Friday, January 16, 2015

Debut Novel Release: Stealing the Wolf Prince


Stealing the Wolf Prince (The Wylderland Chronicles, Book One)

By Elle Clouse
Release: January 16, 2015
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Etopia Press
Blurb:  What harm could come from impersonating royalty?
Synopsis:  After years on the road conning wealthy nobles out of their gold, Kiera is ready to give up her life of crime and return to her childhood home of Cearbhall. She’s got one last job in mind, one that will see her set for life. What harm could come from impersonating a country princess to marry a prince and live wealthily ever after? Except her childhood home is nothing like she remembered. The king has gone senile, his younger sons rule with terror, and the crown prince is missing. The prince she’s to wed is only interested in siring an heir, and her future brother-in-law wants to get into her skirts. Deciding the grifter’s life wasn’t so bad after all, Kiera plots her escape. Before she can steal away, she’s discovered and thrown into the dungeon with a crazed wolfborn to die.
Lachlan never thought that he'd see his childhood sweetheart once his wolfborn affliction set in. Nor did he expect to ever see daylight. Imprisoned in the dungeon since adolescence, his brothers have usurped the throne and trail evil in their wake. When Kiera lands in the dungeon with him, he recovers his will to put things right. Kiera may not remember him, but he remembers her, and Lachlan vows to save her from his brothers and their schemes.
Except Kiera wields a power unlike any other, and she doesn’t need saving. But the people of Cearbhall do. As Kiera and Lachlan fight the evil princes, they uncover a greater magic in the world around them, and a powerful magic between them that can’t be denied...
Buy the book:

Excerpt:  Kiera turned the ivory crank on the side of the massive oak bookshelf. The mechanism within propelled the shelf along a track in the floor, opening an aisle between the bookcases for her. She pulled her notes out of her apron pocket, verified that she had accessed the correct aisle of the law section, and edged sideways down the temporary corridor. Her lantern only illuminated a few feet before all was lost to shadow. The old tomes were dust-covered and occasionally misfiled, but she found what she was looking for without having to traverse the entire aisle.
She had selected a book of local history she hoped would shed light on the archaic laws that still prohibited the study of magic by the masses. Hopefully, it might hold the key to instigating some changes in current restrictions on magic practice. Kiera focused on the printed letters on the book cover as she emerged from the aisle.
When she looked up to see a man standing in front of her, she nearly dropped the book. “Good gods!” she cried. One hand went to her heart as if it might jump out of her chest. “You shouldn’t sneak up on me like that, Brogan. You know I hate it.”
Brogan’s smirk was that of a man who had accomplished something phenomenal. “It’s hard to resist when you make it so easy to do so, dear cousin.”
Kiera took a deep breath to calm herself and resisted the urge to hit him. “Have a nice trip back?”
He waved her polite conversation away and motioned to a small troupe of people standing at the massive library’s rear entrance. “It’s time to celebrate, Kiera. I’m back with money in my pocket.”
Kiera recognized all of Brogan’s companions. Friends, he called them. Wastrels, she privately thought. She fixed him with a hard glare.
He tried to distract her with a dashing smile, which might have worked if she wasn’t his cousin and didn’t know all his tricks. “You don’t have to be holed up here all night every night, you know. Phelan likes your company a lot…”
“I happen to like the library,” Kiera said, knowing where the conversation was headed. “And this is the only time I can get in here without constantly getting interrupted or harassed. Besides, we have creditors to pay. You shouldn’t be wasting any money at the bar or gambling with your friends. Where will they be when you’re penniless again?”
Brogan grimaced, but Kiera knew she was right. His friends disappeared as soon as the coin ran out, but old habits died hard. He had been raised by a
man who had squandered everything as soon as he had earned it and had passed his vices on to Brogan. She glanced back at the tall, gangly Phelan, who was watching both of them—especially Kiera—with great interest. She didn’t care that her wild, red locks were tied under a bandana and her smock was covered in dust. This was her domain, and she wasn’t going to feel self-conscious about her state of dress just because of him.
The two women beside Phelan didn’t seem impressed with the library at all and resembled deer ready to bolt at the slightest sound. Erann was looking at her surroundings with disgust, and the ever-bubbly Brigid somehow managed to bounce even though she was standing still.
Brogan waved a hand to encompass the shelves and their stacks of books. “What about all this? There’s no benefit in staying up until the wee hours of the morning in this dusty old library.”
“I’m on a mission. All people should have the right to study magic, not just the select nobility.” Kiera waved a finger at him.
“Yes, yes, yes.” Brogan rolled his eyes. “I know; we’ve been over this. If you get caught, you’ll get thrown in jail faster than we would from any of our cons.”
She scowled. “But you said we wouldn’t have to do this for very long, and here it is years later. I’m
still stuck in a dark library while you're out spending what earnings we make before we can save any of it! Before the rent is paid!”
Brogan cringed. “Now, there's no need for that…”
“Yes, there is.” She lowered her voice so the others couldn’t hear her. “You’ve made promises, both to me and to the creditors. Neither of us have seen a cent. All I can do is berate you, but I’m sure the debt collectors can extract more than just a bruised ego.”
Brogan flinched at that last reminder.
“When is the last con, Brogan? Or am I going to have to start looking up distant relatives to take me in?”
Brogan frowned. “I don’t know,” he mumbled so quietly Kiera almost didn’t hear. “If we find the right mark…”
Now it was Kiera’s turn to roll her eyes. That was a phrase she’d heard before.
“We should go for someone higher up than these merchants.” His eyes lit up. “Someone like royalty.”
“What? Going after royalty is too dangerous. You can fool a crooked merchant out of some money, sure, but if you get the wrong family against you, it’s all over.”
“But why not hit one of the outlying
kingdoms? On the borderlands or the outskirts?” Brogan started to pace, smoothing a hand over his chin stubble. “One that doesn’t have ties to the inner royal families in the empire. One that has a lot of wealth but is still small.”
Kiera forced herself to remain perfectly still. There was only one such kingdom, and she hoped he wouldn't remember its name.
“Cearbhall?” Brogan smiled. “That’s what it was called, that little place where you grew up. Cearbhall would be perfect for an endeavor like that.” Brogan's gaze grew unfocused as he stared past her into the darkness of the library. He seemed to have forgotten that Kiera was in the room.
She gave a loud ahem to get his attention again.
“Right, Cearbhall.” He clapped his hands together. “You know what to do.”
Kiera folded her arms across her chest. “I don’t want you to go there and swindle those people out of anything. They are good people, and they don’t deserve a visit from you.”
A crooked smile tilted his lips. “Well, seeing as I’m the only one able to support this little twisted family we have here, I don’t see that you have much of a choice. I want a plan by tomorrow night. Have fun.”
“Are you scheming again?” Erann shouted from the door. She stood with her hands on her hips,
glaring in their direction, tapping her foot impatiently against the floor. “We haven’t even spent the profit from Lord Blackling’s folly, and you're already planning another job?”
“Come on, Mr. Fletcher, let’s go celebrate.” Brigid waved Kiera and Brogan both toward the exit.
“Kiera?” Brogan held out a hand.
Kiera shook her head. “You go ahead. I have some more work to do here.”
“Suit yourself.” He spun on his feet and sauntered back toward his friends. “I’m feeling lucky. Anyone up for a game of Twenty-one at Hit the Deck?” He draped an arm over Brigid and Erann’s shoulders and steered them out of the library. Phelan lingered only a moment, then left as well.
Reluctantly, Kiera headed down the aisle to put back the book she had just retrieved. Her private research would have to be put on hold for now in favor of finding information about the royal family of Cearbhall. She was pretty sure she remembered some of the histories, but she would need help to fill in the blanks. It was going to be another long night of research, notes, and black tea.

Author Bio:  Elle has been writing fantasy and science fiction romance for years and an avid participant in the NaNoWriMo.  
Elle is happily married to a martial arts instructor, a mother of two small boys, and constantly talking her husband out of adopting a new pet.  She knits and stamps in her spare time as well as feeds a latte addiction.

Saturday, January 3, 2015

New Release in this Great Zombie Series

cover (1)_edited
Mad World (#3, Broken World series)
by Kate L. Mary
Post-Apocalyptic/Zombie Series


Mad World is the third book in the Broken World series, which follows a group of survivors after a super-virus has destroyed the world and the dead have come back to claim it as their own…

Vivian didn’t think things could get any worse than losing Emily, and getting to the shelter should have been their salvation. But once again their hopes where shattered when they found out things weren’t as safe as promised, forcing them to head into Vegas in search of supplies.
But now Vivian and Hadley find themselves in a situation more threatening than even the dead walking the Earth. Kidnapped by armed men and taken deep into Vegas, they’re cut-off from anyone who cares about them and thrust into a world so sick and twisted it can only be described as madness. Knowing that Axl has no idea where they are and little hope of finding them, Vivian and Hadley must team up with one of the very men who abducted them if they have any hope of escaping their new nightmare.
Watching Vivian get thrown into the back of a van almost tears Axl apart, and he’s determined to find her no matter what it takes. With the growing tension between him and Angus, Axl finds himself wondering if the price will be his relationship with his brother. Putting both old and new wounds aside, Axl and Angus must infiltrate the group holding Vivian and Hadley, and make their escape through a zombie-ridden Vegas. But the men in charge of Vegas aren’t the type to easily forget, and the group soon discovers that getting the girls out alive very well could mean the end for them all…

I push my way through the group of people gathered ‘round ‘til I find a face I don’t recognize. He’s a preppy-lookin’ bastard. Older than me, but probably not more than thirty. He’s clean. Obviously he ain’t been sleepin’ in no abandoned buildings, which means he’s with the bastards that took Vivian and Hadley. I slam him against the wall and push the barrel of my gun right between his eyes, pressin’ it into his skull. “Where the hell is she?” The guy swallows. His eyes are so big they look like they’re gonna pop outta his head. “You shoot me and you’ll never know,” he says in a surprisingly calm voice. My entire body shakes, and my finger’s just itchn’ to pull the trigger. But he’s right. I can’t shoot him. Not if I wanna find Vivian. But I could shoot his balls off. I jam my arm against his throat and press as hard as I can before movin’ my gun to his crotch. “I ain’t gonna kill you, but if you don’t tell me where she is, I guarantee that by the time I’m done with you, you’ll wish you had.” "The Monte Carlo! The Monte Carlo!” His voice ain’t calm no more. “I told ya!” Darla’s shrill voice screams out behind me. “Shut the fuck up,” I say, not takin’ my eyes off the tremblin’ guy in front of me. “She better be okay.” He nods as hard as he can with my arm pressed against his throat. “She’s fine. So is Hadley.” I wince. Damn. I shoulda asked ‘bout Hadley. Winston steps forward and puts his hand on my back. “Let him go, Axl. We need to let him talk if we’re going to figure out what’s going on." The muscles in my neck are stretched tight, and my arm twitches as I press it against the guy’s neck. I don’t wanna let him go. I wanna bash his damn face in.
I look back and forth between Axl and the fence. Between the zombies and my reason for life. “What about you?” The helicopter’s engine dies, and the moans of the dead break through the night sky. They’re louder than the roar of a hurricane. More menacing than a tornado. I can’t leave Axl. “I’ll cover you,” he yells. He spins to face the zombies. They round the corner. Fifteen feet away at the most. I grab his arm and pull him to the fence. “Come with me!” He shakes me off and looks down at my bare feet and legs. “You ain’t protected. Go!” There’s no way to convince him, plus he’s right. I’m much too exposed. I turn to the fence and climb. The metal digs into my hands and feet. The moans grow louder, and my legs shake, threatening to give out. I keep my head up so I won’t look back. Axl will be more focused if I’m safe. He can take care of himself. He will be okay. My heart races even faster. The fence is high. Maybe ten feet. My arms ache as they slowly pull my body up. I’m not even halfway there and already I’m shaky. A shot rings out behind me, and I scream. Keep moving. Don’t look down. The wind blows, showering me with bits of sand. My eyes sting and tear up. I blink, but it doesn’t help. A few tears slide down my cheeks. I hang onto the fence with one hand and use my free one to rub my eyes. They burn, but there’s no time to worry about that. I squint as more tears fall and pull myself up a little more. Halfway there. Axl grunts and Jon curses. Something slams against the fence, and the whole thing shakes. I grip the metal tighter. Fingers claw at my foot, and I scream. Kicking at them. They wrap around my ankle. I kick harder, and the fence sways. I can’t get away! My fingers curl around the metal links, and I glance down. What was once a man—his face now half-rotten—grips my ankle. His foul teeth chomp, and he moans like he’s in pain. Jon is on the ground, struggling with a zombie. Another one has Axl pinned against the fence. His knife is on the ground.  

╣About the Author╠

imageKate L. Mary is a stay-at-home mother of four and an Air Force wife. She spent most of her life in a small town just north of Dayton, Ohio where she and her husband met at the age of twelve. Since their marriage in 2002, they have lived in Georgia, Mississippi, South Carolina, and California. Kate enjoys any post-apocalyptic story – especially if zombies are involved – as long as there is a romantic twist to give the story hope. Kate prefers nerdy, non-traditional heroes that can make you laugh to hunky pieces of man-meat, and her love of wine and chocolate is legendary among her friends and family. She currently resides in Oklahoma with her husband and children.

╣Social Media╠

╣Other Books╠

BrokenWorldCoverBroken World (Broken World #1) When a deadly virus sweeps the country, Vivian Thomas sets out for California in hopes of seeing the daughter she gave up for adoption. Then her car breaks down and she’s faced with a choice. Give up, or accept a ride from redneck brothers, Angus and Axl. Vivian knows the offer has more to do with her double D’s than kindness, but she’s prepared to do whatever it takes to reach her daughter. The virus is spreading, and by the time the group makes it to California, most of the population has been wiped out. When the dead start coming back, Vivian and the others realize that no electricity or running water are the least of their concerns. Now Vivian has to figure out how to be a mother under the most frightening circumstances, cope with Angus’s aggressive mood swings, and sort out her growing attraction to his brooding younger brother, Axl. While searching for a safe place to go, they pick up a pompous billionaire who may be the answer to all their problems. Trusting him means going into the middle of the Mojave Desert and possibly risking their lives, but with the streets overrun and nowhere else to turn, it seems he might be their only chance for survival.

Shattered World (Broken World #2)

***Warning: Contains Spoilers for Broken World***
Shattered World CoverStranded in the middle of the Mojave Desert, surrounded by zombies, Vivian and Axl are sure they’re facing the end. The dead are closing in and the shelter they were promised is sealed tight. Just when they think they’ve run out of time, the doors are thrown open. Five years underground with all the provisions there for the taking. It’s almost too good to be true. With the promise of security, Vivian hopes she’ll finally able to deal with the loss of Emily, her growing feelings for Axl, and the terrifying new world they’re facing. But their sense of security is soon shattered when they discover the shelter isn’t the utopia they thought it would be. It seems the company that built the shelter decided to solve their financial problems by selling off provisions, which means the group has to find a way to get supplies. Or face starvation. And Vegas is the closest city. With her feelings for Axl stronger than ever, Vivian volunteers to accompany him and a few others on a trip into one of the biggest tourist cities in the world. Vegas is overrun with the dead, but there are other survivors as well. Only not everyone they meet is a welcome sight. As the emotional baggage piles up, Vivian and Axl’s bond grows stronger, but it doesn’t take long to realize that zombies aren’t the only thing they have to fear.