Posted in Adult Contemporary Romance, Blog Tour, Book Blitz, Chick Lit, Contemporary, Drama, Romance, Women's Fiction, Womens Lit

After The Rain

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❃ ❃ BOOK TOUR ❃ ❃

After The Rain By Stacey Johnston

Goodreads: http://bit.ly/2EbbIEl

Cover Design: Jessica Hildreth Designs

Genre: Women’s Fiction | Drama | Contemporary Romance

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Synopsis:

When a child is born they’re a blank canvas. A canvas that is later molded by the influences of the world around them. Those influences determine that child’s future, but they are not always kind. Some of those children will enter adulthood easily, unscathed by the harshness of life, but for others, that journey is not an easy path to follow.

And then there are those, whose journeys are cut short.

He only ever wanted ….. to fit in.
He only ever wanted ….. to be included.
He only ever wanted ….. to have friends.

Alec never wanted for anything.
His parents made sure of that.
But, what Alec desperately wanted, they couldn’t buy.
He just wanted to be normal……..

He could never see what the rest of us could.
Smart. Funny. Good-looking. Sensitive.
Alec only saw what his mind wanted him to see.
And believed the false truths it told him.

BUT, I won’t allow him to become one of the lost, and when the clouds clear after the rain, I WILL make him see that he is everything WE believe him to be, and so much more……..

Purchase Links:

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07BJ8QFTS

Amazon AU: https://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B07BJ8QFTS

Amazon CA: https://www.amazon.ca/dp/B07BJ8QFTS

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B07BJ8QFTS

Books2Read Universal Link: https://www.books2read.com/u/boYPE1

Playlist: https://spoti.fi/2qaHl7G

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Excerpt:

Lying before me in a sterile hospital bed is the love of my life, my husband; a man whose fragile soul has been at the mercy of that very same evil, vile creature for as long as he can remember. A man who always put the needs of others before his own, regardless of the cost to his own personal welfare. Or, he did, until three days ago when he decided that the people closest to him, the ones who love him unconditionally, would be better off if he were dead.

For nearly thirty years I have stood beside this man before me, watching as an unseen evil devoured him, digging its claws in, slowly destroying him. As I take Alec’s cold hand, I am hit with a barrage of memories – both happy and sad – of our life together. In retrospect, even the photos that line the walls of our family home show the face of a tormented man fighting an internal battle to stay in control. Unfortunately, fighting day in and day out, year after year, against something that powerful becomes tiring and eventually, it can take its toll.

As I look at Alec’s pale face while he sleeps so peacefully in his coma, I wish I could find what triggered his decision to end his life. Or, at the very least, when he reached that point of no return. Understanding his reasons is all I’ve been able to think about for the past three days since we found him unresponsive in our backyard. His empty medication bottles and the bottle of Jack Daniels lying beside him were apparent signs my husband had finally lost his battle.

Author Bio:

Stacey Johnston was raised in Perth, Western Australia. She is a wife and mum to four children.

Having been an avid reader most of her life, Stacey finds herself most at ease when she can lose herself in stories of romance and mystery.

Stacey has a creative way of bringing suspense into her stories which keeps her reader hanging onto every word to find out how it ends.

Author Links:

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/author/staceyjohnston

Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/stacey-johnston

Google: https://staceyjohnstonauthor.blogspot.com.au/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorstaceyjohnston/
Twitter: https://twitter.com/author_stacey

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/staceyjohnstonauthor/

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com.au/staceyandkevin/

Email: staceyjohnston43@gmail.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/14981304.Stacey_Johnston

This Book Tour was hosted by Lexis Infinitum PR

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Posted in Adult Contemporary Romance, Adult Fiction, New, New Release, Romance, Women's Fiction, Womens Lit

Asphalt Cowboy’s Girl

Title: Asphalt Cowboy’s Girl
Author: Marie Savage
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Editor: Daniela Prima with Prima Editing and Proofreading
Publication Date: May 15th, 2018
Blurb:
On the highway, bad things can happen …
Aimee Jo Elliot isn’t having a good day. Her long anticipated journey to California is cut short when her car is stolen. Stranded at a truck stop in Alabama, with no car, no money, and most of all, no hope, she’s desperate to get back on the road. California holds the answer to her dreams and an escape from the danger she’s left behind in Georgia. Accepting a ride from the sexy truck driver has its own set of risks, but she never considered it would be to her heart.
The life of an asphalt cowboy …
Luke McIntyre has life all figured out.  He owns his own rig, makes his own rules, and only answers to himself.  The solitude of life on the road suits him just fine. Not one for permanent relationships, he has no problems picking up temporary lovers. And he always makes sure they know the score—hot sex, respect, but no strings. His quiet life is shot to hell, however, when he offers the Georgia beauty a ride. He soon discovers that rules are made to be broken.
In for the long haul …
Luke and Aimee Jo soon realize their simple four-day journey is anything but simple. An instant attraction sidetracks their well-made plans and dreams. When they reach California, decisions must be made. Will they go their separate ways, or journey on together?
Marie Savage is a self-published author who has a love for family, friendships, patriotic spirit, and hometown pride.
Born and raised in the Florida Panhandle, she has always had a love for reading and writing, with the romance genre being her obvious favorite. Her desire to expand her horizons, led her to join the United States Air Force and proudly serve her country for six years.
While stationed in Atwater California, she met her true love and together they have shared life’s beautiful joys and tragic losses. After spending over half her life in the Central Valley of California, she has moved back home to the Wiregrass area, where her passion for writing first began.

Author Links:
 
Posted in Adult Fiction, Chick Lit, Contemporary, New, New Release, Romance, Women's Fiction

Finding Mercy

FINDING MERCY

Return to Welcome, Book 1

by Bonnie Edwards

Genre: Contemporary Romance with Women’s Fiction elements

Seriously? Return to Welcome? She’d rather chew rusty nails…

Mercy Talbot left Welcome on a high—a golden-girl beauty queen who stepped confidently into a bright, exciting future. But that was a long time ago and that girl is far, far, away. She’s failed in her career, failed in love, failed her family—and she’s dead broke.

All Mercy wants is to forget her failures and move forward into a new life with a fresh set of dreams—and get out of Welcome before it sucks her back in for good. But one look at her precocious niece who desperately needs her sends Mercy on a journey into her past that will change everyone’s future.

Clay Foster used to be Welcome’s bad boy, but marriage and his daughter Dilly have transformed him into a devoted father. Widowed now and struggling to be the daddy his child needs, Clay fights his sudden and unexpected attraction to Mercy. But, tempted as he is, Clay can’t afford to be taken in by a golden girl. Beautiful, talented women like Mercy always have an exit strategy and when her career beckons, Clay knows she’ll leave him and Dilly flat. His daughter has already lost her mother and he won’t put his little girl’s heart on the line.

When Mercy learns her tattered dreams and dead career have been reborn, will she leave the man and child who need her? Will Clay believe in their future and accept that Mercy has found there’s no place like home?

On Sale 2.99

Chapter 1

“Did you hear your sister-in-law’s back in town?”

Clay Foster’s receptionist watched for his reaction from her seat across the front counter of his veterinarian clinic.

This was his dead wife’s sister’s first trip home in two years. “She must have blown in for a quick visit.”

“Pfft, so much for making it big,” Sybil commented with a glance at her computer screen.

“Out with it, Sybil. You look too delighted for this to be anything but juicy gossip.” Mercy was a Hollywood success story. Everyone knew it.

Sybil crossed her arms and leaned forward. “She came home with boxes. Lots of boxes.” Sybil’s husband, Bud, worked at the bus depot and shared all the comings and goings of Welcome’s population.

Clay leaned in to glean every nuance of meaning from Sybil’s face. “Out with it,” he repeated.

She licked her lips as if each morsel of gossip was filet mignon. “When Bud asked if he could call her a cab, she said no, she couldn’t afford it.” She hefted a disbelieving sigh and muttered, “Of all the nonsense. So”—she stretched out the word because Sybil loved telling a good story—“Bud called Nate, who showed up half an hour later. Nate didn’t say a word, which, of course, is just like him, and tossed all the boxes into his pickup. Mercy didn’t explain a thing, just looked miserable, Bud said.”

He nodded, at a loss. It still came as a surprise that he was related, if only by marriage, to Mercy Talbot. Welcome High’s golden girl: the blond, beautiful, leggy, and untouchable Mercy Talbot. The Talbot daughter who’d made a real success of her life, unlike the one who’d ruined her life by marrying him, the town hell raiser.

“That Mercy is a real glamour girl. Dilly’s gonna love her. All that prettiness and sunshine wrapped up in one girl.” Sybil sighed as if just knowing Mercy Talbot had somehow blessed her.

At the mention of his daughter, Dilly, Clay frowned. “Mercy won’t be here long,” he said. “Dilly won’t get attached.” Women like Mercy always had an exit strategy and somewhere more important to be.

Mercy Talbot had been as angelically perfect as his wife, Janna, had been hell-bent on personal destruction. Two sisters: impossibly different, forever at odds. He used to wonder if Janna’s darkness was in counterpoint to Mercy’s bright flare. But none of that mattered anymore.

It was Dilly who mattered.

“What child wouldn’t get attached to a beautiful actress?”

A pulse pounded in his temple. He dreaded seeing Dilly’s eyes light up when Mercy played the caring auntie. But she’d barely held Dilly as a baby. He doubted she’d show any interest now.

“I have nothing to worry about,” he told Sybil.

“Still, makes you wonder why she’s back in town.”

AmazonBooks2ReadGoodreads

Multi-published author Bonnie Edwards lives with her husband and pets on the rainy coast of British Columbia. Her earthy, irreverent, love stories sometimes have a paranormal twist, likes curses and ghosts, other times not. But her books always entertain and guarantee a happy ending.

With four ongoing romance series (Tales of Perdition, The Brantons and The Christmas Collection) and contemporary family novels in her newest series, Return to Welcome, she rarely spends a day without writing. She has written novels, novellas and short stories for Kensington Books, Harlequin Books, Carina Press, and Robinson (UK) although now she publishes her work herself. Look for more exciting releases throughout 2018…

For more info and sample chapters WebsiteFacebookTwitterGoodreadsAmazonPinterestNewsletter

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Posted in Adult Contemporary Romance, Adult Fiction, Chick Lit, Contemporary, New, Romance, Women's Fiction

Key to her Heart

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☆ RELEASE BLITZ ☆

Key To Her Heart by Ellie Rice is LIVE!!!

e.r

She wants no guilt. He wants no commitment. Fate laughs in their faces.

Val:
Because of my past, I’m destined to be alone. Don’t feel sorry for me. I deserve it and I’ve made my peace. But I was given a reprieve. A one-week, scorching hot vacation fling. Now I’m not sure if it was grace or punishment.

Stone:
Playboy. Player. I’m called by many names. I’ve earned every one. That was the fault of one woman. At my best friend’s wedding, I put my particular talents to good use. And got a taste of what I had sworn off for good. Now I’m questioning what I really want.
What happens when a one-week affair between two emotionally unavailable people spills over into the real world?

#OneClick your copy today

https://amzn.to/2wtAhcP

Add to your TBR

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Posted in Adult Fiction, Romance, Western, Western Giveaway, Wild West, Women's Fiction, Womens Lit

Western Giveaway

Love Them Cowboys

Does the sight of a handsome man in a cowboy hat make you melt? It does for our giveaway group’s authors, who are ready with prizes for some lucky western romance booklovers. Enter for your chance to win a Kindle Fire 7, ebook prize pack or Amazon gift card!

Our book fair has a wagon load of fantastic books for you to browse, buy, and read under the stars this summer (or snuggled in a comfy chair). Plus, the fair includes a FREE instant short story download, and a bonus second giveaway!

LOVE THEM COWBOYS ROMANCE GIVEAWAY

Sponsored by

Cheryl Wright • Elsie Davis • Eveline Hart • Jacquie Rogers • Jo Noelle • Karen Michelle Nutt • Kristy Tate • Margaret Tanner • Mimi Barbour • Nancy Radke • Pamela S Thibodeaux • Patricia PacJac Carroll • Sarah Williams • Shirleen Davies • Susan Horsnell

Enter for your chance to win May 8-28!

https://bookwrapt.com/love-them-cowboys/

Our book fair has a wagon load of fantastic books for you to browse, buy, and read under the stars this summer (or snuggled in a comfy chair). Plus, the fair includes a FREE instant short story download, and a bonus second giveaway!

https://bookwrapt.com/love-cowboys-book-fair/

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Posted in Adult Fiction, Chick Lit, Contemporary, New, New Release, Romance, Women's Fiction, Womens Lit

All of You

Title: All of You
Author: Fabiola Francisco
Genre: Romance/Women’s Fiction
Editor: Robin Bateman
Cover Designer: Amy Queau
Publication Date: May 2nd, 2018
Blurb:

Cassidy Rae Pressman comes with way more than Jason Stone bargained for, yet she is exactly what he’s been searching for.

I want what all my friends have.
He doesn’t need my baggage.
I can’t stop thinking about her.
Romance isn’t my priority, my daughter is.
I want to show her she can have it all.
He thinks we can be a family.
Her and Rae are my family now, and no one will take them away from me.
He stays even when it’s easier to leave.
I’m going to give her her southern fairytale.

Fabiola Francisco loves the simplicity—and kick—of scotch on the rocks. She follows Hemingway’s philosophy—write drunk, edit sober. She writes women’s fiction and contemporary romance, dipping her pen into new adult and young adult. Her moods guide her writing, taking her anywhere from sassy and sexy romances to dark and emotion-filled love stories.
Writing has always been a part of her life, penning her own life struggles as a form of therapy through poetry. She still stays true to her first love, poems, while weaving longer stories with strong heroines and honest heroes. She aims to get readers thinking about life and love while experiencing her characters’ journeys.
She is continuously creating stories as she daydreams. Her other loves are country music, exploring the outdoors, and reading.

Author Links:
Buy Links:
Lovin’ on You: https://amzn.to/2H6djtU
Love You Thought It: https://amzn.to/2GtPBKZ
“You don’t have to help.”
“I want to.” Jason stands next to me as I wash the plates and he dries them for me. “I know I kinda showed up here and interrupted your dinner. Sorry about that.”
“Kinda showed up? More like you did show up,” I tease.
“Potato, potahto. But, I can’t stop thinking about you. This isn’t a line I grabbed from some cheesy movie. I know, I know, I don’t even know you,” he chuckles when I raise an eyebrow. “But I’ve seen enough to know I want to. I want to help you discover what your dreams are and watch you offer your daughter the best life she can have.”
“It’s complicated with her around. She already expects to see you everyday, and this is only the third time she’s seen you. I always thought if I ever met someone, and that was a big if, I’d get to know the man really well first, before introducing him to my daughter. This is backwards. It’s almost as if she’s gotten to know you before I have. It’s confusing for her.”
“So let me get to know you.” He angles his body toward me. “Let me show you who I am. It’s easy with her because she came right up to me, offered me a cookie, and started talking as if I was her best friend. I guess kids are less guarded in that sense.” He casts his eyes down a moment. I place my hand over his.
“They’ve got it easy, don’t they?” I ask him, trying to lighten the mood.
“Yup.” Jason continues drying the plate he was working on.
I’m not the only one with a past.
*Copyright 2018, Fabiola Francisco



Posted in Chick Lit, Contemporary, New, New Release, Pre Order, Romance, Women's Fiction, Womens Lit

All Of You

Title: All of You
Author: Fabiola Francisco
Genre: Romance/Women’s Fiction
Editor: Robin Bateman
Cover Designer: Amy Queau
Publication Date: May 2nd, 2018
Blurb:

Cassidy Rae Pressman comes with way more than Jason Stone bargained for, yet she is exactly what he’s been searching for.

I want what all my friends have.
He doesn’t need my baggage.
I can’t stop thinking about her.
Romance isn’t my priority, my daughter is.
I want to show her she can have it all.
He thinks we can be a family.
Her and Rae are my family now, and no one will take them away from me.
He stays even when it’s easier to leave.
I’m going to give her her southern fairytale.

Fabiola Francisco loves the simplicity—and kick—of scotch on the rocks. She follows Hemingway’s philosophy—write drunk, edit sober. She writes women’s fiction and contemporary romance, dipping her pen into new adult and young adult. Her moods guide her writing, taking her anywhere from sassy and sexy romances to dark and emotion-filled love stories.
Writing has always been a part of her life, penning her own life struggles as a form of therapy through poetry. She still stays true to her first love, poems, while weaving longer stories with strong heroines and honest heroes. She aims to get readers thinking about life and love while experiencing her characters’ journeys.
She is continuously creating stories as she daydreams. Her other loves are country music, exploring the outdoors, and reading.

Author Links:
Buy Links:
Lovin’ on You: https://amzn.to/2H6djtU
Love You Thought It: https://amzn.to/2GtPBKZ
All of You (Pre-Order): https://amzn.to/2H5Wmjp



Posted in Historical, Romance, Series, Sweet Romance, Western, Women's Fiction

Marnie

Title: Marnie
Author: Shanna Hatfield
Genre: Sweet, Historical, Western Romance
Blurb:
Only one man’s love
Will redeem her past. . .
Condemned to a future of shame and regret, Marnie Jones battles to keep going one day at a time. Divested of hope, she’s all but given up when a handsome stranger arrives in town. Desperate for the marshal to ride out of Pendleton, Marnie fears he’ll rekindle the embers of her broken dreams into a roaring flame before he leaves.
Married to his career, US Marshal Lars Thorsen avoids relationships of any kind. Spending his days transporting prisoners, guarding political figures, and chasing down fugitives, he doesn’t have room in his life for feelings or emotions. Especially not the tender, protective feelings stirred by the woman who wants him or the two orphans who need him.
USA Today Bestselling Author Shanna Hatfield writes character-driven romances with relatable heroes and heroines. Her historical westerns have been described as “reminiscent of the era captured by Bonanza and The Virginian” while her contemporary works have been called “laugh-out-loud funny, and a little heart-pumping sexy without being explicit in any way.”
Convinced everyone deserves a happy ending, this hopeless romantic is out to make it happen one story at a time. When she isn’t writing or indulging in chocolate (dark and decadent, please), Shanna hangs out with her husband, lovingly known as Captain Cavedweller.
Shanna is a member of Western Writers of America, Women Writing the West, Romance Writers of America, Sweet Romance Reads, Cowboy Kisses, and Pioneer Hearts.
Author Links:
Buy Link:
Amazon: https://amzn.to/2qr9V4K
“I don’t know how many times I have to tell you, I’m not going with you today.” Marnie fisted her hands on her hips and blocked his entrance to her room.
“Yes, you are. Put on your hat and let’s go.” Lars nudged her aside then brazenly strode to her closet and pulled out the hat he liked the best, a cream curved-brim hat with cream and pink silk roses that matched the gown she wore. “Put that on.”
“No.” Marnie leaned against the dresser and glowered. “And you can’t bully me into doing what you want, Lars Thorsen.”
“Maybe not, but I can ask nicely.” Lars lifted one of her hands and kissed the back of it, keeping his hot blue gaze pinned to hers. He saw the shift in her eyes as the shutters lifted. The frown she wore softened on a sigh and he knew he had her.
After kissing her other hand, he moved on to her right cheek, then her left, followed by her nose. “Will you please accompany the children and me to church? Even if you won’t do it for me or yourself, do it for those two youngsters. They’ll be disappointed if you don’t come.”
Marnie closed her eyes and took a deep breath. “I don’t think you realize what you’re asking, what you’re doing.”
“I’m fully aware of what I’m doing.” Lars momentarily forgot about Easter, the Webster kids, and everything else as his attention focused on Marnie’s lips. He lowered his head and kissed both corners before gently caressing her mouth with his — teasing, enticing, pleading. “Please, sweet thing? Please go with us?”
Nearly undone by Lars’ tender kisses, Marnie snatched the hat from his hand and positioned it on her head. Jabbing in a hatpin, she rammed her fingers into lacy cream gloves and grabbed a reticule she saved for special occasions.
Pointing to the door, she shook her head. “Arguing with you is utterly pointless.”
“Yep. Glad you figured that out.” Lars’ wicked grin made her smile and she held his hand as they descended the stairs. “One way or another, I always get what I want.”

Posted in Chick Lit, Cowboy, New, New Release, Romance, Valentine Romance, Western, Women's Fiction

Roping Cupid

SYNOPSIS

Finally home after finishing medical school, the last thing Harley Brannon expects is to come face to face with the part of her past that wrote her destiny.  
Professional rodeo champion Tim Kindle has chased buckle bunnies from one rodeo to the next, never staying in one place long enough to unpack his suitcase. 
A trip back to his hometown and an encounter with the girl that has haunted his dreams since their High School Valentine’s Day dance gives him another chance to rewrite history. Can he rope Cupid and win the only woman he’s ever loved?

BUY LINK

Amazon

Posted in Blog Tour, Horror, Horror Elements, Women's Fiction, Womens Lit

Goddess of the Wild Thing

Let nature and the elements be your guide as we introduce you to Goddess Of The Wild Thing!

Paul De Blassie III

Paul De Blassie IIIGoddess of the Wild Thing is a dramatic tale of one woman’s spiritual journey where magical happenings, unexpected turns of fate, and unseen forces influence her ability to love and be loved. Eve Sanchez, a middle-aged woman and scholar of esoteric studies, encounters a seductive but frightening man who introduces her to a supernatural world in which the wicked powers of a surrogate mother’s twisted affection threaten love and life. In the mystic realms of Aztlan del Sur, Eve and three friends struggle with whether bad love is better than no love and discover that love is a wild thing.

Paul De Blassie III

Paul De Blassie IIIPaul DeBlassie III, Ph.D. is a depth psychologist and award-winning writer living in his native New Mexico. He specializes in treating individuals in emotional and spiritual crisis. His novels, visionary thrillers, delve deep into archetypal realities as they play out dramatically in the lives of everyday people. Memberships include the Author’s Guild, the Depth Psychology Alliance, the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, and the International Association for Jungian Studies.

His other award winning book:

Paul De Blassie IIIA young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, “The Unholy” is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.

Books On Fire Tours: This was a difficult read. Not because it was a bad story. On the contrary. It was mind blowing! It was difficult because it messed with one’s mind in the most clever and effective way, which only a Pscychologist can do. So what is it about?

Eve and her friends use yoga and other spiritual means to help them navigate life when it gets tricky, and the often elusive thing called love. Debating whether or not bad love is better than no love at all, they go through life’s ups and downs together. Yet when Eve meets a man called Sam, who has potential, evil lurks and causes havoc in her life. An epic battle between good versus evil ensues between her and Sweet Mary, and in the process she finds her true self. BUT, there is so much more and as a reader you can only wonder what is real and not real.

Many people will complain about the lack of dialogue on this novel, but it is rich in back stories and information vital to the development of the plot. This book is not only filled with mystical and magical, but paranormal, metaphysical and occult elements. Essentially a great read for horror/ thriller fans, those who like a little romance will also enjoy this read. Because it catered to all my needs as a reader, I give this book 5 stars.

“Paul DeBlassie III has an extraordinary ability to pull the reader into his mythical world, and the special effect depictions drawn within my mind while reading *Goddess of the Wild Thing *could easily match up with some of the most gruesome of horror stories on film. He transports you through an amazing spiritual journey exploring the power of fate and love. Packed with action, suspense and even romance, Dr. DeBlassie has written a truly brilliant and riveting supernatural story!” ~ Tamara Ferguson, international, multi-award-winning author”

“Paul DeBlassie III has a wicked gift in writing psychological thrillers, and he does it in a way I have never experienced before. In *Goddess of the Wild Thing*, he gave me a glimpse into his reflections, inviting me to draw closer to the dark side. His writing is rich with supernatural symbolism and, when all is resolved, deeply empowering.” ~ Uvi Poznansky, artist and award-winning author

“*Goddess of the Wild Thing* by Paul DeBlassie III brilliantly couples his in-depth knowledge of the human mind and behavior with his love of lore, imaginatively knitting a deeply psychological and esoteric story that will keep you turning the page. I could picture clearly the fantastical sense of place . . . a must-read magical tale.” ~ Luna Saint Claire, author of *The Sleeping Serpent*

“Dr. DeBlassie, author of the multiple-award-winning *The Unholy*, produced another novel with depth, action, and spirit in *Goddess of the Wild Thing*. For centuries we’ve struggled with whether bad love is better than no love. In this paranormal thriller, a fierce woman tackles the question with determination and fire.” ~ Rayna Noire, author of the *Pagan Eyes Series*

 

The stone altar was used by Eve and company to conjure natural energies of earth, air, fire, and water. Tonatzé symbolized feminine strength and ancient powers. Around the altar, the four women entered mystic states with intuitive inspirations and visions. The four mestizas frequently gathered at midnight, when the full moon shone most lustrously. They held hands, sipped their whiskeys, and inhaled magic herb. Soon the image of the Goddess flickered in rhythm with their soft singing under the light of the high-desert moon. Chant and trance conjured natural magic. They yielded to relaxation, reverie, and trust in one another and the natural world.

Descending into a meditative state, they were whisked from one world to the next. On slips of paper, they quietly wrote their worries, dilemmas, trials, and tribulations.

Seeking answers and relief, they placed the folded papers in a granite bowl before the altar. They lit a match. Paper burned. Silence wrapped its arms around the four. Gentle breezes stirred. Hoots of distant and nearby owls carried through the nighttime atmosphere. Flames from the granite bowl rose three feet and abruptly expired, devoured by darkness.

The ritual of fire fortified the coven, foul happenstance and unexpected hazard averted, all save one kind. Man trouble waited for Eve like a demonic jack-in-the-box, head bobbing and grinning. Muscles up and down her back tightened. It was this that caused her to flee into denial, the thought of time wasted, mind and body pained. The desire to talk, confide in her friends about misgivings about Sam, the last worst guy ever, fled like alley cats into a lonely night. Denial made everything go away—and stay gone—better than a couple of vodkas on the rocks on a chilly evening.

A white cab edged out of the alleyway bordering the cantina. It pulled stealthily alongside Eve. She bent down and looked through the smudged passenger window. She wanted to make sure she knew the cabbie. Past midnight was no time to be in a trusting mood.

Paul De Blassie III

***

At three a.m., the proverbial witching hour of Aztlan, Sweet Mary left her apartment for the gathering of Las Brujas Malas, deep in the crumbling limestone edifice of vicious spirits. The condemned downtown limestone church, once a prosperous enclave of the Ecclesia Dei, had long been abandoned. It sat adjacent to Sweet Mary’s bedroom, badly stained by gray and black soot.

Putrid odors of the cursed underworld that lay beneath its unhallowed edifice, curled through the atmosphere surroundingthe decaying structure.

Sweet Mary wound her way past the fenced and barbed wired blockade that deterred homeless souls and nighttime vandals. Her lithe frame smoothly squeezed between the slightly ajar, chained doors. She walked over the toppled wooden pews and stone statues littering the concrete flooring from the back of the church to its altar.

The religious artifacts had been defaced by those news media referred to as sledgehammer-wielding lunatics claiming clerical abuse as children.

She quipped to herself, Religion mocks, uses, and abuses. Nothing new under the black sun.

She opened a narrow side door that led to a rusted iron spiral staircase. Into the haunted and torch-lined basement that stretched thirty feet beneath the surface, she stepped. At the final stair, she touched bare earth.

Torches were lit along a cave of mirrors, shards embedded in the walls, shattered remnants taken from the homes of victims who had defamed Las Brujas.

Anyone who dared speak ill of the brujas ended the day tormented, injured, or maimed. Crises happened. One second they were safe, the next mowed down by an out-of-control car, or mugged and cut, or worse, lured in by a soft and sexy vixen loaded with a nasty biological curse. Mirrors confiscated from homes during nighttime raids reflected the victim’s horrified face when doom struck. Sweet Mary hurried past the legions of rats scampering away from her every step into the cracks and crevices of the century-old limestone structure.

An unavoidable eyesore at the heart of one the most decayed areas of the often sinister downtown Aztlan del Sur. It was a meeting . In this haunted zone, Sweet Mary presided over the witches of black magic. They knew how to spot love, taint love, kill love. It’s what bad mothers did. It’s what Las Brujas did. It’s what Sweet Mary did—because what had been received must be given.

No one knew where they gathered. Evil demanded hiddenness. Street-smart folk and fear-ridden church folk knew them as Las Brujas Malas, the foulest of witches, not to be crossed. Even those who suspected the whereabouts of their lair dared not cross the street to look at the unholy building, now a crumbling religious edifice.

The witches met at the mouth of a deserted tunnel, which in former years led to the secret chapel of the reigning archbishop, who there entertained a bevy of female devotees. Las Brujas, the four desert urban witches, walked down the twenty-foot descent. Hard-pack dirt sloped gently into the entrance of the unhallowed region of the chapel that had become the accursed cave of Las Brujas.

They moved forward, into the mouth of the cave.

Paul De Blassie III

***

But here Eve was, paralyzed. Waves of gurgling and quicksand were no metaphor. Agitation could turn bad to worse. Eve clutched harder for a stable mind. It was a torment, nearly impossible not to panic. She gritted her teeth, tightened her mental hold. Gently, millimeter by millimeter, she managed to raise her right hand. Mud offered no resistance. She raised her right forearm out of the hungry maw of dirt and grit. She grabbed hold of a desert oak’s dropping branch. It held firm. Five fingers clutched like a vise. She lifted her left arm and hand. Inch by inch, she loosened her torso from the deadly mud. Low-lying olive tree branches gave steadier purchase.
Relief.

Memories of circling sparrows, an ancient warding against fated demise, provided a moment’s comfort. She pulled upward. Branches did not snap or break. They were supple. Evenly, she pulled with breath after concentrated breath. She gazed toward the sky. There were no sparrows overhead. The silence felt unnerving.

The sky shifted, turquoise bright turned to leaden gray. The desert olive branch snapped. Eve screamed and dropped. She sank to her shoulders. Quicksand lapped up past her chin, grains of sand forming crusts along her lips.

Clenching her teeth, she was grateful her mind hadn’t snapped along with the branch. Wits kept panic at bay.

Dying wasn’t a concern, survival was. It was the getting there that mattered—how it happened, how she did it. She detested the thought of dying by a witch’s curse, slipping into an underworld of final breaths and mud-loaded lungs. If she went down into the belly of the abyss and the mouth of a soul-famished witch, she’d do it on her terms. Middle finger out.

Paul De Blassie III

Book trailer with the Author’s choice of music to listen to his book.