Now on Booksprout: RETURN OF THE RAVEN

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If you like to read and review free books, I’ve got great news for you! My time travel romance, Return of the Raven, is available for a limited time on Booksprout. It’s the fifth and final book in The Novels of Ravenwood series, but it can also stand alone. Here’s the story:

Margaret, Lady Ravenwood, is trapped in a loveless marriage and firmly entrenched in the medieval world. Along comes Griffin Nightshade, a historian from the future whose soul resonates with hers. He persuades her to return with him to the 1950s, but heeding her heart means courting danger from a curse that could spell her doom.

Haunted by his parents’ sudden deaths, Griffin knows all too well the pain born of love lost. He guards his emotions, but Margaret delves deep and goes straight to the soul. She’s hard to resist…and harder to set free.

The heart’s desire and history’s demands don’t always agree. Yet true love is eternal.

A peek between the pages:

Held in the ballroom of a nearby hotel, the after-party boasted a band of musicians, savory food, a variety of drinks, and a three-tier, white-frosted cake. After consuming a sizeable portion of said cake and a goodly amount of fruit punch, Margaret sat beside Griffin against the wall, watching the other guests and the happy couple interact.

The bride and groom took to the dance floor and moved as though they were one body, which in essence they now were. Frank and Hannah also danced, talking and laughing as they often did around the manor.

Oh to be so happily joined with another. If only…

There it was again: the recurring, inevitable “if only.” Her nights were full of them. She lay in bed staring up at the darkened canopy, wishing he were there beside her. Perhaps ʼtwas wanton and wrong, or by some standards, ridiculous.

But the heart wants what it wants. Hers wanted Griffin. Not just for a day or even a year but forever. She loved him. ʼTwas as simple—and as complicated—as that.

He turned to her now, and his warm, brown eyes sparkled with an invitation. “Shall we dance?”

Her stomach dropped. “I don’t know how.”

He gestured to the dancing couples. “Look at the other women. And see that little boy and girl? If they can do it, so can we. You’ll put your left hand on my shoulder, and your right hand will hold mine. Then you’ll move your feet when I do. Don’t worry. I’ll guide you.”

“Well…” The need to touch him, to feel his hands on her again, outweighed her doubt. “I’ll try.”

He led her to the dance floor, and she did as he instructed. Leisurely, they began to move.

Always the teacher. What might I learn in your bed?

Heat flushed her cheeks. Thankfully, the dance was slow; perfect for a beginner such as she. But the gentle pace enfolded them in a mantle of intimacy.

“This song is called ‘When I Fall in Love.’” His voice was soft and low.

“Fall?”

He nodded in silence.

Aye, ʼtis very much like falling. Like stepping off the side of a cliff. Once you take that step, there’s no turning back and no stopping what’s to come.

What would come of her feelings? Heartache? “The melody is pleasing.”

“I’ve always thought so.”

She looked up at him and gazed into his eyes. “You were right. Dancing isn’t as difficult as I thought.” A grin escaped her lips. “Of course, ʼtwould be easier in different shoes.” Her “kitten heels” turned every step into a dare.

His smile stole her breath. “They’re not very practical, are they?”

“No. Nor are they comfortable.” She longed to kick them off and wiggle her cramped toes, but that must wait till later.

“You look lovely, though.”

Suddenly, the discomfort seemed worthwhile, and her heart shifted to a rhythm livelier than their dance. “Thank you. You look good yourself.”

“Thank you. You smell nice, too. Roses?”

“Aye.” His scent seemed an intoxicating mixture of nutmeg, cinnamon, and musk. “A new bubble bath.”

“I trust you had a better experience this time around.”

She gave him a rueful grin. “Easier perhaps, but not better. You weren’t there.”

His eyes darkened, beckoned her into their depths. “Meg.” He sounded breathless.

Her heart fluttered. “I should’ve made some excuse to summon you again. Would you have come?”

“I would have.”

“Would you have helped me from the tub?”

“If you needed help.”

Everything else in the ballroom faded into insignificance. There was only him. “What if I needed another kiss?”

His gaze dropped to her lips. “No one needs a kiss.”

“I beg to differ.” She needed so much more than that. Her stomach quivered. “But mayhap I should beg for something else.”

“Such as?” His husky voice caressed her ears.

“Use your imagination, Griff. You’ll think of something.”

He pulled her closer. The heat of his body mingled with hers. “You really shouldn’t say such things.”

“Why not? I’m thinking them.” And feeling things I never dreamed I could. Until you.

“I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again. You’re dangerous.”

She winced. “And you’re on my foot.”

“Oh!” The pressure on her toes eased as he removed his foot. The song ended, and they stilled. “Forgive me. I’m a bit…flustered.”

You’re also irresistible. “I know how you can make amends.”

“How?”

“Kiss me.” She held her breath.

If the excerpt piqued your interest, check out Return of the Raven here on Booksprout. Or if you’d rather, you can buy the book at one of these online stores:

Amazon | Amazon UK | Amazon CA | Amazon AU | B & N | Apple | Kobo

Take care, and happy reading! 🙂

Fall into These Great Reads Bookathon ~ RETURN OF THE RAVEN

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Good morning! The FALL INTO THESE GREAT READS BOOKATHON at N. N. Light’s Book Heaven is well underway, and today, Return of the Raven–the fifth of The Novels of Ravenwood–is a featured title. Check it out here!

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway as well. You could win a $75 Amazon gift card! The drawing will be held on October 1st.

Wishing you the best of luck. Hope you’re enjoying the day! 🙂

DEE’S CORNUCOPIA by Jeny Heckman

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Please welcome Jeny Heckman! She’s here to tell us how her lifelong interest in Greek mythology inspired her latest release, Dee’s Cornucopia. Take it away, Jeny!

Reading Ancient Greek Mythology in my childhood developed a deep interest in reading which prompted me to read many other books over the years. I love the ancient soap opera-like cast of Greek gods and goddesses. I was fascinated by tales of gods and goddesses, especially heart-breaking tragedies. Books on Greek mythology or containing an element of Greek mythology are one of my favorite reads. They inspired me to create my own stories about Greek gods and goddesses.

Dee’s Cornucopia is book 2.5 of my Heaven and Earth series, which is a fantastic series about the descendants of the Greek gods in modern times. The heroine of Dee’s Cornucopia is Dee (Walker) Taylor, a feisty grandmother from the Heaven & Earth series. She is a fan favorite. She doesn’t tolerate nonsense. Dee is a spark plug that makes everyone jump around her.

Dee’s Cornucopia tells the story of Dee’s life, from meeting her beloved husband to experiencing a personal tragedy and communing with Demeter, the Greek goddess of abundance. … So, entitling her book, Dee’s Cornucopia was a no brainer for me! Dee creates abundance! Dee is a breeder! She can grow anything! The Cornucopia is also the name of Dee’s nursery in Hawaii.

In classical antiquity, the cornucopia (/ ˌkɔːrnjəˈkoʊpiə, ˌkɔːrnə-, ˌkɔːrnu-, ˌkɔːrnju- /), from the Latin cornu (horn) and copia (abundance), also called the cornucopia. The corn of abundance was a symbol of plenty and food, usually it’s large horn-shaped container filled with produce, flowers, or nuts. Baskets or panniers in this form have traditionally been used in Western Asia and Europe to store and carry newly harvested food items. The horn-shaped basket was carried on the back or wrapped around the torso, leaving the harvester’s hands free to gather. Many ancient Greek statues depict one or the other God holding a cornucopia full of riches.

Its origins began with the story of the birth and the feeding of baby Zeus (the god of the Greeks and the god of thunder).

Zeus was the youngest son of the Titans, Cronus and Rhea. Cronus ate Zeus’s siblings: Poseidon, Hades, Hestia, Demeter, and Hera. However, Rhea, his mother, had a plan.  She gave Cronus a rock swaddled like a baby to eat instead, and hid baby Zeus in a cave on the Island of Crete.

In the cave Zeus was raised in secret with the help of nymphs and a goat named Amalthea.  Her milk helped young Zeus grow strong.  One day, when Zeus was playing with Amalthea, he accidentally broke one of her horns with his superpower. But Zeus being Zeus, he also had an unusual ability. The broken horn was touched by his divine power, providing endless nourishment.

Soon came the day when Zeus was mature enough to claim the Kingdom of the World.  However, Amalthea had two parting gifts for Zeus – her skin and one of her horns.  She was then placed among the stars in Capra, the constellation surrounding Capella.

Her hide was used to create Zeus’s mighty thunder shield, Aegis. When the constellation Capra rises, it marks the start of the stormy season on the coasts of Greece.  In ancient Greek, the word “aigis” means both “stormy weather” and “goat skin”.

As I mentioned earlier Amalthea’s horn had a special ability.  It would give the owner whatever they wanted.  Did you want food? No problem!  Did you want more money? No problem again! As a special thanks to Melisseus, the king of Crete who helped hide young Zeus, the horn was given as a gift to his daughters.

Zeus went on to liberate his brothers and sisters by giving Cronus an herb that made him vomit them up.  They then battled Cronus and the other Titans in the underworld, Tartarus.  After overthrowing Cronus, Zeus was confronted with giants and the monster, Typhon, which he both defeated successfully.

The time had come for Zeus and his siblings to rule.  According to Greek Mythology, Zeus drew lots with his brothers Poseidon and Hades to let luck determine who would be king of the gods.  Zeus won the draw and became the ruler of the Earth and Sky. He was also considered the Lord of Mount Olympus, the highest mountain in Greece. Read more about Prophecy that started my Heaven & Earth Series in the Sea Archer the first book of my Heaven & Earth Saga and get the Quest, my interactive FREE book, to learn more about Zeus and some of the other gods.

Another Greek myth tells the story of Heracles (also known as the Roman demigod Hercules). He bestowed strength against the horned river god Achilles and brought it out of the horns to create a cornucopia.

The cornucopia is also associated with various Greek and Roman gods that represent harvest, prosperity, or spiritual abundance. Some of these deities are the incarnations of the earth, named Gaia or Terra. Other incarnations depict the children of Plutus, the sons of Demeter, the god of wealth, and the goddess of grain.

Even Hades, the god of the underworld, gives mortals agriculture, minerals, and spiritual wealth. In art, he is often depicted as holding a cornucopia.

Modern-day marketing is using many Greek mythology symbols. 21st Century has carried the symbolism of the horn of plenty. Large, flared bowls filled with fruits and vegetables are common in autumn decorations. The modern-day cornucopia is made of various materials, such as metal, wood, ceramics, stone, and the most common basket wicker. It can contain fruits, vegetables, nuts, grains, and bread, or leaves, flowers, or even cattails.

A little more about Dee’s Cornucopia:

Dee Walker can kick your ass. At least she thinks so and isn’t afraid to say it. A no-nonsense spark plug, Dee keeps everyone around her hopping. She meets fellow field hand, Arthur Taylor, and her colorful world becomes even brighter when she makes him an offer he can’t turn down.

However, this story of a bright explosion of color in a monochromatic world isn’t what you might imagine, as Dee’s life doesn’t exactly turn out like she thinks it will.

This novella is the life story of Dee Taylor, the feisty and eccentric grandmother of Finn in the Heaven & Earth series. Her bright colorful muumuu’s and big floppy hat are her trademarks and this story will tell you how it all began. She also has this little ability to see future developments. Oh, and commune with the greatest Greek family in history, but she just doesn’t know it… yet.

A peek between the pages:

“My God, it’s hotter than a billy goat’s ass in a pepper patch out there,” Dee announced as she entered the office furnished with the rich fragrance of leather, old wood, coffee, and tobacco smoke.

Her boss, Bert Norton, sat hunched at his desk, puffing on his ancient pipe. His gaze snapped to hers, and he gave the merest hint of a smile before frowning at her crass expression. The two fellows, also occupying the room, stood a little straighter at her appearance, but gave each other surreptitious glares. They wore identical uniforms of scarred leather boots, dusty work trousers and damp cotton shirts, right down to the sweat-stained field-hand hats squeezed together in their enormous fists.

“Ah, sorry?” Dee phrased it almost like a question and raised her eyebrows at all the testosterone in the small space.

“Deidre, please, take a seat.” Bert gestured to one of the broad wing-back chairs occupying the area in front of his desk.

The two imposing men shifted their weight from foot to foot in apparent agitation. If I sit in that chair, I’ll look weak. Possessing a vagina created enough of a disadvantage chasm already.

“Thanks, Mr. Norton, I’ll stand. No sense in giving anyone the upper hand, right?” she quipped and slapped her hands on her hips, shifting her own weight from side to side. The corner of her boss’s lips twitched, but he sighed, and they both looked over at the two workers.

Buy the book:

Amazon | B & N | Kobo

More about Jeny:

Jeny Heckman is the award-winning Paranormal and Fantasy Romance author of the Heaven & Earth series. Since her series debut in 2018, Jeny has captured the imagination and inspired the journey of readers worldwide.

Volume One, the Sea Archer, received the esteemed, “Best in Category” award from the 2018 Chanticleer International Book Awards for Paranormal Romance. Two years later, the Warrior’s Progeny also won “Best in Category” from the Chanticleer International Book Awards for the Fantasy Romance genre, as well as earned the Crown Heart of Excellence from InD’Tale Magazine. Her standalone Women’s Fiction novel, entitled Releasing the Catch, was a finalist in the Feathered Quill awards, likewise received in 2020.

Jeny loves working with her charities, which include Hospice of the Northwest, the Michael J. Fox Parkinson’s Foundation, the Seattle Children’s Hospital, and the American Cancer Society.

Jeny lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband of over twenty-eight years.

Where to find her:

Website | Amazon | Facebook | Twitter | Instagram | Pinterest | Goodreads | BookBub | Newsletter | AllAuthor | TikTok

Thanks for joining us today, Jeny. Wishing you all the best with Dee’s Cornucopia!

A New Release by Peggy Jaeger ~ A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: AIDEN

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I’m excited to welcome back Peggy Jaeger! Her upcoming release is the second book in the series A Pride of Brothers, and this time, Aiden Keane is the hero. His service dog also has a leading role in the story, and Peggy’s here to tell us all about her. Take it away, Peggy!

One of the main characters in A PRIDE OF BROTHERS: AIDEN is Bronte, Aiden’s service dog, a female chocolate Labrador who is more his best friend than anything else.

I wrote APOB:A in late 2019, early 2020 and did a great deal of research on training dogs, especially dogs trained as service animals and as military dogs. I knew that with Aiden’s issues, there may be some times he was too weak to speak, so when I read that the US Army requires their dogs to learn commands with a verbal cue, as well as a visual cue, such as a hand signal, I knew I needed Bronte and Aiden to communicate this way as well. It just makes sense.

The training that dogs go through when they serve in the military is intense. They train with their handles daily, for a minimum of 30 minutes at a time. This not only fosters obedience and recognition, but bonding as well. These dogs would – and do – give their lives over for their partners, just like any soldier would to a fellow comrade in arms.

Now, as serendipity would have it, in September of 2020, my husband and I adopted an 8-week-old chocolate lab we named Maple, since we live in New Hampshire. I trained Maple using verbal and nonverbal cues just like those military dogs. She’s up to about 30 commands now and I think it’s easier for her to remember the nonverbal hand gestures than it is for me!

More about Aiden’s story:

Lexi Buckley wants answers about her younger sister’s death. The police have labeled it a suicide, but Lexi doesn’t believe it. Stymied in her investigation, she doesn’t know where to turn next. After a chance encounter with a private investigator, she thinks her prayers have been answered.

Aiden Keane has never been an answer to a prayer before, but he agrees to help Lexi. A quirky combo of brains and beauty, the pixie blonde makes him feel things no professional ever should for a client.

When their investigation puts Lexi’s life in jeopardy, her safety becomes his number one priority. The hard part is not falling for her.

A peek between the pages:

Were you close with your sister?” Aiden asked.

Not the way we should have been. Not at the end.

“We had a sizable age difference between us. Almost ten years. I was the big sis. The oldest.” Her lips trembled when she pulled them into a sad line. Rolling her eyes she added, “The bossy one, according to her. She was the baby and took full advantage of her status from the moment she realized it.”

“And rightly so.” The corners of his eyes crinkled. “I’m the youngest of my brothers and I can tell you with one hundred percent honesty, my oldest brother is the bossiest one of us. I think it comes with birth order. Although he takes his so called right uber-seriously. Especially at work.”

This time her grin was steadier.  “What kind of business do you all own together?”

“We run a private security company.”

“Security?”

“Personal bodyguards, if a client needs protection from something. Background checks for employers. Mostly we do investigations.”

“What, like private eyes? Like on television?”

He laughed. “Nothing so glamorous. The fast cars and hot babes are all fantasy. It’s a lot of boring research, computer work, and surveillance, but yeah, you could say I’m a private eye.”

Lexi’s entire mood turned on his words. The sorrow flew, the hurt dissolved. Even her nervous trivia-speak went dormant. She sat bolt upright, her knees bumping against the tabletop when she shifted. Excitement shot from her system as she turned her body, placed a hand across his forearm and declared, “Oh, my God. You’re the answer to my prayers.”

Buy the book!

More about Peggy:

Peggy Jaeger writes contemporary romances and rom coms about strong women, the families who support them, and the men who can’t live without them.

Family and food play huge roles in Peggy’s stories because she believes there is nothing that holds a family structure together like sharing a meal…or two…or ten. Dotted with humor and characters that are as real as they are loving, Peggy brings all aspects of life into her stories: life, death, sibling rivalry, illness, and the desire for everyone to find their own happily ever after. Growing up the only child of divorced parents she longed for sisters, brothers and a family that vowed to stick together no matter what came their way. Through her books, she has created the families she wanted as that lonely child.

As a lifelong diarist, she caught the blogging bug early on, and you can visit her at peggyjaeger.com where she blogs daily about life, writing, and stuff that makes her go “What??!”

Where to find her:

Website | Twitter | Amazon | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads | Instagram | BookBub | YouTube

Thanks so much for joining us today, Peggy. Wishing you great success with the new book!

Read a Book a Month Giveaway

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This September, N. N. Light’s Book Heaven can help you unleash your inner reader. They’ve teamed up with over forty-five authors, and you could win free books–including hardcover, e-copy, and audiobooks–plus Amazon gift cards. As one of the participating authors, I’m offering a free e-copy of Return of the Raven as a prize.

Check out all the prizes here. If your heart is set on anything in particular, be sure to mention it when entering here. Good luck, everyone!

Fall into These Great Reads Bookathon

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Calling all readers! Are you looking for new books to dive into this autumn? We’re celebrating books from all genres at N. N. Light’s Book Heaven’s fourth annual FALL INTO THESE GREAT READS BOOKATHON. 35 books will be featured, and you’ll have a chance to win a $75 Amazon gift card.

I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. Return of the Raven, the final book in my medieval romance/time travel series, will be featured on September 8th. Wait until you read what inspired me to write my featured book, plus what I love about fall. You won’t want to miss it.

Bookmark this event and tell your friends:

https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/fall-into-these-great-reads-bookathon

Enter the giveaway here!

Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US account to win.

Runs September 1 – 30.

Drawing will be held on October 1st.

Good luck, and have a great September! 🙂

AS THE PAGE TURNS by Iona Morrison

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Today, I’m excited to feature Iona Morrison’s new release! As the Page Turns is her tenth Blue Cove Mystery. I loved the first book in the series, and I’ll soon begin the second. It may be a while before I get to this one, but I’m certain it’ll be another page-turner. Here’s the scoop on the story:

Peyton Reynolds has no idea that the gorgeous summer day she is enjoying is about to take a strange turn and embroil her and her boyfriend Jaxon Kincaid in another case. As the details emerge, it won’t take long for them to understand there is nothing normal about the murder Peyton has witnessed. An erratic suspect, a gathering of ghosts, and Peyton’s sudden disappearance will leave Jaxon scrambling for answers in the pages of a book left behind. They will have to think outside the box with help from the past to solve this one.

A peek between the pages:

Peyton awakened with a start. An odd scraping sound sent her imagination into overdrive. Was it outside? The scratching seemed loud enough to be coming from inside the cottage. Trying to focus in the dark, her eyes searched the room while she strained to hear the noise. The scraping sound came again. Nails on a chalkboard, tree branches against the cottage, or someone trying to force open a lock, back and forth it went, pausing only to begin again. She sat up quietly, swinging her legs over the side of the bed. Did Jessie hear it too? She reached for her phone. Slipping on her robe, she tiptoed over to the bedroom door to listen while reaching for a heavy vase on top of the dresser. “Ouch.” She heard Jessie yell out. Followed by something she couldn’t hear.

Without thinking Peyton opened the bedroom door and raced toward the lightened living room, ready to go to battle and save her cousin. Suddenly she was propelled backward when her body slammed hard into a solid object standing right in the way. The vase in her hand fell to the floor with a loud crash sending shards of glass in several directions. With the wind knocked out of her and no air to scream, she sprawled out helplessly on the floor imagining the worst. She was afraid to open her eyes.

Buy the book here!

About Iona:

I am a multi-published Amazon best selling author who writes romantic suspense with a touch of the paranormal. I enjoy writing fiction. The character development, their stories, and the twists and turns in the plot intrigue me. Once I let the characters loose, I can’t wait to see where they take me. I’m hooked from the first words on the paper, and I have to keep writing to see how the story ends. Layer by layer I build it until I come to the happy conclusion. I live in Colorado with my husband and family. I am a member of the RMFWPAL (Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers Published Authors League) and The Colorado Author’s League. I have enjoyed becoming involved in my community as one of the many authors living in Colorado. I invite you to read one of my Blue Cove Mysteries and see for yourself why Blue Cove is a special and unusual place.

Wishing you all the best with the book, Iona! 🙂

Binge-Worthy Book Festival ~ THE CAULDRON STIRRED

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Celebrate your love of reading all month long with N. N. Light’s Book Heaven’s Binge-Worthy Book Festival. Today, The Cauldron Stirred is a featured title, and I’ll be talking about the first binge-worthy book I ever read. Join in the fun here!

You can enter the giveaway here. Remember, if you buy one of the featured books, you’ll get 5 bonus entries. The winner will be chosen on September 1. Good luck!

DRAGONS WALK AMONG US by Dan Rice

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Today, I’m excited to welcome Dan Rice, whose recent release, Dragons Walk Among Us, has garnered some great reviews! He’s here to tell us all about this young adult fantasy, writing, publishing, promo, and the second book in the series. Take it away, Dan!

I often read the advice for authors that the best career move is to write the next book. Lately, along with all the promotional work to launch my debut Dragons Walk Among Us, I’ve been hammering away at the next installment of Allison Lee’s adventures. Although I readily admit it may prove a pipe dream, my goal is to have book two in The Allison Lee Chronicles turned in to my editor by December of this year––fingers crossed!

Before having Dragons Walk Among Us picked up by The Wild Rose Press, I had been drafting an epic fantasy. I continued working on that book while at the same time incorporating feedback from my editor on Dragons Walk Among Us. About the time I finished correcting the initial galley––the galley is the document sent to the printer––I gleefully realized that I hadn’t been dreaming; I actually had a book coming out! Hopefully, the first book in a four or five-book series. I knew the time was right to set aside the epic fantasy, despite having written 60,000 words or more, and start writing the further adventures of Allison Lee.

I quickly outlined the plot for book two and started writing. At the same time, I was correcting the final galley of Dragons Walk Among Us and trying to unravel the secret of “promo”. As best I can tell, like many things in life, the secret to promoting your writing is diligently putting in the time and effort, just like when you’re crafting a story. With my debut released only two short weeks ago, I’m a hair over 60,000 words into the second book. I’m shooting for approximately a 90,000-word novel, so I have about a third left to write. Sometimes I feel like I will easily make my December goal, but then I remember the numerous hours I will spend at the editorial chopping block hacking the first draft into a manuscript worthy of submission.

With any luck, readers who enjoy Dragons Walk Among Us will read Allison Lee’s continuing exploits next summer. She will travel from the rain-soaked streets of Seattle to sun-drenched islands in Southeast Asia to encounter mystery, magic, and creatures ripped straight out of the myth.

More about Dragons Walk Among Us:

Shutterbug Allison Lee is trying to survive high school while suffering the popular girl’s abuse. Her life is often abysmal, but at least her green hair is savage. Her talent for photography is recognized by the school paper and the judges of a photo contest.

While visiting her friend Joe, a homeless vet, Allison’s life irrevocably changes after an attack leaves her blind. All her dreams as a photojournalist are dashed as she realizes she’ll never see again. Despair sets in until she is offered an experimental procedure to restore her vision. But there are side effects, or are they hallucinations? She now sees dragons accompanying some of the people she meets. Can she trust her eyes, or has the procedure affected her more than she can see?

A peek between the pages:

Biting my lower lip, I cross the threshold into the room. To my left, I see the glittering scales of a gargantuan golden dragon with its leathery green wings pressed tight against its sides. The beast shimmers and fades in and out of existence. One second the serpentine neck looms overhead to nearly touch the vaulted ceiling and in the next second fades away. The same is true for the rest of the serpent’s body.

There is a click, and a desk lamp flares to life. I breathe in sharply and hop in place. Sitting in a chair at the table, bathed in the lamplight, is Dr. Radcliffe. His elbows are propped up on the table, and his hands are steepled.

“Ah, Allison Lee,” Dr. Radcliffe says and checks a golden wristwatch. “You, young lady, have an impeccable sense of time, so unlike most of your generation.”

I gulp, only barely registering what he just said to me. I gawp at his draconic companion.

“Well, Allison, you want to talk to me. Here I am.”

“Why…why is there a translucent dragon looming over you?” I stutter and fumble with my sling bag’s zipper.

“Hmmm,” he says and, placing his fingertips against the table, stands. “A fascinating question. Do I take that to mean that you do not know what I am?”

“How would I know what you are?” I get hold of the zipper and start opening the bag.

Dr. Radcliffe, lips forming a hard, grim line, marches around from behind the table and approaches me. The dragon that almost seems to project from him follows, a forefoot that should crush the table passing through the wood as though insubstantial.

My hand wraps around the barrel of my camera lens. I hear a door slam from outside in the atrium. Good. My friends have arrived. Even if I can’t get a shot off, they will. Dr. Radcliffe stops in front of me and places a hand that feels very human against my hand that holds the camera lens.

“Now, now, Allison. I think it is best if you come with me, my dear. Your friends in the hall. They will come also.” He sniffs me, like a predator scenting prey. “Odd. I do not recognize your scent.”

“You’re sniffing me? You sicko! I’m not going anywhere with you.”

I pull away, but he clenches my wrist. His grip is shockingly strong for a spindly old man.

Buy the book:

Amazon | B & N | Apple

More about Dan:

Dan has wanted to write novels since first reading Frank Herbert’s Dune at the age of eleven. A native of the Pacific Northwest, he often goes hiking with his family through mist-shrouded forests and along alpine trails with expansive views.

Dragons Walk Among Us is his debut novel. He plans to keep writing fantasy and science-fiction for many years. You can explore his blog at https://www.danscifi.com.

Where to find him:

Twitter | Facebook | BookBub | Instagram

Thanks so much for joining us today, Dan. Wishing you all the best and continued success with Dragons Walk Among Us!

Binge-Worthy Book Festival

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Calling all readers! Feed your book addiction with the Binge-Worthy Book Festival at N. N. Light’s Book Heaven. 41 books featured, plus a chance to win a $75 Amazon gift card.

I’m thrilled to be a part of this event. The Cauldron Stirred, the first book of my young adult series, will be featured on August 9.

I’ll even talk about the first binge-worthy book I ever read. You won’t want to miss it. Bookmark this get-together and tell your friends:

https://www.nnlightsbookheaven.com/binge-worthy-book-festival

Open internationally. You must have a valid Amazon US account to win.

Runs through August 31.

Drawing will be held on September 1.

An important tip: if you buy a book featured in the festival, you’ll get 5 bonus entries into the giveaway. Best of luck!