November 17, 2017

Mad Magic Blog Tour: Spotlight + Giveaway

http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/tour-schedule-mad-magic-by-nicole-conway/


Mad Magic
Author: Nicole Conway
Publication Date: November 14, 2017
Publisher: Month9Books

Description:

After being orphaned, high school student Josie Barton only has one person she can turn to when things get rough—a mysterious legal guardian who calls himself her Benefactor. “Ben” takes care of everything for her. He pays her bills, provides food, clothes, and even a cell phone. But there is one thing Ben doesn’t know: Josie Barton sees scary imaginary creatures everywhere she goes. Even her apartment is being haunted by an invisible monster! And just when Josie thinks things couldn’t get any worse...she meets the guy from across the hall.

Zeph Clemmont is a man of many faces. He’s a changeling with enemies in all the worst places, fighting to undo a magical curse that could end his life. He loves a good argument and has incredible magical power, but he may have met his match in Josie. So far, she’s the only one who seems able to rein in his childish tantrums and magical explosions. Zeph will have to swallow his pride and finally let go of all his dark secrets if he really wants to break his curse. And with Josie at his side, he might actually stand a chance this time.


Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. She has completed the first two books in the series, and is now working on the third and final book. Other works include MAD MAGIC (Sept 2017), FAULBENDER (tbd), SCALES (tbd), and THE DISTANCE BETWEEN STARS (May 2017).

Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.

She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.

Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.

One (1) winner will receive two rose gold necklaces - one with a crown pendant (for Eldrick) and the other with a feather (for Zeph) (INT)







 

Saving It Blog Tour: Spotlight + Giveaway

http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/tour-schedule-saving-it-by-monica-murphy/


Saving It
Author: Monica Murphy
Publication Date: November 6, 2017
Publisher: Entangled Teen Crush

Description:

Eden: Josh Evans and I have been best friends forever. He knows all my secrets, and I know all of his. So when he randomly asks me to help him lose his virginity, I sort of flip out. That’s a question that sends your mind to places you’ve seriously never considered before. Like, you know. Having sex. With your best friend. Except Josh doesn’t want to have sex with me—he wants me to help him find a girl. A nice girl who’s funny and smart and cute. Except he already knows a girl just like that…

Josh: Eden Sumner is my best friend. So of course she’d be the person to help me find my perfect match, so I can drop my V card before I head off to college. Except the more we search, the more I realize that maybe the right girl has been by my side all along. I don’t need Eden’s help in finding me a girl to love. I’m pretty sure I’m already in love with Eden. But now she thinks I’m only after one thing…with anyone but her.

Disclaimer: This Entangled Teen Crush book is what happens when American Pie meets Friends with Benefits. It contains two best friends, plenty of angst, and lots and lots of sex talk. Reading this might have you looking at your best friend in a different light! 

Monica Murphy is the New York Times, USA Today and #1 international bestselling author of the One Week Girlfriend series, the Billionaire Bachelors and The Rules series. Her books have been translated in almost a dozen languages and has sold over one million copies worldwide. She is a traditionally published author with Bantam/Random House and Harper Collins/Avon, as well as an independently published author. She writes new adult, young adult and contemporary romance. She is also USA Today bestselling romance author Karen Erickson. She is a wife and a mother of three who lives with her family in central California on fourteen acres in the middle of nowhere, along with their one dog and too many cats. A self-confessed workaholic, when she’s not writing, she’s reading or hanging out with her husband and kids. She’s a firm believer in happy endings, though she will admit to putting her characters through many angst-filled moments before they finally get that hard won HEA.

(1) Signed copy of Saving It (US only)







 

Book Blitz + Giveaway: Believe in My Heart by Maria K. Alexander


 

Believe in My Heart (Tangled Hearts #4)
Author: Maria K. Alexander
Genre: Adult Contemporary Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: November 17, 2017

Description:

Culinary arts student, Hope Mastriano, is down on her luck. Homeless on Thanksgiving Day, she’s caught trying to break into her cousin’s apartment by her sexy boss and lifelong secret crush.

Since getting dumped seven months ago, head chef Vinnie DiFrancesco has been in a frustrating holding pattern. He returns relaxed from a retreat, but his life is sent into a tailspin when he offers Hope, the event coordinator at his family’s trattoria, temporary housing.

With the trattoria’s traditional Italian Christmas Eve charity dinner slated to be featured on a local TV segment and things heating up in his apartment, the two must set aside their different visions to make the event a success. When a computer glitch threatens their plans, Hope proposes a risky solution. Vinnie must believe in Hope and his heart in order to secure the future of the restaurant and make it a Christmas to remember.


He jogged up the stairs to the fifth floor. Turning into the main hall, Vinnie made his way toward his apartment while digging in his pocket for the key and almost collided with three suitcases and a stack of boxes blocking his path.

Someone was moving out…or in, given the person was fiddling with the lock—with a hanger. He had moved in a couple days before his trip to California and hadn’t met any neighbors, but he did recall seeing a tall blonde woman walking out of this apartment one morning as he came in from his morning jog. This one was a few inches over five feet, and although he couldn’t see much, dark hair peeked out of the white knit cap on her head.

“Hey, can I help you?” he called.

She shrieked and dropped the hanger. “I can’t find my key and locked myself out.”

He knew that voice. “If that’s the case, why don’t you call the super?”

“My phone’s dead, and I don’t have his number.”

Vinnie pulled out his phone. “Then it’s a good thing I have it. I’ll give him a buzz.”

“No!” she cried and turned to face him.

Wide brown eyes framed by long brown lashes stared up at him.

“Hope?”

She pushed back the cap and brushed aside the bangs that fell into her eyes. “Vinnie. Funny meeting you here.”

“Same goes. You don’t live here,” Vinnie countered, surprised to be faced with one of the pantry chefs from where he worked.

Hope raised her hands. “I know how this looks, but I can explain.”

“You can explain why you’re trying to break into this apartment?”

“It’s my cousin Faith’s place. And I wasn’t breaking in.”

Vinnie raised an eyebrow and shifted his gaze to the hanger on the ground.

“Okay, so maybe it seems as though I was breaking in, but the key she gave me no longer works.” She reached in her coat pocket and withdrew a key similar to Vinnie’s.

“Did you try calling your cousin?”

“Gee, no, I didn’t think of that,” she sneered. “She’s on a cruise and then staying in Florida a few days for business. I wasn’t kidding about my phone dying and not knowing the super’s number.”

Vinnie felt a pain in his temple. Probably from not having enough to eat or drink on the red-eye from LA. “Fine, let’s get your stuff in my place. You can use my phone.”

Hope grabbed a handle of a suitcase. “Thanks, Vin. You’re nicer than people at work say.”

He paused while unlocking his door. Well, hell. Is that what they say about me? Guess he needed to do damage control with his staff. Even though his parents owned Trattoria DiFrancesco, Vinnie was the head chef and in charge of hiring of anyone who worked in the kitchen.

Including the pretty spitfire who had just swept past him, Hope Mastriano.

He hoisted the stack of boxes and followed her inside. When she headed back out, he perused the hall to see how much more stuff she had.

There were two more suitcases and a pet carrier.

“You run away or something?” Vinnie asked.

“Moved out of Steve’s place. I’m done with that deadbeat.”

“On Thanksgiving Day and with nowhere to go?”

“It’s been long overdue. Besides, I thought I could crash at Faith’s until I figured out my next step.”

“And in there?” He nodded to the carrier.

Hope raised it up a few inches. “This is Lucky, my cat.”

Vinnie was not a fan of cats, with their sharp eyes and sneaky ways. He peeked inside and into the green eyes of a white cat. He closed the front door and stepped around Hope’s stuff, including the cat, which she pulled out of the carrier. Lucky leaned forward and sniffed him before letting out a soft mew.

Between the pixie-haired cutie and the cat, the peace and relaxation he had found out west was a distant memory. By the time he got to the trattoria for Thanksgiving dinner, Vinnie was going to need a beer or glass of wine.

Possibly both.
 
A romantic at heart, Maria K. Alexander spent hours as a young girl getting lost in and wishing to be one of the heroines in the stories she read. Books gave her the ability to go to another world where she loved meeting new characters, learning about their problems, and watching them fall in love.

Maria is an award-winning author of contemporary romance. When not writing, Maria loves to read, bake, downhill ski, visit the beach, and watch romantic comedies. Maria lives in New Jersey with her husband and children, and writes in her “spare” time between juggling a full-time job and her kids’ busy schedules.




 
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November 16, 2017

The Night Realm Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway


 

The Night Realm (Spell Weaver #1)
Author: Annette Marie
Genre: Adult Urban Fantasy

Publication Date: October 20, 2017
Publisher: Dark Owl Fantasy Inc.

Description:

Clio is good at all sorts of things. As a nymph, she’s great at outdoorsy nature stuff. As a nymph living in exile, she’s got the “blending in with humans” thing down pat. As a nymph living in exile because she possesses the rare ability to mimic magic, she’s had to pick up some unique survival skills.

But stealing from the most dangerous spell weavers in the Underworld? Not so much.

Unfortunately, that’s exactly what she has to do to earn a ticket back home. Conning her way into the night realm may have gone pretty well, but now she’s got a new problem. His name is Lyre and he’s a sinfully alluring incubus, a dangerously skilled spell weaver, and the only thing standing between her and stealing some damn magic.

Maneuvering around him without blowing her cover shouldn’t be that difficult, but chaos has been dogging her every step, monsters hide behind beautiful faces, and Lyre keeps saving her neck even though they’re enemies. Kind of enemies? Either way, her mission is getting complicated fast, and in the Underworld, even one mistake could prove fatal.



She shook off her daze and stalked after him, skirts rustling and long sleeves flapping. She caught up as he stepped out into the hallway. The long window across the corridor bustled with the movement of the weavers on the other side.

“You knew how to free me from that spell the whole time,” she accused. She’d seen him work the weaving. He’d known exactly what he was doing.

“Of course.”

“Why did you pretend you didn’t?”

He glanced at her with a smile that made her heart start pounding again. “It was hilarious.”

“Hilarious?” she hissed, forgetting her traitorously racing pulse.

“Do you know how rare it is for anything funny to happen around here? I wanted to enjoy the moment.”

“At my expense!”

“Your point?”

She seethed. “You’re incorrigible!”

“Shouting insults now?” He tsked. “Please.”

“I’m not shouting.”

“My ears tell me otherwise.”

“You—you—” She flung her hands out, so frustrated she couldn’t even think of a comeback. Her knuckles smacked the window beside her with a loud, hollow thud.

The weaver with his back to the glass jumped about two feet in the air and spun around. At the sight of her on the other side, he recoiled. The metal disk he held fell from his grip.

She watched it drop, her astral perception unnecessary to know that the red glow bulging from the metal was very bad. Lyre slapped his palm against the glass, and Clio dove behind him as gold light flashed across the window.

The disk hit the floor and exploded.

The boom shattered her eardrums. She clutched the back of Lyre’s coat as the walls rattled and the floor shook. But the glass, shimmering with golden light, held fast. Silence fell again as dust drifted from the ceiling.

Lyre craned his neck to see her cowering against his back. “Are you using me as a shield? No shame, huh?”

She jerked upright. “Better you than me.”
 Annette Marie is the author of the Amazon best-selling Steel & Stone series, which includes Goodreads Choice Award nominee Yield the Night, and fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast- paced urban fantasy and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it's not quite that bad) with her comparatively sensible husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.
Annette Marie is the author of the Amazon best-selling Steel & Stone series, which includes Goodreads Choice Award nominee Yield the Night, and fantasy trilogy Red Winter. Her first love is fantasy, but fast- paced urban fantasy and tantalizing forbidden romances are her guilty pleasures. She lives in the frozen winter wasteland of Alberta, Canada (okay, it's not quite that bad) with her comparatively sensible husband and their furry minion of darkness—sorry, cat—Caesar. When not writing, she can be found elbow-deep in one art project or another while blissfully ignoring all adult responsibilities.




 
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November 15, 2017

Black Goat Blues Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway

http://www.jeanbooknerd.com/2017/09/cosplay-tour-black-goat-blues-by-levi.html


Black Goat Blues (The Mythos War #2)
Author: Levi Black
Release Date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Tor Books

Description:

In Red Right Hand, Charlie Tristan Moore was thrust into a nightmarish world of lurking Lovecraftian horrors when The Man In Black, a diabolical Elder God, chose her as his unwilling Acolyte. Discovering her own power, Charlie ultimately defied The Man In Black, but at a cost.

Now armed with a magic coat made from the skin of a flayed angel, Charlie is out to destroy The Man In Black and save her boyfriend Daniel--and she doesn't care how many bloodthirsty gods and monsters get in her way... 


Praise for THE MYTHOS WAR Series:

Red Right Hand is a perfect blend of old-school horror and modern storytelling sorcery. Levi Black is absolutely riveting! ―Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of Predator One and Deadlands: Ghostwalkers

Visceral and creepy, Red Right Hand is a sincerely twisted tale that’s every bit as thrilling as it is macabre. ―Cherie Priest, bestselling author of Boneshaker and Maplecroft

A merge of horror and dark fantasy that will grab you by the throat! ―Faith Hunter, New York Times bestselling author of the Jane Yellowrock series.

Red Right Hand is a beautiful, terrifying nightmare of a book. Stylish and and nerve-wracking, it held me constantly in an iron grip as I read it...and has yet to let me go. More, Levi Black! ―Nancy Holder, New York Times bestselling author of The Rules

Levi Black writes with bare knuckle confidence and a champion prizefighter’s skill. Red Right Hand is his first round combination that leaves you flat on the canvass, dazed and impressed. Get in the ring and be ready for battle. ―Nate Southard, author of Pale Horses and Will the Sun Ever Come Out Again?

Levi Black's Red Right Hand is visceral, violent, and sexy. This book has jaggedly-sharp humor, snappy patter and tight pacing that can literately leave you breathless at some points. It's crazy fun with unspeakable horrors! ―R.S. Belcher, author of Nightwise and The Six-Gun Tarot

Imagine that one of Lovecraft’s Great Old Ones showed up at your door and said, ‘You work for me now.’ That’s the premise of Red Right Hand, Levi Black’s grim and gory tale that takes urban fantasy into the darkest places of both the universe and the human heart. Riveting in both senses of the word: it grips your attention, and it feels like bolts punching through your flesh. ―Alex Bledsoe, author of Long Black Curl

Levi Black mixes deft characterization, vivid description, and H. P. Lovecraft’s cosmic horrors to create a thoroughly engaging urban fantasy. ―Richard Lee Byers, author of The Reaver and Blind Man’s Bluff

With Red Right Hand, Levi Black gives us an exciting, pulse-inducing mashup of Urban Fantasy and Lovecraftian Horror. Charlie Moore is a great entry into the pantheon of urban fantasy heroines, and The Man in Black is a Mythos character made even more terrifyingly real. I can't wait for the sequel. ―Gini Koch, author of the Alien/Katherine "Kitty" Katt series

Levi Black’s Red Right Hand is a perfect fusion of noir, action and horror. Urban decay, Lovecraftian madness and emotional desperation are only a few of the ingredients in the mix that powers this breakout novel. The engine on this beast is burning high-octane fuel and running hot. Highly recommended! ―James A. Moore, author of the Seven Forges Series and Alien: Sea of Sorrows

Sleek, savage and brutally well-written, Black's story hurtles you into a world where the elder gods view humans as expendable playthings or tasty snacks. Even as you obsessively turn the pages, you'll be rooting for good to triumph over endless evil. A brilliant blend of horror and urban fantasy, Red Right Hand proves that truth is chaos, and hell is only a tentacle away. ―Jana Oliver, award-winning author of the Demon Trappers series

If Mickey Spillane had delved into the Cthulhu Mythos, he might have turned out something like this. Hard-hitting and truly scary, Red Right Hand is a postmodern Lovecraftian nightmare of a tale. Dark and bloody and bad to the bone. ―Charles R. Rutledge, co-author of Congregations of the Dead
You can purchase Black Goat Blues at the following Retailers:
       
I take a deep breath and step out of the car. The wind kicks, cutting through my thin T-shirt. It’s freezing. I thought Arizona was supposed to be hot, but the air bites and the metal collar, the torc given to me by a fallen love goddess, the thing that allows me to wish myself places, around my throat goes cold against my skin. I hold my hand out and a darkness slithers across the seats, sliding over my arm and around my body. I shrug into it and it shifts and adjusts against me until it becomes a long black coat,
still tattered on its edges but mostly healed. The chill is cut off sharply. As the coat settles, a soft alien song begins to trill at the edge of my mind.

The coat is eager, ready to go.

I try to let some of its enthusiasm infect me.

The effort makes me say aloud to it: “Don’t get your hopes up. The last six of these have turned up nothing.”

It coos, full of reassurance in my head.

I wish I could actually understand what it says, but it speaks some language I don’t know. It might not even be a language. It’s nothing I’ve ever heard. Half of it doesn’t even seem like I “hear” it now; some of what happens is a feeling, akin to emotion but not quite. The more I wear it the more I understand by feeling, but it’s still a bunch of gibberish most of the time. 

Sometimes it’s like music in my head, sometimes like static between stations.

Bumping the car door closed with my hip, I stick my hands in its pockets and start walking toward the nightclub.

Sooner rather than later. 

Copyright © 2017 by Levi Black



Levi Black lives in Metro Atlanta with his wife and an array of toys, books, records, and comics. He's been weird his whole life and is almost as scary as he looks. Red Right Hand is his first novel.


   
 
(10) Winners will receive a Copy of Black Goat Blues by Levi Black
Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
 





 

November 14, 2017

Steal the Stars Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway

http://www.jeanbooknerd.com/2017/09/steal-stars-by-mac-rogers-and-nat.html


Steal the Stars
Author: Mac Rogers & Nat Cassidy
Release Date: November 7, 2017
Publisher: Tor Books

Description:

THE NOVEL BASED ON THE DEBUT SCIENCE FICTION PODCAST FROM TOR LABS

Dakota “Dak” Prentiss guards the biggest secret in the world.

They call it “Moss.” It’s your standard grey alien from innumerable abduction stories. Moss still sits at what looks like the controls of the spaceship it crash-landed twenty-five years ago. A secret military base was built around the crash site to study both Moss and the dangerous technology it brought to Earth.

The day Matt Salem joins her security team, Dak’s whole world changes.

It’s love at first sight—which is a problem, since they both signed ironclad contracts before joining the base security team, vowing not to fraternize with other military personnel. If they run away, they’ll be hunted for the secret they know. So Dak and Matt decide to escape to a better life on the wings of an incredibly dangerous plan: They’re going to steal the alien body they've been guarding and sell the secret of its existence.

And they can’t afford a single mistake.  


PODCAST EPISODE 14


Episode Fourteen: As Fierce, As Colossal, As All-Consuming

In an epic final showdown in the Texas desert – as Sierra closes in from all sides – Dak and Matt finally learn the truth about Moss.


Listen to the rest of the EPISODES HERE!



You can purchase Steal the Stars at the following Retailers:
  
 

Writing: Behind the Scenes


Nat: It was on this project that I made the godawful realization that I'm at my most productive early in the morning. I'm not a morning person at all, but the deadline was so tight that I had to write whenever I could. I tried writing first thing in the morning and ... ugh, it was so great. I basically hit a writing wall between like 1pm and 6pm anyway, so getting up early really helped me maximize my time and I hate it and I'm so mad that it works and I just want to stay in bed a little longer. 


What's on Your Desk? 
 
Nat: Oh, I would never subject you to a picture of my desk. It's ... it's a lot. 


Top 10 Ways your Get Inspired to Write

Mac:
- I read a news story I can’t get out of my mind.
- I see another piece of writing that I think wasted a good idea, so I want to write another script to use that idea better.
- Reading or seeing stuff my friends write.
- Hearing a podcast that redefines for me what audio-drama can do.
- Competition – let’s be honest, all writer writers feel it.
- Coffee.
- Emails that say “Wasn’t your deadline three days ago?”
- That idea I get just as I’m falling asleep that makes me get out of bed.
- Knowing a really fun scene’s coming up.
- Knowing if I finish I get a check!

Nat Cassidy is an actor, director, musician, and playwright. He has appeared on shows such as The Following (Fox), The Affair (Showtime), Red Oaks (Amazon), High Maintenance (HBO), Law & Order: SVU (NBC), as well as on stage in numerous productions and workshops both Off- and Off-Off-Broadway. Nat’s plays have been nominated for a combined total of 17 New York Innovative Theatre Awards, including 3 times for Outstanding Full-Length Script (which he won in 2009, and in 2011 for Outstanding Solo Performance for his one man show about H.P. Lovecraft). In 2012 Nat was commissioned by The Kennedy Center to write the libretto for a world-premiere opera, and in 2014 his play Any Day Now was chosen to be part of Primary Stages’ ESPADrills (The Duke Theatre, directed by Tony-nominee Moritz von Stuelpnagel). He is also thrilled to be writing the novelization of Steal the Stars, which will be published by Tor Books in November 2017. 

Mac Rogers is an award-winning audio dramatist and playwright. His audio/podcasts dramas The Message and LifeAfter have been downloaded over eight million times. His stageplays include The Honeycomb Trilogy (winner of the New York Innovative Theatre Award for Outstanding Premiere Production), Frankenstein Upstairs, God of Obsidian, Ligature Marks, Asymmetric, Viral, Universal Robots, Hail Satan (Outstanding Playwriting Winner at FringeNYC 2007), and Fleet Week: The Musical (co-written with Sean Williams and Jordana Williams; winner of Outstanding Musical at FringeNYC 2005). He has earned acclaim from The New York Times, The Guardian, Backstage, The Wall Street Journal, Time Out New York, New York Post, Flavorpill, io9, Fangoria, Tor.com, Show Business Weekly, New York Press, and many others.

(5) Winners will receive an Audio Copy of Steal the Stars by Mac Rogers.
(5) Winners will receive Book Passages of Steal the Stars by Mac Rogers.
Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter






 

Hunger Moon Blog Tour: Excerpt + Giveaway


 

Hunger Moon (The Huntress/FBI Thrillers #5)
Author: Alexandra Sokoloff
Genre: Adult Mystery/Thriller
Publication Date: October 24, 2017

Description:

Revenge has no limits.

Special Agent Matthew Roarke has abandoned his rogue search for serial killer Cara Lindstrom. He’s returned to the FBI to head a task force with one mission: to rid society of its worst predators. But as the skeletal symbols of Santa Muerte, “Lady Death,” mysteriously appear at universities nationwide, threatening death to rapists, Roarke’s team is pressured to investigate. When a frat boy goes missing in Santa Barbara, Roarke realizes a bloodbath is coming—desperate teenagers are about to mete out personal, cold-blooded justice.

Hiding from the law, avenging angel Cara Lindstrom is on her own ruthless quest. She plans to stay as far away from Roarke as possible—until an old enemy comes after both her and the FBI, forcing her back into Roarke’s orbit. This time, the huntress has become the hunted...



Previous books in the Huntress/FBI Thrillers Series:
The sandstone spires reach like alien fingers from the depths of the canyon.

The gorge cuts through the Arizona tablelands, a vast, prehistoric gash. Inside lies a 230-million-year-old natural wonder: a cathedral of wind-carved sandstone walls in every possible hue of red, gold, and white, adorned with the gleaming black curtain-like sweeps known as canyon varnish. Ancient ruins of cliff villages nestle in natural caves at impossible heights. Sedimentary deposits lie in distinctive round piles, like stacked pancakes.

And the famous double sandstone spires rise 750 feet from the canyon floor, at the exact junction of de Chelly and Monument Canyons.

Navajo legend says the taller spire is the home of Spider Grandmother, the goddess who created the world. She stole the sun and brought fire to the Anasazi. At the beginning of time, monsters roamed the land, and she gave her children, Monster Slayer and Child-Born-of-Water, power to kill the monsters and protect the First People.

Her stories are only told in the winter months.

And only to those who will listen.


A bleak sky, streaked with white, stretches over the desolate South Rim of the canyon. There will be snow tonight.

The grinding of a pickup truck grates through the silence.

A four-door Tundra. Tonneau cover over the bed. Two men dressed in camouflage inside. Fast-food and jerky wrappers litter the wells at their feet. In the back seat, a cooler packed full of beer.

And three rifles, three-inch twelve-gauge magnums, strapped to the padded back-seat gun rest.

Hunters, driving the rim.

The front-seat passenger sets his sights on something moving ahead of them, leans forward greedily. “There we go, there we go.”

The driver follows his gaze, fixes on what he is tracking. Not a deer, but a young girl, shining black hair underneath the hood of her parka. Schoolgirl’s backpack on her shoulder.

On the men’s faces, something crude and capering.

“That’s some tasty-looking pussy.”

“Oh, yeah, that’ll do.”

“Let’s go.”

“Get her.”

The driver swerves the truck over to the side of the road, squealing brakes.

The girl hears the sound, stiffens, is starting to run before she even completes the glance back.

The truck skids to a stop in the snow. The doors fly open; the men are out of the car, grabbing for their rifles.

The girl runs for the rocks, but her pursuers are bigger, fastr. Two of them, grown men, against a teenage girl.

They move forward into the strong wind, a military-style formation, heavy boots crunching in the sandy snow.

They pause at the rock outcropping, looking out over the boulders. The girl seems to have disappeared. Then a scrabble on the rocks betrays her. Hearing it, the men grin at each other.

The driver rounds the rock first, his mouth watering. He is already hard in anticipation...

The tire iron bashes him across the face, breaking his jaw. He staggers back, howling inarticulate pain.

The girl kicks him viciously in the knee, crumpling him, then swivels as the second hunter rounds the edge of the rock. She slams the tire iron against the side of his head.

Now both men are collapsed on the ground, moaning and cursing.

She steps forward, no longer feigning that youthful, hesitant gait.

She lifts her arm and uses the tire iron on their skulls. Two, three, four blows, and there is no more moaning. Thick crimson drops spatter the snow. Her breath is harsh. Her face is ice.

There is only the wind, swallowing the sound of her breathing.


Cara stands at the edge of the canyon, looking out at the spires of Spider Rock, the vast open gorge.

Below her is an icy crevasse. The canyon has any number of them, deep splits in the rock wall where whole sheets of the cliff have broken away. Behind her is the hunters’ pickup truck.

Their bodies lie at her feet.

She drags one, then the other, to shove them over the cliff’s edge, stepping back to watch each body hurtle down into the crevasse, tumbling into oblivion.

The snowfall tonight will cover all trace of them. Later, birds and animals will pick the bones clean.

Another offering to the canyon, and the gods and ghosts that haunt it.
"Some of the most original and freshly unnerving work in the genre." - The New York Times

ALEXANDRA SOKOLOFF is the Thriller Award-winning and Bram Stoker, Anthony, and Black Quill Award-nominated author of the Amazon bestselling Huntress/FBI series (HUNTRESS MOON, BLOOD MOON, COLD MOON, BITTER MOON, HUNGER MOON - now in active development as a TV series), and the supernatural HAUNTED thrillers (THE HARROWING, THE PRICE, THE UNSEEN, BOOK OF SHADOWS, THE SHIFTERS, THE SPACE BETWEEN). The New York Times Book Review called her a "daughter of Mary Shelley," and her books "Some of the most original and freshly unnerving work in the genre."

As a screenwriter she has sold original horror and thriller scripts and adapted novels for numerous Hollywood studios. She has also written three non-fiction workbooks: SCREENWRITING TRICKS FOR AUTHORS, STEALING HOLLYWOOD, and WRITING LOVE, based on her internationally acclaimed workshops and blog (www.ScreenwritingTricks.com), and has served on the Board of Directors of the WGA West and the Board of the Mystery Writers of America.

Alex is a California native and a graduate of U.C. Berkeley, where she majored in theater and minored in everything Berkeley has a reputation for. In her spare time (!) she performs with The Slice Girls and Heather Graham's all-author Slush Pile Players, and dances like a fiend. She is also very active on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest. But not an addict. Seriously, it's under control.





 
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