The Power of Words

Realm by Alexandrea Weis

Realm
Alexandrea Weis

Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: May 14th 2019
Genres: Historical, Young Adult

Based on a true story.

When her homeland is conquered by the mighty Alexander the Great, Roxana—the daughter of a mere chieftain—is torn from her simple life and thrown into a world of war and intrigue.

Terrified, the sixteen-year-old girl of renowned beauty is brought before the greatest ruler the world has ever known. Her life is in his hands; her future his to decide.

Without formal education or noble blood, Roxana is chosen by the Greek conqueror to be his bride. Soon she comes to know profound happiness and unyielding desire in her warrior’s arms.

However, being the king’s consort comes at a heavy price. To survive her husband’s treacherous kingdom, she must endure continuous warfare, deadly plots, jealous rivals, victory-hungry generals, and the stigma of being a barbarian. Persian blood will keep her from claiming the grandest title of all—queen—but her reign will seal the fate of an empire.

History tells his story. This is hers.

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Excerpt:

Hephaestion brushed past the guard and followed the familiar route to the back of the spacious tent.

He arrived at an area decorated only with a small wooden desk and some stools. Hunched over and furiously pounding a stylus into a wax tablet was Alexander of Macedon.

“You must be here to report about the goings on atop the rock.”

Alexander looked up, and the intensity of his deep-set gray eyes struck him. Perhaps his square jaw and bulging forehead added to their piercing quality; Hephaestion wasn’t sure, but he’d seen Alexander use his gaze to intimidate many in the past. He wasn’t very tall and had a stocky build with broad shoulders and a thick chest. His ruddy skin, prone to burning in the sun, flushed whenever he was angry, a warning to those who knew him well to stay away. His disheveled, reddish-brown, wavy mane seemed perpetually in need of a good brushing, and his tunics never stayed clean for long. But it was his scars which intrigued the general most. He had one along his left cheek, another on the right side of his forehead, and another across his lower neck. Hephaestion couldn’t remember Alexander without scars. It was as if he had been born that way, a gift from the gods.

“How did it go?”

Hephaestion walked around the desk to Alexander’s side. “You’re chipper, considering you’ve been up for almost two days.”

“You know I hate to sleep. There’s always too much work to do.” Alexander returned his attention to one of the numerous scrolls scattered about his desk. “What news have you brought me?”

Hephaestion read one of the scrolls over Alexander’s shoulder. “Scouts are already on the second rock. Now that we know how to climb the damned things, we should have them under control by nightfall.”

Alexander dropped the stylus to the desk. “And what did you discover on top of the first rock?”

“The family of Baron Oxyartes. They’re now in your custody—his mother and three daughters.” Hephaestion raised his hand, anticipating Alexander’s next question. “Orders have been given that none of the women atop the rock are to be touched on pain of death. The men are well aware of your feelings about rape. At least now you’ll have something to bargain with to get Oxyartes to surrender. Holding the women hostage should speed things along.”

Alexander closed the wax tablet. “Any problems?”

Hephaestion shook his head. “No. They were too afraid to organize an attack. The men and women went screaming when they saw the soldiers arrive at the top. After that, it was pretty much routine.”

“The family of Oxyartes? You saw to their comfort?”

“Of course.” Hephaestion folded his long arms, itching to tell him about the girl. “You won’t believe this, but one of his daughters speaks Greek.”

Alexander’s eyes danced with interest. “Did this daughter, who speaks Greek, say anything to you?”

“It’s not so much what she said but how she said it. Not like a barbarian at all. She had a kind of bearing, a certain dignity I’ve not seen before in these people. She was very …” He hesitated, knowing it would spur his friend’s curiosity.

“What?” Alexander insisted.

Hephaestion grinned. “Spirited.”

He could almost see the wheels turning in Alexander’s mind. He never stopped thinking or planning. Alexander was always one step ahead of everyone else. He had to be. It was the only way to remain king and stay alive.

“Was she pretty or did she have the face of a pig?”

“The girl?” Hephaestion smiled, knowing his answer would please his king. “She was the most beautiful woman I’ve ever seen.”

Alexander raised his eyebrows. “What was the name of this beautiful girl who spoke Greek?”

Feeling that nudge of satisfaction at seeing Alexander beguiled, Hephaestion angled closer and whispered, “Roxana.”

 

Author Bio:

Alexandrea Weis, RN-CS, PhD, is a multi-award-winning author of over twenty-seven novels, a screenwriter, ICU Nurse, and historian who was born and raised in the French Quarter of New Orleans. Having grown up in the motion picture industry as the daughter of a director, she learned to tell stories from a different perspective and began writing at the age of eight. Infusing the rich tapestry of her hometown into her novels, she believes that creating vivid characters makes a story moving and memorable. A member of the Horror Writers Association and International Thriller Writers Association, Weis writes mystery, suspense, thrillers, horror, crime fiction, and romance. She lives with her husband and pets in New Orleans where she is a permitted/certified wildlife rehabber with the Louisiana Wildlife and Fisheries and rescues orphaned and injured animals.

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The Aviary by Emily Shore

The Aviary by 
Emily Shore

(The Uncaged Series, #1)
Published by: Clean Teen Publishing
Publication date: March 5th 2019
Genres: Dystopian, Young Adult

“Gentlemen, we have a special treat for you today. Feast your eyes on this pure-blooded beauty!”

Sixteen-year-old Serenity has spent her entire life in hiding to protect her from this exact moment. In a world where beauty is bought and sold on the streets like a corporate commodity, Serenity’s natural assets are more like liabilities. Despite her parents’ best efforts, she’s been taken—ripped from her home and the only life she’s ever known—to find herself on sale to the highest bidder. And that bidder? Enigmatic and dangerous, Luc is the director of The Aviary—an elite museum where girls are displayed as living art by day…and cater to the lascivious whims of the highest bidder by night. In this elaborate and competitive world, girls go by names like Raven and Nightingale, and will stop at nothing to become top Bird.

Luc comes to idolize Serenity’s purity and aims to turn her into his grandest exhibit of all time—The Swan. In no time, she becomes one of the most coveted exhibits in Aviary history. When she discovers Luc holds the key to finding her parents, she must learn to play The Swan to perfection…to win his heart and earn his trust. But she doesn’t anticipate falling for him in the process. Now she faces an impossible choice: escape The Aviary and lose her only chance at finding her parents—or become Luc’s Swan for good and lose her identity forever.

The Jewel by Amy Ewing meets Tricks by Ellen Hopkins in this gritty Young Adult Dystopian that tells of a fear-inducing future where the world of sex trafficking has become a social norm and where woman aren’t treated as humans and are no safer than they were than they were in The Handmaid’s Tale by Margaret Atwood.

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EXCERPT:

On the way over in his self-driving-limousine, which is Family-branded so they have immunity, Luc gave me a digital tour of his Aviary, but seeing the building from the vehicles one-way windows was completely different than up close. Against the darkness, it was like a diamond sitting in a bed of ash. Grand spotlights and high-tech holographic images of birds light the entrance.

Now, it just looks like a giant glass dollhouse. From the observation deck within the domed ceiling of the Aviary where I stand with Luc, I stare down at the men flooding the lobby as they stray to girl-encrusted exhibits. If they pay more, they will advance to the second level. The ones with deep pockets continue to the third where the highest-ranking girls are.

It shouldn’t impress me, but it does.

 

Author Bio:

Emily Shore is a MN author with a B.A. in Creative Writing from Metro State University and was a grand prize winner of #PitchtoPublication, which led her to working with professionals in the publishing industry. She is signed with Clean Teen Publishing for her anti-trafficking dystopian The Aviary, first in the Uncaged Series. For every sale, proceeds return to trafficking rescue and to Emily and her husband’s international adoption fund.

Throughout the years, Emily has connected with rescue organizations and survivors of sex-trafficking and injects the truths she’s learned into her books for youth. She loves motivational speaking on the issue of sex-trafficking and always hopes for more speaking events in schools, churches, and libraries. Please contact her on her website if you are interested in hearing her speak.

Emily lives in Saint Paul with her husband and two daughters. They are currently in the process of adopting a little girl from India.

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For the Blood by Debbie Cassidy

For the Blood
Debbie Cassidy
(For the Blood, #1)
Publication date: December 27th 2018
Genres: Adult, Post-Apocalyptic, Romance, Urban Fantasy

Stay alive at all costs. No attachments, no looking back, no emotion.

The last thing my father gave me was a key. No explanation, no details, just a key. The last thing he asked of me was to take the key to a set of co-ordinates. But survival in a fallen world filled with Feral isn’t easy. The Fangs and the Claws, once upstanding members of society are now slave to the virus, hunting indiscriminately under a perpetually full moon.

There is no hope. There is no haven. Not alone. Not until them.

They are a new breed of monster—beasts of both fang and fur. Unaffected by the sickness, they crave only one thing, and it runs through my veins. Survive, my father said. Look out for no one except yourself. But sometimes the only way to survive is to make attachments. Sometimes the only way to live is to accept a dance with death. And right now, for me, the path to survival is in the blood.
Here’s to hoping it doesn’t kill me.

The Vampire Diaries meets The Walking Dead in this Post-Apocalyptic Urban Fantasy with a slow burn Why Choose romance

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EXCERPT:

Had the stars always been this bright? Or maybe impending death was lifting a veil from my eyes. The steady pump of my blood seeping out of my many wounds and into the dry, cracked earth and my ragged, irregular breath were the only sounds in the cold, still night. The Feral were down, but they’d taken me with them.

Laughter bubbled up my throat, a sound filled with life, if only I could move.

It would be over soon. No more fighting. No more loss. No more pain. The stars called to me, and I watched, counting them as my vision blurred in and out of focus, as my life blood fled my body as if it were a curse. How long before a person bled out?

Sunshine and the scent of freshly cut grass. Kisses, sweet kisses and toffee popcorn, hot cocoa under the stars in the compound garden… Memories of safer times. Happy memories that usually made me feel better, but nope, sorry, still feeling bad.

So sorry, Tobias. So sorry, Dad.

The crunch of boots echoed through the silence, invasive and intrusive. A shadow fell over me. Cold hands touched my face and startling gray eyes blocked out the stars.

The Fang from the storeroom, the one who’d bit me. Uninfected but hungry. Was he going to finish me off? But he was surveying the land around me, his brow creased in a neat frown. He was big, and his rugged, stubbled face hid the perfectly formed lips that had sucked on my neck not long ago.

“You Fang …” The word ended in a slur. “Bit me …”

His attention snapped back to me, and his eyes shone like pennies in the dark. I reached up with a strength I didn’t know I had and touched his chilly jaw. My fingers, deathly pale against his tanned skin, left a bloody trail as they slipped away. My blood had put color back in his cheeks and now that same blood was seeping into the ground, wasted. Was it getting darker?

Arms slipped under me, and my body was torn from the cold, dead earth. Where his hands had been chilled, his body was warm. He cradled me against a wide, muscular chest, and the heat seeped into me, reviving, urging me to live. The scent of cedar competed with the coppery smell of my blood. His nostrils flared, and then he pulled me close, dipped his head, and swept a rough tongue over the wound at my neck. The wound he’d made. Fire shot through me, searing my veins and tearing a hoarse scream from my throat. His mouth latched onto me and horror swelled my heart.

No. Not again. But there was no bite. No draw of blood. This wasn’t the kiss of death, it was life.


Author Bio:

Debbie Cassidy lives in England, Bedfordshire, with her three kids and very supportive husband. Coffee and chocolate biscuits are her writing fuels of choice, and she is still working on getting that perfect tower of solitude built in her back garden. Obsessed with building new worlds and reading about them, she spends her spare time daydreaming and conversing with the characters in her head – in a totally non psychotic way of course. She writes Urban Fantasy, Fantasy and Reverse Harem Fantasy. All her books contain plenty of action, romance and twisty plots.

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