Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Get Fisk Novella's Spotlight


 
The GetFisk novellas are fast-moving, action-packed and sexy tales about a powerful, mysterious tycoon known only as Fisk and his colleagues - special operative Carlos Madrid, and Hollywood actress Tarita Lee. The ebooks are designed specifically for reading on tablet or smartphone, combining prose with video, illustration, screenplay-elements and links, readable in 2-3 hours - escapist, low-brow but well-researched speedreads.

The first two titles in the series available now are:

“Midnight in Juarez” – Fisk gets caught in a hair-raising thriller, when his operations in Mexico are being threatened by drug cartel warfare. He sends Carlos and Tarita to find a mysterious cartel boss named Paco Fuentes, who may or may not be Carlos's half-brother.

“Pirate Lair” – It’s an adventure on the high-seas, when one of Fisk's oil tankers is hijacked in the Indian Ocean off Somalia. To find the pirates and the missing tanker, he sends Tarita and Carlos into pirate infested waters as bait in a dangerous game.

With the adrenaline rush of the thriller, rich visuals and topics ripped straight from the headlines,GetFisk takes mobile readers where they want to go while they're on the go! This series is, in short, a wonderful blend of genre potboiler and new media innovation.  

"GetFisk: Midnight in Juarez” and “GetFisk: Pirate Lair” (each $2.99) are available now for smartphones, tablets and all major e-readers through Amazon, Apple iBooks and Barnes & Noble. 

Disclosure: I did not receive any monetary compensation. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours.  

SuperEats Kale & Chia Chips Giveaway


SuperEats Kale & Chia Chips Giveaway!

Win an assortment of Kale & Chia Chips from SuperEats!

Hosted by: Savory Savings & Gloriously Green Gal

SuperEats Prize Pack July 22 - August 5

Looking for a healthy way to get your salty snack in each day?  Why not try SuperEats Kale & Chia Chips?  These crunchy and flavorful chips are loaded with Vitamins A and C among other wonderful antioxidants and nutrients!  Krista over at Savory Savings recently had a chance to review the fun flavors and shared her thoughts in this SuperEats review!

How would you like to an assortment of SuperEats chips (valued at $50)?  If you would like a chance to win, enter with the Giveaway Tool below. 

If you have won a SuperEats giveaway anytime from another blog in the last 12 months, you are not eligible to win this giveaway.  The giveaway will run from July 22 through August 5, 2014 at 11 PM CST and is open to US residents, ages 18 and older.  Entries will be verified.  Winner will be notified via email (consider adding gloriouslygreengal@gmail.com to your safe list) – winner will have 48 hours to respond and claim prize or another winner will be selected.

Good Luck Everyone!


Krista from Gloriously Green Gal and Savory Savings received products from this sponsor to facilitate her review, no other compensation was received. All participating blogs are not responsible for prize fulfillment.  This giveaway is in no way associated with social media sites including Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest.

Deep in Death Promo Blitz & Giveaway



 


Deep in Death – Release Blitz

A Shelby Nichols Adventure – Volume 6 Paranormal Mystery Date Published: July 22, 2014

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Running “errands” for her mob-boss employer, Joey “The Knife” Manetto, often ends with Shelby in trouble, making her cautious about continuing her association with him. Instead, she focuses on a new client who hires Shelby to find her missing mother.

What seems like a routine case turns into something more sinister and deadly than she ever imagined. In the meantime, Uncle Joey has summoned Shelby to his office, where she runs into her former nemesis.

Shelby inadvertently hears something that makes her fear for the lives of Uncle Joey and his hit-man, Ramos. This time, Uncle Joey is not sure he wants to involve Shelby in something he knows could get her killed. Keeping Shelby’s involvement to a minimum has disastrous results, sending Shelby on a dangerous path. As her investigation unfolds, Shelby finds death at every turn, and soon realizes she is in over her head. Can she escape from danger in time? Or will she find herself deep in death?

EXCERPT

A twinge of pain burned through my arm, and I gently rubbed the spot where I’d been shot nearly three weeks ago. Getting a shot in the arm may sound like a simple thing for most people, but when it’s done by a bullet, it’s a whole different story. At least it was healing nicely, and the scar wasn’t too big, but every once in a while my arm ached like it had happened yesterday, probably because I was overdoing it again.

After a few seconds the pain subsided, and I finished pulling on my shirt and got dressed. Today was my first day back at work since the shooting, and I was ready to take on a new project. This time the job was a client from my consulting agency, which suited me just fine. My last job for Uncle Joey, the local mob-boss, had gotten me both arrested for murder and shot by a bullet in the arm, so I was a little nervous about doing anything for him again.

A few months ago I had to tell Uncle Joey my secret that I could read minds so he wouldn’t kill me. We’d worked out a compromise, and over the course of our association, we’d even become close. Crazy as it sounded, I’d started to think of him as my real uncle, even though he wasn’t. Since most of his errands seemed to get me into trouble, he’d also saved my life a few times. Well, to be honest, it was his hit-man, Ramos, doing most of the saving.

But it was Uncle Joey who’d told him to watch out for me. I sighed every time I thought of Ramos. He had a troubled past which only I knew about, and I’d helped him come to terms with it. Besides saving my life several times, there was also a physical attraction that I only dared admit out loud to my best friend, Holly.

Of course after seeing him, she had a crush on him too, and since we were both happily married, I had to think it was all right. But with all of that going on, I had to wonder about myself. I mean, Uncle Joey was a big, bad mob-boss who had threatened to do me bodily harm, and Ramos was his hit-man. They were the bad guys and I had a soft spot in my heart for them. Was something wrong with me?

My husband, Chris, had no qualms about severing all ties with Uncle Joey, and it put me in a hard spot trying to please them both. But since the last job, things had changed. After I got shot, Chris had a long talk with Uncle Joey, and I hadn’t heard from him in three weeks. In some ways it was a relief, but in others, I kind of missed him…and Ramos…well…mostly Ramos. Still, I wasn’t about to call and offer my services. Not considering what had happened last time.

Nope. I wasn’t ready to get shot again. In fact, I would be pretty happy if I never saw another gun in my life. I took a deep cleansing breath and checked the time. I had an appointment with my client at ten this morning, and it was time to go. Her name was Tiffany and this was her senior year of college.

Since I didn’t have a real office, I’d told her we could meet at the campus library in-between her classes, and with her busy schedule, meeting on campus worked out great for both of us. I drove through town with my windows down and breathed in the crisp fall air. It was the first part of October and the sky was the perfect color of blue. The trees were just beginning to change into brilliant autumn colors, and framed against the blue sky, the pure beauty and serenity lifted my spirits.

With everything I’d gone through lately, I knew I was lucky to be alive. I parked at the visitor parking meters near the library and headed toward the front of the building. It had been several years since I’d been there last, and a wave of nostalgia washed over me.

I’d only been to one year of college before I’d talked Chris into marrying me. It was love at first sight for me, but it had taken some gentle persuading on my part to help Chris see how perfect we were together. Right after our marriage, we’d gone off to law school in another state. Josh had been born exactly nine months later followed by Savannah two years after that. There were times when I regretted not finishing college back then, but I wouldn’t trade the life I had now for anything. I loved my family and, as it turned out, I had a pretty good career without a degree, and I was proud of what I’d accomplished.

Of course, if I hadn’t gotten shot in the head during a bank robbery, which left me with the ability to read minds, it might be a different story. It was still hard for me to believe how my life had turned upside down simply because I’d stopped at the grocery store for some carrots. Who would have thought? Now I had my own consulting agency where I could get paid for helping people, and most of the time, all I had to do was read their minds. Not that it was always that easy, but after getting shot, I’d take some simple cases for a while.

A young woman sat on a bench near the fountain where we’d planned to meet. Her gaze caught mine and her eyes widened slightly before she recognized me. As I approached, she smiled and gave me a quick wave. She had long blond hair and a sweet face, but her somber eyes seemed out of place for someone her age, like she’d gone through some hard times. Since she was a college student, I was a little nervous that she couldn’t afford my one-hundred-and-fifty-dollar-an-hour fee. But we’d talked about that before I agreed to meet her, and she’d seemed fine with it then. She stood to greet me.

“Shelby Nichols? Hi. I’m Tiffany Shaw. Thanks for meeting me.”

“Hi Tiffany, nice to meet you in person,” I answered. “I know this is kind of informal, but it’s such a beautiful day. Do you mind staying out here in the sunshine?”

“I think that’s a great idea.” “Good.” She resumed her seat on the bench and I sat beside her. She was thinking that she wasn’t sure how to start. What she needed might not even be possible, but she’d read about me in the paper and figured if anyone could help her, it was me. She’d been saving up for years to hire a private investigator and wanted the best.

After a little digging, she’d heard rumors that I had premonitions. It didn’t faze her in the least. In fact, after all this time, she thought it might be the only thing that would solve the case. She just had to make sure her dad didn’t find out, since he was the over-protective sort. He’d tell her she was throwing away her money, and probably accuse me of taking advantage of her. That certainly put a lot of pressure on me, and my stomach tightened with dread that her father would disapprove.

But since she was thinking about not telling him, maybe he’d never need to find out. Considering her age and circumstances, I had hoped she’d hired me for something easy, like finding out if her roommate was after her boyfriend.

But no, she was thinking about her mother, and that she was probably dead, and I knew nothing was ever as easy as I wished. “I’d like to hire you to find my mother.”

Her lips tightened and pain flashed through her eyes. “You see…I’m getting married in a few weeks and I really want her to be there.” She didn’t add ‘if she’s still alive’ like she was thinking.

She’d always imagined her mother would be at her wedding, and now that it was actually happening, she couldn’t stop wondering where her mom was and what had happened to her. The day her mother had gone missing was the worst day of her life, and thinking about it brought all the horror back, but she knew she would never move on unless she had some answers. “Tell me what happened,” I said gently.

She took a deep breath. “It’s been nearly six years, and I know that’s a long time, but just hear me out before you decide if you can take the job or not.” “Okay.” I encouraged her with a smile. “Go on.”

“Like I said…it will be six years on the twenty-eighth of October since she went missing. That night, she drove to the office where she worked to drop something off and never came back. They found her car parked in the parking structure with the keys in the ignition. Her purse was on the passenger seat. Nothing was taken, and there was no sign of a struggle. It was like she just disappeared off the face of the earth.”

“What did the police tell you?” “Well…they dusted for prints, checked her office, put out a missing person’s report, questioned her colleagues at work, and brought my father in for questioning.” She hated that they had suspected him. He was innocent. He had nothing to do with it. He loved her mom. It still made her angry. It was part of what had made the day so bad. She not only lost her mother, but her father was never the same after that.

“What happened to your father? Did they charge him with anything?” Tiffany shook her head. “No. They had no evidence that he was involved, but the police always suspect the husband first. So it was bad enough that my mom disappeared, but the fact that they thought my dad had something to do with it made it ten times worse.”

She sighed, wondering for the thousandth time what kind of person she would be right now if she still had her mom. She’d probably be a lot happier, that was for sure. “My dad’s doing better now. He even got married a couple of months ago.” “That’s good,” I said. “Yeah.”

She was glad he had finally moved on, and wished it was something she could do. But the ache just wouldn’t go away, especially with her upcoming wedding. This was the most important day of her life, and her mother should be there. So where was she? What had happened? Who had taken her? Why hadn’t she come home?

In her heart, she knew her mother never would have left unless she was forced into it. Speculation from the police and others of affairs, with her mom running off with another man, only deepened the wound, and she wouldn’t believe any of it. That’s why a small part of her had to believe her mom was dead, but what if she wasn’t? What if someone was holding her captive? It could happen, and she just couldn’t give up until she knew for sure.

“What did the police decide about the case?” I asked. “Officially, she’s missing and presumed dead. At least that’s what they declared so my dad could re-marry. I don’t know what happened to the case files. But I’m hoping you can dig them up and maybe find something that got passed over. I know it’s a long shot, but I’ve never had the resources to hire a private investigator until now. Do you think you could look into it for me?”

I bit my bottom lip. The chances of finding out what happened at this point were pretty slim. My mind-reading ability wouldn’t be of much use, although I could still question her dad. Even though she didn’t think it was him, I’d learned that some people were really good at keeping secrets, and I wasn’t about to rule him out. I could probably get my hands on the police file and talk to the detectives who handled the case, but beyond that, I didn’t have much hope.

About The Author - Colleen Helme


As the author of the Shelby Nichols Adventure Series, Colleen is often asked if Shelby Nichols is her alter-ego. “Definitely,” she says.

“Shelby is the epitome of everything I wish I dared to be.”

 Known for her laugh since she was a kid, Colleen has always tried to find the humor in every situation and continues to enjoy writing about Shelby’s adventures.

“I love getting Shelby into trouble…I just don’t always know how to get her out of it!” Colleen lives in the Rocky Mountains with her family.

Besides writing, she loves a good book, biking, hiking, and playing board and card games with family and friends.

She loves to connect with readers and admits that fans of the series keep her writing.

Author Links:   Website Facebook | Twitter | Blog | Amazon Author Page
 
BUY LINKS
GIVEAWAY
 
$25 Amazon Gift Card

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The Legacy Letters Book Review & Giveaway



 
I have a really gifted and emotional book to share with you that is a true collection of a man's thoughts to his family while he was dying. Beautifully written and will have you crying at times, it's a rare classic that should find a home in your book collection. It's called The Legacy Letters written by Carew Papritz.
 
Synopsis:
A tragedy begins. A husband and wife separate. He's dying. She doesn't know. She's pregnant. He can't return. Now he races against time--In the solitude of a mountain cabin. In a faraway mountain range.  
Trying to finish . . . For his children--his captivating stories and memories, turned into practical, moral, and spiritual instructions, now their "guidebook to life." For his wife--his intimate words of great love and deep regret, now his journey of redemption, now her passage to forgiveness.  
Ultimately, he gives his final gift to her, to them, and now, to us all. The Legacy Letters.
 
Purchase your copy on Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository |
 
I don't know how this man found the courage to do what he did after finding out he was going to die before the year was out, but he made a decision he thought was for the best for his wife, not knowing when he left to die alone that she was pregnant with twins. When he did find out thru a friend, he proceeded to spend as much waking hours as possible writing them letters and singing songs to help them throughout their lives.
 
I would encourage you to read this book as it's a work in progress about a man coming to terms with knowing he is dying, trying to do the right thing and all the while knowing he will be leaving three people behind that need him. What a terrible burden that must have been for everyone involved!
 
By the way, if you haven't already guessed it, this is a true story and this is a sampling of some of the letters that his children agreed to share with all of us. Thanks so much for your kindness because this book will astound you in how to live each day to the fullest and be as happy as you can be.
 
Happy Reading!
 
About the Author:
 
Carew lives life as a series of great tests of the spirit. Born with an adventurer’s heart—a fierce and undying curiosity to see and explore the world—he takes to his challenges as if they were fatefully created just for him. He is determined to be a Renaissance Man in an age that lauds the specialist. As seen by his writings and songs in The Legacy Letters, he is fascinated with the human condition and chronicles it by immersing himself in all its endless variations.
 
Check out the Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter |
 
Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
 
2 Winners will receive a Copy of  The Legacy Letters
+$20.00 Amazon Gift Card by Carew Papritz. 
 
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Monday, July 21, 2014

Christmas in July Book Hop Giveaway


 
Announcing the “Christmas in July” Giveaway Hop

July 22nd to 31st

 
I have several books that I thought would make Christmas in July seem a little bit more like the real thing and each title is also the link to the review if you need to know what each one is about. Don't forget to follow the Linky List to enter the other blogger's giveaways so you can win more books!
 
Open in the United States only. Good Luck Everyone!
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
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The Academy Series Book Review & Tour


 
Title: Altered
Author: Aubrey Coletti
Publisher: Escape Artist Press
Pages: 272
Genre: YA Thriller/Sci-Fi
Format: Paperback/Kindle
 
Synopsis: Altered Book 1:
When Toni, Joseph and Charlie arrive at their new boarding school, they are glad to leave their families — and respective problems — behind. Isolated as boarders, they meet a handsome senior with a personality like iced snake’s blood, teachers with a penchant for physical punishment, and four other outcasts who reveal that their being brought to the Academy wasn’t random at all. When the arrivals discover that their new school is engaged in “behavior modification” through electric shocks, isolation, restraints, and an ever-evolving set of methods to “fix” them, they declare war on their Academy.  
During their campaign of sabotage, they fight, hate, scorn, love, and begin to uncover the reasons why they were brought to the school. But as their war against the school escalates beyond their control, will they become the very things the Academy believes they are: dangerous, delinquent — and mad?
This was definitely a hard book to read. I still am not sure what "kind" of school this is suppose to be but the Headmistress of this school definitely has something up her sleeve and it's hard to tell if she is trying to punish or save her students. I don't think I would have done a good bit of the things that they did as far as punishment because it almost makes this place sound like a POW camp and not a school for troubled teens.
 
The teens themselves are very confused as to why they are there, some even can't believe that their parents sent them there to begin with and that they won't come and get them. Each teen will have to face their own demons if they are to survive this cruel place.
 
Purchase your copy on Amazon.
 
 Title: Shattered
Author: Aubrey Coletti
Publisher: Escape Artist Press
Pages: 333
Genre: YA Thriller/Sci-Fi
Format: Paperback/Kindle
 
Synopsis: Shattered Book 2: 
School’s in session at J. Alter Academy, and for Toni, Joseph, Ann, Charlie, and their boarder friends, that means they are still at the mercy of its draconian ways. While suffering the harsh consequences of their attempted escape, the seven teens must also contend with the formidable Headmistress and her taste for human experimentation — with the boarders as her favorite subjects.  
The seven friends play a delicate, dangerous game as they seek to discover the secrets behind their school and their own unique abilities. Yet as they move closer to uncovering the truth, will one of them be forced to pay the ultimate price? 
The second book finds them in a precarious state as their plan to escape went wrong when one of their own ratted them out or did he really? The boy who did has some serious issues that none of his friends knew about but the Headmistress did and she exploited that to get the information she needed to break these teens down.

When they find out the "real" truth, they will dig in and come up with a better more foolproof plan and it really is brilliant. Let's hope that in the end, the Headmistress doesn't catch on because they have a long way to go and only one of them make it out safely. Now, they have 6 to go, but will something happen before they can leave that will fragment their minds even further?

Can't wait to see what book 3 is all about and if they do indeed make it!
Purchase your copy on Amazon. 
 
About the Author: 
 
Aubrey Coletti is a singer-songwriter, dancer, and the author of Altered and Shattered, Books One and Two in The Academy Series.
 
Connect with her on Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads | 
 
Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours.

The Blobbits Giveaway


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Mary's Cup of Tea, and all my favorite blogger buddies and the amazing people at Blobbits.com invite you to enter for a chance to win a Blobbits Deluxe Kit valued at $24.00 from Blobbits!

A Huge thank you to our sponsors at blobbits.com for making this sweepstakes possible! It’s time to have some blobbin’ fun with Blobbits. People search it as Blobits & Blobit as well. This intergalactic stretchable, glow-in-the-dark, moldable, silicone-based compound is ideal for kids who thrive on being hands-on with their creativity and imagination.

Blobbits can be formed into any shape and come with face and body parts to give them personality and a scare factor. See your creations glow-in-the-dark when you dim the lights and after awhile the monsters melt down into a blob so you can build them over and over again so the fun never ends.

Best of all, kids can roll their Blobbits up into a ball and give it a bounce or two for fun before creating a whole new monster. Blobbits are a non-toxic, heat-resistant, non-allergenic and reusable compound. Each Blobbits comes with it’s very own stack-able reusable Blobbits container so it won’t dry out and never leaves a mess. It is ideal for kids of all ages. Each complete Blobbits Creation Kit comes with enough Blobbits, face and body parts to make two monsters and cost $9.99 plus $6.99 processing and handling.

For a limited time only, we will double your Blobbits and send two additional Blobbits creatures for free just pay additional processing and handling, this will be enough Blobbits and parts to make four monsters; one in yellow, green, orange and blue.

Features & Benefits Include:

  • Blobbits reusable for endless fun.
  • Comes in 4 different Colors.
  • Every Blobbits comes in its own carrycase.
  • Each Blobbits comes with approximately 9 Face and Body Attachements.
  • Blobbits and Face and Body Attachement are interchangable.
  • Create 1000’s of unique Blobbits Monster and Characters.
  • The Blobbits compound is bouncable and stretchable for bouncing catching and tug-of-war.
  • Blobbits is kid tested and parent approved.
  • Clean-up time is easy with the Blobbits stackable storage containers.
  • Melts from your creation to as flat as a pancake.
  • The Specially formulated Blobbits compound glows-in for spooky fun.
  • 100% Satisfaction Guarantee.

Enter the Giveaway

10 lucky Winners will win an amazing Blobbits Deluxe Kit valued at $24.00! Sweepstakes is open to US, must be 18 or older and use the giveaway widget to enter. This giveaway/sweepstakes will end on 08/21/2014 at 11:59 pm EST. Good Luck Everyone!

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Mary's Cup of Tea was not compensated for this post and is not responsible for prize fulfillment. Please contact Chrystal at Happy Mothering with questions about this giveaway or for help organizing one for your brand.

Children of The Gods: The Talon Project Book Review & Giveaway


 
 

I have a very short novella type book to share with you called Children of the Gods: The Talon Project written by Darryl Olsen.

Synopsis:
Some codes are best left secret. What if I told you there existed a bible code. Not just any bible code but one capable of turning the Book of Genesis into the most technologically advanced epics ever told; would you believe me. Well thanks to one of the Cold War’s best kept secret, such a code does exist. The Talon Project is an original bible code discovered by the world’s best and foremost scientist.  
This unique code turns the Book of Genesis and other ancient creation stories into the most technologically advanced epic ever conceived. Not everybody is happy with the project going public. Will you believe in the code!
Purchase your copy on:  Amazon - Kindle \ Amazon - Paperback \ B&N - Nook \ Kobo \ Smashwords
 
This is such a short story that I don't want to give too much away because the synopsis sums it up pretty good but I can add that it's and interesting theory if you believe that sort of thing.
 
This is a story that is another take on how we got started and thru this author's story it will have you believe it was ancient aliens who have been here since the beginning. Other than that, I hate to say too much because the whole story is blown with it being only 66 pages.
 
It's more science fiction than anything else and can be an interesting subject but with the novella's being so short you are just beginning to get interested and get the jest and it's over. Hopefully, the next book won't be so short and will into much more depth. I have to admit I am not a novella type book reader. I want my books thick and juicy and filled with all of my answers or a conclusion that I can rehash over and over and savor what I learned.
 
Happy Reading!
 
About the Author:
 
Darryl Olsen is a writer who lives in Sydney, he was educated on the Mid North Coast of New South Wales and after leaving school joined the Australian Regular Army. Darryl Olsen now writes part time, and when he is not finishing off his latest novel, you can catch Darryl at the gym lifting heavy weights, but still avoiding all forms of leg work.

Darryl Olsen is the author of the Purgatory series with the first title, Purgatory, Soldiers of Misfortune- now available. Stay tuned for the second novel titled, "Purgatory Origins" He also wrote "Children of the Gods-The Talon Project"

Darryl's Website / Facebook / Twitter


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Mary Bearden personally reviewed these products. I did not receive any monetary compensation for my review, just a sample product. All opinions are mine and belong to me solely. My thoughts and opinions may differ from yours.

Black Widow Witch Book Spotlight


Title: Black Widow Witch

Author: A. J. Locke

Release Date: 5/15/2014

Genre: Urban Fantasy

A deadly curse, a deadly assassin, and one shot to save everyone she loves…

Malachi Erami can’t fall in love. After she’s caught with Knave, the witch Queen’s favorite lover, she’s cursed to savagely butcher any man she falls for. Exiled to live among humans, Malachi runs a bar that serves magic-laced drinks, but since her curse labels her high risk, she’s also closely monitored. Julian Vira is her latest babysitter, but he’s also the first man since Knave that she’s been attracted to. Good-looking and nonjudgmental of her horrible curse? Yeah, he’s hard to resist.

But when Malachi finds a body behind her bar, she knows she’s in trouble. If the Witches Control Council gets wind of it, she’ll be accused of murder and sent to her death. And when her friends start getting framed for murder, she realizes she’s not the only target. Malachi and Julian dig into the evidence to clear her name, but the closer they get to answers, the closer the curse comes to taking over. So when Malachi uncovers a plot to kill the witch Queen, she finds herself suddenly recruited into service, with the promise of having her curse lifted and a reunion with Knave as well. But if she fails, Knave will die. And she and Julian might not live long enough to see that happen.

Excerpt:
Chapter One

Today was the anniversary of the worst day of my life, and I’d been trying to forget about it by consuming a vast amount of booze. The fact that I owned a bar greatly helped with that endeavor, and the fact that I was drunk was an accomplishment, since witches weren’t easily susceptible to alcohol. Humans were onto something with this whole drinking-to-forget-one’s-crappy-life thing.
Behind the bar, I poured a shot for an eager customer. Amaretto, Southern Comfort peach liqueur, and sweet-and-sour mix went into the glass, then I held my hand over the drink and let a stream of purple magic, the same color as my eyes, flow into it. The drink glowed purple for a few seconds, then I handed it to the customer, who drank it with no hesitation. After slamming the glass down, he grabbed the tipsy woman who’d been hanging on him and gave her a sloppy kiss, then led her out of the bar. I smiled and shook my head. The magic I’d put into the shot, aptly named Piece of Ass, would ensure they didn’t leave the bedroom tonight.

Somewhere in the room I heard riotous laughter, and above that the voice eliciting that laughter. Xiune was having a good night for a change and wasn’t holed up in my office. Though since she was just a head inside a clear acrylic box, it was understandable that sometimes all she wanted to do was hide.

Malachi, darling!” Xiune called. “Seven handsome young men have requested the Challenge!” I smiled slyly. I loved administering the Challenge.

It’s time for the Seven Deadly Sins Challenge!” I announced, filling up eight shot glasses with vodka, one of which I downed. “Which sin will it be and what will its victim do?” People shouted their guesses while I sent tendrils of magic into the shots. My magic sparked like tiny bolts of lightning, and like the shot I had just made, the liquid briefly glowed purple. I focused on one of the glasses and started whispering a spell, channeling the essence of one of the seven deadly sins through my body. For a brief moment, my body became flushed with a feeling of ravenous desire, then it flowed out of me into the shot glass. I felt rather charged and wondered if this had been the right sin to choose tonight. But hey, I was drunk, and I kind of wanted to see someone suffer. Misery loves company right?

I levitated the shot glasses onto a tray and sauntered over to the table where Xiune was entertaining the men who thought they were up for the Challenge. With her flawless complexion, golden eyes, and vibrant red hair, Xiune didn’t need a body to be beautiful. I’d known her when she had one though, and if she’d been sitting there in all her glory, she’d have every man kneeling at her feet. Her allure was only heightened by the fact that she was a bodiless beauty who used her magic to float herself around in a box. The box wasn’t necessary for Xiune to move around, but she felt safer inside it when she was out in public. That way if a witch hater spat on her, she’d have a shield. It also prevented those on the other end of the spectrum, people who were fascinated by witches, from getting too close. I set the shot glasses down and motioned for the men to stand around the table. They looked like your typical college fare: unkempt hair, sagging pants, and some sort of ironic or sports themed T-shirt. High-fives and shit talking all around.

Now boys,” I said, leaning forward on my forearms, giving my cleavage time to shine. “Are you sure you’re ready for this? One of you is moments away from experiencing a sin you may or may not enjoy.” They assured me they were man enough to handle any sin, and I smiled. The fun thing about the Challenge was that everyone handled it differently. One man caught with gluttony had run across the street to McDonalds, spent over a hundred dollars on food, then sat on the floor and gorged himself. A woman under the same gluttony spell had tried to eat her friend’s purse.

Let’s hope it’s lust and let’s hope it’s me,” one of the men said, winking at me. He stood a couple of inches over six feet, had brown hair and a lanky physique. If he started spending time at the gym, maybe his lame come-ons would give him more luck getting laid.

Honey, I would eat you up,” I said with a slow smile. Normally I would never have said such a line, but all the alcohol I had consumed was speaking for me. He probably had no idea how true those words were though, because his smile never wavered. However, for a moment after I spoke, I saw another face in place of his, and it cut through my drunken haze like a knife. I gasped, and he must have thought that was a sign he had a chance with me, because his smile became more lascivious. Lucky for him, he did nothing for me.

Malachi, let’s get this show going.” Xiune slid her box over to nudge me, and I shook my head and turned back to the waiting crowd.

All right, it’s about to go down!” I yelled. “For anyone who hasn’t witnessed the Challenge before, I’ll explain how it works. One of these shot glasses is infused with the essence of one of the seven deadly sins, and the recipient will be overcome with that sin for the next half hour, while the others will experience the most euphoric feeling they’ve ever experienced from a shot of alcohol.” I motioned for the men to pick up a glass, and Mister Flirtatious had one more wink for me.

Gentlemen, take your shot of sin!” They took their shots to the head. When they slammed their glasses down, every eye in the room was on them. After about twenty seconds, one of the men—not Winky—suddenly gasped, whipped his head around, and bolted from among his friends to accost a mildly attractive woman standing nearby.

Fuck me! Fuck me, please!” He shook her by the upper arms while she stared at him, mortified, as his friends tried to pry him off her. I brayed with laughter, as did Xiune and everyone else in the bar.

Oh god, I’m so horny. Someone please, fuck me!” He struggled against his laughing friends, trying to reach any female in sight, with his erection leading the way. Lust had been the winner tonight, and for the next thirty minutes this poor sap would be lusting after every woman he saw, whether she was twenty-eight or eighty-two. He even lurched toward Xiune, but she floated out of the way. Xiune was one sexy head in a box and had a mouth she could work wonders with. She often came out of her box to work those wonders on any willing man. There were more than you’d think.

Right sin, wrong guy, right?” brown-haired dude said to me.

I rolled my eyes. “You and your friends will have your hands full for the next half hour. I suggest you hold on to him real good and don’t be surprised if he turns to one of you when it starts to look like he won’t be getting any women.”

He laughed and pulled out his cell phone. “I’ll call his girlfriend, though she’ll probably be too pissed at him for doing this to alleviate his lust.” He left the bar to make the call, while the other five continued to hold on to their friend, laughing like they’d never experienced anything so hilarious in their lives. Some of the more mischievous or drunk women teased the guy by parading in front of him and doing dirty little stripper moves. Only his friends’ hold stopped him from tackling one of them and trying to rip her clothes off.

I wasn’t afraid of things getting out of hand because I could break the spell any time I wanted. There was always a point where things stopped being amusing and started getting annoying. I left them and headed back behind the bar, while Xiune found another table of people to entertain. She was a wonderful songstress, and soon her melodic voice filled the bar as I went back to making magicked drinks. I glanced at my watch, noting that it was almost midnight, which meant the day was almost over. That didn’t actually mean anything though. The day passing didn’t mean I would forget the curse that was hanging over my life.

Hey, Malachi, can you pass me a knife?”

Knave?” I quickly turned to the busboy, James, who was bent over a box behind the bar.
No, I said knife,” he said. My throat was suddenly tight, but I reached under the bar, got a knife, and handed it to him. I stood back and ran my hands through my short black curls, blowing out a slow breath as I tried to rein in my reaction to thinking I had heard the name Knave. That was the name attached to the face I did not like to think about, but no amount of alcohol and rowdy college boys taking the Challenge could truly put him from my mind. I didn’t want to see Knave’s face, didn’t want to think about the hard muscles my hands used to slide over, following the planes of his body to his waist and not stopping until I touched something that arched his back and made him whisper my name. I didn’t want to think about the nights we’d spent wrapped in each other’s arms, feeling our hearts beating against each other. But of course, since his name crossed my lips, he was all I could think about.

Falling in love with Knave was why I was cursed. And I could only blame myself. I should have known better than to take someone else’s lover to my bed. Especially if the woman crossed was a witch queen who was powerful, sadistic, and known to curse people just for sneezing out of place.
Malachi? Excuse me, Malachi?” I blinked and brought myself out of my thoughts, turning to see that one of the other busboys, Dan, was trying to get my attention. He held a box of empty liquor bottles and needed me to move so he could pass. I shuffled out of the way, but thinking of Knave and my curse, along with all the beer and shots I’d drunk tonight, made me feel slightly unstable. Suddenly, the rowdiness in my bar wasn’t fun; it was obnoxious, and I wanted to get away from it. I headed through the door Dan had passed through, into the hallway that led to my office and the Dumpster out back. Halfway down the hallway, I heard a crash, followed by a scream. I ran through the back door, taking in several things at once that left me rooted to the spot. One, the revolting stench that went far beyond what our single Dumpster could give off. Two, Dan standing rigidly a few feet away with broken bottles scattered at his feet. And three, the thing that had caused him to drop the bottles and scream. Behind the Dumpster was a dead body.

Buy Links:
Authors Bio:  
A.J. Locke is an author and artist, originally from Trinidad, now residing in New York City. Black Widow Witch is her second published novel, and other than writing she enjoys reading, drawing, painting, graphic design, and watching too much television.

Blog: http://iqurae.blogspot.com/  
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/AJ-Locke/522250584507699 
Twitter: @maqueripe  
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/20643885-black-widow-witch  

Other books: Affairs of the Dead Elemental Inferno




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