Friday, November 30, 2018

Spotlight-Excerpt & Giveaway: PLAINS OF EXODUS by Robert J. Burnett

Plains of Exodus Tour Graphic
Genre: Science Fiction
Publisher: Azure Spider Publications
Publication Date: October 31, 2018
As refugees in a vast sprawling empire, mankind must find and fight for a new homeland after Earth's destruction. Plains of Exodus chronicles this epic struggle.
Mankind's first contact with an extraterrestrial species didn't exactly go well. The inadvertent destruction of the Earth saw a call go out to the vast and ancient empire for help. Despite the quick response to this plea for aid, the remnants of humanity find themselves refugees in an overcrowded galaxy and at the mercy of an empire whose existence predates mankind's own existence.
Unwanted and unwelcome, humanity languishes in a dozen massive colony ships around an energy poor star.
As a young smuggler Jonah Mctier is one of those fortunate few who has access to this millennia old realm, and it is he who after fleeing a triad of imperial cruisers discovers the answer to mankind's dilemma.
In desperation Jonah finds refuge in a parsecs deep dust cloud where he discovers not only a habitable and empty planetary system but one of the most sought after resources in the Milky Way: a spatial conduit. Except this is no ordinary conduit.
Exploitation of this unique and unknown type of spatial gateway offers an alternative to the slow but inevitable descent into extinction for the children of Adam. Key to this bright future is the need to keep their phenomenal find a secret from the resource hungry empire who would take this discovery for themselves and themselves alone.
To complicate matters Jonah discovers that there is more than one of these gateways, and for humanity to be successful in their quest mankind must hold and eventually destroy all of these rare portals.

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Jonah didn’t hear.  He was staring at the two birds atop the four conjoined thrones. “Are they alive?” He asked, unsure whether the unmoving birds were alive or simply another of the fantastic pieces of art.
“In a sense,” Enselkar turned his own gaze to the twin birds.
The two birds, butter yellow in hue, were about the size of the eagles Jonah had come across in the databases of old Earth.  The sharp beaks were black and the opened eyes a bright emerald green, the alien necks long and sinuous.  They were as still as the other statues and sculptures in the throne room, but so alive-looking that he felt sure one or both of the beautiful birds might take flight any moment and give cry.
“What do you mean?” He asked, never taking his eyes off the animals atop the impossibly dark thrones.
“They were of a time long ago,” the deep voice had taken on the lilt of someone who was telling an oft told story, and Jonah looked to the older alien, “and the Chidar took up the scepter of Empire for the first time in their history.  The son of the new Emperor had been a courageous and famous explorer even before his sire took up the imperial scepter.”
Jonah stared at the birds—half expecting to find them in a different position—and back to the Taarkylan whose gnarled hand rested on the throne’s dark material. “The Chidar prince had discovered the black hole which now anchors the Palka conduit, and for reasons still unknown to this day his ship had become ensnared by that incredible gravity well.  
“A massive response went out to his distress call, but by the time help was to arrive the prince and his ship had become dangerously close to the event horizon.  Too close for any conventional rescue attempt.”
The major-domo stole a glance at the birds before continuing. “A ship outfitted by the Emperor himself had been equipped with one of the experimental matter translators, and although the technology was in its infancy it was decided to try a last ditch rescue using this unproven science.  
“With the ship seconds away from the event horizon, the translator was employed and as you can see it was successful.  Not in the hoped for manner but successful nonetheless.  These birds you see above you were the companions of that long ago prince, and they arrived before the ship was lost.”
Fascinated, Jonah asked again, “And are they alive?”
“Yes,” the major-domo answered, looking with an odd reverence at the still animals, “but not in a contemporary sense.  It is speculated that the birds either touched or came too close to the event horizon and now remain in this temporal fugue.  
“Incredible,” Jonah said.
“Indeed.” The major-domo said. “Legend and recorded history has it the birds awaken when those of great import pass before them.  I have seen the holo images of honored Tampay’s summons to the Emperor some sixty thousand years ago after that Taarkylan’s discovery of the fourth and last great conduit, the twin to that Palka wormhole found by the lost prince.  
“This one,” and Enselkar pointed to the nearest frozen creature, “stirred enough to flap wings once and cry harshly.”
Motionless movement.  The words seemed contradictory, but the paired hunters were exactly that: a surging frenetic motion of atoms and energy frozen into static stillness.  The magnificent creature Enselkar indicated was caught with its long muscled neck craned about as if in the act of preening itself, and the other identical bird had its powerful wings outstretched and its beak partially open.  
A small shiver of superstitious dread chased over Jonah’s flesh as he imagined the bird’s cry of honor.
“We must go now,” the major-domo turned away from the throne and unmoving birds.
Jonah was about to turn away when a great shriek tore through the stillness of the enormous pyramid.  He had a brief glimpse of the first bird whose partially opened beak suddenly widened to allow that single terrible call peal forth.  
The shock nearly tore a scream from his own throat, and a harsh deep cry erupted from his companion as the Taarkylan stumbled against him.
Heart hammering and adrenaline flooding through his body, Jonah made a grab for the elderly major-domo and caught the alien before he fell from the raised dais upon which the multiple thrones sat.  Then they were both staring in a mixture of awed horror and wonder at the again motionless creatures.
The harsh angles of the face turned to him—the skin a bloodless mask upon which the tattoos stood out like carvings within stone. “Get out,” Enselkar gasped, amethyst eyes wide with wonder.

Tour Schedule

November 19 - December 1, 2018
Visit each tour stop daily and discover more features, excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and more! For more information, visit the Plains of Exodus Book Page at Book Unleashed.
Plains of Exodus Tour Graphic

About Robert J. Burnett

After crisscrossing the country on more than one occasion, Robert J. Burnett and his wife Louise are currently living in northern British Colombia where they hope each day that they won't be burnt up in the massive fires ravaging the province. Coming a close second to these fears are the worries about being eaten by bears. Mosquitoes scare him too.
Rob's favourite religion is Christianity, but he's never met a druid or a pagan he didn't like. That said, he doesn't like them if they're smelly. Same with bears.
His fondest wish is to be abducted by aliens and taken to their home-world where he will miraculously return to his mid-twenties and be given super powers.
His music likes could be said to be a bit eclectic, ranging from classical to Celtic, especially those composed by non-smelly druids or pagans.
Voted in high school as most likely to lose all his teeth before sixty, he can proudly state that this has not happened as he still retains twelve. It is this ferocious smile, he believes, that scare off most bears.
Today he lives a productive life of non-work, listening to Ancient Astronaut and Hangar 51 shows, a hobby he has cultivated in his expectation of being abducted and taken off-planet. At least he won't lose his job for failing to show up for work.
As a father to four sons, Rob fervently hopes that all his children will breed and produce offspring who in their turn will support him in his dotage.


Plains of Exodus Giveaway Graphic
Prizes up for grabs:
A FREE print copy of Plains of Exodus
* Mailing address should not be PMB or PO Box
* US only
Contest runs from November 6 - December 1, 2018.

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Thursday, November 29, 2018

Book Review: BETTER NOT POUT by Annabeth Albert


Better Not Pout

Author: Annabeth Albert

Pages: 288
Genre: Contemporary Romance, Male/Male, Holiday
Imprint: Carina Press
On-sale Date: November 12, 2018 (ebook), November 27, 2018 (MMP) 

Buy Links


One hard-nosed military police officer.

One overly enthusiastic elf.

One poorly timed snowstorm.

Is it a recipe for disaster? Or a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for holiday romance?

Teddy MacNally loves Christmas and everything that goes along with it. When he plays an elf for his charity’s events, he never expects to be paired with a Scrooge masquerading as Santa Claus. His new mission: make the holiday-hating soldier believe he was born to say ho-ho-ho.

Sergeant Major Nicholas Nowicki doesn’t do Santa, but he’s army to his blood. When his CO asks an unusual favor, Nick of course obliges. The elf to his Kris Kringle? Tempting. Too tempting—Nick’s only in town for another month, and Teddy’s too young, too cheerful and too nice for a one-night stand.

The slow, sexy make-out sessions while Teddy and Nick are alone and snowbound, though, feel like anything but a quick hookup. As a stress-free holiday fling turns into Christmas all year round, Teddy can’t imagine his life without Nick. And Nick’s days on the base may be coming to a close, but he doesn’t plan on leaving anything, or anyone, behind.

Carra's Review

Better Not Pout was a bit of sweet mixed with a lot of hot and steamy, set with characters that are both opposites attract and age gap in a holiday romance…so there’s plenty to like about the story.  You know, besides the fact that it’s written by one of my favorite go-to authors.

Nick is your classic military guy, about to retire after almost thirty years of service.  He’s pretty straight-laced, serious, and law abiding…with a soft spot to help that we get to see come out when it comes to kids in need.  Teddy is super-sweet, upbeat, and has a positive outlook.  He comes from a huge, close-knit family—but even so, he has something in common with Nick…they’re both a bit lonely for personal companionship.  Though when Nick first meets Teddy he tries to keep his distance, Teddy quickly grows on him and I liked seeing how Teddy softened Nick up and got him to relax.

Nick only means for things with Teddy to be temporary since Nick’s leaving town once he retires from the military, so when those pesky feeling become involved, that’s where much of the conflict is introduced.  I could feel that bit of slight disconnect between them with Nick trying to keep Teddy in the “temporary” category in his mind, even with their intimate scenes being as scorching as they were.

I liked the small town setting, and the cast of supporting characters was strong.  I did have some odd pictures in my head thanks to Teddy and Nick being in their Santa and elf costumes for certain scenes that were a mix of jolly old Santa Claus with an elf on a shelf being naughty together…

This story was a 4-star read for me, that other star needed that disconnect to disappear and for Nick to be a bit more open to a relationship with Teddy—but Better Not Pout is still a great holiday romance regardless.  This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language (oh-so-sweet Teddy can have quite the dirty mouth LOL) and steamy sexual content.

About the Author

Annabeth Albert grew up sneaking romance novels under the bed covers. Now, she devours all subgenres of romance out in the open—no flashlights required! When she’s not adding to her keeper shelf, she’s a multi-published Pacific Northwest romance writer. Emotionally complex, sexy, and funny stories are her favorites both to read and to write. Her critically acclaimed and fan-favorite LGBTQ romance series include the #OutOfUniform, #Gaymers, #PortlandHeat, #RainbowCove and #PerfectHarmony series.

To find out what she’s working on next and other fun extras, check out her website: or connect with Annabeth on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Spotify! Also, be sure to sign up for her newsletter for free ficlets, bonus reads, and contests. The fan group, Annabeth’s Angels, on Facebook is also a great place for bonus content and exclusive contests. 


New Release-Excerpt & Giveaway: HOME FOR CHRISTMAS by RJ Scott (A Texas Story)

Buy Links: 

Length: 45,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Meredith Russell

Texas Series

Book #1 - The Heart of Texas - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #2 - Texas Winter - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #3 - Texas Heat - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #4 - Texas Family - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #5 - Texas Christmas - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #6 - Texas Fall - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #7 - Texas Wedding - Amazon US | Amazon UK

Book #8 - Texas Gift - Amazon US | Amazon UK


Can Connor show River a real family Christmas?

When Connor finds River on the roof of the campus admin building, he doesn’t know what to do. His friend is drunk, and shouting into a snowstorm, a bottle of vodka in his hand. The easy part is getting River down; the hard part is insisting River comes home with Connor for Christmas.

River doesn’t have a family, or any place outside of college that he calls home. Not that it matters to him; he’s happy being alone for Christmas in his budget motel, watching reruns of Elf. Only, Connor keeps telling wildly improbable stories of the perfect family celebrations at his parents’ ranch in Texas, and it’s wearing River down. He didn’t ask to be kidnapped. He didn’t want to fall in love with the entire Campbell-Hayes family. But he does.

From one Christmas to the next. This is Connor’s year to rescue River, and himself, for them both to mess things up, make things right, fall in lust and finally, for Connor to show the man he loves what being part of a family can mean.


Chapter 1

Connor skidded to a stop.

The cold December wind whipped around his face, ice and snow knifing into his skin, and at first, he couldn’t make sense of what he was seeing.

Maybe he should have stopped, called 911, shouted for help, but it could’ve been too late, so he’d acted on instinct alone. He’d taken the four flights of stairs at a run, reaching the roof and throwing the door open. His lungs burned from the freezing air and his voice had gone. What now?

Why was River on the roof in nothing but jeans and a T-shirt, clearly drunk? Why was he standing on the ledge, his feet spread, his arms wide, and a bottle of vodka in his hand?

When the girl from his floor told him she’d seen River go up to the roof, he thought she’d meant something else. He often went up there to read or watch life go by. But not in a snow storm.

He didn’t expect to see River standing on the ledge in the snow.

Don’t scare him. He’ll stumble and fall. He might jump.

A gust of air slapped Connor. River swayed to the left but righted himself with the casual grace of a gymnast. River wouldn’t fall by accident. Hell, Connor had seen him balance on one hand on a diving board, perfectly still, before falling gracefully and accurately with spins and pikes into the water below. He’d never seen River falter.

“River?” Connor asked, only an inch from grabbing River’s shirt and holding him tight. He saw River tense, but he didn’t wobble in surprise or slip and fall to the ground.

“I can balance. Look at me.” River sounded so damn proud of himself.

Connor took a small step forward, finally being able to hold River’s shirt, hoping to hell that would be enough to stop River from falling.

“Come down, buddy.”

River lifted the bottle over his head, sloshing alcohol over his hair, his tongue flicking out to catch any that ran over his face.

“F*ck,” he shouted.

Connor tugged at him, not knowing what else to do. “Come back,” he said, loud enough that River actually looked at him.

“Leave me alone,” he said.

“I’m not leaving you on the roof,” Connor snapped and got a better hold of River, hooking a finger into his belt. River wasn’t a big guy, a diver’s body, no more than five ten and a buck sixty soaking wet, but if he fell, would Connor be able to hold him long enough to save him?

River pulled against Connor’s grip, and for a second the world stopped turning as Connor had to use his entire body weight to keep him upright. Something about the action must have scared River. He cursed and rocked backward, but he still wouldn’t come down.

“Come down,” Connor pleaded. “You’re scaring me.”

“You think you gotta save me? Huh?” River threw his arms wide again, more alcohol sloshing over the top of the bottle. “I don’t need saving.”

“I want you to come down.” Connor tried for calm. What was he doing? He should have called the cops immediately when he spotted River. Or firefighters, negotiators? Or whoever the hell should’ve been here. He’d seen things like this on the television, the mediator knowing all the right things to say and do, standing by River and connecting him to his family or childhood or his faith. All Connor knew was that he needed to pull River down, use the only thing he had going for him; the fact that he was bigger and stronger.

“I like it up here!” River explained with another wide gesture. He wobbled a little but righted himself immediately.

“Come down, Riv.”

“Saint Connor tries to save everyone,” River shouted, ending with a hysterical laugh. He was clearly losing control of himself, and even if Connor did have the words to talk him down, he thought maybe he’d just yank River back onto the concrete roof of the building and worry about injuries later.

But River wasn’t finished. “Even if they don’t need saving!”


“Who the hell cares if I can balance, huh?”

“I care,” Connor shouted back. This was so out of character.

“Yeah, right, telling me what Christmas and family is like for you, making me see it in my head, and then leaving me here alone.”

“River, please.” Connor tugged him, but River wouldn’t move back.

“Leaving me here, alone, because that’s all anyone ever does. They f*ck off, leave me, and what happens when college is over, huh? What happens when I lose that?” He lifted one clenched fist to the sky. “F*ck you!”

Connor had never heard River curse like this, and he was done with holding on to him. So evaluating where they would end up if they fell backward and not caring how much it hurt, he yanked, hard. River tumbled with him, arms flailing and the vodka bottle slipping from his grasp and falling into the tub of snow-covered plants on the roof patio. The two of them fell onto the roof, Connor using his body to cushion River’s descent, getting his arms full of an icy cold man, the breath forced from his lungs when they hit the ground.

Connor enveloped him in his arms and locked his hands in place, fighting a frozen, wet, drunk River. He wouldn’t get free. Connor had his pappa’s height, a rancher’s build, and he was a solid anchor in the wind and snow. There was no point in River fighting, and somehow he must have realized he couldn’t get free and went still in Connor’s arms.

All Connor could think was that he’d wanted River back in his arms for a long time now, but he’d expected soft lighting and mood music, not driving winds and snow.

“What the hell are you doing?” Connor demanded.

“Let me the f*ck go.”

“Jesus, are you trying to kill yourself?”

River attempted to wriggle free. Connor’s grip didn’t falter in his hold. With his arms securely around River, he shuffled them back so they were protected by the low wall. He wanted to get them back inside, but he wasn’t ready to let River go yet, and the door was at least ten feet away. What if River wriggled free and ran for the ledge? The idea of River on the ground, twisted in death, blood… Connor didn’t want to think about it. He opened his coat, one-handed, and then pulled River closer, trying to get as much of the material to go over him, attempting to keep them both warm. River’s skin was like ice. How long had he been standing up there?

“What were you doing?” he demanded, but River didn’t reply, only burrowed deeper into Connor’s hold. This was stupid. He needed to get them off the roof, or he needed help. His phone was in the car. The campus was emptying for Christmas. It was ten a.m., snowing. What the hell was he going to do now?

“I have no one,” River muttered, then laughed and buried his face deeper.

“What do you mean? Talk to me, River.”


“We need to get inside.”

How the hell do I get River inside?

He imagined struggling with River’s weight, trying to get him down four flights of stairs and across to his room. Maybe if he could just get him to the car, with its heated seats and the warm air blower and the coffee in a flask that Connor had made for the start of his journey back to Dallas. Then he could call someone, the cops or a doctor? That seemed like a plan, a focus. He scrambled to his feet, bringing River with him, and stumbled inside. As soon as the door shut, warmth hit them, prickling at his exposed skin, and he moved toward the radiator, still gripping River’s belt. He let go of him long enough to remove his jacket and place it around the shivering man’s shoulders.

River buried himself in the coat, and Connor went into disaster assessment mode. He’d seen hypothermia back home at the D, and it wasn’t pretty. He remembered his pappa saying there were signs to look for, and when Jack spoke, Connor always listened. He pulled up the facts he could remember. Did River have hypothermia? His teeth weren’t chattering, and he wasn’t talking at all, so it wasn’t obvious if he was slurring. Then, even if he did talk and his speech was slurry, how could Connor tell how much vodka he’d drunk? Connor tried to remember the symptoms. The college hospital wasn’t far away. He could drive there, and they would help.

Why the hell did I leave my phone in the damned car?

“It’s okay. I’m okay.”

“No, you’re not.”

“You can go,” River said dully. He wriggled closer to the radiator.

“I’m not going anywhere.”

“But you are,” River murmured. “You kissed me, you got me off, and now you’re leaving today.” Then he hid his face in his hands. “Sh*t, sh*t, sh*t.”

Wait. Was this about what happened at the thanksgiving party?

Is this my fault?

Connor didn’t usually drink that much, but he’d had one beer too many at the party, to the point where he had all the courage he needed to wait for River to come out of the bathroom.

“Can I kiss you?” he’d asked, and River had stared at him, stone-cold sober and narrow-eyed.

But then, holy sh*t, River had pushed him back into the nearest bedroom, shut the door, and the kiss had turned into something more, hands tangled in hair, the two of them kissing and rutting against each other until they were coming in their jeans. Really unromantic. Nothing more than getting off, and River had left before Connor could even get his breath back. Not the best of outcomes. Then River had ignored him. Not returning texts, no more study sessions in the library, and he’d even missed the last lecture of the semester.

All of that told Connor on thing: River wasn’t interested in anything more with him. But that didn’t mean they weren’t still friends. They sat in silence for a few minutes, River’s face still buried in his hands, and he was clearly crying.

What the hell should I do now?

USA Today bestselling author RJ Scott writes stories with a heart of romance, a troubled road to reach happiness, and most importantly, a happily ever after.

RJ Scott is the author of over one hundred romance books, writing emotional stories of complicated characters, cowboys, millionaire, princes, and the men who get mixed up in their lives. RJ is known for writing books that always end with a happy ever after. She lives just outside London and spends every waking minute she isn’t with family either reading or writing.

The last time she had a week’s break from writing she didn’t like it one little bit, and she has yet to meet a bottle of wine she couldn’t defeat.

She’s always thrilled to hear from readers, bloggers and other writers. Please contact via the links below:

Email RJ | Facebook | Twitter | BookBub | Instagram | Pinterest


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Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Review & Giveaway: CROSSROADS by Garrett Leigh (A Skins Novella)

Buy Links: 

Exclusive to Amazon and Available to borrow in Kindle Unlimited.

Cover Design: Garrett Leigh @ Black Jazz Design

Skins Series

Book #1 - Dream - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #2 - Whisper - Amazon US | Amazon UK
Book #3 - Believe - Amazon US | Amazon UK


Angelo Giordano and Dylan Hart are more in love than ever, but their reality is far from ideal. With Dylan working in London, and Angelo recovering from chronic illness in Cornwall, they rarely spend more than few nights under the same sky.

Dylan is struggling. Being apart from Angelo is killing him, and he’s at the end of his rope. Angelo can’t live in London anymore, but can Dylan give up his whole life and move to a place that often feels like the end of the world?

As the end of a tough year approaches, they reach a crossroads. Dylan returns to Cornwall for Christmas and Angelo can’t imagine watching him leave again. Can the love that surrounds them on Whisper Farm show them the way home?

Carra's Review

As far as this author’s books go, Crossroads is on the light side, though I wouldn’t go so far as to say fluffy.  Angst is still present, if at a decidedly lower level as Angelo and Dylan try to figure out a way to resolve the issue of where they each live and how to make that work.  That kind of festers in the background of this book most of the way through.

The other couples from this series are present here, mostly as supporting characters, though one set gets an extra happy ending of their own (that kind of pops up out of nowhere in the middle of things here) while another shares a hot and steamy scene that I’d label as a voyeuristic foursome with Dylan and Angelo.

Angelo and Dylan’s problem is solved in the end, though to me it felt like things were wrapped up with that pretty quickly where the buildup over the course of this story didn’t match the fast resolution presented at the end.   This book didn’t flow as well for me as the others in this series did, and I did find my mind wandering quite a few times which is not the norm for me with this author’s stories.

Crossroads was a 3-star read for me, and I think fans of this series will enjoy getting to see all the guys again.  You really should have read the other books in the series first before starting this one; at the absolutely minimum you should have read Dream for all of Angelo and Dylan’s background or you’ll probably feel lost.  This book is meant for readers 18+ for adult language and sexual content.

About the Author

Garrett Leigh is an award-winning British writer and book designer, currently working for Dreamspinner Press, Loose Id, Riptide Publishing, and Fox Love Press.

Garrett's debut novel, Slide, won Best Bisexual Debut at the 2014 Rainbow Book Awards, and her polyamorous novel, Misfits was a finalist in the 2016 LAMBDA awards.

When not writing, Garrett can generally be found procrastinating on Twitter, cooking up a storm, or sitting on her behind doing as little as possible, all the while shouting at her menagerie of children and animals and attempting to tame her unruly and wonderful FOX.

Garrett is also an award winning cover artist, taking the silver medal at the Benjamin Franklin Book Awards in 2016. She designs for various publishing houses and independent authors at, and co-owns the specialist stock site with photographer Dan Burgess.


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New Release & Giveaway: OLD ACQUAINTANCE by Annabelle Jacobs

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Length: 50,000 words approx.
Cover Design: Natasha Snow


There are two sides to every story, even those buried in the past.

When Sam spots the hot guy moving in next door, he’s all for going round to introduce himself. That soon changes when it turns out his new neighbour is in fact an old school acquaintance, Charles Whitmore. Sam didn’t like him back then, and fifteen years haven’t altered that.

Splitting up from his long-term boyfriend means a move across the city for Charlie. As luck would have it, his immediate neighbour is a guy he went to school with, Sam Gellar. While Sam is less than welcoming, his best mate is more than happy to invite Charlie into their social circle. Whatever problem Sam has with Charlie, Charlie resolves to get to the bottom of it, because, frosty beginnings aside, Charlie likes him.

With Christmas just around the corner, fate thrusts them together, and they get on so much better than they ever did at school. Despite his efforts not to, Sam develops feelings for Charlie, and they appear to be reciprocated. If Sam wants to take things further he needs to either confront Charlie about their past--a past Charlie seems to have forgotten entirely--or let it go and move on. Sam knows deep down that he can’t let it go, but it never seems the right time to bring it up. Until it is.

About the Author

Annabelle Jacobs lives in the South West of England with three rowdy children, and two cats. An avid reader of fantasy herself for many years, Annabelle now spends her days writing her own stories. They're usually either fantasy or paranormal fiction, because she loves building worlds filled with magical creatures, and creating stories full of action and adventure. Her characters may have a tough time of it—fighting enemies and adversity—but they always find love in the end.


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Spotlight-Excerpt & Giveaway: GREEN TUNICS OF NOON by Victoria Lynn Osborne (The Great Warm Saga #2)

Green  Tunics of Noon Tour Graphic
Series: The Great Wyrm Saga Book 2
Genre: Epic Fantasy
Publisher: Azure Spider Publications
Publication Date: October 1, 2018
Will the daughter of prophecy prevail?
The Daughter of Prophecy has joined with her Regalta. Jarvis's ships have conquered the lands of men. Now the islands of men are enshrouded in darkness stunting the growth of plants and animals. Supplies flow from Jarvis's islands, but are they safe? Monsters fill the villages and cities. Are they mutated cannibals of the once peaceful fishermen?
Meanwhile in the land of the syln, Jarvis launches an attack on their biggest food producing island. His new allies pour in, ones that are immune to syln magic. Jarvis struggles to deal with the implications of these supernatural beings.
Can Levet turn the tide against the dragons, or is she hampered by crippling headaches every time she has to defend herself?
Cindar lays eggs by the dozens and already the islands are filled with new terrors. Dragons are appearing on all islands, harassing their defenders or learning from the citizens.
Don't miss the next exciting book in the Great Wyrm Saga.

Purchase Links


Reykjavik Airport was deserted when the United Airlines jet landed. Dave and Father Conrad disembarked.
“We need to go to an ancient Viking worship circle,” Father Conrad had told him on the plane. “There should be enough residual energy there to activate a portal.”
“Why Viking?” Dave asked.
“Because they were the last of the pagans. This dimension is pagan, and we need to access the energies.”
“Doesn’t God deny the worship of false gods? Don’t you believe there is only one God?”
Father Conrad shrugged. “We are a complex people. Even the Church had to admit that certain pagan sites had power. In fact, several pagan gods were made into saints. These days, we acknowledge the energy. Or at least, my order does.”
A black SUV pulled into the passenger loading and unloading zone. Two men in black suits with dark sunglasses approached them. They had thick blond hair and were tall.
“Father Conrad, Detective Dobrowski. Welcome to Iceland.”
The two Americans looked at each other. “Who are you?” Father Conrad asked.
“We are from the council enforcers. We have heard of your mission and are here to help.”
“You know of our mission?”
The big men laughed hearty laughs. “Even in our small country we have heard of Firemountain. We are here to help.”
“What do you know of Iceland?” Dave whispered to Father Conrad.
“That in the year one thousand AD they voted to become Christian. That is why their pagan sites still retain so much power. They were not taken over.”
“We need to go to an old pagan site.” Dave leaned over the back seat. “We need to open a portal.”
“We know just the place, though there are not many who can summon that much power.”
“Do you have any grimoires or tomes from before, when your people were still pagan?”
“We saved them in libraries. I can take you to the archives. Maybe you can find your ritual there first.”
The country of Iceland was surprisingly green, and tall mountains surrounded lush, fertile valleys. In the distance, the volcano glowed, and hot springs warmed the waters.
The archives were housed in a modern building. Huge glass windows looked over a view of the ocean. “Welcome to the archives.”
“Most archives are kept in old vaults,” Father Conrad commented. “Why the modern building?”
“To protect the manuscripts. It is important that we stay ahead of the times.”
They entered the great glass building. Inside, it was divided into sections kept in low light and low oxygen to avoid degeneration.
“Here are the tomes that you are looking for. They are written in Old Norse. We have one of our students willing to help you translate.”
The room was cool and dry. They punched the code into the regulator to increase the flow of oxygen. The student was about thirty years old with a shock of bright red hair and green eyes.
“I think this is the book that you need.” He pulled out a tome and took it over to the desk. Wearing linen gloves, he opened the ancient tome.
“You said you saw a library? That could only be the Library of Celeon. Well, not the only place, but more than likely. Here it is.” The student examined the pages of the tome. “Ah, we need to go to pagan site thirty-three seven. Apparently, during the latter part of the tenth century, they needed to go there.”
“Can you perform the ritual?” Conrad asked, peering over the student’s shoulder.
“No, I am just a student of languages. I think I might be able to help you out, though. My roommate is a runemaster.”
“What is a runemaster?” Dave asked.
“Well, they are special men that have the ability to manipulate runes. They belong to a secret organization. I know because, well, I have seen him work. They often hide in plain sight.”
He took out his cell phone and punched in a few numbers.
“Brian, Joel here. We need your assistance at site thirty-three seven. Yes, two men from Firemountain need your help.”
Joel transcribed the ritual and carefully put the book back in the case. Before they left the archives, he lowered the lights, temperature, and oxygen.
The two officials were having coffee at a local café when the three of them left the archives.
“We need to get my roommate. He is the only one I know who can open the gate.”
“We need to go to Celeon and rescue the woman and the child.” Joel gave directions and the black SUV pulled out into traffic.
Brian was a tall, pleasant man who wore a button-down Oxford shirt and a tan sports coat with dark brown patches on the elbows.
He had a leather messenger bag slung over his shoulder. He grinned an easy grin as he got into the SUV.
They left Reykjavik and went deeper into the valleys of the mountains. As they left the city, the urban sprawl gave way to rolling farmlands of winter barley and cattle. 
They soon left the paved roads and bounced along a dirt track. They stopped when they approached a chain stretched across the road. There was a notice that no trespassers were allowed. The driver got out and unlocked the chain before he drove the SUV through.
The site was on a hill overlooking the valley. Rocks carved with ancient runes surrounded the area. Brian smiled and went to the runes, touching each one in turn. The scent of pine filled the air.
He opened his bag and took the sheaf of paper from Joel. He traced some runes onto parchment. He started a fire in a small open area surrounded by rocks.
The runestones thrummed with energy so profound that Dave’s fillings vibrated. The stones glowed a rainbow of colors. Brian called out something in Old Norse. 
Light flared up from the stones and shot into the sky in one rainbow beam. Brian sang out the words again and burned the paper with the runes in the fire.
Energy swirled about him and a portal opened. The sight of millions of tomes shot in a wide panorama and then narrowed down to one part. The gate swirled and sputtered.
“That is as close as I can get you,” Brian said in heavily accented English.
“How long can you keep it open?”
“I will leave it open for three days. If I leave it open much longer, other things will come through, things that we don’t want in our world.”
Father Conrad and Dave nodded, stepping through the portal.
The scent of moldering paper and parchment assailed their senses as they entered the Great Library of Celeon.
“Do you have any way to fight other than your cross?” Dave asked.
Father Conrad’s cross was ancient and heavy on the end of a staff. The priest shook his head as he leaned on the staff.
“We are ill-equipped to venture forth here. This is not an evil place, but it still belongs to powers greater than ourselves. We need to be careful.”
Dave loaded his pistol with cold-forged iron bullets. “Do you know where we are going?”
“I do,” a voice hissed from the darkness. “You seek the child, the one who is protected by your adult.”
A figure melted out of the shadows, his cloak pulled over his face, and two glowing red eyes piercing the deep shadows.
“What and who are you?” Father Conrad demanded, brandishing his staff.
“I am naught but a simple guide. You have no cause to fear me. But we must move quickly. Already your gate is attracting beings. Ways to Earth haven’t been opened in centuries. Now two portals have been opened. We must take precautions. Your friends journey here. Come, follow me.”
Dave pointed his gun at the cloaked figure. “How do we know you aren’t going to lead us into a trap?”
“I want this gate closed more than you do. Do you have a choice? Can you find your way around this place without assistance?”
Dave and Conrad glanced at each other. “If you prove false, may God and all his angels throw you into the blackest pit,” Conrad said.
“Fair enough. Come, we must go quickly.”
Dave holstered his weapon and followed the cloaked figure deeper into the labyrinth that was Celeon.

Book Tour Schedule

November 22 - December 5, 2018
Visit each tour stop daily and discover more features, excerpts, reviews, interviews, fun facts and more! To check the latest tour schedule, visit the Green Tunics of Noon Book Page at Book Unleashed.
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About Victoria Lynn Osborne

Victoria Lynn Osborne lives in Southern Oregon with her muse that takes the form of a chubby little demanding house cat. This is her sixth book, she is currently enrolled to get her masters in creative writing.


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