Countdown to Black bird of the gallows

A simple but forgotten truth: Where harbingers of death appear, the morgues will soon be full.

Angie Dovage can tell there’s more to Reece Fernandez than just the tall, brooding athlete who has her classmates swooning, but she can’t imagine his presence signals a tragedy that will devastate her small town. When something supernatural tries to attack her, Angie is thrown into a battle between good and evil she never saw coming. Right in the center of it is Reece—and he’s not human.

What’s more, she knows something most don’t. That the secrets her town holds could kill them all. But that’s only half as dangerous as falling in love with a harbinger of death.Black bird of the gallows by Meg Kassel will be releasing on September 10th. Pre order your copy today!

https://countdownsbyerin.com/cd/entangled/blackbird/

Omega blog tour & Giveaway !

 

Infinity (The Infinity Division, #1) by Jus Accardo

Published by Entangled Teen

Published on November 1st, 2016

Genre: YA Science Fiction

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28220742-infinity?ac=1&from_search=true

Entangled: http://entangledpublishing.com/infinity/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Infinity-Jus-Accardo-ebook/dp/B01E3PS7OS?tag=entangpublis-20

B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/infinity-jus-accardo/1123132853

Itunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/infinity/id1105088032?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4

Kobo: https://store.kobobooks.com/en-us/ebook/infinity-38

Jump dimensions. Find the bad guy. Don’t fall in love.

Nobody said being the daughter of an army general was easy. But when her dad sends a teenage subordinate to babysit her while he’s away? That’s taking it a step too far.

Cade, as beautiful as he is deadly, watches Kori with more than just interest. He looks at her like he knows her very soul. And when he saves her from a seemingly random attack, well, that’s when things get weird.

Turns out, Kori’s dad isn’t just an army general—he’s the head of a secret government project that has invented a way to travel between parallel dimensions. Dimensions where there are infinite Koris, infinite Cades…and apparently, on every other Earth, they’re madly in love.

Falling for a soldier is the last thing on Kori’s mind. Especially when she finds herself in a deadly crossfire, and someone from another Earth is hell-bent on revenge…

 


Omega (The Infinity Division, #2) by Jus Accardo
Published by Entangled Teen
To be released on August 1st, 2017

One mistake can change everything. Ashlyn Calvert finds that out the hard way when a bad decision leads to the death of her best friend, Noah Anderson.

Only Noah isn’t really gone. Thanks to his parents’ company, the Infinity Division, there is a version of him skipping from one dimension to another, set on revenge for the death of his sister, Kori. When a chance encounter brings him face-to-face with Ash, he’s determined to resist the magnetic pull he’s felt for her time and time again. Because falling for Ash puts his mission—and their lives—in danger.

But there’s more going on in Ash’s alternate universe than either of them knows: a mysterious project called Omega. A conspiracy spanning multiple Earths and revolving around none other than Ash. Its creators would do anything to keep Omega secret…

Anything.

About the Author:
JUS ACCARDO spent her childhood reading and learning to cook. Determined to follow in her grandfather’s footsteps as a chef, she applied and was accepted to the Culinary Institute of America. But at the last minute, she realized her true path lay with fiction, not food. Jus is the bestselling author of the popular Denazen series from Entangled publishing, as well as the Darker Agency series, and the New Adult series, The Eternal Balance. A native New Yorker, she lives in the middle of nowhere with her husband, three dogs, and sometimes guard bear, Oswald.
Read below for an excerpt from the book:

“Maybe you used to be better at it?” I prodded. “I mean, you probably don’t get a lot of time to date while skipping all over creation, right? Maybe you’re just out of practice?”

“I’m not out of practice.” He seethed.

“It’s okay! It’s nothing to be ashamed of—”

For the second time since we’d met, he assaulted me. One second I was having the time of my life pushing his buttons—ridiculously easy to do—the next I was against the wall, Noah’s body covering mine. His lips moved furiously, scorchingly hot and with a level of passion I’d never felt before. His tongue slipped between my lips and despite having told other guys that I hated that, I melted, reveling in the millions of electrical tingles the action sent shooting through my body.

His hands gripped my head on either side. No roaming, no exploration. Somehow it made the whole thing hotter. Like he couldn’t bear to release me in fear that I’d move. That I’d get away and he’d have to stop.

And stop? No. That was a dirty word. A softly whispered sin in the darkest corners of the earth. Stopping this would be a crime of the highest caliber.

Except he did. Stop, that was.

He pulled away just far enough to look me in the eye, not yet letting go of my head. With an extremely satisfied tilt of his lip, he said, “Decent my ass.”

The Giveaway:

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Hunted Fate Blitz & giveaway!

Hunted Fate
Jennifer Derrick
(Threads of the Moirae, #3)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: July 24th 2017
Genres: Mythology, Romance, Young Adult

Alex and Atropos have taken refuge at an abandoned mountain resort compound. Atropos is a wanted woman in hiding, and the downtime with her soul mate is a nice change of pace. But the peace will be short-lived. The authorities are after her for her role in the attack on the city of Charlotte. Zeus has put a bounty on her head. There’s also a war to prepare for—and if she wins, the gods will be deposed once and for all. But first she needs to track down Gaia, and even that won’t be simple. Gaia resides at the bottom of the ocean, and the humans and gods are already hot on Atropos’ trail…

A heart-pounding romantic adventure where Greek mythology and modern-day life collide, Hunted Fate is the third book in the epic Threads of the Moirae series by Jennifer Derrick.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

Previous books in the series:

Grab book 1 – Broken Fate – for FREE!

EXCERPT:

“We need whoever provides security around here. Or Hades. They’re bound to be the ones who can open this. If we can find them, we can drag them down here and slap their hand on this thing to get it open,” Alex says.

“We need another way,” Sara says, shaking her head. “We haven’t seen a single person since we got here. It’s too time consuming to track them down. And we’ll never get Hades.”

“Anyone know of any other ways to crack a palm plate?” I ask.

“Short of finding a valid fingerprint and going through an awful lot of steps to create a fake finger, the only other way is to break down the software controlling it,” Alex says.

“Are any of you hackers?”

Alex raises his hand.

“You can hack this?” I ask. “I didn’t know you were a hacker.”

“I’m not. But there isn’t a lot to do when you’re stuck at home with a terminal disease or trapped in a crappy boarding school. I taught myself a few things, made a few online friends who were a little shady. Depending on how sophisticated the software is, I might be able to crack it.”

“Would it be controlled from the computer out front?”

“It might be. Or it might be controlled from a central server that’s who knows where. No way to know without looking,” he says.

“That computer is password protected. If you try to force it, you may set off alarms.”

“Then I’ll have to be careful,” he says, heading back to the lobby.

We follow and gather around the desk while he works. The keys clack under his fingers as he mutters instructions to himself.

“Okay, I’m in the system,” he says. “While I’m here, I’m going to shut down those security cameras. No need for everyone to know where we are.”

The TV feed blinks and is gone.

He keeps typing and clicking and muttering. The rest of us sit down on the floor and wait. There’s nothing we can do.

“Huh. That could be tricky,” he says.

“What?” I ask, getting up and going around the desk so I can see his screen. Not that the gibberish there means squat to me.

“The system that controls the fingerprint scanners also controls the card locks. Worse, it’s not separated by floor. I’m not good enough to bring down only one piece of the system. It’s all or nothing.”

“What’s the problem?” I ask.

“It means that the only thing standing between us and whatever is behind those cell doors is the hope that none of them try the doors. If the inmates figure out the doors are open, then security will be the least of our problems. All of them could walk right out of here.”

“Do it,” I tell him. “It’s not like we’ll be broadcasting the locks are down. No one will notice. Hopefully.”

“Okay,” he says and goes back to pounding on the keys.

After a few minutes, the computer beeps and Alex pushes away from it.

“Done,” he says.

The words are barely out of his mouth when a series of small pops echoes around the room. They sound like they’re both surrounding us and simultaneously heading away from us.

“Aw, shit,” I say. “The locks. We forgot they make noise! We are idiots. Come on,” I say, racing for the doors on the right.

We slam through the doors and pull up in front of door number four. No one is coming into the hall yet. I’m hoping the inmates think it’s a trap and are too intimidated to try their doors. Either that or they didn’t hear the locks release. Please, just let me get out of here before hell literally opens, I think.

 

Author Bio:

Jennifer is a freelance writer and novelist. As a freelancer, she writes everything from technical manuals to articles on personal finance and European-style board games. Her interest in storytelling began when she was six and her parents gave her a typewriter for Christmas and agreed to pay her $.01 per page for any stories she churned out. Such a loose payment system naturally led to a lot of story padding. Broken Fate, her first novel, earned her $2.80 from her parents.

Jennifer lives in North Carolina and, when not writing, can often be found reading, trawling the shelves at the library, playing board games, watching sports, camping, running marathons, and playing with her dog. You can visit her at her official website:www.JenniferDerrick.com.

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Paintbrush by Hannah Bucchin book blitz & giveaway!

 

Paintbrush
Hannah Bucchin
Published by: Blaze Publishing
Publication date: July 11th 2017
Genres: Romance, Young Adult

Mitchell Morrison and Josie Sedgwick have spent their whole lives at the Indian Paintbrush Community Village, a commune full of colorful characters tucked in the mountains of North Carolina, and they aren’t particularly close–at least, not anymore. Josie wishes she could spend all of her time at Paintbrush planting tomatoes, hiking the trails, or throwing giant communal birthday parties, while Mitchell can’t wait to escape the bizarre spiritual sharing and noisy community dinners. Luckily for both of them, high school graduation is just around the corner.

But when Mitchell’s mother makes a scandalous announcement that rocks the close-knit Paintbrush community, and Josie’s younger sister starts to make some dangerously bad decisions, the two find themselves leaning on each other for support – and looking at each other in a whole new light. Their childhood friendship blossoms in to something more as they deal with their insane families, but as graduation approaches, so does life in the real world, forcing Josie and Mitchell to figure out what, exactly, their relationship is – and if it can survive their very different plans for the future.

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

SNEAK PEEKS:

Mitchell

“Hi.” I tighten my grip on her waist, and she moves her hand from my shoulder, sliding her fingertips slowly, until they rest on the back of my neck. I close my eyes.

When I open them again, she’s staring at me, her face so close I can see the flecks of brown in her green eyes. It would be so easy to kiss her. Just a few inches. It would be the easiest thing in the world.

Josie

“We’re a mess, aren’t we?” He grins at me.

I can’t help it—I lean into him, pressing my shoulder into his, wanting to feel his warmth and his soft sweatshirt, wanting to be a part of that smile.

I shrug. “All the best people are messy.”

 

Author Bio:

Hannah has spent her life falling in love with beautiful places, both real and fictional. She grew up in charming Bethlehem, PA, went to college in sunny Chapel Hill, NC, spent a summer studying wildlife in Tanzania, volunteered on organic farms across New Zealand, and hiked all over Acadia National Park in Maine. When not writing, reading, or adventuring, she likes to daydream about the dog she’ll adopt someday, listen to music from the sixties, and exchange ridiculous texts with her parents and siblings. Paintbrush is her first novel.

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Monsters Among Us by Amanda Strong blitz & giveaway !

 



Monsters Among Us
Amanda Strong
(Monsters Among Us #3)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: June 26th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Romance, Young Adult

What if the fate of the world lies with the monster—not the hero?

The world is shifting, and Sammy has complete control. But as hidden truths surface, she starts to doubt everyone who is close to her. The Ancients and Kory have been harboring dark secrets, and it could mean war between the Dragon Fae and the Irukas. With the Defenders as her devoted soldiers, Sam must make some difficult decisions. Should she save the world… or save herself?

Blake won’t give up on Sam. He knows he can’t trust Tonbo anymore, or the web of lies he’s been thrown into. If he hopes to save Sam, he must find the real reason Kory created the bug army. Turns out there could be something far worse than bloodthirsty bugs buriedon the islands, and Blake will have to fight his own inner demons if he wants to save those he loves—including Sam.

In a world filled with mistrust and lies, Blake and Sam must unearth the truth and face their own fears and weaknesses. If they don’t, their lives—and the fate of all humanity—will hang in the balance.

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The complete series:

EXCERPT:

Rounding a corner, I flew right into a pair of bright aqua eyes. I knew those eyes, and the recognition felt like a slap to my face. I halted, not just to avoid collision but because of absolute shock.

Impossible. How’s he here?

“Blake,” Mack gasped.

I remained stunned, still hovering inches from his face. Where were all the Defenders? How did he just waltz in? Why wasn’t he bound? I couldn’t process what I was seeing.

Trying to recompose myself in those milliseconds we both remained in a locked gaze, it dawned on me that Jaxon had not rushed his brother. I only heard heavy breathing behind me, and I wanted desperately to turn around to see what Jaxon was doing. Was he preparing for an attack, or was he awaiting my command?

Yet, I couldn’t peel my eyes away from Blake. Those aqua pools pulled me closer, beckoned me nearer even though our faces were mere inches apart. Frustrated, I commanded myself to move. Show some strength. Straighten your back, for heaven’s sake. I’m like a freaking hunchback, practically bowing to him. What’s wrong with me? Back up… now.

I didn’t move. I couldn’t. It was like my bedroom all over again, when I’d found myself moving toward him, longing to be near him against my will. Only this time, it was worse. He was too close, the magnetic pull reinforced by his nearness. I felt helpless against it, which panicked me more.

He didn’t say anything, his eyes raking my face, searching for Sam. But I’m not Sam, I wanted to shout, though I didn’t. I just kept on gazing into his eyes like a dunce.

You’ve got to be joking, Sam. I heard and felt nothing. I know you’re here. You must be, because I’m freaking stuck in place.

Again, there was nothing to betray her presence until I did the unthinkable. I closed the gap and kissed Blake.

I kissed him like my life depended on it, like I couldn’t get enough of his mouth, like he was the only person in the room, never mind the others’ audible gasps. I wrapped my hands around the back of his neck, pulling him to me. Blake seemed just as shocked as I was by my actions. He stiffened at my touch, groaned under my lips, and then, before I could feel remorse, pulled back from me as fast as I’d come at him, untangling himself from my embrace.

There were those eyes again, probing my face, questions forming but not spoken.

 

Author Bio:

Born in Dekalb, Illinois, Amanda Strong has called Utah, Arizona, Hawaii, Virginia, and now New Mexico home. She has loved to spin tales since childhood. It was not uncommon to find her hiding in some random corner, scribbling away in her spiral-bound notebook, with her bright pink glasses. You could say some things have not changed.

Amanda signed with Clean Teen Publishing in the fall of 2013. She is the author of two paranormal, YA series: The Watchers of Men and Monsters Among Us.

The first novel in The Watchers of Men series, The Awakener, debuted in October of 2013. It has been an Amazon number one best seller in three Young Adult categories. Book two, The Holy and The Fallen, released May 12th of 2015. She is currently working on book three, The Watcher’s Mark, releasing spring of 2016.

Hidden Monster released November 4th of 2014, and it finished as a Finalist in the 2014 USA Best Book Award: Young Adult Category. It is book one of a brand-new young adult, sci-fi thriller series called Monsters Among Us.

When Amanda isn’t writing, you can find her chasing her three rambunctious children around the house and spending time with her wonderful and supportive husband. On some occasions, you can still find Amanda with her not-so-pink glasses, hiding in a corner reading her favorite young adult fantasy novels or working out only to blow her diet by eating ice cream. See more at:

http://www.authoramandastrong.com

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Book review- Into the Woods (Twisted Tales from the Jaw #1) No spoilers!

Into the Woods (Twisted Tales from the Jaw, #1)Into the Woods by Melanie McFarlane

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

 

 

I received an ARC of this book directly from the author. All opinions are my own.

I thoroughly enjoyed these short stories. It was an easy read. I grew up reading Goosebumps and I really got that feeling of eeriness, creepiness from the stories. Some were creepier than others, but my favorite was the one about a plant. I don’t want to give away much but I didn’t see that coming… Anyway, I think these are appropriate for teenagers as well as adults. I think that there not overly scary, but something that gives you chills and makes you think well, that’s a bit creepy! I liked that we didn’t get any finish of the story so much as it left the story open to thinking about what would happen next. Which is why I got the Goosebumps vibe from these tales. I highly recommend. I will say I am pretty much a chicken when comes to scary stuff, but these didn’t scare me all that much just made me spooked. If you’re like me, you will survive reading this I promise! Which is good because otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to sleep at all.

 


This book will be releasing on June 27th, 2017. You can pre-order it on Amazon now.

View all my reviews

Review of Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney (very mild spoilers!)

BD

 

Black Dawn by Mallory McCartney

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

BOOK DETAILS:
Black Dawn

by Mallory McCartneyPublished by: Clean Reads Publishing

Published by: Clean Reads Publishing
Publication date: February 14th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, New Adult, Young Adult

The end of an Empire, The rise of a Queen

Emory Fae enjoys leading a quiet, normal life. That is until two mysterious, and handsome soldiers show up at her apartment, and the life she knew is instantly whisked away. Memphis Carter and Brokk Foster come from the magical and war ridden world of Kiero, and upon Emory’s arrival she will discover she is the long lost heir to the Royal Line and is thrown into the Black Dawn Rebellion with a dynamic role to ignite the rebels and reclaim her throne.

With both men being darkly woven in her past Emory uncovers hidden secrets, a power held long dormant, and will soon realize there are worse things than supernatural humans, love, loss, betrayal, and a Mad King.

Some things are better left in the shadows.


I received this book in an ebook format to review from Xpresso Book Tours, so thanks for allowing me to read this book 🙂

Review:

I loved this book so much! It reminded me of The 100 and Divergent. I liked the characters. They were well written. I enjoyed getting to see points of views of different characters for each character similar to the different characters points of views from the 5th Wave series. Where you get to see things happening from different views of what’s occurring.
I thought it had a lot of twists and turns that occurred One moment everything seems okay and then boom something interesting happened. The ending had me shocked, and I honestly want to read the second book in this series right now. I need to know what is going to happen next right now.
I was instantly hooked on this story almost immediately. I thought the whole premise of the story was well thought out and I liked the whole futuristic outlook on the world. The main character, Emory made me go from feeling sorry for her and then at the end going what the heck? Why?..
I like that fact that there were really good friendships being told in the story, but also betrayals happening in this story it made fun and exciting. The powers the characters had were cool and the main bad guy Adair is a person who I would really like to hear more from in the next book. I will be awaiting book two!! please come soon.

View all my reviews

Fate of The Stars blitz & giveaway!

Fate of the Stars
Arwen Paris
Publication date: September 1st 2017
Genres: Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy, Young Adult

When the fate of the world rests upon you…

Allison Delaney wants to spend her senior year healing from the loss of her father, to leave the shadows of his death and her junior year break-down behind. A Labor Day beach party seems like a good place to start…but there’s more danger lurking than anyone could imagine. Death is coming to Earth if the pods of infectious creatures aren’t stopped. But only one human can help…

To live or die is no longer a choice.

Eenoki is a protector of life but must have a sentient host to fight the invasion. A teenage girl would not be the best choice, but out of desperation Eenoki invades Allison’s mind and body, granting her unnatural abilities and strengths – and helping her escape certain death when the first wave of pods land.

As destruction rains down on Earth’s population, Allison realizes to save everyone, she must make the ultimate choice: Reject her human side and bond with Eenoki to become the Earth’s Priestess – or be killed along with the rest of humanity.

Add to Goodreads / Pre-order

EXCERPT:

Why would they come out here?

I stagger back, shaking as I remember my narrow escape from town, and the aliens’ hissing reaction to sound. I hobble to the pilothouse. “Pete!” I shout, twisting the handle. It refuses to turn. “Shut off the engines.” I beat on the door.

“What the hell this yellin’ about?” he shouts, throwing the door open at me. The other passengers scream. Pete turns toward the shore. “Oh my God.” He runs inside. Revving the motor, he swings us back out into the bay. A loud screech jabs my eardrums as metal grinds on metal, and the engines come to an abrupt stop.

“No. No!” Pete shouts, turning the key. There’s no reaction at all.

Over the wind and waves, an odd clicking sound makes my flesh crawl. We all stand motionless trying to identify it. The clicks grow louder, overlapping until they become shrill. Something strikes the hull with a heavy thud, and everyone jumps. Then another pound on the boat, and another. I can’t decide whether to search for the source of the noise or hide below. But I have to know, so I follow the sound to the rear of the ship. Bobbing on the waves is a human, his face streaked with a black oily residue that’s oozing from his nose and mouth. It resembles the oily residue I saw on the back of Bob’s neck. His eyes are opaque and dead. Nausea rises in my gut.

They didn’t die. I’m not sure what they are now, but they’re no longer human.

I’ve put everyone here in danger with my selfish request to go to shore, attracting their attention. I grow limp and drop my head back, staring up at the sky.

So close, a thin voice says, seemingly right in my ear. It’s the voice that warned me to run. Clenching my jaw, I lash out through my mind at the voice. So close to what, dying?

Discordant memories churn in my head. I close my eyes to still the illusions. A glow illuminates the back of my eyelids and warmth spreads through me.

You must see, Allison. The only way left to explain in time.

Author Bio:

Arwen Paris is the author of young adult fiction. Her debut YA Sci-fi Urban Fantasy novel FATE OF THE STARS releases September 1, 2017. The actions packed pages of her novels are filled with characters that are forced to face fears they never expected. When she’s not writing, you can see posts of her (too many) vacations that keep her sane. Arwen lives in Washington, has a big crazy family & after the day job, she writes Fiction For the Fearless – #F3Fanatic

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Elusive release day blitz!

 

 
Elusive by Ali Dean
Release Day Blitz
May 24, 2017
 
Kate Walker has a new identity. She’s escaped her past and lives a fairly normal life for a 22-year-old. She’s about to graduate college and bartends to pay the bills. But when her past begins to catch up with her, Kate’s reminded that normalcy is only a façade.

 

When unexpected events land her rooming with billionaire heirs Sebastian and Evan Webster, remaining reclusive becomes more difficult. As Kate fights her attraction to one Webster brother, she begins to wonder if living in hiding is really living at all.

 

Is her safety worth sacrificing a chance for love and friendships?

 

After all, safety may just be an illusion.

BUY IT ON AMAZON

~*~ABOUT ALI~*~
7237069
 
Ali Dean lives in Colorado with her husband, twin toddlers, and golden retriever. In addition to reading and writing, she loves the outdoors- everything from marathon training and biking to snowboarding and skiing.

Chapter Reveal: FRACTURED SILENCE by Carrie Ann Ryan

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Carrie Ann Ryan’s FRACTURED SILENCE releases April 18th…but we couldn’t wait that long! You can get a sneak peek at the first chapter of FRACTURED SILENCE below!

 

 

Fractured Silence (1)

About FRACTURED SILENCE

The Talon Pack continues with a dark secret that could shatter the future of the Packs, or save them all.

Parker Jamenson is the son of three Packs, the sole mediator between every Pack in the United States and Europe, and…he’s dying. He knows he doesn’t have much left in him and is in desperate need of a mate. But with the new and unyielding changes thanks to the Moon Goddess, he might not have as much time as he thinks.

Brandon Brentwood is the Omega of the Talon Pack and the youngest of his family. He’s not only one of the famed triplets; he’s also the most secretive. There’s a good reason for that, however, and when a shocking revelation meshes the past and present in a very unexpected way, he’ll look to not only Parker but also a disgraced human to save them all.

Avery Montag knows she’s the daughter of a traitor and doesn’t have much to give the wolves in the way of atonement. But she’ll do everything she can to pay for her father’s sins and find a way to end the war between the humans and the wolves.

When the three turn to each other in a time of unrest and for vastly different reasons, temptation burns and seduction beckons. Only, the past, present, and future are never as solid as they seem, and the path the trio thought to travel may just vanish before they’re ready.

Add FRACTURED SILENCE to your Goodreads list here!

FRACTURED SILENCE releases April 18th – preorder your copy now!

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Get a Sneak Peek at the First Chapter of FRACTURED SILENCE

Chapter One

Before

Parker Jamenson woke with a start as someone knocked on the door to the small cabin he’d been staying in for the duration of his visit to this particular European Pack. Using his wolf’s senses, he inhaled deeply, noting that the person on the other side of the door was one of the younger wolves that had shown him around when he’d first gotten there. He hadn’t met most of the Pack, as the people of the den hadn’t been too keen on his presence. He’d only just fallen asleep in the armchair fully clothed, exhausted from the trip.

He’d already spoken to the Alpha about coming together with the Redwoods in times of war, but the damn man hadn’t been too eager to reveal his existence to the world. All Alphas were required to meet with Parker as the Voice of the Wolves because he was goddess-touched, but that didn’t mean they had to listen. Hell, most of them would rather bury their heads in the sand and ignore what was going on around them. And while his own Pack might be older than most in the United States, the European Packs were ancient and set in their ways. No one wanted to deal with the fact that the humans were aware of the shifters’ existence, but Parker knew that soon, no one would have a choice.

He opened the door after a moment and nodded at the young woman on the other side. “Tatiana.”

She smiled coyly at him before licking her lips. He could scent her wolf brushing up against her skin, wanting touch, but Parker wasn’t interested. He just wanted to get this meeting with the elders over with and head back home. Her long, honey-colored hair had been in a braid when he’d first met her, but now it looked as if she’d brushed it out over her shoulders and back so it cascaded over her curves. She’d also put on a long, white, flowing dress instead of the tan one she’d worn when he’d shown up.

And though she looked to be his same age and her power felt even younger, she dressed as if she were some maiden from a bygone era on the hunt for a knight.

Parker would not be that knight— no matter how much those eyes of hers flashed yearning.

“Parker,” she breathed. “I’m to take you to the elder circle for your last meeting before you go.” A pause. “It’s a shame we didn’t have more time to get to know one another while you were here. I understand you leave in the morning, but perhaps the meeting won’t take long, and I can show you more of the grounds. I’m sure your wolf could use some exercise.” She smiled. “And though it’s not a full moon, there’s just enough moonlight for the run to be… thrilling.”

He held back a chuckle that wanted to spill out since that would have been rude. She wasn’t hiding anything she wanted, and while he might have appreciated that on another day, he just wanted to go home. Besides, his wolf wasn’t interested in the woman in front of him, and while that might not matter for a quick night of heat, he didn’t have it in him to ignore his wolf tonight. Maybe I’m getting older, and in need of a mate, he thought. Or maybe he was just tired and missed his family. Either way, Tatiana wasn’t for him.

“I’m afraid I will have to get ready to head out after the elder circle.” He held back a frown at the crestfallen look on her face. They hadn’t said more than a few words before this, and though he was a new wolf to her, he wasn’t the only healthy adult male wolf around.

“I understand,” she said softly. “Follow me, then.” She turned without another word, but he didn’t miss the extra sway to her hips— an invitation if he were to change his mind.

Keeping his thoughts to himself so he wouldn’t inadvertently hurt her again if he were to change his mind— which he wouldn’t— he followed her through the winding, dirt paths of the den toward the oldest part at the edge of the center. It made sense that this was where the elders chose to live— just slightly outside the most used part of the den for privacy but not near the edge in case of an attack. As elders, they were to not only be respected but also protected.

Tatiana left Parker with a nod, and he bent to walk under a low-lying branch so he could make it to the elder’s circle. Encircling the firepit were seven older wolves of various sizes— three women and four men. At his entry, they all looked up as a unit and stared at him.

If he hadn’t seen his own elders do this before, he would have been creeped out. Elder wolves were those who had either lost their mates long ago or had never been mated, so they didn’t have a connection to the new world or the Pack except through their bonds to the Alpha and those in the hierarchy. After living for centuries, some wolves could no longer deal with the drastic changes of society and chose to cloister themselves. Many of the wolves held immense power on their own because of their age and used that strength to protect the Pack in any way they could.

Parker looked back at the elders respectfully. Though each of the wolves had at least two centuries on him, none of them looked a day over thirty-five. Wolf genetics never ceased to amaze him and he’d been born a wolf.

“Parker Jamenson, of the Redwoods,” the woman closest to him said after a moment. “Welcome. I am Aurora. We’re pleased you were able to take the time to meet with us before you head out on your journey home.”

Parker bowed his head in deference. “I will always meet with my elders, Aurora. To ignore those who have lived the past is to ignore what the future may bring.”

She smiled softly at his words and gestured for him to sit down before introducing him to the others. He kept their names in the back of his mind, but he knew that it was Aurora who led here, and she would be the one to speak.

“We’ve asked you to join us because we believe we have something that once belonged to your people. Your line.”

Parker’s eyes widened. “The Redwoods?” How did something of theirs find its way here?

“Not that line.” Aurora’s eyes went gold, her wolf rising to the surface. “The line of the first hunter. You are the son of the son of the son of the line of the first hunter, are you not?”

Parker froze. Not many people knew that his family came from that line. In fact, he’d only recently learned that his ancestor was the first human to be made into a wolf by the moon goddess as a punishment for what the man had done to defenseless prey. She’d forced the man to become the thing he killed for sport, compelled him to share a soul with that of a wolf. From there, new wolves were made, and shifters were born.

His uncle, Logan, had dealt with horrible side effects from that past, but other than his strength, Parker hadn’t really thought about what that meant. Logan had been far too aggressive even at a young age, and it had taken him years to learn how to fully control his wolf. He, like Parker, had also had to learn how to use their strength wisely when they’d been mere pups and still had to deal with some bursts of overextension some days. The family bloodline was diluted over time, and Parker had had more recent issues with it thanks to his birth father. His mother might be of the line of their honorable ancestors and campfire stories, but his birth father had been one of nightmares. He’d never truly met the man as he’d been young when Corbin died, but he knew the stories. Knew that the former Central Alpha had killed countless in his quest for power.

He pushed that thought out of his head, as he knew just letting it in would enrage him.

“I’m of that line, yes,” he answered after a moment. No need to lie as he had a feeling these wolves knew far more than this. “What did you find?” he asked.

Aurora nodded at one of the male wolves after Parker had spoken. The male stood up with shaky hands, a large box wrapped in cloth clasped between them.

Aurora took it gently from him. “This box is made of the woods of our people— Redwood, Aspen, Oak, and so forth. It is said those first Packs, along with the first ever, came together to make it.”

Parker frowned. “What’s in the box?”

“Open it and see.”

Though his wolf had stood at attention as soon as they’d mentioned the box, it wasn’t until Aurora unwrapped it— keeping her hands on the cloth rather than the wood— that his wolf howled.

He frowned. “I’m not going to open something I haven’t looked into with wolves I don’t know. I’m sorry if that’s disrespectful, but that just doesn’t seem like a good idea to me.”

Aurora’s eyes flashed, but he had a feeling it was more out of respect than anger. “It’s good you’re cautious. That will help.”

“Help what?”

“There is a prophecy,” she said after a moment. He blinked.

“A prophecy?” Why did he feel like he’d suddenly jumped into an old Indiana Jones movie?

Aurora’s eyes unfocused as she spoke in a deeper voice.

“A wolf of three Packs can break their will or unite them all.

“Once united, the Packs will reveal…

“If broken, the Packs will fall…”

Parker’s wolf rushed to the surface at her words, and he tried to blink, attempted to reach out and catch the woman as she fell forward after she’d finished speaking. Only he felt as if he were moving slower than usual, his mind not quite where it should be. His hand brushed the top of the box, and it slid to the ground, opening on impact.

He looked down, his head going fuzzy, his mouth dry.

An ancient dagger, or perhaps the tip of a spear, rolled out of the box amidst a dust cloud that slapped at his face.

“The weapon of the first hunter,” Aurora croaked before passing out completely. The others surrounded them, yet he could do nothing but try to keep himself upright.

Parker tried to speak but couldn’t force his mouth to work. Instead, his body broke out in a cold sweat, and he fell face-first to the ground.

The last thing he thought about before passing out was his family.

They weren’t here to help him.

No one was here to help him.

He was all alone.

And it was his fault.

Again.

 

About Carrie Ann Ryan

Carrie Ann Ryan is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of contemporary and paranormal romance. Her works include the Montgomery Ink, Redwood Pack, Talon Pack, and Gallagher Brothers series, which have sold over 2.0 million books worldwide. She started writing while in graduate school for her advanced degree in chemistry and hasn’t stopped since. Carrie Ann has written over fifty novels and novellas with more in the works. When she’s not writing about bearded tattooed men or alpha wolves that need to find their mates, she’s reading as much as she can and exploring the world of baking and gourmet cooking.

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