Friday, January 3, 2014

The Stroke of Midnight: A Supernatural New Year's Anthology ~ Excerpt and GIVEAWAY!

It's New Year's Eve and the supernatural community is ringing in the New Year with style! Fourteen of your favorite authors have come together to bring you The Stroke of Midnight: A Supernatural New Year's Anthology! The Stroke of Midnight features fourteen urban fantasy/paranormal short stories. Celebrate the turn of the year with all the creatures that go bump in the night! 

 Short stories may contain adult/graphic content.

  strokeofmidnight cover

Excerpt #1
From "What Lurks Within" By Bella Roccaforte

Mortimer, I have really cherished our time together, but I seriously think if I start introducing my imaginary friend to my boyfriend he’ll bolt out the door quicker than I can say ‘schizo.’” She put her hands on my forearms in an effort to comfort me.

The room closed in on me, my vision reduced to tiny pin holes for the two most ominous things to slip through and shred my heart, “Boyfriend” and “Imaginary friend.” I wasn’t sure which upset me more--the fact that this ass was ready, willing and able to make Heidi the butt of the biggest joke of the year and she was calling him “boyfriend,” or that she had relegated me to being an “imaginary friend.”

My wings fell in defeat, along with my sagging shoulders. “Is that what you think of me? You think I’m an imaginary friend?

Excerpt #2 
From "What Lurks Within" By Bella Roccaforte 

They. Held. Hands. I looked down at my own gnarled hands, at the long claws extending from them. My heart sunk knowing that I would never be Heidi’s Prince Charming. In a whisper to mask my gravelly voice, I said, “Heidi, I don’t want you to go.”

“Mortimer, why wouldn’t you want me to—” She cut herself off, having realized the truth of it.

“Are you jealous?”

Damn right I was jealous, but I wasn’t about to tell her that. I certainly couldn’t tell her the truth; it would crush her. At that moment I knew I had to come up with an idea to make this go away without her ever knowing. “I’m not jealous, I’m just worried.”

Excerpt #3 
 From "Tempting The Moon" By Susan Illene

“Hey, Mel?”
I didn’t look up at Emily as I continued doing sit-ups. Just a hundred more to go. “Yeah?”
“I sort of have a problem.”
She was almost sixteen. She seemed to always have some kind of crisis going on—and those were just the ones I found out about. “What’s the problem?”
“I, uh, seduced a werewolf and got him caught in a bear trap,” she rushed out.
Fifty sit-ups would have to do. I sat up and ran my gaze over her. She had scratches on her face and hands as if she’d been running through the woods.
“Maybe you should repeat that.” I rubbed at my ears. “Because I could have sworn you just said you seduced a werewolf.”
She shifted from foot to foot. “It was payback. Hunter broke into my locker at school and did something really embarrassing.”
“What did he do?” I hoped it wasn’t something that would require me to kill him. He wasn’t eighteen yet. I really needed to wait until after he’d reached the legal age to do something that extreme.
“He rigged my locker so that when I opened it a song played loud enough for everyone to hear.”
Well, it could have been worse. He could have filled it with snakes or spiders or something even more horrifying. With a werewolf, the possibilities were endless.
“Which song?” I asked.
She pushed back some of her long, brown hair behind one ear. “Cooler Than Me by Mike Posner.”
Ouch. He must still be upset with her for breaking his nose and kneeing him in the balls back on Valentine’s Day when he’d tried to crash her party. The song was sort of romantic in a weird kind of way, though.
“How did he manage to do that?”
She shrugged. “Not sure. He had his iPod in there with some speakers and I think he had a remote in his hand. That must’ve been how he turned it on.”
“What did you do?”
“Everyone was looking at me and laughing.” Emily’s face turned red. “It was right at the end of school so I shoved everything into my backpack and took off. He’s been calling me ever since wanting his stuff back.”
I wanted to be angry with the guy, but nothing he’d done so far had really hurt her. Just minor pranks like this and sending her badly written poems. Oh, and that time he showed up outside our house on a full moon with a bloody rabbit between his teeth. He’d left that for her as a gift, though Emily hadn’t found it very amusing.
“Is that why you’ve been shutting your cell phone off every time it rings lately?” I lifted my brows.
Emily appeared to be a cheerful and open person, but if you tried to dig too deep she’d put up defensive walls. Life had already damaged her pretty badly by the time I found her and it was taking a while for her to open up. I tried not to push her too hard, hoping she’d learn to trust me and talk things out when she was ready.
“Yeah.” She glanced back at the door. “I don’t know how he got my number.”
“So you decided to seduce him and get him caught in a bear trap? Is he okay?”
Emily looked down and stared at her feet. “That’s sort of the problem. He’s still caught in it and now he’s turned into a wolf so I can’t get him free.”
Fifty sit-ups would have to do. I sat up and ran my gaze over her. She had scratches on her face and hands as if she’d been running through the woods.
“Maybe you should repeat that.” I rubbed at my ears. “Because I could have sworn you just said you seduced a werewolf.”

Excerpt #4 
From "Ghost of a Girl" By Beth Dolgner

Daisy looked disappointed, and I patted her arm. “Sorry, Daze. Not quite the New Year’s you were hoping for,” I said.
I had already pushed back my chair and was beginning to stand when Blair’s body went rigid. “Oh!” she cried out.

I sank back down into my chair, wondering if Blair was about to give us another demonstration from one of the house’s professional women. Instead, Blair’s second cry turned into a wail. “Trapped! Trapped!” she shouted. She turned her head wildly, her eyes rolling in their sockets. “No way out! Trapped!” With one last wail, Blair began to sob.
None of us moved. Finally, Charles’s wife Anita tentatively lifted a hand to Blair’s shoulder. “What happened?” she asked gently.
Blair wiped at her eyes. “There is a spirit trapped here, a girl who couldn’t escape the fire.”

Excerpt #5 
From "Suffering" By J.M. Gregoire

It is still relatively early, and as soon as I settle on the couch, boredom sets in.  Normally, this would be when I would call Dez to see if she wanted to come over or go out somewhere.  Ever since she pulled her disappearing act four and a half months ago, I haven’t heard from her at all.  I tried being angry with her at first, but it didn’t last.  I knew why she left, and had I been in the same situation, I probably would have done the same. 
One thing is for sure.  I miss her.  Moments like these are the ones that make me understand just how much I love having her in my life.  Take this one, for instance.  She would laugh at me for allowing the demon to take me down like that.  She would fire some smartass comment at me about being a big, bad vampire with ‘professional assassin’ on my resume, and yet I couldn’t possibly have fallen for a more obvious trap.  Long dark alley, the scent of the demon, but no demon in sight.  Why I kept walking when I should have gone up top for a better view, I’ll never know.  She would be right.  Maybe I am a little more distracted than I was willing to admit.

 Well, I give.

 Dez being gone is really starting to get to me.  All of autumn, an entire season, has passed without a word, and I start to question whether I made the right choice in leaving her to do her thing.  What if she needs my help?  What if I’m making the wrong assumption that she wants to be left alone?  What if she ends up hating me for not contacting her?  For not following her?  What if she already does?

The questions start to pile up, just like every other night I am left with too much time to think.  Try as I might, no amount of sighing will clear the thoughts overcrowding my head, making it impossible to relax.


A Supernatural New Year's Anthology 
 Presented by Pure Textuality  


 A Stray in the Night by Lola Rayne 
Eternal Beginnings by Brandy Dorsch 
Fifteen Minutes Until Midnight by Kyra Dunst 
Ghost of a Girl by Beth Dolgner GSW, or 
How I Met My Mother by Connie Suttle Maltese 
Cross My Heart by F.F. McCulligan 
More Glitter by Faith McKay 
Obsidian Flames by Amy Miles 
Suffering by J.M. Gregoire 
Tempting the Moon by Susan Illene 
The Lurkers by Danielle Bannister 
The Smiths by Michael Siemsen 
‘Til Death Do Us Part by K.L. Brown 
What Lurks Within by Bella Roccaforte 

To celebrate the release of The Stroke of Midnight, 
Pure Textuality Public Relations is giving away a Kindle (6”, WiFi)!!! 

  PTPR White

The Stroke of Midnight is brought to your by Pure Textuality Public Relations.



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