leave your email publicly, hop over HERE and fill out a private contact form.)
As you all know, I’m a Secret Cravings author. And if you don’t, you must not read my posts, because I gush about it all time. They published my first traditionally published novel (I was previously self pubed), Initiation, that is part of my Christian’s Kisses Series. They’ve published five of my novels, and there’s four planned to release in 2014. I love my experience with SCP and would encourage others to submit to them. Hopefully, they’ll pick you too 😉 They are a nice bunch and have become a great family for me. They’ve made my goals of being published come true, and I’m a happy girl.
Now to learn more about my Nightwalkers series….
“To love you is like my need for air. Without it, all the life in my breast would cease and leave me an empty man.”
~Drake (Forever Black)
The series follows the life of Ashleigh Brown, the author of the Nightwalkers series. She’s a horror/romance author and writes under the pen name Victoria Allure. Each of the books in the series share the same title as the book Ashleigh is working on during the course of the novel. Though she doesn’t realize it, her stories come from somewhere besides just her imagination and soon she begins to meet her real life characters.
The second book is the series releases January 21st, so I’ll talk about that one today. It brings the entrance of the Count, who is only briefly mentioned in book one. I’ve been told it’s a pretty intense read, and keeps you on your toes throughout the book.
Forever Black Book Description:
After the death of her grandfather, Ashleigh reluctantly fulfills a promise she made to him before he died. With the help of her estranged fiancé, she attempts to reconcile with her mother, whom she hadn’t seen since she was child. Soon she is faced with the painful past she tried to bury along with the memories of her mother. A past that will soon try to devour her, exposing the real life inspiration behind the murderous villain from her Nightwalkers series, Nicolas.
Excerpt from Forever Black:
“Would you like to hear a story?” He smiled as he watched her nod, her grip around his waist tightening. His voice was soft, his chin nestling into her soft, black curls. “A dreamer wanders in a field of tall, blowing grasses, the soft scent of lilacs filling her nostrils.”
He loved having her in his arms, that familiar shape that was molded to fit into his arms perfectly. Though he had deep feelings for her, which had him aching to do more than hold her, he didn’t indulge them. He simply took in her warmth.
His smooth words dripped off his lips like the sweetest nectar. His voice was heavy and deep, but carried the weight of a butterfly’s wings. “Clouds flow slowly down a sea of blue over her head, crossing the sky that keeps her eyes from seeing heaven. The sun casts its warm light upon her hair, making it shine like a million threads of spun gold. Dear, sweet dreamer says the sun, a deal I will make with thee. Love me, and I shall gift you with wings that will take you past the clouds and to the gilded gates of heaven.”
She closed her eyes as she waited for him to continue. When he didn’t, she spoke, “Why did you stop? I want to hear the rest of the story.”
“As you wish.” He laughed softly. “The dreamer walks on, ignoring the promise of heaven from the sun. Darkness invades the realm of light. The vicious battle pierces the clouds, their blood spreading out into the sea of blue and slowly pushing the light from the sky. The sky darkens. The ruler of the night floats like a sentinel in the sky. His eyes are hidden, but always upon her.
“Dear, sweet dreamer, the moon says, a deal I will make with thee. Love me, and I shall gift you with eternal beauty and make you Queen. The dreamer ponders the offer, but then refuses. Again, he offers—together we will taste the blood of the sun and murder the clouds, so you may see the heaven that lies beyond. You will never hunger under my rays, and in the darkness, I shall mold your every dream. Give me that to which the sun desires, love me, oh dear dreamer.”
He paused as his fingers slowly stroked the surface of her jacket.
She waited, but he never finished. Her head rose to look at him. “So, what did she choose?”
A wicked smile filled out his perfect lips. His emerald eyes fell on hers as he spoke softly, “The devil, of course.”
She laughed as she lay her head back down on his chest. “You’re definitely going in my next book.”
“I do not wish to become immortalized in such a fashion.”
“You don’t wish to be a perfect prince in my imagination?”
“Imagination is for children. What you produce as a writer is art, a voice that opens a vein and leaves the reader lapping at the blood that has been drawn. You are an incredible writer, Ashleigh.” His tone softened a little, “But please refrain from calling me an emerald-eyed snake.”
She closed her eyes. “I didn’t call you that.”
“Yes, you did.”
“I didn’t…” Her voice trailed, and her body became heavy in his arms.
“I see someone’s calmed down.” Neal sat on the couch next to Ashleigh, gesturing toward her with his hand.
“Her blood is soaking my jacket.” The Count chuckled softly, but his grip around her didn’t lessen, even though what he said was true.
“She seems to be adjusting better.” Neal glanced briefly at June, who sat next to him. He wrapped his arm around her shoulders and pulled her closer.
“Her hatred of me has seemed to lessen slightly, yes.” The Count rubbed his chin against Ashleigh’s soft curls. His eyes were distant as he frowned. “Do you think me a fool, Neal?”
“A fool, your grace?”
“For thinking my love has returned to me. What if my queen wakes? Will she punish me for replacing her with this girl? I could not bear that.”
“Don’t give up, yet. The Countess will never awaken because she’s right here. Her soul is now in this young girl, so this is the only option you have. The woman in the tomb is just a shell. You don’t have to mourn for her anymore. There is nothing you can do to wake her.”
“A shell.” The Count’s fingers danced lightly over the surface of Ashleigh’s skin. “A beautiful shell that holds my heart in her icy flesh.”
“Don’t sound so sad, your grace. You need to move on. This girl is the Countess.”
“I’m trying, but this girl will not let me near her heart.”
“She will.” Neal pointed to Ashleigh. “I’d say having her in your arms means you’re getting closer to getting her to stay.”
“I could tell her a million times of my loss…of my pain…but she would never understand.” His voice was soft, but there was a hard expression etched on his handsome features. A deep anger was reflected in his sparkling green eyes. “Of sleepless nights spent alone, my dreams haunted by her death.
“Now, she lays in my arms like a child, ignorant and forgetting the promises she had made. This woman whom was once mine—her every breath used to voice her love for me—is buried like Ashleigh’s desire. I want this too greatly and fear it will never be as I wish—that she is not what I wish.”
Neal’s eyes narrowed on the Count. “Do you want to release her? After all we have done to find her?”
And here’s my letter! I told you I was a tease 😉 So now that you know I’m “E” for “exciting”, go to the other blogs listed and gather some more letters!