Monday, February 8, 2016

Free Read: February Issue Bewitching Book Tours Magazine

In the February issue discover Pat Esden’s Top Ten Gothic Novels and Movies, Top Ten Myths About Authors with Sabrina Benulis, Amber Malloy’s Top Ten Spy Movies , Explore Dragons – Fable or Fact? With Linda K. Hopkins, Check out the character chat Sabine Priestly has with Balastar and Kit from Liberation, and read reviews and excerpts from new releases.

Download Your Free Copy Today

Table of Contents

Page 6 Top Ten Myths About Authors By Sabrina Benulis

Page 11 The Asset by Anna del Mar

Page 16 Poetic Womb by Wenona Napolitano

Page 18 Secrets of Successful Virtual Book Tours by Roxanne Rhoads

Page 29 Dragons – Fable or Fact? By Linda K. Hopkins

Page 36 The Crow Box by Nikki Rae

Page 40 The Astronaut’s Princess by Lisa Medley

Page 45 Divide and Conquer by Carmen Fox

Page 48 Happy Tails and Tales Reviews Divide and Conquer by Carmen Fox

Page 50 The Desire Series by Roxanne Rhoads

Page 52 A Review of Fire Touched by Patricia Briggs

Page 53 A Review of Grave Visions by Kalayna Price

Page 54 A Review of The Witches of Echo Park Series by Amber Benson

Page 55 When in Gnome by Emily Night

Page 58 Amber Malloy’s Top Ten Spy Movies

Page 60 Near The Wild by Maureen Willett

Page 66 Hot Dish By Jamie K. Schmidt

Page 71 Sabine Priestly has a chat with Balastar and Kit from Liberation

Page 80 Instruction Trilogy by L.M. Pruitt

Page 84 Heartless by Kelly Martin

Page 89 Pat Esden’s Top Ten Gothic Novels and Movies!

Spotlight and Giveaway The Dragon Archives by Linda K. Hopkins

Bound by a Dragon
The Dragon Archives
Book I
Linda K. Hopkins

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Publisher: Linda K. Hopkins

Date of Publication: May 18, 2014

Number of pages: 260
Word Count: 73,000

Book Description:

At twenty-two, Keira Carver needs to find a husband, but the prospects in her small medieval village are not pretty slim. So when Aaron Drake, a handsome stranger, takes up residence at Storbrook Castle, set deep in the surrounding mountains, Keira takes notice.

Just as interesting is the fact that a fire-breathing dragon has also moved into the neighborhood, and is rumored to live in caves beneath the mountain fortress.

What exactly is the connection between Aaron Drake and the dragon? And when the dragon rescues her from the unwanted attentions of some village boys, who will set out to rescue her from the huge, scaly, fire-breathing monster?

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Excerpt Bound by a Dragon:

Keira watched as the great beast circled slowly through the sky, blocking the sunlight for a few seconds on each turn. Fire spewed occasionally from its mouth, dissipating in the cool air before it could set anything alight. All around her people were shouting, grabbing their children and running for their homes, slamming the doors shut behind them before barring them from the inside. Keira shook her head in amusement. A mere door wouldn’t stop a dragon – it could just burn the house down! Anna was tugging on her arm, shouting at her to come, but Keira shrugged her off.
The dragon had taken up residence in the mountains some six months back, and although it was regularly seen soaring above the village, it had yet to kidnap and devour a single innocent maiden. And there were no reports of girls snatched from the other villages, either. Keira knew the stories about the last dragon that had lived in the area. For many years it had peacefully inhabited its mountain lair, until one day it had suddenly turned on the village, burning down half the homes before being killed by some brave soul. But the only questionable thing this dragon had done was to take a few head of cattle and a couple of sheep. And since the dragon always left some form of payment for the animal taken – a small bag of gold, a few precious stones – the villagers didn’t complain too loudly. These payments always far exceeded the worth of the animal. But still, stories about dragons abounded, and the villagers were convinced that it was just a matter of time before the dragon set the village alight and snatched the village girls.
“Come on, Keira.” Anna’s words broke through Keira’s thoughts, reminding her that her parents shared the same fears as the other villagers. “Mother will be furious if we don’t get back to the house now.”
“Stop pulling me. I’m coming!” was Keira’s annoyed response. She glanced back at the sky one more time, admiring the way the scales of the dragon caught the light, throwing back a thousand rainbows against the sky. The dragon was heading away from the village, but before Keira looked away, it turned its head and seemed to look straight at her. Pulling her arm out of Anna’s, she drew herself upright and stared straight back, meeting the golden eye of the dragon before it turned its enormous body in a slow, fluid motion and lazily flew towards the mountains.

Pursued by a Dragon
The Dragon Archives
Book II
Linda K. Hopkins

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Publisher: Linda K. Hopkins
Date of Publication: Dec 15, 2014


Number of pages: 195
Word Count: 51,700

Book Description:

Cathryn Forrester is a medieval business woman, the daughter of a successful wool merchant. She has been groomed from a young age to take over the family business, and has been quite content to let her personal life be directed by what is best for the business – including whom she will marry. And as a calmly pragmatic, infuriatingly stubborn and altogether practical young woman, this suits her just fine. She does not believe in love, after all.

So when Cathryn meets Favian Drake, a man who knows that love is worth pursuing, her ideas about love and marriage are put to the test. But Cathryn faces her greatest challenge when she discovers that Favian is not exactly who – or what – he appears to be. Can she learn to trust her heart and allow herself to love a dragon?

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Excerpt Pursued by a Dragon:

“You have to come meet this most interesting man,” Peggy said softly, pulling Cathryn into the circle. “He has just returned from travels abroad, and has been entertaining us with some stories.” The bustle of Cathryn’s arrival in the group attracted the attention of the man seated in the center, and he paused to glance up at the newcomer. As Cathryn turned to look at the stranger, dark blue eyes met hers, sparkling with amusement; she felt her eyes widen in surprise.
“Cathryn, this is Favian Drake,” announced Peggy. “Master Drake,” she said, turning to Favian, “this is Mistress Cathryn Forrester.” Cathryn stared at the man sitting before her, the color rushing to her cheeks as Favian’s mouth stretched into a slow smile. Pushing himself to his feet, he made a small bow in Cathryn’s direction before turning to the people around him.
“Mistress Cathryn and I are already acquainted,” he announced to the circle. “In fact,” he added mischievously, casting a quick glance in Cathryn’s direction, “we became quite well acquainted when I rescued her, uh, derriere, from becoming too familiar with the mud!”
There was a ripple of laughter through the group as Cathryn fought the blush that rose to her cheeks.
“Really?” Peggy said, laughing. “You didn’t tell me, Cathryn!”
“There wasn’t really anything to tell,” Cathryn said with an airy wave of her hand. “The incident was barely worth remembering. My packages were quite ruined, so everything else was forgotten.”
Turning to Favian, she gave him a sly look. “So it was you who was my rescuer, Master, er, Drake? My apologies, I had quite forgotten.” She grinned as Favian gave a mocking salute of defeat. “Now if you will excuse me, I am in desperate need of some libation.” Turning on her heel, Cathryn walked away, her hands trembling slightly as she tried to calm her chaotic thoughts. Behind her she could hear her friends laughing, while someone chaffed Favian at his put-down.
A long passage ran down the length of the hall, leading to the kitchens at the back of the house. There were numerous doorways between the passage and hall, and it was to one of these that Cathryn made her way now, cup of wine in hand, as she sought a moment’s privacy to regain her composure. She had just stepped into the passage when she felt warm fingers curl around her arm. Startled, she glanced around, relaxing only slightly when she saw who it was tugging her towards a small nook in the passage.
“Oh, it’s you,” she said.
“Yes, you do remember me, don’t you?” Favian asked. The passage was dingy, with the light from the hall providing the only illumination, but even so, she could see the flash of his eyes as he spoke. They seemed to be glowing with a faint yellow light, and she stared up at him, fascinated. His hand was still on her arm, and he gently stroked her skin, his warmth spreading through her at his touch. Glancing down, he circled his other hand around her wrist below the bangle, before meeting her gaze once more.
“You were very rude,” she whispered.
“Yes,” he said, “I was. I was curious to see whether you would deny knowing me yet again. I was sure you would, and as it turned out, I was correct.” He trailed his finger around her wrist, and she shivered. “I have a theory as to why you keep denying me,” he said. His eyes seemed to glow even more as he leaned closer to her, the heat from his body touching hers. Her back was against the wall, and she pushed herself against the cool surface, trying to create some distance between them, but he followed her, bending his mouth towards her ear.
“I think it is a futile attempt to put me out of your mind,” he said softly. “I think the memory of me pursues you at every turn, just as yours does me. Am I right?”
No, Cathryn wanted to scream, but she could not make the falsehood form on her lips. Instead she stared at him mutely as he watched her.

“I thought so,” he said, with a note of satisfaction. He pulled back to gaze into her eyes for another brief moment before turning away and walking back to the hall. Leaning back against the wall, she closed her eyes, drawing in deep breaths in an effort to still her racing heart. The man is relentless, she thought. If he would just leave her alone, she could push him from her mind and forget about him. She took a deep gulp of wine before turning back towards the room. 

Loved by a Dragon
The Dragon Archives
Book III
Linda K. Hopkins

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Publisher: Linda K. Hopkins
Date of Publication: April 28, 2015

ASIN:  B00UK96U64

Number of pages: 257
Word Count: 91,600

Book Description:

Love is the only thing Aaron, Dragon Master, truly fears. And when a scaly, fire-breathing monster loves a frail human being, matters become even more complicated. As Aaron faces a rogue dragon who is terrorizing the city, he and Keira must face their deepest fears about each other and themselves.

But danger is always just around the corner, and Anna, Keira’s sister, is not immune. Insecure, immature, and only seventeen, Anna has her own issues to deal with – especially when she meets Max, Aaron’s clansman. Her response to him in immediate, intense and irrational.

Will her insecurities lead her to a life of misery, or can she grow up enough to face what she really feels.

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Excerpt Loved by a Dragon:

As Anna neared the room, she could hear Aaron and Keira’s voices through the door, but a third voice made her pause. It was a man’s voice, but not Thomas. A visitor, maybe? The door was slightly ajar, and pushing it open with her hand, she entered the room, pausing once more when she saw the stranger sitting in a chair directly across from the doorway. She barely heard Aaron speaking as she stared at the man slowly rising to his feet, his gaze locked on hers. A slight smile played around his mouth, while his eyes held a challenge that Anna could not decipher. Perhaps it was the bold stare, or the challenging smile, or the graceful way he pulled himself up to his full height, but whatever it was, Anna felt a wave of dislike for this stranger sweep over her. She stared back at him, her eyes narrowing as his smile grew wider, taunting her, as though he were fully aware of the immediate, intense and irrational reaction towards him. The smile was meant just for her, she knew that straight away, a silent communication between them, and she disliked him even more for it. And she knew, with unerring instinct, that despite his appearance of youth, this was no inexperienced boy who could easily be dismissed. This person standing before her was the fulfillment of her deepest fears. A man who could easily gain mastery and control over any woman he chose. This knowledge was based on intuition, rather than rational thought – all she knew in that moment was that she hated him.
As though speaking from far away, Aaron’s voice addressed her.
“Anna, this is Max.”
“Max?” With an effort Anna pulled her gaze away from the man standing before her, but not before she saw his lips twist with arrogant humor.
“Yes. Max Brant. He will be staying at Storbrook as our guest.”
“I see.” Anna nodded as she turned back to the guest. “Max.”
“Anna.” He was still staring at her, and she dragged her eyes away, biting her lip. Her name rolled off his tongue with an air of familiarity which she immediately resented, but before she could think of an adequate retort, he was speaking again. “I saw you playing in the snow earlier today,” he said. His words made her glance back at him. Was he laughing at her?
“Yes,” she said. She sat down on one of the chairs near Keira, who was watching their exchange in silence.
“You looked like you were having fun.” This time she met his gaze with narrowed eyes. He was definitely taunting her.
“Tell me,” she said, “how long will you be visiting Storbrook?”
Once again Max grinned at her, but it was Aaron who answered.
“As long as he wishes.”
“I see.” Anna turned to Keira. “When do you wish to start decorating?” she asked. Keira opened her mouth to respond, but before she said anything, Max was speaking again.
“Why do I get the feeling you wish me gone, Anna?” he asked. Out the corner of her eye, Anna could see both Keira and Aaron look at Max in surprise.
“I have no idea,” she said. “Just stay well away from me, and I’m sure we will get along famously!”
Beside her Keira gasped softly.
Max’s smile widened as he considered Anna. “Well, that shouldn’t be a problem. I have no desire to keep company with a shrew!”
Anna’s eyes narrowed again as she rose to her feet. “And I don’t fancy being burned by a dragon!”
Max took a few steps forward, closing the distance between them until he stood right before her. “Perhaps, darling, a little burning is exactly what you need! You might even enjoy it!”
Anna’s pulled her hand back, and it flew through the air to land on Max’s cheek with a resounding slap. He didn’t move, but his expression turned mocking.
“Is that all you’ve got?”
Anna gasped, and spinning on her heel, walked away from him and towards the doorway. She had only gone a few steps when she paused, then turning, stalked back to Max, stopping a few inches away as she poked her finger into his chest.

“Don’t ever calling me ‘darling’ again,” she ground out, then turning once more, marched out of the room. Her legs were trembling as she walked, while her hands shook with rage. The arrogance! The insolence! 

Dance with a Dragon
The Dragon Archives
Book IV
Linda K. Hopkins

Genre: Fantasy Romance

Publisher: Linda K. Hopkins
Date of Publication: October 29, 2015


Number of pages: 343
Word Count: 110,000

Book Description:

When Max flew away from Anna in a blazing stream of flame, she was determined to forget the shape-shifting, fire-breathing dragon. But five years have passed, and still his memory leaves an ache in her heart. A memory that Garrick Flynn, her childhood friend, would love to erase. When given the chance to travel to the city, the center of medieval life, Anna jumps at the opportunity. But danger and intrigue are never far away as she joins the royal court and serves as companion to the queen.

Is it possible to have a second chance at the deep and passionate love she once scorned?

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Excerpt Dance with a Dragon:

 Anna was nearing the stairs when a voice made her glance around. Max was in the midst of a small group of women, Jane among them, laughing at some joke. Changing direction, she headed his way.
“Master Brant, I would have a word with you,” she said, stopping behind Max’s back. She saw one of the women raise her eyebrows, while another whispered something to Jane. Max stared at Jane for a long moment, before turning slowly from the group and looking Anna up and down. He turned back to the women.
“Ladies,” he said, “will you please excuse me. It would appear that I am wanted.” He grinned at Anna, who scowled back. He followed her as she walked away from the group, stopping when she turned to face him.
“Did you speak to the king?” she demanded.
Max’s smile vanished as he glanced at the group of women watching them curiously, then taking her by the arm, led her to the far wall.
“I did,” he said.
“Why? Because the prince wants you in his bed, and will coerce you into accepting. How did you think he would react when you didn’t show up in his apartments this evening? Do you really think Rupert is the kind of man to take ‘no’ for an answer? He would have forced you to do his will one way or another.”
“I would not have allowed him to! I would have made sure I was never alone with him.”
“Anna,” Max said, a note of impatience creeping into his voice, “You live under the same roof as him. Would you have avoided the hall? And the passages? You enjoy roaming the gardens and the wilderness. Would you have been content to remain indoors? And even if you did manage to avoid seeing him, there are plenty of people at the palace prepared to do his bidding. Your lack of willingness to do as he wished would only have added to the thrill of the chase.”
“Well, now he intends to make me pay. The king threatened him with exile, and he is not happy.”
“Exile, hmm? The king must have a lot of respect – or fear – for Aaron if he is willing to go that far.” Anna lifted her eyebrows in unspoken question. “I reminded him that you are under Aaron’s protection, and it might be in his best interests to keep his brother’s behavior in check.”
“You should have left it alone,” she said. “Your interference has made things worse.” Max leaned closer, and she could smell the fire emanating from him.
“My interference,” he said through clenched teeth, “has saved you the anguish of being forced against your will.”
“You are so arrogant,” she hissed. “I never asked for your protection. You should have left well alone.” 

“I’m being arrogant? You haven’t changed at all, Anna! Still the same foolish little girl you always were. I have saved you more times than I can remember, and you continue to look at me with disdain.” He glared down at her, and she could see the flames growing at the back of his eyes. With a low growl, he pushed himself away from the wall, and turning his back to her, strode away, flinging the door that led to the courtyard open with a hand clenched into a fist.

About the Author:

Linda K. Hopkins lives in Calgary, Canada, in the shadow of the Rocky Mountains, with her husband and two daughters, but originally hails from South Africa, and also spent a few years living in England. Linda loves reading, dark chocolate, coffee and travel. Sometimes she even tinkers on the piano, but sadly, her teenage daughter is the better musician!

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Friday, February 5, 2016

New Release: Haunting Desire by Roxanne Rhoads

LizBeth and Christien from Eternal Desire are back in Haunting Desire, 
Book Two in the Desire Series.

Haunting Desire
Desire Series
Book Two
Roxanne Rhoads

Genre: Paranormal Erotica

Publisher: Bewitching Books

Release Date: February 5, 2016

Book Description:

Welcome to the Inn of Amorous Apparitions where your every libidinous longing can be fulfilled by sensual spirits. 

LizBeth has been hired to use her ghost whispering skills on the specters at the Castle Inn, but instead of banishing the seductive spooks Barbara, the Inn Keeper, wants them to "come out and play" with her special guests. 

The Castle Inn is set to become the destination for the ghost sex fetish crowd. But first Lizbeth has to convince the voluptuous visions that it is alright to participate in spectrophilia fun with the guests. 

LizBeth has a special talent for seeing and communicating with ghosts but these enchanting ethereals are not cooperating with her, or her vampire boyfriend, Christien. Something odd is fueling the raunchy wraiths and they have to discover the power source or risk leaving a customer unsatisfied. 

But there's more to this haunting than the average ghost. Will Lizbeth and Christien be able uncover the mystery of this sexy haunted mansion?

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Halloween in New Orleans, where anything can happen including love and magick.

Eternal Desire
Desire Series
Book One
Roxanne Rhoads

Publisher: Bewitching Books  

Release Date: April 14, 2015 (2 edition)


Paranormal researcher Liz Beth's dreams are haunted by a sensual vampire.

She arrives in New Orleans the week of Halloween in search of her elusive dream lover, but instead finds a handsome stranger.

They begin a passionate affair. Soon she is torn between dreams and reality, lost somewhere in the middle trying to regain reason.

She aches to find the vampire of her dreams but can't seem to break free of the spell her sexy stranger has her tangled in.

Eternal Desire is available at the following ebook retailers

Amazon   iTunes   Scribd   Inktera   Kobo   Nook 

Interview-The Crow Box by Nikki Rae

Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre?

My name is Nikki Rae. I’m 27 and an editor and writer who lives in New Jersey. I think I’ve always loved paranormal things. At a very young age, I fell in love with vampires, then ghosts, then ANYTHING deemed out of the ordinary.  It just seemed natural to write in the genre.

What is it about the paranormal, in particular vampires, that fascinates you so much?
The outsider theme is probably the most compelling about the vampire in particular. How they look human but aren’t, how there are so many incarnations of them. In any paranormal creature, the humanity within them is what draws the reader in, and the more monstrous the more the challenge and bigger the pay off. J

What inspired you to write this book?

The Crow Box deals with a lot of metal health issues and although the main character’s are extreme, people deal with these invisible enemies on a daily basis sometimes. They are constantly questioning if the world they live in is real, if they are real. I thought that was an interesting idea to play with.

Please tell us about your latest release.

The Crow Box is about a college art student named Corbin who is trying her best to be normal. Her mother brings her an antique box that is sealed with wax, and once Corbin cleans it up, strange things start happening and she isn’t sure if it’s her mental health deteriorating or if the box has something to do with it.

Do you have a special formula for creating characters' names? Do you try to match a name with a certain meaning to attributes of the character or do you search for names popular in certain time periods or regions?

Not really. Most of the time the names are already in place. With Corbin, her name means “little crow”, which was intentional.  ;)

Was one of your characters more challenging to write than another?

There is a character named Michael that I have in The Sunshine Series and Animal. He’s the most unstable character I have ever created and his head was a very strange and scary place to be when writing. However, he’s also one of my favorite characters and readers seem to enjoy him as well.

Is there a character that you enjoyed writing more than any of the others?

I fall in love with every main character I create. I think you have to, no matter if they’re a good or bad person or if you agree with their decisions. If you don’t at the very least believe they are real to you, no one else will.

Do you have a formula for developing characters? Like do you create a character sketch or list of attributes before you start writing or do you just let the character develop as you write?

Most of the time they just appear and develop as I write. Their personalities shine through more if I don’t try to put them into any boxes.

What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?

Ooh there are so many! Here’s a little snippet:

Corbin, it said, not quite as full as the first time. More of a gentle whisper. Little crow. Dark haired beauty.
The bed shifted next to me, but I couldn't be bothered to open my eyes. “You're not real,” I said into the darkness.
Something brushed past my face, just below my lip. It was neither warm nor cold, just a presence of slight pressure and then nothing.
But I am real, Corbin, the voice said in a whisper. In time, I will show you how real I am.
I took a deep breath. This was crazy. But I was also all alone, so even though I was scared of what hearing this voice meant, I was comforted that it was here with me.
“What do you want?” I asked.
Murmuring. Light voice on top of light voice, speaking over one another in different languages and whispers of words I understood, just not in this context. When it went on too long, I sighed. “Can you at least tell me who you are?”
I managed to open my eyes, staring at the blank ceiling, shadows of the ever-present flies playing off of it. I wondered for a second if my eyes were really open or if they had only opened into a different dream. I blinked once, twice. The voices disappeared. I couldn’t be sure in my half-awake state, but I felt the covers shift beside me. I didn't care that this was just my mind trying to cope with my mother leaving.
You aren't afraid of me, are you? But it wasn't quite a question.
I rolled over, exposing my back to the unseen entity. “No,” I said. “I guess not.”
My hair lifted off of my back gently, as if someone was running their hands through it lovingly, the way Mom used to when I was sick when I was little.
“I'm afraid of what you mean,” I said. “I'm much too old to be playing with imaginary friends.”
I felt breath on the back of my neck. It was warm and smelled of dried leaves. I melted into the scent of it, relaxing my head against the pillow. You don't think I'm imaginary, the voice said, so close to my ear that they sounded like they were right there, speaking directly to me and no one else. Not really.

Did you find anything really interesting while researching this or another book?

A lot of times I try to make up a creature or illness and find it already exists. In this, there are many creatures and entities that embody the paranormal elements, but not just one. I thought that was interesting because it made me wonder where the idea for it came from, which I am still trying to figure out.

What is the most interesting thing you have physically done for book related research purposes?

I don’t really do physically related things for research. That’s why I write. I’m more of a describer and less of a doer. Haha.

Can you tell readers a little bit about the world building in the book/series? How does this world differ from our normal world?

The interesting thing about my stories is that most of the time, the paranormal world is part of the real world that not many people see. In future installments of The Shadow & Ink Series, the world will become more muddy and turn into something else, but mostly, Corbin is just trying to figure out what is real in the very real world.

With the book being part of a series, are there any character or story arcs, that readers jumping in somewhere other than the first book, need to be aware of? 
Can these books be read as stand alones?

These should definitely be read in order. There is a huge cliff hanger in the first book (sorry! Lol) and you would probably be really lost if you picked up the second book without reading what came before.

Do any of your characters have similar characteristics of yourself in them and what are they?

Yes. Corbin is like me a lot in her art and style. Her personality is nothing like me though.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you deal with it?
Sometimes. It usually happens when I have too many things happening at once and I can’t concentrate on any one thing.  Mostly what I find works is first trying to write through it, even if I know I’m going to delete it later, but if that doesn’t work, I take a break and try to do something else like read or go for a walk.

Do you have any weird writing quirks or rituals?

I need a TV show I’ve watched a hundered times before and a candle. I think that’s pretty weird lol.

Do you write in different genres?

I never say never. All the books I have out now are paranormal, but I want to branch out into a ton of genres. I’m working on a contemporary and sci-fi novel as well as a poetry book!

Do you find it difficult to write in multiple genres?
Not at all. I know I prefer paranormal because that’s the most fun for me, but writing in different genres is refreshing. You have to establish new rules for yourself and work within them. I do my best work when I’m challenged and I love doing it. 

When did you consider yourself a writer?

Around high school. I had always been into telling stories and had even written them down here and there, but in high school I really fell in love and started writing every day. It became part of who I was and has remained so ever since.

What are your guilty pleasures in life?

Oh gosh. Like, bad reality TV shows. And Shark Tank. For the love of god, I cannot stop watching Shark Tank.

Other than writing, what are some of your interests, hobbies or passions in life?

I love making my own tea, reading, and animals. Animals have always been a big love in my life and I would love to one day either own a bunch or open some kind of sanctuary.

What was the last amazing book you read?

“You” by Caroline Kepnes was really amazing, dark, and made my pulse kick into overdrive with every chapter. The writing is also beautiful.

Where is your favorite place to read? Do you have a cozy corner or special reading spot?

Mostly in bed. Preferably with a nice cup of tea and warm blanket.

What can readers expect next from you?

The sequel to The Crow Box and a continuation of my vampire story, Animal. The two books are fighting for my attention daily!

Where can readers find you on the web?

Everywhere! The best place for us to hang out and talk is my group on Facebook, Nikki Rae Fans! J

The Crow Box
The Shadow and Ink Series
Book One
Nikki Rae

Genre: New Adult Dark Paranormal Romance

Date of Publication: January 15, 2016


Number of pages: Around 100
Word Count: 55, 323

Cover Artist: Nikki Rae

Book Description:

The small wooden box is dirty, the size of a human fist, and sealed with wax. When Corbin takes it upon herself to clean it and break the seal, a voice she has tried to ignore gathers strength. Shadows play on the walls at night, and with a family history of mental illness, Corbin fears the worst. But the voice tells her it is real. That its name is Six and it will prove it in time.

Drawn to this mysterious entity, Corbin isn't sure what to believe and the line between reality and her imagination blurs more every day.

Some doors should not be opened; can this one be closed?

A tap on the window. Something that was too much like a tree branch to really draw any attention. Then it got louder. I shoved the pillow over my head, sinking its weight into the cool fabric and throwing the covers over my head for extra good measure. I almost forgot where I was until I felt the rough fabric of the blanket that wasn’t mine. I tried to open my eyes, but I didn’t care enough to exert the amount of energy it took. Instead, I rolled over, sinking deeper into the darkness surrounding me.
I knew somehow that I had slept through all the daily activities, through group therapy and arts and crafts and TV hour. I knew it was past lights out and I found myself not caring that it would all be monitored. I could stay in this room, in this bed forever. Somewhere between sleeping and waking, between my body and muddy, thick mind, I heard the voice. I couldn't understand what it said, but it was a gentle, almost cooing sound, like one a mother would use on a child who had woken in the middle of the night from a bad dream. But they were down the hall and too far away to offer me anything.
The blanket shifted and I couldn't see because my eyes were closed; the blankets and pillow still covered my head. A moment of quiet, then the mattress dipped in next to me, in front of me. My heart pounded in my head, my throat. A second later, the pillow slid from my head, but I couldn't tell if it was my own doing. My head was too heavy; my thoughts were too clogged to get one solitary explanation through.
Hush now, the voice whispered. It was right next to my ear, right next to me. I'll show you.
Yes. Show me. Show me how to be insane. Show me how to be just like my mother. I kept my eyes completely closed.
Corbin, said the voice. As much as I hated to admit it, I liked the sound of my name in its tone. I liked how it hit me deep. It was the sound of sand being blown by the sea on a windy day. It was the feeling of fingers in your hair as you fell asleep, tangled limbs after a closely spent night. Softness and hardness of an intimate touch, one that couldn’t have possibly been delivered by anyone or anything else.
“Yes?” I hadn't realized I said the word out loud until my hot breath was bouncing back at me against the covers. I was afraid my roommate would hear, but her heavy snoring reassured me.
So you are with me, it whispered. Each word caressed my face, sent warm shivers through my skin and into the bone.
I opened my mouth to say something else, but I couldn't think of anything; I doubted I would even be able to get the words past my teeth.
Hushhhhhh, said the voice. I felt something slightly cold, yet not completely solid against my waist. It wasn't enough to make me shiver. It wasn't anything that woke me further from the drugs. My shirt slipped upward, past my belly button before it stopped.
I inhaled sharply and turned over onto my back, convinced that I was half-dreaming and if I switched positions, the dream would change just as easily.
A few moments of silence. A few moments of the tapping on the glass, the rustle of the wind outside as the rain pelted the roof. It lulled me back into comfort, back into darkness.
My little crow, crooned the voice. Again, right in my ear, right in front of my face. It made the blackness behind my eyelids shake, sprout leaves and take root. My precious petal.
I was almost unaware of the sheet moving off of me, the blankets shifting until I heard them rumple into a careless pile on the floor. My face became warm, the smell of damp dirt in my nostrils, the sound of static electricity zipping through my brain, setting off synapses to synapses.
“What are you doing?” I whispered. But my voice sounded so far away, like I was standing on top of a very high tower and trying to make my words heard to people down below.
I felt my hair being moved from my forehead, then a small, sweet amount of pressure applied there. Kissing you, my love.
I liked the gesture. It overrode any logic, any sense of self I could bring forth from the darkness.
“Why do you only kiss me at night?” I whispered.
Another small peck, warm and then cool against my cheek. I am strongest at this hour. The words slithered around my skin, crawled to the back of my skull like some creature that had suddenly sprouted legs. And you are most open to me.
“Open?” I asked, my head swimming with medication, my eyes glued shut, my body heavy with sleep that had yet to come.
I felt the slight breath of an amused, silent laugh. Yessssss, the voice whispered. Open, my crow.

I opened my eyes, but I was only met with darkness. I knew that it was all in my head as the dim room spun around me, but I didn't care. I didn't want to think about it or what it meant. It was easier to pretend. If I was the only one who knew, I was the only one who knew the truth. I couldn't be losing my mind if I was so in control of it.

About the Author:

Nikki Rae is an independent author who lives in New Jersey. She explores human nature through fiction, concentrating on making the imaginary as real as possible. Her genres of choice are mainly dark, scary, romantic tales, but she’ll try anything once. When she is not writing, reading, or thinking, you can find her spending time with animals, drawing in a quiet corner, or studying people. Closely.

Twitter: @NikkiRaexX

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