Friday, December 28, 2012

Holiday E-book Sale All for 0.99, Giveaway as well!

There are some GREAT books in here to grab up for only $0.99!!!! I know you have been itching to use those gift-cards you were given for Christmas!

The Post-Christmas Holiday Book Sale, hosted by the Indie Book Festival, will kick off on December 28 and run through December 31. All books will be .99!! The Indie Book Festival will be posting the participating books to their Facebook page as well. The Indie Book Festival website is the premier online website for seasonal e-book sales events! From Halloween to Valentine's Day – we'll celebrate it by bringing you bestselling books by today’s hottest Romance, Fantasy, Paranormal and Young Adult indie authors.
You can also enter to win a $100 Amazon Gift Card now! a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, December 10, 2012

The Vampire Hunters Daughter by Jennifer Malone Wright Book Blitz and Giveaway

Genre:YA paranormal
 Publisher: Self
Number of pages: 217 paperback
 Word Count: 78,734
 Formats available: Paperback and Ebook. 

This special edition of The Vampire Hunter’s Daughter contains parts I-VI, the complete collection. Fourteen-year-old Chloe witnesses her mother’s murder at the hands of a vampire. Before the vampire can kidnap her, there is an unexpected rescue by a group of vampire hunters.

Overwhelmed by the feeling of safety, Chloe passes out and they whisk her away to their small community. When Chloe wakes, she comes face to face with the only other living relative, besides her mother, whom she has ever met: her grandfather. Chloe’s mother kept her hidden from the family; now, Chloe tries to unveil the family secrets.

Through her grandfather, she learns her mother was a vampire hunter. In fact, her entire family is descended from the powerful bloodlines of vampire hunters. Chloe agrees to join the family she has never known for one reason only: Chloe vows to kill the vampire responsible for her mother’s murder. With vengeance in her soul, Chloe is even more determined to follow through on her vow when she discovers the true identity of her enemy and how he is connected to her.

Experience the world of vampires hunter’s, vampires and mythology with Chloe in this exciting series.

Buy the complete collection here on Amazon

Buy the complete collection here on B&N

Author Bio:
Jennifer Malone Wright resides in the beautiful mountains of northern Idaho with her husband and five children. Between the craziness of taking care of her children, whose ages range from fourteen all the way down to six months, and being a homemaker, Jennifer has little time left for herself. The time she does have left, usually leading far into the night, is spent working on freelance work or her beloved fiction.
When she grew up, Jennifer always had her nose in a book. She has been writing stories and poems since grade school. This love of the written word and her strong interest in the paranormal is what has led to her first novel “The Birth of Jaiden.”
In addition to being a mother and homemaker, Jennifer is also a very proud military wife. Moving around the country for the last ten years has made her a bit of a nomad and she finds it difficult to be in one place for too long.
Jennifer is also the author of The Birth of Jaiden, a paranormal novel filled with action, suspense, and even a love story.

Author web links: (web, blog, twitter, facebook, goodreads, etc)

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Sunday, December 2, 2012

Kiss Me (The Keatyn Chronicles: Book Two) Promo post and Giveaway!

Title:  Kiss Me (The Keatyn Chronicles: Book Two)
Genre: Romance, Mature Young Adult
Author: Jillian Dodd

I've always written scripts for my perfect life.
But no way could I have ever scripted this.
My life is so far from perfect, it’s not even funny.
All because of a stalker.
I’m at a boarding school where I have to lie about who I am.
I can’t see my family.
I’m tutoring a hottie god that tortures me with his smile.
The most popular girl already hates me.
But there’s this boy.
This hot, sweet, sexy boy.
So I’m going to stop trying to script my life and just live it.

Because who knows how long I have left.

He tells everyone we’re tired and drags me into the house.
Then I think his hormones kick into overdrive.
He kisses me, like, fast, hard, long, intensely deep kisses. He pushes me up against the counter in the kitchen, holding my hips tightly in his hands. He kisses hard down my neck and then strips off my shirt and tosses it on the floor.
Then he walks me backward through the house while still kissing me, quickly working his way back to the bedroom. He pushes me against a wall in the hallway, where he pulls his own shirt off, then unties my bikini top, his warm, naked chest pressing against me as he shoves his tongue deeply into my mouth. I suck on it recklessly.
We finally get to the bedroom, where he quickly shuts and locks the door, then pushes me up against it. He’s kissing me and, like, ravishing me. I feel like I’m living a hot romance novel. And this is the kind of thing I have always pictured.
Always dreamed of.
A boy who wants me so bad he can barely stand it.
A boy who pushes me hard against the door and kisses me like he means it. A boy who takes my wrists and holds them above my head, pinning me to the door as he sucks his way down my chest. A boy who kisses me so deeply it makes my head spin. A boy whose one free hand feels like ten because it is everywhere on my body.

Instead he whispers, “Just because sex is good with someone, doesn't mean you’re destined to be with them. Imagine what it will be like with the guy you’re really supposed to be with. Your true love.”

Buy on Amazon HERE for $3.99



Book Description

 August 20, 2012
Gossip Girl meets Hollywood in this steamy new series by That Boy author, Jillian Dodd.
Keatyn has everything she ever dreamed. Her life is following the script she wrote for the perfect high school experience. She's popular, goes to the best parties, dates the hottest guy, and sits at the most-coveted lunch table.

She's just not sure she wants it anymore.

Because, really, things aren't all that perfect.
Her best friend is threatening to tell everyone her perfect relationship is a scam.
Her perfect boyfriend gets drunk at every party they go to.
It's exhausting always trying to look and act perfect.
And, deep down, she isn't sure if she has any true friends.

To add to the drama, her movie star mom has a creepy stalker.
A hot, older man flirts with her and tells her they should make a movie together.
And she's crushing on an adorable surfer. Dating him would mean committing social suicide.

So she writes a new script. One where all the pieces of her life will come together in perfect harmony.
But little does she know, there's someone who will do anything to make sure that doesn't happen.

Buy on Amazon HERE for only $0.99

Jillian Dodd grew up on a farm in Nebraska, where she developed a love for Midwestern boys and Nebraska football. She has drank from a keg in a cornfield, attended the University of Nebraska, got to pass her candle, and did have a boy ask her to marry him in a bar. She met her own prince in college, and they have two amazing children, a Maltese named Sugar Bear, and two Labrador puppies named Camber Lacy and Cali Lucy.
She is the author of the That Boy Trilogy and The Keatyn Chronicles Series.

Additional social media links:


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Saturday, November 24, 2012

Inked Heat Series by Dee Licious (EROTIC NOVEL)

*** WARNING***

What happens when your single, forty-something mom brings home her new boy toy and it’s the hot stud that gave you your first tattoo; the one you’ve been fantasizing about for the last few weeks since turning 18? Will Bianca finally have sex with a real man and not some clumsy high school boy? What will she do when presented with not one, but two, hot muscular men who co-own the tattoo parlor? Turn the pages to find out.

Excerpt one:

It was Friday night and it was official; her life as she knew it was over.  Caput!  Fini!  Bianca Lucas sighed as she fidgeted in her seat at the dining room table.  Her mother Jane, or Jade as she’d officially changed it to, stood there introducing her new boy toy, Derek. Derek was the tattooed 30-something dream god who’d inked her first tattoo, a sunburst on her left ankle, a little over six weeks ago when she turned 18.  She’d been fantasizing about the hot hunk, ever since.  Bianca tried to sit there keeping her composure, but from her seated position if she turned her head to look at Derek, she’d be eye level with the serious bulge at his groin since he was still standing behind the chair next to hers and had not yet taken his seat.  How could she possibly maintain her demeanor if she was forced to look at that mouthwatering package?  Would her mother just get on with the introductions and tell the walking sex god to sit...PLEASE!

Excerpt Two:

Derek scrubbed his hands down over his face and spoke with a lethal tone to his voice.  “You know cuz, I think the lovely Ms. Bianca deserves much more than a fuck on this bench for her first time.  Let’s move her to the couch in the office.”  Suddenly she was lifted in Maks’ arms, his face loomed over hers as he bent his head, his lips capturing hers with a groan, and her arms wrapping around his sturdy neck.  Her back met supple buttery leather in just seconds as Maks deposited her on the couch in the office they were in earlier. In seconds Maks’ mouth devoured her own, his tongue delving past her lips to twirl sensually with hers.  She knew it was Derek’s full masculine lips that suddenly ravaged her bared pussy, his blond head pushing between her spread thighs.  His tongue was wicked as it probed her gate and sucked on her clit.  

About the author

An avid reader of paranormal and erotic romances since college, I have always dreamed of becoming an author.  Joining a role play group gave me the window to write that I’d been looking for and the final push I needed to sit down and write my first short story.

My reading interests include works by Kate Douglas, Shayla Black, Lauren Dane, Sylvia Day, Elizabeth Amber, and Christine Feehan, to name a few.  My TBR pile is quite large so when I'm not being a wife, mother, housekeeper, cook or chauffeur, you'll find me either writing or reading!

I'm finally a published author under the name Dee Licious and have almost completed my first shapeshifter story to be published under the name Harper Jewel.  I'm thrilled to be a part of Horny Devil Publishing's stable of talented authors.


Where to buy:

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Atone(Patronus, #2.5) by Sarah Ross Cover Reveal

Title: Atone (Patronus, #2.5)
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Paranormal
Expected Release: late Dec. 2012/early Jan. 2013
Cover Design: Donna Dull of Sharp Cover Designs
Cover reveal organized by: AToMR Tours

This novella from Max's point of view is meant to be read after AVENGE (Patronus,#2). 

Before there was Awaken, before there was “Lucy and Max”, there was just Max. And he had some issues.

A lot of issues.

Max Kensington ‘s death haunted him for years. The guilt of his sins tormented him. Unable to let go, he was sure he’d never be able to atone for all of them. But that didn’t stop him from trying.
When his reason for being is suddenly thrust back into his life, he vows to protect her at all costs. He’ll do whatever it takes to make sure history doesn’t repeat itself. And this time, he’ll fight to the bitter end to capture the one thing that has alluded him—happiness.

I started my obsession with reading at an early age, getting in trouble for sneaking BabySitter Club and Nancy Drew books into math class in elementary school. I would read any fiction book I could get my hands on. I knew it was an addiction when instead of grounding me from TV or music, my mom would take away my books as punishment (The Horror!). My love of all things paranormal was inspired by my good friend Laurie, who convinced me that books with vampires, witches, and all things shifter were amazing. After a little reluctance, I gave it a shot with the Sookie Stackhouse books, realized she was right, and the rest was history.
I grew up in Pittsburgh, graduated from The University of Pittsburgh with my degree in English, and taught 8th graders to love reading as much as I do for several years. I will always be a proud member of the Steelers Nation, but I couldn’t take the cold and moved my frozen tush to Florida where I now live with my family and two cats. You will find me now with my trusty Kindle in hand and toes in the sand!

Monday, November 19, 2012

Phoenix Burning ( book 2 ) By Lisa C Morgan Review and Giveaway~ Reviewed by Amanda

Book Description

 October 3, 2012

Maggie Henning has learned what she really is--the last of an ancient race of Phoenix. She knows who her enemy is--OSSA, the leader of the Revenant Army. She had thought the toughest battle fought. She only now is learning the road ahead is harder still.

In the hopes of returning a fallen Realm Prince, Maggie must barter with the Angels for his release. But the path to such a discussion is not an easy one. Traveling with one prince to save the other, Maggie soon learns that there is no black and white in the Realm. That the lines between good and evil, and love and hate, are at best blurry.

She will learn a dark secret hidden in the past. One that calls into question everything she thought she felt. Even as she tries to determine her fate, Luc also faces his own destiny. Does he reach for what the future promises, or does he deny what's so plainly there before him?

If the only pain is in denying destiny, do you give in to the agony, or do you burn with it?


 Because I LOVED the first book so much I went into Phoenix Burning with high expectations. Folks, I wasn't disappointed....Lisa C. Morgan does it again! If it's possible I love this one more than the first!
First, another great cover! (Did I mention the first cover in the other review? IDK - If not, it was smokin! hehehe) Book One left us with questions and emotionally gutted! Book Two picks up right where we left off. Maggie decides she is willing to do what it takes to fix a certain problem (come on, I can't give you that......what if you haven't read the first book?) only little does she know that things will take a turn on her journey and it's a turn she wasn't expecting nor prepared for.
I find myself trying to write this review without giving anything away and it truly is hard! Luc, <sigh>, joins Maggie on her little adventure both aiming at the same goal....only the real question for Maggie becomes, 'Is this what you really want.' I read that question so many times and each and every answer left me red faced and yelling at my kindle. (earning me odd looks)
This book will draw you in and have you questioning, arguing and once again, crying. Truths are revealed that were once hidden and subtle threats make for tough choices. Everything you once thought is tossed out the window as you start to see some characters you loved in a new light. History always has a way of showing itself......let's just hope it isn't repeated.
My favorite part of this book was the new POV. Luc, <sigh> (yes, the sigh is totally necessary when referencing this Prince of Celine) has a large role in Phoenix Burning and yes, you got it, we are allowed to dive into his thoughts and emotions. It didn't take long for me to start rooting for Luc and then change my mind and decide I wanted him to myself, forget rooting for him to get the girl he loves.
The end left me slack jawed and wanting to high five a certain character to the face...with a chair. I am in love with this series and can not wait until the third book is released. I am impatiently waiting and will drop whatever I am doing once it becomes available. I recommend this book to any and everyone!

Also available on B&N and Smashwords

Lisa Morgan lives in rural Upstate NY with her husband Brian, three children, a degu and precocious Siberian Husky.

A lover of books and words, it has always been her desire to tell stories that the people near her could listen read, escaping the world around them by way of the page. Always having a new story idea popping into her head, sometimes at the least appropriate times, Lisa can almost al

ways be found with a notebook and writing utensil somewhere within reach, just as her 8th grade teacher made her promise to do.

When she isn't writing or taxing kids, Lisa enjoys reading, football, cooking, singing & dancing badly; tattoos, and spending time with family and friends. 

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Sunday, November 18, 2012

Beyond the Veil by Quinn Loftis Blog Tour and Contest!

Beyond the Veil by Quinn Loftis  ~ 26



Though the Serbian pack has been brought to heel thanks to the downfall of their Alpha, the war is far from over.
Desdemona, a witch of unfathomable power, has escaped the wolves’ wrath, but she will not go quietly into the night. She takes refuge in a place where even the smallest sliver of light does not dare to enter. Though she had to flee, she has not given up on the treasure she wishes to acquire. Her depravity knows no bounds; she's even willing to search for the one who can assist her in opening a Veil that has not been opened in millennia – with good reason: the danger is incalculable.
Meanwhile, there are major changes rippling through the Romanian Grey wolves. Decebel has become Alpha to the Serbian pack in an effort to begin to unite the Canis lupis species. Their numbers are dwindling in the wake of the shortage of true mates and lack of offspring. The wolves are beginning to lose faith and darkness seems to be crashing in on them from all sides.

Buy on Amazon HERE
Buy on Nook HERE

About Quinn:
About Quinn Loftis
Quinn is a wife, mother, nurse, and writer, not necessarily in that order. She lives in beautiful North West Arkansas with her husband, son and Nora their Doberman pinscher. She loves writing, reading, and crocheting. Her favorite holiday is Christmas, favorite book(s) is Pride and Prejudice, The Alpha and Omega Series by Patricia Briggs, and the Harry Potter Series by J.K. Rowling. She loves to be silly and have fun, loves music and thinks there is no greater sound than the sound in the world than that of her little boy's laughter.
Quinns website:
Quinn's Goodreads page:

There will be a rafflecopter on the Sweet Treats reading reviews page.
here's what will be up for grabs:
All Blogs participating will have numbers that will be in bold print RED, so make sure you all keep track. At the end of the tour you will need to tally all of the numbers you collected from each site and enter it into our giveaway!

What are you playing for you ask?
I will tell you!!!
*A signed Just One Drop book
*Signed Decebel and Jen posters
(be still my heart)
*And a bracelet 

Only correct answers will be entered!!
Answers are to be entered on the last stop, so keep your answers handy, keep track of the blog and don't miss out!
You will find all blog tour stops below

Friday, November 9, 2012

Wastes of Space Blog Tour Guest Post and Giveaway

Title: Wastes of Space
Author: Darcy Town
Published: Self-Published - December 14th, 2011
Genre: Science Fiction
Word Count: 142,000
Content Warning: Mature - language, sex, graphic violence, drug use/abuse, prostitution

In the early 21st century, the Cold War between the American and Chinese Empires slogs on in a stalemate. There's a ceasefire in effect, but the peace is artificial—secretly enforced by an alien blockade that surrounds the planet. Earth is caught in a territory struggle between two warring factions: the Empire and the Resistance. Lacking harvestable talents, both groups classify Earthlings as Wasters.

Hidden among the Wasters is an alien girl with the power of moving spaceships. She teams up with Rake, a drug-addicted ex-Astronaut, to join an intergalactic war that Earth did not know existed…but first Rake has to realize he's travelling with an alien to begin with.

Guest Post

If you could change places with any of your characters for a day, who would it be and why?

This is a hard one…  It comes down to a tie between Tasanee (aka Rat – 21 year old human), and Ravil (age unknown alien).  Both of these ladies appear in Wastes of Space.

Choosing Ravil is pretty simple.  As a Navigator, Ravil can essentially teleport to any known location as long as she has the energy to do so.  I think getting to have the ability to travel to wherever you want whenever you’d like, would be amazing.  She can zip around near instantaneously with little to no effort involved.  With her powers at my disposal, I could wake up and go have a meal in Paris as my breakfast and be back home in time for work to start.  Being able to leave an awkward social situation without having to make ones way to the door would be great as well.  Just snap your fingers and vanish, no need for explanations.

I chose Rat for a different reason.  She’s extremely levelheaded and has a load of practical information at her fingertips, but I chose her because of the character she becomes romantically involved with.  I often say that I fall in love with most of my characters, but the one she ends up with is hands down my favorite.  I won’t mention names because of spoilers, but I will say that her partner is one of the funniest, most sexually deviant and violently depraved characters in the entire series (or really, of anything I’ve ever written).  Getting to spend a day with that individual, sexually or platonically, would be hysterical.  Besides that, Tasanee can fix just about anything and I could see that being useful for home and appliance repairs.

About the Author:
I earned a degree in Comparative Religion, so themes-wise that certainly pops up here and there in my writing (okay, more than a little here and there in some books).

I write what I enjoy reading/watching - which is fantasy/sci-fi with dark humor and a bit of romance. What I consider romance however is to some...a bit off (and kinked out). And when I say dark humor I mean black. But I always have lighthearted moments (I do not believe a story should be all one way or another). Gotta spice things up!

Speaking of...I like to write stories that cater to all sexual preferences in one story (as opposed to just writing gay/lesbian lit, etc). I have your typical male-female romances. I have male-male, female-female, transgender, bi-sexual, sub-dom, etc. This is mostly due to the fact that well...1. I like writing about it. 2. I see it in my everyday life. 3. I like having a well-rounded cast of characters from all walks of life.

I am the author of the Morningstar Trilogy and the Wastes Series.

The eBooks giveaway are International. The print books are US and Canada only!

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Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Christy Sloat's Story Entry for America's Next Author

Please, take a moment to read this story by Christy Sloat author of The Many Lives of Avery Snow, Ianni and The Brown House and then use the link below to go and give her a vote! She would love and appreciate your help!!!!

It was only 7:15 when Keelie arrived at Graham’s house. The  night was so dark already  that she could barely see her own hand in front of her face. It wasn’t a normal night without all of the stars looming over their heads. The night was so unusual and almost scary it made Keelie feel even more excited to attend the circus with her friends. They went every year the circus came to town, they made it an annual thing. Keelie, Graham, Carver and Hope. Who knew that they would all end up dating each other by senior year? Carver and Hope started dating first. Adam Carver the ultimate ladies’ man, had fallen for Hope. Who wouldn’t? She was tall, slim and had the tan skin every girl died for. But with Keelie and Graham it had been much different. They liked each other for years, but neither had the nerve to ask the other out. Finally last summer as they walked together on a nightly stroll he asked her out for dinner. That was that. Now the four did everything together as couples. So that is what made this circus trip even more exciting. That and the new circus event called, The Illusionist. Keelie loved magic tricks and anything to do with disappearing acts. She had once been on a cruise and saw a woman disappear on stage right in front of her. The magician then had been really good and she hoped for an even better show tonight.
Graham opened the door once Keelie reached it. His blue eyes looked her up and down and he stroked his chin, “Looking very nice tonight Ms. Hayes. I think I may have to take you upstairs for an impromptu make out session first.”
“No way! We are not going to be late picking up Carver and Hope,” she admonished. Though Graham looked pretty hot himself tonight, Keelie had to remember Hope told her to be on time. She didn’t want to miss the acts and Keelie wanted to see the new show.
“Fine, but may I have a little kiss?” Keelie jumped in his arms practically knocking him over and planted a big kiss on his lips.
“How is that?” she asked as he set her down.
“Makes me only want you more.” He grabbed his coat and they got in the car. Luckily Hope lived a few blocks away. Once they pulled up she noticed Carver and Hope looked upset with each other. Hope stood with her hands crossed across her chest and Carver sat on the grass.
“Uh oh I guess they’re fighting again,” Keelie said.
“Great what a way to ruin the night,” Graham sighed.
Hope got in the car and Carver got in a few minutes later looking sullen.
“Is everything okay?” Graham asked Carver.
“Yeah I suppose. Someone I knew died today,” he mumbled. “Olivia Grant, she was battling cancer remember?”
They all knew very well who Olivia was and that she was sick. Carver and Olivia had dated sophomore year. It was a sore subject because Hope was jealous of their closeness. She felt awful for her having cancer, but it seemed Carver spent a lot of time by her hospital bed lately. Keelie knew it wouldn’t be long until she passed once the cancer got to her bones. It wasn’t something any of them hoped would happen but Hope still looked upset. The car ride remained quiet until they reached the circus entrance and the guys got out.
“So what’s wrong Hope?” Keelie finally asked her. Hope unfolded her arms finally and tears spilled down her cheeks.
“It’s like life for him is over now that she’s gone. He acts like I was nothing and she was his one true love.” Hope wiped her face and sighed. “He said he wants a break after tonight. That he needs to mourn her loss. Keelie they only dated for six months.”
Keelie reached across the seat and held her friends hand. She knew Carver was taking this hard, but it was true, Olivia and he only dated for a short time. But then again when someone passes it can be hard to focus on anything else. Keelie knew this all too well. She herself had lost her brother two years ago. He had disappeared seemingly into thin air. And they never found him again. She and her parents knew in their hearts he was dead.
“Come on Hope let’s see if we can’t cheer you both up. The circus is our thing, and it’s the last time we will be here all together.” It was true they all would be off in college by fall. Hope and Keelie got out and meet the boys by the entrance to the tent.

By the end of the circus show the girls were exhausted from laughter and the boys were ready to move on. Carver’s mood had gotten a little brighter but not enough to improve the nights now ruined plans. Keelie wanted to see the illusionist badly but the others wanted to check out the new Fat Lady show. “Fine,” she said finally. “I’ll go check his show out and you go see the fat lady then.” She left them all and walked off. She wasn’t mad at them more disappointed. Especially with Graham he knew how much she loved that sort of stuff. Sitting and making fun of an overweight lady wasn’t fun to her.
“Hey Keelie wait up,” Carver called to her. “I want to go see the magician with you.”
“Really?” She was happy he came along and all, but he didn’t seem like the type to like a show like this.
“Yeah why not.” He smiled. They walked across the grounds and looked for the tent. They spotted it in the far corner finally and made their way to it. Once they got close enough they noticed it was surrounded by an odd fog. A fog that only lurked around the tent. Keelie got goose bumps across her arms and Carver pulled his coat tighter. It wasn’t that cold outside but for some reason they both felt a chill. No one stood outside to accept tickets nor was there anyone waiting for the show. They were the only two people there.
“Maybe we missed it,” Keelie suggested.
“It says the show starts in ten minutes. Maybe we are just early that’s all.”
Keelie shrugged and got closer to the entrance hoping to sneak a peek inside. But as she got closer she noticed a sign in front; What is the real illusion? Come inside to find the answer.
It was alluring that was sure, but by the looks of the tent it screamed darkness. Sure she saw the ones on T.V. who did daring acts that would scare her. But this wasn’t a freak show it was a family circus in the suburbs. This only made Keelie want a look inside even more so. She got closer and closer to the opening. Her breath catching in her throat as she touched the velvet rope holding the curtains closed.  “Stop!” Carver shouted.
She turned to a frightened Carver, “I only want to peek inside Carver calm down.” When she turned back around a woman stood in front of her holding a burning cigarette in her hands ever so delicately. She looked like she came from another time and place. Her hair was glossy black and pulled up on the sides by clips with black roses on them.
“Oh sorry, nice costume,” Keelie said nervously.
“It is not a costume. Boy aren’t you pretty, what are you doing here?” The woman asked as she took a drag.
“I came for the show,” Keelie answered. What else would she be doing here?
“And you boy, you came for the show too?” she asked Carver. He nodded and his mouth fell open when the woman smiled and winked at him. She was beautiful in a gothic sort of way. Keelie eyed her suspiciously. There was something strange about her for sure.
“Once you enter there is no going back the way you once came. I need to make that clear,” the woman said.
Keelie laughed and rolled her eyes. She knew this was a trick to scare her and it wasn’t going to work. She wasn’t some little kid entering a haunted hayride. She knew there was an exit just like there are ways out everywhere. It was dark and eerie outside, but she knew this had to be part of the act.
“Do you understand?” The woman asked again. They both nodded and the velvet rope fell to the ground and the curtain opened. Keelie strolled in with Carver right behind her. Once she saw the stage in front of her she was shocked. The inside was almost as big as the circus show tent. The stage in front of her was lit dimly by a small light on the center.
The gothic woman circled them a few times looking them over. Carver stood tall while Keelie shrunk in her nervousness. There was something about this whole place that didn’t feel right.
“You know maybe we can come back to another show, I think we need to find our friends,” Keelie lied as she grabbed Carver’s arm.
“I believe I just told you that you must stay. By the way I am Arianne. Please find your seats.” Arianne gestured towards the rows of seats that circled the stage. Keelie let go of Carver and turned to walk away. “I’m out of here something’s not right. This isn’t the Ringham’s Circus. You are totally fake and I am not staying here.” Once she turned around to walk out she noticed the curtain they  just walked through was gone. All that was there were velvet walls. She reached out to find the exit and Arianne laughed wickedly. She searched but couldn’t not find a way out of there.
“What brought you here? A flyer perhaps? Not a sign on the Ringham Brothers Circus entrance, am I correct?” Arianne pulled another cigarette out and lit it gracefully.
“Yes a flyer I saw. I don’t even remember where I saw it,” Keelie admitted. “What does that mean? You’re not part of the circus are you?” Arianne’s shook her head and snickered.
“You’re here for a purpose aren’t you my dear? And you boy, you came to find answers about the dead girl you hope to see again. Every breath you take makes you feel guilty about her not being able to do the same.”
Carver’s eyes welled up and his fists clamped down. If she wasn’t a girl Keelie was sure he would have hit her. One thing she knew about him was do not press his buttons.
“How do you know about Olivia? Who told you?” he spat. Arianne only shrugged and turned towards Keelie. “And you,” she pointed to Keelie. “You don’t feel bad about the brother you lost. You may mourn him sure. But you were ignored before he died. No one cared about you or your accomplishments. Now without him here you get the college money that was meant for him and the brand new car too.”
“No that’s wrong. You don’t know that!” Keelie screamed. “This isn’t a magic show this is something evil.”
“Your right, this is no magic show. The illusionist does not deal with magic. He brings back those we wish we could see once more. He has the power to raise the dead. But you don’t want to see your brother again, right?”
“I want to leave,” Keelie cried. Arianne laughed at her expense.
“This isn’t a show or trick of light. This is real. And you’re here for a reason. Now sit and wait for the illusionist.” she pointed to the seats in the front row that were now lit up by light. They watched as a single candle lit itself on the edge of the stage. Once it was lit several candles ignited themselves all the way around.
“What sort of place is this?” Keelie asked Arianne, but when she turned Arianne was gone. Keelie felt cold and terrified. She had not expected things to turn out this way. She had only merely been hoping for a good show, not to be scared. She grabbed onto Carver’s arm and yanked on his sleeve, “We need to get the hell out of here, now!”
Carver’s now pale face read no expression. He had heard her but didn’t want to leave. He was enticed and Keelie could see it. She had no idea her friend was so in love with Olivia. If she had she would have told Hope to give him time to grieve. Hope! She remembered that she had her cell and pulled it out of her purse. The phone lit up once she touched it but read, no service.
“How is that possible?” she asked herself. She dialed anyway and nothing happened. It was like she was in the Twilight Zone all of a sudden.
“Cell phone’s won’t work in here my dear Keelie. And I do not allow them,” a voice from the stage grabbed her attention. “Be seated and I will let you out of here once you see.”
“See what?” Carver demanded. But the voice did not answer him. Carver held Keelie’s hand and led her to the front row. She could feel his hands tremble slightly. He was scared just like she was, but he was interested, while she was not.
As soon as they sat a man appeared on the stage. He had a distinguished look about him that drew Keelie in. His hair was an auburn brown mixture and his eyes were piercing green. He wore a black velvet coat with tails that he took off and laid over a chair that she didn’t notice on stage. He had an ivory shirt on now with suspenders. Keelie noticed he had a European look to him and she liked it. It settled her mind to be with him and to see he wasn’t scary. He looked kind and gentle but he still had an edge. He was of course older than Keelie, by far. But Keelie didn’t mind. She shook her head trying to think of anything else but wanting to kiss the man on stage. Her thoughts of him consumed her momentarily but she would have to get a hold of herself. It was easy to get lost in your thoughts in a place like this. The red velvet walls held the reflection of the candles and made a soft glow about the room. It helped to make her feel at ease.
“I am Holden Dexter, the illusionist. The igniter of flames and deliverer of souls. I will play your mind and win its bet. I will show you how the illusions are met. Are you an illusion? One will find out, the other will stay and live in their doubt.”  Once he was done Keelie was stunned and shocked. She didn’t understand. One will stay, one will leave? If that is what he was saying she couldn’t believe it to be true. Holden held his pose on the stage waiting for them to reply it seemed. Keelie clapped and Carver joined in, although neither one knew why they did.
Holden bowed slightly then the room went completely dark. Keelie let a slight scream and the candles relit themselves and instead of Holden in the middle of the stage, there sat a fair haired girl with doe eyes. She wore a white nightdress and slippers. She looked terrified until she saw Carver. Once she saw him her smile rose and her eyes twinkled.
“Oliva?” Carver asked stunned. Olivia smiled and waved but did not move from her spot on stage. Holden joined her and held her hand. It was impossible for Keelie to believe what she was seeing in front of her very eyes. But it in fact was Olivia. Keelie didn’t understand how Holden had done it but then she thought of his rhyme, deliverer of souls. Did he bring back the dead? Arianne had mentioned it earlier.
“Now she is someone you know correct Mr. Carver?” Holden asked. Carver nodded vehemently. “She is yours to have. You know you love her. Come on stage and claim her.” Carver stood and Keelie grabbed his arm. “Carver, she’s dead. What are you doing?”

“She may be dead Keelie but that’s her right there. I love her. I always have.”
“What about Hope? Do you not love her? She’s alive and Olivia, well she’s not.” Keelie was desperate. She didn’t want to see her friend make a mistake and get his hopes up. Once he went on stage it wouldn’t be Olivia, it would be a mirage.
“I am not in love with Hope. Not like I am with Olivia. If there is a way for me to be with her, I will.” He yanked his arm from her grasp and walked onto the stage. Olivia reached out for him and he reached for her. Once their hands met they disappeared altogether. Keelie shouted and Holden held his hands to his lips motioning for silence. Keelie was shocked. Where did they go?
“Do not despair my dear Keelie. They are not gone forever. He will return shortly, hopefully.” Keelie was angry now. What the hell did all this mean? She grabbed her hair and pulled. She was upset with herself for bringing this on to her friend. How did this happen?
“Why are you talking in riddles and where is my friend?” she screamed. Holden held his hand up and stopped her mid scream.
“I am not talking in riddles my dear, I am only trying to assure you that your friend is not gone, he is merely, not here at the present time.” A grin spread across his handsome face.
“That is the same thing!” Keelie raked her hands through her hair and felt the frustration flood her body. She knew something wasn’t totally right with this situation. Alarms had gone off in her head at the entrance of this tent, and now they were screaming at her, ‘Get out now’.
“I want to leave, now. And I want my friend back,” she said boldly. Holden came down from the stage slowly and before she knew it he was standing in front of her. His hand reached out and softly touched her cheek. Strange as it was she let him. There was something very comforting about his touch.
“Keelie, before you can leave you must answer the riddle. One must stay here and the other can go. I played your mind; do you have what it takes to play back?”
His voice was velvety and thick. She felt entranced in his gaze, but the buzz in her pocket snapped her out suddenly. Her phone was ringing. She had to get to it, but how? It seemed like she was not allowed to be part of the outside, since she was trapped here in this lair.
“I have to think, give me a moment?” she said as sweet as she could. In a breath he was gone and she was alone. She sighed heavily and ducked down in the dark to answer.
“Keelie where are you?” It was Hope.
“Hope I am in this terrible scary tent. It’s at the edge of the grounds. It was supposed to be the illusionist tent, but I think there’s something wrong,” she said in a rush.
“What tent, Keelie? We walked the whole place and we can’t find anything. Carver said maybe you would come find us, so we are waiting by the car.” Carver? Keelie didn’t understand. How could Carver have told her that while he was here? Maybe he got out and he wasn’t trapped after all.
“When did you see him?” Keelie asked. “Is he safe?”
“What do you mean is he safe, Keelie? He has been here with us the whole time,” Hope said. “I am really worried about you now.”
 The phone went dead suddenly and left Keelie scrambling for her friend to save her. But one thing Keelie knew was Carver wasn’t with her. Then who was with her?
This whole thing was an act! It was an illusion. She thought of the rhyme Holden had told her;
‘The igniter of flames and deliverer of souls. I will play your mind and win its bet. I will show you how the illusions are met. Are you an illusion? One will find out, the other will stay and live in their doubt.’
He was an igniter of flames that was how the candles were lit on their own. Either that or he was the igniter of her flame, he made her feel helpless with desire.  As far as the deliverer of souls, maybe it was really Olivia standing on stage. She shuddered at the thought that he was able to bring the dead back. She kept thinking trying to solve the puzzle. If Carver wasn’t with her, then who was? An illusion no doubt, but how did Holden know so much about Keelie? He knew of her brother as well. Things she never told anyone. Was she an illusion? He had asked the question hadn’t he? Was she even real? That couldn’t be, he had her doubting things now. Things that were not real.
One thing she knew in her heart, if she didn’t answer the question soon she would be stuck here. Forever maybe.

“Time is slowly draining my dear, do you have an answer for me?” Holden asked as he was standing on stage, now accompanied by Carver and Olivia once more.
“I do,” she said with ease. “You’re not an illusionist, which is clear. You are more than that. You said you’re the deliverer of souls, so you are either dead yourself or you have awesome power.” He nodded and a small smile spread on his lips. “But the question was am I an illusion. The answer is no, I am not, but Carver is. He is not the one standing on the stage with Olivia.” Holden applauded her and Carver’s shape started to turn. Keelie watched in awe as Carver turned into another boy, her brother Kevin.Keelie could not believe her eyes.
“Why play this mean trick on me? I only came here to see a magic show. Why is my brother acting like Carver? Why is my brother even here?” she asked Holden.
“You are very smart Keelie, I admire you for that. I really do. Your brother is here with me to do my bidding. You see I need more stagehands and my dear Arianne felt so alone. She saw your brother here two years ago and had to have him for her own.” Keelie watched as Arianne joined Kevin on stage and held his hand. “I feel alone too. I saw you on the street and I just had to have you for my own. I learned about you, over the last few days. Kevin told me all about you. I reeled you into my tent, so that I may have you for my own.” He trailed down the stage and meet Keelie as her knees grew weak. He held her by her shoulders tightly. “You have answered the question, but you cheated.”
“No I didn’t! How could I possibly cheat?” she asked feeling sick to her stomach. There was no way out now. He gripped her shoulders tighter and his sweet breathe grew hot on her face.
“You got a phone call. Phones are not allowed in the show. If your friends didn’t tell you he was with them you wouldn’t have known. So without their help you would not have answered correctly. One will find out Keelie, the other will live in doubt. You found out the answer now your friend Hope will forever live in doubt of what really happened to you.” She could throw up, she was terrified. The thought of Hope never really knowing what happened to her hurt more than anything. Her family, her friends they would all be looking for her. Keelie knew they would never find her. “No…I can’t stay here. Please…” she begged him now. But his eyes transfixed her and she fell silent. There was something about him that did that to her. Something magical in his stare.
“But you must, you entered knowing once you did you may not leave the way you came. You will be leaving Keelie, but with me. We will travel the world my love, and you will love every second of it.” And as he said it, he took her in his arms and she fell into the darkness with Holden Dexter, The Illusionist.

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