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Monday 25 July 2016

☀ The Blood & Magic Series [1-3] - Danielle Annett

Thank you for joining us on the Virtual Book Tour for The Blood & Magic Series, a New Adult Dark Urban Fantasy by .

There are currently two published books in the series, Cursed by Fire, and Kissed by Fire. Book three, Burned by Fire, is due out in September 2016.

Don't miss our interview with author Danielle Annett.

PREVIEW: Check out the books' synopsis and excerpts below.   The Blood & Magic Series is FREE on Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owner's Lending Library.

Author Danielle Annett will be awarding a print copy of books 1 and 2, and a $10 Amazon GC (INT) to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.   Please do take part: comment on our post and follow the tour where you will be able to read other excerpts (☀), interviews (ℚ), reviews (✍) and guest blog posts (✉).

The Series | Author Q&A | About the Author | Giveaway & Tour Stops

The Series: Blood & Magic

|| [1] || [2] || [3] ||


The Blood & Magic Series is FREE on Kindle Unlimited and Kindle Owner's Lending Library.

Click on the book cover to Look Inside the book on Amazon and read an excerpt.

Cursed by Fire [1]

It has been six years since the Awakening and peace in Spokane, Washington is still tenuous at best. The vampires and shifters are all vying for control of the city and the humans seem to be the ones suffering the consequences, or so it seems.

Aria Naveed has spent the last two years of her life fighting to make the many wrongs of the world right, but soon finds out that the humans aren’t as weak as they appear and may be a more terrifying foe than any of the other races combined.

When a stranger rolls into town with trouble on his heels, Aria finds herself trapped in the middle of a battle that could cost her more than she has bargained for as a fight for justice turns into an unexpected fight for her life.

[Published 24 January 2015, 202 pages]


from Chapter One

     “Turns out the dead kid is actually a shifter. His dad’s not so willing to let his death go unanswered. You’ve got yourself a client. The Pacific Northwest Pack.”
      I raised an eyebrow and waited for him to continue. The Pack didn’t outsource work. It didn’t make any sense for them to hire me when they could handle the situation on their own and likely preferred to.
      He sighed in irritation but went on anyway.
      “Somehow the Pack heard about you and the waves you’ve made so far on the case. You worked it for two weeks straight and despite the fact that we were too late, your efforts showed. They want you. Your fee has already been paid. In full.”
      I was shocked. What waves had I made? I searched for a missing child for two weeks and came up empty handed. The only wave I could think of making was that I hadn’t been very quiet in my search. I had banged on every door, knocked on every window, did everything I could think of to bring Daniel home. This was out of left field. My thoughts must have shown because Mike added one more bit of detail.
      “Also, since we know the culprit is a vampire, the Pack is hoping to avoid any issues with the Coven so you’re supposed to prevent a war.” He grinned like it was funny.
      I clenched my eyes shut and counted to ten. This was going to be a nightmare. The Pack and the Coven were always at one another’s throats and playing middleman between the two was going suck.
      At least the gig paid well. Hiring a mercenary like myself wasn’t cheap. Hiring any merc was expensive, but Sanborn Place had a solid reputation, not that I personally had contributed much to it. I honestly was pretty average. I got by with bravado and luck, and very little skill. How I’d managed to make my clients happy and keep myself alive still baffled me at time.
      I would have done the job free but being paid meant Mike wouldn’t stop me from taking it on. He had to earn a living too and now that he worked behind a desk, he relied on the 10% cut he got from the rest of us. The raise in fee also meant I couldn’t gripe about being wedged between two factions of paranormals. I had a feeling that no matter how hard I tried, blood would be spilled. The relationship between shifters and vampires was too volatile to expect anything else. I just hoped it wasn’t mine.
      At least someone out there was willing to take a stand. A lingering thought entered my head. This wasn’t adding up.
      “Mike, we met the parents already and neither one of them was a shifter. I can see a shifter a mile away and the kid’s parents were one hundred percent human, without a doubt. Shifters have a way of moving, a predatory grace. Neither Patrick nor Jessica Blackmore had that.”
      Mike ran his fingers through his hair giving his head a slight shake. “According to the guy on the phone, the kid’s mom remarried when Daniel was four-years-old and he’s had no contact with his biological father since the split. The mom wanted him out of the picture so he stayed away.”
      Well if that was the case, why did he care now? He basically hadn’t seen his kid in what, three years and all of a sudden he cared about him? Just as I was about to voice the question Mike raised his hand to stop me.
      “Before those gears in your head start turning, you should know that you won’t be working this one alone.”
      I stared at him for half a beat. Did he seriously think he was up for this? I mean, he was great and all but he’d been playing desk duty ever since the day he hired me. And in those two years, Mike had visibly grown soft in the most literal way. A good twenty pounds of softness if you asked me. He was nowhere near the shape he needed to be in to hunt down murderous vampires. At best he’d slow me down, at worst, he’d get both of us killed. Having Mike along was a liability and he knew it.
      “Mike, there is no way. You can’t do it and I won’t let you be stupid and try. What would Marian think?” I asked, knowing bringing up his wife should help to knock some sense into him.
      Mike glared at me. “Well thanks for the vote of confidence, brat. I wasn’t talking about me. You’re going to have a Pack partner. This is an official Pack problem so play nice and don’t bring my wife into this. If I wanted on this case I damn well would be on it.” He puffed out his chest. He reminded me of a peacock, fluffing his feathers to make himself appear larger.
      I smiled to myself as Mike lumbered back to his desk, his feathers officially ruffled. He grumbled under his breath about smartass women and something about no damn sense. Pretty sure that I’d gotten under his skin by bringing up Marian but she and I were on the same page when it came to Mike in the field.
      Marian kept nagging him to retire, said the job was too dangerous and was better suited for people my age and frankly, I agreed. The fact that Mike was no longer active in the field did little to assuage her concerns when he insisted on tagging along, claiming he was only going for observational purposes. We all knew he missed the thrill of the chase, but despite the fact that Mike tagged along on our safer cases, there was always some level of risk. I knew retirement was around the corner for him, but the day Mike hung his hat would be a sad day. Even though he’d only been in my life for a little over two years, he’d become my rock. A fatherly figure in a way and I leaned on him more than I cared to admit.
      With the need to rush out and bring vicious justice abated, I went back to my desk to organize all of our files on Daniel’s case.
      I wasn’t thrilled about working with a partner. I wasn’t all that friendly and didn’t exactly play well with others. How Mike managed to tolerate me was a mystery but hey, I wasn’t one to look a gift horse in the mouth.
      Mike had found me slumming it on the streets a couple of years back just trying to survive. After the death of my parents I was alone. No family or friends to lean on and at the time I was only seventeen years old. I spent four years on my own, most of which were on the streets. The Awakening happened three months after my parent’s death. Talk about timing. Those four years on my own I barely scraped by and looking back, I’m surprised I managed to stay alive.
      I was too young in the beginning for anyone to consider hiring me for a job. There weren’t many options for a girl my age so I did the only thing I could do aside from prostitution, which was the one thing I’d never stooped low enough to consider. I took on mercenary gigs. I got in touch with some shady people who didn’t care if I lived or died so long as they got paid and I did the jobs no one else was willing to do. They were near suicide missions, yet here I am. Alive and whole with just a few scars for my trouble.
      Being on my own changed me. I was tough before, compared to your average seventeen-year-old girl. But being a pyrokinetic meant meant I had to be that much stronger, faster, and more capable.
      As soon as my powers were discovered, my father began teaching me to fight. To take down an opponent twice my size if necessary. My physical training was a second education and without it I would have died within the first week of the Awakening.

Kissed by Fire [2]

As Friend of the Pack, Aria Naveed should be untouchable, protected by the most influential group in the Pacific Northwest. But someone is unleashing rogue vampires to hunt her down, and she is determined to find out why.

When Aria gains command of Sanborn Place and takes on a case involving a mysterious paranormal, her life is put in more peril than ever as she finds herself bound to an influential power player. She doesn’t want to be anyone’s puppet, but must tread carefully as she traverses the streets of Spokane, WA, or risk being overwhelmed by the forces moving against her.

As the only known pyrokinetic in the area, Aria is in high demand, but not for her services. It seems that to those in power, she’s worth more dead than alive, and if a mysterious enemy has their way, she won’t live long enough to find out why.

[Published 13 September 2015,  164 pages]


from Chapter 2
     I drove to the one place I felt most comfortable. My home. Despite the fact that I’d been staying within the Compound for the last month, I’d still continued paying rent on my apartment, unwilling to part with it. I held my arm close as I trudged up the three flights of stairs, the pain already receding due to my enhanced healing abilities. After unlocking the door and stepping inside, I tossed my heels on the floor and stripped out of my dress, making a beeline for my bedroom. Why I’d bothered to wear a dress was still a wonder to me. My legs were cold from the winter air, though my pyrokinesis had kept most of the chill at bay. I walked into the adjoining bathroom and began peeling off the homemade bandage on my forearm. Discarding the blood soaked scraps of fabric in the nearby trashcan, I surveyed the damage. My forearm looked like it’d been mangled by a dog. A mouthful of flesh was missing, the tissue looking like hamburger meat. The surrounding skin was tinged with yellow.
      I turned the faucet on and stuck my arm beneath the stream of water. Blood mixed with water to create a steady stream of pink. Turning off the faucet I retrieved a bandage and a roll of gauze from the medicine cabinet. Pouring antiseptic on the wound I hissed in pain, before I placed the bandage over it and wrapping my forearm in several layers of gauze. That should keep it from getting infected.
      Back in my room, I retrieved a pair of yoga pants and a simple t-shirt before heading to the kitchen to make coffee. The flowers were the first thing I saw once in the kitchen, their red petals calling attention to themselves as the smell of roses filled my nose. I eyed the elegantly crafted bouquet with disdain. Ripping the flowers free from their vase, I opened the cupboard below the sink and threw them into the trashcan hidden there, slamming the cupboard shut. Stupid, stupid flowers. Why was is that men believed flowers could fix everything? Earth to men: flowers do not fix things. They are not a resolution to your problems.
      I lowered myself into a dining room chair and stared at the cupboard door, frustration brewing. This had been the fourth bouquet. I stopped by my apartment on a weekly basis to water my cactus and make sure everything was still in order. Like clockwork, each week I stopped by, I’d find a new arrangement on my dining room table, always in the same place. I’d read the first card. They came from Inarus. I didn’t bother to read anymore. He’d shown himself a time or two in addition to dropping off flowers. Each time, I’d try and kill him. I’d hear the buzzing and throw a dagger without bothering to see what he wanted. It was turning into a game of sorts. I always missed. Part of me wondered if I really tried all that hard, but still. He’d come, I’d throw a dagger or two, he’d tell me he missed me and that he was sorry. I’d tell him I hated his guts and never wanted to see him again, and then he’d be gone.
      Staring longer, my curiosity finally won out and I opened the cupboard. Digging through the tangle of roses, I retrieved the small card that had been attached to the bouquet before slamming the cupboard door once more and taking my seat. I eyed the small envelope as though it were a living creature getting ready to snap at me. What would be inside? Another apology, perhaps? What could he say? “Hey, I’m so sorry I led you on and betrayed your trust.” Maybe instead he’d finally admit he belonged to a fanatical cult and wanted retribution. That would be the day hell froze over. Running out of possibilities, I ripped open the envelope and read the card.

I'm sorry. Forgive me.

Well, wasn’t that original. I crumpled the card in my hand and threw it across the room, irritated with myself for opening it in the first place. I didn’t know why I allowed him to get under my skin. It had been over a month since we’d faced off from one another on the roof of the Compound. I should have moved on by now. It wasn’t as if we’d developed a sort of bond or anything, though if I were being honest with myself, I’d wanted to. There had been an attraction between us, one I’d wanted to explore. That had been before he’d played me, using me as a pawn in his sick game to disrupt relationships between the Pack and the Coven.
      I scoffed as I replayed the night I’d called him out, showing him the very proof of his betrayal, and yet he’d still expected me to go away with him, as though staying with the shifters was so much worse than going with someone who’d only ever lied to me. The sound of my phone ringing drew my attention. I answered on the third ring, finding a concerned James on the other end. Just what I needed. I really needed to start checking my caller I.D.
      “Are you okay?” was the first thing he said. No ‘Hello, how have you been?’ Nope, just right into the ‘Are you okay?’ Dammit, Declan. He just had to go and tell James about today.
      “I’m fine. How are you today?” I asked, going for nonchalant. He wasn’t buying it.
      “Aria, I know about the vampire attack. What were you thinking taking on a newly changed vampire on your own?”
      Okay, men constantly thinking I couldn’t take care of myself when I’d been doing exactly that for the last six years was really getting old.
      I rubbed at my temples. “I was thinking that I needed to get some information before killing the vampire. Not everyone goes into a fight amped up on shifter rage, snapping necks left and right. Some of us prefer to have some finesse.”
      I heard his growl through the receiver and fought a smile. “You’re taking unnecessary risks.”
      “Actually, I think they are quite necessary, especially since our vampire in question happened to have my photo on him. Had your Alpha not gone all crazy on his ass, I’d have been able to discover why. Don’t you think it’s strange that a newly made vampire was let loose to his own devices?” I shoved out of my chair and grabbed the coffee grounds from the upper cupboard. Taking two scoops, I poured them into the waiting coffee filter before turning the coffee pot on. “The Coven doesn’t do that. With so few able to survive the change,” I shook my head, “No. Rebeckah never would have allowed it.” The fact that fledging vampires were so hard to keep alive was one of the few benefits humanity had against the undead. At least they couldn’t overrun us.
      I ran my free hand through my hair, a small twinge letting me know that my shoulder hadn’t entirely healed yet. It was eating at me that I didn’t know the why behind all of this.

Burned by Fire [3]

**Available for Pre-Order**

Aria’s pyrokinetic ability has always been hard to control, and being pulled in so many directions, isn’t making it any easier. Now she has to help Inarus, a foe turned friend who is being targeted by the Human Alliance Corporation—the very organization he once worked for.

But the HAC has more than just Inarus in their sights. Aria finds herself going deep into enemy territory to save a witchling child with never before seen powers, that the HAC has kidnapped to further their own ends.

Aria has been hired to save a child once before, and she failed. That failure has haunted her even to this day and she won’t let herself fail again. With the HAC closing in, and complications between herself and the Pack rising, Aria has no choice but to succeed. A child’s life is on the line and Aria will risk everything to save that life.

[Expected Publication: 30 September 2016, 157pages]

"We don't have to do anything you aren't ready for.  We can stop right here, right now, if that's what you want."  I fought for control over my breathing as his words sank in.  He wouldn't force me, but I knew that already.  Instinctively I knew Declan would never hurt me.

The Blood & Magic Series
Available NOW!

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About the Author

Danielle Annett is a reader, writer, photographer, and the blogger behind Coffee and Characters.

Born in the SF Bay area, she now resides in Spokane, WA, the primary location for her Blood & Magic series.

Addicted to coffee at an early age, she spends her restless nights putting pen to paper as she tries to get all of the stories out of her head before the dogs wake up the rest of the house and vye for her attention.

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Giveaway and Tour Stops

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Jul 25 A Book Addict’s Bookshelves
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Jul 26 Taking It One Book at a Time
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Jul 27 Mama Reads Hazel Sleeps
Jul 27 Sapphyria’s Book Reviews
Jul 28 Kara the Redhead
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Aug 1 Da Readaholic Book Blog
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Aug 2 Classy Cat Books
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Aug 2 WS Momma Readers Nook
Aug 3 Natural bri
Aug 3 Adventures Thru Wonderland
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Aug 4 Lori’s Little House of Reviews
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Aug 5 The Silver Dagger Scriptorium
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