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I Belong

Fantastic Fables: Saving Her Destiny by Candice Gilmer

May 26th, 2015 Kristie Posted in Fantastic Fables 6 Comments »

Beautiful woman sleeping among fairies

Please welcome author Candice Gilmer! Saving Her Destiny is Candice’s upcoming release from Samhain Publishing. It is the first novel in The Mythicals series. The eBook and paperback will be released on June 2, 2015! Saving Her Destiny is a paranormal romance featuring a banshee, a fairy and mermaids (called merrows)! Please enjoy her twist on The Little Mermaid below!

One lucky reader will win an eBook copy of Saving Her Destiny or another backlist title from Candice Gilmer! A huge thank you to Candice for her wonderful giveaways! This contest is US only.

**Don’t forget to enter the giveaways running all month long! Click here to check out these great giveaways!**


Deals With Sea Witches Never Go Well

From the Author: I was super excited to be a part of this, and the idea of tweaking my characters and tossing them in the Disney world? How fun!

So here’s what I think would have happened if Cara, my screaming banshee from SAVING HER DESTINY, got tossed into a “The Little Mermaid” type scenario.

The Scream

Cara bolted out of bed, the scream in her chest building faster than any of her previous screams. As a banshee, when death was coming, her screams were warnings.

She didn’t have much time. The scream–a strong, almost uncontrollable magic–manifested in a banshee. If that banshee didn’t release that scream quickly enough, it would explode out of said banshee.

Very messy business.

Hence Cara’s rush to get her wetsuit on so she could release it.

From the way the scream grew inside her, she figured she had very little time to deliver it. In most cases, she had at least a couple of days to release a building scream. Enough time, usually, for her to call her boss, take a day or two off work, whatever she needed to recover from the power.

This one, though, it was going quickly.

Something unexpected was afoot.

Each banshee was connected to a certain place or family that they screamed for. Living on the magical island of Avalon, Cara was tied to the Merrow Kingdom–the last colony of mermaids and mermen on the planet.

She zipped her wetsuit and grabbed her dive booties. Just before she walked out, she rubbed her hand over the red sea-weed like bracelet that she always wore–her piece of cohuleen druith that allowed her entrance to the Merrow Kingdom.

The merrow were particular about who they let into their world. The only magic they had–aside from the king’s piece of Neptune’s trident–was the magic that fed the red seaweed like hair that sprouted from the top of every merrow’s head.

Cara’s cottage was close to the rocky side of the magically hidden island, nearest the entrance to the Merrow Kingdom. She chose this location because, well, if she had to dive in to release her screams, it was best if she was close. Besides, she always loved the water.

She took a deep breath of the salty air, and felt it all the way to her toes–the water soothed her.

Even when a scream was about to erupt.

She shoved her fairy-made breather in her mouth and bounced to prepare to dive. Wind ripped around her, and she twisted, stretched, and was about to launch herself over the cliff’s edge into the water below when a voice stopped her.

“No, Cara don’t!” Abiageal, princess of the Merrow Kingdom, ran toward her–unusual to see her on land, with legs, but all merrow had legs when their fins dried. The princess waved one hand, and the other, she had pressed against the top of her head as she charged toward her. Abiageal may have only been a teenager, but she packed a wallop when she tackled Cara to the ground.

“Abiageal, what is the matter with you?” Cara yelled. The scream in her stomach did not like the tumble. And that’s when Cara noticed it. “Abiageal, what happened to your head?”

The girl pulled away, both hands now covering the top of her head. “Cara don’t.”

Cara pulled Abiageal’s hands away, revealing a small, sealed divot, where there should have been long red seaweed coming out that would have been mixed with Abiageal’s ashy blonde hair. “What happened? Where is your cohuleen druith?”

Old Irish tales tell of merrow captured by fishermen who cut off the red sprout so they could own the mermaids. There was some truth to those tales. Without the cohuleen druith, the mermaids were essentially human, and could never return to their sea home.

And Abiageal’s was gone.

Abiageal shook her head. “I traded it to the Sea Witch.”

Cara smacked the little princess upside the head. She could do that, since they were very distant cousins. “What is the matter with you?”

Tears welled up in Abiageal’s eyes. “I don’t know. I was swooning over Prince Henry of England, watching him on the beach. He was so charming, and I just wanted to swim up to him, and sweep him off his feet. Then the Sea Witch appeared, saying she could help me land him. There was singing, and I got swept up in her lyrics about me being this poor, unfortunate soul, and the next thing I knew, I was signing my cohuleen druith away.”

“How long, Abiageal?” The scream in Cara’s gut kept getting stronger. “How long did you have to win the prince?”

“A day. I had a day.” Abiageal looked at the ground, a tear in the corner of her eye.

Uh oh… “And if you don’t?” Cara whispered.

“I die, becoming sea foam.”

Cara resisted the urge to smack her again. “Are you out of your mind?” She grabbed Abiageal’s arm. “Come on. Because this scream isn’t going away. And you know what that means.”

Abiageal nodded. “I fail.”

The Sea Witch

Fortunately for Cara, the island of Avalon wasn’t horribly big, and while Cara walked most places, under the circumstances, her little electric moped seemed the best choice.

“Are you sure you know where you’re going?” Abiageal asked, sort of yelling in her ear through the helmet.

“Yep.” Cara drove the little moped down through the village, twisting and turning through streets that looked like they belonged in old England, where in some spots, she barely fit with her little bike.

They pulled up to an old, antiquated brick building and Cara parked.

“What are we doing here?”

“Trust me,” Cara said as she pulled out her cell phone and sent a text to her boss, one of the Magistrates of Avalon, letting him know what’s going on.

Just in case.

“What are you doing?” Abiageal stroked a little chain with a medallion on it that was slowly turning black.

Likely that stone will be all black when her day is up, Cara thought.

Ugh, she could just strangle Abiageal. The only daughter of the king, the princess was coddled and babied. Cara, as a distant cousin–was the closest thing to a big sister that Abiageal had.

“You’re not calling my father, are you?”

Cara glared at her. “I should. Heck, I probably will have to.”

Her eyes widened, and she looked ready to beg Cara to reconsider.

“But not yet. Let’s see if we can work this out without dragging your dad into it.”

Cara pushed open the door of the old building, and while she loved the smell of the sea, the overwhelming dead fish rot smell emanating from the store was almost enough to drive her back out into the sunlight.

A little clatter signaled the door had been opened, and Cara noticed the seashells hanging over the door.

“Ursula! Get out here, Ursula!” Cara called into the shop.

From the back of the shop came a grandmotherly woman, with her gray hair bundled in a knot, and those soft, weathered wrinkles that made her look more like she should be baking cookies than tricking princesses into deals.

In fact, she had a tray of cookies in her hands when she came out.

Abiageal walked to one of the potted seaweed plants that were stacked all around the shop, and Cara wondered for a second if they were what gave off the horrid smell.

Abiageal seemed intent on examining them.

“Oh, my well, if it isn’t Cara Wallace,” Ursula said, smiling while she sat the tray of cookies on the nearby counter. “What can I do for you, dear? Another survey from the Magistrates?”

“Don’t jack with me Ursula, I’m not in the mood,” Cara snapped. “Give Abiageal back her cohuleen druith.”

Ursula pressed her hand against her chest. “Why, dearie, do you assume I have it?”

“Save it, squid.” She grabbed Abiageal’s arm and pulled her toward Ursula. “Give Abiageal back her life, and maybe I won’t tell the Magistrates what you’re up to in here.”

Ursula shifted in posture, the sweet grandmotherly persona dropped for the monster that Cara was used to seeing.

One of the perks of Cara’s job working for the Magistrates, she knew every kind of beast that lived on the island, and had met each one at least once. She may never be able to leave the island, but she knew who was there.

And she also knew when they were screwing around.

“I am not up to anything that isn’t perfectly legal.” Ursula said, grinning.

“Legal and correct are two different things. Now release whatever you’ve cooked up, and we’ll be out of here without anyone in the Magistrate’s office hearing about it.”

“Oh, Cara, you just think you know everything, don’t you, little banshee? Why would I give up this,” Ursula held up the cohuleen druith, “now that I can finally go home?” Ursula slipped around the counter’s edge, and one long tentacle that had been hidden by the shop’s counters and shelves, slid across the floor. The tentacle wrapped around Abiageal and yanked her toward the sea witch.

“Her little contract is legal and binding. Nothing can be done.” She stroked the girl’s head. “Unless this little princess woos His Royal Highness Prince Henry in the next fourteen hours, she will die.”

Cara wanted to scream.

Really. In more ways than one.

Because that scream kept building in her chest, ready to burst…


“So you like deals,” Cara said, stepping forward. “What about my cohuleen druith? Return Abiageal’s, and I’ll give you mine. You’ll still have access to the Merrow Kingdom.” The king will have a fit that she turned hers over to the sea witch, but at least Abiageal will be alive.

“No deal,” Ursula said. “This isn’t just about going home, girl. This is about taking back what is mine.”

“You want the Merrow Kingdom,” Abiagael whispered.

“Of course I do.”

“Why? The Brothers will capture you and throw you out again,” Abiageal said. The Brothers, the merrow who guarded and protected the Merrow Kingdom, would never let Ursula beyond the entrance.

Saving Her Destiny

Even if she did have a key.

“You forget child,” Ursula said. “I have magic.”

“And so does three-quarters of the people who live on Avalon. What’s your point?” Cara added. Avalon was home to all sorts of mythicals; those that used magic fell under the “fairy” umbrella, and those that were corporeal, like werewolves, vampires, and dragons. All were welcome.

Even scheming sea witches when they get kicked out of their sea home.


“The Merrow Kingdom doesn’t have magic,” Ursula said.

“We have magic,” Abiageal said. “We just choose not to use it.”

Ursula rolled her eyes. “Hence your feeble existence. This planet is three-fourths water. Yet there’s only one colony of merrow left? Sounds like bad planning to me.”

Abiageal stood straighter. “Our people are thriving, now that you’re gone.”

Ursula stepped closer to the princess. “And you gave me a pass to get back in.”

“Stop it, both of you,” Cara said, her stomach roiling from the building banshee scream inside. “Listen, Ursula, I’m going to offer you, one more time, my bracelet. Cancel the princess’s contract, and it’s all yours.”

“And if I don’t?”

“I… I, uh…” Cara knelt over, the scream getting stronger by the moment. Sheesh, she thought to herself. Abiageal really doesn’t have a chance with that prince. This scream is growing by the minute.

She knew if she didn’t release it soon, the thing would find its way out, and take whatever was in the way with it.

Including her.

Such was the life of a banshee.

Ursula cleared her throat. “Are you well, Cara?”

Cara glanced at the witch. “I’m just fine.”

“You have a scream.”

“You think?” Cara snapped.

Silence spread between the trio, the only noise coming from the pungent plants that swayed in the little store front.

Ursula patted her chin. “I will trade you,” she said after a moment.

“Trade me what?” Cara asked.

“The scream. I will trade your scream for Abiageal’s cohuleen druith.”

Making a Deal

“You can’t do that,” Abiageal said.

“Of course I can,” Ursula said, smiling.

“You think you can harness the power of a scream?” Cara asked.

The sea witch put a hand on her hip. “I am the sea witch. If I can’t harness a scream, then really, what good is all my magical power?”

“What good, indeed,” Cara muttered. “What would you want with it, anyway?” Once they were released, the screams were pretty much useless. Sure, they were quite powerful when they first came out. After that initial blast they were gone, like a firework. Once they popped, it was done.

“That would be for me, my dear.” Ursula’s eyes sparkled as she spoke, and she looked far too excited at the prospect of getting Cara’s scream.

The sea witch had an idea, Cara knew she did. What, exactly, that could be alluded her, but Cara knew Ursula’s reputation–the sea witch didn’t do anything that didn’t somehow benefit her.

And a banshee scream had to do something for the sea witch.

Cara’s gaze darted around the little shop–there were knick-knacks everywhere–pieces from shipwrecks, art and the like. If anyone wandered in, they’d think she merely sold under water trinkets.

And those bizarre plants that smelled so badly.

If Cara didn’t figure something out, then Abiageal would die, and she couldn’t do that to the family.

“Come on, girl. I don’t think you have a lot of time to decide, do you? That scream is burrowing around inside, it’s trying to burst through right this second, isn’t it?”

“This isn’t my first rodeo, Ursula,” Cara said.

“It’s not mine either, child.”

“Cara, you’re not going to take her deal! You can’t. My cohuleen druith isn’t that important. I can still do it, I could make the prince fall in love with me!” Abiageal started for the door.

“You had better hurry, princess. Tick tock, tick tock,” Ursula said with a laugh.

Abiageal looked like she could cry as she put her hand on the door knob.

Cara touched the girl. She was just a kid. She didn’t know what she was doing, and Ursula had taken advantage of that. She deserves to live, to love for real.

“I’ll do it,” Cara said, with a cough. “You give her back her cohuleen druith, and I’ll give you this scream.”

Ursula crossed the room, her tentacles slithering over the floor. “How nice of you to decide to help out the little princess.” The witch waved her arm in the air, and a silver scroll appeared, where Abiageal’s signature glowed bright red on the bottom, the strands of her cohuleen druith wrapped around the edges of the contract.

“You give me the scream. I’ll cancel the contract.”

Cara shook her head. “You void that contract now, Ursula, or I won’t give you anything.”

Ursula raised her eyebrow. “At the same time?”

“No. Her first.”

“Cara, you can’t do this. The power in a banshee scream,” Abiageal began to babble. “I’m not worth it. If she can harness it, she can do anything with it.”

Cara glanced at the princess. “You’re worth it, kiddo.” She coughed again, the scream begging for release.

Just hold back a little longer. Just another few seconds, Cara told herself.

“Fine,” Ursula said. She waved her hand in the air, and the contract dissolved. The red seaweed disappeared, and re-appeared, attached to Abiageal’s head.

The girl started stroking the seaweed, then grabbed Cara. “Come on. Run.”

“No no,” Ursula said. “You’re not going anywhere, until I get my half of the bargain.”

Cara held her arm out. “She can leave.”

Ursula shook her head. “She will stay. In fact,” Ursula’s tentacle snagged Abiageal again, and this time, jerked the girl in between Cara and the sea witch.

Abiageal screamed as the tentacles wrapped around her arms.

Ursula laughed. “Just in case you decide to hurl that scream at me before I’m ready, banshee.”

Which had been Cara’s plan–let the full force of the scream slam into the sea witch, giving them both time to get away.


“Where do you want it?” Cara asked, steadying herself on a nearby table.

Ursula pulled from behind her counter a conch shell–a rather small one, Cara though.

“That looks kinda small,” Cara said.

“It’s stronger than you think,” Ursula said.

“Don’t do it, Cara. Don’t,” Abiageal said.

Cara turned to the little shell, and the force of her banshee scream came out. Normally the screams came out like huge explosions of energy on land. The last time Cara saw one, her sister Janelle had blown the windows out in the house they grew up in.

Ursula’s magic, however, grabbed the explosive scream and pulled it into the conch shell, making the shell glow silvery-white.

Cara panted after the energy released.

“You have what you want, Ursula. Let her go,” Cara took a couple of steps toward Abiageal and the sea witch’s tentacles.

“As nice as this is, it does present a problem,” Ursula said, holding the glowing shell in her hand.

“And what is that?” Cara asked.

A tentacle wrapped around Cara–specifically, along her arm, toward the little red cohuleen druith bracelet she wore.

“Ursula stop it,” Cara said trying to pull away, but she had such a strong grip, Cara couldn’t move. “What are you doing, this wasn’t part of the deal.”

“I’m altering the deal.” The witch grinned, and the tentacle held onto Cara’s hand. She leaned over, releasing Abiageal as she did, and snagged the bracelet off Cara. “That’s better.” She slipped it on her own wrist. “Now, I can use this against my enemies, and they’ll never know how I defeated them.”

“No!” Abiageal cried. The girl grabbed one of the plant pots and slammed it on the conch shell.

The shell shattered into a million pieces.

The scream released from its confines

Everyone in the shop went flying in all directions.

Saying Goodbye

“This is kinda stalker-ish, you know that, right, Abiageal?” Cara asked as they leaned over the large rock, watching Prince Henry walk along the beach with a lovely blonde girl. Hidden by a glamour that Abiageal’s father cast, they could see perfectly the prince and his lady.

“Yes, I know. But I wanted to say goodbye.”

“Did you ever actually speak to him?” Cara asked.

Abiageal shook her head. “No. But I wanted to.”

Cara sighed. Teenage love.

Seriously, was she this bad over her crush on Duncan? She held onto that crush for a lot of years, but at least she talked to him.

This was like, well, a celebrity crush or something.

Technically, it was…

“Did you see the look on Ursula’s face?” Abiageal asked Cara a few minutes later.

Cara smirked. “She was surprised, that’s for sure.”

“No kidding.” When Abiageal shattered the conch shell, the scream exploded through the shop, knocking all three of them out, and causing considerable damage to the store.

Including all those stinky plants.

Which weren’t plants at all. They were dozens of merrow that the sea witch had cast spells over, and when they lost their wager with the witch, she’d turned them into plants, and displayed them in her shop for years.

So they’d saved not only Abiageal, but dozens of other merrow in the process.

Cara’s boss showed up just after the explosion, and Ursula was taken into custody for crimes against mythical being. Who knew how long they’d hold her. Even if it was for a century, it didn’t really matter to her.

No one really knew the life span of Ursula, so sentencing was kind of a joke. But at least something would be done.

Abiageal sighed as she oogled Prince Henry.

“How did you know those plants were merrow?”

“The smell,” Abiageal said, glancing at Cara.

“They smelled awful.”

“To you, maybe. To me, I smelled home.” She pointed to Prince Henry. “Look.”

The prince got on a knee, with a ring and everything, and proposed to the blonde woman. They could just hear his slightly formal, but still very sweet proposal. The blonde had tears in her eyes, and wiped them away as she frantically nodded.

“Wow,” Cara said. “Sweet.”

And then it started–dozens of camera flashes, from all along the tree line around the shore. Men and women, all dressed in camouflaged clothing came out from everywhere, snapping pictures and yelling at the prince and the woman, wanting comments. More men appeared, guards by the look of them, holding everyone back.

“Holy moly,” Abiageal said as the prince and his, well, now his fiancé, dashed off to find cover from the strobe-like flashes of cameras. “I had no idea he had such a security detail when he was here.”

“You really think a prince would get to run around alone?” Cara asked.

“I never thought about it.”

“You couldn’t have dealt with that, kiddo.” Cara glanced at Abiageal’s tale, that sloshed in the water behind them. “You wouldn’t ever be able to get wet.”

“I know.” She ran a hand over the rock, following the lines in the stone. “I probably would be better with another merrow.” She sighed when she said it.

“You’re fifteen,” Cara said. “You got time.”

“How do you know?”

Cara thought back to a moment a few years ago, back when she had her palm read. She glanced at her hand, at the line that was supposed to show her destiny. “I still have a few years to find my destiny. My gut tells me, if I have a few years yet, then you do too.” She patted Abiageal’s shoulder.

“Destiny, smestiny. I just wanna get out of the Nursery,” Abiageal said.

Cara laughed. “And out from under your dad?”

“You have no idea the struggle of being a princess,” Abiageal said.

“And here you are, swooning over an English prince?” Cara rolled her eyes as the merrow princess told her all her woes about the difficulties of being a princess.

Must be rough, Cara mused.



Candice GilmerAbout Candice:

USA Today and NY Times bestselling author Candice Gilmer leads a dangerous double life as a mommy and a writer. In between boo-boo healing and fixing broken toys, she writes stories usually to the tune of children’s television shows.

Growing up in the Midwest, Candice stays close to her family, especially the ones with basements when the tornadoes come around. She also works as a hairdresser, which she’s done for over fifteen years, and brings her laptop to work so she can write between clients.

When she’s not writing, styling hair and taking care of her family, she gets together with her girlfriends for gossip and coffee. All in all, she stays very busy, but really, she wouldn’t have it any other way.

Well, maybe a little less children’s television.

You can visit Candice around the web here: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Want to read more from Candice Gilmer?

Saving Her DestinyRescuing RapunzelUnder His Nose Before His Eyes Just His TasteUnholy Night A Darker Trinity Broken ShineThe Reluctant PrinceMission of ChristmasFantasy GirlHis Velvet TouchSummer Burns (Celestial Spr...



This giveaway is provided by Candice Gilmer!

One lucky reader will win Saving Her Destiny or Backlist title of their choice from Candice Gilmer
(US only)

Saving Her Destiny

Available June 2, 2015 from Samhain Publishing

About this Book:

Sometimes the future comes knocking. Sometimes it knocks you into next week.

Fairy-In-Distress team member Duncan Molar’s mission is as simple as it is desperate. Find his missing best friend, banshee Cara Wallace, before an assassin lights the magical fuse that will unlock her scream, wiping out the last merrow colony on earth.

Since the day he rescued her from a fishing net, the near-victim of her very first scream, they’ve been joined at the hip, he helping her with her telepathy, she helping him remember the beautiful side of being a fairy.

When he finds her, the crisis isn’t over, for the unreleased scream could kill her…unless he gets her to a remote location and figures out a way to release it safely. The solution blows them so far apart, Duncan’s back to square one. Doing whatever he has to—including sacrificing his job with the FID—in order to save her.

Because secretly, he’s been in love with her for a decade.

Warning: A determined fairy, a banshee-in-distress, and a djinn that will only make matters worse.

Pre-Order from


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Fantastic Fables Giveaway: The Talon of the Hawk by Jeffe Kennedy

May 25th, 2015 Kristie Posted in Fantastic Fables 9 Comments »

Beautiful woman sleeping among fairies

Fantastic Fables continues today with another fabulous giveaway from Jeffe Kennedy! The Talon of the Hawk is the final novel in The Twelve Kingdoms Trilogy. This fantasy series offers up some seriously sexy scenes while following the journey of three sisters as they fight for love and kingdom. I received The Talon of the Hawk for review but as I started reading it, I realized that I needed to read the previous two books. I have really enjoyed this series so far. Stay tuned for my review of this entire series!

One lucky reader will receive a paperback copy of The Talon of the Hawk! This giveaway is provided by Jeffe Kennedy! US/Canada residents only for this giveaway.

**Don’t forget to enter the giveaways running all month long! Click here to check out these great giveaways!**


Jeffe KennedyAbout Jeffe:

Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author whose works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. Her essays have appeared in many publications, including Redbook.

Her most recent works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, and an erotic contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera, which released beginning January 2, 2014. A fourth series, the fantasy trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms, hit the shelves starting in May 2014 and book 1, The Mark of the Tala, received a starred Library Journal review and has been nominated for the RT Book of the Year while the sequel, The Tears of the Rose, has been nominated for best fantasy romance of the year. A fifth series, the highly anticipated erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under, released starting with Going Under in July.

She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine.

Jeffe can be found online at her website:, every Sunday at the popular Word Whores blog, on Facebook, and pretty much constantly on Twitter @jeffekennedy. She is represented by Connor Goldsmith of Fuse Literary.

You can visit Jeffe around the web here: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

Want to read more from Jeffe Kennedy?

The Mark of the Tala The Tears of the Rose The Talon of the HawkRogue's Pawn Rogue's Possession Rogue's ParadiseSapphire Platinum RubyMaster of the Opera Act 1: ... Master of the Opera, Act 2:... Master of the Opera, Act 3:... Dark Interlude Master of the Opera Act 5: ...Going Under Under His Touch Under ContractPetals and ThornsFive Golden RingsFeeding the Vampire



This contest is provided by Jeffe Kennedy!

One lucky reader will win a copy of The Talon of the Hawk!
(US/Canada only)

The Talon of the Hawk

Available May 26, 2015 from Kensington

About this Book:


Three daughters were born to High King Uorsin, in place of the son he wanted. The youngest, lovely and sweet. The middle, pretty and subtle, with an air of magic. And the eldest, the Heir. A girl grudgingly honed to leadership, not beauty, to bear the sword and honor of the king.

Ursula’s loyalty is as ingrained as her straight warrior’s spine. She protects the peace of the Twelve Kingdoms with sweat and blood, her sisters from threats far and near. And she protects her father to prove her worth. But she never imagined her loyalty would become an open question on palace grounds. That her father would receive her with a foreign witch at one side and a hireling captain at the other—that soldiers would look on her as a woman, not as a warrior. She also never expected to decide the destiny of her sisters, of her people, of the Twelve Kingdoms and the Thirteenth. Not with her father still on the throne and war in the air. But the choice is before her. And the Heir must lead…

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Fantastic Fables: The Last True Vampire by Kate Baxter

May 24th, 2015 Kristie Posted in Fantastic Fables 9 Comments »

Beautiful woman sleeping among fairies

Please welcome author Kate Baxter! The Last True Vampire is the beginning of a new paranormal romance series, True Vampire. This novel will be released on June 2, 2015 from St. Martin’s Paperbacks! In the meantime check out her story below, if you want more, her novella Stripped Bear is available now! It is also set in the True Vampire world. Please enjoy her story below!

One lucky reader will win a paperback copy of The Last True Vampire! This giveaway is provided by Kate Baxter! Contest is US only.

**Don’t forget to enter the giveaways running all month long! Click here to check out these great giveaways!**


Down the Rabbit Hole

Thanks so much to Dark Faerie Tales for inviting me to participate in the Fantastic Fables event! In THE LAST TRUE VAMPIRE, Claire Thompson is a bit of a grifter who’s lived on the wrong side of the tracks most of her life. She’s had to do whatever it takes to stay afloat and what she doesn’t realize when she meets the mysterious Michael Aristov, that her world is about to be changed forever. Claire leaves the human world behind for a supernatural world she never knew existed. Sort of like falling down the rabbit hole…

“I’m late! I’m late!”

The rabbit darted in circles around Claire, tiny front paws waving frantically. He drew a shining gold pocket watch from his vest and her attention fixated on the piece. Huh. She could probably pawn it for a hundred bucks or more if she managed to lift it from him. The fact that a white rabbit wearing a suit was talking to her seemed secondary to the sweet bit of hardware he held in his paw. A clear indication she was dreaming. Thank god.

“Where are you going?” If Claire followed along, she might be able to slip if from his pocket before he caught on. She could walk with him for a bit, draw him into conversation and distract him from what she really planned to do—which was rob him blind.

“The king!” the rabbit replied. “He’s about to seize his crown and I’ve lost my way. If I don’t find the path I’ll be late.”

Claire had had some weird dreams before, but this one took the cake. “I’ll help you find the path,” she replied. It’s not like she had anything better to do. She looked around at the dense forest that surrounded them. “If you give me your pocket watch as payment.” There was no such thing as a free ride in this world. She knew that better than most.

The rabbit gave her a contemplative stare. It’s beady, blood red eyes unnerved her and Claire suppressed a shiver. “All right. If you help me find the king, I’ll give you my watch as payment.”

Score! A good bargain worked as well as a good grift any day of the week. A hell of a lot less work, too. She led the way through the woods and the white rabbit hopped beside her, his little head darting this way and that at every slight sound.

“What’s the matter?” It’s not like there were any imminent threats as far as Claire could tell. Maybe rabbits were generally suspicious and jumpy by nature?

“Danger everywhere,” the rabbit replied just above a whisper. “The king has enemies. They’ll hunt him down and kill him.”

In that case, a public reclaiming of his crown sort of seemed like a bad idea. “Doesn’t he have an army?” Shouldn’t a king should have someone to watch his back.

“No army and very few allies,” the rabbit replied. “Now that you’re here, though, everything will change.”

Stripped BearThe Last True Vampire

Claire wasn’t sure how she fit into this little scenario. “I doubt that. Kings aren’t really my thing.” Pool halls were her thing. Easy money was her thing. Food in the fridge, definitely her thing. Kings? Not so much. Unless she could find an angle to work, that is.

Light giggles to her right drew Claire’s attention. Her head whipped around and a grouping of tulips bent their flowery heads down as though directed by a breeze. She shook off the unease that spread through her like ice and continued to wind her way through the woods with the rabbit at her side. “I don’t know what sort of path you were on before you found me,” she remarked, “but I’m not seeing even a trail.”

“You don’t see the path.” The rabbit paused and brought his red eyes up to hers. “You have to feel it.”

Okay, that was weird. “If you can feel it, why can’t you find it?”

“I can’t feel it,” the rabbit said knowingly. “Only you can, Claire.”

A shiver danced over her skin. Claire hadn’t given the rabbit her name and yet he seemed to know her. “How do you suggest I do that?” The quicker she helped the rabbit to find his way, the better. She didn’t particularly like him and if she hadn’t wanted to get her hands on his watch, she would have told him to take a hike.

“If you concentrate, you’ll feel it. The path will lead you straight to him.”

That’s what Claire was afraid of. She wasn’t sure she wanted to meet this king who had no friends and a host of enemies. In Claire’s experience, the lone wolves were the most dangerous. She’d know—she’d been a loner since she was a kid.

Despite her skepticism, she did as the rabbit said. Claire closed her eyes and focused. A ripple of sensation generated in the pit of her stomach and flared outward. Claire’s eyes flew open and she looked down to find a smirk tugging at the rabbit’s furry face. She headed to her left and the sensation increased. Something wild and urgent built inside of Claire and she quickened her pace, running through the woods as she brushed bright pink bushes and the reaching arms of maroon colored trees aside. Equal parts fear and joy crested inside of her. Claire continued to run and the rabbit hopped along beside her.

“You’re almost there, Claire! Run! He’s waiting for you!”

The Warrior Vampire

Claire pushed herself harder. She felt the weight of eyes upon her but she continued on her track. Through the dense trees and bushes, Claire continued to race. The grass tugged at her feet as though urging her not to go but she ripped free and hurried on. The sensation in her gut spread throughout her body until Claire was suffused with delicious heat. She broke through the dense foliage with a gasp as she spilled out into a large clearing surrounded by more of the bright flowers and strange mushrooms that decorated the forest. A sense of homecoming overwhelmed her and brought tears to Claire’s eyes. She breathed through the intense emotions as she went to her knees.

In the distance, Claire spotted the king. He sat on a high throne, his posture arrogant and regal. Shadows shielded his face from her, but through the darkness, his eyes shone bright silver. Beside her, the rabbit’s chest puffed out with pride.

“Welcome home, your majesty,” he said with a low bow. “Your king awaits.”

“Not my king,” she said, bemused. “I found him for you, not for me. I only want your watch.”

The rabbit looked toward the king and Claire followed his gaze. In one large, strong hand, the king held the rabbit’s gold watch aloft. “Go claim your prize, Claire.”

From the throne, the king’s voice rang out deep and sure, “Mine.”

Claire came awake with a start. Her body hummed and her chest ached. Her breath came in sharp gasps and her muscles burned as though she’d run a couple of miles at full speed. A dream. It was only a dream. Her eyes darted to the clock on her ratty, secondhand bedside table. She’d only meant to lay down for a few minutes. Instead she’d slept the entire evening away. She had work to do tonight. Rent money to make. And it wasn’t going to happen if she stayed at home and laid in bed.

Claire pushed herself up and headed to her closet to find something acceptable to wear. She’d be hitting the club district tonight in hunt of big game. She vowed that tonight was going to be her last hustle and she wanted to make it count. She just hoped she’d find what she was looking for…

Thanks again to Dark Faerie Tales for having me! What’s your favorite fairytale?


About Kate:

Kate Baxter is a die-hard romantic with a thing for Shakespeare and all things fanged, furry, and undead. She is the author of the True Vampire series. Book 1, THE LAST TRUE VAMPIRE debuts June 2nd, 2015 from St. Martin’s Press.

You can visit Kate around the web here: Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook


Want to read more from Kate Baxter?

The Last True Vampire The Warrior VampireStripped Bear



This contest is provided by Kate Baxter!

One lucky reader will win a paperback copy of The Last True Vampire
(US only)

The Last True Vampire

Available June 2, 2015 from St. Martin’s Paperbacks

About this Book:

As Michael’s eyes lit on a female not twenty feet away, he knew without a doubt that it was her blood that called to him and her scent that had awakened him.This female had tethered his soul and returned it to him.

Soul Survivor

He is the last of his race. The one true king of the vampires. Michael Aristov roams the nightclubs of L.A. after dark, haunted by his past and driven by his hunger. The last of the Ancient Ones, he alone has survived the destruction of his race at the hands of the slayers. Now he is forced to hunt and feed like a common vampire, a creature of lust. Nothing in this world can fulfill his needs…until he meets a woman who’s everything he’s ever wanted. And more.

Sweet Salvation

Her name is Claire Thompson. Her blood is so sweet, so intoxicating—the smell alone draws Michael to her like a moth to the flame. Sly, sexy, and seductive, Claire seems to be the only mortal who can satisfy his craving and seal his fate…forever. Can she be trusted? From their very first kiss, the last true vampire sweeps Claire into a world in which darkness rules desire—and where falling in love is the greatest danger of all…

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Fantastic Fables: Song of the Navigator by Astrid Amara

May 23rd, 2015 Kristie Posted in Fantastic Fables 5 Comments »

Beautiful woman sleeping among fairies

Please welcome author Astrid Amara! Her novel, Song of the Navigator, is a M/M Science Fiction Romance. This novel will be released on May 26, 2015 from Samhain Publishing. Please enjoy her story below!

One lucky reader will win an eBook copy of The Irregulars and another lucky winner will win a Song of the Navigator magnet! This contest is International!

**Don’t forget to enter the giveaways running all month long! Click here to check out these great giveaways!**


Hi everyone! So excited to be guest blogging here at Dark Faerie Tales today!

My upcoming release, Song of the Navigator, from Samhain Publishing is a science fiction novel and didn’t lend itself very well to fairy tale magic. So instead I’ve written a little scene starring Agents Deven Shaw and Silas August, Irregulars Agents who are part of a secret organization investigating cases involving magic, fairies, demons, and other-worldly creatures interacting with the human realm. I hope you enjoy – and if you like the characters, read more in the Irregulars Anthology with novellas from myself, Ginn Hale, Josh Lanyon, And Nicole Kimberling at Blind Eye Books.

AND  an e-book copy of Irregulars is being given away as part of the 2015 Fantastic Fables series, so enter the competition below.  Happy reading!


Deven Shaw was used to not having a clue what was going on around him.

After all, he grew up in the hellish underworld of Aztaw as a human sacrifice-turned-assassin. And years after repatriating himself to the human world, he was still no better at interpreting what was considered “normal” behavior and what was not.

So when entered a small cabin in the woods and found himself eye to eye with a wolf wearing a frilly lace nightgown and sleeping bonnet, he didn’t think this was anything to write home about.

Not that he had a home anyway. Unless you counted NATO Irregular Affairs Division Special Agent Silas August, his husband and the person Deven considered home more than any place or any person in all the worlds.

“Anyone in there?” August called out from the woods.

Deven waved at the wolf in the twee bedroom, then backed out slowly. He closed the front door behind him and made his way down the narrow stone path to August’s side.


August blinked. “Wolf?”

“In a nightgown,” Deven clarified.  He shrugged. “Looks pretty cute, as far as wolves go.”

August raised his eyes to the sky, a look Deven was all too familiar with. Ever since they became work partners on behalf of the Irregulars, investigating strange claims and cases of probably magical intervention, Deven had gotten that “you’re an idiot” look at least once a day.

“You want me to ask him why he’s in the old lady’s house?” Deven asked. He grinned. “Or, if you prefer, you could turn on your well-established charm and ask him yourself.”

August made a face. “Enter that spider web-infested firetrap in my Armani suit? No thanks.”

“You’re such a big, bad, agent,” Deven said. “So, based on your worried expression,  I assume you think this wolf in the bed is a bad thing.”

“Yes this is a bad thing, Deven.” August sighed. “It means the girl was right to call us and that her grandmother is indeed in danger. Or more likely dead.”

Deven’s hand twitched for the knife at his belt.

IrregularsSong of the Navigator

August narrowed his eyes. “What—“

“Nothing,” Deven said quickly.



No, Deven. No. You don’t get to cut it open.”

“But maybe—“

“She’s not still alive in there. That doesn’t happen in real life.”

Deven pouted. “Real life is so confusing. Besides, last month you said it wasn’t possible for a pumpkin to turn into a car, but when the clock hit midnight—“

“Yes, I’ve been wrong, point taken, but honestly. You are going to slit the wolf in half and hope the old lady is still knitting inside?”

“Maybe.” Deven shrugged. “I don’t know.” He kicked at a stick on the ground. “Worth a shot?”

August sighed, one of those deep, painful, life-regretting sighs, and pulled out his mobile phone. Deven suspected he was calling the Irregulars clean up team judging by the one-sided conversation he overheard.

“…Yeah.  Definitely not your average lupine. Yeah… laying in bed. In a fucking nightgown… he knows we’re here. Copy.  Copy… okay.”

He hung up the phone, then pulled off his dark brown merino wool scarf and carefully laid it over a dry log. He then sat on it, looking dashing and proper and in command. The CEO of the forest.

“They’ll be here in fifteen minutes,” August announced. He crossed his legs.

Deven released the hold on his knife and sat beside August on the log. He wore rugged work pants, so he didn’t care if they caught on the loose bark. He pulled his backpack off and rustle around for his water bottle. He took a sip, and offered one to August.

August took the water bottle and mumbled, “Just another Wednesday detail in the fucking Enchanted Forest.” He handed the bottle back to Deven. “God, one of us needs a promotion.”

“If I killed Agent Ramsey, you’d be next in line for the Paris investigation squad,” Deven offered. He smiled sweetly at August. “Consider it an early birthday present?”

August smirked. “You know I prefer presents that involve you being naked.”

“That can be arranged,” Deven promised.

“And less homicidal,” August added.

Deven held his palm to his chest. “I was joking. I promised you I wouldn’t kill anymore, unless it was absolutely necessary.”

August reached out and tucked a strand of Deven’s dark hair behind Deven’s ear. “My hero.”


Astrid AmaraAbout Astrid:

Astrid Amara has lived in Maidenhead, England, Jerusalem, Israel, and Bukhara, Uzbekistan, but settled in Bellingham, Washington in the United States because she distrusts the sun. She is a former Peace Corps Volunteer and an advocate for animal rights. By day she is a bureaucrat working for The Man. At night, however, she’s either writing, riding her horse, or spending her time with her husband, two goats, and three dogs. She is the author of over sixteen gay speculative or contemporary romance novels, including The Archer’s Heart, which was a finalist for the Lambda Literary Award. More details and contact information are on her website.

You can visit Astrid around the web here: Website | Facebook

Want to read more from Astrid Amara?

Song of the NavigatorCarol of the Bellskis Miracle of the BellskisHell Cop Hell Cop 2The Archer's Heart Book One The Archer's Heart Book Two The Archer's Heart Book ThreeHoliday OutingLove Ahead: Expect DelaysSweet and SourHalf PassA Policy of LiesThe Devil LancerThe Valde: WaterIntimate TraitorsDemolishedTwo Tangled TalesIrregulars



This contest is provided by Astrid Amara!

One lucky reader will win an eBook copy of The Irregulars & another lucky winner will win a Song of the Navigator magnet!

Song of the Navigator

Available May 26, 2015 from Samhain Publishing

About this Book:

Worst Possible Birthday: Being sold into slavery by none other than your lover.

Tover Duke’s rare ability to move anything instantly across light-years of space makes him a powerful, valuable asset to the Harmony Corporation, and a rock star among the people of the colonies. His life is luxurious. Safe. Routine.

He has his pick of casual hookups passing through Dadelus-Kaku Station. His one brush with danger of any kind — the only bright spot in his otherwise boring life — is Cruz Arcadio, a dark-haired, hard-bodied engineer whose physical prowess hints he’s something much more.

When a terrorist abducts Tover, hurling him into a world of torture, exploitation and betrayal, it’s with shattering disbelief that he realizes his kidnapper is none other than Cruz. As Tover struggles to find the courage to escape his bondage, he begins to understand the only way to free his body, his mind—and his heart—is to trust the one man who showed him that everything about his once-perfect life was a lie.

Click HERE to read an excerpt

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Event Annoucement & Giveaways: Fantastic Fables 2015!

May 22nd, 2015 Kristie Posted in Fantastic Fables 40 Comments »

Beautiful woman sleeping among fairies

Dark Faerie Tales has an exciting month of giveaways and stories planned for the entire month of May! Fantastic Fables is an event where we ask authors to take their favorite fairytale/fable and twist it into their universe using characters from their novels. Please check out the authors we have in store you for all month long! Also, we have several giveaways to enter now!

  • Saving Her Destiny by Candice Gilmer – 2 Lucky winners will each receive a copy of Saving Her Destiny or a backlist title of their choice! This contest is provided by Candice Gilmer. Open to US only!
  • Witches with the Enemy – Barb Hendee – 3 Lucky winners will each receive a copy of Witches with the Enemy! This contest is provided by Barb Hendee. Open to US only!
  • Win the entire Roaring Twenties series by Jenn Bennett – 1 Lucky winner will win the entire trilogy (Bitter Spirits, Grim Shadows & Grave Phantoms)! This contest is provided by Penguin/Random House. Open to US only!


Saving Her DestinyWitches With The EnemyGrave PhantomsPirates AlleyMarked For MagicLoose ChangelingHer Wild HeroNight of the Highland DragonHeart MatesVictory of the HawkThe Silver WitchBite at First SightDark InstinctsEbanThe Shattered CourtThe City BeneathThe Wild GirlWitches Be BurnedUnbearable DesireHunted WarriorNight of the Living Demon SlayerPiercing the DarknessSong of the NavigatorThe Last True VampireThe Talon of the HawkClockwork CrownBlood StitchesWaking the DragonSinger of DeathShards of HopeThe Shadow Revolution



Contest #1 is provided by Candice Gilmer!

2 Lucky Readers will win Saving Her Destiny or a Candice Gilmer backlist title of their choice!
(US only)

Saving Her Destiny

Available June 2, 2015 from Samhain Publishing

About this Book:

Sometimes the future comes knocking. Sometimes it knocks you into next week.

Fairy-In-Distress team member Duncan Molar’s mission is as simple as it is desperate. Find his missing best friend, banshee Cara Wallace, before an assassin lights the magical fuse that will unlock her scream, wiping out the last merrow colony on earth.

Since the day he rescued her from a fishing net, the near-victim of her very first scream, they’ve been joined at the hip, he helping her with her telepathy, she helping him remember the beautiful side of being a fairy.

When he finds her, the crisis isn’t over, for the unreleased scream could kill her…unless he gets her to a remote location and figures out a way to release it safely. The solution blows them so far apart, Duncan’s back to square one. Doing whatever he has to—including sacrificing his job with the FID—in order to save her.

Because secretly, he’s been in love with her for a decade.

Warning: A determined fairy, a banshee-in-distress, and a djinn that will only make matters worse.

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Contest #2 is provided by Barb Hendee!

3 Lucky Readers will each get a copy of Witches with the Enemy! (US only)

Witches With The Enemy

Available May 5, 2015 from Roc/Penguin

About this Book:

The national bestselling author of The Mist-Torn Witches returns to a world of princes and power, magic and mystery, where two women have the ability to reveal the future and uncover the past…

When seers Céline and Amelie Fawe fled Shetâna under threat of death, they vowed never to return. Yet, less than a year later, they are summoned back—to aid the man who once tried to kill them.… The cruel prince Damek is on the verge of closing marriage negotiations with the powerful family of a young noblewoman when his intended’s sister is murdered. To keep the engagement from falling through, Damek must expose the killer quickly—and he needs the seers’ powers to do so. Though the Fawes’ patron, Prince Anton, fears that bringing Céline and Amelie to Shetâna places them in grave danger, he is honor-bound to help his brother Damek. Only none of them is prepared for the peril that awaits them at Castle Kimovesk—for someone in the court is determined to prevent the marriage from happening, no matter how deadly the cost…

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a Rafflecopter giveaway


Contest #3 is provided by Penguin Random House!

One lucky reader will win the entire Roaring Twenties Trilogy!
(Bitter Spirits, Grim Shadows & Grave Phantoms)
(US only)

Bitter SpiritsGrim ShadowsGrave Phantoms

Available May 5, 2015 from Berkley/Penguin

About this Book:

From the author of Grim Shadows and Bitter Spirits comes the new Roaring Twenties novel in the series hailed as “Boardwalk Empire meets Ghost Hunters, but so much better” (Molly Harper, national bestselling author of the Jane Jameson series).

Feisty flapper Astrid Magnusson is home from college and yearning for the one thing that’s always been off limits: Bo Yeung, her notorious bootlegging brother’s second-in-command. Unfortunately her dream of an easy reunion proves difficult after a violent storm sends a mysterious yacht crashing into the Magnussons’ docks. What’s worse, the boat disappeared a year ago, and the survivors are acting strangely…

Bo has worked with the Magnusson family for years, doing whatever is needed, including keeping his boss’s younger sister out of trouble—and his hands to himself. Of course, that isn’t so easy after Astrid has a haunting vision about the yacht’s disappearance, plunging them into an underground world of old money and dark magic. Danger will drive them closer together, but surviving their own forbidden feelings could be the bigger risk.

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