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Saturday, 20 August 2016

☀ Shadow Born: Shadows of Salem [1] - Jasmine Walt & Rebecca Hamilton

Thank you for joining us on the Virtual Book Tour for Shadow Born, an urban Fantasy by (, Blue Bolt Publishing, 262 pages).

This is the first book in the Shadows of Salem series.

PREVIEW: Check out the book's synopsis and excerpt below. Read the first three chapters with Amazon Look Inside.

The authors will be awarding a $100 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.


Synopsis | Teaser | The Series | About the Author | Giveaway

Synopsis

Shadows of Salem is the hit new adult urban fantasy series from New York Times bestselling authors Jasmine Walt and Rebecca Hamilton!

Chicago Police Detective Brooke Chandler is keeping a secret... and if she's not careful, it could get her killed.

Brooke is no stranger to the supernatural. In Chicago, vampires are just as prevalent as drug lords, and infinitely more bloodthirsty. So when her partner and fiancé dies in a mysterious fire while chasing down a lead in Salem, she suspects something dark and otherworldly is at play.

Blessed with the ability to see into the past by touching inanimate objects, Brooke transfers to the Salem PD, hoping her talent will help her get to the bottom of things. Between dodging assassination attempts and being stonewalled at every turn, the going is tough. Add in a mysterious fae club owner with secrets of his own and a personal grudge against her, and it becomes nearly impossible.

If Brooke wants to play in the supernatural sandbox, she's going to have to roll up her sleeves and get dirty. But how many people will have to die for Brooke to discover the truth about her fiance? And is she even ready to know?

Find out what lurks in the SHADOWS OF SALEM by reading SHADOW BORN, the latest Urban Fantasy hit readers are comparing to Karen Marie Moning and Patricia Briggs.

Teaser: Excerpt

CHAPTER 1


Wallet. Check.
Toothbrush. Check.
.1911 pistol. Check.
Vampire bullets.


I paused at the last one, my fingers curled around the small steel case tucked into my duffel bag full of essentials. Standing at the edge of my crappy motel bed in Buffalo, I lifted the box to the dusty shaft of light filtering in through the window and cracked open the box to peer down at the hand-crafted wooden bullets inside.They were each filed to sharp points, mimicking stakes, and worked just as well as the real thing—provided you were a good enough shot to take out a fast-moving vampire.

I was a good enough shot.

Thank you, Uncle Oscar, I thought, closing the box and tucking it back into my duffel. Shooting wasn’t the only thing he’d taught me; my uncle had also taught me how to make these bullets. And while he wasn’t actually my uncle, he was still the only family I knew. Raised me since the day my parents dumped me on his doorstep at six years old.

Oscar had kept me on a tight leash as far as the supernatural were concerned, refusing to let me anywhere near anything that even hinted at magic. But Chicago was infested with vampires, so rather than trying to fight a losing battle on that front, he’d trained me to protect myself. I was leaving Chicago behind now, true, but I’d been using these bullets all my life. I wouldn’t feel safe without them.

Besides, who was to say the place I was going didn’t have vampires, too? Salem had so much supernatural folklore surrounding it that I couldn’t rule anything out.

I zipped up my duffel, did a quick check around the motel room to make sure I hadn’t forgotten anything, then grabbed my luggage and headed outside. Between the vampire gun strapped beneath my jacket, the police-issue S&W .40 at my hip, and the detective’s shield hooked through my belt, I felt pretty comfortable about my safety. Even so, I took a good look around the parking lot as I made my way to my Jeep. It didn’t pay to be off-guard, and I was in new territory.

I made a pit-stop at a Dunkin’ Donuts for coffee and a breakfast sandwich, then headed onto the I-90 to finish the last leg of my journey. The Chief of the Salem PD had approved my request to come out there on loan from Chicago PD a week ago, and I’d wasted no time packing my stuff up, getting someone to sublet my apartment, and finding a place to stay in Salem before hitting the road. If not for the fourteen-hour trip, I would have done the whole drive in one shot, but I wanted to arrive at the station to meet my new teammates as alert and fresh as possible.

Unfortunately, the Chief wouldn’t be there herself, as she left town just two days ago due to a family death, but she assured me that the captain of the department handling Tom’s case would roll out the welcome mat for me in her stead.

A pang hit my chest at the idea of having to work without my partner, and I tightened my grip on the steering wheel. Of course, Tom Garrison, had been more than just my partner—he’d also been my fiancé. The love of my life, the first man who’d understood my needs and desires and accepted me for who I was.

Well, at least who he figured I was.

Tom knew about my vampire-staking ways, but he didn’t know about my strange ability. I’d been holding off on telling him because Uncle Oscar had instilled in me from a young age that revealing my talent would put me and those around me in grave danger. I didn’t want to put Tom in danger.

Yeah, and look how that turned out.

Maybe if Tom had known what I could do, he would have taken me with him to Salem when he’d gone back to check into that missing person’s case. If he hadn’t left me behind, then maybe, just maybe, he’d still be alive.

“Stop that,” I muttered, placing my breakfast sandwich on the passenger’s seat so I could swipe at the stray tear trailing down my cheek. My fingers left a greasy streak across my skin as I wiped away the drop of moisture, and I blinked back the rest of my tears. It wouldn’t do to arrive at my new precinct looking as if I’d just finished watching Titanic or something. If I showed up looking like a pitiful damsel in distress, they’d put me on traffic duty, which was not what I wanted.

I wasn’t going to Salem to get away from Chicago or the specter of my dead fiancé. I was going to find out what had happened to him. And why. I’d been told the motel room he’d been staying in had caught fire and that no evidence had survived the blaze, but that wasn’t good enough. I was going to hunt down the truth, and when I found out who killed my fiancé, I would make sure they were brought to justice.

I still didn’t understand how Tom could be gone. My fiancé wasn’t a weakling.He’d gone up against his fair share of vampires, just like me. Whoever killed him had to be at least as strong as a vamp, but possibly even stronger…somehow. The best place to start would be with finding Salem’s supernatural pulse.

Sighing, I took in the world outside my window, hoping its beauty would temporarily relieve me from my dark memories. The early fall hillsides were bursting with color from the turning oak and maple leaves that surrounded me from either side of the highway as well as the rolling hills up ahead. The wind caught at my silver curls, tugging them free from their pins so that the strands whipped around my face.

Hmm. How was my new precinct going to react to that? My mercury-colored hair always drew strange looks, though no-one really ever said anything about it by the time I’d graduated grade school. As a freshman, they’d teased me for having the hair of an old lady and strange lavender-blue eyes, but I’d shown them I wasn’t afraid to sock them in their teeth, and they’d kept their mouths shut after that.

Adults, on the other hand, knew better than to say anything in the first place—at least most of them. But that didn’t mean I wouldn’t be subject to their stares, and I would walk around knowing that they were dying to ask me about my unusual coloring.

Strange how, as an adult, I almost missed the forthrightness of the peers from my childhood.

Letting out a contented sigh, I tilted my head, enjoying the nip of winter that kissed my cheeks. I’d been born in Nevada, or so Oscar told me, but after being raised in Chicago, I was a winter girl through and through. I loved the cold weather, and I was looking forward to the snowfall in a more rural area, instead of watching it get stomped to a muddy slush in the big city.

Just as I was passing the sign for Wakefield, I caught sight of a woman kneeling next to a beat-up Crown Victoria, struggling to change a flat tire. It was still daylight, but sunset streaked the sky with brilliant reds and golds, and I didn’t feel right about leaving her alone on the highway when I knew night would fall soon. So I pulled over to the shoulder, parked my car at a respectable distance behind hers, then went over to help.

“Hey there,” I said with a friendly smile. “Need a hand?”

“Oh yes, please!” the woman cried, a southern twang evident in her voice as she flashed me a grateful, if harried, smile. She looked to be in her thirties, wearing a plain white tee shirt and faded jeans, and her dark brown hair was pulled back into a messy bun that was halfway unraveled by the wind. Frustration sparked in her brown eyes as she glared at the wrench, which didn’t seem to be cooperating with her efforts to unscrew the bolts on the tire. “I know I should be able to use a wrench at my age, but I can’t get this to work.”

“No worries,” I said, kneeling beside her. “I’ve changed a few of these in my time.” I took the wrench from her, then set to work on the first rusty bolt. “Oof,” I grunted. “No wonder you’re having trouble. This thing doesn’t want to give.”

Truthfully, it wasn’t hard to remove the bolts, even if they were rusty, but I played it up because I could tell she was embarrassed that another woman, a #younger# woman, was doing this for her. As a cop, I was pretty good at reading emotions, and I could tell by the strain behind her smile and the way she fidgeted that she was a little uncomfortable about the situation. Judging by the lack of a ring on her finger and the fresh-looking Salem High School bumper sticker on the back of her car, I figured she was a single mother, and likely prided herself on being independent.

“So, you’re from Salem, are you?” I asked.

“Not a native, but I’ve lived there a few years now.” The woman relaxed a little, comfortable with the idea of conversing over sitting around and watching me work.“It’s a nice town.”

“That’s great to hear. I’m actually moving there.”

“Are you really?” The woman’s tone became friendlier. “Where from?”

I opened my mouth to answer, but just as I touched the final bolt, a flash came to me. Suddenly, I was crouched in a driveway on a moonlight night, watching the woman fight with a man.

“You’re not leaving me, Shelley!” the man shouted. Both of the woman’s arms were caught up tightly in his meaty fists, and their wedding rings flashed in the moonlight.

“Yes, I am!” The woman struggled against his grip. Her dark hair whipped to the side, revealing a black eye and bruising on her cheekbone. “I’m taking Jason, and we’re leaving! I can’t deal with this anymore!”

“Like hell you are!” The man let go of one of her wrists, and the woman cried out as he punched her in the face. There was a loud crunch as her nose broke. “The only way you’re leaving me is in a body bag, bitch.”


“Are you okay?”

I blinked as the scene fell away, Shelley’s voice drawing me back to the real world. Turning my head, I looked into dark brown eyes that were round with concern.

“Yeah, I’m fine, sorry.” I wiped a hand across my face, then cursed inwardly as black grime from my fingers streaked across my nose. “I’m just really tired from all the driving.”

“Oh, I’m sure you are.” Shelley laughed, perhaps at the scrunched up look on my face, then stood. “Here, let me get you some of Tyler’s baby-wipes from the car.”

While she rummaged in the back seat for baby wipes, I finished changing the tire.Judging by the fussy baby sounds and mommy’s subsequent cooing, Tyler must have been the owner of that car seat. By the time she calmed him down and retrieved the wipes, I was done with the tire.

“Thanks so much,” she said as I stood. “I really don’t know what I would have done without you.”

“No problem.” I smiled, reaching for the baby wipes in her hand. The silver ring on her middle finger brushed my skin, and I stiffened as another vision swept over me, this one of a shadowy figure with glowing red eyes standing in a darkened alley. He opened his mouth, and I caught a flash of white fang.

Vampire.

“Are you sure you’re all right?” Shelley asked, breaking through the vision.“Maybe you should sleep for a few hours.”

“No, no, I’m fine.” I shook my head to clear it, then took the wipe and cleaned my face and then my hands. “I’ve got coffee in the car.” I hesitated, then decided to go for it. “I should have introduced myself. My name is Brooke Chandler, and I’m the new detective in Salem. If you ever need any help, please don’t hesitate to come to me.”

Her eyes widened. “I’m Shelley Williams, and I appreciate the offer. That’d be great.”

I scribbled my address on a diner-quality napkin she dug from her purse, then pressed it into her hand. She bit her lip, and by the glimmer in her eyes, I could tell she was considering whether to tell me about her troubles. But in the end, she only smiled.“Maybe I’ll come by with cookies some time.”

“You’re more than welcome to. Have a nice day.”

But as I walked back to my car, I wasn’t thinking about cookies. I was thinking about vampires. And about how nice it was that I’d chosen to pack my wooden stake bullets after all.

Shadow Born
Available NOW!

purchase from Amazon.co.uk purchase from Amazon.com purchase from Barnes & Noble purchase from Kobo UK purchase from iTunes UK find on Goodreads

The Series: Shadows of Salem

Shadow Marked [2]

In the Shadows of Salem, there are no good guys...

For years, Detective Brooke Chandler has been deliberately shielded from the supernatural world. But now that the supernaturals know about her, there's no line they won't cross to harness her powers for their own wicked needs.

To stay alive, Brooke needs to learn what it means to be a Shadow. Unfortunately, the one person willing to help her may be just as guilty of using her unique skills for his own gain as the people she is trying to escape.

Her training comes at a price: helping a fae lord find several dangerous artifacts and shadowing them from his enemies. But the more she uses her abilities, the deeper she becomes embroiled in the cutthroat societies closing in on her. Soon, Brooke finds herself hemmed into a corner, condemned to make an impossible choice that might destroy the human world as she knows it.

Find out what happens next in SHADOW MARKED, the second novel in the hit new urban fantasy series readers are comparing to early Anita Blake and the Fever Series.

[Published 28 October 2016, TBC pages]

About the Authors

Rebecca Hamilton is a USA Today Bestselling Paranormal Romance author who writes books for teens through adult.

She lives in Florida with her husband and four kids and enjoys dancing with her kids to television show theme songs.

Having a child diagnosed with autism has inspired her to illuminate the world through the eyes of characters who see things differently.

Follow Rebecca HAMILTON:

Visit the author's blog Visit the author's website Visit the author on Facebook Visit the author on Twitter Visit the author on their Amazon page Visit the author on GoodReads Visit the author on Pinterest Visit the author on YouTube
Jasmine Walt: I'm obsessed with books, chocolate, and sharp, pointy objects. Somehow, those three things melded together in my head and transformed into a desire to write. Usually fantastical stuff, with a healthy dose of action and romance. My characters are a little (okay, a lot) on the snarky side, and they swear, but they mean well. Even the villains sometimes.

When I'm not working on my next book, you can find me working on my dao sword form, spending time with my family, or binge-watching superhero shows on Netflix. I love to hear from my readers, so if you've got a question or just want to say hi, feel free to contact me.

Follow Jasmine Walt:

Visit the author's blog Visit the author's website Visit the author on Facebook Visit the author on Twitter Visit the author on their Amazon page Visit the author on GoodReads

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