7 Tips to Help Promote Your First Self-Published Book – by Gloria Kopp…

On The Story Reading Ape’s blog I found an interesting and very useful guest post, written by Gloria Kopp. She gives us 7 helpful tips to promote our self published book. Thank you, Gloria!

Chris The Story Reading Ape's Blog

Sitting down and writing a novel is a huge achievement and one you should be proud of. The same goes for a non-fiction book – producing work like that takes a lot of time and effort, and it’s something that not many people pull off in their lifetime. However, once your book is written, you have the added pressure of needing to sell it. A lot of writers make the mistake of thinking that dumping their book online is all they need to do to sell their novel, however if you want any sort of commercial success, you’ll need to promote your work. Fortunately, self-promotion is simple when you follow the 7 tips below.

  1. Have a ‘.com’ Domain

If you want to be seen as a professional writer and author then you’ll need a fully-fledged website. People rarely want to spend their money on amateur work as there’s a risk…

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THE DEFINITIVE SELF-PUBLISHING CHECKLIST ~ For People Who Aren’t Very Organised and are absolute beginners.

Thank you very much, Evie Gaughan, for publishing the ultimate self-publishing checklist! We really appreciate it! (In particular a beginner like me!)

Evie Gaughan

The definitive

You just hit publish, right?  That’s what all the articles say.  Any idiot can upload a book in minutes.  And yes, I suppose any idiot can, but it takes a very informed, dedicated, professional and talented individual to upload a book that people will want to read.  A recent Facebook post from a first-time author seeking advice made me realise how long I’ve been doing this self-publishing thang and how I’ve kind of taken for granted that everyone has ‘the knowledge’.  There are so many blogs, articles and how-to books on the subject, and yet authors can still struggle with the basics.  The first author asked what she should be doing in the run up to her launch and another suggested that while there is a lot of information out there, it’s almost overwhelming.  Where do you start?  Where does it end??  So in an effort to share said knowledge, I’m writing…

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How to Use Twitter Hashtags to Gain Followers and Build Your Audience

Cathleen Townsend provides us with an excellent article about hashtags and how to use them to be successful in gaining followers and audience. I’m sure you’ll find it as informative and interesting as I do.

The Beauty of Words

hashtagOne of Twitter’s advantages compared to other forms of social media is that it’s possible to build a network quickly. But if you don’t want a network with nothing but bots and online marketers, you’ll need to find some real people, hopefully ones who share some of your interests. Hashtags can help.

Hashtags are a word or phrase that come after the pound sign (#) and are included in your tweet. For example:

Come read my #blogbattle winner, Oak: http://wp.me/s6jPnk-oak. #shortstory, #flashfiction, #amwritingfantasy

I’ve never used four hashtags in a tweet before, but the story title was short, and one of the hashtags worked into the message. Generally, I restrict my hastags to only one or two.

Whenever you use a hashtag, you aren’t just identifying with a group, like wearing the jersey for your favorite team. Hashtags do more than that.

On the top right hand side of the menu…

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Shadow Stalker Part 3 (Episode 19) Release – by Renee Scattergood

 

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Bio:

 

Renee Scattergood lives in Australia with her husband, Nathan, and daughter, Taiya. She has always been a fan of fantasy and was inspired to become a story-teller by George Lucas, but didn’t start considering writing down her stories until she reached her late twenties. Now she enjoys writing dark fantasy and paranormal thrillers.

 

She is currently publishing her monthly Shadow Stalker serial, and she has published a prequel novella to the series called, Demon Hunt. She is also working on a new series of novels, A God’s Deception.

 

Aside from writing, she loves reading (fantasy, of course), watching movies with her family, and doing crafts and science experiments with her daughter. Visit her site for more information and a free copy of Shadow Stalker Part 1 (Episodes 1 – 6): http://reneescattergood.com

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Author Pages:

 

Website/Blog: http://reneescattergood.com/

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00NTJY1W2

Smashwords Author Page: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/rscatts

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/reneescatts

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ReneeScatts

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/0/100671337443224225702/posts

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Newsletter

 

Get a Free Book: http://www.subscribepage.com/ReneeWrites

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Description:

Auren is coerced into returning to the Dark Isle, but when Makari is betrayed and forced into hiding, she knows she can’t stay. Will Kado stand in her way?

Buy Link: http://reneescattergood.com/books/shadow-stalker-the-beginning-of-the-end-episode-19/

 

 

 

 

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Excerpt #1:

 

Kado closed the distance between us. “Auren, I’m taking you from this place. You can either come or your own free will or by force.”

 

Tamir tensed next to me. I held my hand up to stall whatever he was planning. I didn’t need this turning into a fight, especially in front of Jade. Physically she was healing well, but her mind was still fragile.

 

“If I go with you—“

 

“If?” Kado arched an eyebrow.

 

“’If’ I go with you, we have to take Jade as well, and you have to promise me you’ll return her to Deakan on Appolia before we return to the Dark Isle.”

 

“It’s not possible, Auren. You can give birth any day now. Makari will keep Jade safe for the time being.”

 

Jade grabbed tightly onto my arm.

 

I stood my ground. “I won’t leave without her.”

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Excerpt #2:

 

“Let’s move,” he whispered.

 

He turned towards the mountains to lead us on a more difficult path. So much for taking the easier route through the pass. It wouldn’t likely slow the dogs, but it might slow their handlers and the dogs wouldn’t stray far from them. By the time we started up the mountain, the dogs were getting closer.

 

“Keep going,” Kado told me. “I’m going to lead them away from you and I’ll catch up.”

 

Kado strode off. Jade watched him with panic in her eyes.

 

“Don’t worry. He’ll be back soon,” I assured her.

 

“Yeah, but what if they come after us?”

 

Excerpt #3:

 

Jade rested her hand on my shoulder and gave it a squeeze. “It must have been hard realizing you knew nothing about who you really were.”

 

“It was, but at the same time at least I finally understood why Kado was so protective of me. Even then, the Galvadi were hunting for me. And I didn’t make it easy for him. He was trying to keep us off their scanners, while I was doing everything possible to gain some freedom.”

 

“That’s pretty scary. I wonder if you ever came close to being captured even then.”

 

I shrugged. “Kado never said anything, but then he’s not one to rehash the past unless there’s something to gain from it.”

 

Jade sighed. “Does Kado hate me?”

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Public speaking tips for writers (putting a bag over your head is not one of them..)

Graeme Cumming published a guest post on Louise Jensen’s blog. Thank you very much Graeme about your tips and tricks on public speaking.

fabricating fiction

I am a writer. I am an introverted writer. The thought of public speaking makes my skin prickle and my head swim and yet it is something writers are often expected to do, and to be honest, despite the fear, it is something I am eager to do. The chance to meet readers. To talk about my books. A couple of weeks ago, on World Book Day, I gave my first ever talk to 250 primary school children on reading, writing and following your dreams (you can read about that here.) Beforehand I was lucky enough to get some tips from my good friend and fellow author Graeme Cumming who is so adept at public speaking he belongs to a Speakers Club (for fun!!!). Thankfully I got through my own talk without fainting/vomiting/crying/all three and I’m delighted to welcome Graeme onto my blog today to share his wisdom with you. 

Getting…

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Blog Tour – Kings of the Empire by M. A. Abraham

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Kings of the Empire

 

The Elven Chronicles: Book 12

 

By

 

M.A. Abraham

 

Blog Tour


 

About the Book:

 

The Empire is rising to face the enemy. They are not alone, for their allies and neighbors have come to help; some have even come to fight despite the objections of their own rulers.

 

The Drazon is free, the Demon Hordes are on the march, and their numbers are staggering. Will the Empire survive this challenge? Or will their enemies prevail? The stakes are high, for if they fail to win the upcoming battles, the lives of every Elf in the Empire will be in jeopardy. No one knows the real extent of what they will be facing

 

As the Elves prepare to fight, the Drazon attacks at will, first challenging the might of the Dragons. He feels invincible. Omnipotent. Immortal. He will show the world who is in charge and the meaning of fear. His hatred knows no boundary.

 

While King Lothrariel continues to hold his Empire and, the lives of his people together, he is besieged by problems. He turns to Gabriel, to handle the greatest tasks, and to resume his place as Commander in Chief of the Combined Elven Armies of the Empire. Lothrariel must also answer his Life Mate’s call to fight at her side. He quickly finds out there is more to her summons than their bond. As an Oracle, she ‘sees’ the possible outcomes, but she cannot speak of them, she can only guide.


 

Buy Links:

 

Smashwords / iTunesUS / iTunesCA / B & N / Kobo / AmazonCA / AmazonUS

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Excerpt:

 

General Jerrol Eagle Claw’s warhorse crashed through the circle of the Demon Warriors that surrounded his brother.  He immediately jumped from the saddle, even before his horse came to a stop.  He knew his mount would know what to do, as well as his men.  He didn’t need to order any of them into action, as he rushed to protect Gildren’s back.  This is what they had been trained all their lives for.  The first words their father had taught them were to protect their brothers’ backs in a fight.  They had lived their lives by that creed.  Never leave a comrade vulnerable in battle, unless there is no other choice.

 

“Your timing is impeccable, brother,” General Gildren Eagle Claw praised General Jerrol.

 

“You didn’t expect me to let you take on the whole Demon Horde on your own, did you?”  General Jerrol Eagle Claw returned.  He didn’t like the way Gildren sounded.  His bother’s words were weak, even if he never missed a beat with the way he handled his swords.  They stood back to back, and met all the Demon Warriors who came close to them, as they exchanged quick snippets of information.

 

“We brought reinforcements.  The Wild Elven Army came to join us.  After the battles, there will only be a short cleanup left to do.”  General Jerrol informed Gildren.

 

“Good, because I don’t believe I have much fight left in me anymore,” Gildren admitted.

 

At this moment, the two brothers were once more comrades at arms.  They were no longer Generals, as far as they were concerned, they were family.  They struck out at one Demon Warrior after another, until they quit coming at them.  When they reached that point, and they couldn’t see anymore signs of impending danger, Jerrol turned to congratulate Gildren, only to need to rush to his side to catch him, as his legs gave out beneath him.  He couldn’t control the instantaneous reaction that echoed through his mind, as he threw his head back to scream.

 

“No, Gildren.”

 

Gildren’s blood soaked his uniform, and his face was white with fatigue.  He looked into his brother’s face, and saw the anguish written on his expression, and he smiled as he commented.

 

“I think we won.  Dad will be proud of us.”

 

Gildren closed his eyes, as his head lolled over to the side, and Jerrol gave a loud keening scream.  Not Gildren, not his older brother.  Not the man he looked up to as much as he did their father.  What would he tell their mother?  They won the war in this part of the Elven Empire, but lost part of the heart of their family?  That wasn’t good enough.  He tried to pour as much of the healing power he had in him, into his brother, but like his father, he hadn’t been blessed with much.

 

Jerrol felt a hand press against his shoulder, as one of the Wild Elves responded to his anguished call for help.  It was their leader.  He walked around, to kneel before Jerrol, and took Gildren from his arms to hold him.  After a few moments, he turned to another Wild Elf and commanded.

 

“Summon Sonata, this Elf lives yet.  Tell her she is needed here more than anywhere else.”

 

“Sonata does not heal yet, she is too young,” the Wild Elf, the leader had spoken to, responded.

 

“Bring her now, and make it quick,” The leader ordered.

 

The second in command didn’t question his King a second time.  He could tell by the tone in this voice that there would be no arguing with him.  He had been given a Royal Command.  He raised his face to the sky to watch as Sonata came on the wings of a large Battle Bird.  Her sister followed close behind.

 

Jerrol watched, as Sonata slid off the back of her Battle Bird and then approached his brother.  He didn’t care if she looked like an Elven male’s dream, all he could think about was Gildren, and how close to dying he was.

 

The Wild Elven King usually kept his daughters away from the Elves from the outside world.  Their customs were different than theirs.  He believed that was part of the reason the magic in this part of the Elven Empire was so weak.  He smiled, as his Life Mate arrived on a panther, and then came to stand at his side, as they watched Sonata run her hands over the young Elven male.  When she was finished, she raised her eyes to meet with those of her mother, and spoke.

 

“There is so little left of him to hold onto, yet, there is something about him that calls to me, something that tells me it is important that I heal him.”

 

Sonata’s voice was clear, and sounded sweeter than the first songbird of summer, and her eyes shone a clear blue.  Her honey colored hair hung past her hips in long unfettered curls, and her lips looked soft and inviting, in a heart shaped face.

 

“I will help,” Sonata’s sister spoke with a voice what was whisper soft.

 

The sound of the second sister’s voice made Jerrol suddenly glance at her.  The moment he saw her, he felt his mouth go dry.  She was every bit as beautiful as her sister, but in a more ethereal fashion, with her coloring being a much paler shade of moonlight.  Something deep in his chest made his heart pound, as if it recognized something special about her.  His mind reached to understand the reason, and his eyes searched for whatever was attracting him.  She, however, refused to look directly at him.  Instead, she rushed to the other side of Gildren, to kneel at his side, and clasp her sister’s hands with hers, as she closed her eyes.  The two Wild Elven Females began to chant a healing spell, and he turned his attention back to his brother.

 

As the girls sang, Jerrol could see Gildren begin to gain ground.  His chest began to show signs of his breathing, and his eyes fluttered, as he fought to open them.  He closed his eyes too, as he offered his strength to help heal his brother.

 

The Wild Elven King looked at his Life Mate, as he wrapped his hand around her fingers, and she looked up at him for a moment, before she reached up to offer him a kiss.  They knew what they had just seen, and what to expect.  It wasn’t anything that happened often, but occasionally they were surprised in this manner.  The Fates worked in the strangest of ways.

 

“You cannot fight this my love.  We knew that Sonata and Lumina would someday meet their Life Mates.  I have a feeling these Elves are special, and will care for our girls well,” The Wild King’s Life Mate assured him.

 

“I know, but Light Elves?”  The Wild Elven King replied with distaste.

 

“Do not dismiss the choices of the fates.  It never ends well when we fight their plans,” The Wild Elven King’s Life Mate warned.

 

A high ranking Elf from the Elven Nation walked up to the Wild Elven King and asked.  “Do you know if the General will survive?”

 

“General?”  The Wild Elven King asked.

 

“Yes, General Gildren Eagle Claw, he is the son of the High Lord General Gabriel Eagle Claw, and the Tratchar Eden.  The one standing at his side is his brother, General Jerrol Eagle Claw.  They directed this portion of the war, while their father fights in the Light Elven Kingdom.”  The Elf from the Elven Empire answered.

 

Eagle Claws, his daughters were Life Mates to Eagle Claw Generals.  It was something the Wild Elven King could live with, for that family was strong, and spoken of with great reverence.  It was something he found usually went deeper then respect or admiration.  Their people actually loved them.  He reached out with his power, to feed it to the ailing Elf.  He knew it wouldn’t take much longer before the two young male Elves would be kneeling before him for his blessing.  They would know the girls were too young for bonding yet, but that would soon pass.  As that thought crossed his mind, he felt a pressure on his fingers.  It was his Life Mate, letting him know in her subtle way, that she was pleased with his decision to accept things as they were.


 

About the Author:

kings-of-the-empire-writer

 

I come from a very large family (mostly brothers), and to make a long story very short, we were a lively group.  We loved to tease each other.  Which is why I was able to outrun them (even if I am the shortest!). It was a matter of survival. My one and only sister was another matter, I think it would have been a close call to try to outrun her.  To put it bluntly, we had a happy childhood.

 

When I was growing up, my job was to play guardian angel to my little brother, which meant keeping him safe.  I ended up getting into more fights trying to do that than any other time – I guess that is one of the reasons that when I write about warriors, I know something about battles.

 

Writing was never my childhood dream, although I was the one who made up stories to play out when we got together with other children.  It was probably the beginning of what drove me to write; that, and a challenge from a friend in Jr. High.  She proudly showed me her story, and asked me to read it, which I did.  I have to admit, I was no diplomat, and embarrassed to admit it.  I told her what I thought was wrong with it, she told me to do better, and then when I did she threw her book out.  I felt bad, but it was too late to change things.

 

It was the beginning of a whole different phase in my life.  Now, instead of playing the story out, I wrote them.  The trouble a young girl can get into doing something so innocent.  People do not understand that flashlights use batteries, if you are not allowed to put the lights on in the house in the middle of the night. (Imagine that!)  Teachers take offence when you are writing, and not listening when they are lecturing.  I would write my stories and hide them in the closet, where they stayed until one of the nieces found them.  We all know what happened then.  Yes, you guessed it, Becca had just finished her formatting course, and those books were interesting, which meant they were about to become public domain.

 

So, now that my closet has been raided, and some of my stashes have been found, the worlds I once created are coming out into the open, where everyone can read them, slowly, as fillers between books that are evolving on a day to day basis, along with series like, The Elven Chronicles, Tantalus, EC: One Empire and Guardians of the Future, and who knows what else the future will bring.

 

Maybe it was her form of revenge for what I have done in the past, but I cannot imagine why.  I have been a good girl, granted, there are some of my family who will try to tell you that I’m not as innocent as I would like everyone to believe.  That I have earned what I have reaped, and have a personality that keeps them on their toes. (Do not believe them.)  Granted, over the years, I have earned several nicknames from the nieces and nephews 😉  ,  Names like – The Godmother, The Evil Christmas Elf (comes from making my nieces wrap their own Christmas presents), Mistress of Ambush.  My favourite response to them, when they try to get me into trouble, is just to look at them with a wide, doe eyed expression, and say “Moi?????”

 

As for pets, I have a seal point Siamese cat named Athena Ravenspaw, and another, a lilac point torte Siamese, I called Azorez Tathar Silver Myst.  Both like to romp in the middle of the night, on top the bed, and sleep during the day.


Social Media Links:

 

Website: https://maabraham.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MA-Abraham-381172971916740/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/ma_abraham

 


 

 

Blog Tour – Arcane Kiss by Angela Knight

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Arcane Kiss

 

Talents: Book One

 

By

 

Angela Knight

 

Blog Tour


arcane-kiss-about-the-book

Alone, veteran Kurt Briggs is no match for the Arcane terrorists who threaten the nation’s leadership. He needs Arcanist Genevieve Reyes by his side. But when shared danger leads to shared desires, the consequences could be deadly for them both.

 

Kurt Briggs has a spirit link to a tiger Familiar that gives him superhuman abilities, but when his father is murdered, the military veteran becomes a target for terrorist sorcerers. Alone, Kurt finds he’s no match for the witch and her shape-shifting polar bear. He turns to Arcanist Genevieve Reyes for help in fighting the killers’ spells.

 

As Genevieve and Kurt hunt the terrorists, shared danger leads to shared desire. But they soon realize Kurt’s passion for Gen weakens his control over his cat. The consequences could be deadly for them both. Genevieve is attracted to Kurt’s animal sensuality, but she knows she may be in as much danger from his tiger as she is from the terrorists.

 

Then they learn the terrorists plan to sacrifice Kurt to power a horrific spell designed to decimate the U.S. government. Even if Kurt and Gen manage to stop the terrorists, their evil sorcery may trigger a witch hunt that could mean the destruction of everyone with magical Talent — including Kurt and Genevieve.


arcane-kiss-excerpt

 

The tiger bounded toward him in a blur of striped fur and powerful muscle. Kurt Briggs braced himself as the animal reared to thump huge paws down on his shoulders. Somehow he managed not to fall on his ass, though eight feet of cat made an awkward dance partner.

 

Rumbling, the beast touched a cool, damp nose to Kurt’s, drinking in his scent. “Hi to you, too, Stoli.” Kurt dug his fingers in thick reddish gold fur to give his Familiar a scratch. Golden eyes narrowed in feline ecstasy and Stoli chuffed a greeting.

 

Kurt chuffed back, a sound like a muffled raspberry — friendly rather than rude.

 

The cat’s gaze met his, rich autumn gold striated with umber and sunlit yellow. Stoli’s eyes began to glow as he touched Kurt’s consciousness, sending a surge of affection and pleasure through their spirit link.

 

Kurt smiled at his partner’s delight, tasting the beef and chicken Stoli had just eaten, feeling the precise location of the itch that made one round ear flick. He reached up to give the spot a good scratch. Stoli produced a rumbling moan of gratitude.

 

The tiger dropped to all fours again, looking up at him. He didn’t have to look far; the top of Stoli’s head came to Kurt’s hip.

 

In the tiger’s mind, water rushed through fur, cooling hot flesh as reflected sunlight danced. Kurt recognized the lake that lay on the other side of the enclosure. His Familiar wanted to go swimming. Unlike most cats, tigers loved water.

 

“Sounds good to me. It’s hotter than hell, and I’m not even furry.”

 

Stoli chuffed and turned toward the lake with a flick of his striped tail. Kurt strolled after him across the thick grass.

 

Clusters of oaks, birches and maples shaded the enclosure against the South Carolina sun, and every breath carried the rich, humid smell of loam and growing things. The plant life was so thick, he could barely see the surrounding fifteen-foot-high enclosure fence.

 

Through the trees, he spotted the flickering glint of afternoon sunlight on water. The spring-fed lake lay at the heart of Briggs Feral Sanctuary, shared by several big cat enclosures separated by fences embedded in the lake floor.

 

Another tiger lounged in the shallows, six hundred pounds of stripes, attitude and luminous golden eyes. Dave gave them a lazy blink, indolent as a pasha.

 

And like a pasha, he apparently had a harem — or at least a gang of devoted fans. Ten female volunteers clustered just outside the enclosure fence as close as they dared get. Dressed in shorts, hats and T-shirts with the BFS lion logo, they all wore grins of anticipation as they waited for him to do something amazing.

 

Or, knowing Dave, inappropriate.

 

Stoli catapulted off the bank, sailed through the air, and landed on the other cat with a huge splash. The volunteers fled the arcing water, yelping and laughing.

 

Dave roared, batting at Stoli’s nose with sheathed claws. “Back off, Tigger! Do I look like fuckin’ Pooh Bear to you?”

 

Stoli bounded from the water and raced off, chuffing like a giggling ten-year-old who’d pranked his brother.

 

Which was exactly what he was. The two cats had been litter-mates before they’d melded with their human partners. Otherwise they couldn’t have shared an enclosure; their fights would have been real.

 

“You’d better run, asshole! I’ll turn you into a rug!” Dave flopped back down in the water with a huff of feline disdain. “The crap I put up with.”

 

Kurt’s grin faded. Dave did indeed put up with a hell of a lot.

 

Like not being human anymore.

 

A year ago he’d been Dave Frost, a member of Kurt’s Arcane Corps unit — a tall, lanky blond with a wicked sense of humor and cool courage. But that was before Dave had died, leaving his soul trapped in the body of Smilodon, his Familiar.

 

Another man might have surrendered to bitterness and grief for his lost humanity. Dave taught himself to talk by making the air vibrate with magic instead of human vocal cords. Now he was building a thriving career as a YouTube smartass.

 

“You got me all wet,” a blonde volunteer complained, pretending to pout as she pulled at her soaked shirt.

 

The tiger gave her a toothy grin. “My pleasure.”

 

“Ladies, quit flirting with the wildlife and finish cleaning the enclosures,” Kurt told them, putting a little subsonic rumble in his voice. Dave wasn’t the only one who could manipulate sound with his magic. “We don’t want BFS to smell like the world’s biggest litter box.”

 

“Killjoy,” Dave complained.

 

“You heard the man.” Karla Morgen, the volunteer coordinator, made a shooing gesture at the women. “The poop won’t scoop itself.”

 

“You know,” Kurt told Dave as the volunteers scattered, “you couldn’t be any more a ham if you were Porky Pig.”

 

“How else would I bring home the bacon?” He flicked a paw, and an invisible snare drum banged out a rimshot.

 

Kurt laughed. “You’re getting scary with the magical sound effects.”

 

“I live to terrify. Speaking of performances, how many tickets did we sell last night? Looked like every inch of the arena bleachers had somebody’s butt on it.”

 

“Pretty much.” BFS’s “Feral 101” show was designed to educate sanctuary visitors about big cats. They’d livened it up with a demonstration of Feral abilities, but the material had still been as dry as sawdust — until Dave had taken the emcee job in his capable paws. “We brought in five thousand in ticket sales and donations, plus another thousand for selfies and souvenirs.”

 

And they needed every dime. Keeping fifty-nine exotic cats fed and healthy wasn’t something you did on a shoestring.

 

Dave gave him a smug smile. “I has skillz. I also has half a million followers.”

 

“You’re just lucky they don’t know what an asshole you are.”

 

“I’m a tiger. We’re supposed to be assholes.”

 

Movement across the lake drew Kurt’s attention. In the next enclosure, a lion came to the water’s edge, accompanied by his two lionesses. Staring at the tigers, the Familiar roared.

 

“What are you bitching about, Clarence?”

 

“He’s probably missing Jake.” Jake Nolan, like Dave, had served on Kurt’s Arcane Corps team before becoming a Laurel County deputy sheriff. Kurt cupped his hands around his mouth and called, “He’s at work, Clarence.” Familiars had a grasp of English roughly equivalent to a four-year-old’s.

 

The lion roared again, the low, moaning rumble rolling across the water.

 

“I don’t want to hear it from you,” Dave yelled back. “You’ve got a fucking harem to keep you company, you bastard.” He eyed Kurt. “When are you going to find $me a girl?”

 

“You’d eat her.”

 

“Every single chance I got.”

 

“I think that’s illegal in this state.”

 

“$Everything’s illegal in this state. Especially shit that’s no business of the Bible-thumping populace. Why in the hell did you have to drag me to South Carolina? It’s ninety degrees here in June. I have a fucking fur coat.”

 

“You also weigh six hundred pounds. There aren’t that many places that would take your fuzzy ass.” The Corps had a retirement sanctuaries for Feral vets, but they were so badly underfunded, Dave refused to go there. There were other sanctuaries for exotic cats around the country, but BFS was the only one owned and operated by Ferals, for Ferals.

 

Besides, Kurt owed him.

 

“I don’t know why the hell I’m asking you,” Dave grumbled. “You can’t even find a woman for yourself.”

 

Kurt flipped him off.

 

“You really need to tell your dad to butt out.”

 

“And you really need to mind your own business.”

 

“But minding yours is so much more fun.” He grinned, all teeth. There’d been a reason they’d called Dave’s tiger “Smilodon.” His canines weren’t as long as his saber-toothed namesake’s, but they came damn close.

 

Stoli spotted a fat catfish swimming through the shallows and pounced with a happy rumble and a huge splash. The spirit link carried the sensations of water flowing through the Familiar’s fur as the tiger plunged his head deep. When he emerged, the fish flipped in his jaws. He waded out and settled down on the grass to eat his snack.

 

Kurt smiled at the sensations rolling through the link. Raw fish might not appeal to his human taste buds, but Stoli loved him some sushi.

 

“Speaking of females, what’s going on with Parvati?” Dave asked.

 

His appetite promptly fled. “Nothing good.” When he’d gone to work for his father, Kurt had taken over supervising the cats’ medical care. Sometimes it was a depressing job. “The vet says the cancer has spread to her bones. Add that to that the fact she’s fifteen…”

 

“Hey, watch it with the ageist shit,” objected Dave, who was ten. Thirty, if he’d still been human. More seriously he asked, “Can the vet do surgery?”

 

“Not given the way it’s spread. We may have to put Parvi down if this healer Dad found can’t help.”

 

“Let’s hear it for Glenda the Good Witch.” Dave emerged from the lake and shook himself, sending a thunderstorm’s worth of water flying from his fur.

 

Kurt jumped back, but got sprayed with cold droplets anyway. “Dammit, Dave!”

 

“You looked so hot, I thought I’d help you cool off.” The tiger smirked. “You’re welcome.”

 

“Bite me.”

 

“You’d better hope not.”

 

Before Kurt could retort, his father called, “Play nice, boys. We’ve got company.”

 

Fred Briggs stood on the path just beyond Dave’s enclosure. At his side a tall, pretty redhead gazed through the galvanized wire panels at them.

 

The newcomer’s face had a fine angularity, with high cheekbones, a slim nose and a round, determined chin. In contrast to the elegant strength of her bone structure, her mouth looked lush and kissable. Her hair fell around her shoulders in auburn curls that gleamed in the afternoon sunlight, vivid against her Celtic pale skin.

 

But it was her eyes that really captured Kurt’s attention, a cool and watchful blue under straight auburn brows. She wore khaki shorts that displayed long, long legs, and her turquoise cotton top stretched across sweetly shaped breasts.

 

Intrigued, Kurt headed over to the fence for a closer look, both tigers padding at his heels.

 

Fred turned to the woman with one of those old-fashioned Southern flourishes he did so well. “Genevieve, this is my son, Kurt, his friend Dave Frost, and Kurt’s Familiar, Stoli.” He looked at them. “Boys, this is Genevieve Reyes. She’s the Arcanist healer who’s volunteered to help Parvati.”

 

“Or at least I’m going to try.” A dimple flashed beside her smile. “Hi.”

 

“Nice to meet you, Ms. Reyes.”

 

“Call me Gen.”

 

Kurt smiled back, more than a little dazzled. $Damn, she’s gorgeous.

 

Unfortunately, she was also a witch. In the Arcane Corps, he’d worked with a lot of magic users who’d been good people.

 

But then there’s Mom.


arcane-kiss-buy-links

 

arcane-kiss-coverAmazon:  https://www.amazon.com/Arcane-Kiss-Talents-Book-1-ebook/dp/B01N7D47MX/

 

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/33208596-arcane-kiss

 

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/arcane-kiss-angela-knight/1125551717;jsessionid=3CAE96FA1ED9B1DC962BFB2D6B9A6747.prodny_store01-atgap04?ean=2940157584856

 

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/arcane-kiss


arcane-kiss-about-the-author

 

arcane-kiss-writer

 

Angela Knight is the New York Times bestselling author of books for Berkley, Red Sage, Changeling Press, and Loose Id. Her first book was written in pencil and illustrated in crayon; she was nine years old at the time. A few years later, she read The Wolf and the Dove and fell in love with romance. Besides her fiction work, Angela’s publishing career includes a stint as a comic book writer and ten years as a newspaper reporter. Several of her stories won South Carolina Press Association awards under her real name.

 

In 1996, she discovered the small press publisher Red Sage, and realized her dream of romance publication in the company’s Secrets 2 anthology. She went on to publish several more novellas in Secrets before editor Cindy Hwang discovered her work there and asked her if she’d be interested in writing for Berkley. Not being an idiot, Angela said yes.

 

Angela has written 20 novels and over 30 novellas and e-books. The latest is Arcane Kiss, the story of a beautiful witch and a military veteran with a spirit link to a mystical tiger.

 

Angela lives in South Carolina with her husband, Michael, a polygraph examiner and hostage negotiator for the county’s Sheriff’s Office. The couple has a grown son, Anthony.