Improbables by Jonathan Charles Bruce

 

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Genre: Paranormal Romance

Publisher: Booktrope

Date of Publication: February 22, 2016

ISBN: 978-1-5137-0653-5

ASIN: B01BH86AWUara

Number of pages: 334

Word Count: 107,360

Cover Artist: Ashley Ruggirello

 

Book Description:

Abigail Wren’s new life fresh out of college is dull, even with her (almost) dream job at the local newspaper. The only real excitement she can get is found between the pages of an endless stream of paranormal romance novels she can’t help but love.

Then, on a snowy night in December, Abigail catches a glimpse of what could only be described as a werewolf. Enamored with the possibility, her investigation leads her to discover a paranormal population—improbables—harmoniously living in the midst of humanity. Between making eyes at a perpetually grumpy werewolf and hanging out with a vampire with a lust for life (and liquor), Abigail’s life takes a shaky step out of the ordinary and into the fantastic.

Just outside of the sleepy town of Whitewater, however, a force of rage is building. Born of hate and delusion, a living cataclysm threatens to devour everyone in its path—human or improbable.

 

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Excerpt from Chapter Three:

The trip back to the office was short and uneventful. Parking her car was also characteristically nondescript. On her way to the front doors, Abigail realized that the entire car ride had been on autopilot. Along with that realization came the panic associated with losing a chunk of one’s precious life to monotony. And along with that came a sudden worry that she might have flattened a child without realizing it.

No. Surely that would have been memorable—right?

Right in the middle of a panicked mental recap of the events from picking up her book to arriving in the parking lot, she slammed face-first into a surprisingly warm wall of a person. She rebounded, only now taking in the red-and-black flannel shirt she had plowed into. Her hands shot out in an attempt to keep balance. A moment later, she felt someone’s hands on her forearms.

“Easy there,” came a gruff voice. Pulling herself out of her daze, Abigail looked up at the person she had run into, who was now also, kindly enough, keeping her upright. He was scruffy, a mop of brown hair bleeding into a full (if short) beard worried with the occasional silver strands. His eyes were an intense green, which, coupled with the red in his shirt, gave his appearance an unintentionally festive look. He was pale, but that was nothing out of the ordinary, considering Abigail had forgotten what the sun looked like in the weeks she’d been calling the Pacific Northwest home.

He was cute. In a ruggedly handsome way. Like a grizzled lumberjack.

Perhaps cute was not the word for it.

Abigail giggled, suddenly overtaken with the silliness of what just happened. “Thank you,” she said, certain she was coming across like an idiot. “You can let go now.” She smiled. The man obliged, returning a tight-lipped smile that seemed to err on the side of suffering-the-eccentric.

“Sorry. Didn’t mean to…” he began before clearing his throat, “exist where you wanted to exist at the same time.” He looked every bit as awkward as she felt, which made her own discomfort slightly less overbearing.

She swallowed sheepishly. “It happens.” She suddenly felt the need to clarify what she meant, so she gestured back and forth between the two of them. “Existing at the same time and all.” She realized that the gesture didn’t seem to quite work in the situation, so she let her hand fall at her side as she averted her gaze.

“Try as we might!” he said with an exaggerated shrug. They exchanged unconvincing laughs before silence filled the void, mutated into a pause, then sat long enough to be uncomfortable. While the quiet was maliciously evolving, Abigail couldn’t help but trace her eyes up the man’s exposed and muscular forearms. When she caught what she was doing, she wondered where her unintentional partner’s eyes were glued—no doubt, here was another person in Whitewater who would take any opportunity to drink in the sight of the newest and blackest resident.

Instead, she was a little shocked—and pleased—to see he was staring at the ground. He was legitimately embarrassed for slamming into her. In the city, if someone ran into you it was either a pickpocketing or just a nonstandard and jostly hello. In her hometown, it had been met with an impertinent huff and followed by a subpar apology. Here… well, if this was the first, being bumped into was hardly the worst way to get to know someone.

Hey, mountain man Joe, why don’t we walk into each other in front of a coffee shop some time? she thought. This Whitewater-only pickup line seemed dopey enough to be charming enough to work—and she couldn’t help snickering at the thought.

“What’s so funny?” he asked. She looked up at his eyes which had made a momentary migration to her face.

The smile from her laughter remained unbroken, but grew a touch larger. “Nothing, just, uh…” She gestured to her temple. “I’m hilarious up here, trust me.”

He tilted his head back, enough to give her a full look at what she assumed was post-embarrassment face-saving stoniness. He nodded. “Sorry again.” And with that, he brushed aside her, carrying some intense body heat with him, and walked away. She looked over her shoulder at the man, watching him for a few seconds. Something registered as odd, but she couldn’t quite put her finger on it.

Regardless of what it was that presently pricked at her brain, she shook it off. She had spent weeks feeling exasperated when people felt they were privileged enough to stare at her like a lab specimen; she wasn’t too keen on forcing that behavior on someone else.

No matter how green his stupid sexy eyes were.

She turned around to the glass doors and jolted at the sight of Lacy Renault, the woman in charge of business coverage. A tiny woman in her fifties with short-cropped silver hair, she watched Abigail come in with icy blue eyes and a gotcha-smile. She wore an immaculately tailored red business suit, giving her the appearance of a circa 2008 female presidential candidate.

Abigail stepped into the vestibule, grateful for the limited respite it provided from the elements. “Were you watching that the whole time?” she asked, trying not to look too confused by Lacy’s grin. The expression was becoming a bit too knowing for her tastes.

“You running into Collins?” She asked. She opened her eyes widely, teasingly, and nodded. “Oh, my, yes!”

Abigail shrugged. “Something I should know?”

Lacy gave an embellished frown. “No, no. Just, uh…” She trailed off in the way people do when overstressing a manufactured difficulty with words. “Glad to see you’re taking in the sights.”

Well, this conversation immediately failed the Bechdel Test, Abigail thought icily.

 

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About the Author:

Jonathan Bruce began writing what amounted to terrible Star Trek: The Next Generation fan fiction when he was four… provided that you accept that “forcing other people to write what he said” is the same thing as “writing”. Although the original manuscripts are lost (or perhaps destroyed), we can rest assured that his prose has improved significantly since then. After high school, he began writing and directing plays which gradually improved depending on whom you ask. He discovered his love of a good fight scene after writing a Dracula knock-off which took a 19th century classic and made it less about Victorian yearning and 300% more about stabbing things in the jugular.

He has a Master’s Degree in History, thanks largely to his thesis focusing on MUSIC, a Milwaukee-based school desegregation campaign during the 1960’s. He also enjoys discussing/making fun of pop culture of the 20th century and reading books of a non-historical nature. In his off moments, you can catch him writing for fun or making inane movies about nothing in particular.

 

www.jonathancharlesbruce.com

https://www.facebook.com/jonathancharlesbruce/

https://twitter.com/JonathanCBruce

 

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Awakening the Fire by Ally Shields

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Book Description: 

It’s her first murder case…

Twenty-three-year-old Ari Calin has sworn to keep the peace in the Olde Town district of Riverdale, and most of the time the Otherworlders cooperate. The vampires, werewolves and other magical creatures go about their business, living side by side with humans, until the foreign wolves arrive and a virtual reality drug hits the streets. Violence erupts, and Ari needs more than her witch fire, weapons, and potions to stop the madness.

Joining forces with a human police officer, Lt. Ryan Foster, and a way-too-sexy vampire singer, Andreas De Luca, Ari hunts for the enemy—from the vampire strip clubs to the caverns under the city. Every step draws Ari and her companions deeper into an old feud and closer to the brink of a supernatural war.

 

Excerpt :

(Despite the friction and mistrust between them, Ari has come to Andreas’s supper club to ask for his help on her murder case.)

The vampire’s coal-black eyes found her and silken threads of magic wrapped her in a soft web. The room faded away. She floated as in a dream, warm and safe. A place to linger forever. Her witch magic began to sing in concert with his, and Ari called it back to her. The effort brought her out of his web with a jolt.

Damn, how strong was he? She wrapped her magical aura around her. As long as she kept it in place, his magic was held at bay. Then, mercifully, the song was over. Andreas bowed to a wildly applauding audience and left the stage.

“Good evening.” Startled, she stared at him.

“Uh, hello.” How did he move so fast? He produced a polite smile.

“If you will come this way.” He waved a hand toward a hallway on the left.

Ari hesitated. A meeting in private? She hadn’t anticipated that.

His brows rose. “We have twenty minutes.”

Swallowing her doubts, Ari preceded him down the hall. It was better this way, she told herself. Fewer interruptions. At least she knew her time parameters. He ushered her past four closed doors, not stopping until they reached an exit door at the end. He touched a security panel, the door opened, and they stepped into a paved lane leading to the rear parking lot. Dense trees lined the opposite side of the lane. Total privacy.

The night was pleasantly cool. The crisp cleanness of fall filled the air. Ari hung back and watched her companion as he stopped in the middle of the lane. Andreas arched his shoulders and threw back his head, breathing deeply. For a moment all Ari could think about was how sexy he looked.

“I hope you don’t mind talking out here. It has been a long evening, and I needed the fresh air.”

“Not at all. It’s nice.” She looked up at the stars, pinpoints in an uncluttered sky, to keep from looking at him. “What was that last song you sang?”

“An Italian love song. Did you enjoy it?”

“Amazing.”

He turned to look at her. “It was, or I was?” His voice invited a broader interpretation.

She smiled. “Both,” she said, not bothering to hedge. “But who’s fishing for compliments now?”

“Touché.” His familiar laugh came then, rich and intimate, strangely companionable.

Review

I was hooked from page one.  When we first meet Ari on patrol as Guardian of Olde Town, the reader can tell she is going to be a character you want to read about long into the night.  She is smart, sassy, and believable.  I also loved our introduction mysterious and intriguing Andreas De Luca.  He’s not fooling Ari, but there is something between them…As a reader, I wanted to know exactly what that might be.

I am a huge fan of paranormal romance and urban fiction, having read Charlaine Harris, Patricia Briggs, and Kim Harrison in the past.  I lost interest in Sookie Stackhouse when there were too many creatures and too many crazy plot twists.  While shields introduces many creatures and a complex plot, I still was able to suspend disbelief and accept the world she built.  Add in a little murder and mayhem and you have an excellent read.  4.5/5.

Bio

 
Ally Shields grew up in the Midwest, taught school on the East Coast, has visited forty-two of our states, and currently resides near Des Moines, Iowa, with her miniature pinscher, Ranger. Writing has always been a part of her life, and in late 2008, after  a career in law and juvenile justice, she turned to full-time fiction writing. Her first urban fantasy novel, Awakening the Fire, was published in 2012, followed by six additional books in the series. She loves to travel in the US and abroad and incorporates many of those settings into her books. Ally enjoys talking with readers and is active in social media.

 

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New Reviews of Remote

Check out some highlight of my spotlights and reviews

From Paranormal Romance and Authors that Rock

Here is an excerpt

“It’s a nice change that the heroine of the story, Yara, has far more muscle and speed than her opposing main character, Joshua. I absolutely loved the toughness of Yara and the complementing softness of Joshua. The story is well written and I enjoyed every written word. I highly recommend to young adult readers who enjoy “believable” futuristic stories.”

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And
Another excerpt:
“Remote is definitely science fiction, with a large helping of romance. Yara is fighting for a life-changing cause, and they are living in a world where there is no middle ground. So is Joshua. And in the midst of this tense situation, feelings start to develop. There’s a lot of action in this book, which is to be expected, living in this kind of world. I found it be be an enjoyable read. I think you will, too.”
For the  entire five-star review, go to http://crypticreads.blogspot.com/2015/01/remote-by-lisa-acerbo-book-review-tour.html

Melanie’s Evanescent Journey by B. Truly

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Genres: Fantasy/Paranormal-Romance

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Blurb:
True Love may cost a price, if the greater good preordains that you are the sacrifice.

There are always two sides to a story. Melanie Wilhelm’s begins after she moves from Australia and starts her senior year at Cashmere High. On her first day, she bumps into a mysterious guy, and they form an instant connection. They become friends and he shares his deepest secret with her. As they grow closer, their relationship amplifies and becomes binding. Strange things occur, but instead of worrying, Melanie’s feelings intensify.
The excitement of New Year’s Eve approaches, and so does Jason’s most devastating revelation of all. She learns his ultimate truth and is now spun into his chaotic web. The danger rises and hard choices must be made. By being with Jason, Melanie may have to sacrifice more than her heart. It may cost her life.
Melanie’s Evanescent Journey ties into books one and two of The Sonar Trilogy. From spiraling twists to devastating plots, her journey will make you question fate and true love.
Is fate something you can control? Some believe it’s in the hands of what you behold.

 

Excerpt:

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Thanksgiving break was over, and Jason had come by my house for another study session. There hadn’t been any more weird occurrences at his house, but we had decided to study here today. He had fallen asleep on the sofa, and he looked so peaceful. I went in the kitchen, and then I heard him talking. I thought he had woken up, but when I glanced back into the family room he was still sleep. Interesting. I didn’t know he talked in his sleep. I smiled and walked over to the sofa. I sat next to him as he still kept mumbling.

“Kadan…hit the autopilot before we are lost.”

What was he talking about? It sounded like a bunch of mumbo jumbo. He jerked and flinched, but didn’t wake up.

“What do you mean?” he yelled.

I jumped, startled by the elevation of his voice.

“My mother! She’s been in an accident.” His face was pained, and I wanted to wake him, but it was obvious he was having a dream from his past. Did something happen to his mother? Maybe this was an important key to the puzzle. Then he started talking in a language I couldn’t understand.

Ana la Aliko bik, Layomkin an amour. Mada hassal? Ayna Jassadouha? Yomekin Ehyaoha. Li Mada ALJamiaa hader? ARirni!”

I had been studying different foreign languages since middle school and the closest dialect to this language sounded similar to Arabic. Yet the way it flowed was very different. His expression was one of terror. Memory retrieval or not, I couldn’t stand to see him hurting anymore. I shook his shoulder. “Jason, wake up!”

He bolted upright and squint his eyes, clearly confused. “Mel?”

“Yes, I’m here. You were having a nightmare.” He rubbed his forehead.

“What happened in your dream? You said something about your mother.”

He contemplated for a moment then shook his head. “I don’t remember my mother. What did I say?”

“You said something happened to her, and you sounded scared. Try to remember.”

He closed his eyes and took a deep breath. After a few seconds, he sighed. “My head hurts. I can’t remember anything I just dreamed about.”

“Jason, there’s something else. You spoke in a different language.”

“What?”

“You spoke in another language. I’ve studied multiple foreign languages over the last six years, but I am not sure what language it was.”

“Another language. That’s news to me.”

“Has this ever happened before?”

“Yes, we all have dreams. They are mostly vague. It’s mostly of different surroundings. I have never seen a person in my dreams. But from what you are telling me, maybe I am and just can’t remember what I dreamed. So maybe it’s déjà vu. I definitely don’t know anything about another language. Ugh! This is so frustrating,” he exclaimed, rubbing his temples.

“Let me get you something for your headache. And I’m sure it’s hard, but try to be patient. The mind is a complex structure. No one really understands how the concept of amnesia works. I feel in time you will remember at least some things from your past.” I wasn’t sure if that was a good thing, if his dream was any indication of what his past held. But he needed to find out some facts from his past to have peace.

“Thank you,” he replied. I kissed him on his cheek. “And Mel, I am really glad I met you. Being with you somehow makes going through this madness easier.”

“I’m glad I met you too.”

 

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About the Author:

I have wanted to be an author since I was fifteen years old and grateful to have accomplished this dream. I have three wonderful children and a husband who defines the person I am today. I work full-time as an Ultrasound technologist in Sugarland, Texas.

I have very vivid dreams and a wild imagination. I like to read, watch tons of TV shows, and movies. I’m addicted to romance and get a thrill out of action and suspense. I write New Adult Fantasy, Sci-fi, and Paranormal-Romance.

In the Sonar series it was fun to explore different elements of Sci-fi romance and create various realms of powers for my characters. I want to show my readers that Sci-fi can be fun, but also traumatic. I hope you guys enjoy the Sonar Series.

 

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Giveaway:

B. Truly is giving away 5 ebook copies of Melanie’s Evanescent Journey or a $25 Amazon GC! This giveaway will run 1/12/15-1/26/15. Open worldwide! Click here for the Rafflecopter.

New Review for Apocalipstick

Not sure if you want to read Apocalipstick? Check out all these great reviews!

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