21 October, 2017

Wicked Dance by Olivia Boothe Pre Order Blitz!

Available for PRE-ORDER
A new contemporary romance novel from Olivia Boothe
Releasing October 27.
Wicked Dance Tour Graphic
WICKED DANCE
Olivia Boothe
Series: Chronicles of a Dancing Heart
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Publication Date: October 27, 2017
She never imagined her heart could ever dance again
Wicked Dance
She never imagined her heart could ever dance again…
Former dance student Sara Hart had aspired to grace the stage on Broadway, but a reckless decision forced her to renounce that dream. Years later, while struggling with an ungratifying job and an even more unsatisfying love life, she literally stumbles upon a dangerously sexy stranger who sends her heart—and her body—into hyperdrive. His touch makes her feel alive again and sparks a desire to rebuild her dance career. But Sara is still haunted by the demons of her past. One dark lie could cost her everything.
He’d stopped believing in love …
Real estate mogul Tom Wright caters to the rich and famous. He lives the life of the perfect bachelor—partying hard and dating the most beautiful women in Manhattan. But he has one golden rule–no commitments. Ever. Then he meets sexy Sara Hart, and something about her makes him want to throw the damn rule book out the window. Every time she’s near, the blood in his veins pulses with a raging fire he can’t contain. But Tom’s shadowed history is resurfacing, unearthing ghosts he’d rather remain buried.
Will this wicked dance be their last?
[Praise]
- [Name], Goodreads Reviewer

Purchase Links

Pre-order your copy today for only $5.99!
Available now for 99 cents only. Grab your copy today.

An Excerpt from the Book

Take an inside look at Wicked Dance. Read this sizzling excerpt from the book.
"This night is so beautiful, Tom."
"Yes, it is, but it doesn’t compare to you." He nuzzled my ear as he spoke, his breath raising the hairs on the back of my neck.
Come on. Does he really have to say things like that? He must know it sounds so cheesy.
"You must say that to all the girls," I teased.
"All the time," he said, taking a tiny nip of my lobe.
Shivers ran down my spine, making me tremble. Looking at me with his playful eyes, he took off his blazer and draped it over my shoulders. I smiled. Shamefully and against my better judgment, I’d fallen for his cheesiness.
"This is the second time you’ve given me one of your jackets," I said.
"I guess I like the way you look in my things."
"Is that so?"
"Yes."
His strong fingers grabbed me by the lapels of his blazer, bringing me closer. I gazed up only to find myself bound by his olive eyes. My arms were trapped under his jacket, rendering me motionless. He’d snared me. "What would you do if I kissed you?" he asked in a whisper.
"Why don’t you find out?" I replied with sweet command.
He pulled up on the blazer, drawing me into him. This time, I didn’t blink and no iron wall came crashing down to shield me from his kiss. I closed my eyes as his lips touch mine. Our mouths parted, our tongues feeling each other for the first time. With tenderness, they tangled in each other, exploring their sensitive areas, sending electric currents down my back.
The kiss sparked flames at all my nerve endings. His tongue invaded me deeper. The hotwire from my mouth to my groin flowed feverishly, igniting sensations I hadn’t felt in a while. I sank deeper into his kiss, responding to his hunger. Our tongues swirled in harmony, hot and wet. He savored every bite he took of my mouth as I feasted on his succulent lips.
His hold on me loosened, but not for long. He reached under my hair, cupping my jaw and caressing my chin with his thumbs. My senses flooded with a myriad of feelings and tastes. My own hunger grew in beat with his heavy breaths. I knew it and he knew it—we couldn’t continue the kiss. Fighting with all the will in my body, and slightly panting from his devilish assailment, I broke from his hot breath. His eyes were drunk with lust, making my knees weak. I feared if we were completely alone, I would be consumed by his passion.
His lips curled, and in a husky voice, he said, "Perhaps, we should go."

Giveaway

WIN $25 GIFT CARD AND MORE!
Wicked Dance Giveaway Graphic
Prizes up for grabs:
$25 Amazon Gift Card
2 Copies of Wicked Dance eBook
Contest runs from October 20 - November 25, 2017.

About Olivia Boothe

Olivia Boothe
Author of deep and sexy contemporary romance, Olivia Boothe enjoys crafting novels about complex characters and compelling storylines. Her romances encompass a blend of heartfelt emotion and steamy passion.
Coffee addict and red wine lover, when she’s not busy conjuring up a new story, Olivia likes to binge read across genres. You’ll typically find her with one book on her e-reader, a second on her phone, and a print book in her oversized handbag.
Olivia resides in Northern New Jersey with her husband, their three boys, and a miniature dachshund.
Official website: https://oliviaboothe.com/
Connect with Olivia Boothe on social media: Facebook | Instagram | Twitter

Book Tour Schedule

Follow the book tour from November 6 - 25, 2017.
Discover more features, excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and other extras on the tour.
To check the latest tour schedule, visit the Wicked Dance Book Page at Book Unleashed.

About The Wild Rose Press

The Wild Rose Press
The Wild Rose Press has been publishing electronic and print titles of fiction for more than nine years. Our titles span the sub-genre spectrum from sweet to sensually erotic romance in all lengths to mainstream and womens fiction. To check out the latest and upcoming releases and more, visit https://catalog.thewildrosepress.com.
Social media: Facebook | Twitter | Pinterest

In partnership with
Book Unleashed Logo

Haunted Halloween Care Package Giveaway!



The Haunted Halloween Care Package is a $59.99 Value and includes the following:
  • Plain M&Ms by Mars – 1.69 oz. – Rich, classic morsels of real milk chocolate that are coated in a thin, colorful candy shell.
  • Sour Patch Kids by Mondelez International – 2 oz. – Sweet and sour bite sized candies that will twist your tongue and keep you coming back for more.
  • Reese’s® Peanut Butter Cups by Hershey’s – 1.5 oz. – The beloved classic combination of smooth, creamy peanut butter and rich, sinful milk chocolate.
  • Cookies & Cream Wafer Roll Petites by Dolcetto – 4.2 oz. – Delightful pillow shaped bites of crisp wafers filled with a rich chocolate cookies and cream filling.
  • Chichester Snack Mix by Merrimack Valley Snack Company – 2 oz. – A zesty snack mix of cheddar crackers, premium nuts, and pretzel pieces.
  • 1/2 Pound of Mixed Candy – A delightfully sweet mix of non-chocolate favorites like Starburst, Nerds, Dots and more.
  • Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Kettle Corn by KingOfPOP.com – 4.2 oz. – Our kettle corn is dusted with sweet brown sugar and freshly ground cinnamon.
  • Peanut M&Ms by Mars – 1.69 oz. – Premium peanuts that are coated in real milk chocolate and a colorful shell.
  • Strawberry Twizzlers by Hershey’s – 2.5 oz. – Irresistible candy twists that embody the flavor of sweet, ripe strawberries.
  • Mike and Ike Original Fruits by Just Born – 5 oz. – These oblong fruit-flavored candies are a time-tested treat that have been popular with all ages since their creation back in the 1950’s.
  • Hot Tamales by Just Born – 1.8 oz. – Fiery, red-hot cinnamon candies that end with a sweet cinnamon flavor.
  • Pop Rocks by Pop Rocks Inc. – .33 oz. – This fun candy will begin to pop and fizz in your mouth as soon as it hits your tongue. A truly popping experience!
  • Honey Mustard & Onion Pretzel Pieces by Harvey’s Pretzels – 4 oz. – Crunchy, bite-sized pretzel pieces that get their flavor from tangy honey mustard and sweet onions.
  • Andy Capp’s Cheddar Fries by Conagra Foods – 3 oz. – Cheesy and delicious french fries that crunch like potato chips and pack a flavorful punch.
  • Sticky Eyeballs – The perfect accessory for all your Halloween shenanigans, these sticky eyeballs will help you with all your Halloween pranks.
  • Gross Creepy Crawly – These creepy crawly little critters are perfect for playing spook-tacular tricks on everyone you know around Halloween.
"The BEST part is that GourmetGiftBaskets wants one of my readers to experience this bounty for themselves. You can enter below using the easy Rafflecopter form. This giveaway is open to the US only. Winner will be emailed and need to respond within 48 hours or a new winner will be chosen. The sponsor is solely responsible for all prize fulfillment. Please do not enter my giveaways using multiple personalities. If you have any questions, just ask!"..from The Outspoken Yam
The company is also currently holding a contest with over $2000 in prizes. You can find the details in this post.

Release Tour For A Collection of Five Sweet Romances!


RELEASE TOUR FOR A COLLECTION OF FIVE SWEET ROMANCES
TOUR DATES: OCTOBER 17-22 2017
Evie’s Christmas Chocolate Kisses


Christmas is around the corner and all Evie Holmes wants is a nice, sincere, honest guy to spend the holidays with. Andrew Summerfield seems like the perfect boyfriend until Evie discovers he is only after her bakery, and beautiful, turn of the century home. When she ends their relationship, he stubbornly refuses to take no for an answer.
When her friend suggests Evie adopt a pet, she finds herself wanting to adopt a dog and a sexy veterinarian.

Nick Tucker has a killer smile, a heart of gold and loves her Chocolate Kiss cookies. Can a Saint Bernard named Brewster and a passionate veterinarian bring the holiday spirit back into Evie’s life in time for Christmas?
Analeigh’s Christmas Cupcakes
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0764JYMFC

This holiday season, Analeigh’s put everything into a Christmas wedding where her cupcakes are taking center stage. Analeigh quit her job and went back to school to follow her dreams and her passion.
In a second, Analeigh’s worst case scenario happens when she’s involved in a hit-and-run.

Her cupcake trays become road kill and her dreams fade.
But, when a cute tow truck driver, Danny, comes to her rescue maybe the worst day of her life can be resurrected. Anything can happen… it’s Christmas.

Chrissy's Christmas Sugar Cookies
https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0764TQR29

Nicholas Reed arrives in the small town of Troy to acquire the Delbert farm for his investors. He hadn’t expected his competition to be a beautiful, confident woman. His heart takes control over his business-minded mission. Christine Spencer is the owner of the coffee shop ‘Sugar N’ Spice’. She serves the best sugar and spice, and everything nice.
Chrissy’s heart melts the first time she meets Nick. Then she discovers he’s the man that can destroy her dream to own the Delbert farm. His plan to bring in his investors for a viewing of the property would cancel her annual Christmas dance at the farm. He proposes a deal for her to date him for a week and he’ll stall his investors. Can Nick convince her those first sparks they felt, are real? Nothing like a little spice added to the holidays, unless someone ends up on the naughty list.
    Amy’s Christmas Casserole

https://www.amazon.com/dp/B0764KJ6MX
After being attacked in the parking lot of her San Antonio apartment complex, Amy fears all men. One day she stumbles upon Sawyer Creek. Using all her savings, she buys a small house and café and her Chicken Dorito Casserole becomes an all-time favorite among the community. After four years, the nightmares have stopped, but the panic attacks haven’t.
Christmas is four weeks off when the Sheriff calls saying a shovel hit the backdoor of her café, setting off the alarm. Vowing to never be a victim twice, she arms herself with the shovel only to learn that he’s been shot.

Can she help him despite her fear of men?

Margie's Magic Cookie Bars
https://www.amazon.com/Margies-Magic-Cookie-Bars-Christmas-ebook/dp/B0764KRLTB/ref=sr_1_2?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1507142674&sr=1-2
Margie’s mom taught her to bake, and to believe in Christmas magic. She also promised this would be the year Margie found love. When Margie draws the name of her office crush, Trent in the Secret Santa Pool, she decides to make it happen by baking him a batch of her irresistible Magic Christmas bars. But it’s Bryan, the new guy in the office, who falls under her spell.
Bryan doesn’t need any encouragement when it comes to Margie. From his first day on the job, he’s been captivated by her sweet nature and beautiful smile. Bryan can tell Margie only has eyes for Trent, but he recognizes Trent for what he is, a charming user likely to break Margie’s heart. Before that happens, he must make Margie see she’s closer to her Christmas miracle than she ever dreamed.

You can find our collection of Sweet Christmas Romances at all of these wonderful locations:

Amazon: 

KOBO:

Apple iTunes:

Playster:

SCRIBD:

Inktera:



ABOUT THE AUTHOR
SHARON KLEVE

Sharon Kleve was born and raised in Washington and currently lives on the Olympic Peninsula with her husband.
Sharon is a multi-published author of contemporary romance. She loves romance. She loves reading romance, living romance, and especially loves writing about romance. She gets no greater feeling than watching her characters come alive in each other’s arms. Most of all, she loves giving her characters the happily ever after they deserve—with a few bumps and bruises along the way.

One of her favorite things to do is pick up a new book and sink into the story, immersing herself in the emotions between the characters. She hopes to inspire her readers the same way her favorite authors have inspired her.
When not writing, she can usually be found either curled up in her recliner with her cat and a good book, or in the kitchen baking sourdough bread or bagels.








ABOUT THE AUTHOR
JENNIFER CONNER

Jennifer Conner is a best-selling Northwest author who has seventy short stories, books, and audiobooks. She writes in Christmas Romance, Contemporary Romance, Paranormal Romance, Historical Romance, and Erotica.  

She has hit Amazon’s top fifty authors ranking and her books have been #1 in sales.

Her novel Shot in the Dark was a finalist in the Emerald City Opener, Cleveland, and Toronto RWA contests.

 Jennifer is an Associate Publisher for the indie e-book publisher, Books to Go Now who resides in the Seattle area. They pride themselves in helping new authors get their foot in the door with well-edited manuscripts, professional covers, and platforms uploads. 

 She lives in a hundred year old house that she grew up in. Her semi-small town holds an interesting mix of resident hillbillies, yuppies and Navy Seals. And of course, Seattle, only a few miles away, is the birthplace of Starbucks so coffee is always on the check list. She blows glass beads with a blowtorch, (which relieves a lot of stress and people don’t bother you) and is a huge fan of musicals.

She loves to hear from her readers.

Please email her atjenniferconnerwriter@gmail.com






For Updates about new releases as well as exclusive promotions, visit Jennifer’s website and sign up for the VIP mailing list. http://www.jenniferconnerbooks.com/

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
ANGELA FORD  


Angela Ford originates from Nova Scotia…Canada’s Ocean Playground! Her love of the ocean and sunsets are always in her heart and give her inspiration. Her love for words keeps her turning the page. She is never without a book, whether she’s reading or writing. Her dedication to volunteer and involvement with cyber safety seminars gave her an Award of Distinction and sparked the idea for her first book Closure - Best Selling Action/Adventure/Crime/Suspense.

Ms. Ford continued her FBI series with Forbidden and Obsessed. Now available in a boxed set – Cyber Crime Series. In between mysteries, Ms. Ford writes short contemporary romance...sometimes with a dash of suspense! Visit her website Romantic Escapes at http://www.angelafordauthor.com to connect with her on social media. She loves to hear from her readers – they keep her smiling!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR 
TAMMY TATE
Tammy Tate was born and raised in Hollywood, Florida but has lived most of her adult life in Texas. Her passion to write began in high school. It follows her everywhere she goes...creating a world where anything is possible. She's been married to the same wonderful man for over thirty years. Her secret to a long marriage? It's easy when you marry your best friend. In her world, Friday night is still date night.
Before she became a full-time author, she was an Executive Secretary, a Computer Consultant/Technician, and a Communications Officer (Police Dispatcher). She doesn't mind a challenge which has allowed her to race a late-model in a women's powder puff race, run barrels and poles in a play-day rodeo and drive an 18-wheeler. Somewhere in between, she and her husband raised three wonderful children. When she's not breathing life into her characters or jotting down ideas for a new book, she is most likely spending quality time with her husband or curled up with a good book.

Since she believes reading is the next best thing to writing, she enjoys romance, fantasy, science fiction and thrillers. In December of 2013, she signed her first book contract with a traditional publisher. Her books have made Amazon's Best Seller list.


Like my author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/tammytateauthor

ABOUT THE AUTHOR LAURA STRICKLAND



Award-winning author Laura Strickland, born and raised in Western New York, has pursued lifelong interests in lore, legend, magic and music, all reflected in her writing. Although she enjoys travel, she’s usually happiest at home not far from Lake Ontario, with her husband and her "fur" child, a rescue dog. Author of numerous Historical and Contemporary Romances, she is the creator of the Buffalo Steampunk Adventure series set in her native city. Margie’s Magic Christmas Bars is her second title with Books To Go Now.




All five authors will be giving away a $5.00 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter the giveaway below.

Knight Chronicles Book 2 By Alesha Escobar and Samantha Lafantasie Book Tour and Giveaway!


Revelations
The Aria Knight Chronicles Book 2
By Alesha Escobar and Samantha Lafantasie
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal

Magic is dangerous, but secrets can kill...

Aria Knight sees a light at the end of the tunnel as she sets out to confront the powerful witch who turned her world upside down…her mother. She must decide if the witch, Clare, truly wants to help her, or drag her into a fate worse than death.



Darkness gathers around Aria and her friends as rioting and assassination plots break out in the streets of Miracle Falls. Her ally, Harry Storm, conceals the truth about his powers while trying to keep it together long enough to help, or else fall into an abyss of insanity. And Jacob Wolfe, the man she yearns for, has little time for romance as he’s stuck trying to prevent an all-out war on preternaturals.

Aria knows that she must do her part to keep the peace, but it's difficult when the conflict within her own family threatens to tear her down. In liberating her only sibling from a magical prison, she finds that she may have hastened the destruction of all sin eaters, including herself.



REVELATIONS is the second book of the Aria Knight Chronicles by USA Today bestselling author Samantha LaFantasie, and bestselling author of The Gray Tower Trilogy, Alesha Escobar.





Sin Eater
The Aria Knight Chronicles Book 1

Aria Knight has an unusual set of skills: she will hold back the hounds of Hell so you can fly toward the Pearly Gates, and she will wipe your slate clean so that you don't become karma's bitch...for a price.



A Sin Eater has to make a living in today's world somehow.

But when she's called in the dead of night to perform her rite for a recluse billionaire, she stumbles upon a murder scene, and the evidence points to her.

In an attempt to clear her name and uncover the true culprit, Aria is forced to team up with a private investigator who's possessed by three spirits, and a handsome wizard who would rather see all Sin Eaters like Aria go extinct.

Aria knows her job is never easy, but now it's become downright deadly.

SIN EATER is the first book of the Aria Knight Chronicles by USA Today bestselling author Samantha LaFantasie and Alesha Escobar, author of the bestselling Gray Tower Trilogy.



Chapter 1

Aria



Aria would die tonight.
If Hessa didn’t unlock her damn door and let her in, that would certainly be the case. Aria’s back stiffened when she heard the faint but distinctive howls from the Hounds of Hell. Their shrieks always struck her as a cross between wolves wailing at the moon and jackals whining into the night.
Hessa finally opened the door and stood at the threshold, sizing her up and taking a long drag from her cigarette. A tear, mingled with ruined mascara, trailed down her cheek. “Thanks for coming, Aria. This was the last thing Mom asked for, so…”
“I understand. May I come in?” Aria nearly knocked her over trying to slip inside. The howling grew louder. They were down the street, and Aria’s time was running out.
“Yeah.” Hessa rolled her eyes at Aria’s terse attitude, but she’d do the same if she could hear what came their way.
“You should place a ward around the house.” Aria speed-walked down the hall.
“Okay…” Hessa’s voice trailed off.
She wished she had been called sooner. If the hellhounds made it to the dead woman before she did, then she’d have to watch them tear the old woman’s soul to shreds before dragging her off to the abyss.
Aria wrinkled her nose at the smell of wet fur and garbage. A small dog somewhere in the house barked a few times. As if drawn like a magnet to metal, she guided herself to the last room, toward the deceased. A short, white-haired woman in a long-sleeved gown lay in repose on a bed. Her arms were crossed just below her chest, with her hands meeting in a clasp.
Aria’s lips pressed into a thin line. She didn’t have time for this. She had told Hessa over the phone not to move or position the body. She quickly took the dead woman’s right hand and extended it, placing it to her right side. She did the same for the left hand, so that nothing sat on or near the deceased’s chest. She felt the moment Hessa cast her warding spell around the house. It felt like a stab of tension in her chest, the same type people felt when walking downstairs and missing a step.
“What was her name?” Aria asked, when Hessa joined her in the back room. She needed to know this in case she needed to grab the spirit’s attention.
“Lora.”
“Beautiful name. Do you have the bread?” Aria grabbed a rickety stool from the left corner of the room and brought it over. She sat down next to the bed. The hellhounds circled the house, probably salivating over their prey. Aria could hear their gleeful snarls at the prospect of devouring another soul. If she weren’t careful, they would tear into her as well. It wasn’t unheard of for them to go after sin eaters.
Hessa jabbed her cigarette into an ashtray on the nightstand and then unraveled a fresh-baked loaf of bread. Steam rose from the bread, and Hessa used the towel that was covering the small loaf to protect her hands as she transferred it to her mother’s chest.
As a sign of respect, and also as a way to mark the beginning of the Final Rite, Aria inclined her head in a slight bow, mentally offering up an ancient prayer of blessing. She was the very last call, the end of the line for many. Probably in some ancient desert Monastery or buried in the Vatican archives, there was a dusty old manuscript with a footnote, speaking of the loophole offered by sin eaters. Most would ask for her if they couldn’t reach a priest, or as extra “insurance” after receiving Anointing of the Sick.
Aria raised her right hand, palm facing forward, revealing the birthmark that identified her as a sin eater. She lowered her hand, but kept it suspended in mid-air just above the bread. She already felt the pulsating power of the S-shaped mark on her hand that begged to let the flame emerge. It happened whenever she began a sin eating ritual, and the first time her birthmark erupted into a large flame, she fell on her ass and tried to smother it with a handkerchief. Not exactly a move that would instill confidence in a client entrusting their loved one’s soul to her.
The flame meant there were sins that needed to be ripped away from a penitent Lora and passed on to Aria instead. Lora’s soul would be free to throw off any shackles burdening her and find peace, and Aria would know that she helped guide someone to paradise. There were also the perks of increased longevity for Aria, youthful appearance, and extra cash. Witching families paid well for this gig.
“Once I begin,” Aria said, watching the flame on her palm subside, “don’t interrupt the process.” She decided not to mention that hellhounds would make their way in within the next few minutes, seeking Lora’s soul.
Aria turned her attention toward the bread resting on Lora’s chest. She reached over with her right hand and took the small loaf, biting off a large piece and chewing it. The bread was plain and slightly salty, but what really made an impression on Aria was the rush of mystical energy that filled her from head to toe. All of her physical senses were amplified in that moment. The lights in the room looked brighter, the color of Hessa’s green dress and auburn hair were more vibrant, and the scent of wet fur and garbage returned with a vengeance.
And so did the howls of the hellhounds.
Aria almost felt buzzed by the sensations, but she had been sin eating for a long time, so she knew when to shove them aside and get to work. She motioned toward the nightstand. “The wine, or beer, please.”
Hessa blinked a few times in astonishment, probably wondering if her mother’s final request was some elaborate practical joke. With a little hesitance, she leaned over and grabbed a cup. She handed it to Aria and backed away, conveniently close enough to the door just in case she didn’t like what would happen.
Aria held the cup with a steady hand just above Lora’s chest. Inclining her head in a gesture of respect once more, she brought the rim of the cup to her lips and drank.
The beer traveled down her throat; it was cool and spritzy, with a surprising richness in body and a malty flavor. Now Aria’s spiritual senses were heightened. A burst of light temporarily blinded her, and when her view came back into focus, she saw Lora’s soul standing next to Hessa. Silver speckles of light adorned the elderly woman’s white hair, and her face appeared thirty years younger than that of her corpse. Aria grinned when she saw that Lora chose to wear a yellow evening gown reminiscent of the starlets of Old Hollywood.
Lora made a sweeping gesture with her hand, showing off her lean frame. “If I have to go, why not in style?”
“Agreed.” Aria took a final swig from the cup and placed it aside.
Hessa raised an eyebrow, and her gaze went from Aria and then across from her, where from her perspective, she was talking to an invisible person. “Aria? Is it working?”
“Shhh.” Aria kept her gaze on Lora. The entire room quivered as the hellhounds broke through Hessa’s protective ward, but only Aria felt it.
Barking erupted in the hallway, but this wasn’t the yapping of the little dogs in the house. Hessa couldn’t hear it, but Lora and Aria did. Lora’s expression fell, and she floated across the room, through her bed and body, and stood next to Aria.
“I’ll make it, won’t I? I know I’ve done some things terribly wrong in my life, but I’m a believer. Would’ve told Hessa to fetch the Padre, if my lungs hadn’t given out on me, but she knew that I also wanted her to call for one of you when it was my time to go.”
Aria stood and placed her hand on Lora’s shoulder. After imbibing beer or wine in her ritual, she could see, hear, and touch souls. “Of course. I won’t let anything bad happen to you.”
“Shit.” Hessa chuckled as she slipped another cigarette into her mouth and lit it with a snap of her finger. “If I’m forking over five hundred big ones for a dramatic act, I’m gonna be pissed.”
A gray portal that looked like a whirlpool of storm clouds appeared right behind Hessa. Lora stepped behind Aria, grasping her shoulders with trembling hands.
“Please, don’t let them get me!”
Aria cleared her throat. “Hessa, you might want to step aside.”
The other woman turned around, and upon seeing nothing out of the ordinary behind her, faced Aria and shrugged. “Okay, are you for real?”
“Too late.” Aria raised her right hand, letting her birthmark bring forth the flame that had ignited earlier.
In an instant, two hellhounds burst through the portal and passed straight through Hessa. She went rigid and let out a shriek. The cigarette fell out of her mouth and onto the floor.
“Oh my God! What was that? What just happened?” Hessa frantically patted her chest and torso. When smoke began rising from the floor, she screamed again and grabbed a nearby towel which she used to smother the flames from the carpet where the cigarette fell.
Aria ignored Hessa’s plea to stop the ritual. She wouldn’t, and she couldn’t. Besides the fact that she promised to help Lora, she now had to deal with two large, black, salivating hellhounds bent on dragging Lora’s soul away.
Their red eyes glowed with malice as they circled Aria and Lora. They had come for souls many times, and most of those times, sin eaters like Aria had repelled them. She swore to herself that tonight would be another victory.
As if reading her thoughts, the hounds unleashed deafening barks that echoed throughout the room. Hessa couldn’t hear them, but she did gag at the pungent odor that filled the bedroom. Aria wanted to vomit in response to the smell, but she quelled the unease in her stomach and swept her flaming right hand in an arc. A fiery circle enclosed itself around Aria and Lora.
“This penitent is under my protection,” Aria said in a clear voice. “She will pass on to the light, and I will bear the darkness.”
One of the hellhounds blew an ice-cold breeze toward the fiery circle, while the other opened its mouth and made a sucking motion. Lora squealed when an invisible force lifted her and started pulling her toward the hellhound.
Aria grabbed hold of Lora. “Uh, I don’t want to rush your spiritual enlightenment, but now’s a good time to let go of those vices.” She doubted Lora wanted to be swept away because she kept the flaws that had entrenched themselves in the depths of her being.
Lora gritted her teeth. The icy wind whipped her white hair in different directions. “I…don’t know if I can!”
No shit. This wasn’t like giving up ice cream or chocolate for Lent. If Lora couldn’t, or rather wouldn’t, peel away the slivers of corruption that still clung to her, then the hellhounds would claim their right to her and clamp down with their hungry mouths and drag her away.
“Lora, whatever’s in there trying to stick around, don’t give in to the idea that you can’t defeat it. We’re weak, yes, but you know what’s stronger?”
Lora looked over at Hessa, her daughter, and her expression of fear softened. The old woman’s grey-blue eyes shined, and a sense of confidence took hold of her. She turned and met Aria’s gaze. “Love. True Love’s light.”
Aria used her flaming hand to brand the “S” symbol, the same as her birthmark, onto Lora’s forehead. In that moment, they were bound together, and small black specks, the remaining sins and darkness in Lora, floated out of her and went straight into Aria. The old woman had finally let go of what held her down.
The hellhounds let out disappointed howls. They backed away with indignant whines. With a few threatening snarls, they turned and jumped back into the gray portal and disappeared. Once the portal faded, Aria released Lora from her grasp. The elderly woman slowly faded, but she wore a grateful smile. She was finally moving on to her next journey--sans the hellhounds.
“Thank you, my dear,” Lora said right before she completely disappeared.
Aria nodded in response. Her throat was on fire and her hands felt numb.
“Can I come in now?” Hessa’s voice carried from just outside the room.
Aria rolled her eyes and sighed. “Yes. It’s done.”
Hessa stumbled back into the room, trying to hide her shaking hands by smoothing her green dress, which had now lost its vibrancy. She placed her hand over her heart and eyed her mother’s body. “Whatever passed through me,” she said, taking in a deep breath, “it was horrible. But I felt Mom’s presence, and I just knew she was here.”
“She was, and now she’s moved on. She’s fine now.”
Seeing Hessa’s affection for her mother ignited a twinge of jealousy in Aria. She wished she had something like that with her mother, but the woman gave her up when she was just a baby. She had been told that her father, whoever he was, had passed away before she was born. She had always wondered if her mother, a witch named Clare, didn’t want her because she was born with the mark of the sin eater, or, if there was more to the story.
Hessa shook her head, still in disbelief at what she just experienced. She reached into her ample cleavage and pulled out a wad of cash. “I felt Mom right next to me, I swear it. I guess you earned this, honey.”
Ew. Sweaty boob cash. Aria pinched the roll of money and slipped it into her leather jacket pocket. “Thanks. You can call and have the body picked up now.”
She nodded. “Will you do me when I die?”
“Yes, good night, Hessa.” She acquired most of her clients through word of mouth or by them sitting through a sin eating ritual as a witness. Most of the world had forgotten that her kind even existed.
She left the room and headed down the hallway, but paused when the other woman called out to her. “Does it hurt when you do that?”
Aria turned and shook her head, her long, dark, wavy hair moving back and forth. “Does it hurt when you do your type of magic?”
Hessa’s eyebrows rose together in an expression that told Aria that she understood. “But, how come there aren’t more like you?”
Aria shrugged and gave a confused look, though in truth, she’d known the answer for over sixty years. Most of her kind had decided that they would rather die than go on absorbing the sins of a mankind that thought throwing innocent people into death camps was a good idea, or slaughtering innocents by the millions was acceptable. There were a few hundred sin eaters in the world, and only a handful left in the United States. She was the only one she knew of in Miracle Falls, California.
“Goodnight,” she said again with a little more agitation in her voice. The Final Rite had exhausted her, and the last thing she wanted to do was recall memories of the 1940’s.
As she went down the steps of the front porch and headed toward her car, she slipped her hands into her leather jacket pocket. A biting chill hung in the November air, but what caused a tremor in her fingers and her body to shudder was the effect of the ritual. It tired her out, making her feel like an athlete who had just passed her peak and was about to head downhill. She knew of only one solution to that.
She shoved those thoughts aside and concentrated on what she could attain immediately. She wanted a big ass glass of wine. She needed her nice, warm bed. And then, she needed to magically be prepared in the morning to serve as nanny to a mind-reading ten year old, and her awkward older brother who probably knew more about human history and magic than most scholars in the world.
Joy.

I’m a caffeine addict and chocoholic who enjoys reading and writing engaging stories, loveable (and not-so loveable) characters, and expressing my creativity daily. I write fantasy with intriguing characters, action-packed scenes, and always throw in a good dash of humor and romance.
Science Fiction and Fantasy are my favorite genres, but I also adore the classics (Shakespeare, Dante Alighieri, etc.) and I have a soft spot in my heart for Victorian poetry. You can geek out with me all-day every day over these
Some of my favorite contemporary fantasy authors are George R.R. Martin, Robert Jordan (rest in peace), J.K. Rowling, Neil Gaiman, Jim Butcher (Dresden Files made me love Urban Fantasy), and Ilona Andrews among others. I enjoy movies and shows like Sleepy Hollow, Supernatural, Arrow, The Flash, The Avengers…there are too many to name!
I want to read more comics and graphic novels, please shoot a recommendation or two my way (I LOVE the Hellblazer comics, by the way).
Please don’t be a stranger–I want you to kick up your feet, sip your coffee (or tea) and join in on my weekly rants, discussions, and updates.






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