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General News and Information from Caridad

#FreeRead For Love and Vengeance from the Sorcery and Steam Bundle

I’m taking part in a great new project — the Sorcery and Steam Story Bundle. This bundle is a collection filled with magic, fantasy, suspense, bad guys, mythic creatures, goddesses and a little bit of romance!

My contribution to the story is For Love or Vengeance, a unique story from The Calling is Reborn Vampire series. Unique because the vampires are not at the forefront of the story. Instead we have a Greek Goddess taking the lead in order to help a host of FBI Agents find the Broadway Butcher, a serial killer who is murdering aspiring young actors and musicians. You’ll get to meet Nemesis, the Greek Goddess of Vengeance who has taken human form as FBI Agent Helene Alexander and her partner, Miguel Sanchez.

For those of you who are familiar with The Calling series, you’ll also get to see some old friends again, like FBI Agent Diana Reyes and her vampire lover Ryder Latimer. You’ll be surprised at what’s up in their lives and I hope you’ll take the time to read the next books in the series which take you on a whirlwind ride filled with romance, suspense, and lots of nasty vampires that need to be staked!

Here’s an excerpt from For Love or Vengeance for you from the Sorcery and Steam Story Bundle.

Excerpt

Prologue
Mount Olympus

The chase was on once again.

Nemesis sensed her father’s growing anger as he sought her out along the halls of Olympus. She had just returned from another mission down on Earth with the humans, her goals twofold. First: to make sure justice was served so that the puny mortals would not fall into chaos and disorder. Second, and possibly more important to her on a personal level: avoiding her father’s rutting ways.

It had been nearly a month since he had taken her, brutally and against her will. Not that it bothered him that he had hurt her, physically and mentally. For that matter, it didn’t seem to bother her mother or any of the other denizens of Olympus, none of whom were bold enough to challenge Zeus.

As Nemesis raced into the furthest wing of the palace nestled amongst the clouds, Zeus’s bellow shook the walls and the ground beneath her bare feet.

To the humans below the sound would seem like thunder, but to the other gods and goddesses lingering about the palace, it instilled fear since they understood such a mood always brought punishment.

Nemesis sped to her room as quickly as she could, wanting to escape back to Earth before Zeus could lay his hands on her once more.

As she opened the door to her chamber, she realized she was too late. Zeus was already there, lying across the center of her bed, his head of golden curls pillowed against his muscled arms. At first glance he seemed the picture of contentment, but when she met his gaze, thunderbolts of fury lit his celestial blue eyes.

“You’ve been ignoring me, daughter,” he said, swinging his legs over the edge of the bed and slowly rising to his towering height. His presence was immense as the force of his energies buffeted her psyche.

She ducked her head, wishing she could disappear into herself. “I’ve been spreading justice as you’ve commanded, Father.”

Zeus laughed and the sound rumbled throughout the palace.

A second later her mother, Hera, flew into the room and came to stand beside her.

“Husband, is something wrong?” her mother asked, the tones of her voice demure since she, too, sensed Zeus’s growing rage.

“Our daughter avoids me. She claims it is because she is on my mission—”

“I am,” Nemesis insisted, raising her head to meet her father’s stormy gaze.

“Silence,” he commanded, and clapped his hands, the noise almost deafening. It shook the clouds beneath their feet and was followed by a bolt of lightning that burst from his palms.

Both she and her mother lowered their heads once more, and with a satisfied huff, Zeus strolled over and circled, inspecting them.
“You say you are on my mission?”

“I am, Father,” Nemesis repeated softly, hating the sense of powerlessness his presence brought.

“Justice must be very important to you,” he said as he tucked his thumb under her chin and urged her head upward.

“It is, Father.”

His gaze bored into her, making her quake with fear that he would come to know the real reason for her determination to be on Earth.

“You enjoy your time with the mortals?” he questioned, arching a brow.

“I spend time with them to do what I must,” she responded, her voice as neutral as she could make it.

“Methinks that is not the only reason, Nemesis.” Obvious displeasure colored his words as he shifted his hand to cradle her jaw and leaned close. “Methinks it is to avoid me, Daughter.”

As if to prove his point, he brought his face near until he nuzzled the skin of her cheek. In low tones, he whispered, “You will not refuse me. I will have you whenever I want.”

Abruptly he pulled away, shooting daggers at her and her mother, who had remained impassive beside her. He paced a step or two before facing them once more. “If keeping the humans in line is so important—”

“It is, Father. It is why—”

“Silence,” he commanded again. “Then you will have no issue with taking a solemn vow to exact justice on Earth.”

With a dip of her head, she answered, “Justice is my sole mission.”

“Our daughter has fulfilled your word admirably, Husband,” Hera said, slipping an arm around Nemesis’s shoulders in a rare sign of support.

Zeus narrowed his eyes as he considered them.

Hera did her best to appear subservient, but she knew he could sense the disobedience hidden beneath her calm surface, as well as her daughter’s. He would brook no such disobedience.

She suspected punishment would not be long in coming.

Leaning close to their daughter, he said, “As part of your vow, you must understand that if you fail, your time on Earth as a goddess will come to an end.”

Nemesis bowed her head. “I understand.”

“No! Wait, Daughter,” Hera cried, but it was too late.

With a blast of lightning, Nemesis was gone from her side, returned to Earth to fulfill the vow she had just made. A vow she had not completely understood in her haste to be away from her father.

“You do not play fair, Husband. She did not comprehend the true terms of her pledge,” Hera chastised, but Zeus only shook his head and laughed, the sound of it like thunder across the sky.

“Fair? All is fair in love and war,” he answered, and with a clap of his hands, disappeared.

Her body trembling with fear and disgust, Hera stumbled to her daughter’s bed and sat. Pressing a hand to the pain in the middle of her chest, she prayed Nemesis could keep her vow.

Justice must be served or else Nemesis would forever be condemned to life as a mortal, with all its inherent dreariness.

But worse, with the promise of death.

A Little More About the Bundle

The initial titles in the Sorcery and Steam Bundle (minimum $5 to purchase) are:

  • Alchemy and Steam by Fiction River
  • Familiarity by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  • Poison or Protect by Gail Carriger
  • Blood and Magic by Ann Gimpel

If you pay at least the bonus price of just $15, you get all four of the regular titles, plus SIX more!

  • Specters in the Storm by Pauline Baird Jones
  • Rare Stakes by Michelle Fox
  • Valkyrie’s Vengeance & Hunger Moon – Ragnarok: Doom of the Gods 1-2 by Melissa Snark
  • Ghosted – Nikki Ashburne – Book 1 by Dayle A. Dermatis
  • Alys of Asgard by Catherine Banks
  • For Love or Vengeance by Caridad Pineiro

This bundle is available only for a limited time via http://www.storybundle.com. It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub, .mobi and .pdf) for all books!

It’s also super easy to give the gift of reading with StoryBundle, thanks to our gift cards – which allow you to send someone a code that they can redeem for any future StoryBundle bundle – and timed delivery, which allows you to control exactly when your recipient will get the gift of StoryBundle.

Why StoryBundle? Here are just a few benefits StoryBundle provides.

  • Get quality reads: We’ve chosen works from excellent authors to bundle together in one convenient package.
  • Pay what you want (minimum $5): You decide how much these fantastic books are worth. If you can only spare a little, that’s fine! You’ll still get access to a batch of exceptional titles.
  • Support authors who support DRM-free books: StoryBundle is a platform for authors to get exposure for their works, both for the titles featured in the bundle and for the rest of their catalog. Supporting authors who let you read their books on any device you want—restriction free—will show everyone there’s nothing wrong with ditching DRM.
  • Give to worthy causes: Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to AbleGamers!
  • Receive extra books: If you beat the bonus price, you’ll get the bonus books!

StoryBundle was created to give a platform for independent authors to showcase their work, and a source of quality titles for thirsty readers. StoryBundle works with authors to create bundles of ebooks that can be purchased by readers at their desired price. Before starting StoryBundle, Founder Jason Chen covered technology and software as an editor for Gizmodo.com and Lifehacker.com.

For more information, visit our website at storybundle.com, tweet us at @storybundle and like us on Facebook.

Sorcery and Steam Story Bundle

So excited to be a part of this awesome Story Bundle! If you like tales of suspense and Greek Goddesses, please take a moment to check out my contribution to the set as well as all the other fabulous contributions!

THE SORCERY AND STEAM BUNDLE

The Sorcery and Steam Bundle – Curated by Kristine Kathryn Rusch

Sorcery. Steam. Ghosts. A touch of romance. Mythic creatures. Some truly violent bad guys. And one little black cat.

We have everything in this bundle that a fantasy reader could want.

Including magic.

We have magic in all forms, from the magic that gods use when they come to Earth to magic that a familiar inspires when she helps a man with limited ability keep his spells fresh. We have vampires and werewolves. We have parasols and tea and lovely chocolates. We have FBI agents facing killers and assassins who can kill with a blink.

A fantastic story for every mood, and steampunk. Not enough to call this a steampunk bundle, but enough that we could add “steam” to our subtitle. (We can also add “steam” for another reason. One or two of these books have steamy scenes, that have nothing to do with engines and everything to do with heat between humans.)

We also have new releases in this bundle. Usually writers contribute the first books in a series or a book that fits the theme but has been published for a long time. Four writers—Dayle A. Dermatis, Catherine Banks, Michelle Fox, and me— decided to put their most recent book in the bundle. In fact, Catherine and Michelle have contributed books exclusive to StoryBundle. You can’t get those books anywhere else.

Pauline Baird Jones started our steampunk trend by asking me if she could include her wonderful Specters in the Storm book. Of course I said yes. That yes opened the door to Fiction River: Alchemy & Steam, the anthology series’ popular steampunk volume.

It also enabled me to add Gail Carriger, known for her steampunk novels. She contributes a book in Delightfully Deadly series. And hers isn’t the only series. We also have Ann Gimpel’s Coven Enforcers, Caridad Pineiro’s twelve-book Calling/Reborn books, and Melissa Snark’s six-book Ragnarök books (started before the movie, I’ll have you know).

We have magic without steam, as well. Dayle A. Dermatis’s Nikki Ashburne died, then got revived with an added skill—the ability to see ghosts. Both Catherine Banks and Melissa Snark have added mythic gods and goddesses into their fictional stew. I’m the one who provided the cat, although Ruby, a familiar, would argue with me for that sentence. She’s more than a cat. She’s something special.

What I didn’t expect, what I didn’t plan for, and what I didn’t see until I had compiled my author list for the bundle, was that every writer in the bundle (with the exception of one short story writer in Fiction River: Alchemy & Steam) is female.

I hadn’t planned to put together a women-only StoryBundle, but I had.

I just asked writers whom I’d worked with before, and who impressed me in one way or another. After the invitations went out, after the acceptances came in, and as I put together the letter to inform everyone who their partners in bundling would be, I realized that every name I typed was female.

Which is just about perfect, considering that March is Women’s History Month.

We’re kind of messing with history, considering how much magic and steampunk we’ve thrown into the mix (and how some of our stories have no history at all). But we’re reaching for the spirit of the celebration, not the celebration itself.

In addition to the history and the magic and the steam, we also have a charity to promote.

This bundle’s charity is AbleGamers. In the past twenty years or so, the online gaming world has become a major place for people all over the world to interact with each other. AbleGamers makes it possible for people with disabilities to participate, by providing everything from equipment personalized for each person’s needs to advice to the game developers on how to make their entertainment accessible.

Entertainment takes our mind off the troubles in the world. You can entertain yourself with this bundle, and pay for someone else’s entertainment in the online gaming world. Or you can buy the bundle as a gift, allowing a friend to read some of your favorite authors. As you pick up a copy of this bundle, please consider throwing in a few dollars to help AbleGamers.

Thanks! – Kristine Kathryn Rusch

The initial titles in the Sorcery and Steam Bundle (minimum $5 to purchase) are:

  • Alchemy and Steam by Fiction River
  • Familiarity by Kristine Kathryn Rusch
  • Poison or Protect by Gail Carriger
  • Blood and Magic by Ann Gimpel

If you pay at least the bonus price of just $15, you get all four of the regular titles, plus SIX more!

  • Specters in the Storm by Pauline Baird Jones
  • Rare Stakes by Michelle Fox
  • Valkyrie’s Vengeance & Hunger Moon – Ragnarok: Doom of the Gods 1-2 by Melissa Snark
  • Ghosted – Nikki Ashburne – Book 1 by Dayle A. Dermatis
  • Alys of Asgard by Catherine Banks
  • For Love or Vengeance by Caridad Pineiro

This bundle is available only for a limited time via http://www.storybundle.com. It allows easy reading on computers, smartphones, and tablets as well as Kindle and other ereaders via file transfer, email, and other methods. You get multiple DRM-free formats (.epub, .mobi and .pdf) for all books!

It’s also super easy to give the gift of reading with StoryBundle, thanks to our gift cards – which allow you to send someone a code that they can redeem for any future StoryBundle bundle – and timed delivery, which allows you to control exactly when your recipient will get the gift of StoryBundle.

Why StoryBundle? Here are just a few benefits StoryBundle provides.

  • Get quality reads: We’ve chosen works from excellent authors to bundle together in one convenient package.
  • Pay what you want (minimum $5): You decide how much these fantastic books are worth. If you can only spare a little, that’s fine! You’ll still get access to a batch of exceptional titles.
  • Support authors who support DRM-free books: StoryBundle is a platform for authors to get exposure for their works, both for the titles featured in the bundle and for the rest of their catalog. Supporting authors who let you read their books on any device you want—restriction free—will show everyone there’s nothing wrong with ditching DRM.
  • Give to worthy causes: Bundle buyers have a chance to donate a portion of their proceeds to AbleGamers!
  • Receive extra books: If you beat the bonus price, you’ll get the bonus books!

StoryBundle was created to give a platform for independent authors to showcase their work, and a source of quality titles for thirsty readers. StoryBundle works with authors to create bundles of ebooks that can be purchased by readers at their desired price. Before starting StoryBundle, Founder Jason Chen covered technology and software as an editor for Gizmodo.com and Lifehacker.com.

For more information, visit our website at storybundle.com, tweet us at @storybundle and like us on Facebook.

Happy Mardi Gras!

Happy Mardi Gras! Did you know that Mardi Gras means “Fat Tuesday” and that the day earned its name because people would eat richer foods (and probably more of them) in preparation for the fasting that would occur during Lent? As you know, Mardi Gras is also celebrated with various parades and festivals across the world like New Orleans. It also happens to be New Orleans’ 300th Birthday!

If you can’t make it to New Orleans how about joining me at the Mardi Gras themed party at the Liberty States Fiction Writers Reader and Writer conference? We’ll be dancing and raffling off gift baskets and I’ve got some beads and masks for you all! So check it out at www.lsfwriters.com!

#ThriftyThursday Fight Back Winter with a little bit of summer!

OMG I HATE THE WINTER! Yes, I am screaming! I am so not a fan of the cold and the wet. It makes so many of the things I love so hard to do, like walking to work or taking a stroll along the boardwalk. That’s why I’m counting down the days until spring. If you feel the same way, how about fighting back winter with a little of summer! ONE SUMMER NIGHT is only 99 cents and WHAT HAPPENS IN SUMMER will be out in June, just a few months away!

So don’t miss the special pricing on ONE SUMMER NIGHT and if you’d like, read the first three chapters for free at Radish!

Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/2krMwfE
Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/2kYLWZV
B&N: http://bit.ly/2kNuo0p
GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/2ik8EfG
iBooks: http://apple.co/2qsqdwx
Kobo: http://bit.ly/2fuEphL
Radish: Read three chapters for free – http://bit.ly/2AERQFk

WHAT HAPPENS IN SUMMER is now available for pre-order at the following retailers:

Amazon Kindle: http://amzn.to/2y6hi4h
Amazon Paperback: http://amzn.to/2y92UIQ
B&N: http://bit.ly/2BJNcov
GooglePlay: http://bit.ly/2hKg3BW
iBooks: http://apple.co/2hKgP1J
Kobo: Coming Soon!

#TravelTuesday – A Trip to London

I’ve been blessed to visit London several times. A few times for business and research and then for a family vacation! It’s one of my favorite cities and I hope I get to visit there again soon. We’ve been lucky to be there for the British equivalent of Memorial Day and it’s inspiring to see how veterans and the military are honored. Today’s picture is a shot of the Tower of London where they keep the Crown Jewels and traitors. An interesting mix.