The Shifter Chronicles Book Tour & Giveaway

Evershade The Shifter Chronicles Book 1 by Michelle Areaux Genre: YA Fantasy Romance Thriller

How well do you know yourself? Sixteen-year-old Elle thinks she’s got life in Shady Oaks all under control until new boy Asher comes to town. Elle can’t explain it, but she can’t deny the connection she feels to him. Things with Asher are going great until they’re out one night and nearly attacked by a large wolf. Before she knows it, Elle’s life is spiraling out of control: Maddox is in love with her, she and Asher are in danger… and she learns she’s a shifter! If that wasn’t bad enough, she finds herself in the middle of an ages-old war between shifters and hunters. What else can she do but join the cause? Will Elle stay with Asher or break-up with him to be with Maddox? What does it mean to be a shifter? Who will emerge victorious in the battle? Goodreads * Amazon

Everpure The Shifter Chronicles Book 2

Sixteen-year-old Elle’s life changed in a matter of seconds after learning she wasn’t only human, but a shifter too. To make matters worse, her best friend Maddox and boyfriend Asher have a mutual hate for one another that leaves Elle in the middle of their constant battles. With a new discovery now lingering over Elle, she is left with more questions than she ever could have imagined. Thinking she has found a way to handle her new found life as a shifter, she now finds herself faced with a much larger challenge. A huntress named Evaline is now seeking to destroy all shifters and vampires as she makes it her goal to avenge her father’s death and end all otherworldly creatures once and for all. Will Elle be able to survive the army now seeking to destroy her world? Will Elle be forced to choose between her best friend and boyfriend? Discover a new fantasy world with Everpure, the second book in the Evershade Shifter Chronicles. Goodreads * Amazon

Evernight The Shifter Chronicles Book 3

For Elle, she thought the day she learned she was a Shifter was the most frustrating day of her life. Well, that was until she found herself in the middle of a war between her best friend and boyfriend. Now, everything is about to change for this trio as a known Witch in Shady Oaks has decided to wage a war against the Shifters and Otherworldly Creatures. This time, Elle may find herself battling with new powers and without her trusted best friend, Maddox. Discover how hearts are broken and mended in this exciting third installment of the Shifter Chronicles, Evernight. Goodreads * Amazon

Everlight The Shifter Chronicles Book 4

When Elle discovers a new Shifter in town, she doesn’t expect her entire world to be turned upside down. Between Elle’s new powers placing her in even more danger, Magdalyn taking her best friend, Maddox, and new enemies; all odds seem to be against Elle. With Maddox now falling for Magdalyn, Elle has to fight a new battle; jealousy. Not to mention, Asher, the Vampire love of her life, is still pushing for Elle to decide on her fate for eternity. Will Elle let her own jealousy distract her? Will she fall victim to her enemies? Find out in this thrilling novel; Everlight. Goodreads * Amazon

Michelle Areaux is a wife, mother, middle school teacher, and author. As an avid reader and lover of all things literature, she followed her dream of becoming a published author and has never looked back! She earned her Bachelor’s degree at the University of Kentucky and a Master’s degree in Literacy from Asbury University. Facebook * Twitter * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

“Once Laney was gone, Loraine looked over at her family and I saw a fear strike her. Something inside of
Loraine changed the moment Laney was gone. Falling to her knees, Loraine began to weep as anguish
overtook her body. Rushing to her, the Witches fell with their grandmother and embraced her in a hug. As we
all stood by and watched the reunion, it was almost comforting to see how this family that was once torn and
full of hatred had found a way back to one another. I guess one person really can throw off the whole dynamic
of a group; and when that happens, it is hard not to allow a cloud of judgment and hatred to overshadow the
love that was once there. Now that Laney was gone and her spell disappeared with her, Loraine was able to
see who really did love her. I believed Loraine was changed and would return back to the woman they had all
once loved. The storm had died down and the sky was beginning to lose the darkness as the sun began to
filter back into the afternoon sky.”

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Out of Luck Book Tour & Giveaway

Out of Luck Maximum Exposure Book 3 by Kendall Talbot Genre: Romantic Suspense, Adventure

For twenty years, they moved from town to town every few months. They paid in cash. They kept only what they could carry. But 26-year-old Charlene Bailey and her father were a family, complete and happy. Until a woman stabbed him to death in a New Orleans café, right in front of Charlene’s eyes, screaming in a language she didn’t understand. Now the police are claiming that her whole life is a lie. To find out who she is, she’ll have to find out what they were running from. And to discover that, she’ll have to find someone she can trust. As a charter boat captain out of Key West, Marshall Crow has seen his share of reckless tourists. But the fierce young woman asking for passage to Cuba isn’t one of them. He never thought he’d put the skills he learned in the Navy to work smuggling a stranger, but he’s drawn to her the same way she’s drawn to the truth. And through the dark waters of the Florida straits and the narrow streets of Havana, the danger that awaits them is far too vicious to face alone. Add to Goodreads Amazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo

Out of Mind Maximum Exposure Book 2

A love frozen in time . . . Holly knew the romantic helicopter ride up to the remote peak of Whisky Mountain was a bad idea. But she never expected it to snatch her fiancé from her—or destroy her life. A few fiery seconds turn a postcard-perfect morning in the Canadian Rockies into a snowy hell, thirteen thousand feet above sea level. And in the midst of grief and agony, Holly catches sight of a scene in the ice that will haunt her until she can return and discover the truth. Oliver Nelson could see the stranger had a mystery inside her. The scars on her face, the pain in her eyes, the insistence that he teach her completely alone—no one needs to learn rock climbing, or so he thought. But the more he gets to know her, the more he admires her drive, her ingenuity, and that little edge of recklessness. If she can trust him with her story, he’s ready to follow her wherever her heart takes her. But nature’s deadly beauty isn’t the only danger waiting for them on Whisky Mountain. To survive, Oliver and Holly will have to move fast—and think faster . . . **Only 99 cents!!**Add to GoodreadsAmazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo

Out of Reach Maximum Exposure Book 1

In a place where a city can be lost hundreds of years . . . they can still find each other. Lily saw the temple of Agulinta on television: a vast stone structure swallowed by the Yucatan jungle, rediscovered only now after hundreds of years. So why did the papers she found after her father’s death show the same mysterious carvings that puzzled archaeologists at Agulinta? Her search for answers pulls her to Mexico’s southern border, where the journey to the lost temple will take her through jungle and mountain, over waters home to crocodiles and drug runners, and into uncomfortably close quarters with a man whose need to wander has become a way of life . . . Australian Carter Logan’s work as a nature photographer has given him the excuse he needs to roam wherever his restless feet take him. But in all the time he’s traveled, he’s never been drawn to anyone the way he is to this determined, cagey young American. Lily’s perseverance through dirt, sweat, and danger to the heart of the ancient temple fires through him. But when the two of them are left alone and stranded in a vicious wilderness, their connection might prove the difference between life and death . . . if the secrets of the past don’t come between them first. Add to GoodreadsAmazon * Apple * B&N * Google * Kobo

Kendall Talbot is the author of the Maximum Exposure series, and many other action/adventure stories. A thrill seeker, hopeless romantic, and award-winning author of stories that’ll have your heart thumping from action-packed suspense and steamy bedroom scenes, she lives in Brisbane, Australia with her very own hero and a fluffy little dog who specializes in hijacking her writing time. Meanwhile, Kendall’s two sons are off making their own adventures—look out world Website * Facebook * Twitter * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Chapter 1

Sorrow coiled in Charlene’s heart as she inched toward her father’s body on the metal slab.
The pungent air crackled with the stillness about her, and her bones sagged with an emptiness deep
in her soul. Her father didn’t look peaceful. She should’ve expected that, given the way he’d died.
The stubble in his beard was longer than usual, and she was surprised at how many gray whiskers
he had. Lips that had always been quick to smile were tinged the color of acid-washed denim.
His almond-colored eyes were closed, destined to remain that way forever.
With trembling hands, she curled her fingers beneath the seam of the white sheet concealing
his body and eased it down from his neck. Fighting the quiver in her chin, she stared at the jagged
knife wound in
his chest. It was surprisingly small considering the amount of blood that’d gushed from it.
Charlene squeezed her eyes shut, trying to force the brutal attack from her mind. But it was
there to stay. Every precise second was permanently etched into her memory.
The woman who’d stabbed him was a stunning brunette with olive skin and fierce brown
eyes. She’d looked petrified. Clearly her father and the woman had known each other, but Charlene
had never seen her before. They’d argued in Spanish. Charlene didn’t speak any other languages,
and
she’d had no idea her father did either.
When the woman had grabbed her father’s steak knife, Charlene had seen the look in his
eyes. It wasn’t fear. It was resignation. Like he’d always expected that moment to one day come.
Shaking the recollections free, she opened her eyes and touched his forearm, just as she’d
done a thousand times over, except this time she had to resist recoiling at the cold beneath his flesh.
As a single tear trickled down her cheek, she wondered if their past had finally caught up to them.
Twenty-two years it’d taken.
Twenty-two years since her father had whisked her away in the middle of the night.
Twenty-two years since she’d last seen her mother.
They’d moved to twice as many cities in that time. Just the two of them.
Charlene inhaled the tangy disinfectant and the emptiness around her. “What am I going to
do?” Even her voice sounded hollow, lacking in emotion.
Life as drifters had meant she had no friends.
Her time with her mother was nothing but a whispered dream. Her father never did tell her
what happened when she was six years old. And after a while, she’d stopped asking. In fact, she’d
often wondered if it was just a silly childhood nightmare.
Now she was all alone.
The enormity of it had hit her yesterday when the police started asking questions.
Her father had no identification. No driver’s license. No credit cards. Not even a Social
Security card. Just a small amount of cash and the key to their rented apartment. It hadn’t surprised
her. The police, however,
had implied that it was abnormal. Deceitful even. Charlene had explained away all their questions,
yet Detective Chapel had looked at her like she was hiding something.
She’d learned to live with inquisitive gazes; she’d been the new student at twenty or so
schools. Being the stranger in a crowd was completely normal.
The door cracked open, and the sound ricocheted about the room like a bullet. She jolted at
the interruption and turned. Detective Chapel had a look of sorrow that for some reason seemed
forced…too practiced. She flicked the tears from her cheeks and stepped back from her father’s
lifeless form.
“Ms. Bailey, are you okay?”
Charlene swallowed the lump burning in her throat and shook her head. Okay? His question
was ludicrous. Nothing will ever be okay again. Ever. She turned back to her father’s body and
through her murky tears scanned his face. Finally, she nodded. “Yes.”

When she turned to look into Chapel’s eyes, she had a strange feeling he didn’t believe her
account of what happened. She blinked and tried but failed to cast the unfounded feeling aside.
“What happens now?”
“If you’re up to it, we’d like to ask you a few more questions.”
She glanced at her father one last time, hardly able to believe what she was seeing. He’d
always been full of life…the first to try out a dish he couldn’t pronounce at a restaurant or jump off
the bus to explore a new
vista. He taught her to appreciate the sunrise and the glow of the moon over the ocean. His days
were long and his nights short in his attempts to squeeze the life out of every second.
All that had been stolen with the slice of a blade.
She bit her lip in an attempt to halt her quivering chin, and before she succumbed to the
burgeoning tears again, she allowed Chapel to lead her from the morgue.

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Beneath the Surface Book Tour & Giveaway

Beneath the Surface Secrets In Oak Creek Book 2 by B.K. Stubblefield Genre: Mystery, Romance

He clutched his head in his hands. His shoulders shook, but no sound came. Minutes stretched, interrupted only by the pop of burning wood.” Ryan Collins had it all – financial freedom, an exciting career, and attractive women. A favorite photographer in the glamorous world of fashion, his lifestyle is the envy of many. Only a few know of the demons that haunt him. When Ryan and Emily Carmichael discover Oak Creek’s dirty secret, they become witnesses to a drug crime. With Ryan’s plans for a career change temporarily on hold, the physical and emotional attraction to Emily grows strong. But a twisted truth taught so many years ago spirals to the surface and strangles his heart. A romantic relationship just isn’t meant to be. While assisting a friend with a documentary in the African wild, Ryan is forced to confront his terrors. As the battle within rages will he be able to permanently silence the voices this time? Will he find a way back to Emily, and the happiness he so desperately craves? Or is it too late? **Only .99 cents!!** Add to Goodreads Amazon * B&N

Secrets in Oak Creek Secrets In Oak Creek Book 1

A small town with a dark secret. A new arrival in grave danger. Can she solve the mystery before she ends up the next victim?

The best part of Emily’s childhood may have been the time she spent with her quirky aunt. So when her favorite relative passes away, she drops everything to attend the funeral in the small town of Oak Creek. But she never expected to inherit her aunt’s entire estate, including her massive black dog Bentley. Just as she starts to get the hang of small-town life, an unknown driver runs her off the road and sends her to the hospital. As doctors tend to her and she makes a connection with a charming Oak Creek resident named Ryan, Emily racks her brain to figure out who would want her dead. When sparks start to fly between her and the Good Samaritan that sat by her bedside, they team up to solve the mystery. Digging into the crime starts to reveal a dark side to Oak Creek and long-held secrets nobody wants revealed. Emily and Ryan must uncover the truth before her assailant comes back to finish the job. **Only .99 cents!!**Add to GoodreadsAmazon * Apple * B&N * Kobo

B.K. Stubblefield is a new writer with a passion for animal rescue. After adopting her new dog Harper, she was quickly overwhelmed with the challenges of raising a “puppy on steroids”. Together with her close friend, Debra Wagner, she published ‘Rescued: A Tale of Two Dogs’, two nonfiction tales of love, patience and commitment. In an effort to help bring awareness to animal neglect and abuse in our own neighborhoods, B.K. Stubblefield shares several short stories of animals brought out of the shadows and into the light of love in her second book “Rescued: Out of The Shadows.” Fictional short stories and memory books/journals continue to carry the theme of dog rescue. B.K. Stubblefield is also a contributing author to “Be Their Voice: An Anthology for Rescue, Volume I & II Her debut novel, ‘Secrets in Oak Creek’, a mystery/romance, was published in November 2017. Born and raised in Germany, the author has spent many years supporting her husband’s military career. Moving between Europe and the United States, she now makes her home in the small rural town of Elizabethtown, Kentucky where she enjoys the slower pace of small town living. Early morning weekend walks with her dog Harper are among her favorite activities. Website * Facebook * Twitter * Goodreads

CHAPTER 1
Twenty-nine years earlier
tartled, the little boy awoke.
Confused and scared, his eyes fluttered then opened wide as he gazed into the
darkness of the room. Strange noises had woken him. Or had it only been a bad dream?
No, not a dream… there they were again. His heart sprinted at the low growls, shrieks,
and whispers. Was someone hurt? He couldn’t tell, but it scared him.
His ears pricked, and he strained to pick up any sound. He knew no monsters hid under
his bed or crouched in the corners of his room. But still… what if?
Suddenly, a bolt of lightning flashed and split the night sky with an erratic zig-zag across the
horizon. The boy relaxed. Scaredy-cat he chided himself aloud. It’s only a storm. The low moan
of the approaching storm had roused him from his sleep.
Storms didn’t scare the little boy–his dad had taught him how to stay safe. And his dad was his
hero – he was a soldier and knew everythingabout safety. The boy watched and learned,
bonding with his dad over fun outdoor trips … like when they went camping. Just the two of
them. But his dad wasn’t home that night. His unit was on a military field exercise. The boy
closed his eyes and said a prayer for his dad’s protection.
His fists uncurled, releasing the bedsheet from a steely grip as he counted the seconds to the
next crashing boom of the thunderclap. As the thunder rolled, he thought he heard the strange
noise again. What was that? Did the rumble disappear into the night? No. The sound came
from the end of the hall.
With his frightened heart slamming against his ribs, he gathered the courage to get out of bed
and hitched up his Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles pajama pants. Barefoot, he padded across the
room. With great care, he quietly turned the doorknob and stepped out into the hallway.
He had to pee but didn’t have far to go. The bathroom door across the hall from his room stood
open. He slipped inside, softly closing the door behind him. When he finished, he opened the
water faucet just enough to wash his hands under a warm trickle before he slipped back into the
hall. That’s when he heard it again. That noise. Without making a sound, the boy crept along
the wall until he stopped in front of his parents’ bedroom. Pressing his ear against the flimsy
wooden door, he listened.
There! The sounds he couldn’t label came from inside. Fright washed over him. Mom! What’s
wrong? Why are you crying? With a racing heart, and hands clammy with a cold sweat, he
turned the knob with great care. He eased the door ajar, just wide enough to peek through the
opening.
Heavy drapes obscured the faint lights of the night sky, causing the boy to blink a few times
against the dim shadows. His eyes adjusted, and he tried to make sense of the burly shape
silhouetted against the inky dark of the room. The boy stood motionless, his feet rooted to the
hardwood floor, blood pounding in his ears. In horror, he watched the dark shape bending over
his mom. She whimpered. To the small boy’s ears, the sound was a cry of pain. Like when I fell
and scraped my knees the other day, he remembered.
A high-pitched cry broke the boy’s paralysis. “Mom?” he probed. BOOM! Another thunderclap
cracked the air. “Mom? Mom…. are you hurt?” the little boy cried out as he flung the bedroom
door wide open.
“Fuck!” He heard the man’s cuss at the same time his Mom screamed.
“Ryan!” she shrieked and grabbed a throw blanket as she jumped off the bed. “Get out!”
Enraged, she grabbed his arm and pulled him into the hallway. “Why the hell aren’t you in bed?
You should be asleep!” His mother’s voice sounded harsh as she dragged him to his room and
pushed him inside. “Go back to bed…and stay in your room! Go to sleep!”
Confused and hurt the boy hurled himself onto his bed. Embarrassment and shame twisted in
his tummy. But why, he didn’t know. He’d angered his mom. She’d been furious, – but he had
just wanted to help. A sick feeling settled in his belly.
The boy knelt on his bed and propped his elbows on the windowsill. His hands cradled his face
as he watched as the lightning strikes became fewer and fewer. The storm finally moved away.
As Ryan watched dark clouds rush across the night sky, tears rolled from big blue eyes,
dripping onto his pajama sleeves. He felt all tangled up on the inside. What is this man doing to

my mom, and why is she so mad at me? He’d just wanted to check out the weird noises and
see why she was crying.
When dad had left, he’d hugged Ryan. “Take good care of Mom for me, buddy,” he’d said, and
the boy nodded his promise.
His mind shaped a large cloud into a dinosaur, and he wished he could ride it across the sky to
visit his dad. His battle buddy–that’s what dadcalled him.
The storm had long passed when the boy awoke again. His mom was in the kitchen, reading
the newspaper and drinking her morning coffee when he’d shuffled into the room.
“Good morning, sleepyhead.” Looking up from the paper, she sounded pleasant. But the boy
was suspicious. Is she still mad at me?
When he didn’t answer, his mother frowned. “Swallowed your tongue, boy?”
“Mom, who was that man last night?” He moved towards the table, rubbing the sleep out of his
eyes.
“What are you talking about, Ryan?”
“The man in your bedroom… what did he do? Did he hurt you?”
Her tone sharpened. “Ryan, come here.” Grabbing his small arms, she pulled him until he came
to stand between her knees. “Look at me,” her stern voice demanded. But the boy kept his eyes
glued to the kitchen floor.
His mother’s manicured fingers shot out to push up his chin. He stared into her eyes with
a blank face.
“You had a nightmare. No one tried to hurt me.”
“But I saw him.” The boy knew he wasn’t supposed to talk back, but he disobeyed.
“Nonsense Ryan!” She shook the boy’s small shoulders, but the defiance didn’t leave his eyes.
“There was no man! And nobody was in my room. Stop making up stories. Do you hear me?
And Ryan? I don’t expect you to bother your father with this make-believe monster story when
he comes home. Do you understand?”
Ryan nodded. He understood this tone; he’d experienced it often.
Sour-faced, she released him from her grip with a dismissive push. “You’re just like your father.”
The boy’s throat closed, and his eyes watered at the dislike he heard in those mumbled words.
It didn’t take much to irritate his mom. She was often agitated–with him and his dad. As much
as he wanted to please her, on certain days, he could do nothing right. No matter how he
tried. She doesn’t love me.
“I asked you a question, Ryan!” A final shake of his shoulders and the boy answered, as if on
autopilot. “Yes, ma’am.” But he knew because he had seen the man. When he’d watched the
clouds move, he saw him coming out of their house, get into his car and drive away.
It was the first time Ryan realized his mom lied.

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The True and the Crown Series Book Tour & Giveaway

One Kind of Wicked The True and the Crown Book 1 by May Dawson Genre: Reverse Harem Fantasy Romance

There’s no place like Avalon, land of mists and magic. Exiled to your world for my father’s sins, I longed for home. But Avalon is no place for the dark lord’s daughter. Until I’m invited home to attend the academy of magic. I’m no fool. I know there are strings attached. Those strings may have something to do with three handsome, alluring men who befriend me. I can’t trust them, but I can’t resist the pull I feel for them, either. It’s been a long time since I had friends. I don’t know how long I’ll last at the academy. My father’s henchmen, the True, want me to restore his wicked glory. The Crown wants to use me to destroy the True. And in the midst of all this swirling intrigue, I’m getting abysmal grades in both Calculus *and* Casting. These men seem determined to tutor me, fix me and most of all, protect me. But my deep, dark secret is that the dread magician’s daughter…doesn’t have her magic anymore. When they realize how useless I am, will they still stand by my side? Welcome to a world where redemption is possible, where friendship and adventure and magic abound, and where love means never having to choose. One Kind of Wicked is the first in a five book university-age academy reverse harem series **On Sale for only .99 cents July 11-14!!** Goodreads * Amazon

Two Kinds of Damned The True and the Crown Book 2

The True want me. The Crown wants to use me. But what do I want? The academy of magic doesn’t have frat parties; it has balls with tuxedos and flowing champagne and chocolate fountains. Oh, and masked debauchery. Lots of that. Unfortunately, instead of enjoying the debauchery with the three alluring magicians I’m falling for, I’m there to draw out the True henchmen. I’m nothing but bait in a ball gown. To serve my country—and to stay in Avalon—I need to play the part of a villain. The True need to think I can be persuaded stand alongside them as they destroy Avalon. At least these three men see me as I really am: a woman who just wants a second chance. Unfortunately, they’re hiding secrets of their own… And some of those secrets will be revealed, even before the masks come off. Goodreads * Amazon

Three Kinds of Lost The True and the Crown Book 3

The university of magic is no place for the dark lord’s daughter…and the Crown Prince’s birthday ball is no place for her either. But it’s not the kind of invitation that a girl can reject. So, my men and I pack up our fancy clothes and off we go to the prince’s castle. We have a mission along the way. The secrets that have kept me safe until now are crumbling. I need my magic back, now. Without my magic, without being useful to the Crown, I can look forward to a one-way ticket back to your world. Or a one-way ticket to dead. But while my men and I hunt the man who stole my magic and destroyed part of my soul… …he’s hunting me too. By the time our battle is over, every truth will be revealed. Every lie will be destroyed. Will Avalon ever be the same? Will my heart? Goodreads * Amazon

May Dawson writes reverse harem romance about magic, strong women, and the men who love them. A native New Yorker, she’s settled in Virginia, where she is raising two red-headed troublemakers and a passel of cats. Facebook * FB Group * Instagram * Bookbub * Amazon * Goodreads

Opening scene:
The smell of rain almost overwhelms the stench of garbage as I head back to the rooming house, and the
thin handles of the heavy plastic bags I carry bite into my fingers. My shoulders ache, but I walk with my
head held high. It’s the way I was raised.
I’m going home today.
The filthy sidewalk and the buildings that close around me are all gray. I bet in Avalon, the sunrise floods
the sky with pink and orange above the trees. Avalon is still half-wild in a way things aren’t here. Vibrant
cities stand bordered by forests, and the air carries the scent of wildflowers.
Or maybe that’s all bullshit. Maybe I remember home like someone who’s been exiled for five years. I
don’t trust my memories anymore, and I sure as hell don’t trust my feelings.

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Rose Book Tour & Giveaway

Rose by Rami Ungar Genre: Fantasy-Horror

Rose Taggert awakens in a greenhouse with no clear memory of the past two years and, to her horror, finds her body transformed into an unrecognizable form. Paris Kuyper has convinced Rose that they are lovers and as Paris could not bear for her to die, he has used an ancient and dark magic to save her from certain death. But the dark magic Paris has used comes at a price. A price which a terrible demon is determined to extract from Rose. As Rose struggles to understand what is happening to her, she must navigate Paris’s lies and secrets; secrets that Paris will do anything to protect. Goodreads * Amazon

Rami Ungar knew he wanted to be a writer from the age of five, when he first became exposed to the world of Harry Potter and wanted to create imaginative worlds like Harry’s. As a tween, he fell in love with the works of Anne Rice and Stephen King and, as he was getting too old to sneak up on people and shout “Boo!’ (not that that ever stopped him), he decided to merge his two loves and become a horror writer. Today, Rami lives and writes in Columbus, Ohio. He’s self-published three novels and one collection of short stories, and his stories have appeared in other publications here and there. Rose, his first novel with Castrum Press, released June 21st, 2019. When he’s not writing your nightmares or coming up with those, he’s enjoying anything from the latest horror novel or movie to anime and manga to ballet, collecting anything that catches his fancy, and giving you the impression he may not be entirely human. Website * Facebook * Twitter * Instagram * Amazon * Goodreads

Chapter One
Okay, this is weird. Where the f*&^ am I?
I look around. I’m surrounded by a sea of vegetation: flowers and shrubs in hundreds of
varieties, sitting in pots and trays atop a grid of workbenches. Surrounding the workbenches is a ring of
trees that tower over everything, their upward growth halted by a glass ceiling. A literal glass ceiling, not
the one taught in my classes. Past the trees I spy more glass, through which nothing can be glimpsed but
total darkness.
I’m in a greenhouse. Why am I waking up in a greenhouse? I try to think back but I can’t
remember anything about how I fell asleep. In fact, I can’t remember how I got to the greenhouse in the
first place, or where this greenhouse is located. Am I supposed to be here? If so, why?
The questions make the pounding in head hurt worse. I force my thoughts to quiet long enough
for the pain to subside to a dull throb. Able to think again, I try to remember what I was doing before I
found myself here. Nothing comes to me.
Okay, no problem. What’s the last thing I do remember?
Walking home. Yeah, I was heading home after meeting with my advisor. I had my textbooks
and lesson plan for the coming semester in my bag. I crossed the street, turned the corner at Potbelly’s,
and approached my—
What kind of home do I live in? I strain, but there’s a gray fog in my memories, obscuring
everything. Not only that but the word for the kind of building I live in is missing. Why? I should know
this. It’s a word thrown around in everyday speech!
I push, but the gray fog doesn’t go away, and the word doesn’t come. I try skipping forward to
when I got inside but that’s also a wash of gray. Concerned, I rewind instead and get as far as the
building where my department is housed, but I can’t remember the name of the building. That can’t be!
I’ve been taking classes there for—
I can’t remember how long I’ve been taking classes there. At least four years, because I was
accepted into the graduate program. The exact number eludes me. So does the building’s layout, the
people in my program, my teachers, and my advisor. It’s all gone. I can’t even remember any of the
classes or projects I’ve done past undergrad, though somehow, I remember the information I’ve learned
since then.
My breathing quickens, and I put a hand over my chest. Why can’t I remember anything?
Okay, slow down. What do I remember? Let’s see, my name is Rose Taggert. Last I checked I was
twenty-one years old and I’m a…sociology grad. Yeah, I’m a sociology grad, specializing in criminology.
And I remember the stuff I’ve been learning in my classes, statistics, theories and social constructs, plus
the work I was doing on gun violence. I’m a graduate at The Ohio State University, the second in my
family to attend this university.
I also have two sisters, Hope and Madeleine, and a brother, Brian. Brian and Hope are older than
me and Maddy is younger. Hope is my other sibling to go to OSU, while Brian betrayed all that was holy

and went up north to the University of Michigan. Maddy’s in middle school. My parents are Roger and
Barbara Taggert. My dad is a—
I can’t remember what my parents do, which is insane because it’s why I’ve had to work to
attend college. Why can’t I remember any of this? What’s happened to me? I must find someone who
can explain to me what’s going on. A doctor preferably, or the greenhouse caretaker.
I slide off the table I’m lying on. As I do, two things come to my attention: I’m wearing a pink,
strapless dress, which I can tell at a glance costs more than I’m used to spending on clothes. The other is
the dress and table are covered in roses, red, pink and yellow ones with long, thorny stems, some of
which fall to the ground as I swing my legs off the table. I bend to pick one up, careful not to prick myself
on a thorn, rolling the blossom between my fingers, admiring the beautiful pink color and the soft velvet
sensation of the petals. I normally don’t care for roses—too many people have made jokes about my
name for me to like them—but right now I’m curious. Who sees a sleeping woman in a dress and thinks,
sure, let’s put roses on her?
Abruptly, the rose dies in my hand: the pink fleshy petals turn black and crinkly, while the stalk
becomes brown and brittle. I drop the rose and stand, alarmed. On the workbench and on the ground,
roses wilt and die before my very eyes. What the hell?
As the flowers die, my eyes light on something lying at the foot of the workbench that’s not a
rose. I lean forward to take a closer look, only to jump back in horror. Lying in a pool of its own blood is a
large brown cat, its stomach slit down the middle, its intestines hanging out like the contents of some
grotesque piñata. The cat’s face points in my direction, frozen in an eternal expression of surprise, as if it
too can’t understand what has happened to it.
My hands fly to my mouth, my heart pounds against my chest, and my stomach heaves. I step
back, tripping on the hem of my dress, falling onto my back. I cry out, my stomach gives another
tremendous heave. Dead roses crackle underneath me as I heave myself onto all fours, my red hair
tumbling past my shoulders. I wait, feeling something moving up my esophagus. Oh God, I’m going to be
sick. I’m so going to be sick.
Something’s wrong. It doesn’t feel like normal nausea. It feels like…like snakes are moving
through my chest and into my neck, around my esophagus rather than inside it.
This isn’t vomit. It’s…things…creatures, long and round and snakelike, dancing underneath my
skin. Images of thin black serpents moving around my trachea flash through my mind, and my panic
rises. What if they try to bite and poison me with venom? Or strangle me from within?
My hands dart to my neck, though I’m not sure if I’m figuring out what’s under my skin or trying
to claw out whatever’s moving around inside of me. The things in my neck zoom past my hands ,
twisting around my windpipe, cutting off the flow of oxygen to my lungs. I open my mouth to scream,
but nothing comes out except a reedy whisper. The things in my neck are pushing outwards at the skin
of my neck, sharp tips boring through like tiny drills. There’s eight in total, the points where they push
form a ring around the circumference of my neck, like a deep-tissue choker of pain.
My chest burns. My brain screams. My strength is fading. Darkness creeps into my vision. I’m
not going to make it; I’m not going to survive. I won’t find out what’s happened to me—

The things in my neck burst free, long and green and snakelike, each about two or three feet
long. They swish whip-like through the air, blood flying off them, splattering plants and tables. The
pressure on my windpipe vanishes, and I suck in a deep breath before exhaling a pained scream. God, it
feels like I’ve been stabbed eight times in the neck, only whatever stabbed me came from inside. Words
like ‘freaky’ and ‘unreal’ don’t even begin to cover this situation.
The whips stop swishing and hang still in the air, furnishing me a moment to think of a real name
for them. Tentacles, I decide. They are tentacles. Like an octopus or a squid. Though why are they
coming out of me?
Before I can find an answer, a pair of tentacles lash out and wrap around the leg of a
workbench. Another pair wrap around the leg of the workbench opposite, and the last two pairs grab
the ground below and the top of the workbenches above me. Then the first pair unwrap themselves
from the workbench, and lunge for the leg belonging to the one in front of me, wrapping around the leg
and dragging me forward. The second pair do the same thing with the workbenches on their side,
pulling me forward like a ragdoll. I cry out as the tentacles work in unison, moving forward like some
strange insect and taking me along with them. I futilely try to grab something to hold onto, but each
time I try my frantic fingers can’t get a grip. After the third attempt leaves my hands raw, I stop and
allow myself to be pulled along, sobbing with pain and terror.
The tentacles clear the workbenches and climb up a short stone wall onto the soil bed where
the trees bask. The tentacles stop and I lay half on, half off the soil bed, while they hover in the air. I
have the impression they are smelling the air, like dogs. Before I can wonder what they are sniffing for,
the tentacles crash into the soil, plunging deep until only a few inches close to my neck remains visible.
The tentacles begin pulsing, spasms wracking them from deep within the earth, up their length, and into
me. I shudder trying to pull away, but the tentacles drag me back and burrow deeper, pinning me
against the dirt. I can’t escape.
Tears make rivers down my cheeks. I’m scared and bewildered. My neck thrums in agony.
“What’s happening to me?” I whisper aloud to the greenhouse.
“What the hell?” a voice replies. “Rose! What happened?”

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