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Margaret L. Carter's Blood Hostage

Title: Blood Hostage
Author: Margaret L. Carter
Publisher: Amber Quill Press, LLC
ISBN: 978-1-61124-112-9 (eBook version)
Where available:Amazon and Barnes & Noble (prices vary)
Genre: vampire romance
Rating: 5 stars

This past week I had the pleasure of reading Margaret L. Carter’s Blood Hostage. Carter drew me into her story straightaway with lots of action and multi-layered characters. For starters, her vampires aren’t your typical cliche monsters that leave a trail of bodies. They have their own code of honor with elders who police them. Instead of draining people, they’ll drink a little blood and then hypnotize the “donor” into forgetting. They try to keep a low profile, rather than draw attention from the police. Although Carter’s vampires are allergic to garlic, the myths about crucifixes and changing into bats are just that. They do have other supernatural powers, such as mind-melding with humans, and that’s only if the human drinks their blood.

Hal comes from a long line of vampire hunters, but he realizes that not all vampires are evil killers. Still, he’d never trust one. His beliefs are challenged when his cousin tries to save a girl from a dangerous vampire, Conan. Instead, Conan traps both people in his lair, leaving them at the mercy of his bloodlust.

The conflict will keep you turning the pages. It begins with page one. Hal’s been stalking Monique, a vampire. Seeing her as his only chance to save the prisoners, he drugs and imprisons her. Naturally, Monique’s furious with him. In her opinion, humans are mere “pets.” To her chagrin, Hal is immune to her hypnosis. Because the girl is Monique’s favorite donor, she grudgingly goes along with him, though deep down, she resents him and his family for hunting her kind.

Carter turns up the heat when the two feel a mutual attraction despite their differences. With just a few sentences, she weaves in the characters’ emotions and feelings to make the attraction believable. Adding to the conflict, Monique’s almost at the cusp of her heat cycle. She needs to mate badly, and the only vampire available is Conan, a rogue she detests. She must seduce Hal, or else risk surrendering to Conan. Hal’s been feeling his attraction to her from the get-go, so when their passions explode look out.

The conflict notches higher with their mission to rescue Hal’s cousin and the girl. Carter keeps going at a brisk pace, making every word count. Hal and Monique make an interesting team, and I hope Carter writes a sequel. I’d love to read more tales featuring these characters.

“Blood Hostage” is available in paperback in Margaret L. Carter’s collection, Ardent Blood, available on Amazon and most other major retailers. It’s a must-read for any vampire enthusiast.

Demon's Fall

 Title: Demon’s Fall
 Author: Margaret L. Carter
 Genre: Paranormal Romance
 Publisher: Amazon Digital Services, LLC
 Cost: $1.99; about 34 pages
 Available at: Amazon Kindle
 Rating: 5 balloons

What would you do for love? In Margaret L. Carter’s Demon’s Fall, The Infernal Powers send Kammael, a demon in human form, on a mission to seduce Erin Collier from her destiny as a servant of the Light. Ah, but instead, he falls for her, and we learn what he would do for love. Determined to protect Erin from harm, he disobeys orders and faces a fall from immortality, along with other, more horrific consequences. What kind of consequences, you might ask. I won’t say, lest I give away spoilers.
I sat down to read, thinking I’d read a few pages and get back to it later. Instead, Carter’s suspenseful writing kept me flipping the pages, and I finished the book. I loved it. I would describe her writing as character-driven; her characters make sympathetic people, the kind of folks the reader would love. The suspense will reel you in and guide you to a surprise ending. If you like paranormal romance, you’ll find Demon’s Fall a delightful read.

P. J. Sheldon's Shadowed

Book Blurb:
You don’t know me, but I’m standing at your door begging you pay attention. See, I know things that you may not yet know. I see things you don’t even know are there. Some call me crazy, and you probably will too, but when you see that what I tell you is the truth… When you see the truth, then you’ll be hunting me. You’ll search for me. You’ll need me to help you understand. See you may not know this stranger at your door, but you will, and you’ll need me. I came to tell you what I know, what I’ve seen. The rest is up to you. There’s nothing else I can do. I’ll run from you when you stand stunned after I tell you. You don’t know me, but very soon… you’ll be hunting me, needing me, wanting me. I don’t know you, but pretty soon… I will because you are just like me. The question that you can’t ask me right now, but I’ll answer anyway, is trust no one or anything. For what you knew was all a lie.


About the Author:
I'm PJ. I'm a happily married mother of three incredible children. But my super power lies in words... LOL No, seriously though... I write and read romance, of all sorts. Romance is a girl's best friend. Well, it is for this girl. Ha! For the longest time, I read books by Stephen King, Tess Gerritsen and the like. Then a friend introduced me to Bella Andre and Jamie McGuire. From that moment on, I was addicted. I've read so many romance books now that I couldn't honestly tell you my favorite read or author. There are just so many out there and so many that aren't getting the reading love they should. Or at least I think anyway. *wink*
I started blogging before I began writing. It wasn't until my husband dropped my notebooks in my lap and told me to do something with my OWN stories that my writing career began. From that moment forward, I have written 21 books. 19 books under PJ, 1 book under Réna Edward, and 1 book under Maree Alexander.
Life is ever changing and we have move with the punches or get knocked out. Because of these changes, my writing career has changed as well. This site is a stem of that.
I hope that you will continue to give me your feedback and support on my books. And maybe in return, I can give you some new reads and authors to find with my blog!
Much love to all you beautiful people out there!

Book Links:
Pre-order Links:
Amazon (US) - http://amzn.to/2sviA6G
Amazon (UK) - http://amzn.to/2rsoAhR
Amazon (AU) - http://amzn.to/2sI7KJY
Amazon (CA) - http://amzn.to/2rK4HUb

Kobo: http://bit.ly/2s8WRUP
iBooks: http://apple.co/2qXS4Rv
Scribed: http://bit.ly/2r0H99x
B&N: http://bit.ly/2qZTFWK
Smashwords: http://bit.ly/2svz1zJ
24Symbols: http://bit.ly/2sPwTlK
Inktera: *Coming Soon*
Playster: *Coming Soon*
Tolino: *Coming Soon*
Angus & Robertson Bookworld: http://bit.ly/2svl9FC

Add to your TBR: https://www.goodreads.com/…/s…/35305751-shadowed-attachments



Three Go Back features three teenage girls whose time machine takes them on a horrifying journey back millions of years, through the dinosaur era. Horrifying though their journey might be, these characters discover world history first hand and observe ancient flesh. I am happy to share the book's debut review. Three Go Back is now available through Night to Dawn for $12.97 plus shipping.

By Tom Johnson
YA SF/Educational Adventure
Ratings: 5-Stars

In the 24th century, when travel is by teleportation vehicles, and the affluent live in bubbles floating thousands of feet above the ground, three young girls prepare for school as one presses the teleport button. At the exact same time, a massive magnetic storm from the sun strikes the Earth, disrupting the mechanism and turning their teleportation vehicle into a time machine.
Instead of instantly materializing at their school, the girls find themselves thousands of years in the past, at some point during the Ice Age. Time and time again, they attempt to return to the 24th century, only traveling farther back in Earth's past with each press of the button. With the batteries draining from each jump, they are stranded in each epoch for short periods of time, in which they experience the danger and excitement of fantastic adventure in ancient surroundings.
Previous novels by this author have fascinated me, and I was not disappointed with this one. There is a wonderful mix of adventure and camaraderie among the characters as they discover their world's past history first hand, and observe ancient life in the raw flesh. As they constantly go further back in time, the girls begin to fear they may never return to the world they once knew, and the reader turns each page in anticipation of some new thrill or danger.
This is a unique adventure for the Young Adult, with an educational content seldom found in stories for this age group. As I read this exciting tale, I discovered a thrill for an older generation of readers as well. Perhaps some of us do want to go back!
Terry Roberts, Reviewer (SF/Etc At A Glance)
Brandi Kennedy is a romance novelist who is finally living her childhood career dream. As a child, books were her world and through adulthood, that love of words has never changed. Brandi is now a contemporary romance novelist and poet with a deep love of writing and a curiously adventurous desire to someday write in several other genres.

A woman of varied interests, Brandi loves photography, music of all kinds, knitting, crochet, and of course, mothering her two young daughters. Currently, she finds her home in the heart of Knoxville, Tennessee, among the mountains and the members of her extended family, where she spends her days at the computer, bringing fresh and incredibly real characters to life.










Blog: www.authorbrandikennedy.blogspot.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/brandi.fields.kennedy.923?fref=ts
& facebook.com/authorbrandikennedy
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6861198.Brandi_Kennedy
Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+BrandiKennedyAuthor
Pintrest: https://www.pinterest.com/brandikennedy84/
LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/brandi-kennedy-a2916990
Twitter: @brandikennedy84
Instagram: @authorbrandikennedy
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCt7nmTKO2K_fH4jAWWB4V3A
Snapchat: @brandikennedy84
Amazon Author Profile: https://www.amazon.com/Brandi-Kennedy/e/B00AQIJJ5S

**For some exclusive fun, different and exciting new information as well as an extra monthly flash fiction, join her for as little as $1 per month at:
Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/authorbrandikennedy

Now, hop on over to the other blogs hosting Brandi for the entire month of February:
2/2 www.barbara-custer.livejournal.com
2/3 www.facebook.com/sallyssneakypeeks
2/4 www.authorbrandikennedy.blogspot.com
2/5 www.jenniferzamboni.blogspot.com
2/8 www.blynngoodwin.com
2/9 www.barbarawinkes.blogspot.ca
2/12 www.jenniferzamboni.blogspot.com
2/17 www.jodiepierceauthor.blogspot.com & www.thevampirequeen1.blogspot.com
2/19 www.www.jenniferzamboni.blogspot.com
2/23 www.margobondcolling.com & www.bookiaimfortheheart.blogspot.com
2/24 www.authorgeorginahannan.blogspot.co.uk
2/25 www.authorbrandikennedy.blogspot.com & www.jenniferzamboni.blogspot.com
2/26 www.sandiewill.com/blog
2/28 www.debbieherbert.com/blog
Stop by these blogs and leave a comment…there may be a prize for the person who’s visited and commented on the most blogs (other than the blog participants…aw shucks)!

Black Friday: a Blessing or a Nightmare?

Black Friday, the day after Thanksgiving when shoppers crowd the malls at the wee hours in the morning, first got its name before 1961 because of the disruptive pedestrian and vehicle traffic. Its use became more popular around 1975. Later on, merchants tried to put a positive spin on the term, declaring that the sales would put them “in the black.” I did not go to the mall Friday because I’d already done my holiday shopping. I’d much prefer taking my time selecting gifts or other items without a crowd pushing at me. Better yet, do my holiday shopping at home in the safety of my balloons, and get the bargains via Cyber Monday.

About a week ago I went to the bank, and about fifteen of us waited in line for the bank to open. We wound up chatting, and the subject turned toward Black Friday. One woman described her experience with Black Friday shopping. She’d gotten in line, but about fifty people behind her knocked her to the ground in their hurry to get to the sales. Her injuries necessitated hospitalization, though she didn’t go into details. I was saddened to hear about people in so much of a hurry to buy that they kicked safety to the curb. I found myself wondering what happened to the spirit of the season.

At first, the stores opened at 6:00 am, but recently, they might open as early as 12:00 am or on Thanksgiving during the evening hours. Some people I know have scooped up bargains by hitting the malls in the early hours in the morning. I never understood the rationale of getting up so early to get to a mall. On my days away from the day job, I like my sleep.

Given the lack of sleep and crowds, I’d have to consider Black Friday a nightmare, but Cyber Black Friday and Cyber Monday offer some blessings. I was able to get a sweet deal on business cards from Vistaprint and this Monday, plan to get a deal on my favorite coffee from Ocean City Coffee Company. I expect my inbox to be filled with “special deal” emails from department stores, and that’s okay. If it’s something I need, I might buy. Otherwise, I hit the “delete” button. Cyber Monday will go further in putting stores in the black without the casualties of excited mobs.

What is your take on Black Friday? Do you consider it a nightmare or a blessing? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Two years have passed since Inanna stole Junco away from Lucan. Two years of unimaginable pain. Two years of isolation, mutilation and torture. Two years of fear and loneliness in a morph tank. And that’s not something you just get over, even if you are psycho-assassin, Junco Coot.
Now Junco has to learn to live with the consequences. Her Siblings are suspicious and angry, half her team is dead, Tier is wreaking death and destruction, Lucan is holding his secrets close, and she is spiraling out of control.
There is only one partnership that matters anymore – only one person she will trust and take direction from – and only one way out of the Hell she’s been sentenced to.
Junco is tired fighting and death. She’s had enough and this time she means to end it – once and for all.


Selia comes out of the bathroom, her eyes darked up, her lips glowing and pink, and her golden hair flowing down her back in large bouncy ringlets.
She’s beautiful.
And I’m jealous of how easy she fits into her own skin, at how she can make small talk with strangers - even the guards in the elevator and downstairs in the lobby. And most of all, at how her face always seems to be smiling.
No wonder Ashur fell in love with her while I was away being morphed. She looks happy.
I have a permanent frown, I’m afraid to talk to anyone except Gid and Sel, and I feel like my brain has been forced inside a body I’ve never met before. Even when I came out of the tank with wings back on Amelia I never felt this awkward about myself. My replaced fingers and missing scars just make it worse. When a nightdog eats two of your fingers and a psycho slices a SEAR knife down your jawline, you’re supposed to have to live with the consequences of those things forever.
And when you cut yourself in half to save the man you love, there should be evidence of that.
But my scars have all been erased. Every bite from the mutants in the Stag, every prairie lion claw mark, every battle wound I’ve ever had inflicted on me is gone. Even the one I inflicted on myself.
Just gone.
On the outside anyway.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:
J.A. Huss writes new adult speculative fiction, contemporary romances, and an entire line of science non-fiction textbooks that cater to home learners. She also runs the New Adult Addiction and Clean Teen Reads book Blogs. She has an undergraduate degree in equine science and a graduate degree in forensic toxicology. She adores everything science and considers herself a major geek! Her first series is called I Am Just Junco.

Website: http://www.iamjustjunco.com/
Author Blog: http://jahuss.com/
Book Blog: http://newadultaddiction.blogspot.com/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IAmJustJunco
Twitter: https://twitter.com/JAHuss
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6446815.J_A_Huss

CLUTCH – Book One: http://www.amazon.com/CLUTCH-Am-Just-Junco-ebook/dp/B009BIOJTU/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1362700731&sr=8-2&keywords=clutch+junco
Goodreads for CLUTCH: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15763262-clutch
Book trailer for CLUTCH: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Iz0PWDGoTJY
FLEDGE – Book Two: http://www.amazon.com/FLEDGE-Just-Junco-Dot-ebook/dp/B009D0U6LQ
Goodreads for FLEDGE: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15764009-fledge
Book trailer for FLEDGE: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=b_LYS0N1OAY
FLIGHT – Book Three: http://www.amazon.com/FLIGHT-Just-Junco-Dot-ebook/dp/B009E9MMWM
Goodreads for FLIGHT: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15781131-flight
Book trailer for FLIGHT: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t_-uY4NnamM


J.A. will be awarding a $25 gift card to Amazon or PayPal cash, winner's choice, plus a custom angel necklace, plus swag (Book marks, stickers, postcards) to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour. (USA ONLY). Please follow the tour. The more you comment, the better your chances of winning. The tour dates can be found here:


Blurb: Being hailed by critics as an intelligent new voice in young adult fiction, Roers' debut novel tells the anything but ordinary, coming of age story of a small town, teen-aged, misfit named Travis Hunter.
Disfigured at birth and ostracized at school, Travis dreams of acceptance and secretly yearns for the affection of a beautiful young woman named Corrine. When a mysterious doctor promises to help Travis through something called lucid dreaming, Travis suddenly finds himself ushered into a secret society called "The Lucid", a collection of social outcasts like himself, who have created their own world inside of dreams.
When Travis discovers he is able to bring Corrine into these dreams, he gets more than he ever bargained for and soon finds himself learning the secrets of love and life in a fantastic unconscious world.
An instant classic, Lucid is a timeless story of self-acceptance with a fresh paranormal twist.


Biography: Natalie Roers is a veteran writer, voice artist, and on-air personality. A journalist by trade, Lucid is her first work of fiction. She is busy at work on her second novel and hopes to raise money and social awareness for worthy causes with each book she writes. Natalie plans to donate a portion of every sale of this book to her favorite anti-bullying organizations. She lives with her husband Cory, and son Austin, in Columbia, South Carolina.

Buy Links:
Websites: jointhelucid.com; http://natasha-r.com/writer/
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/natalie.roers?fref=ts
Blog: http://jointhelucid.com/blog/
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/16214486-lucid

Natalie will award a $10 Amazon or BN.com gift card to one randomly drawn commenter.


Her eyes widened. What I saw in them made me want to drop to my knees. She knew who I was! I could see it. She recognized me! It was real.
“The bird! You made the bird!” I bellowed. “It was yellow and its eyes were made of stone!”
Corrine shook her head back and forth in disbelief. As I staggered toward her, she tripped backwards and fell into the line of coffee pots behind her.
“What the? Grab him!” I heard John yell.
In all the excitement I had forgotten there were other people in the room.
“The guy’s gone nuts!” Terry screamed.
I felt their arms grab me from behind.
Marissa, who had been watching the scene unfold in stunned silence, now ran to Corri to help her to her feet. “Get him outta here!” she yelled.
John and Terry started to pull me back by the shoulders. I swung around and hit Terry square in the face. The smacking sound that my hand-made against Terry’s cheek shocked them enough to let me go for a second.
The enormity of what I had just done didn’t register at all.
I rushed forward, completely out of control. But as I got closer to Corri, her image started moving away from me. Terry and John had lifted me clear off the ground. They were carrying me by my arms, backwards, out the front door.
There was no pain as my body slammed against the cold cement outside. Adrenaline was coursing through my veins. The feeling was in every part of my body: every finger, every toe, was alive and on fire.


“Natalie Roers' debut novel is both riveting and relevant. More than a paranormal/fantasy/thriller, this is a complex tale that cuts to the very of heart of issues facing young adults today. Well sculptured characters and powerful imagery propel Roers' fascinating narrative.” ~ Jason Tinney, award-winning freelance journalist, musician, actor and the author of the story collection Bluebird.

Zenobia Renquist’s Cream

She’s entered a world where blood, sex, and cash rules everything around her.
What do a four hundred-year-old vampire and a mid-level necromancer have in common? Money. Jeliyah needs it to pay off the people who trained her and Teaghan enjoys killing to get it. Together they hunt rogue vampires—assuming Teaghan can focus on something other than getting her in bed and Jeliyah doesn’t put a bullet in him first.
The uneasy partnership promises to be lucrative until Teaghan and Jeliyah get on the wrong side of a feud. Jeliyah is forced to use forbidden magic and finds herself bound to a man she should hate—but whom she can’t stop fantasizing about.
Every second they stay alive fuels a growing desire Jeliyah is unwilling to deny. Is it the magic? The danger? The only way to get the answers she craves is to outrun the enemy or kill them. She knows Teaghan’s preference but it’s Jeliyah who must put their mind-blowing sex aside and make the choice that will decide both their fates.

First chapter online (link goes live 03 May):


AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Zenobia Renquist lives in her imagination. When not traveling through her fantasy worlds, she can be found in Hawaii living with her husband and two cats.
She is an Air Force brat turned Air Force wife, which means she’s accustomed to travel and does it whenever possible (so long as she doesn’t have to fly). Her favorite pastime is torturing her characters on their way to happily-ever-after for the enjoyment of her readers.
On the few occasions her muse flees the scene of the crime, Zenobia likes to read (comics, manga, and romance), go to the movies, play a few levels of whichever puzzle game has hijacked her interest or experiment with a new chain maille weave.
website - http://zenobiarenquist.com
blog - http://blog.dreneebagby.com
FB - https://www.facebook.com/Author.DRBagby.ZRenquist
Twitter - http://www.twitter.com/zenobiarenquist

Buy Links:
Ellora’s Cave - http://www.ellorascave.com/cream.html
Kindle - http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00B3UYBJC/
Nook - http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/cream-zenobia-renquist/1114503151?ean=9781419944659
Kobo - http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/CREAM/book-B0GDBxjujEKbzoyNiqjG7g/page1.html

Zenobia will be awarding a $25 Starbucks GC to both a randomly drawn commenter during the tour, and a randomly drawn host.


Teaghan knew it. A coup was about to happen. He didn’t know the players and didn’t care. So long as the bills got paid, the person in power didn’t matter. From one leader to the next, nothing ever changed.
He said, “Fine. You want me. I get that. Leave the necromancer out of it. No one would miss me but take her out and you’ll have the higher-ups gunning for you and your boss.”
“You’re right, the higher-ups would be quite upset if we killed the necromancer, and that wasn’t my intention. The others wanted to have some fun with her before handing her over but that was all.”
Jeliyah gripped the door handle and her eyes widened.
Teaghan said, “The higher-ups won’t overlook you molesting one of their own.”
“That’s where you’re wrong. They’ve given us permission to do with her as we please so long we return her to them intact.”
Jeliyah yelled, “They would never do that.”
Fredrick chuckled. “Well, hello, Jeliyah. Ephraim tells me you smell of vampire seed and blood. Recent seed. Old blood. I had thought you would hold out against Teaghan much longer given your initial reaction to him. Either I overestimated you or underestimated him.” He made the vocal equivalent of a shrug. “Doesn’t matter since I felt the need to pass on the news of your little indiscretion to Hirsch, who then relayed it to the higher-ups. They are very displeased that a high-middle class such as yourself would give a vampire permission to invade her body. That displeasure graduated to anger when I informed them of the blood sharing as well.”
Oh please, no. No. No.
Teaghan grabbed Jeliyah’s hand in a firm grip to anchor her to the here and now. She clutched at him and stared at his profile. Tears rimmed her eyes. He knew she was holding it together by a thin thread of will. Images of the bleeding chamber raced through her mind. She was imagining herself in the place of the person she’d seen when she was young.
He told her through their link, I’ve got you, Jeliyah. Nothing’s going to happen.
Fredrick said, “Stop the car and give up. Make this easier for all of us.”
“Denied.” Teaghan released Jeliyah’s hand so he could snatch the phone off the dash and hit the end button.
Jeliyah asked, “What do we do? They want you dead and me—” Her words choked to a halt and she pulled in a shuddering breath. A single tear slipped down her cheek.
He retrieved her hand and squeezed it. “Easy there, necromancer. Don’t fall apart on me now.”
“Why? All you did was kill a rogue.”
“That’s why. It’s a changing of the guard. It happens every few centuries. Family infighting. They involve people from neighboring families who have been promised some little tidbit or other to help the wannabe head take power. It’s a story as old as the vampires. Seems you and I got in the way.”
Teaghan changed his destination. The enforcers probably knew which hotel they’d used by now and might be lying in wait. He steered the car back on the highway. If one family wanted him dead then his only protection was to seek refuge in another family’s territory.
While a risky proposition without petitioning for entrance first, the destination Teaghan had in mind came with a sponsor. He released Jeliyah’s hand once more to bring up a number he hadn’t called in years. He hoped it still worked.

When Eleanor Brice unexpectedly wins the heart of Gregory Desmarais, Crown Prince of Cartheigh, she's sure she's found her happily-ever-after. Unfortunately, Prince Charming has a loose grip on his temper, a looser grip on his marriage vows, and a tight grip on the bottle.
Eight years of mistreatment, isolation and clandestine book learning hardly prepare Eleanor for life at Eclatant Palace, where women are seen, not heard. According to Eleanor's eavesdropping parrot, no one at court appreciates her unladylike tendency to voice her opinion. To make matter worse, her royal fiancé spends his last night of bachelorhood on a drunken whoring spree. Before the ink dries on her marriage proclamation Eleanor realizes that she loves her husband's best friend, former soldier Dorian Finley.
Eleanor can't resist Dorian's honesty, or his unusual admiration for her intelligence, and soon both are caught in a dangerous obsession. She drowns her confusion in charitable endeavors, but the people's love can't protect her from her feelings. When a magical crime endangers the bond between unicorns, dragons, and the royal family, a falsely accused Eleanor must clear her own name to save her life. The road toward vindication will force a choice between hard-won security and an impossible love.
The Cracked Slipper is a book club friendly fairytale retelling in the vein of Gregory Maguire, with a dash of romance. Set in a pseudo-renaissance, corset-and-petticoats enchanted kingdom, The Cracked Slipper brings a magical twist to women's fiction.


Biography and Buy Links:
Stephanie Alexander grew up in the suburbs of Washington, DC, the oldest of three children. Drawing, writing stories, and harassing her parents for a pony consumed much of her childhood. After graduating from high school in 1995 she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communications from the College of Charleston, South Carolina. She returned to Washington, DC, where she followed a long-time fascination with sociopolitical structures and women’s issues to a Master of Arts in Sociology from the American University. She spent several years as a Policy Associate at the International Center for Research on Women, a think-tank focused on women’s health and economic advancement.
Stephanie embraced full-time motherhood after the birth of the first of her three children in 2003. After six wonderful years buried in diapers and picture books she returned to her childhood passion and wrote her own fairytale. Her family put down permanent southern roots in Charleston in 2011. Stephanie is an adjunct professor of Sociology at the College of Charleston.



The dragon stood and lumbered toward the first cave. It passed the other unicorns, slowing every few steps, and they responded with reassuring whinnies. The next dragon appeared, followed by two more of Tremor’s unicorn guides. The first dragon called to the second, who screamed once in return. Both creatures seemed eager to get underground.
The transfer continued for nearly an hour without much fanfare. Eleanor thought she must have miscounted when there was a break in the procession.
“This will be the last one,” said Gregory. “I wonder what’s taking so long.”
Tremor paced at the mouth of the cave. Dark smoke rolled from under the ground. Tremor sent two of his fellows down below, and when after a few minutes they did not return, Thromba called to him to send two more.
Without warning, and with an earsplitting scream, and a new dragon burst from the cave. Stubby horns revealed her as a doe.
“Ho!”Gregory yelled. “Nestlings!”
Three baby dragons, about the size of saddle horses, squealed and circled their mother’s feet. She screamed and shot fire at the wall of men and unicorns. The men fell back. The unicorns just shut their eyes. As Gregory steered Eleanor toward the cabin she caught a flash of white behind the dragon’s legs.
Teardrop had somehow been pushed from the line. She was pinned between the raging dragon and the canyon walls. As the dragon backed and reared, her massive tail, all wrathful muscle, swung in a deadly pendulum.
“Teardrop!”Eleanor screamed.
Teardrop zigged, looking for a way around the mother dragon. The dragon’s tail came down hard and clipped the mare across the shoulder. Teardrop slammed into the rock wall. She cowered, stunned and heaving.
“Teardrop!”Eleanor yanked free of Gregory’s grip.
“Eleanor, stop!”
She ran past the startled guards and into the chaos.
“Get back!” Tremor snorted.
“I won’t!” She yelled to be heard over the dragon. “I’m going to help her.”
“You can’t, and we must control this situation.”
“I will, damnit!” She tried to get around the stallion but he stepped in front of her again. “Get out of my way!” she stormed.
He lowered his head. “If you insist on this foolery at least let me help you.”
Gregory was shoving past the guards, but she climbed onto Tremor’s back before he could reach her.
“Eleanor!”Gregory screamed.
She clung to Tremor’s mane as he raced at the dragon. Her eyelashes stuck together in the blinding heat. Tremor dodged and wheeled as the dragon spit fire. Two other unicorns flanked them.
Tremor skidded to a stop. Eleanor leapt off and ran to Teardrop.
“Hurry!” Tremor called.
Foam dripped from Teardrop’s muzzle as she pressed against the wall. She wasn’t bleeding—her thick hide was nearly impenetrable—but a raised welt marred her shoulder. Her eyes rolled.
“Teardrop,” Eleanor tried to keep her voice calm over the screams of the dragon as it went after Tremor. “Help me. Take me back to Gregory.”
Teardrop swung her head at Eleanor’s voice. Her dark eyes came into focus. “Why are you here?” she whispered. “You will be killed.”
“So you must take me out.”
Teardrop nodded, and Eleanor grabbed her mane and pulled herself onto the mare’s back.“Go, now,” she called. “I need you to get me past this dragon.”
Teardrop scraped at the ground with one hoof and pricked her ears. She watched Tremor and his helpers and the mother dragon. She spotted an opening and dove for it. The dragon spun and swung her tail again. Eleanor held on as Teardrop leapt. They barely cleared the spinning spikes.
They came to a stop past the line of unicorns, and Eleanor’s legs gave out when she slid to the ground. Gregory caught her, cursing and kissing her.
“Dammit, Eleanor,” he said. “You’re the most stubborn, disobedient, brave, exasperating woman.”
She sat on the ground with her head between her knees. The magicians bustled around Teardrop. They tried to examine her injury, but she snorted them away. She stood over Eleanor, breathing down the back of her neck.
Eleanor raised her head as Tremor called a dozen of his fellows into the skirmish. The doe blew fire, but more unicorns pressed in and she backed down. Her children squeaked and smoked around her. Tremor stepped from the line and knelt on one knee. To Eleanor’s amazement one of the nestlings crept out from under its mother’s belly and slunk toward him. The doe hissed a warning. Tremor stood, and gently touched the baby dragon with his horn.
The doe exhaled a long blast of fire, but this time there was no fight in it. The other baby dragons came forward, and Tremor touched them all before nudging them toward the new cave with his muzzle. Their mother let our several low whistles and followed them.
Once the doe disappeared under the ground, Thromba ran to Eleanor and Gregory. “Dear High God, sire,” he said. “It was a botch-up, and the princess nearly roasted.”
“No, Thromba,” Gregory said. “We both know you can never tell how the does with nestlings will react. Last year we lost three men to a new mother. Not so bad, really.” He knelt beside Eleanor.
“Are you angry with me?” she asked.
“No,” he said. “How can I be angry? But you must be more careful.”
He helped her stand on her shaky legs. She ran a hand over Teardrop’s withers and the white hide twitched under her fingers. “Does it hurt?” she asked.
“Some, but we heal quickly.”
“Princess,” said an airy voice behind her. It was Tremor.
“Thank you,” she said. “I’m sorry if I made things more complicated.”
Tremor lowered his head. “I thank you,” he said. “For reminding me of what is important.”


Stephanie will be awarding a $10 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

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