The Zinnia Queen by J.Z.N McCauley

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In the barren kingdom of Saimora, history lies and the Zinnia Queen reigns.

During each of the last hundred years, a handful of women received magic at birth—an uncommon gift among the people of Saimora. Since the first Zinnia Queen, all queens who follow take her name. When the current sovereign dies, another is chosen from those with magic to become the next Zinnia Queen. The face of each one who dons the crystal crown vanishes, and is replaced by a cold and cruel visage.

Clara, a young woman with the strongest magical abilities aside from that of the Zinnia Queen, works in the outer palace libraries as a scroll keeper. One day, while frantically searching through scrolls to aid the Healers, Clara’s touch gives her a vision: there is more to the past than history tells.

But it is forbidden to question anything in Saimora. Clara must be careful not to draw attention to her suspicions or it could mean death to her and anyone who helps her.

When the horrifying day comes that she is chosen as the next queen, Clara is ripped from her hidden world of scrolls and ink, and faced with a fate worse than death. Clara fears she will lose herself and become a tyrant queen like each of her predecessors.

But wait, whose voice is that in the dark?

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The Sound of Silence By Martina McAtee

Hi guys, this post is a special one where I’ll be sharing a one shot ficlet created by author Martina McAtee about an issue that’s important to her and we at Mythical Bat Reviews will be sharing it in support. 

Isa woke as she did every day, face down, head buried between her pillows, Golden Earring’s Radar Love blaring at top volume from her phone on the table beside her. She groaned, refusing to open her eyes. Instead, she flailed her hand somewhere in the vicinity of her phone, slapping at it until it went quiet. She gave a contented sigh at the sudden silence, rubbing her face against the pillow beneath her, moaning obscenely. She loved her bed. She loved her sheets. She just loved sleep. Sleep was good.

Just five more minutes, she promised herself, lids already closing. Just five more minutes and then she’d get up and do all of the things. She could already smell the coffee brewing downstairs, and the smell was almost enough to get her to stir…almost.

The bed shifted beside her and Isa couldn’t help the way her stomach fluttered. Wren. Wren was hardly ever still in bed. By the time she woke up, he was usually already three miles deep into his morning run. This was a treat. One she planned to take full advantage of.  

She turned her head in his direction and lifted the edge of the pillow covering her face, blinking at him with bleary eyes. It wasn’t sexy, but, even after six years, Wren rarely required much prodding.

The sun wasn’t up yet, but the sky was starting to lighten from indigo to smoke, bathing the room in just enough light for her to see her mate lying beside her. She couldn’t help but smile. He lay tangled in the sheets, one arm behind his head and the other on his bare torso, the stark white of their sheets stretched across his hips like he was waiting for Jack to paint him like one of his French girls.

Her hand moved of its own volition, her fingers splaying over the hair that trailed from his belly button disappearing beneath the fabric. “Morning,” she mumbled, voice sleep rough, her mouth painfully dry. Yeah, definitely not sexy.

He entwined their fingers but didn’t speak, didn’t even look in her direction, his gaze fixated on their closed bedroom door, a small scowl of concentration on his unshaven face. How did he manage to look hot with bedhead and a face full of scruff? It wasn’t fair. She probably still had drool on her chin.

She squeezed his hand, and he squeezed back but otherwise ignored her. Isa frowned, forgoing the shelter of her pillow to snuggle closer, kissing Wren’s shoulder. Still nothing. A small trickle of unease danced along her spine. “What’s wrong?” she asked, silently praying his answer was absolutely nothing…just once.

Wren—finally—glanced at her. “Do you hear that?” he asked, voice dripping with suspicion.

Isa closed her eyes, listening intently. She could hear everything, feet shuffling in bedrooms, plates clattering in the kitchen, the rhythmic heartbeats of the twelve other people currently residing under their roof, but nothing else. “Hear what?”

“Exactly,” Wren said emphatically as if that should make the problem clear to Isa.

“Baby, I’m sleep deprived and caffeine deprived, and I’m feeling very neglected right now, so start making sense or start paying attention to me while I’m still half-dressed.” She bit down on his shoulder for emphasis.

Wren grunted, rolling over and catching her lips in a long kiss that had Isa’s toes curling. That was more like it.

“Isa, my love, when was the last time even one of our teenagers was silent, let alone all of them?”

Isa froze, her pulse skittering offline. She eased back, letting her eyes slide shut, listening once again. This time she gave the matter more attention. Wren was right. She could hear Kai’s heartbeat in the shower, and Rhys was brushing his teeth. She could hear the soft snuffle of R.J. inhaling and exhaling deeply, still sound asleep somewhere in Rhys’s room.

She let herself partially shift, using her wolf’s much keener sense of hearing. Tristin, Neoma, Donovan, Harlow, Tate and the Gemini were in the kitchen. Ember was in her bedroom, which meant Mace was in her bedroom. Mace had no heartbeat to confirm her suspicions, but where Ember went, Mace followed. Neoma and Aaron were in the sunroom, but she couldn’t imagine what they were doing.

Why were they all so quiet? “What’s happening?” Isa asked, already knowing that Wren had no answers.

“They’re not panicking, so they aren’t in any danger. A spell gone wrong?” he mused, a grin splitting his face.

Isa scoffed. “You mean, a spell gone right.” She lifted her hand.

Wren high fived her lightly. “Touché.”

“So…what do we do about this?” she finally asked.

Wren picked up a piece of her hair, brushing it across her lip. “I suppose the responsible thing would be to go downstairs and demand to know what the hell they’ve done this time.”

Isa wrinkled her nose. “Ew, no. I don’t want to be responsible. I want to be irresponsible. Let them clean up their own messes. I never get you all to myself anymore.”

Wren’s hand snaked under the comforter still cocooning Isa, one large hand circling her calf and squeezing, before sliding higher. A high-pitched wail started down the hall signifying that R.J. was awake and that he had definitely not fallen victim to the silence spell.

“Ignore it. Not our baby, not our problem,” Isa reminded him with a smirk. It wasn’t her fault R.J. had chosen Rhys and Kai.

Wren was nuzzling his nose against Isa’s throat when there was a terse knock, followed by the sound of the door opening. Isa snarled, knowing without looking who it was. Her brother was the only person in the house who would dare to enter without waiting for permission.

Isa glared at her Rhys, and he glowered right back, unimpressed. He was already dressed for school in faded jeans and a black t-shirt that was covered in what looked suspiciously like baby snot. He had R.J. in his arms, holding the baby facing outward, giving Isa and Wren a full view of the boy’s tear-stained cheeks, runny nose and drooling mouth. His dark, curly hair was damp, his pale blue eyes were red-rimmed, and he was still wearing the butter yellow footie pajamas he’d gone to bed in last night.

Rhys didn’t say a word, just plopped R.J. at the foot of the bed and left. “Hey!” Isa cried, but Rhys was gone. R.J. gave one last shuddering sob before a smile broke out on his face revealing four tiny teeth. He clapped his hand to his open mouth before sweeping it towards them. “Muah,” he said.

Blowing kisses was his new favorite thing. They mimicked the gesture back to him, and he began to crawl towards them on the bed.  

Wren sighed, kissing Isa’s nose before snatching R.J. and setting him on his chest, holding him still while he cleaned the boy with the tissues on his bedside table. Once he was clean, R.J. held out his arms to Isa, eyes flashing an icy blue. “Grrr.”

She smiled at him before scrunching up her face and growling back. “Come here, big boy. What’s going on out there, huh? Why’s everybody so quiet? Do you know?”

“Buh,” R.J. said, his expression serious as if he’d just delivered information of grave importance.

Isa’s second alarm kicked on. Bon Jovi screeched at her from the tin can speaker of her phone. She was never letting Wren pick her alarm music again. R.J. clapped his hands, delighted, but Isa contemplated throwing the phone out the window.  

She gave an exaggerated whine, kicking her feet. “I don’t want to adult today. You do it.” She said, silencing the alarm, already throwing back the covers.

Wren snatched the baby back, following her off the bed and slapping her butt. “It’s your turn to adult and my turn to get the shower first,” Isa growled, flashing red eyes. Wren just laughed. “Sorry, babe, them’s the rules, remember? You even laminated them and put them right there.” He pointed to the laminated list that was stuck to their mirror. It was true, she had made those rules, but it was on a day when those rules worked in her favor. This was not that day.

“Fine, but you take the little stink bomb with you,” she said, digging her fingers into the baby’s belly until he giggled.

“Yes, Alpha,” Wren intoned, but then he was pulling her close, burying a hand in her hair and kissing her like he’d never see her again. When he pulled away, she followed, not wanting it to end. “Go, woman. I need to get ready for work or we will both be late. You go and figure out why our children are acting so weird.

“Fine.”

She waited until she heard the shower kick on, before shoving her legs into a pair of shorts and making her way downstairs.

Once in the kitchen, things only got weirder. It was the same flurry of activity as always, Harlow and Mallory at the stove cooking. Neoma on the floor playing with Romero. Ember pretending to do her French homework.

Harlow handed Isa her coffee cup with a smile and Isa decided she liked the kooky witch best of all. Isa took a sip of her coffee, leaning against the counter observing the group’s bizarre behavior.  Nothing was out of the ordinary. Except nobody was speaking. Not a word.

Aaron was now at the island on his laptop. Donovan was at the breakfast nook, purple headphones covering his ears, tapping out a rhythm with his fingers. Nobody appeared to be angry. Even Tristin was smiling at Tate, sneaking pieces of his bacon when he wasn’t looking. Something was most definitely wrong. Tristin rarely smiled…this must be worse than she thought.

 “Okay, that’s it. Somebody needs to tell me what the hell is going on. Now.” Isa frowned as they all turned shocked faces towards her, gazing at her like she’d just screamed an obscenity in the middle of a church social. “What? What is happening? What did you screw up? Please tell me you didn’t kill and/or resurrect anybody because I do not have the capacity to deal with that today.”

They all looked at each other in confusion before Ember nudged Aaron and pointed to the computer. Aaron nodded, fingers tapping the keys before turning his screen to face her. He’d pulled up a website. The top of the page read ‘National Day of Silence.’

Isa frowned, reading on, feeling like a jerk the further she read, covering her mouth with her hand. Oh. She glanced up to find eager, expectant faces looking back at her. “And you’re all participating?” Heads bobbed all around the room. “The whole school?”

Aaron turned his computer back around and typed out something before spinning it back to Isa.

HOPEFULLY THE WHOLE TOWN.

Isa nodded, her need to talk leaving her instantly in the face of such a powerful message. They’d all agreed to participate. It wasn’t that she was surprised. They were all good, kind, decent, responsible kids, but it took a special kind of commitment to forgo speaking all day. Especially for her children.

The whole ride to work she was silent. She let Wren drive, mulling over the idea of a silent protest. When Rhys was in eighth grade, they’d tortured him, teasing him mercilessly about his inability to control his shift, about his crush on Kai, about anything really. She’d watched her already cripplingly shy brother whither under their scrutiny and the cruelty of their taunts. Even at eighteen, he barely spoke when away from the family.

 

Wren glanced in her direction, concern etched across his face. She waved him off. As soon as Aaron had shown Wren the website, he’d been on board. So they sat in the car, silent, R.J. burbling in the back happily, unaware that the silence around him was unusual.

 

When she got to the restaurant, she went straight to her office, leaving Wren to set up the baby’s playpen while she opened a blank page on the screen, thinking for a moment before she started typing. When she was finished, she printed a copy of her sign and grabbed the scotch tape.

 

Wren gave her another curious look as she passed him. She just handed him his copy and kept moving. Once in the dining room, she tacked the paper to the glass door at eye level where none of the customers could possibly miss it.  

 

ATTENTION CUSTOMERS:

 

TODAY, THE HOWL AT THE MOON CAFE STAFF HAS CHOSEN TO PARTICIPATE IN THE NATIONAL DAY OF SILENCE TO HELP BRING AWARENESS TO THE BULLYING AND HARASSMENT THAT MANY IN THE LGBT COMMUNITY FACE EVERY DAY.

 

YOU ARE FREE TO SPEAK TO OUR STAFF, LIKE ALWAYS, BUT PLEASE DON’T BE OFFENDED IF THEY DON’T SPEAK BACK TO YOU. WE’VE PLACED PAPER AND PENCIL ON EACH TABLE IF YOU DECIDE YOU WOULD LIKE TO PARTICIPATE IN THIS POWERFUL STATEMENT.

 

REMEMBER SILENCE CAN CREATE CHANGE!

 

TO LEARN MORE: GO TO WWW.GLSEN.ORG.

 

THANK YOU IN ADVANCE FOR YOUR UNDERSTANDING.

We share this because most of us have friends in the LGTB Community or even family members and we will like to show our support for them so if feel the same go ahead and show your support if not that’s your problem.

Follow the author if you like:

https://www.martinamcatee.com

https://www.facebook.com/MartinaMcAtee1/

Escaping Fate Release Blitz

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Book Title:Escaping Fate

Author: Regine Abel

Genre: Sci-Fi Romance, MFM

Series:  Veredian Chronicles (Can be read as standalone)

Release Date: April 14, 2017

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34097859-escaping-fate

 

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Bio

Regine Abel is a fantasy, paranormal and sci-fi junky. Anything with a bit of magic, a touch of the unusual and definitely a lot of romance, will have her jumping for joy. Hot alien warriors meeting no-nonsense, kick-ass heroine give her warm fuzzies. Through her Veredian Chronicles series, Regine will take you to an exciting alien world full of mystery, action, passion and new beginnings. Follow Amalia and her Veredian sisters – enslaved, exploited and hunted – as they fight for their freedom and the right to love. In her Dark Tales series, Regine will make you rediscover the fairy tales of your youth in a sexy, dark, and twisted reimagining of the classics.

When not writing or reading, Regine surrenders to the other passion in her life: video games! As a professional Game Designer and Creative Director, her career has led her from her home in Canada to the US and various countries in Europe and Asia. 

 

Follow Regine Abel here

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/regine.abel.author/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/regineabel

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/16289162.Regine_Abel

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Regine-Abel/e/B06W2MTBRV/

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/cIlnf5

#Live #EscapingFate #Giveaway #RegineAbel #VeredianChronicles #KindleUnlimited

 

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Buy Link

Amazon (all): http://smarturl.it/EscapingFate_Amazon

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B01NBTSN46  

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B01NBTSN46

 

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Synopsis:

Born and raised on a slaver’s ship, Amalia is a survivor of a race believed to have been extinguished in a planetary disaster. For three generations, her family has been the prized property of Gruuk. In the next few days, she will be forced to participate in her master’s psi talent breeding program. Escaping and attending the Fastening ceremony on Xelix Prime to find a mate and protector is her only hope.

Like most Xelixian males, cousins Khel and Lhor are Tainted. They are shunned by their own people because of the disease that mars their bodies and ensures a painful early death. It can only be reversed by mating. Xelixian females are rare. Pearls, the females that produce the curative chemical, are even more so. The chances of finding two Pearls, of any species, willing to accept heavily Tainted males, are virtually non-existent. Despite their status and wealth, the cousins are running out of time.

Between Gruuk’s dogged pursuit, deadly rivalries, assassins and corrupt nobles, can they keep Amalia safe or will their respective feelings for her tear them apart?

This MFM novel is a constant toe-curling, action-packed thriller, and the first book in the Veredian Chronicles series. It is a standalone with no cliffhanger.

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Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card + Kindle eBook of Escaping Fate

Giveaway link: http://smarturl.it/EF_ReleaseGiveaway

 

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Title: Missing Pieces
Author: Stephany Tullis
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Publisher: Diamond T-K
Cover Designer: Designs by Dana
Hosted by: Lady Amber’s PR
Blurb:
The partnership she’s petrified to refuse and afraid to accept
 
As Chandlerville prepares for a series of local celebrations in honor of the annual Kentucky Derby in nearby Louisville, Kentucky, chaos ensues threatening to cancel the town’s festivities.
Rachel Blakely’s (editor of the Chandler County Chronicles), partnership with ex-NYC socialite, AJ Manning crumbles in the midst of their planning for the town’s Derby-related activities.  AJ is the mayor’s wife and Rachel discovers that Fitzgerald Manning, the mayor’s father, has close ties to an unidentified conglomerate of farm investors who may be coercing local farmers to sell their land.
 
Jairo Aquino, aka Blue, a handsomely, mysterious newcomer is trusted by no one and appears to have an investment scheme of his own. Arriving in Chandler County from Miami, Florida, Aquino has decided to put Chandler County on the map. “His plan was air tight. He just had to find a few missing pieces.”
 
Rachel and Blue continue to cross paths until they reach a point of no return where they accept they can no longer ignore the sizzle of their interactions and their constricted heart strings that cause them to question the true nature of their relationship.
Can she trust him? Can he trust her? Can they together find the missing pieces?

In my world, there is no life without writing, traveling, family, music and my love of politics. My loves and interests are central to my writing.
 
I published my first novel The Master’s Plan, A Novel in November 2013 (Edition 3 issued in 2016) and my first Christmas novel, 48 Hours ‘Til Christmas, in November 2014. In 2015, I released Love, Peace & Joy: 3 Short Stories.
 
BLUE LADY (a short story) published in February 2015 launched my first series, The Angelica Mason Series. The first full installment in this series, entitled BLUE LADY’S Sweet Dreams was released July 2016 to be followed by BLUE LADY’S Mission Impossible in 2018.
 
In June 2016, I launched my second series (B.B.B.) with a novella entitled, Beach Baby Blues (part of an 11 author Beach Anthology, Stories of Sun, Sand and Sea). I hope to publish the sequel in this new series, entitled, Baby Boomer Blues by July 2017.
 
The sequel to The Master’s Plan, entitled, Forgive, Forgotten, Forever is scheduled for release in the Fall of 2017.
           
I am pleased to partner with my friend and fellow author, PJ Fiala to sponsor the Chandler County multi-branded author series and will soon be releasing two books in this series. Missing Pieces is currently on pre-order with an April 11th 2017 release date and my second book in this new series is entitled Missing Chances and will be released in November 2017. Nine other authors will publish their books in this exciting endeavor during 2017. All books are based on our fictional towns, Chandlerville and Bourbonville Kentucky, ‘where the unbridled spirit of romance roams’.
 
I live in Georgia with my family where I continue to write professionally and have published on Examiner.com as Atlanta’s Society and Culture Examiner and in various health related peer review journals.
Author Links:
Buy Link:
CHAPTER 11
 
“Every decision you’ve made has brought you to where you are today… exactly where you are meant to be.”
~Unknown~
She woke to the silent sounds of nothingness but didn’t rise, searching instead for solace in the comfort of her bed. Refusing to open her eyes, she wiggled and scooted her body in the cocoon-like wrapping of her down-filled comforter. Her body luxuriated in and sought the protective assurance that her blankie offered. Assurance that she needed. Assurance that she was increasingly fearful without. Assurance that she could go forward. Assurance that her world wouldn’t disintegrate. Again.
In a further effort to fight the start of another day that she had no reason to believe would be better than yesterday, she shielded her eyes with her arm. Her thoughts rambled, twisted, and turned. Meditative breathing, prayerful enjoinders, and burying her head under her pillow failed. She wondered why experts raised false hope by guaranteeing results claiming research-based success stories. Meditation was the answer. Not! Prayer always worked. Not! Protect yourself! How? Her morning save thyself rituals failed. Again.
She succumbed to her despair, accepted the inevitable start of another day, and opened her eyes. The early morning sun greeted her through her sunflower yellow bedroom blinds. She lay still searching for meaning in the glittering rays.
After about five minutes, the rays shouted.
Get up off your butt! Face the music. What is the song of the day? Cry me a river?
Tears formed.
She fumbled for the pack of ciggies in her side table and rolled out of bed. What the heck? Why bother?
She tiptoed to the window and peeked through the blinds as though embarrassed that the universe heard her indignant retort.
She peered down at the town’s early morning greeting to the start of a Chandlerville, Kentucky morning. Drivers travelled at a higher than normal speed as they hurried to their jobs. Shop owners headed to their stores, preparing for their early morning customers. The vinyl blinds protected her much like her blankie and her one-bedroom studio apartment conveniently located above the CCC office, her second home but first love.
She adored everything about Chandlerville. Its Southern charm, the food, the rolling grassy landscape, the artistry… the friends she had made. Most importantly, she loved her job. She’d heard that the town was looking for someone to run the local newspaper at a large crafts festival in Berea, Kentucky a few years ago. She was writing an article on the annual Berea Crafts Festival for a travel magazine and ran into a colleague, a professor who taught at Berea College.
The rest was history. She lied to herself. Her first love was long ago buried but not forgotten. She lied to others. This time, no lies. Period. History would not repeat itself.
 

Review: Legacy Lost

Legacy Lost
Legacy Lost by Jillian David

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Well damn, this book was even more awesome than the last one but I still want to know who the hell is the great one and I want the Brands out of the picture, well except Izzy she seems cool for now. Yay Shelby and Eric, this book turned from cool to creepy in the last chapters and finally Vaughn appeared but I need to know the why he went away.

-Ivan

Review: Annihilate

Annihilate
Annihilate by Jaymin Eve

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Can I cry? I want to cry yes I’ll cry… I want more this was so good like please just a tiny novella years later. I loved the wedding, the rest was awesome Sam about damn time, Kyle buckle up boy and Tessa woman you don’t lose time at all. Lucas you dumb thing but understandable motives and Carter x Jo = OTP I loved them!

-John