Release Day Spotlight – A. Morell: Puncture Wounds

James is at the end of a long crusade for vengeance against the vampire clan that destroyed everything he held dear. He has Ren, the final and most dangerous of them all, cornered at last in London. But victory remains just out of reach when Ren sets a feral vampire on James and makes his escape. With no other leads, James is forced to take in the feral until he can use its connection to its sire to track down Ren. But in caring for the vampire, James sees they might not all be the monsters he thought them to be. Faced with an ugly truth, his quest for revenge becomes a war for retribution, and the discovery of what it truly means to be human.

Puncture Wounds
by A. Morell

AVAILABLE NOW!

Happy release day! It’s been a fun ride getting the story to this point, and at long last it’s available to all. Join James on his journey, and help him see it through to the bitter end. Congrats to all my winners, enjoy your free copies! Read on for an excerpt and links to some exclusive sneak peeks into the story:

James fumbled to regain control, and it took a second to realize that it wasn’t teeth he felt now—it was a soft and damp tongue. The almost constant rumbling from deep in the creature’s chest had morphed at some point, from warning growls to what sounded suspiciously like a purr. James felt his skin crawl and tore himself away, stumbling a bit when he stood too fast.

He was reeling. Everything from the past twenty-four hours suddenly came crashing down around him at once. In so short a time, he’d had the last of his sworn enemies in the palm of his hand, let him escape, and brought a feral monster into his own house. And he’d fed it.

James fumbled his way into the kitchen, eying the sink as he felt his stomach threaten to heave. He pushed himself to the fridge, grabbing a nutrition drink and forcing its contents down his throat along with the bile. He reminded himself that he needed it to help his blood recover, and this was all according to plan—take in the feral and get it sane enough to track the one who’d made it.

He braced himself against the counter with both arms, repeating the plan in his head until the moment passed.

He was too busy to notice at first, but something was wrong—nothing hurt. He looked back down at his arm.

It had completely healed.

More on Puncture Wounds:

Start the first chapter | Behind-the-scenes glimpse | Have a taste | A look at the characters

About A. Morell:
A. Morell spent ten years writing silly things for herself, going through work, school, and a failed career path in the culinary arts before deciding it was time to submit to a publisher. She still writes silly things for herself, but now some of them get pretty-looking covers. She has never looked back.

Hailing from the San Francisco Bay Area, she greatly enjoys food, baseball, shopping, tattoos, karaoke, and old bookstores. She is averse to spiders, zombies, over-used words, tardiness, inclement weather, and the misquotation of movie lines and lyrics. Her dream is to retire to Hawaii immediately. She has one cat.

For more A. Morell, stop by the blog or twitter, or contact directly at sans.morale@gmail.com.

Ariel Tachna – Partnership Reborn Cover Reveal & Excerpt!

PartnershipReborn500

Purchase Links

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TH2014Blurb
All his life, wizard Raphael Tarayaud has dreamed of a vampire—first as a friend, then as a lover. His search for his missing soul mate brings him to the attention of Sebastien Noyer, one of his childhood heroes. While Sebastien isn’t his soul mate, he could be the perfect partner for Raphael’s best friend Kylian Raffier.

As strange coincidences mount up, Raphael offers his research expertise to try and help Kylian and Sebastien understand what is happening to them, though the more he learns, the less he likes it. But it won’t keep him from fighting with everything he has to secure Kylian’s future.

When he finally meets Jean Bellaiche, former chef de la Cour and grieving widower, the meeting is disastrous, but Raphael can’t let it go. He doesn’t stand a chance with Jean—who could compete with the ghost of Raymond Payet?—but nothing can stop him from dreaming.

TH2014Excerpt

Angélique returned a few minutes later with a smiling Florence behind her. Sebastien ignored Angélique and offered his hand to Florence. She laughed at him as she always did and leaned in to kiss both his cheeks. “We know each other too well for that,” she scolded when she had finished.

He could hardly argue with that. He had visited her regularly for ten years now. She was not always available when he needed to feed, and he did not always come to Sang Froid, but he always asked for her first when he did. “I suppose we do,” he agreed, though he would leave it to her to cross the line from acquaintances to friends the next time he came as well. “Do you have some time free for me tonight?”

“Of course I do,” she said with a smile. “Come, we will find a quiet place to be together.”

They would talk, and he would feed, and that would be the extent of it, but the turn of phrase she always used left him missing Thierry each time. Sometimes he thought she did it on purpose, to remind him of what he had shared with Thierry and to remind him he could have, if not that, then something meaningful, again. He had never asked if Angélique put her up to it. He was not sure he wanted to know.

He followed her through the warren of halls and rooms to the one she was using that evening. “What’s on your mind?” she asked as soon as the door shut behind him.

He slumped into a chair. “I don’t even know where to start.”

“At the beginning, of course,” she replied, taking a seat opposite him on the elegant divan. “Where else would you begin a story?”

He chuckled a little. So like her to go straight to the heart of the matter. “Angélique and I are worried about Jean. It’s been thirty years, and he’s made no effort to return to any kind of normal life. I know he loved Raymond, and I know that kind of loss doesn’t just go away, but he’s stuck in limbo—not dead, but not living either—and that isn’t what Raymond wanted.”

“Would it be kinder just to let him go?” Florence asked. “I know you want to pull him back and to see him return to the man he was, but have you considered that it might not be possible?”

“More than once,” Sebastien admitted, “but he isn’t the first vampire to lose an Avoué or to lose a wizard partner, and we’ve all learned to go on.”

“But he is the only surviving vampire to lose both at once. You’ve told me repeatedly how the Aveu de Sang makes everything between a vampire and his lover more intense. When you add to that the benefits of having a wizard as a partner, it’s no surprise he’s still grieving.”

The reminder of losing Orlando pinched at Sebastien’s heart, but he had understood Orlando’s choice then in a way Jean had not. Orlando had only ever loved Alain. There had never been anyone else for him, and there never would be. Jean had loved before, and Sebastien truly believed he would love again if he would only open himself to the possibility.

“Not quite,” Sebastien replied slowly. “My second bond with Thierry might not have been an Aveu de Sang in name, but it mimicked every root characteristic we could think of, and I’m still here.”

“As you say. Your concern for Jean isn’t new. What changed tonight?”

“Angélique convinced me to check out a list of clubs where I might be able to take Jean hunting,” Sebastien explained.

“And you thought this was a good idea? You realize her taste is somewhat skewed, don’t you?”

Sebastien had heard rumors over the years, but he had never been invited to Angélique’s bed and probably would not have gone even if he had been. “It was a perfectly normal club. The only problem is that I was recognized before I even got in the door. I can’t take Jean somewhere like that. Not at first, anyway.”

“So you turned around and left,” Florence said.

“No, I stayed and had a drink and met… someone,” Sebastien said slowly.

“Someone?” Florence repeated. “That’s intriguingly vague.”

“A man,” Sebastien specified. “I didn’t get his name, but we talked, mostly about his friend, who is determined to snare a vampire. It wouldn’t have been anything out of the ordinary, except that he’s a wizard.”

“You didn’t get his name, but you found out he’s a wizard? There’s something backward about that,” Florence observed.

“That’s sort of the way the conversation went,” Sebastien said with a shrug. “In retrospect, everything about it was backward from the minute I saw him.”

“Oh, so that’s the way it is,” Florence gloated as she leaned forward. “Tell me more.”

Sebastien almost refused, but he had to talk to someone, and Jean would not want to hear about it. Jean wouldn’t say anything, but then he rarely said anything no matter what Sebastien did. The silence said far more about his state of mind than any words could have done, so Sebastien tried to respect that as much as he could. Angélique would listen, but he would have to put up with that damned knowing smile she always wore when anything personal came up in conversation.

“I don’t know what to say,” Sebastien replied. “That’s the problem. I’ve hunted since Thierry died. I’ve been attracted to people since then. I’ve had sex since then. Going to a club and seeing an attractive young man shouldn’t have been a problem—but I’ve been completely unsettled since I first laid eyes on him, and I can’t figure out why.”

“Could it be because he’s a wizard?” Florence asked.

“Possibly,” Sebastien admitted. “With anyone else, feeding is just feeding and sex is just sex, but with a wizard, there’s the chance of it being more. I stumbled into my relationship with Thierry and was lucky to find someone I could work with and eventually love. Not everyone was as lucky, and I don’t want to take the chance of my luck running out this time.”

“That’s why you get to know him first,” Florence said. “It’s what the rest of us mortals do before we make a commitment to someone. We go out, we talk, we get to know each other, and we decide if we’re compatible. If we are, we keep seeing each other. If we aren’t, we stop.”

“Once I bite him, it’s all over if he’s my partner,” Sebastien said. He could find out if Kylian was his partner with a wave of his wand, of course, since his partner’s magic wouldn’t work on him, but that didn’t resolve his issue with whether to act on the attraction.

“Then don’t bite him until you know if you can be with him,” Florence said in exasperation. “Really, you’d think a vampire of your age would have enough self-control to go out with someone or even sleep with someone without feeding from him.”

TH2014Author

Ariel Tachna bio pic

Ariel Tachna lives outside of Houston with her husband, her daughter and son, and their two dogs.  Before moving there, she traveled all over the world, having fallen in love with France, where she met her husband, and India, where she hopes to retire some day.  She’s bilingual with snippets of four other languages to her credit and is as in love with languages as she is with writing.

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Website | Blog | Twitter: @arieltachna | Facebook

Guest Post & Giveaway – A. Morell: What’s Your Sign?

Thanks for having me today, Charlie!

Now, I can’t say I believe in horoscopes, but I can’t help finding them fun. Like fortune cookies, only easier to relate to yourself.

Whether or not you believe in them, you probably at least know your astrological sign and which year of the Chinese zodiac you were born in. (Virgo, year of the Tiger for me.) If nothing else, we can read up on them to find out how accurate of off-base their descriptions of us are.

I doubt this is unique to me (I hope it’s not…), but whenever I’m making a new character, they’re not complete until they have an official birth date. Sometimes it takes a while, since they’re not always forthcoming about their history or present state of mind, but once I get a feel for who they are and how they think, I go to my trusty birth date wheel of fortune and pick a day that suits them.

(I have a feeling one day this will lead me, in my contrary nature, to make a character who doesn’t match their birth date horoscope at all.)

Are you done seeing what it says about your own birthday? ‘Cause I know you did. 😉 How did it stack up against reality?

In my new story, Puncture Wounds, we follow two main characters on opposite sides of a brutal battle who are forced to endure and rely on each other for help. Let’s see what the wheel o’ fortune says about them based on their dates of birth:

You are extremely methodical in your thought but you must learn to temper your opinion and accommodate other people’s point of view. Because you are hard working, you may tend to exceed your physical capacity and this may result to a high degree of self criticism. The number 4 is an extreme number, especially in its desire for material success. The combination of energies on your birth date show you are completely ruled by the planet Uranus, and somewhat by the Dragon. These revolutionary and abrupt influences speak of your unconventional nature. You should use these powers to produce things of a down to earth nature, rather than running off into untried or untested areas too soon. You have a very electrical aura about you, which makes you very enticing, very magnetic, not just to members of the opposite sex but also to members of your own sex. Use this energy to achieve success as there is no doubt you will make a great impact in the world.

You have such an excitable energy. There is an overload of energy on your nervous system. Being extremely emotional it is important for you to think carefully before reacting or diving into relationships. At times too you are changeable with decisions. Try to stand firm after taking time to note the pros and cons of any situation or any change that you wish to effect. One good trait that you do exhibit is your self examining nature which shows you do change those traits which need rectification. There may be hidden trials and dangers in your path, deception and treachery from others so be warned and don’t rush madly to any relationship, whether it be business or personal.

As with most astrological profiles, some things stick out and ring truer than others, but there are clues as to what lies in wait for this unusual pair in these readings. If you’ve read the blurb, which profile do you think belongs to which character? What do you think it means for them?

For a chance to win a free copy of Puncture Wounds and for an exclusive sneak peek, come join the Birthday Bash down below.

James is at the end of a long crusade for vengeance against the vampire clan that destroyed everything he held dear. He has Ren, the final and most dangerous of them all, cornered at last in London. But victory remains just out of reach when Ren sets a feral vampire on James and makes his escape. With no other leads, James is forced to take in the feral until he can use its connection to its sire to track down Ren. But in caring for the vampire, James sees they might not all be the monsters he thought them to be. Faced with an ugly truth, his quest for revenge becomes a war for retribution, and the discovery of what it truly means to be human.

Twitter | Blog | Dreamspinner | Birthday Bash

A. Morell has been writing for fun for the past decade. She once dreamed of being a professional chef—now she knows better and is taking a stab at becoming an author. Without so much as a Creative Writing 101 class under her belt it’s a bit of a stab in the dark, but she is comfortable flying by the seat of her pants.

She enjoys food, baseball, classics, word games, tattoos, shoes, handbags, escapism, and creating characters. She is averse to over-used words, spiders, zombies, tardiness, camping, and people who misquote movie lines and lyrics. She has one cat.