Sunday, September 15, 2013

Marie Hall's Triple Book Blast & #Giveaway

Today we would like to share with you three books from author, Marie Hall!

Death's Lover
Eternal Lovers series, Book 1
Release Date:  September 3, 2013
AmazonBarnes & Noble
Eve Philips thought she could never love again. After her husband died in a hit-and-run accident, Eve poured her heart into her potions shop, Witch’s Brew, and hasn’t given any man a second glance—until Cian. As soon as she locks eyes with him, Eve knows she’ll never be the same. Gorgeous and mysterious, he incites a passion in her that she’s never felt before. And it’s almost otherworldly . . .
Cian knows Eve is special the minute they lay eyes on each other. He’s a supernatural being with a dangerous duty, and being seen is not part of the job description. But when he meets the kind, beautiful Eve, all the rules go out the window. Now that his superiors have gotten wind of it, he has a wicked enemy on his tail. Yet all he cares about is Eve: loving her, protecting her—and finding the right time to tell her his dark and terrible secret, a secret that threatens both of their lives . . .

Eve Philips gripped her husband’s arm tighter as they walked across the sidewalk to the mall entrance. She hadn’t felt good this morning; she’d been haunted by bad dreams all night long. Dreams of blood and violence and gore. She’d screamed herself awake, clinging to her husband with a vague unsettling feeling. But as dreams often do, the intensity of it faded until now all that was left was a lingering echo of it and an annoying headache.
It was almost Christmas, and she and her husband had a shopping date planned. She refused to wuss out now over some stupid dreams. Still, the unease of this morning lingered in the darkest corners of her mind. Usually she could just shake these things. Maybe it was just the old, burned coffee the java shack had served her this morning. Either way, she really wanted to stop stressing about it. There were too many other real things to worry about.
Like the fact that in three days her coven would be required to vote on the fate of a werewolf who’d been caught stabbing his human wife. No matter that his wife had tried to kill him first with the aid of a warlock’s spell. Humans demanded the supernatural folk—or “supers,” as they preferred to be called—governed themselves as swiftly and brutally as possible, especially when the crime involved one of their own. That was the life of a witch, especially one who chose to live in a city in as much turmoil as San Francisco. Still, there was no other place in the world she’d rather be.
By congressional act, California had granted the first and only place that the others could come out of hiding and live as they truly were. Werewolves no longer had to hide in tunnels, vampires could roam the streets freely at night, and witches could practice their craft without fear of retribution by the normals. That was ten years ago, and she’d never looked back.
Not to say that it was one big love fest. A snake could shed its skin several times in a lifetime, but that would never change its true essence. In the end a snake would always remain a snake. Just as a vampire could not help but feed, or a werewolf would go mad by light of the full moon.
Having so many volatile and sometimes dangerous groups in such close proximity practically begged for the violence to occur.
But she accepted it and moved on, because freedom was worth any price. Glancing around, she inhaled the sharp nip to the wind. It was a cloudless, gray day. The type that made her want to curl up in front of a roaring fire with a steaming cup of chamomile, cocooned against her husband’s body.
She didn’t notice the small rut in the road and stepped down hard. Muddy water splashed up her leg. A large black gob of goo landed square on her blood red pumps.
“Damn it!”
Michael glanced down. One side of his mouth curled into a half-formed grin. She growled and picked up a dead leaf to scrape off the nasty mixture.
“I don’t even want to know what that was.” He laughed.
Eve stood and glared at her husband’s smiling face. Turning her nose in the air, she dropped the leaf with disgust and walked away.
“Honey.” He grabbed her hand and chuckled. “You gotta was pretty funny.”
“Ha-ha. I’m just howling with laughter.” She pointed a finger to her deadpan face. “This is me in hysterics.”
Michael hugged her and slowly she smiled, never really that mad to begin with, but loving to be a little dramatic all the same.
“Why does that only ever happen to me?”
“Because you’re just so cute, the goddess had to give you some sort of flaw.”
She nailed him with a glare and then sighed with exasperation when he refused to look at her. Michael refused to be ruffled today.
The mall was appropriately decorated: a large Christmas tree sat guard to the entrance, festive lights hung swag from one light post to the next, and there was, of course, the melee of people shoving against her at a constant, repetitive pace with barely an apology to be gained. She sighed. To say she had a love-hate relationship with the holidays was putting it mildly.
But Michael had been acting secretive all day, alluding to some great gift she’d find under the tree come Yule. In truth, her husband’s enthusiasm for life was contagious. She wouldn’t miss the annual last-minute shopping for the world, though she’d never tell him that.
“Michael,” she grumbled, “let’s go home. It’s freezing. My feet hurt, and…” She paused, trying to think of the next excuse to come up with.
He only smiled as expected. “Love you, shrew.”
She rolled her eyes, trying desperately not to snort with laughter.
Then as if the weather felt some need to remind her just how cold it was—and that she had no freaking business being out in the first place—she was blasted with a sweep of frigid air up her trench coat.
She shivered. “Stupid weatherman. I should hex his ass. He said temperatures of sixty.”
Michael’s lips twitched. “When are you gonna learn that were  don’t know his ass from his head? The man’s worthless. Call a toad a toad and a bad weatherman a bad weatherman. Period.”
She nodded. “Hear, hear.”
Ten minutes later Eve fingered a delicate gold-and-emerald butterfly brooch. “Baby, do you think Tamryn would like this?”
He glanced up from browsing at a case of black pearl necklaces she’d considered buying for her sister. “Sure. I guess.”
She laughed. “‘I guess’? The standard male answer for everything, right? Why do I even bother?” She caught the heavily made-up clerk’s eye and nodded.
The blonde glided over in a sea of expensive perfume and sent a blatantly lustful smile in Michael’s direction. Eve hid her laughter under a pursed lip and raised brow. “The butterfly,” she prompted and handed the lady a fifty.
Michael grinned and encircled Eve’s waist from behind, laying his head on her shoulder. A soft lock of his doe-brown hair brushed the side of her neck. She swept the hair aside and sighed.
“You just love it when that happens, don’t you?”
“What?” he asked in a rush of innocence.
“‘What?’” she mimicked. “You’re too gorgeous for your own good.”
Throaty laughter spilled from his lips as he swayed with her in time to the strains of “Jingle Bell Rock” floating through the overcrowded department store.
Eve snuggled deeper into his arms.
Michael nuzzled the side of her neck.
Her whole body tightened up in reaction to his touch. Even after five years of marriage he still had the power to make her heart flutter and her knees tremble.
“Michael,” she whispered.
“Hmm?” He placed a gentle kiss on the nape of her neck.
Goose bumps skimmed along her forearms. “I’m ovulating.”
He went still for a split second then nipped her earlobe. His large hand framed her stomach. “Let’s go make babies, then.”
Her lip twitched, and she wiggled her bottom against him. Michael growled low in his throat and pinned her arms to her side, holding her still. “Eve,” he warned.
She turned and draped her arms over his neck. “What?”
He dragged her closer, a mischievous twinkle in his emerald-green eyes. “Imp. You’re lucky I’m wearing a coat long enough…”
“Excuse me.” A strained voice interrupted them.
She turned. The sales clerk held her purchase and change in one hand. Her narrowed eyes and curled lip were too much for Eve to ignore.
Taking the bag and without missing a beat, Eve leaned forward just enough to part her button-down shirt at the collar, causing her pentagram to swing free from between her breasts. “He ain’t on the market, babe.”
The clerk, obviously human, turned deathly white. No human liked to tangle with the dark arts. And though that wasn’t what Eve did by any means, the blonde didn’t know it, and Eve sure as heck wasn’t going to correct her assumption. Judging by the reaction, the threat had done its job.
With a smile and a jaunty wave, she turned on her heel and marched off.
Michael held out his arm. “What in the world did you say to her, Eve?” She didn’t miss the tinge of humor lacing his voice.
She just grinned. “What? And give you a bigger head than you’ve already got? I don’t think so.”
He chuckled and grabbed her hand in his, caressing her knuckle with the pad of his thumb. Laughter glittered in his eyes. Then he became serious and turned her face to look directly at him. “I love you.”
The way he said it made her shiver. One of those freaky moments in time that made her wonder if there was some sort of sixth sense involved, then she thought of the dream again and the visions of death.
Her smile slipped for a millisecond. She always tried to be aware of the signs and the environment around her. What if she was being purposefully ignorant? Ignoring the obvious? What if that dream really was a warning?
Don’t make more out of this than what it is. Everything’s fine.
Pushing the neurotic fears to the back of her mind, she gave him a crooked smile. “I know, Mikey. And I thank the goddess every day for you.”
Cian waited within shadow just outside the entrance to the mall; the mortals he’d been sent to harvest should appear soon. Keeping his back to the crowd, he stood in such a way so that he had a clear view of the door as pedestrians filed and in out of the busy shopping plaza.
Using his essence, he transformed himself into an ordinary guy, hardly worth a second glance. Through all the years of using this guise, he’d never once been remembered. Right now, he needed people to look past him, not see the peculiarities that branded him not quite human. Unfortunately he couldn’t go fully invisible until the harvest time came upon him.
His hair turned a drab brown, short and barely reaching his collar, his eyes much the same color. The process happened so fast, no one even had time to react at all.
Staring at his gloved hand he waited for the next step of his transformation to take place. He didn’t have to wait long. A shock, like a burst of flame, ran down his arm and into his hand, turning him from man to monster. Fire traveled his veins, making him grunt with a momentary flash of pain. He hissed and snatched off his left glove, making sure he was well within shadow. The day was so drab and gray that unless he did something obvious, like flash the crowd, no one would turn his way.
He clenched his hand, studying the bones of his fingers. For an outsider, to look at the transformation would seem surreal. Above the wrist he was man—flesh and blood. But when the change overcame him, and it was time to harvest souls, the hand turned to a design of the macabre. The flesh, muscle, and tendon literally faded from sight.
Human depictions always had the grim reapers wearing the traditional black cowl with a sickle in their skeletal grip. In truth, reapers were as normal as man. You could pass them on the street, commenting on their remarkable beauty, little knowing that beneath the white smile and ever-present gloves lurked the killer of legend.
A small, noisy crowd of humans walked toward him. Shoving his hand into his pocket, he leaned against the wall and waited; it wouldn’t be much longer now.
After centuries of doing this job, he’d learned patience, the art of stealth, and the endless waiting game of death. For such a vital and intricate part of life, the actual moment of death could be unbelievably boring.
Several minutes later, an electrical rush of power surged through his body when a couple walked out. A man and a raven-haired witch. He felt her power ripple through the air like a powerful ocean current. The man though exhibited no energy, which meant he was fully mortal. The man grabbed the witch around the waist, pulling her close for a quick embrace.
Cian’s pulse pounded when she smiled. It was a good smile, the kind that made him want to return it, to see her do it again just so he could have the enjoyment of gazing on that kind of radiant and rare pure joy.
The man hopped in front of her and grabbed her hands, toying with her fingers. Her laughter was a rich, lilting sound, deep and throaty, hot and sexy, and for the first time in his life, Cian wondered what it might be like to have a woman look at him that way. He envied mortals in some ways, specifically the way they could enjoy life, short as it was, and how they loved one another. He couldn’t think of anyone who’d look so happy to see him.
Those thoughts were jerked from him as the final phase of his transformation washed through his body. A charge, like static energy, traveled through his pores, his blood, and in seconds he’d gone completely invisible. Only able to be seen by those straddling the line between life and death, he strolled purposefully toward the car garage.
Today’s scenario would be no different than the thousands of others he’d seen through the years. He could see it in his mind, like an image on a television screen. A carload of teenagers barreling through the garage, the interior of the car heavily laced with the thick stench of cannabis. The driver was laughing, blaring the Ozzy tune “Crazy Train,” unaware that soon he’d be indicted for two counts of vehicular homicide.
Cian often wondered at times like these why the humans couldn’t feel it. The end of their lifeline, the disturbance in the air, death; for him it was like the blast of trumpets, loud and hard to ignore.
Turning his attention back to the couple, he waited. The man popped open the trunk of a green sedan, laid down his packages, and flashed the witch a smile. She stood by the hood of the car, her midnight curls blowing in the stiff wind.
The faint rumble of an approaching engine echoed eerily through the garage. The vibrations traveled through the soles of his feet. Soon. It’ll all be over soon.
For a crazy second he wanted to scream at them. Move. Get out of the way. But he held his tongue. He wouldn’t interfere, that was the single most important rule of the reaper. His skeletal hand twitched, and he yanked it out of his pocket. No mistakes.
The car made a sharp left around a concrete post in the garage and swerved headlong toward the couple with a loud, echoing cry of rubber.
For Cian the scene was agonizingly slow, each detail sharp and clear, as if it were taking minutes, though in truth it would be done within seven seconds.
When they finally noticed it was already too late.
The witch’s golden eyes grew wide in her face. Blood rushed from her skin, leaving her a pasty white. Her hands covered her mouth as a scream of raw fear flew from her lips. “Michael!”
The smile on the man’s face died. He turned—unable to run for cover, to hide from his fate. She ran forward, arms outstretched, and tried to pull the man toward her.
Metal exploded against flesh. The sickening crunch of bone and tearing muscle warred with the scream of tires braking. The man was dragged under the car. She was flung aside, her limbs at odd proportions.
Cian’s heart clenched painfully when he saw her ravaged body lying so helpless on the ground. She looked like a morbid porcelain doll. Beautiful and broken.
Blood spattered everywhere. All over the windshield. Even on the neighboring vehicles in the next three slots. The overwhelming metallic stench was all around.
The car squealed to a halt, slamming against the side of the sedan. The shattering of glass echoed through the garage with an eerie finality. It was done; their bodies slowly dying, their souls waiting only for him to harvest and carry on to the appropriate afterlife.
The driver, a pimply-faced redhead emerged. “Oh no! No!” he sang the litany over and over. He ran a trembling hand through his hair and glanced up. A family in the next row over stared back in openmouthed shock.
“Get back in the car, Derek!” the girl in the passenger seat screamed.
The wind picked up flurries of snow, enclosing them in winter’s peaceful embrace. An ironic scene, at odds with the gruesome sight of death before him.
The kid jumped back in his car and squealed off with one last bump-bump in his wake.
Cian closed the gap between himself and the victims. First the male. The man’s face had been nearly sheared off. His forehead was cracked open and a constant stream of blood gushed from the wound. Kneeling, Cian extended his skeletal hand, ready to harvest the soul and carry it safely to the afterlife.
The man moaned and opened green eyes glittering with pain. He didn’t question why Cian was kneeling over him; instead he parted ruptured lips and croaked, “Save my wife.”
Cian glanced over at her prostrate form for a brief second and then shook his head with a sad, bitter twist to his lips. He’d seen many broken bodies in the past, never feeling more than quiet detachment. But seeing her now, hearing the wet gurgle of her breaths, it was like razor-sharp spikes driving through his heart.
He closed his eyes, chanting over and over in his mind: This is the order to life. Without order there would be chaos. To prevent the chaos there must always be order.
Taking a deep breath, he plowed on, finishing what he’d started. “Find your peace, human…” For us both. Then he gently caressed the man’s exposed cheek.
The light of death filled the man’s eyes, and a single tear slipped down his cheek. The mask of pain relaxed, and a soft blue mist exploded from the caved-in chest—the soul pulsed with energy and differing shades of blue.
A glowing portal of brilliant white opened before him. The melodic song of a bubbling brook and rustling grass momentarily made Cian forget—forget the pain and loneliness.
The soul glided toward the light. It shimmered and glowed as it stepped through the portal. Then it was gone. The light went too, and with it the temporary peace Cian had sought his entire existence.
One left. The thought was a needle stabbing into his brain. He tried to remain clinical and study her not as a victim, but as a task and a duty to fulfill.
She wasn’t in nearly as bad a shape as her husband had been. Both legs were broken at the hips. One foot was pointed north, the other south. Besides the obvious injuries, she also suffered a ruptured spleen and would soon die from internal bleeding.
Short, shallow breathing turned his gaze to her face. Thin and heart-shaped with full pink lips and almond-shaped eyes.
His hands trembled, something was causing him to hesitate, a strange feeling he had no name for. What was it? Curiosity maybe? Something about the witch tugged at his normally detached feelings about death and life. Do it.You must. Take her from this misery.
Her eyes snapped open. The lioness gaze ensnared him. Her bloody hand grabbed his fleshy one and his world turned upside down. Instantly images and thoughts came to him. The face of her husband, a sensation of overwhelming, heartrending love. The pain. The fear. The hope. Her hope exploded inside him like a seedling shooting through black earth.
His brows dipped, and his breathing spiked. He continued to share her emotions. He bit the inside of his lip, and the bitter taste of blood pooled on his tongue as he fought off the onslaught. He’d known upon first seeing her that she was a witch, had sensed her energy, but her powers were intense. He’d never come across a projecting empath as powerful as she was.
Cian took slow breaths and pushed his will against her own in an attempt to extricate himself from her furious assault. His will was like talons ripping and clawing at her insides; the back blast resonated through him. He reeled from it but couldn’t block himself off. She whimpered, moans spilled from her lips, and still she fought him.
He could break her wrist, force her to let him go. Force her to end the emotional battering. So why wasn’t he doing that?
Because he couldn’t. Because for the first time in an eternity she was making him feel—not just her pain, but her desperation for life. Emotions he’d never felt before. It was all so confusing, and yet…he’d never felt more alive. All his life he’d walked around in a daze. Moving from one soul to another, not living, just existing. For the first time he wanted. He felt. Because of her, and he’d betrayed her in the worse possible way.
Her eyes, glazed with pain, held his own. Defying him to take her life. She wanted to live.
Another shot of emotions slammed him. They felt like churning waves of angry sea crashing against him, stripping the flesh from his bones. Her anger beat at him, clawed at his throat with desperation.
Right then he made a decision. In defiance of his queen, the ruler of the reapers, he let her live.

Crimson Night
Night series, Book 1
Release Date:  September 5, 2013
Amazon Barnes & Noble
Welcome one and all to Carnival Diabolique- or what I affectionately like to call, the carnival of the damned. My name is Pandora, and though my face might not look familiar to you, you do know me. I'm a Nephilim. What does that mean? I'm half demon, what's my other name? Lust. I'm the dark craving that drives you mad, makes you want, makes you reckless and stupid. I'm the drug you'll do anything to get your hands on. But I'm not all bad. I fight for light, for goodness and truth. I love my job, killing vampires and werewolves, zombies, and freaks... it's what makes me happy. But people are starting to disappear and lately I've felt a dark presence lurking around me. I think it might be a death priest and that's really bad. There isn't much a demon like me fears, but I fear them. This should have been easy, me killing the fanged freaks, getting rid of my pesky priest problem, but I'm about to be betrayed by the one person I thought I could trust with my life and before the night is through I'll be covered in crimson...

“You’re awake.” That voice was like smooth-malt whiskey, deep and full-bodied. I shivered.
            His back was to me. How had he known? I hadn’t made noise. 
He finally seemed to settle on a book. He grabbed it and turned, still not looking at me, he traced the gold lettering on the front cover.
            I narrowed my eyes. “I see you found my home. Mind telling me how?” I tried, but failed, to keep the dripping anger from my tone.
            Those plain eyes of his flicked to my face. His was an unreadable mask as he studied me. Then he shrugged. “I’ve been watching you.”
            “How long?”
            He opened the book and flipped through a couple of pages.
            My nostrils flared. Anger settled like a hot coal in my gut. He was ignoring me. People had done far less and I’d hurt them far worse.
            Darn me and my philanthropic ways. I’d let him go, and this is how he repaid me. I pushed glamour into my hands, filling my wrists with heat where the rope touched. I’d cut through this thing and then wrap it around his neck, see how he liked it.
            “I wouldn’t if I was you,” he finally said, looking up from the book and slamming it shut. He moved toward me with the careless grace of a jungle cat, before I could even blink he was upon me. His heat invading mine, his face hovering inches above me.
There was anger...and something else, something I had no name for, glittering in those eyes. He placed his hands on either side of my chair and turned me around. I cringed. That rug had cost a small fortune.
“You tear it you buy it,” I hissed.
His eyes crinkled at the corners. He wasn’t as young as I’d initially assumed him to be. Up close like this I could see the lines and wrinkles of age. Earlier I’d assumed him a fresh-faced college grad, now he reminded me much more of the hot college professor all the girls gossiped about.
He was still wearing the ball cap and I had a sick feeling I now knew why.
I’d assumed him human. But no human, even one as strong as a tank, could have gotten through the wards of my trailer, or for that matter masked the fact that he’d been following me.
My heart thudded...
“Don’t push me. You’re lucky you’re still alive.” His lip curled. “Nephilim.”
...and then it sank to my knees.
Oh this was bad.
He pushed away from me, making the chair rock back from the force of it. The pain in my head and shoulder that had become slightly tolerable exploded back to life in a rush of stomach churning queasiness. I squeezed my eyes shut; biting down until I felt my teeth would shatter from the pressure and counted to ten, waiting for the worst of it to pass before I dared open my eyes again.
He sat on the love seat, his long lean frame settling in like someone who’d done this a million times before. Which made me wonder, had he? Just how long had Billy been watching me?
Dangit. Dangit. Dangit. I should have sensed this. Him. How had I wound up in this mess?
I could always feel the presence of something not quite normal; it was like an irritating buzz below the surface of my skin. But even now, with Billy right in front of me, I felt nothing. The only other time I failed to sense the presence of other beings was if they were equal to, or greater in strength than myself. Which was rare. I was about as high on the totem pole as they came.
I clenched my jaw. This was not good.
Again he opened the book, flipping to the middle and read in silence.
My heart pounded.
Billy was Pontifex Mortus—meaning priest of death, the name had stuck to them back sometime during the medieval ages when our scholars spoke mostly Latin. The Pontifex Mortus are to us what a mongoose is to a cobra. B-A-D news.
Several hundred years after we’d come into being, they’d been born. Their existence consisted of only one thing. Killing us. Aside from angels and high caste demon lords, we fear nothing so much as them. We aren’t sure how, or by whom, but the Pontifex Mortus—priests, we prefer to call them—have been given the necessary tools to wipe us out. It isn’t easy to kill one of us, but the right knowledge in the wrong hands, and we’re goners.
They’re shadow. Able to blend in. Hide among the general population. And it’s hard to say, with any type of certainty what they really are—humans with extrasensory perception and power, or something more—we don’t know. They have abilities and skills beyond that of mortals, but you can never seem to find anyone who knows for certain, because you never bump into a priest more than once. Since meeting one of them tends to turn you one hundred percent, grade-A dead.
So then how does the myth remain? How can we know priests exist and that they aren’t our version of the boogey man? Two reasons. Two things we know that will always remain a constant. A. You cannot fake that shade of hair. I don’t know who figured out that priests are silver, but any sighting has always confirmed it.
This is pretty laughable actually; since a priest sighting is about as trustworthy as an Elvis sighting. I eyed Billy. Though it didn’t feel so laughable anymore. Proof positive sat slouched on my couch and thumbing his nose at me. 
And B. Because the sick bastards leave the same calling card at each and every scene.
Revelations 21:8, scribbled onto a sheet of paper and tucked someplace on the body, in the body...and when I say “in”, yes, I mean in. I found a girl, two hundred years ago, with a yellowed, blood soaked sheaf of parchment rolled up and tucked inside her aortic valve. Just one of the many creative ways they have to let us know they’re watching.
And they call us sick. I say it’s the pot calling the kettle black. But what do I know? 
Which was why the carnival had been so perfect. We’d stopped laying roots centuries ago. It was hard to kill what you couldn’t track. To know one had found us meant we’d made a mistake.
My stomach turned sour.
“Take off your hat?”
He glanced at me, then smiled. It was cold and arrogant and made me want to rip it off, then feed it to Bubba for good measure.
“Why not. We have nothing to hide between us. Isn’t that right, Pandora?” He was taunting me, trying to scare me. And it was working. But that didn’t mean I’d give him the satisfaction of knowing it.
I narrowed my eyes. “Take it off.”
He flipped the cap off, unveiling his hair.
Any lingering hope I’d had, died. 
Silver. But this wasn’t the gray of aging humans. This stuff gleamed like poured metal frosted over in a snowy night.
It was short and shaggy. Spiking up at odd angles and my hands itched to touch it. Blood rushed through my veins so hard and heavy I wondered if he could hear it.
Why was I still turned on by him?
Freaking Lust.
“So I’m guessing your name’s not Billy.”
He smiled, his eyes twinkled and for a split second it transformed him from a brooding Bruce Wayne kind of hot, to Batman. Way more beautiful and twice as deadly. My thighs tingled.
“And Belle?” What I was going for was righteous anger, what I got was sex-me-up breathy.
“None of your business,” he snapped.
“Fine. Then answer my earlier question.”
He lifted a brow.
“How long?”
“How long what?”
These games were beginning to wear thin. So maybe he’d leveled the playing field now that I knew he was priest, but that didn’t mean I’d let him take me down without a fight.
“Pretty only gets you so far, Pontifex Mortus.” I poured as much venom into that name as he’d poured into nephilim.
His nostrils flared.
“Obviously you know what I am. You know these ropes won’t hold me worth crap if I don’t want them to.”
“Is that a threat?” A muscle in his jaw ticked.
“You’re not the one trussed up like a Thanksgiving turkey, I am. Do I look threatening?” My smile was pure poison.
He laughed. Literally threw his head back and gave one of those deep belly chuckles reserved for moments when someone is really tickled. The sound of it tightened things down low, made me squirm. Made me hate him more than I already did.
Then he went serious. That stern look fixed back in place. It was creepy how quick he could do that. I’d seen others attempt it, but no one had done it with quite the same panache. It was a transformation so fast that it made you question your sanity.

Right Now
Moment series, Book 2
Release Date:  September 15, 2013
Sometimes in life....
Things were supposed to get better when Ryan met Lili. I was supposed to move on, get a life... but I'm stuck and lost. Things with my father are not good. There are demons in our closet, big ones. Ones I want to kill him for, I'm seeing a shrink, I'm trying to get better... but my life feels out of control, like I'm a raft adrift on the sea. I don't know where to look, how to get anchored again, and then I meet Zoe Stone. Something about her draws me out of my rut, makes me laugh for real, smile, and for the first time in years I want to be more. But what will she think when she discovers who I really am?
...all we have...
When Alexander Donovan, aka The Golden Adonis, walks into my tattoo parlor, I know I'll do anything to make that man mine. There's an instant connection, a need to know more about him. Everything about him. But there's also a mystery surrounding the guy, when people look at him they only see the man that laughs, that cracks jokes and makes the world think that everything's okay, but I see the truth... I see the darkness that lurks so deep inside few would ever recognize it. I want to help him, I want to be with him, now I just have to make him trust me enough to let me in.

I wandered the empty streets for at least an hour; it was well past one in the morning and I should have probably headed back home, but Austin was still jumping and I wasn’t ready to go back. In the distance I heard the echoing beats of bass music thumping through the clubs, and the squeals and giggles of those who’d had too much to drink.
Kicking an empty silver can, I watched as it skittered across the slick asphalt. It must have rained while I’d been at the restaurant with the girls.
The neon glow of lights reflected off the shiny blacktop surfaces.
It was summer break, the night was muggy, the sky obscured by heavy clouds. I took a deep breath and for the first time in my life seriously wondered what the hell I was doing.
When I said I didn’t have a clue, I meant it. I was a year away from graduating college, and still wasn’t entirely sure what I wanted to do with my life.
For so long my main goal in life had been to take care of Ryan, make sure he survived the hell my shit of a father had put him through. But Ryan didn’t need me anymore.
In fact, no one did.
I was free.
For the first time since I’d turned six, I was free and I didn’t know what to do about it.
Grabbing my skull, I played with the piece of paper in my pocket and just stood there feeling like I was standing at the proverbial crossroads. I was empty.
Just a great big ball of nothing.
There wasn’t even any noise in my head to distract me. Hot chicks couldn’t do it. I’d taken a year off school because I couldn’t focus, and basically just sat around while my life moved on without me.
Rubbing my finger along the scruff on my jaw, the flicker of a neon light hooked my attention. It was coming off a sign from across the street: The Garage.
Flash art covered the walls and doors, old style sailor tattoos and more modern tribal art. I flicked the paper in my pocket again.
A pinup painted on the side of the wall wore a Betty Page smile while reclining on her side, her entire body was covered in ink. A blue bikini and screw me red heels were the only things she had on.
Never in my life had I ever wanted to paint my body; the thought never even crossed my mind.
Until now.
“Be opposite, huh?” I muttered as I quickly crossed the street. “I’ll show you fucking opposite.”
I wasn’t really sure who I was talking to, maybe the universe, all I knew was that sheet of paper had challenged me and it wasn’t going to win.
Feeling all sorts of reckless and stupid, I opened the door, blinking as my eyes adjusted to the harsh fluorescent lights. More tattoo art covered the walls. Groups of people crowded the small space pointing and giggling over the designs on the walls, grinding metal bled through the speakers and the constant hum and buzz of needles made a small smile latch itself to my face.
The room smelled of ink and rubbing alcohol. There were four stations, each set up with a menagerie of inkwells and a large silver contraption that could only be the tattoo gun. Two guys were working, one of them—tall, blond, and built like a freaking tank sporting a wicked goatee dyed flaming red at the bottom—was bent over a girl’s thigh, drawing a cherry blossom tree.
The design was massive, the branches started off at the center of her ribs and ended with the roots at the mid-point of her thigh. She was laying on her side, face scrunched up with pain as she bit down on her knuckle.
Next to her the other guy—dressed all in black from head to toe with a silver chain dangling from his pockets—was about my height and build with cropped black hair. He was working on a short Asian guy’s back. The piece was also massive, a Chinese dragon and tiger coiled around each other while their claws scaled his shoulders. Unlike the girl, the guy was in zen mood, eyes shut and chatting lightly with the artist behind him.
“Hey,” a soft feminine voice pulled my eyes away from the pieces, “you got an appointment?”
I lost my words. Like they literally flew out my head the moment my eyes landed on her.
She was short, her head reaching only to the base of my neck—which meant she was probably not all that short since I was six and a half feet tall. Clearly Asian, with maybe a mix of something else. Her skin was dusky and pearlescent, almost seemed to gleam under the lights, and every inch of her had some sort of design on it. She wasn’t exactly covered, but she was a framework of art. Mostly shades of white, black, and gray, with pink and red splashes of color throughout. A pink and white lotus flower trail started at her neck and disappeared beneath the halter of her black and white polka dotted dress.
Her bangs were razor blade straight, and her hair hung heavy to her waist. There were even tattoos on her face, small feminine ones. Three tiny stars rested at the corner of her big, honey colored eyes.
I blinked, swallowing hard.
She wore a huge, red flower in her hair and the only make-up she had on was around her eyes. Black eyeliner that turned her already cat eyes dangerously sultry.
Dressed differently than any other girl I’d ever seen, she wore the fifties throw back dress with rockin’ red suede pumps.
Damn, the girl was smokin’. Every inch of her. And what I couldn’t do back in that flea-infested bathroom I felt starting to happen here. I cleared my throat and shifted around, hoping God of Thunder would behave himself.
By the time my eyes made the rounds she was wearing a small smirk on her plump lips. “What are you doin’ here, vanilla?”

Marie Hall has always had a dangerous fascination for creatures that go bump in the night. And mermaids. And of course fairies. Trolls. Unicorns. Shapeshifters. Vampires. Scottish brogues. Kilts. Beefy arms. Ummm... Bad boys! Especially the sexy ones.
On top of that she’s a confirmed foodie, she nearly went to culinary school and then figured out she could save a ton of money if she just watched food shows religiously! She’s a self-proclaimed master chef, certified deep sea dolphin trainer, finder of leprechaun’s gold at the end of the rainbow, and rumor has it she keeps the Troll King locked away in her basement. All of which is untrue, however, she does have an incredibly active imagination and loves to share her crazy thoughts with the world!
Connect with Marie: Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads

Marie is giving away a $50.00 Amazon or B&N gift card at the end of the tour

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1 comment:

  1. Death's Lover sounds really good and the others have some appeal too. I've read Marie Hall's books before and liked them.

    Thanks for the giveaway opportunity.


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