THE DRAGON SLEEPS By Ellen Read

Get your copy HERE

Benedict Archer, who is manager of Thornton Antiques in Melbourne and who has been secretly helping Alexandra learn more about her family business, is also invited. Alexandra asks Benedict and Edith Blackburn, her friend since childhood, to be with her when she approaches her father.

When Edith claims that Benedict is in love with her, Alexandra can’t believe it. In all the time they’d been at Thornton Antiques together, he’d never said a word. Now, Alexandra looks at him differently. Can it be true?

Then a body found in the orchard and, before the weekend is over, a priceless artifact is stolen. Alexandra is determined to discover how these things are connected to the Ming dragon and the antiques her great-grandfather brought with him from Hong Kong so many years ago.

What secret has remained hidden at Thornton Park for the last eight years?

What people are saying about The Dragon Sleeps!!

“The Dragon Sleeps is a murder mystery, romance and historical fiction mixed with bits of ancient Chinese legend and mythology. Alex has astute observation skills when it comes to reading behavior and expressions. She is also intuitive in discerning what isn’t said… The characters are solidly built, however, it doesn’t take long for Alex to peel back some of the layers to reveal their true nature underneath. The romance between Alex and Benedict develops quickly under the watchful eye of Edie, Alex’s best friend. I enjoyed reading how this love story unfolded. Stardust now has a whole new meaning for me… Yes, I Googled “Stardust “!” — Linda L. Oliphant, Amazon

“Reading TDS was like stepping into the pages of an old-world Agatha Christie novel. The world Read builds brings the setting, characters, and time period roaring to brilliant life. The romance and suspense left me breathless until the very end. With amazing story, characters, and historical content, ‘The Dragon Sleeps’ is a luscious literary treat. Highly recommend!” — Kara Harte, Amazon

“Ellen Read weaves a remarkable tale of mystery and murder. Set in the 20’s the reader is whisked away to a glamorous time of dashing men and daring women. Alexandra Thorton is a women confident in herself and devoted to her family. When murder invades her world and precious family artifacts go missing she is determined to see justice. There is mystery, action and a dash of romance; a sure recipe for a great book. Ellen has a wonderfully descriptive writing style that captivates the reader. I recommend you pick up a copy today.” — Amazon reviewer

MY REVIEW:

Five out of Five Stars

Wow, I felt like I’d been placed in the hands of a masterful storyteller with Ellen Read! In The Dragon Sleeps, the author gives us an expert view into 1920s Australia, which I personally found fascinating. Alexandra is the daughter of a wealthy antiques dealer. She greatly admires her father and grandfather and desires to be a part of the business—not an acceptable job for a woman during this time period. Unbeknownst to her father, Alexandra has convinced their new young employee to teach her about their antique business. Not surprisingly, there just might be a romance blooming between Alexandra and Benedict.

The story begins at the Thornton family home. They are hosting several couples who carry more than a passing interest in some of the antiques stored at their residence. It is here we are introduced to Alexandra and her best friend Edie, and we also learn Alexandra might be developing strong feelings for Benedict. But the budding romance is only a small part of this story, one full of deceit, greed and murder. The hot topic is a brass dragon an antiques dealer named Mr. Zhang sold to Thomas Thornton. When one of the Thornton’s employees is brutally murdered, claw marks visible on his body, some believe the dragon may have come to life. This is especially puzzling when they find blood on the dragon’s claws.

I quite enjoyed the mystery involved in this story, both with the antiques themselves and the murders taking place around them. The author kept me guessing as to the true murderer (and their motive) right up until the end. Never once did I question the authority about the time period Ellen Read dropped us in, nor her expert knowledge of Ming Dynasty antiques. For those who enjoy murder mystery, detective types, you can’t go wrong with The Dragon Sleeps. I’m looking forward to the next adventure in this series.

Ellen Read was born in tropical North Queensland, Australia. She has always enjoyed reading, even from a young age. Books took her into a world of wonder and enjoyment that the real world could never quite provide. She loves to read fiction, non-fiction, poetry. She particularly loves history and stories of ancient myths and legends. Authors such as Agatha Christie, Jane Austen, Edgar Allan Poe, and Victoria Holt, the latter of whom wrote gothic mystery/romances, have influenced her own work.

In her childhood, Ellen always made up stories. At first, she wrote poetry and short stories, and then wrote her first novel at 18. After a few novels, an agent in London took her on but the agent was made redundant before she’d secured a contract with a publisher. At that time, Ellen became heavily involved in the performing arts world and found less time to write. She loved all her work and experiences there but wanted to write more and get published. When Ellen moved towns, just over three years ago, she decided that would be the start of her new writing career. She wrote a novella, Love The Gift, while moving, which she self-published. Then she started The Dragon Sleeps, the first book in The Thornton Mysteries.

Ellen’s other passion is photography. She loves to photograph flowers, landscapes and architecture. Her website features many of her photos.

www.ellenread.com

www.facebook.com/EllenReadWriter

https://www.instagram.com/ellenreadauthor/

THE BATTLE FOR SUMMIA (Patch Man II) By Rick Stepp-Bolling

Get your copy HERE

For Summia, the war against Imperiana has reached the point of desperation. President Gelfson vows to end the fight with the total annihilation of every Summian man, woman and child. Var, the Patch Man, has been trapped inside the Source for seven years, unable to use its magic until now. He knows that Summia’s only hope for survival lies in their ability to recruit warriors from other domains. Meesha, the one-armed teenager, and Ten, the leader of a rebel band, travel to Haba-Yan in search of the Lore Mistress, Kerash, but they find more than they bargained for in the attempt. Meanwhile, the former Imperial assassin, Ulan, has ventured back to the Chunee seeking redemption. What she finds instead may well turn the tide in the final battle for Summia.

“GOODNESS, What a POWERFUL NOVEL that I never wanted to stop reading! I felt bad for Meesha who had lost an arm, but the girl turned into a POWERHOUSE once her powers kicked in, but she had learned the bow and arrow using only one hand and I marveled at her ability! I was in the war fighting side by side with the Summerians as they didn’t want their independence taken by the Imperiana government. Patch Man II is a fantastic novel filled with distrust an betrayal that readers should enjoy!” — Linda (Goodreads review)

MY REVIEW:

FIVE OUT OF FIVE STARS

The Battle for Summia is an exciting Young Adult story that should appeal to wide range of readers of all ages. I have held a life-long love of fantasy and science fiction and admire all authors who have the talent to build worlds and characters that come to full 3D life in the reader’s mind. I first came across Rick Stepp-Bolling in Patch Man, the first novel in this series. He managed to hold my attention from the very first page and I very nearly read the whole book in one sitting. Meesha and Ten, Var (the Patch Man) and Ka (a half raptor hybrid) along with several other colorful characters quickly became very important to me. I was extremely happy to pick up in The Battle for Summia where we’d left on in Patch Man. Though the setting is masterfully drawn, at the heart of this story are the characters and the difficulties they are facing.

Though I think readers can pick up this second novel in the series and settle into the story easily enough without reading book one, I would suggest you go back and pick up Patch Man first. The Source Var becomes trapped inside, and the magic involved there, will probably make more sense. Anyone who is a fan of gaming will definitely enjoy this series. Each of our characters are tested to the limit and the reader is left sitting on the edge of their seat wondering how they will ever manage to survive it. This reader can’t wait for book 3.

 

Rick Stepp-Bolling, a retired professor of writing from Mt San Antonio College, now resides in Ramona, California, with his wife, Francie, and their collection of rescued animals. He has published four books with a fifth on the way: SMOKE AND MIRRORS (a book of poetry), AUTOCIDE (a collection of short stories), ICARIAN, and his first novel in a fantasy/science fiction series, PATCH MAN, published by Crimson Cloak Publishers. He can be contacted at his website rickstepp-bolling.com.

 

REEL LOVE by Elizabeth Hartey

Get your copy HERE!

Sometimes you land a great job, meet your soul mate and live happily ever after – nothing else required. This isn’t one of those times.

Annie Caslo is a successful young doctor, but when she begins rethinking the career choices she’s made, she makes a decision to find a way to stay focused and achieve her true ambitions – that is, until fate steps in and she is thunderstruck by Colt Ballard. He’s six foot three inches of heart-stopping hotness, an adept, roguish soccer star and one of her interns. But he’s a player – on and off the field – and Annie has better things to do. Still, the combustible chemistry between them is impossible to resist – Colt brings out feelings she never knew existed and Annie’s swept off her reluctant feet.

When she continues to second-guess her life choices, opportunities and obstacles begin piling up higher than the greasy Mexican food stacks she hates to admit loving. While in a state of emotional turmoil, she gets a celestial visit from a hunky, Hollywood heartthrob lookalike, who claims to be her guardian angel. He takes her on a magical road trip to self-discovery with the help of several dearly departed film icons.

Drawn into the excitement of a life she’s always dreamed of, this new life threatens to shatter the life and love she already has – unless her quirky angel can help her find a way to have it all.

REVIEWS:

“The sense of humor and the old movie references are very entertaining and I enjoyed how the author laid out a typical love story trope in the beginning, only to change it up into a much higher gear. Bringing in the guardian Angel turned the story on its head and for me the novel took off here…” — Angie (Amazon Reviewer)

“WOW… at times it felt as if the author is recounting scenes of my life! hahaha Except they weren’t as fabulously scandalous as Annie’s! It’s hard not to relate and get engrossed in this fantastic love story. LOVE IT!! Excited for the sequel!!!” — JustMe23 (Amazon Reviewer)

“Sexy and fun, with intriguing conflict and relatable moments that keep the pages turning. Can’t wait for E. Hartey’s next book!” — Lizzy Spano (Amazon Reviewer)

 

Elizabeth Hartey lives and writes in Pennsylvania.

As a lover of the northeast US, Elizabeth and her husband moved to the Poconos several years ago to open a Chiropractic Clinic. Four children and a menagerie of animals later, she finally found time to fulfill her lifelong dream of writing novels. A dreamer at heart, romance is the genre she spends most of her time writing and reading into the wee hours of the morning. When not juggling work responsibilities and writing, she enjoys swimming, knitting, hiking the beautiful hills and woods around her home, and spending time with her family

 

A LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS by Lisa A. Sniderman (Aoede)

perf6.000x9.000.indd

Get your copy HERE!!

In 2008, singer-songwriter Lisa Sniderman was living the dream in California. As Aoede, the Muse of Song, her star as a gifted recording artist was rising fast. Lisa’s quirky folk-pop performance style electrified audiences up and down the West Coast, and the albums just kept flowing. But just when her career was rocketing skyward, a health crisis brought all of her dreams crashing to the ground. Diagnosed with a rare, debilitating immune disorder called dermatomyositis (DM), Lisa struggled to maintain a normal life with a body in revolt and, eventually, to accept a new normal. Living with a chronic illness challenged Lisa to see DM as a gift in disguise that has opened the door to new dreams, new songs, and new opportunities. Lisa’s story is for you if you seek strength, new inspiration, hope, joy, healing, and if you or someone you love struggle with a chronic illness, disability, or unexpected life events. Her insights and reflections on her journey inspire hope and the courage to keep dreaming and living to the fullest no matter what life hurls at you.

Lisa-Sniderman-web

Lisa Sniderman, aka Aoede, is an award-winning, quirky, folk-pop artist, playwright, author, voice actor, filmmaker from San Francisco who obsessively creates to heal. She creates and records unique, original full-length fantasy musicals on audiobooks that she adapts to musical theater stage plays. She’s been honored with more than 80 awards for songwriting, audiobooks, films, and stage plays since 2012 all while suffering from a rare autoimmune disease: dermatomyositis, a progressive muscle weakness disease. Living with a chronic illness, Sniderman creates, records, and shares her original musicals, art, books and music as a healing path and to give back, and seeks to use her gifts and experience to be a light and a muse. Her new memoir: A Light in the Darkness: Transcending Chronic Illness through the Power of Art and Attitude, chronicles her 10-year journey living with chronic illness while creating to heal. Says Sniderman, “Music and art are my lifelines, and I just cannot stop creating.”

PRAISE FOR A LIGHT IN THE DARKNESS

“Chronic illness challenges us in so many ways, but need not define who we are and what we have to offer. Sniderman is an inspiration. Her memoir provides an honest window into the power of the human spirit through real life examples and wisdom to reimagine what is possible.”
— Keith W. L. Rafal, MD, MPH, Founder of Our Heart Speaks, http://www.ourheartspeaks.org

“Caring for a son with Juvenile dermatomyositis, I was overcome with the truth and rawness (and tears) of Sniderman’s moving story. Her words are uplifting, compelling, engaging, and illuminating for anyone living with chronic illness and for those who love them.”
— Shannon Malloy, Cure JM Foundation

“Sniderman shares valuable wisdom in her open and honest account about overcoming the adversity of living with a chronic illness. A truly inspirational story of the healing power of music and creativity and finding your true purpose.”
— Tom Willner, cancer survivor and author of Having A Ball At Thirty

“A personal and poignant meditation on healing and hope. Sniderman’s brilliant account will surely enlarge empathy, so that more can understand what it means to live with and triumph over struggles.”
— Kabir Sehgal, New York Times and Wall Street Journal bestselling author and Grammy Award winner

“As a former psychological counselor, poet, and mother of a child with Juvenile Myositis, I am thrilled by Lisa’s book. Her story of both living with a chronic illness and finding ways to harness and express her talents to encourage and inspire others is a gift. I know many kids and adults will not only resonate with her story but will be uplifted by it and will find ways to let ‘their lights shine’ too. This is an important and necessary story, not just for people with Dermatomyositis, but for anyone who struggles with, or loves someone with a chronic illness.”
— Suzanne Edison, MA, MFA, Cure JM Board of Directors

“Sniderman’s ability to overcome impossible obstacles is nothing short of miraculous. Her positive outlook on life and remarkable passion for the arts has truly helped in her recovery. I highly recommend reading A Light in the Darkness. You will find it to be a transformative experience.”
— Tim Battersby, Grammy nominee and novelist

“Lisa Sniderman’s inspiring life lessons portray the story of struggle, relentless determination and perseverance, leading to her success lifting herself up. Her artistic life is an inspiration to others and an encouraging testament to never giving up in this beautiful universe to make the best out of this life despite challenges.”
— Rupam Sarmah Music Director, composer, filmmaker

 

 

Heart Of A Warrior

LITERARY TITAN

Heart of a Warrior (Immortal Warriors Book 4) by [Holm, Denna]

Heart of a Warrior is an extraordinary vampire romance and epic fantasy book. We are introduced to Elena Murphy at the start of the book. Elena is distressed as her fated mated was not for their union which she so much looked forward to. One could feel her frustration and irritation as she stood on the deck of her house watching the dark clouds, thinking about Gabriel and where he could be. Elena is half-human. Gabriel was an old hunter from planet Laizahlia. He was, among other things, a patient and resilient character when he wanted to be. Gabriel had looked for his mate for years. He spent time and resources just to find his fated mate, his eillelé. His mate carried half his soul wrapped within Elena.

Gabriel is in a dilemma. He wants to claim Elena but he is conflicted as his council will make him do things…

View original post 263 more words

Heart of a Warrier

Karen's Book Buzz Blog

Screen Shot 2019-10-03 at 16.52.01.pngDescription

Elena Murphy is left devastated when her fated mate rejects their union. She believes Gabriel is embarrassed to be paired with a weak, half-breed vampire from Earth. But when two human children under her care are abducted by alien Slavers, Elena will do anything to get them back, even swallow her pride to beg Gabriel for help to rescue them.
Gabriel, an ancient Hunter from the planet Laizahlia, has spent thousands of years searching for his fated mate, his eillelé, the one who carries half his soul.
He finally finds her in Elena, but she is also half human.
If he claims her, his Council will force him to convert her fully to vampire, and he knows she might not survive with her mind intact. Rather than risk her life or sanity, he chooses to walk away . . . until two children under her care are taken by…

View original post 43 more words

**TRAVEL THROUGH TIME**

TRAVEL WITH ME THROUGH TIME!!

Are you as fascinated with time travel as I am? Do you love to settle down with a good romance and forget about your problems for a few hours. Why not put the two together? I would like to introduce you to one of my favorite sci-fi/paranormal romance writers P.J. Roscoe. Take a look at a few of her great novels here, and if you find some you like, I have a great deal to offer at the end of this post.

Screenshot (136)

Get your copy HERE

Abigail Lloyd, a talented, grief-stricken young artist, returns to the Welsh village where she had spent many happy years with her beloved Nan. A home where she had always felt loved and safe. A place where she hoped she could begin her life again and find her own destiny; but on her return, she also finds secrets that were long forgotten, locked away in an old chest. Secrets from her childhood that will push her beliefs to the limit.

Cain is in love with a woman he knows he can never possess, Abigail. He has watched her grow into a beautiful young woman, but in his harsh world, she could never survive. He has never questioned the dark tunnel that allows him glimpses of another time because it led him to her. It was their destiny to meet.

Set amongst the Welsh mountains and the ruthless reality of the copper mines where life is in the hands of the elements, and injury, starvation, and death are stark reminders of the time, ‘Where River’s meet’ is supernatural/historical fiction.

Screenshot (139)

Get your copy HERE

When a young woman who has been missing for months, turns up battered and bloodied, lying next to a headless corpse, the police are convinced that she is the killer – but why? The only clue is the murder weapon, an ancient sword dating from the 6th century, that has police and historians baffled.  Refusing to talk, Emily is sent to a psychiatric hospital for her own safety.

Dr Marian Griffiths is determined to get ahead in her career, and sees Emily as a way of doing that. Using hypnotherapy, she finally has a breakthrough and Emily begins to talk; but the story that unfolds couldn’t possibly be true – could it?

Would you give up your life, for love?

Screenshot (141)

Get your copy HERE

When a young woman who has been missing for months, turns up battered and bloodied, lying next to a headless corpse, the police are convinced that she is the killer – but why? The only clue is the murder weapon, an ancient sword dating from the 6th century, that has police and historians baffled.  Refusing to talk, Emily is sent to a psychiatric hospital for her own safety.

Dr Marian Griffiths is determined to get ahead in her career, and sees Emily as a way of doing that. Using hypnotherapy, she finally has a breakthrough and Emily begins to talk; but the story that unfolds couldn’t possibly be true – could it?

Would you give up your life, for love?

Crimson Cloak head.pngsmall

Crimson Cloak Publishing Proudly Presents:

3 eBooks for $5 Deal,

Be sure to use discount code 3FOR5 at checkout.

Good on any eBooks $3.99 or less.

Customer must still pay sales tax.

Good for the month of October, 2019.

Click on the links above and it will take you to Crimson Cloak Publishing and one of P.J. Roscoe’s great books. If these three stories do not appeal to you, feel free to look around HERE and choose three others from one or more of our many talented authors. Use the same code from above at checkout for your discount.

SUPER DEALS TO HELP CELEBRATE TWO NEW RELEASES!!

FREE ON AMAZON OCTOBER 1ST-5TH

FREE ON AMAZON

Muscular Man With Rope

 

Jada is an avid bow hunter out on vacation during elk season with three of her friends when they are viciously attacked by strangers. One of her friends is killed outright and two others are taken captive. She wants to be with them, fight beside them, but another stranger arrives and pulls her aside, blocking her path back to camp as she listens to her three friends scream.

Bryce is a tracker of rogue shapeshifters for the Laizahlian Council. When they are led to Earth, the last thing he expects to find his fated mate in a human woman. A special woman who may be more than she first appears.

But Bryce knows that rogue werewolves are not the only danger his new mate must face. The greatest threat will come from Vaughn, his partner, a powerful vampire. It is forbidden by the Council for their kind to take a human mate. If Bryce can’t convince Vaughn that Jada is a born shapeshifter, his partner will likely try to kill her. He can’t allow this, even if it means he must go rogue himself in order to protect her.

WHERE IT ALL BEGAN “SOUL OF A WARRIOR” .99 CENTS OCTOBER 1ST-5TH

.99 CENTS AMAZON HERE

Pageflex Persona [document: PRS0000026_00033]

Three friends and a feisty tabby cat are caught in the middle of a feud between two ancient enemies. Kimi and her friends are abducted by an alien vampire, then tortured and abandoned on a hostile world. Given only the clothes on their back, they must now try to find their own way back home again. They are unaware of the rescue party that is frantically searching for them, one of them Kimi’s fated mate.

“There’s never a dull moment in this novel, which features violence, treachery, interplanetary travel and steamy love scenes. This paranormal romance’s sci-fi element provides an intriguing twist…particularly true in scenes set on Laizahlia, where the introduction of new characters with different motivations adds new wrinkles to the plot.” — Kirkus Reviews

HOUSE OF PAIN .99CENTS OCTOBER 1ST-5TH

.99 CENTS AT AMAZON HERE

HOP smaller Blog

Maggie Shelbador is a half-breed succubus with a heart. Though raised inside one of the worst whorehouses in the world, all she wants is to find one man who will love her despite what she is. She dreams of one day being free of her nightmarish life but fears no man will ever truly trust her.

“House of Pain, by Denna Holm, is a dark, provocative and devilish book that will leave you lusting for more! … I loved Holm’s writing style. It was dripping with tension, drama, romance, and a dark-side that I truly found intriguing. Her story did not drag on, the scenes moved quickly, and I did not want to put it down. I found it quite easy and fun to read! Be certain you are one who is down for some macabre, some romance and some sexiness in this fantasy fiction novel.” — Literary Titan

TWO EXCITING NEW RELEASES!!

AMAZON HEART OF A WARRIOR

HEART OF A WARRIOR Blog

Elena Murphy is left devastated when her fated mate rejects their union. She believes Gabriel is embarrassed to be paired with a weak, half-breed vampire from Earth. But when two human children under her care are abducted by alien Slavers, Elena will do anything to get them back, even swallow her pride to beg Gabriel for help to rescue them.

Gabriel, an ancient Hunter from the planet Laizahlia, has spent thousands of years searching for his fated mate, his eillelé, the one who carries half his soul. He finally finds her in Elena, but she is also half human. If he claims her, his Council will force him to convert her fully to vampire, and he knows she might not survive with her mind intact. Rather than risk her life or sanity, he chooses to walk away . . . until two children under her care are taken by Slavers.

WARRIOR BETRAYED .99 OCTOBER 1ST-5TH

WARRIOR BETRAYED AT AMAZON HERE

warriorBetrayed Blog

Calem is a wolf shapeshifter from the planet Laizahlia, a loyal pack member willing to do whatever his king and elders ask of him … until the day his daughter Abriel is born. There is a legend among his kind about a pure white wolf, a female born with bright blue eyes. She is called the Ghost Warrior, and it is believed she will bring about the destruction of their people.

Throughout their history, only a few of these white females have ever been born and all were killed by their own pack shortly after birth. Calem’s daughter is born with pure white hair and bright blue eyes. The pack grows nervous as she enters adolescence, demanding Calem hand her over to them. With nowhere safe to take Abriel, Calem and his mate will have to fight to the death to protect her.

“Warrior Betrayed by Denna Holm is an amazing story that I have fallen in love with. This is a prequel book number one in this amazing start to a brand new series that I have loved reading and I can not wait for book number two in this amazing series. I highly recommend this story to every who loves reading about Sci-Fi and fantasy as much as I do.” –Scarolet Ellis– Amazon Review

 

 

 

BOOK OF THE DAY: THE DARK WEB MURDERS BY BRIAN O’HARE

I AM NEMEIN. I AM EMOTIONALLY DETACHED FROM MY KILLINGS. I AM NOT, THEREFORE, A MURDERER. I AM AN INSTRUMENT OF NEMESIS, A PUNISHER.

Amazon: The Dark Web Murders

This is a theme running through a number of blogs on the Dark Web, written by a serial killer. He is highly intelligent and employs philosophical argument to justify a series of gruesome murders.  However, he describes the killings in lurid detail, and with such gloating relish, that he utterly negates his delusion of detachment and reveals himself to be a cold-blooded, narcissistic psychopath.

Sheehan and his team rush headlong down a series of blind alleys in the pursuit of the psychopath, who continues to murder his victims with impunity. He is fiendishly clever, utterly ruthless, and tests Sheehan’s famed intuition to the limit.  Indeed, Sheehan only learns the truth during a horrific climax when some members of his team experience a most harrowing ‘laceration of the soul’ that they will never be able to forget. It is unlikely that the reader will either.

 

My Review:

5 out of 5 stars

I have yet to read a novel by Brian O’Hare that I didn’t thoroughly enjoy, and The Dark Web Murders is no exception. Over the years I’ve grown to know and love Chief Inspector Sheehan and his team. I enjoy following the clues that have been so expertly laid out by O’Hare and try to figure out who the murderer is? Sheehan will be pushed to the edge in this particular story, unknowingly placing himself and his team in the crosshairs. The killer is a real piece of work, a psychopathic monster, and the other suspects involved are no better. The story touches on the dark side of humanity and will likely make you squirm as you read. I know I did. I think what makes it so horrifying, at least for me, is to know that no matter how terrible, what happens in the Dark Web is a very real part of our society. If you enjoy thrillers, if you like to follow the clues and try to figure out a murder mystery for yourself, you can’t go wrong with novels by Brian O’Hare. The Dark Web Murders is an excellent crime novel that sits right up there with the best of them.

 

 

WARRIOR BETRAYED

Warrior Betrayed– Amazon

Calem is a wolf shapeshifter from the planet Laizahlia, a loyal pack member willing to do whatever his king and elders ask of him … until the day his daughter Abriel is born. There is a legend among his kind about a pure white wolf, a female born with bright blue eyes. She is called the Ghost Warrior, and it is believed she will bring about the destruction of their people.

Throughout their history, only a few of these white females have ever been born and all were killed by their own pack shortly after birth. Calem’s daughter is born with pure white hair and bright blue eyes. The pack grows nervous as she enters adolescence, demanding Calem hand her over to them. With nowhere safe to take Abriel, Calem and his mate will have to fight to the death to protect her.

 

Excerpt:

 

CHAPTER 1

 

Calem laughed as he watched his mate and daughter play beneath the falls at Umi Creek. It had been a particularly rough winter in the mountains, bitterly cold, the snow deep, and they were all in need of a break.

Basking under the warmth of the late spring sun, Calem stretched out on the grassy bank of the creek, the back of his head resting against linked hands. Rarely did he get to take time off from his duties as an elder for his pack. With nearly a thousand people under their care, the chores were never-ending: hunting parties to oversee, gardens to be planted, bows to be restrung, hides to scrape, knives to sharpen, the elderly and young to take care of. His older brother, Tylor, had all but pushed him out that morning, telling him to enjoy a few days with his family. Even though Calem had questioned the sadness in his brother’s eyes, he didn’t argue, looking forward to spending time alone with Sarya and Abriel.

Sarya, his mate of almost twenty years, waved for him to join them. He knew they planned to push through the falls to the cave hidden behind. Abriel loved to play with the briva, tiny rodents that made their home there, their nests hidden amongst the multi-colored crystals. Calem only grinned and shook his head. It might be warm out, but he knew the water would be icy-cold, the creek fed from snow melt off the higher elevations. Sarya and Abriel would both be shivering when they finally rejoined him in the sun.

Taking a deep breath, he thanked the creator for the blessings of such a loving family. He’d met Sarya while tracking a rogue for the Hunter, Gabriel—a tracker’s life not something he’d ever missed. Hunting down their own kind, killing them when given no other choice, had weighed heavily on his mind. Abriel arrived almost eight years later. Even though their king had forced him to move his family to the outskirts of the pack after Abriel’s birth, they’d been happy together, the best years of his long life.

Superstitious idiots, he thought. Abriel had been born with thick, snow-white hair, a trait that carried over when she shifted to her wolf form, a trait most definitely frowned upon by most of those in his pack. Frowned upon by most shapeshifters of their world. It would have been better if she’d been born albino, which happened on occasion, but Abriel had bright blue eyes, not red, her skin as dark brown as his own.

It had been easier to protect Abriel from their pack’s hostile glares and gossiping when she’d still been a young pup, but it grew harder as she got older. Though Calem kept moving his family farther and farther away from the main population, as his daughter entered adolescence, it grew impossible to hide their hostility from her. Everyone knew the legend of the Ghost Warrior. Everyone feared it.

Eventually, Calem knew he might have to move his family to another part of Laizahlia, but where? None of the other packs would accept Abriel any more than his own had. They all feared the legend about the white wolf. Their only other option would be to move into one of the vampire cities, and Sarya wouldn’t care for this. She feared most of the vampires, Gabriel the only exception. Sarya hated the idea of being forced to feed one, and it would be expected if they moved to the city.

He closed his eyes and tried to put his worries behind him, at least for the next few days.

When Sarya first screamed, Calem didn’t react, thinking his mate and daughter were just playing in the cold water. But when she screamed again, he heard the panic in her voice and leapt to his feet, running to the edge of the creek.

Sarya and Abriel had swum away from the falls and were wading in the shallows a few hundred feet downstream. He assumed they’d meant to catch trout for their dinner tonight. When he reached them, Calem didn’t hesitate to jump in the water, not bothering to remove his knee-high leather boots first.

“What’s wrong?” he asked, taking in Abriel’s glassy-eyed stare. Sarya stood a couple feet away, her hand over her mouth, fear in her eyes. “Sarya, talk to me!” He started to reach out for Abriel.

“No!” Sarya cried, stumbling toward him. “Don’t touch her, Calem. Abriel said not to touch her.”

“What?” he said, confused. Why shouldn’t we touch her?”

“She said we need to move out of the water. That it wasn’t safe for you and me here.”

“Who said? Abriel?”

“Yes. We were having fun at the falls, exploring the cave behind it. Then we decided to move down here to try to catch dinner. Abriel was fine one minute, and then she just froze. Like you see her now. When I asked what was wrong, she said ‘nothing is wrong.’ She said ‘the Umi have arrived early. They need to make a connection with me.’”

A chill raced down his spine. He had never personally spoken of the Umi in front of Abriel, but it didn’t mean others in his pack hadn’t. “Are you sure she said Umi?” They were at Umi Creek. Maybe it meant nothing, though deep down inside, Calem suspected it did.

“I’m sure, Calem. We shouldn’t have come here. Why did we choose this spot?”

But he knew. Abriel had chosen the spot. She’d asked him to take them to the falls.

No, no, no, no, no, he thought. It can’t be true. The Umi were nothing more than a story, a legend made up by some of their ancestors. But another voice whispered insidiously in his mind. If it’s just a story, why is everyone in the pack afraid of Abriel? Why do I fear for her?

Taking a deep breath, Calem shook off Sarya’s hand and took a step closer to his daughter. He shivered again when he glanced down, noticing something silver building around her bare toes.

“Abriel,” he said softly. “Can you look at me, Ona. I need to know what’s happening here.”

For a few long seconds, he thought she meant to ignore him, but then she slowly turned her eyes up to meet his and smiled. “It’ll be okay, Father. I knew this would happen when I asked you to bring me here. I don’t mean to scare you, and neither do the Umi. They need me. They need us both.”

“Knew what would happen, baby?” he whispered, wanting so badly to reach out and pull his only daughter against him, to carry her in his arms to safety. Knowing deep down inside that it would be a mistake, he fought his instincts and took a step back. “What do the Umi want from you, Ona?”

“I’m the chosen one. The spirit of their queen needs to be placed inside me, but I’m too young yet. They fear our people will try to kill me before I can mature, like they’ve killed all the previous vessels, so they’ve decided to send help.”

“Send help?”

“Some of them are going to sacrifice themselves to join with me. They won’t have the strength or knowledge of their queen, but I’ll be stronger than I would be without them. Do you understand, Father? The Umi are going to try to help you and Mother keep me alive.”

Calem swallowed hard, glancing toward his weeping mate.

“What’s going to happen when they join with you?” Would his daughter still be Abriel? Would she be the young girl he’d raised and loved for almost twelve years, or would she be something altogether different? Changed.

Isn’t that what their people feared?

Were they right to fear this?

“Don’t be afraid, Father. I’m not. Once they have established a connection with me, they’ll bridge another connection to you and Mother through me. All will be made clear then. If I can survive the next five or six years, the Umi queen will become a part of me. We’ll be safe then. All of us.”

Calem glanced down when Sarya grabbed his arm, motioning toward Abriel’s feet. He shivered when he saw the silver had climbed her legs almost to the knees. “Is the silver substance Umi?” he asked.

“Yes. You need to take Mother out of the water now. It’s not safe for either of you while the Umi are gathered together.”

He swallowed again, lifting his hand toward his daughter. “Please don’t do this,” he said, not knowing if the Umi could understand him. “I’ll take Abriel higher into the mountains. I’ll protect her from our people.”

“You can’t,” Abriel whispered back. “Our people fear the Ghost Warrior. They always kill the vessel before she can mature. This is the only way we’ll have any hope.”

The vessel? he thought, feeling as if he might vomit. My Ona is not a vessel.

“Go, Father. Take Mother out of the water. I’ll join you again soon.”