Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: Burning Rain #flashfiction

Happy Tuesday, lovelies.

This isn't a teaser so much as a little writing exercise. When words won't flow, I find a photograph, usually on Tumblr, that speaks to me, and try to capture the image in words. This is one of those attempts.

It's a little steamy, but hey, I never promised G ratings around here!  Enjoy. :)



Water falls in thick drops, sliding off his skin and onto mine. It's cool where it lands, like little spots of relief on overheated skin, but I barely feel it. Blades of winter roughened bark scrape at my back, but I don't feel those either. All I feel is him surrounding me… and he is everywhere.

My heart races beneath the tips of his fingers, pounding out a chorus of yeses as his hands slide down my sides. He hasn't even kissed me yet, and I'm in heaven. Overwhelmed by him… his touch, his scent, the hitch of his breath.

I'm burning everywhere. Not even the rain pouring down around us eases the intense ache I feel.

His hair drips in my face, and he sighs. The sound is reverent, worshipful… full of relief and need in turns.

Please, I beg, needing him in ways I can't even begin to describe.

He doesn't disappoint.

He dips his head, lapping a bead of water from my collarbone. My back arches, pushing me closer to him. Drops of water steam where he presses kisses into my throat. My heart thumps wildly against his fingertips one final time before he slides them downward, exploring my damp skin, driving me crazy.

My legs tremble beneath me. Each time his hands slip lowers, another soft gasp whispers from my lips. Every flick of his tongue drives my pulse rate higher. I can't wait any longer and he knows it.

He grasps my sides, pulling me up, twining my legs around his hips.

I cry out as his mouth descends on mine, his tongue dipping inside.

Pleasure rushes over me, spirals through me. I feel the water this time… inside, outside… everywhere.

Just like he said I would.
 
 
xoxo,
Ayden
 
Sorry for the stupid formatting. I still don't know how to fix Blogger when it does this. Grr.

FALLThe Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is now available at Amazon | Barnes and Noble | KOBO. FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is available at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million

Monday, October 28, 2013

Myth or Monster Monday: The Romanian Creation Myth

Hello, lovelies,

It's time for another installment of Myth or Monster Monday!

One of the most popular myths to come from Romania is, of course ,that of Vlad the Impaler or Dracula, but that tale is one of hundreds to come from the region. Romanian mythology is full of fascinating tales of good overcoming evil, and vice versa. This focus on good and evil begins with the Romanian creation myth, which pits God against the Devil.

Oddly enough though, it isn't God who halts the Devil's machinations in this particular myth.... it's a tiny mole. While this probably isn't the first time the concept of a mortal creature doing an amazing thing appears in mythology, it's fascinating to me in that the myth embraces the view that mistakes happen, sometimes for the good of mankind.

 
According to Romanian creation myth, God created Heaven. Once complete, he measured the vast space beneath with a ball of thread before sending the Devil to bring him a handful of clay from Apa Sâmbetei, the vast ocean where they resided, so he could shape Earth. The Devil, deciding he would undertake this mission his own way, tried in vain to obtain the clay by invoking his own name. But the clay would not come to him. Fed up, the Devil finally invoked God's name, and the piece of clay grew so that God could shape it into the Earth.

As God used the ball of string and clay to weave the pattern of the earth, a mole asked to help. God allowed the mole to hold the thread while he wove, and the Earth grew. As it did, God laid himself down to rest, and the Devil tried to push him over the side of Heaven into the vastness below.

But the mole accidentally let out too much thread, and Earth grew too large. Each time the Devil would try to push God over the edge, the Earth would expand below, preventing the Devil from succeeding in his task. Once the Devil tried four times, and failed, the cross he'd created in the ground scared him away.

The mole did not know of this though, and was embarrassed that he'd ruined Earth. He ran and hid beneath the Earth. When God awoke and realized the mole was gone, he sent a bee to look for the mole, needing the mole to advise him on how to fix their mistake. The mole laughed at the proposterous thought of God needing his advice and refused to return with the bee.

The bee, refusing to return to God without the mole's advice, hid in a flower. He overheard the mole talking to himself about how he would fix the problem by squeezing the Earth, which would create mountains, valleys, and make the Earth smaller. The bee returned to God and told him what the mole advised. God liked this plan, and so the Earth was completed.

Not bad for a little mole, is it?

What's your favorite creation myth?

xoxo,
Ayden
 
FALLThe Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is now available at Amazon | Barnes and Noble. FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is available at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Falling for FALL Book Signing and Canned Food Drive

After weeks of plotting and planning with the good folks at Curiosity Quills and Starbucks, I'm very excited to let you guys know that my first book signing is almost here!

On November 9th, I will be at Starbucks at 201 N. University Avenue in Little Rock for the Falling for FALL Signing!

Bring your copies of FADE or FALL to be signed, or you can purchase them at the event. We'll be there from 2:00 to 4:00, drinking our fall favorites (Starbucks has the best hot chocolate!), chatting, and registering attendees to win one of two awesome swag bags the lovely Nikki Tetreault has worked so hard on putting together for us!

The swag bags are full of our fall favorites, like pumpkin spice latte mix, candles, recipes, the Prime Time mug, and more! I'll also be adding a few of my favorites to the swag baskets, like a Pretty Little Liars tote bag, my favorite lipgloss from Mark, and a few other goodies to make your fall fabulous. :)

If you live in the Little Rock area, you won't want to miss the event! You can RSVP here, or simply show up the day of the event. Don't forget to bring your pop tabs and canned goods for the Ronald McDonald House of Little Rock so we can stock their pantries. :) And, of course, 10% of any books sold on the day of the event will benefit the Spina Bifida Association. Don't live in the Little Rock area but want to help support the Ronald McDonald House or Spina Bifida Association?

Find your local Ronald McDonald House here and drop off canned goods on November 9th. Or you can make a donation directly to the Spina Bifida Association here.

Hope to see you there!

xoxo,
Ayden

FALLThe Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is now available at Amazon | Barnes and Noble | KOBO. FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is available at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million

Friday, October 25, 2013

Release Day! KIYA: Mother of a King by @KatieTeller1

Today is the day that the second book in the Kiya Trilogy releases; Kiya: Mother of a King.

You can find book one, Kiya: Hope of a Pharaoh HERE

To celebrate, Katie has opened up the comments on her blog for you to ask what you want to know about the series. And yes, book 3 is written and contracted so you will be seeing the final installment before you know it.

So, here are the details for Kiya book 2:

Amazon Kobo B&N Goodreads

Nefertiti has forced Naomi to flee Amarna with Malachi and the three children. But even under the protection of Naomi’s family in Thebes, Nefertiti still hunts her and Tut. Nefertiti sends assassins to kill them, and while Naomi fights to protect the children, Malachi fights to keep her safe.

With three children in tow, one of which isn’t her own, she is labeled the harlot outcast wife of the pharaoh and is shunned. She isn’t safe among her own people, and flees from being stoned to death. Although her family protects her, she must find a way to survive.

While Naomi struggles to keep herself and Tut alive, old adversaries return as Smenkhkare takes advantage of Akhenaten’s ailing health. Naomi must rely on Horemheb’s promise to protect Tut’s birthright, but her feelings for Malachi could cause more problems with Horemheb than she expects.



CQ is also hosting a giveaway for Kiya: Mother of a King on Goodreads! So jump in!


Goodreads Book Giveaway

KIYA by Katie Hamstead

KIYA

by Katie Hamstead

Giveaway ends November 20, 2013.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
Enter to win
CONGRATULATIONS, KATIE!!

xoxo,
Ayden

FALLThe Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KOBO. FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is available at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

A Long Overdue Update on Hubby

Many of you have asked for an update on my husband, and I apologize for not having provided anything more extensive than brief updates to Facebook. The world doesn't stop when someone gets sick, and we've been overwhelmed trying to keep up with the day-to-day things while caring for him and trying to find a new normal in our lives.

It's been an especially tough year for our family. Last winter, my grandmother was diagnosed with cancer. The chemo hit her so hard, she almost died. Her doctor didn't think she'd survive the night, but she hung on, and bounced back when no one expected it. This spring, we learned she not only bounced back, but her cancer was in remission. Before we really got to celebrate that, SS's brother ended up in ICU after an infection got into his blood stream. He began to go into multiple organ family and we weren't sure if he would make it or not. He spent months in the hospital, and ended up losing one leg and part of his other foot before all was said and done. And then SS fell ill.

We've not really had a chance to deal with the emotional and mental fall out or truly celebrate the fact that we've been blessed time and again in each instance. So it's been an interesting and emotional few weeks here as we continue to work toward getting SS well and stop to process the last year and the changes and blessings it's brought to our family.

We've still got a long road ahead of us, but we're going to be just fine. :)

For those that have not yet heard, SS does not have lymphoma. Learning he didn't have cancer after being told he did was such a bright spot in a frightening journey for us. We were and still are relieved, grateful, and scared at the same time. We're also absolutely thrilled his doctors were wrong.

In late September, we finally got a final diagnosis. SS has something called chronic pulmonary blastomycosis with mediastinal lymphadenopathy. In English, that means he has a rare, severe fungal infection of his lungs and lymphatic system. The fungi lives in moist soil in certain areas of the United States, and is breathed in when spores are released into the air. In endemic areas, 1-2 people in every 100,000 are infected annually. Arkansas is not an endemic area, with less than 1 infection per 100,000 people a year. His team has no clue where he was exposed to this or how, and they will likely never know.

We've been instructed to wear respirators while doing yard work. It's just scary to think something this devastating may be lurking in our yard or little neighborhood. We've opted to forego yard work for the remainder of the year, both because SS isn't well enough to try and because we don't want anyone else coming into contact with this fungi if it is in our yard. The neighbors have decided to do the same just to be safe. We think that's for the best.

But back to SS...

Blastomycosis is a pretty terrible disease. It mimics cancer and other respiratory illnesses, and is incredibly hard to diagnos, as we learned intimately. As rare as the infection is, it's even more rare for it to spread to the lympathic system as it did for him. If not treated in time, the disease causes acute respiratory distress. Once that happens, the major of those infected cannot be treated simply because the damage to the lungs is too extensive.

By the time his team was able to figure out what was wrong with SS, the infection was very severe. We came close to losing him. Had it taken even another week or two, his doctors told us they probably would not have been able to save his life. The infection was simply spreading that fast and doing that much damage. I've never been so scared in my life as I was while he lay in the hospital bed, trying not to move because every time he did, his oxygen levels dropped dangerously low.

I cannot say enough have thankful we are that it didnt come to that point. His team began treatment as soon as they got the results in. The medications themselves have been hard for him. They're highly toxic, and he had a life threatening reaction to the first. His lungs shut down, and they thought he was having a heart attack because his heart rate jumped so high so fast.

Luckily, after consulting with other doctors more familiar with this sort of infection, his team opted to pump him full of medications to counteract another reaction, and restarted treatment the next day. He remained in the hospital for close to week afterward so they could keep an eye on him.

When he finally got to come home, he came with all sorts of medical equipment, a nurse, thousands of dollars in medications, and a list of instructions a mile long. We gave him infusions at home every 24 hours for the first two weeks, and then switched him to an oral medication that he'll be on for the next 6 to 12 months to fully treat the infection.

He's been home for a few weeks now, and is improving a little more every day. He's stopped losing weight. He's able to walk short distances without his oxygen levels dropping. His color is beginning to come back, and so is his appetite.

As of last week, the mass in his lung has begun to shrink... Enough so that he's finally pushing air into the lower chamber of his right lung. That is such a huge improvement! When they showed us the X-Rays the day they started treatment, the mass had taken over the entire upper and middle lobes of his right lung.


The big concern for him right now is kidney and liver function. One of the common side effects of the first medication is kidney failure. The big concern for the second medication is liver failure. That's pretty scary, but without the medication, the infection will continue to spread, damaging his lung and other organs before it eventually kills him

So far as we're concerned, that's not an option.

So his team has been monitoring his kidney and liver function on a weekly basis. Things are a little iffy kidney/liver wise, but slowing beginning to improve. 

On Thursday, we go back to the doctor coordinating his care to see how the kidneys and liver are doing this week. SS is really hoping the doc will release him to go back to work, but we'll see. Personally, I'd like to keep him home at least another week... if for no other reason than to make sure he's completely ready to be back at work. He's having problems with concentration and memory. I worry that he'll get into an accident driving. But I do understand his frustration. 3 months ago, he was leading a normal life, doing everything he wanted to do without help. It's hard to go from being independent one day, to needed help to complete even simple tasks like showering. I wouldn't handle that very gracefully either. 

In December, he'll go for a host of tests meant to see where is lung function is at and how badly the right lung was damaged from the infection. From there, his team will decide if they need to remove more of the lung or not. We're hoping they won't have to do so, but whatever is best for him is our motto right now. He's still here with us, and we plan to make sure he's around for a long, long time. We'll do what we have to do to make that happen. :)

Everyone has been really supportive, and it's been such a blessing to have so many of the people we love helping to lift us up through all of this. Our bosses, friends, and family have moved mountains to help take some of the burden off our shoulders while we get him better. We're truly humbled by the outpouring of love and support we've been given. Thank you all for everything.

xoxo,
Ayden

FALLThe Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KOBO. FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is available at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million

Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Teaser Tuesday 2: Ravish - The Teplo Files

Happy Tuesday, lovelies!

I've come to deliver your weekly teaser. I've spent a lot of time rewriting Ravish (Book 1 of the Teplo Files) over the last couple of weeks, so I hope you don't mind another teaser from this particular story. :)

Enjoy!


Strobe lights flashed across the room, briefly striking the mass of smiling faces crammed onto the dance floor. The dancers swayed and jumped to the loud, electronic beat vibrating the floor beneath Tristan Riley's boots, oblivious to everyone around them. The rapidly moving lights illuminated only bits and pieces of the eighty or so inside the club. Flashes of skin, bright smiles… vacant, bloodshot eyes. Just enough to make Tristan sick to his stomach.

He slipped through the crowd soundlessly, taking pains to avoid the flailing limbs precariously close to invading his personal space. Trying to blend in and go unnoticed amidst the drugged dancers in various stages of intoxication.

A waifish looking young guy spun in front of him, his arms shooting out as if to test whether he'd gained the ability to fly since making his way inside Teplo when the doors opened. Someone moved into the empty space behind Tristan a split second too soon, knocking him forward, into the guy flapping his arms like a bird. His bony elbow hit Tristan squarely in the stomach.

"Dammit," Tristan muttered, quickly stepping around the oblivious fool. Getting knocked on his ass in the middle of the dark club wasn't part of Tristan's plan. He needed to get to the far side of the dance floor. He grimaced and gave up trying to force his way through the crowd crammed onto the dance floor, instead pressing his body close to the wall.

Narrowing his eyes to peer through the mass of dancers, Tristan tried to gauge the distance between his current position and his target. Someone had scrawled the word "storage" across the battered door with a black marker, but Tristan wasn't stupid. He'd bet his left nut the floor of Teplo hadn't see the business end of a mop in weeks.

Besides, judging from the broken glass and buckling pavement out front, the Vetrov brothers weren't all that concerned with keeping up appearances. No way were they shelling out the cash to stock bullshit supplies they didn't use. Whatever they hid in that room was a lot more sinister than outdated and unused bottles of Mr. Clean.

Unfortunately, Tristan wouldn't get a chance to test his theory tonight.
 
xoxo,
Ayden


FALLThe Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KOBO. FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is available at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million

Monday, October 21, 2013

Myth or Monster Monday: The White River Monster

Hello, loves!

I've forgotten what a full night's sleep feels like. When my alarm went off this morning, I'd already been up four different times. Call me obsessive, but ever since SS got sick, I feel the overwhelming need to check on him every few hours just to make sure he's okay. He usually sleeps through my nightly checks, for which I'm infinitely grateful. I hate waking him up. No sense in both of us being cranky come morning.

Which I inevitably am. I hate mornings with a burning passion. I hate alarms. I hate getting out of bed. I hate getting dressed. I hate driving to work. The daily grind just irks me. So naturally, I wish Monday would just disappear forever. But since that's probably not going to happen anytime soon, I've decided to make this dreaded day of the week a little brighter by declaring it Myth or Monster Monday. On Mondays (when I can!), I'll post a myth or monster, and you guys get to participate too. Post your myth or monster of the week to your blog on Monday, then link it in the comments of the weekly post here, or email it for me to post for the rest of the Monday Hatin' Crew :)

Today's monster was prompted by something my dogs were watching on History Channel when I stopped at home for lunch. Yes, my dogs watch television. Don't judge. My eldest's health is failing, and she likes the t.v., so we let her watch it. She's the boss in this house.

Anyway! The show was about all those creatures that may or may not exist depending on who you ask. You know, Nessie, Big Foot, the Yeti, etc. This is one of those...

The White River Monster

Image of the submerging monster by Cloyce Warren, 1971.


I spent my teen years in a small town in Arkansas where sightings of the White River Monster originated. As the story goes, in the early 1900s, farmers in the area began to report sightings of a massive creature in and around the river.

It was reportedly three car lengths long, grey, with a bony protrusion from its forehead and smooth or peeling skin. The creature was spotted throughout the 1900s, and after a spate of sightings in the 1970s, the state legislator made it illegal to harm the mysterious monster unless it was trying to harm you first. Which makes me wonder how that ever became a concern. 

Theories on the actual identity of the creature range from a lost elephant seal to a mass of downed trees and branches, to something akin to Nessie. Having spent several years in the area, theres no telling what it actually was... but Jacksonville still proudly sports a sign declaring it the home of the White River Monster. And many of those in the area still believe the creature might have been Nessie's long lost kin.

Personally, I prefer the elephant seal theory. There is all kinds of stuff in that river. A lost elephant seal isn't too unbelievable. Nessie's kin, on the other hand, I'm not so sure about. :)

xoxo,
Ayden


FALLThe Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KOBO. FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is available at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Spotlight: #EVADE by @JessaRusso #evertrilogy

Hello lovelies!

You guys probably remember how much I loved EVER by Jessa Russo. Today, I am very happy to shine the spotlight on EVADE, the newly released second book in the Ever Trilogy.

 
In this thrilling sequel, Ever Van Ruysdael's race to beat the odds—and the clock—begins with the introduction of an integral part of her past. As secrets are revealed, and truths uncovered, she learns her imminent death is the least of her problems: Ariadne did more than just put an expiration date on her life; she marked Ever's soul by upping its value for greedy collectors looking to buy their freedom.

Condemned by the countdown on her life, and hunted by hired Seekers, Ever’s journey leads her to question everything she’s known and everyone she’s trusted, while growing closer to the one person from her past she was determined to avoid—and the one guy she never could—Toby James.

With her ex-boyfriend by her side, and the countdown clock rapidly ticking away, Ever tries thwarting fate’s plans. But as her nineteenth birthday approaches, and desperate Seekers follow her every move, she may be too late.

A marked soul is hard to come by … and even harder to escape.

EVADE hit shelves on October 1st. You can grab your copy at Amazon. Don't forget to add it to your TBR list on Goodreads, too!

I haven't had a chance to dive into EVADE yet, but I cannot wait. :) In case you haven't read EVER yet (what are you waiting for?!), let's turn the spotlight on it for a minute as well. Trust me, you want to read this series.

Seventeen-year-old Ever’s love life has been on hold for the past two years. She’s secretly in love with her best friend Frankie, and he’s completely oblivious. Of course, it doesn't help that he’s dead, and waking up to his ghost every day has made moving on nearly impossible.

Frustrated and desperate for something real, Ever finds herself falling for her hot new neighbor Toby. His relaxed confidence is irresistible, and not just Ever knows it. But falling for Toby comes with a price that throws Ever’s life into a whirlwind of chaos and drama. More than hearts are on the line, and more than Ever will suffer.

Some girls lose their hearts to love.
Some girls lose their minds.
Ever Van Ruysdael could lose her soul.

EVER is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Kobo.

About the Author:

An unashamed super fan of all things paranormal romance, Jessa Russo reads, writes and breathes paranormal YA, rarely straying from her comfort zone. When not writing or reading--or raising the coolest kid ever--Jessa enjoys making memories with her amazingly supportive family and friends, while secretly planning her next trip to New Orleans. She will always call Southern California home, where she lives with her husband and daughter, and a Great Dane who thinks he's the same size as his cranky sister, the Chihuahua.

You can learn more about Jessa and the EVER Trilogy at http://jessarusso.com. Or you can follow Jessa on Facebook or Twitter.

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Teaser Tuesday: The Teplo Files

Hi lovelies!

Welcome to another installment of Teaser Tuesday! This teaser is from Ravish, or Revelations... I haven't quite decided on the official title yet. Either way, this story is a lot spicier than the Ragnarok Prophesies. It's a risque crime thriller, and it's probably one of my all-time favorite stories simply because so much went into writing it. I slaved over the research into Mexican cartels, and did a lot of arguing with everyone under the sun to keep it as realistic as possible. I think it paid off. The story is an intense ride through the grim reality of drug trafficking and addiction.

You don't see much of that research in this little teaser, but I hope you enjoy it anyway. :)

"Does it still hurt?" Alison asked.

"Not so much," Lillian said, noticing for the first time how she massaged her leg. She leaned back against the lumpy pillow, frowning. "I shouldn't have tried to twist like that."

"I'm sorry." Ali shot her a sympathetic smile.

"Me too," Lillian sighed.

"You know he's still in rehab." Ali slid the hair-tie from her hair and quickly redid the messy bun, not looking at Lillian.

"I know."

Lillian would never dance again. She might not ever walk normally again. And Marc got sentenced to rehab. It wasn’t fair, but Lillian didn't cry over it anymore. She couldn't. Being bitter didn't change anything. And hating Marc wouldn't make her feel better.

Sometimes, when she tried really hard, she actually believed that.

"What happened with this Tristan guy, Lil?" Ali asked.

Lillian bit her lip, and then sighed. "I met him at Teplo and things got . . . physical." Her cheeks burned. "I actually thought I liked him. And then he confronted me tonight, demanding to know who hired me, and if they paid me to let him . . . . I feel so stupid!"

"You aren't stupid."

"Aren't I?" Lillian blew out a breath and glanced over at her friend. "I had to find out from a complete stranger that the guy I . . . I let do things to me in the middle of a club is a DEA agent. I didn't even know his last name, and I almost slept with him!"

"Why did you?" Alison asked, not prying for more information into what Lillian meant by things. "I mean, I've known you a long time, Lil, and you don't do things like that. Why was he different?"

Wasn't that the million dollar question?


Fade - The Ragnarok Prophesies: Book One - On Sale at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million

Monday, October 14, 2013

FALL - The Ragnarok Prophesies: Book Two #Excerpt



How do you save someone who doesn't want to be saved?

Those called to stand guard against the end are broken, and Sköll and Hati run free. Now Arionna Jacobs and Dace Matthews face a threat unlike any before. Ragnarök is coming and they aren't strong enough to stop it.

Arionna thought she understood sacrifice, but she never counted on her destiny tearing Dace apart. Ever since she nearly died, he has been consumed with guilt. Now it threatens to turn him into the monster he always feared.

It's up to Arionna to stop him before it's too late, but the path to hell is paved with good intentions, and Dace is hurtling toward self destruction. This time, Arionna isn't sure she can save him from himself. Can she convince him to let the past go, or is her true destiny to sacrifice her heart in exchange for the lives of the people she loves?

EXCERPT:

"I want a gun." I blurted the thought I'd been quietly playing with for days.

Three sets of wide eyes settled on me, making it evident Dace hadn't homed in on that particular line of thought before now. No one said anything for a long moment as they processed my confession.

"It's not a bad idea," Ronan said then.

"Are you kidding me?" Dace yelled at the same time my dad said, "Absolutely not!"

I cringed as they both turned to glare daggers at Ronan.

So much for forestalling another argument.

"She can't protect herself like this," Ronan said, a lot more calmly than I would have with Dace and my dad both looking like they were ready to throw a punch. Ronan jerked his chin in my direction as if to illustrate his point.

Dace growled aloud at the reminder that I needed help to walk across the room.

"She's smart enough to use a gun safely," Ronan said, eying Dace levelly.

I don't think Dace scared him in the least. Lucky Ronan. When Dace growled at me, I wanted to hide beneath the covers. I knew he'd never hurt me, but reconciling fierce alpha Dace with scared boyfriend Dace was an exercise in futility, and I'd given up trying. There were two sides to him. Two very different, very confusing sides.

"I've made it through forty-four years without bringing a gun into my home to protect my family," Dad said, his voice soft and intractable at once. "I won't bring one in now."

Ronan arched a brow at me as if to ask if I was going to let them make this decision for me.

I squared my shoulders.

"You're not getting a gun, Arionna." Dad cut me off before I could even speak up in my defense. He looked at me, expression firm. "End of discussion."

Dace nodded an agreement, a smug edge to the emotions he sent filtering through to me.

I huffed, narrowing my eyes at both of them. "I'm an adult, you know."

"You'll always be my daughter."

"This should be my decision."

"Why?" Dace asked, crossing his arms over his chest. "It's a bad idea."

"Says you," I muttered, turning my face away from him and all of his superiority and smugness. Men were irritating.

"And virtually every shooting related news article ever written," he retorted, refusing to be cowed that easily. He placed his hand on my arm. "Accidents happen, Arionna. Guns discharge. People die. I won't let that be you."

I opened my mouth to argue… and stopped short when something flickered in his mind. Images coalesced one after another, freezing me in my tracks.

Blood ran in rivulets across a white, tile floor.

A hazy figure gaped at the gun in his hand, his mouth moving as if he were speaking.

Familiar, green eyes stared vacantly.

A black bag zipped over a body.

The images were brief, no more than split second flashes, there and gone as quickly as they appeared, but sorrow ripped through Dace like claws tearing through flesh.

I cried out, stunned by the sudden, intense pain.

Dace’s hand fell from my arm.

"What was that?" I asked, still swaying beneath the dizzying cloud spinning through me even without physical contact. Black spots swam before my eyes.

Dace didn't say anything.

"Dace?" I blinked away the spots swimming in my vision, forcing myself to focus on him. "What was that?"

He met my gaze, his expression bleak. His mouth twisted. The haunted look in his eyes deepened. "My father."

"You were there?" I whispered. Dace's dad was killed in a robbery right after Dace's fourteenth birthday. I knew that. But I hadn't known…. "Why didn't you tell me?"

He shrugged a shoulder.

A soft, mournful sigh whispered through me, coming from Freki.
 
* * *
 
You can read the official prologue to FALL here.

FALLThe Ragnarök Prophesies: Book Two is now available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and KOBO.
 
xoxo,
Ayden
And don't forget: FADE - The Ragnarök Prophesies: Book One is also available at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million

Saturday, October 5, 2013

It's FALL's Release Day! #newrelease #teamapocalypse #fantasy

Hello lovelies,

If you haven't been keeping up with the hijinks on my social media accounts, I am very proud to announce that it's FALL's Release Day! The books is now available at Amazon and Barnes and Noble!

I'm very excited to say that you guys have bumped FALL up to the Top 20 in Mythology. Yay! I hope we can keep the momentum going by sharing the buy links on Facebook, Twitter, and elsewhere. Remember, if you use the #teamapocalypse hashtag on Twitter, you can keep up with what others are saying about FALL. :)

The Release Day Party was today, and you guys are invited to stop by the page and check out all the fun things that occurred. We're party animals so the page hasn't died yet. :)

I am very pleased to announce that the FALL Reader Charity of Choice is the Spina Bifida Association. You guys turned out to vote in spades, and it was darn close, but Spina Bifida Association pulled ahead during the 11th hour. I am very excited to help support this amazing organization over the coming months, and will be looking for opportunities for everyone to get involved!

I'd also like to announce that Lindsey V. won the Cover Reveal Giveaway. Congratulations, Linsey!

Have you guys bought FALL yet? Some of you crazy, lovely people have already finished it! I need to borrow some of your magics! :)

Don't forget to add FALL to your TBR on Goodreads!

xoxo,
Ayden


Fall - The Ragnarok Prophesies: Book Two - Now available at Amazon | Barnes and Noble
Fade - The Ragnarok Prophesies: Book One - On Sale at: Amazon US | UK | DE | FR | IT | ES | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | Books-a-Million

Tuesday, October 1, 2013

Help Us Pick a Winner! #givingback #charity

Hello, lovelies!

We've reviewed all the nominees for the Reader Charity Selection contest. It was not an easy decision by any means, as there were some truly phenomenal charities nominated. After discussing the nominees with my beta team, we were able to narrow the list down to our top six. We were aiming for five, but that's okay. We can work with six!

Here's how this will work.

Below you will find a little information on each of the six charities up for public vote, as well as a few short sentences on why it was nominated. You'll also find a link to the charity's website. At the end of this post, you'll see a simple form where you will vote for your favorite between midnight tonight and 11:59 pm ET on October 4th (that's Friday night).

On the 5th, I will tally everything up, and the charity with the most votes will be declared the winner. That charity will receive 10% of author profits for FALL for the next six months (10/13 to 3/14). In the event of a tie, the top two charities will split the donation at 5% to each.

Simple enough, right?

Let the voting commence!

Your Reader Charity Selection Nominees are (in no particular order):

1. National Kidney Foundation - The National Kidney Foundation is the leading organization in the U.S. dedicated to the awareness, prevention and treatment of kidney disease for hundreds of thousands of healthcare professionals, millions of patients and their families, and tens of millions of Americans at risk.

The National Kidney Foundation was nominated by Lindsey V, whose aunt and grandfather were both affected by kidney failure. One of Lindsey's favorite things about the Foundation is that they provide grants for kidney research, which has the potential to greatly impact how the disease is treated.

You can learn more about the National Kidney Foundation at http://kidney.org.

2. ASPCA - The ASPCA works to provide effective means for the prevention of cruelty to animals throughout the United States. The ASPCA works nationally to rescue animals from abuse, pass humane laws and share resources with many shelters across the country.

The ASPCA was nominated by both Leah C and Jessica C, who are big animal lovers and believe no animal deserves abuse or neglect.

You can learn more about the ASPCA at http://www.aspca.org.

3. The Princess Project - The Princess Projects promotes self-confidence and individual beauty by providing free prom dresses and accessories to high school girls who cannot otherwise afford them.

The Princess Project was nominated by Amelia B., who loves the work they do, and believes every girl should feel like a princess on prom night.

You can learn more about The Princess Project at http://princessproject.org.

4. The Autism SocietyThe Autism Society, the nation’s leading grassroots autism organization, exists to improve the lives of all affected by autism. They do this by increasing public awareness about the day-to-day issues faced by people on the spectrum, advocating for appropriate services for individuals across the lifespan, and providing the latest information regarding treatment, education, research and advocacy.

The Autism Society was nominated by Janice C., who has four grandchildren that have been diagnosed with an autism-spectrum disorder.

You can learn more about the Autism Society at http://www.autism-society.org.

5. The Pediatric Cancer Foundation - Founded in 1970, this 501(c)(3) non-profit charity raises money for research, treatment, state of the art equipment/ instruments and patient/parent care for world-renowned doctors at the hospitals PCF supports.

The Pediatric Cancer Foundation was nominated by Jessica C, who has been touched by medically needy children like those served by the Foundation both as the aunt to a medically needy child, and as a teacher at a daycare that works specifically with medically needy children.

You can learn more about the Pediatric Cancer Foundation at http://www.pcfweb.org.

6. The Spina Bifida Association - The Spina Bifida Association (SBA) serves adults and children who live with the challenges of Spina Bifida. Since 1973, SBA has been the only national voluntary health agency solely dedicated to enhancing the lives of those with Spina Bifida and those whose lives are touched by this challenging birth defect. Its tools are education, advocacy, research, and service.

The Spina Bifida Association was nominated by Debbie S., whose young grandson was born with a severe form of spina bifida, and now faces unique challenges because of his illness.

You can learn more about the Spina Bifida Association at: http://spinabifidaassociation.org.

Please help us choose which charity will benefit from FALL for the first six months of publication. Vote for your favorite below, and then share this post with your friends and family so they can help us choose our charity, too. :)
 
VOTING HAS ENDED! Thank you!

Please excuse any formatting errors. This is not a sign of favoritism. Rather, it's a sign that I still don't know how the heck to work blogger when it does stupid stuff I didn't ask it to do.