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Saturday Sneak Peeks: Shadow Stalker Episode 19

Designed by Kathryn Jenkins at Magical Designs

I’ve finally finished writing Episode 19. I ended up changing the ending to the Shadow Stalker serial, so I had to do a lot of re-planning. But I’m happy with it now. 😀

Here’s a sneak peek of Episode 19, which is due to be released the 5th of April!


“I don’t want Makari to come back and find me gone.”

“I will contact him through the shadow world and inform him of what is happening once we are safely away from here.”

“Kado—“

Kado closed the distance between us. “Auren, I’m taking you from this place. You can either come or your own free will or by force.”

Tamir tensed next to me. I held my hand up to stall whatever he was planning. I didn’t need this turning into a fight, especially in front of Jade. Physically she was healing well, but her mind was still fragile.

“If I go with you—“

“If?” Kado arched an eyebrow.

“’If’ I go with you, we have to take Jade as well, and you have to promise me you’ll return her to Deakan on Appolia before we return to the Dark Isle.”

“It’s not possible, Auren. You can give birth any day now. Makari will keep Jade safe for the time being.”

Jade grabbed tightly onto my arm.

I stood my ground. “I won’t leave without her.”


Thanks for reading. If you’d like read more, you can catch up by reading Shadow Stalker Parts 1 & 2 free!

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Author Spotlight: Umbrae (The P.A.W.S. Saga 3) by Debbie Manber Kupfer

 

Welcome to another Friday Author Spotlight! I’m excited to welcome Debbie Manber Kupfer back with the lastest in her P.A.W.S. Saga, Umbrae. She’s going to be sharing a trailer for her book as well as an excerpt, so keep reading!

Debbie Manber Kupfer grew up in London and lived in Israel, before somehow ended up in St. Louis, where she works as a puzzle constructor and writer. She lives with her husband, two children, and a very opinionated feline. She is the author of the P.A.W.S. Saga and has short stories in several anthologies including Fauxpocalypse, Shades of Fear, Winter Wishes, Sins of the Past, Sins of the Future, and Stardust, Always. She also created the puzzle book, Paws 4 Logic together with her son, Joey. She believes that with enough tea and dark chocolate you can achieve anything!

Connect with the Author

Website/Blog
Amazon Author Page
Twitter
Facebook

Join Debbie for her Release Party!

About the Book

Step into the Shadows of Umbrae …

Miri’s world at P.A.W.S. in St. Louis is falling apart. First, Danny is accused of stealing her opapa’s charm. But before he can defend himself, he mysteriously disappears. Miri seeks Josh for help and advice, but he too has gone missing.

Then Lilith has a vision – Miri dragged away by wolves. Miri needs answers, answers that she feels sure are hidden in the blank pages of the book of Argentum.

With the help of Lilith, she travels to the ancient city of Safed. There, with the aid of a mystical rabbi and an outspoken werecat, her omama’s story is slowly revealed. And Miri uncovers something else, a world hidden deep beneath our own – the labyrinth of shadows also known as Umbrae.

Get it today on Amazon!

 

 

Keep reading for an excerpt:

VIENNA, OCTOBER 20, 1941

Today was Celia’s tenth birthday. This was not how she’d expected to celebrate it. She felt the silver chain around her neck, the cat charm just above her heart. Mama had given her the charm, and now it was getting warmer and the cat’s eyes were glowing green.

“I love you Mama…”

Max scrambled out of her arms and gazed up at her, his yellow eyes burning with understanding. Celia didn’t understand. What was happening? Where were they taking her family? Little Sara was crying. Her mama clutched her to her breast as they followed the Gestapo soldiers out of their home on Grosse Spielgasse.

Still, Celia didn’t understand. She tried to follow them. No, Max put a paw on hers. His brown tabby fur felt warm and urgent on her silver grey paw. How? How had she changed so fast? She remembered the sensation, her body contracting, as if she was shrinking away, becoming invisible to the Nazi soldiers. The silver cat charm had glowed. Its eyes had shone green like emeralds and the warmth of the charm had permeated her body. She looked at Max. He was a brown tabby with amber eyes, and she was a small silky grey cat. No, not grey, silver, her coat was the color of argentum.

“We have to go,” said Max, after the soldiers and Jews had left on the truck. How could she hear his voice? How could she communicate with a cat? “Quickly Celia, there’s no time to waste.”

He pushed her out of the house and into the cobble streets. The sun was setting, a warm red glow. The streets were almost peaceful. These buildings that just hours before had housed the last few Jews of Vienna now lay empty. Celia felt tears form in her eyes. Mama, would she ever see her mama again?

Around her neck hung the silver chain. The cat charm comforted her. Max beckoned her forward, and she followed him through the twisted streets of the neighborhood. He seemed to understand where they needed to go. And then without warning, he ran and she struggled to keep up with him. Out of the corner of her eye she saw them, two young soldiers standing on the corner of the street, guns in their hands. One young man laughed to his friend as the cats ran past. He raised his rifle, aimed, and fired. Celia cringed as a yowl rang out through the air.

“Max, oh Max!” She rushed to his side. There was blood oozing out of a bullet hole in his hind leg, and his breathing was labored.

“Go on Celia. Go to the warehouse, they’ll help you,” he said.

“No,” she replied. “I’m not going to leave you.”

Author Spotlight: The Light From Other Suns by V.E. Lemp

Welcome to this week’s Friday Author Spotlight! I have a new visitor this week, V.E. Lemp with the first book in The Others series, The Light From Other Suns. She’ll be sharing an excerpt from her book today, but first lets get to know more about the author.

V. E. Lemp is a librarian turned author, and a lifelong science fiction and fantasy fan.

She loves speculative fiction in all formats, including books, television, and film. She also admits an unhealthy obsession with television shows that document extraterrestrial encounters and UFO sightings, and enjoys programs that present mind-expanding examinations of scientific discoveries and theories.

She believes the most important question is always: “What if?”

V. E. Lemp, who writes in other genres under the pennames Vicki L. Weavil and Victoria Gilbert, is represented by Frances Black of Literary Counsel, NY, NY.

 

Connect with the Author

Website/Blog
Amazon Author Page
Twitter
Facebook
Pinterest
Goodreads

Sign up for updates and giveaways!

 

About the Book

Artist Karen Foster draws while dreaming. Scientists label her a valuable commodity. Aliens call her their perfect messenger.

Seeking money for art supplies, Karen is thrilled when charming researcher Alex Wythe recruits her for a dream study called the Morpheus Project. But the Morpheus Project is not what it seems, and neither are the detailed technical illustrations Karen draws in her sleep.

Warned off by government agent Mark Hallam, Karen refuses to leave the project, even after her fellow subjects suffer breakdowns. Like the sun, her love for Alex blinds her.

Karen believes their love is forever, until a tragic accident blasts both their lives.

Aided by Mark—as well as a UFO investigator, his psychic daughter, and the dark-eyed strangers who haunt her dreams—Karen must fight to uncover the truth.

A truth that includes humans trading lives for profits—and a powerful cabal that will kill to keep such secrets from the world.

A truth that unveils the ultimate, terrifying, reality –

We have never been alone.

Available the 8th of March 2017!

Pre-Order it today on Amazon!

 

The second book, The Dark of Other Skies, is also available for Pre-Order on Amazon!

 

Keep reading for an excerpt:

The man moved closer and laid one hand on her arm. His slender fingers were cool against her skin but sent a frisson of heat rocketing up her arm. “Alex Wythe, professor of psychology.”

“Karen Foster.” Her smile froze into an uncomfortable grimace. His name sounded familiar, but she couldn’t quite place it.

“You plan to pursue art professionally?”

“Yes.” Karen met his searching gaze without flinching. She had to pull herself together. She couldn’t allow some random guy to intimidate her. Not even if he was older than her by several years. And no matter how gorgeous he was.

“Nice. I’ve no talent for art, but I do appreciate it.”

Of course—Dr. Alex Wythe. A girl in her studio had taken his class and never stopped yapping about him. The charming, fatally attractive psychology professor who supposedly dated a new woman every month. But never students, much to her studio mate’s dismay.

“Nice to meet you, but I certainly don’t want to interrupt your moment of solitude.”

“Nonsense. I was just watching the stars. There’s supposed to be a meteor shower tonight, you know.”

“Is there?” Karen looked up. The night was clear. The dark sky was spangled with stars like sequins scattered over black velvet.

“Yes, I was waiting for that. It’s a bit later than I thought.”

“I don’t suppose you can schedule meteors, exactly.”

“Not meteors, no,” Alex Wythe said, in a tone that suggested other such things might be under his control.

Karen shot a quick look at him as he gazed at the heavens. “They’re almost impossible to paint, though. Can’t quite capture the quality of that light, and the depth of the darkness. How it goes on forever. I’ve attempted it, but the results always look flat and two-dimensional.”

“Paintings are two-dimensional. Color on canvas. But I suppose you’d argue it’s the artist’s task to make them into something more.”

“Depends on the artist.” Karen relaxed her taut shoulders. Talking about art was something she could do anywhere, with anyone. “Some people revel in the two-dimensionality, like they’re saying ‘what you see is what is.’ Others want to play tricks, fool the eye. Or maybe, capture reality in a way even a photograph can’t … Oh, crap, I’m going off on one of my favorite tangents. Sorry, sorry.”

“No need to apologize. I like people who are passionate about their work.” Alex leaned in, studying her face like an appraiser examining a canvas. “It’s a very attractive trait.”

Was he going to kiss her? No, that was absurd. True, she hadn’t been touched by a man since her breakup with Karl, over six months ago. Her feelings of deprivation were probably coloring her thoughts, but surely she wasn’t so far gone as to turn delusional. Karen flung up her hand to cover her mouth and coughed.

Alex stepped back. In the ensuing silence, Karen toyed with her pencil in her pocket.

After a moment, Alex motioned toward her sketchbook. “Might I see? I don’t mean to pry, but I’m curious.”

“Sure. Don’t expect finished work, though. It’s all quick studies.”

“I promise not to judge too harshly.” He flipped through the pages, pausing to examine a few drawings more closely. “Very impressive.”

Karen was glad the shadows hid her blush. “Thanks. I mostly work in oils and watercolors, but my draftsmanship isn’t bad, or so I’m told.”

Alex didn’t appear to hear her. He was staring at one of the sketches with an odd expression on his face—a focus so intense it seemed his gaze might burn a hole in the paper.

“This one,” he said, his voice cracking, “this one is different. Where’d you get the inspiration for this?” He moved closer, holding out the small notebook.

She’d forgotten that sketch—an extremely detailed drawing of some unknown object, as carefully drafted as the blueprint for a high-tech machine.

“Oh.” Karen’s thoughts raced, but she didn’t know if it was due to the sketch or Alex’s proximity. “That’s something I can’t explain. I have these dreams, you see …”

“Dreams?” Alex’s blue eyes were very large and bright and very close, extremely close.

Karen took two steps back. “Yes. I’ve always had vivid, strange dreams. Decided I might as well make use of them. They’re worthless otherwise.”

“You remember your dreams? In detail?”

“Yes. Sometimes …” Karen hesitated. Strangely, she wanted to tell this man the truth she hid from everyone. The sad reality only her parents, a few doctors, and Thea knew. But years of keeping secrets won out. “Well, sometimes when I wake I remember images and draw things. Things like that.” She pointed at the sketch. “Weird, huh?”

Alex snapped the sketchbook shut and handed it back. “Not as weird as you think.” He studied her face. “Know anything about my research?”

“Psychology? I mean, that’s what you teach.”

“Yes, but I conduct research too. Have you ever heard of the Morpheus Project?”

“No.” Karen concentrated on shoving the sketchpad into her pocket. “But I’m pretty focused on my art courses these days.”

“Never heard of Ian Vance?”

“Well, yes, but only because his family’s rich. Not that I care about people with money, but you can’t live in this town and not hear about the Vance family. They own that big estate outside town, right?”

“Yes, quite a place. Anyway, Ian Vance is my boss. He designed the Morpheus Project.” Alex checked his watch. “Not sure we’re going to see that meteor shower after all.”

His frown was puzzling. Karen understood having an interest in such a phenomenon, but not the concern that colored his words. There would be falling stars—or not. Surely it didn’t matter either way.

“Anyway …” Alex’s smile erased her errant thoughts. “I doubt this catering job is something you enjoy. I assume you just need money?”

“Yes, for art supplies. For my senior show.”

“Then you should consider the Morpheus Project. Could be just the thing, if you need a job.” He laid his fingers back on her arm.

“Job? What kind of job?” Karen fought the urge to pull away. Not because his touch was unpleasant. No, definitely not. And that was precisely the problem.

“We’re looking for student subjects. It involves dream research, so it might suit you.”

“People get paid to dream?”

“Well, to sleep in our facility, with monitoring equipment, then record dreams in the morning, yes.”

“That’s actually research? I mean, funded and everything?” Karen couldn’t keep disbelief from coloring her words.

Alex lifted his hand from her arm. Karen thought she’d insulted him, until she caught a glimpse of his smile. “Believe it or not, it is. And I think you’d make a perfect research subject. It offers decent pay, plus free room and board. Interested?”

“Maybe.” Why she didn’t jump at this opportunity? To be paid to dream seemed like a dream itself, and the ideal way to make money for art supplies. Plus, no rent or paying for meals? Perfect. But a flutter in her stomach made Karen hesitate. It was true she remembered her dreams in great detail and wrote them down in a journal for artistic inspiration. But she hadn’t told Alex Wythe everything. She hadn’t mentioned her sleepwalking. If she joined his research study, surely they’d discover that little habit. And there was one other thing, even more disturbing—something that might expose her most embarrassing secret. The detailed sketch, the one Alex questioned her about, had been drawn in her sleep.

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