Summer Blog Hop!

NIGHTWALKER BOOK COVER 2the-order-of-chaos-cover-finalJUSTIFIEDCOVERphoenix guardian1

You can read an excerpt from each book for free by clicking on the cover.

Welcome to the http://www.JustRomance.me and the Hot Summer Romance Giveaway Hop sponsored by the Insatiable Reads Book Tour. Okay, here’s the rundown on prizes.

I’ll be giving away readers choice of my backlist in e-book format to one comment for each blog tour. Just remember to leave you email address, which  book you would like and the blog tour you’ve found me on in the comment.
Midsummer’s Night’s Dream-Man with www.JustRomance.me will be giving away multiple prizes!
Hot Summer Romance with Insatiable Reads has two grand prizes. #1 is a Kindle Fire and #2 is a $50 Amazon.com gift certificate.

One last thing, please join me on The Ed Money Live radio show during the first week of August where I will be announcing another book give-a-way!

UPDATE – Added a blurb for NIGHTWALKER in the comments below.

Now for the good stuff! Many women may fantasize about a dream man. Author’s get to create him. Again and again! It’s one of the perks. Hey, it’s okay, everyone’s entitled to the occasional day dream even if you’re already with you real life dream man like me 🙂  In the case of NIGHTWALKER: A LEAH WOLFE SINS NOVEL, I created several dream men and each will have their own unique story as the series continues. Ian Nightwalker, Cougar, Falcon, Raven and Joaquin Wildhorse are all introduced in the first book NIGHTWALKER and I will expand on them each – the good, the bad and the very sexy – in THE ORDER OF CHAOS, JUSTIFIED, PHOENIX and the one I’m putting finishing touches on now, SHADOW WALKER. I hope you will enjoy reading about them as much as I enjoyed creating them. If you’re new to my books, I encourage to read NIGHTWALKER first but each was written so that you can enjoy them individually as well. Outside of the SINS series is GUARDIAN and the mysterious Roman Hunt. I’ve included an excerpt from my latest release, PHOENIX and you can read an excerpt from each book for free by clicking on the cover. Happy Reading!

PHOENIX: A LEAH WOLFE SINS NOVEL – Chapter 1

Ground fog covered all but the tips of the headstones marking graves that dated back to the early nineteen hundreds. Angels Cross was one of the oldest and most prestigious cemeteries in the state. Governors, actors, almost anyone on the proverbial who’s who list were, most likely laid to rest in this hallowed ground. That offered me no comfort as I stepped through the mist and made my way to Tabitha Walden’s grave. Her grandfather, Arthur Walden, was a prominent businessman, and a strong supporter of the Supernatural Investigations of Non-Human Species, SINS for short the branch of law enforcement that employed me as a federal agent. Had Walden’s influence, and more importantly, his money, bought my services for the evening?

I’d like to say no.

I’d really, really like to say no.

But that would make me naive and, while I was many things, gullible definitely was not one of them.

“Federal Agent Leah Wolfe.” Arthur Walden’s deep voice cut through the dark just before his rotund figure appeared through the mist surrounding him. His expression was somber as he extended his hand to me in greeting.

“That’s what they tell me.” I shook his hand and flashed a look at Sam standing beside him.

“Mr. Anderson here tells me you’re the best at what you do.” Walden’s gaze slid to Sam then back to me.

“Well, he should know,” I replied drily.

Sam cleared his throat, warning me to behave. “Leah is the only Necromancer in existence that we know of.”

Sam Anderson was the director of SINS. He was my boss as well as my friend. He also knew I wasn’t thrilled about using my necromancy. Having the ability to speak to the souls of the dead was one thing; being able to raise them from their graves and reanimate them was downright creepy. Yet that was the gift I had, even if I was just learning how to use it.

“You are aware that my abilities are inconsistent.” I tried once again to backpedal my way out of this mess.

“Don’t be modest, Miss Wolfe.” Arthur jerked his head toward Sam. “Mr. Anderson speaks very highly of you.”

“And I appreciate that—however…” I tried to keep from openly scowling at Sam, “I cannot make any guarantees.”

“You are the only chance that I have to say good-bye to my granddaughter, Miss Wolfe.” He leveled his gaze with mine. “Please, just try.”

I let out a heavy breath and nodded. “Let’s get started then, shall we?” I followed Sam and Arthur through the maze of headstones, trying my best to walk between them. Somehow, it just didn’t seem right to walk over the ground where their bodies were buried. The moon shone a perfect half curve, illuminating the mist and giving the haze an eerie life of its own as it wafted throughout the cemetery and swirled around the central mausoleum.

Walden finally stopped and jerked his head toward the nearest headstone. I walked closer to Tabitha’s grave and ran my hand along the top of her marker. It was white marble inscribed with her name, dates of birth and death. IN THE ARMS OF ANGELS was engraved across the top, and BELOVED DAUGHTER AND GRANDDAUGHTER below that.

Tabitha had been found dead in her home of an apparent overdose of narcotics. The coroner called it suicide and Arthur used his substantial influence to keep it out of the newspapers. Mustn’t let the actions of his granddaughter tarnish his squeaky-clean reputation.

I wondered how many times he’d used his influence to protect Tabitha, not that I blamed him. Arthur raised Tabitha himself. She was the only family he had left. His wife died years before and both of Tabitha’s parents followed soon after in a tragic house fire. When Arthur asked Sam for our help, he confided in him that he thought the stress of losing so many people drove Tabitha to take her own life.

“Where do you need me to stand?” Arthur called, interrupting my thoughts.

“A couple of feet away from the headstone should do.” As long as he wasn’t in the way of the body I was there to raise, it didn’t really matter. Keep it professional, Leah.

Sam stood beside Arthur and I saw him tense as I kneeled before the headstone. Sam didn’t like graveyards; most people don’t, especially at night.

Saying a small prayer, I blessed myself with the sign of the cross and then stood, took a deep breath, and tried to clear my head of all thoughts except for Tabitha. I envisioned her in the photographs Arthur had provided for me and wondered what her life had been like. She had been undoubtedly happy in the pictures with her parents. Her eyes were bright and wide with innocence. Then the photos taken of her after her parents’ deaths slipped into my mind when the joy seemed to have been drained from her. The misery of the loss of her parents was evident in every aspect of her appearance. Her eyes were jaded—stripped of their innocence and clouded in angst.

The ground below me rumbled as if a great vibration rocked the earth, sending bits of dirt and rock dancing upon its surface.

Arthur Walden gasped as the ground cracked over Tabitha’s grave, leaving a fissure nearly six feet long. It was as if the earth had opened a passageway for her to climb out of her tomb.

Two hands gripped the side of the fissure and Tabitha hoisted herself out of the earth. She clambered to her feet and placed her hands on her head, feeling her face as if looking for damage. My heart dropped into my stomach.

This had been no drug overdose.

Tabitha Walden was shot in the head, at very close range judging from the damage. While the left side of her face was intact, the top right side was nearly completely missing. Only her eyeball, dangling from a piece of tendon, remained. Her jaw was completely undamaged as if the bullet had managed to crack off a piece of her top skull and then fragmented out the back, leaving most of its carnage there.

“What the hell?” I managed to yell at Arthur just before Tabitha opened her mouth in an eerie wail that pierced the peaceful night air.

“I thought she’d be a ghost!” Arthur’s expression was horrified and his deep voice cracked. “I’m s-sorry, Tabby, so sorry.” Arthur stammered. “It wasn’t supposed to end like this.” He edged closer to Tabitha, his voice pleading.

“You killed her?” Sam’s voice hitched as the blood drained from his face.

“No.” Arthur turned his attention to Sam. “It wasn’t really me.”

At his words, Tabitha’s head snapped toward Arthur. Her eyeball made a sloshing sound as it dangled from her face. Tabitha made a few wet, choking gurgles. “You did this to me.” Tabitha said it as if she died knowing her grandfather had killed her. The pain of her betrayal hollowed the insides of my chest, halting my breath.

Tabitha tottered closer to Arthur. “I’m your granddaughter!” What was left of her face twisted with anguish.

Arthur stumbled back as she closed in on him. I felt his fear, his horror, and couldn’t bring myself to care. He’d had his own granddaughter murdered. He deserved to feel like shit.

Arthur’s voice rose. “I could never hurt you. I wasn’t myself; it was me, but not me.” His face wrinkled as he spoke. As if even he realized what he’d just said didn’t make sense. “It was a nightmare, not real.”

“Does this look like a dream? I am your granddaughter!” She screeched as she closed the remaining distance between them. “The child of your only daughter!”

Arthur braced himself against a headstone. “I don’t know how, but it wasn’t me. I swear it!”

“What the hell is going on, Arthur?” Sam demanded.

“I could never do this.” Arthur turned toward Sam. “I swear—it wasn’t really me.”

I didn’t like the feel of this. “Sam?” I called cautiously. “Step away from Arthur.”

“How the hell could you do this?” Sam stood his ground, ignoring my warning.

“Move, Sam!” I shouted, a moment before Tabitha jumped at her grandfather and flattened him to the ground.

I leaped at Sam and wrenched him away as Tabitha tore into her grandfather. She ripped strips of flesh off him as he screamed wildly.

I started an incantation, ordering Tabitha back to her grave, but it didn’t even slow her down. I was supposed to be able to control her.

So much for that theory.

I pulled my gun and fired one shot into Tabitha.

She turned, her hands dripping with the goo and flesh of her grandfather and speckles of blood dotting her face and the front of the dress she’d been buried in. “I’m already dead. You can’t kill me twice,” she sneered.

I fired another shot into her, but she simply turned away and continued battering Arthur.

I began chanting, “Tabitha Walden, go back to your grave” over and over again. I closed my eyes and tried to clear my mind of everything except the vision of her sinking back into her grave—a damn difficult thing to pull off while she was stripping chunks off Arthur and flinging them around us.

My eyes flew open as the sickening crack of bone silenced Arthur’s piercing screams. Tabitha had smashed a fist-sized rock into the side of his head. He lay on the ground near his granddaughter’s grave with most of his brain exposed to the night sky. A black haze rose above his body, raising goose bumps along every inch of my flesh.

Sam leaned heavily on a tombstone with his hand clenched over his mouth. He was sheet white now with horror etched on his face.

Finally, as if it had waited for her to claim her vengeance, an unseen force dragged Tabitha back while she screamed and thrashed, fighting until the very end.

“Ashes to ashes, dust to dust. May God be with you in your final rest.” I spoke the words my lover, Ian, and I used when I practiced my necromancy on dead animals, praying it would work on humans as well. Ian and I had researched every myth we could find on necromancy and this one phrase seemed to be used consistently.

I let out a breath of relief when Tabitha’s head lolled back. Her eye closed and her body became limp. Then the earth rumbled and swallowed her again, leaving the ground exactly as it was before I called her from the grave.

I turned to find Sam hovering over Arthur Walden’s body. His cell phone was in his hand and from his quiet tone I knew he was calling in a cleanup crew.

“Didn’t you check the coroner’s report?” I realized that I was shaking bad, sweat mingling with tears as they streamed down my face. I took a few deep breaths to collect my thoughts. I knew I wasn’t directly responsible for Arthur’s death, but the fact remained that if I hadn’t raised his granddaughter, he would still be alive.

Sam’s hand on my shoulder made me jump. I didn’t even know that he’d moved closer to me.

Not good. Not good at all.

“I’m sorry, Leah. I had no idea that Arthur killed her.” He shook his head slowly. “I fucked up. I trusted him.”

I rolled the kinks out of my neck as my heart beat like a jackhammer against my ribs. “Next time, if there ever is a next time, pull the damn coroner’s report first.”

Sam put his hand on my arm and gently kneaded it. “Are you okay?”

“Just fucking peachy!” I took more deep breaths and said, “I’m good.”

“I’m sorry, Leah,” Sam said again.

“Yeah, yeah,” I quipped, my breath a little steadier now.

“Hang around until the cleanup crew arrives. I’ll give you a ride home.”

“No thanks.” He raised an eyebrow in question. “I’m fine, I really just want to go home,” I added.

“I made this mess,” Sam said. “I’ll clean it up.”

“Fine by me.”

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53 comments on “Summer Blog Hop!

  1. I found you on Hot Summer Romance with Insatiable Reads carlywood@comcast.net I would love Nightwalker since I am new to your books…I cant wait to start reading them! I use kindle 🙂 Thanks for the giveaway!

  2. I would like to read Guardian.
    Foun you on the Hot Summer Romance Hop.
    bituin76 at hotmail dot com

  3. I would like to read Nightwalker. I found you on A Midsummer Night’s Dream-Man hop.
    ainfinger at Comcast dot net

  4. I would love to read Nightwalker 🙂 I found you on the Hot Summer Romance blog hop 🙂
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!
    dixiedukegurl2 AT yahoo DOT com

  5. I’m here for the Midsummer Night’s Tour and appreciate you being part of the Hop! I LOVE the sound of this series/these books and have all of them on my wishlist!

  6. Sounds interesting. Added to my TBR list.
    I’d like the first book please. I’m on the Justromance hop.
    nswoodhouse at yahoo dot co dot uk

  7. Wow, I’m humbled by so many new readers! I’m so glad you stopped by the hop and I’ll be picking a random winner on Monday! Stop by the blog and see if its you!:) Here’s the blurb for NIGHTWALKER: A LEAH WOLFE SINS NOVEL! Happy Reading!
    Leah Wolfe has retired from serious police work in favor of seeking a normal life. Her unique, yet not fully discovered supernatural abilities allow her to speak to the souls of the dead, providing vital information in the search for their killers. Her abilities have also cost her almost everyone she has ever loved including her mother, who abandoned her to fend for herself on the streets, and, most recently, her ex-fiancé Joaquín Wildhorse, Chief Detective of the Native American Reservation Police Department. But when Joaquín’s new lover is found brutally murdered on the reservation, he turns to Leah for help. The hunt for a vicious killer leads Leah to sexy Ian Nightwalker and Leah is unable to walk away from the case that may cost her her most guarded possession of all. Her heart.

  8. I would love to win a copy of Nightwalker. This sounds like a fantastic series. Will definitely be putting it on my wishlist. Thanks for sharing the great excerpt.
    bhometchko(at)hotmail(dot)com

  9. Thanks for participating in the hop and for the interesting post!

    huntress023(at)hotmail(dot)com

  10. I would love Nightwalker.
    Thanks for the chance to win!
    natasha_donohoo_8 at hotmail dot com

  11. Love the covers.. I think the Guardian would be an awesome first read.. 😉

    vals_hemi at yahoo dot com

  12. Love the Covers… I’d want Nightwalker, found you on the Hot Summer Romance with Insatiable Reads blog Hop 🙂

    Thanks
    staceyprice(AT)gmail.com

  13. I would love book #1 🙂 I found you on the Midsummer Nights Dream Man blog hop 🙂
    Thanks for the awesome giveaway!
    dixiedukegurl2 AT yahoo DOT com

  14. I love this hop. There are so many great authors participating. I would like to win Nightwalker please.
    Thanks for being part of the hop and for the chance to win.
    reneebennett35 (at) yahoo (dot) com

  15. Nightwalker sounds awesome. I found you on Hot Summer Romance Hop, Thanks for sharing the awesome giveaways. evamillien at gmail dot com

  16. First I wanna say, I am so sorry to be cut and pasting this but it is the end of the day and the hop is almost over. I know crappy defense but I am tired! I promise I am adding books as I go along!
    So many great books being added to my TRB list today!!
    Thanks for being in the hop!
    grapeapril75(AT)gmail.com

  17. I would love to win Nightwalker! Thank you so much for being a part of this hop and for giving me the opportunity to win! usmcwifey1(at)live(dot)com

  18. Got here by the Midsummer Blog Hop(and will now have to spend some time on the other hop too-Thanks for the link to it).
    Would love to Have Nightwalker. Sounds like a great read.

    carolcobun @ yahoo.com

  19. Thanks for participating in the hop and for giving me a new author to checkout!
    I’ll definitely need to start at the beginning.

    dragon5174 at gmail dot com

  20. Thanks for the excerpt, I would love to win a copy of Nightwalker.Thank you for the participating in the blog hop!
    Suzieqsb (at) aol(dot)com

  21. Thanks for participating. I’d love to read Nightwalker.

    Hot Summer Romance Hop – Insatialble Reads

    pjmillion(at)comcast(dot)net

  22. Hi! I would love to read Nightwalker! Its right up my alley! Love the sound of it! Thank you for the fun hop and giveaway! 🙂
    shadowluvs2read(at)gmail(dot)com

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