HoA: The Logo

Hey friends! I hope you’re having a killer week. This last month has been crazy, in part thanks to a promotion at work. I’m now the Associate Editor at my magazine publishing company, which is amazing and scary and still inspiring to 10-year-old Liz when she was editor in chief of her middle school newspaper 🙂

Anyway, I have something super fun to show you. The incredible Regina Wamba of Mae I Design & Photography is hard at work on the HEROES OF ARCANIA covers, and while we still have a little ways to go before those are completed, I just HAD to show you the brand new logo she finished! I’m super excited about it and hoping it ends up on a movie poster 😉

(And as a little sneak peek to you guys…if you head over to the new website, heroesofarcania.com, you’ll see a few excerpts as well as the cover blurb for Book 1, SuperNova! And if you sign up for the HoA newsletter here, you’ll receive Chapter 1 in your inbox so you can see what these superheroes are in for!)

So, what do you think?! 🙂 Happy weekend to you!

HoA Square

Cover Reveal: HUNTED (Book 3 in Donovan Circus Series)

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Hi everyone! Thanks so much to those special authors and bloggers helping me with today’s cover reveal. I’m so excited to show off the new cover. It always makes the upcoming release a little more real for me, you know? Anyway, I hope you love it as much as I do. HUNTED is Book 3 of the Donovan Circus Series, with more adventure, romance, and chaos that will lead to murder. In case you haven’t read it, you can run away to the supernatural circus and start with Gifted for just 99 cents on Amazon, B&N, and iBooks! You can visit this page to learn more about the 3rd book in the series and what to expect – or worry about!

(PLUS: You can get your pre-order of HUNTED for Kindle here!)

A very special thanks to Kate of Dwell Design & Press for her creation, as well as her new friendship. Talk about a wonderful person to work with – it amazes me how she took a couple of ideas I had and created something incredible. I am so thankful to know her!

HUNTED Donovan Circus Cover

Back Cover Synopsis

Lucy Sullivan finally belongs with the gifted Donovan Circus. Members are finding their rhythm, even the new folks from the Grayson Circus who joined after the last attack. Lucy feels like a trusted leader who can win the gifted battles and prevent humans from discovering their existence.

When tragedy strikes camp, a distraught Sheffield sends Lucy and her gifted team to hunt down the enemy – Alex, a Chameleon with a wicked ability for war. He’s out for blood and won’t stop until Lucy and her friends are dead.

This time, it won’t be Lucy’s gift that is tested – it will be her morality. To save her circus, the price will be greater than she ever expected. This time, she will lose someone she loves. And it will change everything.

About Liz:

Liz Long, indie author

Liz Long is a ridiculously proud graduate of Longwood University with a BA in English. Her inspiration comes from action and thriller genres and she spends entirely too much time watching superhero movies. Her fabulous day job as a social media strategist includes writing for a publishing company in Roanoke, VA.

All titles, including the Donovan Circus Series, A Reaper Made, and Witch Hearts, are available at Amazon on Kindle and paperback.

To learn more about Liz, visit her website: http://lizclong.com.

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Exclusive Look: Chapter 1 of HUNTED, Book 3 in Donovan Circus Series

Maybe it’s just me getting all up in the Christmas spirit, but today I wanted to share with you the very first chapter of HUNTED, Book 3 of the Donovan Circus series 🙂 In case you haven’t read Book 2, BURNED, a little recap – Alex, a Chameleon (meaning his gift can change his appearance – not as a shifter, but rather, eye/hair color, freckles, etc.), is still raging against Lucy and the gang. Lucy’s decided to take matters into her own hands and learn how to go straight for the source. Here’s how she plans to do it.

Chapter 1 – HUNTED, A DONOVAN CIRCUS NOVEL:

An unladylike grunt left my mouth when I hit the tree, the impact jarring every bone in my body. Footsteps sounded behind me; ignoring the pain searing down my left shoulder, I threw my arm up in front of me. In my palm was a ball of orange flames, aimed and ready for my rather large attacker. The man hesitated at my weapon.

“You sure you don’t wanna change that answer?” I asked. I bounced the fireball in my palm a couple times for good measure.

He shrugged. “I feel pretty good about my chances.”

I frowned. “Definitely wrong answer.”

I chucked my fireball at him and he shifted to his right, the flames grazing his left shoulder. He didn’t even flinch and my eyes narrowed. Unbreakable or Firestarter, but which one? Both were going to take a crap ton of energy.

“And this day started out so well,” I said under my breath.

He walked a few steps towards me and I lit another flame in my hand. He paused, but didn’t pull his own fire. Unbreakable, I decided. His dark eyes didn’t leave my hand and I knew he searched for the brilliant blue shade that meant a sure death.

“Where is he?” I asked again. I waved my hand, making my tone a little meaner as I threatened him. “Where is Alex?”

“The Chameleon? In hiding.” The guy chuckled at his own joke and irritation swung through me. The emotion made fire sweep from palm to arm and I didn’t miss his shoulders tense.

“You’ll need to be more specific.” I smirked.

Still he didn’t talk, only eyed me where he stood. It started to give me the creeps until I realized what he was doing – trying to wear me out so that I’d run out of fire. If I was too tired to pull flames, I couldn’t kill him. I dropped the fire completely and surprised registered on his broad features.

“Is this what you prefer? A little girl who can’t protect herself?” I asked.

“It’s more fun for me.” A sly grin picked at the corner of his chapped mouth and I glared at him. I stood as though offering him an invitation to try.

He lunged forward and I ducked under his outstretched hands. Quickly turning, I pulled my arm back and when his face got closer, I let the fist fly. One, two jabs to the nose to catch him off guard, then a stomp on his foot. I gave it everything I had and when my heel met his toes, he howled. One more swift shot to the throat made him silent; his hands reached for his throat, making a choking motion. When I didn’t move, he gestured wildly, clawing at his neck.

“Oh, you’re fine,” I said with a scowl.

His eyes grew wide with panic. He tried to speak but only gagging sounds came out. I hid a smile; Brooklyn’s move was almost Vulcan-like. I wondered if she had a thing for Lt. Uhura; it would certainly explain her taste in strong women.

“What’s that?” I asked innocently. “You’ll tell me where Alex is if I save your life this very moment?”

The guy hesitated, eyes shifting to our surroundings. He barely nodded an inch before I jabbed him in the neck again. He doubled over, gasping for oxygen like a fish out of water.

I leaned over to make sure he could hear me. “I’m not some innocent little girl. Test me again and you’ll be permanently silent. Now tell me where to find Alex.”

He gave me a dirty look as he massaged his throat, voice hoarse. “Fifty miles past Kentucky line. Backwoods type place, holed up in a cave.”

“Where the bears hide, right,” I said, more to myself than him. I knew the area he mentioned; we’d had it marked for the last three weeks, along with four other spots where Alex could be squatting.

“How many – hey,” I snapped my fingers to get his wandering attention. “How many men?”

He shifted underneath my glare. “Five, ten.”

Fire erupted in my palm. “You sure about that?”

“Maybe a few more,” he mumbled.

How many?”

He cleared his throat. “Fifteen or so.”

“That’s more like it.” My lips pressed together. It would be difficult to get to Alex through a small battalion of gifted men. What would be our next step?

“I can leave now?” he asked, eyes shifting to find his exit.

“Yeah, good talk,” I said absentmindedly.

I turned to walk away and heard the distinctive click of a pocket knife. I spun around to see his arm coming down, the small blade aimed for my jugular. It was like time slowed down; all I could see was metal flash and his angry face. No sound left him, just this slow motion image of that bastard coming at me. The heat came without thinking; flames covered my body, instantly coating me with protection. Alex’s man, too close, caught fire. His sleeve went up first and orange snaked across the fabric, quickly covering him like wildfire. When he didn’t stop, drop, and roll, I raised an eyebrow.

“Help me!” he screamed. “You can put this out!”

I gave him a pointed look. “I could, sure.”

“You wouldn’t let me die, everyone says you’re too coward!” The desperation was obvious, but I’d had enough of him.

“I’m full of surprises,” I said.

I watched him flail and shout a few seconds more. Putting him out of his misery, I blew a thin stream of fire at him. Flames doubled and took over his now silent body. Nothing more than a carcass, he fell to the ground with a thud, flames still licking at him. I clenched my hand into a fist to stop the fire; it went out instantly at my control. I shook my head.

“I didn’t want to do that,” I said to him. “You made the choice.”

It didn’t matter that he couldn’t hear me. Sometimes I just had to say it out loud for myself.

Exclusive Chapter Release + Synopsis: A REAPER MADE

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Today I wanted to share a piece of my upcoming release A REAPER MADE. In case you haven’t seen the synopsis on the book page, here’s what you have to look forward to in this fun full-length NA fantasy novel!

Synopsis:
Grace had finally gotten used to her new afterlife as a “Made” – a Reaper who used to be human. When Made Reapers and souls begin disappearing, however, Grace and her mentor Tully suspect demons. Grace’s worst fears are confirmed when her living family is threatened.

She’ll have to break every rule in the Reaper book to save them, including using a little magic to become temporarily human. With the help of Tully and her witchy friend Tessa, Grace goes undercover to save the fates of kidnapped souls – only to discover that demons aren’t working alone. Betrayal and distrust runs deep and Grace discovers that sometimes even Reapers are prone to humanity.

I also wanted to share an exclusive sneak peek and am happy to reveal the first full chapter to you now! Keep reading to learn more about Grace and her Reaper responsibilities and be sure to check back on the book page for updates, the upcoming cover reveal, reviews, purchase links, and more. A REAPER MADE is scheduled for a late October release – just in time for Halloween!

A REAPER MADE – CHAPTER 1

The old woman in the hospital bed took in a ragged sigh that sounded like a struggle. She looked around the room, to the bouquet of wildflowers that sat in a plastic jar at the foot of her bed. Then her watery blue eyes focused in on me, sitting in the chair next to her. I sat up, leaned in to take her wrinkled hand in my smooth one.

“Who are you?” she asked, her tone fearful.

“I think you already know the answer to that, Anna,” I said, keeping my voice low and smooth. No need to further frighten them before they passed on.

“An angel?”

I shook my head, a curtain of dark hair swaying with the motion. She swallowed hard.

“You’re Death.”

“Not quite. More like an escort.”

“A R-reaper.”

Many humans knew us by name, but it still surprised me when they came out and said it. I nodded, a slow movement to prevent her from panicking. Everyone feared dying. It was my job to help them transition.

Anna looked to the closed door and back to me. “You…can anyone else see you?”

“When I want them to, yes. Right now, however, it’s just you and me.”

The old woman blinked hard and when she opened them again, a single tear streaked down her cheek. I gave her hand a reassuring squeeze.

“Anna, it’s all right. You’re moving on.”

“To where?”

I shook my head. “I can’t answer that. No one can. You must discover it for yourself.”

Anna withdrew her trembling hand from mine, put it over her heart. “I don’t know if I’m ready.”

“I wouldn’t be here if you weren’t.”

“What about my family? My daughter, my grandchildren? Can I say goodbye?”

“You saw them this morning, don’t you remember?”

Confusion crossed her face. Anna had been struggling with dementia in addition to her illness, but I knew to be patient. It was in the job description. When she still didn’t speak, I prodded a little.

“Anna, it’s time.”

She gave me another scared look. “Will it hurt?”

“No,” I assured her. “All you need to do is close your eyes and relax.”

Anna appeared to consider her options, her grip tightening on the thin sheets. She sucked in a deep breath, wincing at the rattle in her lungs. Then she steeled herself, looked at me and nodded. “Okay. I’m ready.”

I gave her a warm smile and put my hands on hers. “Close your eyes.”

She did as instructed, the scared look on her face fading as she relaxed into the bed. I sent warmth from my hands to hers, waited for her soul to disengage from her physical body. After maybe ten seconds, I felt a shift in Anna. A sigh escaped her, the air leaving her withering lungs and decaying body. Keeping my hands on hers, I stood and waited.

Then Anna’s spirit came forward, her hand in mine as she lifted herself from the physical plane. Without problem, Anna stood tall next to me, looking younger than she had in years. Her body may have been old and weathered, but her soul, as like most others, appeared younger, vibrant. Most of the older souls, once out of the body that held them back, were happy to feel alive again. It was one of my favorite things about the job, to see the light shine in their eyes after years of aging and physical pain.

Anna gripped my hand, looked back to her body lying peacefully on the bed. She gave me a relieved look. “You were right, that didn’t hurt at all.”

“I’m glad,” I told her with a smile. “Do you want to say goodbye?”

“To that old thing?” she said, waving her hand at her wrinkled body. “I suppose I should, but now that I’m out, all I can think about is the next step.”

“Not unusual,” I said, the corners of my mouth turning upward. Now that Anna was free, the spunk she’d had in her youth returned. I motioned my head towards the door. “Come. Walk with me.”

She didn’t let go of my hand as we walked through the door and out into the hallway. No one so much as blinked at us as we wandered. At first, Anna tried to skirt around obstacles and people, before she realized she went right through them. Before we’d even reached the end of the hallway, she was practically skipping.

“I haven’t felt this good in years,” she said. “Do you think I’ll reunite with my husband?”

“I can’t answer that for certain, but he’ll know you’re coming. He’ll find you if he can.”

“He used to say he’d follow me anywhere. I’ve missed him so much.” She smiled at the memory, then paused as though realizing something. She turned to me. “What is your name?”

“Grace.”

“Grace,” she repeated. “Thank you.”

“It’s my pleasure. Would you like to continue walking or do you think you’re ready?”

Anxiety flashed across Anna’s face before she swallowed hard and nodded. “I think…I think I’m ready to go.”

I squeezed her hand. “May you find peace in your afterlife.”

A warm breeze swept through the hallway, though the living continued as though nothing were happening. The wind found us, circled around and played with my and Anna’s hair. I let go of her hand and took a step back as Anna looked around.

“Am I supposed to walk into the light?” she asked.

I couldn’t help but smile at the question; it seemed like everyone always asked. I shook my head. “There are no bright lights. It’s okay – take a deep breath and be patient.”

Souls didn’t need to breathe, but I always saw them do it before they moved on. It seemed to calm them down as it would’ve had they been in their human bodies. Old habits died hard, I supposed, but if that helped them feel better, I saw no need to point it out.

The breeze picked up, turned into an unseen tornado that swirled around Anna. Her hair went in every direction but her posture stayed still. As she closed her eyes, I saw a smile grow on her face. Then the wind took her, and Anna’s soul faded away in front of my eyes. Warmth grew in my chest, as it usually did with each peaceful passing, and I smiled briefly before turning back into the retirement home to find the next soul.