Set in the same world as Faith Hunter’s New York Times bestselling Jane Yellowrock novels, the second Soulwood novel tells the story of a woman whose power comes from deep within the earth…
Before Nell Ingram met skinwalker Jane Yellowrock, she had no one to rely on, finding strength only in in her arcane connection to the dark woods around her. But now she has friends in the newly-formed PsyLED team to keep her grounded—even if being part of the agency responsible for policing paranormals presents dangers of its own…
After training at the PsyLED academy, Nell returns home to her woods to find the land feeling sick and restless. And that sickness is spreading. With the help of her team, under the leadership of agent Rick LaFleur, Nell tries to determine the cause. But nothing can prepare them for the evil that awaits: an entity that feeds on death itself. And it wants more…
We are so excited to announce the release of the time travel historical romance The Guardian by young adult author Elizabetta Holcomb!!
1312, A knight destined to rule…
Jareth Tremaine, the first Duke of Dover, has seen how he’s remembered in history books—either a saint who rules his lands with justice or a religious extremist whose harsh treatment of the church nearly has him executed. But what history doesn’t disclose is that he’s essential to the world’s survival. After being wounded by ancient Huns using 21st century weapons, a girl is brought to aid his recovery—a girl who would become his duchess and the key to the future of Dover’s Amalgam.
A 21st century girl whose future has not been written…
Elizabet Blackwell isn’t surprised by wormholes. What shocks her is the multi-faceted personality of the titled knight. Sir Jareth is a nobleman, translator, surgeon—and he’s intent on locating and protecting a host. The host, she discovers, is a boy who practically lives in her backyard 700 years into Jareth’s future.
The re-scripting of history for the survival of nature’s attack on mankind…
Together they embark on their life’s journey and discover that they must protect each other even as they prepare the host for his destiny. Their quest must be to ensure the boy is secure and hidden from the evil forces who seek to exploit the power he contains.
Click here to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a signed copy of The Guardian.
Elizabetta Holcomb lives in South Louisiana with her husband and children. She is an English lit major turned nurse who couldn’t dream of a life without writing and returned to her first love. Her favorite things in life are family, her cat, Sir Jareth (named after The Guardian‘s hero), and of course, writing.
Slaying vampires is child’s play for skinwalker Jane Yellowrock. But handling the complicated politics of New Orleans’ supernatural players is another story…
Jane is keeping the peace between visiting groups of witches and vamps in the city, but then trouble comes knocking on her doorstep. When her house is magically attacked, the wild chase to find her assailants unearths a mystery that has literally been buried deep.
A missing master vampire, presumed long deceased, is found chained in a pit…undead, raving mad, and in the company of two human bodies. Now it’s up to Jane to find out who kept the vampire hidden for so long and why, because the incident could tip already high supernatural tensions to an all-out arcane war.
Wrassler greeted us. “Evening, Legs, Eli.”
I nodded to the big guy and moved into position for the pat-down. Wrassler was seriously huge, nicknamed so because he was bigger than any World Wrestling Entertainment superstar. He motioned a woman to pat me down and took Eli himself, walking with a limp, on a prosthetic that had replaced a foot and lower leg lost in a battle here at HQ. I knew that his injury wasn’t my fault, but I still felt the responsibility to help him move forward and cope with his new life. Responsibility was a step up from guilt, so, for me, that was good. I was growing. I used to try and carry the weight of the world on my shoulders. Eli and Alex had been working on me, schooling me to be fair to myself. I was trying.
The woman’s pat-down was professional and non-handsy and I declared the vamp-killer strapped to my thigh. “And I have wooden stakes in my hair,” I said.
“No silver?” she asked.
She stepped back and away before I could look at her name tag. She was one of the new blood-servants from Atlanta. We were still integrating the blood-servants and -slaves of Atlanta’s former Master of the City.
“Leo’s in the gym with Gee,” Wrassler said. “He’s asked you to join him there.”
We signed in and walked away, Eli silent in his combat boots, my dancing shoes loud and somewhat clompy. Once behind the wall on the way to the elevator, I asked, “Well?”
“Did not detect a thing.”
Short Story pt.4
IT’S JUST A DATE Part FOUR
From the world of Jane Yellowrock
Copyright Faith Hunter
We arrived at Stephan’s with a few minutes to spare, the lights in the four star Cajun-Creole restaurant shining bright through the sparkling windows. The place had been refurbished and enlarged, the kitchen pushed back behind a wall, the lighting all copper, the tables all quartz-topped with cast iron bases, the seats all high-end leather.
Stephan’s had originally been a diner, and had closed down after a fire just before I arrived in NOLA. When the place reopened a month past, it was no longer a dive that specialized in fried foods and crawfish, but an elite and expensive joint that required either lots of time on the waiting list for a reservation, or someone with moxi and power, to get one of the twenty tables sooner. Someone like Bruiser, the MOC’s former primo.
We were shown to a large, U-shaped, leather-seated booth in back, big enough for us all with room to spare, but with limited linear length for us all to face the front door. Each of us was hardwired to sit so we could watch the entrance, and while the others were jockeying for position, I slid in, facing one of the back entrances that opened on the alley and the small courtyard. If I was a bad guy and had reconnoitered the restaurant, that’s the way I’d come in.
I placed the cloth napkin on my lap and waited until the others realized why I’d sat. The women figured it out first. Syl drew a file and started working on her nails with false patience. Jodi just rolled her eyes and rested a hip against the table, waiting.
The three alpha males looked both ways, considered the layout, looked at each other and, with that peculiar communication of battle-weary warriors, they each took a seat. Bruiser shoved me over so he could take the aisle. Eli maneuvered around in next to me in the center of the U, and pulled Syl in after him. Eli was the most limber and slightest of build. He could leap over the table faster than either of the others. Wrassler held out his strong right hand and encouraged Jodi into the seat next to Syl, so he could take on the other aisle seat. Wrassler was the biggest and the slowest, due to the injury he’d received in a battle at vamp HQ. Didn’t make him less valuable in a fight. Just meant he took a different job and different position.
We three well-armed women shared a look that said, Aren’t they cute? and let the guys position us where they wanted. Not that we didn’t each decide how we would respond to a threat. Finding the best defensive positions was hardwired into us too.
Together, we were that odd mixture of races and genders common to New Orleans and bigger cities, black, white, tribal, all sitting together. Eating together. Ready to defend our fellow diners from an outside threat, or a hidden threat from within. Together we were a small army.
The waiter was a good looking local kid, skin a reddish brown color that suggested a gorgeous mixture of tribal, black, and white. He had a local patter and graceful social skills, as he gave a half-bow to our table. “How y’all doing tonight. A pleasure to have a such beautiful group of people in Stephan’s. Hope you’re hungry. Tonight there are three specials on the menu and a wonderful selection of wines to compliment the meals…”
I tuned him out. Not just because I’d have the beef, and everyone at the table knew it, but because the head of NOPD district eight, Commander Walker, and his wife had just entered Stephan’s. At the same time, a thin trail of smoke was wending its way down the aisle from the direction of the restrooms at the back of the restaurant. And the smoke was purple.
Tour-wide giveaway for 1 complete set of the Jane Yellowrock series (all 10 novels!), plus one $100 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card.
Faith Hunter, fantasy writer, was born in Louisiana and raised all over the south. She writes three Urban Fantasy series: the Skinwalker series, featuring Jane Yellowrock, a Cherokee skinwalker who hunts rogue vampires. The Soulwood series, featuring earth magic user Nell Ingram. And the Rogue Mage novels, a dark, urban, post-apocalyptic, fantasy series featuring Thorn St. Croix, a stone mage. (There is a role playing game based on the series, ROGUE MAGE.)
Under the pen name Gwen Hunter, she writes action-adventure, mysteries, and thrillers. As Faith and Gwen, she has 30+ books in print in 29 countries.
Hunter writes full-time, tries to keep house, and is a workaholic with a passion for travel, jewelry making, white-water kayaking, and writing. She and her husband love to RV, traveling with their rescued Pomeranians to whitewater rivers all over the Southeast.
The Darkness That Could Be Felt: Treasure of the Raven King Book One
Women are disappearing off the streets of Vienna in 1684 and Captain Mathis Zieglar vows to find out why. Defying orders to break off his investigation, he discovers they are being trafficked into the Muslim slave market. His only hope of ransoming them from a life of abuse is to find the treasure of the Raven King. The treasure is a secret code lodged inside an ancient text that will rock the Ottoman and Holy Roman Empires to their foundations.
Wallachia, near Castle King’s Rock
“The Mohammedans have found us, Sire.”
Vlad Dracula, War Lord of Wallachia and Transylvania, jerked his horse to a stop. Dracula snapped his head around to look at his companion. “How close, Grigore?”
An excited buzz broke out amongst the warlord’s ten bodyguards. They came to a halt, sending up billows of dough-colored dust that contrasted with the forest’s darkness. Sweat dripped down their leather armor. Their horses pawed the ground impatiently, straining to resume their canters.
Grigore steadied himself with one hand against the back of his panting horse and caught his breath. He turned his steed around and pointed to a mountain pass five hundred feet up the road. “They’re there, Prince. If we pause for a short rest, they’ll be upon us and have our necks.”
“Damn. Reversing our horse’s shoes didn’t throw them off our trail for long,” gasped a trooper beside Dracula, fighting to control a mount that grew nervous as the pitch of desperation in the men’s voices intensified.
Dracula nodded as he tightened his grip on the reins. He focused on the road climbing sharply to the west. “No one can outrun Turkish cavalry forever, Luca. The spahis never quit.”
Cold hatred stiffened him in his saddle. He would love dashing into his pursuers and tearing into as many as possible before they could bring him down. It would be sweet revenge. They had taunted his fiancée until she flung herself from the castle window to her death. But no, not now. There was something more important to finish, something that would deliciously even the score.
Dracula called out to a man holding the reins of a packhorse. Bulging saddlebags draped over the animal’s sides. “Imre, you and Cosmin must take the next road away from us and keep the treasure safe.”
Dracula looked toward a basket lashed to the side of a mule, which was tied to the packhorse. A small head with wide eyes peered over the brim. “And take my son with you. Remember, you hold the fate of Christendom in your hands. Make your way to Buda and meet me there.”
As the men rode away with the boy, Dracula pulled chainmail over his head and tossed it to the side of the road. “Lighten your load, brothers. If we can make it to the next pass, the Hungarian army will save us.”
The small band of Dracula’s retainers cast aside their armor, then spurred their sweating mounts up the grade.
His heart pounding like a drum, Dracula racked his memory. There was a special trail up there somewhere. He’d outwit the Mohammedans, he always did.
Halfway up the grade, an arrow flew over his shoulder. Another struck Grigore in the leg.
“Radu.” Dracula cursed. “My brother has shown the Turks the shortcut.”
A minute later, a band of Turkish spahis emerged from the woods close behind them. Luca screamed as an arrow knocked him off his horse. The shafts buzzed closer as the men approached the top of the ridge.
Suddenly, the Turks halted and the arrows stopped. Rows of mounted soldiers in black armor appeared at the crest, led by a standard-bearer holding a brilliant red flag with a raven in the middle flanked by diagonal squares containing lions. Archers raised their bows, ready to let their arrows fly over the Wallachians and into the Turks behind them.
“God’s mercy,” one of Dracula’s companions cried out. “The Hungarian Black Army.”
Shouts of greetings roared from the rescuers, who met the refugees and led them to a base camp in a clearing on a nearby ridge. As the Wallachians dismounted, a heavily armored man emerged with a measured pace from a tent, flying the army banner.
Dracula cast his reins aside and opened his arms as if to embrace the man. “General von Brandeis, how good to—”
Von Brandeis raised his hand to block his visitor’s embrace. “Throw this man in chains.”
June, 1466, Four Years Later.
Beneath the king of Hungary’s summer palace in Visegrad, Hungary
“Walk quicker, daughter, we haven’t all day,” Father Adan urged.
Ilona stumbled haltingly over the rough earth, steadying herself against the tunnel’s uneven earthen walls. She could barely keep up with the wraith-like figure in front of her who stepped rapidly down the descending passage as surely as if he lived there. After tripping over stones twice, she lowered her flickering candle to light her path. But her carefulness only slowed her pace. Father Adan soon pulled ahead and disappeared, the winding tunnel cutting off his light.
Ilona shivered. Was the priest leaving her behind? Despite her fear, she had to pause a moment to massage her sore foot. She lowered her headpiece to her shoulders and felt dampness soaking the hem of her dress. Disgusted, she rolled the skirt up to her knees. The candlelight revealed a small stream trickling down the tunnel’s floor. “Another miserable irritation,” she muttered.
She drew in a long breath, inhaled the musty air, and fought her anxiety. She would make it to the Tower of Solomon if it killed her. Then she would cast her net around the legendary man everyone traveled to Visegrad to gawk at. Her charms would overcome him and he would make her his consort. From now on, whenever visitors from Venice to Paris visited, they would speak of the beautiful Princess Ilona. “Then I’ll be rescued from my wretched existence,” she vowed.
Father Adan’s voice drew near again, speaking with restrained intensity. “Now, now, daughter, your life is far from wretched. Come along. We have to make this quick or we’ll be noticed and have to face the king’s wrath. If he finds out I showed you this tunnel, he’ll put me in prison and not one as nice as the one we’re going to.”
“Father, you are a true saint for helping me. The day will come when I’ll thank you by getting you promoted to a higher position in the church. You are an incredibly wonderful man.”
Father Adan grunted wearily as if he had heard it all before. “Yes, yes. Let’s just finish this.”
Ilona resumed walking. The priest slowed a little, enabling them to stay together. Finally, they reached an enlarged area containing an iron gate lit up by wall torches and guarded by two sword-bearing sentinels.
Father Adan motioned to Ilona to retreat into the tunnel behind them. His voice rose into a scolding falsetto, something he did in times of stress. “Lower your veil before they see your face. Don’t say a word until we reach our destination. Remember, our purpose is to bring Vlad Dracula into the arms of the Church.”
Well, Ilona would see to it he’d fall into someone’s arms, all right. She tugged the veil over her face. Her heart pounded as they re-approached the soldiers.
“Father Adan?” one of them called out.
The priest nodded, reached into his cassock, and pressed coins into an officer’s hands. He swung the barred door open, revealing a narrow stone staircase leading upward.
“Shouldn’t we ask who this woman is?” another sentry asked his superior.
“You should trust the priest and be satisfied with your portion of the fee,” the officer snapped.
Father Adan and Ilona ascended the steps to the first floor. The priest paused at the top of the staircase, slowly opened a door, and looked both ways down a hallway. He motioned to Ilona. They went a few feet down to their right until they were at the foot of a winding set of steps. They climbed until they reached a landing on the top floor.
There they encountered five guards, three of whom had nodded off in their chairs above mugs spilled over the floor. Two others wearing blackened breastplates stood alert, each one steadying a gleaming halberd. Adan turned to Ilona, warned her by raising his finger to his lips, and then paid the two men.
The soldiers turned around, opened a grilled door, and stepped inside. They reached for curtains hanging from an arch inside, but an erect figure threw the folds open before they could act. The man had a thin, wolf-like head divided by an aquiline nose over a brushy mustache that rose in a grin. “Father Adan, Princess Ilona,” his voice seemed to echo inside his throat.
Ilona’s legs began to buckle, she stared blankly, transfixed like a bird caught in a viper’s gaze. Who else could this be but Vlad Dracula? She gasped. His eyes sparkled like emeralds.
Father Adan recovered sufficiently to point excitedly to the sleeping guards. “Quiet. For heaven’s sakes, you’ll wake them.”
“Small chance of that.” Vlad laughed with disdain. “Those drinks would knock out a gargoyle.”
He stepped forward, took Ilona by her hand, and kissed it. “You honor me with your visit, Princess.”
Surprised Vlad recognized her, Ilona nodded, and then slid her hands sensuously down the sides of her neck where they found the edges of her scarf. She brushed it and her veil to the floor with one motion, exposing an embroidered beige dress. The neckline plunged low, exposing rounded breasts that rose and fell with each breath.
Dracula’s eyes startled her; they seemed to shine with satisfaction rather than excitement, not the reaction she got from other men. Was he not pleased?
“Forgive her, St. Agnes.” Adan rushed to Ilona, stopping only to scoop up her veil and scarf. He attempted to put them back on. “Modesty, woman.”
“St. Agnes never found a husband, Father.”
They struggled briefly until she waved her hands in disgust and gave in. She would let him have his way for the moment. There would be plenty of time for Vlad in the future.
“Let me speak to him,” she pleaded as Father Adan dropped the veil over her.
The priest folded his arms and retreated, but only a few steps. “You may speak as long as you remain properly dressed, daughter.”
Ilona sighed and turned to the man she came to visit. “Vlad Dracula, my visit here was supposed to be a secret between Father Adan and myself. How did you recognize me beneath my veil?”
Dracula’s smile exposed a row of white teeth. “A man who inherits his throne from his father learns very little about how to rule.” He heaved a long steady breath and moved close to her, his voice low. “But a warlord, a voivode, must earn the right to rule. He can only survive if he knows the future before it happens. And then, he must seize the moment.”
Vlad’s energy gripped Ilona and held her. She struggled in vain to talk. Finally, she squeaked out a breathless sentence. “Tell me how you knew about my coming, Voivode.”
Vlad drew back Ilona’s veil and put his lips to her ear. “I share my powers only with those who share theirs with me.”
She put her hands to her tingling throat. After taking a breath, she whispered back. “Of what benefit will it be for me to share what I have with you?”
Vlad stepped back, grabbed the edges of the curtain, and closed them, leaving only his head visible. “We have much to discuss, Princess. Until that time, dream of tomorrow.”
The drapery closed, and he vanished.
C. Wayne Dawson writes for The Williamson County Sun, and has written for History Magazine, Focus On Georgetown, and SAFVIC Law Enforcement Newsletter. He also founded Central Texas Authors, a group that helps authors promote and market their books through media and collaborative efforts.
C. Wayne Dawson was a Professor of History for ten years and created the Chautauqua program at Mt. San Antonio College. There, he invited scholars, government officials and activists from clashing perspectives to engage one another in a rational, but passionate public forum.
The discussions took on the burning issues of the day: Immigration, Islam and Democracy, Israel or Palestine, The Patriot Act, and Human Trafficking. Attendance ranged from 200-350 people, including students, faculty and the general public. These events attracted representatives from the press, several radio stations, and Telemundo television.
In 2009, the students of Phi Theta Kappa Honor Society honored him with the Glaux Mentor Teacher of Year Award for his efforts in bringing the Chautuaqua program to Mt. SAC.
In the fall of 2012, he delivered six lectures at Sun City’s Senior University on “Muslims and Christians, the Struggle for Europe, 1453-1697.”
He recently completed writing his historically based novel, Vienna’s Last Jihad and begun his second, Treasure of the Raven King.
Sophea Long knows that escorting her octogenarian client to Europe will be an adventure. Mrs. P has a habit of stealing anything shiny, and the former “hoochikoo dancer” is a lot faster than she looks. But Sophea hadn’t counted on Mrs. P leading her right into the arms of a smoldering, dark-haired stranger who kisses like a dream. If only he’d give up all this nonsense about Sophea being some kind of dragon…
THAN THE FIRE INSIDE
There’s a reason Rowan Dakar is known as the Dragon Breaker. The last thing he needs is to fall for a woman who literally sets him aflame every time they kiss. After all, he has a mission-one that will finally free him of dragonkin for good. He can’t afford to be distracted by the funniest, most desirable woman he’s ever set eyes on. But no prophecy in the world can ever stop true love . . .
BOOK DESCRIPTION COURTESY OF AMAZON
I was given a copy of this book by Netgalley for an honest review.
Dragon Soul is filled with a lot of laughs that will have you rolling on the floor. The characters and story line are well-developed. When Rowan kills some Dragons by accident, The First Dragon punishes Rowan by enforcing the danegeld. He took four dragon lives, so he must replace those lives by a specific timeline. Which that time is fast approaching. He was sent to retrieve a ring from Mrs. P who stole it, and return it to its rightful owner. They must keep the ring out of Bael’s hands at all cost. Sophea is to get Mrs. P to the boat and then her job is through, at least that was what she thought. Now, she must accompany her on the boat, and apparently perform a series of trials to get to the underworld to help Mrs. P. The humor, and antics of Mrs. P will have you laughing. The chemistry between Rowan and Sophea is hot. I really like the writing of Katie MacAlister. She is always a go to read for me. I loved this book and series, and I urge you to read it. I give DRAGON SOUL 5/5 stars.