Sunday, 26 January 2020

Stories From The City Of Blood: Story Two



Stories from the City Of Blood are short bonus scenes and stories for the upcoming, City Of Blood series. You don't need to have read any of them to understand the series, but they will help fill in more information about the world. 

Story Two: Catherine

1762



I dust off the skirts of my dress and walk into the room. My next client is in there already, and I don't want to keep him waiting. It's barely been three years since I set up my own brothel, I'm still at the stage where I don't want to do anything that'll ruin my reputation.
"Lady Catherine," the man says, rising to his feet the moment I'm in the room.
My eyebrows shoot up. How does he know my true name? I haven't told anyone it in years. "I go by Kitty now," I correct him. It won't be forever, but in vampire terms, it isn't that long since I left my den.
"My apologies, Kitty." He bows deeply, then steps into the light of the fire.
Understanding of who he is washes over me. I make my way over to the pitcher of wine to cover up my surprise. My hand shakes ever so slightly as I pour out two glasses.
"It isn't often we get priests in a place like this," I say, holding my voice as steady as I can.
He chuckles. "It isn't often you find noble ladies in them either," he returns.
"I think you'd be surprised how wrong you are there, Reverand." I turn and hold out one of the goblets of wine for him.
He takes it from me, making sure our fingers don't touch. "Thank you."
"My guess is you're not here for the normal reason."
"I've left priesthood behind."
"That's not what I've heard." I tap my fingers against the goblet, my confidence growing with every passing moment. "Tell me, Reverand Dimitri, how long has it been since you were turned?"
"About fifteen years," he admits.
"The Madam of a brothel, was it not?" I try not to smirk at his slight flinch.
"How do you know all this?" he asks.
It's my turn to chuckle. "Money isn't the only currency of whores." I shrug. "We trade in whispered secrets and shared confidences. And as it happens, I worked with a girl who was there that night. She traded her knowledge of it for something I knew."
"And what was it you knew?"
"It was of little import," I dismiss. "If you're not here to partake in my pleasures, then can I ask what you are doing here?"
"I've heard you're a free woman," he remarks.
"Of a fashion." It feels odd to stand in the middle of the room while entertaining a client, but he doesn't strike me as the kind of man who'll take kindly to me sitting by him. Whether he wants to admit it or not, I've heard whispers about how he's trying to stick to his former beliefs. If the rumours are correct, he's even gone as far as setting up a guild to hunt vampires, despite the fact he is one himself.
"I want you to help with my cause," he admits.
I raise an eyebrow and take a sip of my wine to cover my discomfort. "I won't be a part of anything that brings harm to other people," I inform him coolly.
"Kitty, please. Vampires took everything from you," Dimitri protests.
"No," I correct. "My family took everything from me. The Madam who enslaved me took everything from me. They happened to be vampires, but humans would have just as easily done the same."
"That's where you're wrong," he says.
"Is it? Last I checked, priests were held to a higher set of morals, and yet you were turned a brothel. Hardly virtuous."
He stares at me, no doubt wondering how he's ever going to respond to that.
"Vampires are a plague," he spits.
"And you're one of them." I turn away from him and sweep towards the door. I pause for a moment, but don't turn to look at him. "Security will show you out."








City Of Blood Series

The City Of Blood series starts with Drop Of Blood in July 2020! Pre-order is just 99 cents! 



Thursday, 23 January 2020

New Release: Fifth Time's A Crisis

Fifth Time's A Crisis Grimalkin Academy reverse harem paranormal Laura Greenwood


I thought being cured would solve all my problems, instead, it seems to have made them worse. 

With my kittens in trouble, and the threat of black magic users only getting stronger, I have more than enough on my plate. 

At least I have my best friend, and my warlocks to lean on for help. 

Fifth Time's A Crisis is the fifth and final book in the Grimalkin Academy: Kittens series. It is a paranormal/fantasy academy series with a low heat reverse harem romance. The books are best read in order.

Wednesday, 22 January 2020

Kingdom Of Fairytales Season 1: Aziza, written by J.A. Armitage


KOF 1KOF 2KOF 3KOF 4

Queen Of Dragons

What happened after the happily ever after?

You all know the story of your favorite fairytale, but did you ever wonder what happened after the fairytale ending? Well we know. Not all afters end up happily, sometimes the real adventure starts much later...

No one understands what it's like when your mother is famous for her beauty and you are, at best, average. Actually I'm wrong. She wasn't famous just for her beauty, but that's how people tell the story, how people have always told the story. That was even her name for a while. No one remembered her real name. She was just the sleeping princess or Sleeping Beauty. Even all these years later, when the royals appear in the paper, my father, the king barely gets a mention and I'm only a footnote in my own life, destined to always be Sleeping Beauty's daughter.
My name's Princess Azia Rose of Draconis and here is my story...


Following famous fairytale characters, eighteen years after their happily ever after, the Kingdom of Fairytales offers an edge of the seat thrill ride in an all new and sensational way to read.

Lighting-fast reads you won’t be able to put down

•Read in real time as each chapter follows a day in the life of a character throughout the entire year, with each bite-sized episode representing a week in the life of our hero.
•Each character’s story wrapped up at the end of every season with a brand new character and story featured in each season.
•Published every Wednesday throughout the year with each bite-sized episode representing a week in the life of our hero. Wednesdays will be your new favorite day of the week.

Fantasy has never been so epic!

Buy Here!

Heiress Of Embers

What happened after the happily ever after?

You all know the story of your favorite fairytale, but did you ever wonder what happened after the fairytale ending? Well we know. Not all afters end up happily, sometimes the real adventure starts much later...

With the dragons attacking and the kingdom falling apart, Azia must find out about her history to make changes to her future, but heading up the mountains to see the dragons is a downright insane idea.
Fortunately for Azia, she was never one to let a spark of insanity stop her doing anything. With a cast of characters including a witch, a seer, dwarves and of course dragons, Heiress of Embers is the second spellbinding instalment of the Kingdom of Fairytales.

Following famous fairytale characters, eighteen years after their happily ever after, the Kingdom of Fairytales offers an edge of the seat thrill ride in an all new and sensational way to read.

Lighting-fast reads you won’t be able to put down

•Read in real time as each chapter follows a day in the life of a character throughout the entire year, with each bite-sized episode representing a week in the life of our hero.
•Each character’s story wrapped up at the end of every season with a brand new character and story featured in each season.
•Published every Wednesday throughout the year with each bite-sized episode representing a week in the life of our hero. Wednesdays will be your new favorite day of the week.

Fantasy has never been so epic!

Buy Here!

Throne Of Fury

You all know the story of your favorite fairytale, but did you ever wonder what happened after the fairytale ending? Well we know. Not all afters end up happily, sometimes the real adventure starts much later...

With the doctors no closer to curing Sleeping Beauty, Azia has to go out and figure it out herself, but with the little matter of her own history to solve and the upcoming competition to marry her off, finding time to do it is not going to come easy. When the arrival of a girl from Urbis brings some horrifying news, Azia knows that nothing is going to be easy. With a magic necklace, an elusive god and of course a fae desperate to make Azia his wife, Throne of Fury is the third spellbinding instalment of The Kingdom of Fairytales series.

Lighting-fast reads you won’t be able to put down

•Read in real time as each chapter follows a day in the life of a character throughout the entire year, with each bite-sized episode representing a week in the life of our hero.
•Each character’s story wrapped up at the end of every season with a brand new character and story featured in each season.
•Published every Wednesday throughout the year with each bite-sized episode representing a week in the life of our hero. Wednesdays will be your new favorite day of the week.

Fantasy has never been so epic!

Buy Here!

Goddess Of Flames

What happened after the happily ever after?

You all know the story of your favorite fairytale, but did you ever wonder what happened after the fairytale ending? Well we know. Not all afters end up happily, sometimes the real adventure starts much later...

Azia is about to get married, but she doesn't yet have a husband. When a competition to find her one goes tragically wrong, she finds out who her real friends are. Goddess of Flames is the thrilling final episode in the Sleeping Beauty series, wrapping up Azia's story.

Lighting-fast reads you won’t be able to put down

•Read in real time as each chapter follows a day in the life of a character throughout the entire year, with each bite-sized episode representing a week in the life of our hero.
•Each character’s story wrapped up at the end of every season with a brand new character and story featured in each season.
•Published every Wednesday throughout the year with each bite-sized episode representing a week in the life of our hero. Wednesdays will be your new favorite day of the week.

Fantasy has never been so epic!

Sunday, 12 January 2020

Stories From The City Of Blood: Story One



Stories from the City Of Blood are short bonus scenes and stories for the upcoming, City Of Blood series. You don't need to have read any of them to understand the series, but they will help fill in more information about the world. 

Story One: Dimitri

2020



"Another one is dead," Bram says as he walks into my office, Ashryn just behind him with a grim look on her face.
I sigh. "She found him again?"
"We're guessing so. It's impossible to know what's happened. He could have defected instead." Bram shrugs and I'm right there with him.
"We'll need to find someone else to go into the city in his place," I muse.
"Do you have any ideas?" Ashryn asks as she slips over to me and kisses me on the cheek.
I put an arm around her and squeeze her tightly, but don't do anything more than that. We can save that for after the work is done.
"Is there anyone free to pick up the position?" I ask Bram.
"The only agent without an assignment is a recent graduate."
"What's his name? Can we get assessments in place for him?" I ask.
"Her," Bram corrects. "It's a young woman, Chloe Webb."
Hmm. Can I send a woman into the City Of Blood? Every agent we've sent there has ended up dead or turned to their way of life.
"Dimitri, are you listening?" Ashryn asks.
"Sorry, I was considering whether or not we can send her in," I say.
"No," Bram answers instantly. "She's untrained, and a..."
"If you dare say woman, I will gut you in the night with my sai," Ashryn threatens, rounding on him. "You both know women are just as capable as men. You didn't even manage to take the guild down until I came along." She crosses her arms and fixes us both a look that she thinks will get us into line. I'd like to be able to say she's wrong, but we all know we'll cave to her.
Bram chuckles. "You wouldn't gut me."
"But you don't want to risk it, do you?" A smile lifts her lips. She really is beautiful. And deadly. Something none of us should forget.
"You have a point. We shouldn't discount her because she's a woman," I say, cutting through the murderous tension between them. After a couple of years together, I've gotten used to the fact Ashryn and Bram still seem to hate and love each other at the same time. I'm grateful my relationship with her isn't the same.
"Maybe that's where you've been going wrong." Ashryn taps her finger against her chin. I check her hips to make sure her sai are in another room. It's always reassuring when she doesn't have weapons. "What kind of agents have the two of you been sending?"
Bram and I exchange a worried glance.
Ashryn chuckles. "You've been sending in hulking men who look like they can rip someone apart with their bare hands, haven't you?"
The silence tells her everything she needs to know.
She sighs loudly. "Men, always stuck in the century they were born in," she mutters.
Bram snorts.
I mull over what she's suggesting without saying it outright. Perhaps she's right. Reese was part of my den before she founded the City Of Blood, she probably knows how to spot my agents. Which means I've been going about this all wrong.
"All right," I say. "We'll do it your way."
A triumphant smirk spreads over her face.
"But she needs some extra training first. And she'll need fully briefing."
"I can train her," Ashryn offers. "If anyone knows how to get close to vampires without them noticing, it’s me."
I nod at her. "Training with you, and briefing with Bram."
And then we'll send this Chloe girl off to certain death in the City Of Blood. Unless she can do the impossible and bring it to its knees.








City Of Blood Series

The City Of Blood series starts with Drop Of Blood in July 2020! Pre-order is just 99 cents! 


Saturday, 11 January 2020

Bonus Story: Baked Illusions

Image may contain: 1 person

Very very mild spoilers from the (completed) Ashryn Barker Trilogy below!
Please note: this scene is totally for fun and doesn't actually add anything to the storyline.
Copyright Laura Greenwood 2018
**********************************************************


"Are you sure you want to do this?" I ask Bram as he ties on his apron.
He looks ridiculous but mostly because I never thought I'd ever see him in a kitchen, let alone in a chef's hat while brandishing a spatula.
"You want to learn to make brownies, we'll make brownies."
I stifle a laugh, not wanting him to know how silly he looks.
"Alright then." I pick up the recipe and compare it to the ingredients we have piled up around us. "I think we need to start with melting the chocolate."
I pass it to him and watch as he cracks the pieces and drops them into a glass bowl. I can't believe he's never done this. Every now and again, I would have kitchen duty in the guild and I'd watch them cook proper food but never anything tasty like this.
"Now what?"
"Erm..." I look back at the recipe. "We have to melt it over a bain Marie?" I can't help phrasing it as a question, I have no idea what the recipe could possibly mean.
"I'm not sure." Bram gestures towards the recipe and I pass it to him. "There's nothing in the ingredients called that either..."
"You need to put it over a pan of simmering water," Remus says, amusement clear in his voice.
I smile broadly as I look over at him standing in the doorway. "I thought you were busy?"
"I am," he responds. "But when Eric said he foresaw a mess in the kitchen, I had to come see this."
"He's not even a real prophet, how can he have foreseen a mess?" Bram grumbles.
I push down the sigh. Those two are never going to see eye to eye at this rate, though I'm still holding on to the hope they'll get past it at some point.
"We could use some help?" I bat my eyelashes, hoping he'll come join us. Especially as he seems to know what all our weird instructions mean.
"I can't." Disappointment flashes over his face and I step close to him.
"We'll have plenty of time to cook together," I say softly.
"I know but you have a cute little blob of flour on your nose."
A blush rises to my cheeks. We haven't even used the flour yet, I'm not sure how that got there but if Remus thinks it's cute...
"I'll put one there for you specially," I promise and go up on my tiptoes to kiss his cheek. "I'll bring you some brownies when we're done?"
Remus nods. "But only if you test them on Dimitri first."
"I don't think that'll help, he has a terrible sense of taste" Bram responds, clattering a pan about as he fills it with water and sets it on the heat.
"I'll make sure Bram tests them before the rest of us," I promise.
Remus chuckles. "That sounds promising. Have fun."
"We will." I beam at him.
He gives me one last lingering look before leaving to go save people.
I bounce back over to Bram, eager to bake our brownies and create the masterpiece we're sure to create. We may not have any experience doing this but we'll make up for it with enthusiasm.

**********************************************************
Don't forget to grab Hungry For More: books2read.com/rhcookbook
Or Shattered Illusions (completed series, first one is free and on audio too): books2read.com/shatteredillusions
There's also a boxed set of the complete series and some bonus scenes:books2read.com/ashrynbarker

Wednesday, 8 January 2020

Excerpt: Drop Of Blood


Blurb

The City Of Blood should be a safe haven for vampire kind, but it doesn't look that way from where I'm standing.

Strict curfews, mandatory check-ins, and the constant threat of being executed, it's almost as dangerous for vampires to live here as it is to be human. And I want to bring the regime down.

One wrong step, and lives will be lost...including my own.

-

Drop Of Blood is book one of the City Of Blood series, a gritty vampire urban fantasy with a slow burn romantic sub-plot.

Pre-Order Here: books2read.com/dropofblood


Please note: this excerpt is unedited and is subject to change. Copyright 2020, Laura Greenwood.

Excerpt: Drop Of Blood

I hate rain. Especially this kind. It makes everything wet, but it's not heavy enough to dodge the drops, even with super speed. I sigh and push a strand of sodden hair behind my ear. I need to check-in at the town hall or I'm going to find myself in a sticky situation, rain or no rain.
Other vampires walk the streets along with me, none of us saying a word to one another. That's how it goes here. It's too dangerous to get close to anyone, and no one wants to risk their life for a stranger. The humans in this city think they have it bad, but they truly have no idea.
The worst thing is, I didn't always live here. Vampires live in normal society in the rest of the country. We're represented on the government and have lives that don't involve having to check-in at the town hall every week just so they know we're still alive. I'm sure there's more to it, but I can't put my finger on what.
I run up the steps, taking two at a time with ease. I suppose that's one advantage of living in this place, the blood supply is more than steady. It's plentiful. Though that raises a whole slew of questions about where the blood comes from in the first place. I try my best to consume the ethically sourced stuff, but without taking it straight from the vein, then there's no way to be completely sure. And even then, there are doubts. Forcing people to donate blood isn't unusual here.
I join the line of vampires waiting for their check-in. Some check their phones, others just twiddle their thumbs or strike up random conversations. It's both normal and surreal.
One thing is for certain, this city is nothing like I imagined it was going to be when I agreed to come here. I often wonder if it was a mistake to come.
I shake my head. No one here can read minds, it's not a trick vampires are capable of. But that doesn't mean that no one can read my thoughts from the expression on my face. And in this city, the wrong face is enough to get someone arrested and sent to the cage fights. I'm not ready to die.
And there's too much riding on my success here.
"Next," the bored woman behind the desk calls.
The line moves forward. I don't understand why it always takes so long to do this. They have to do the same thing for everyone, and the same thing day in, day out. Everyone is given a day they have to come, and very few people miss it.
"Next."
The line moves again.
There's only one more person and then it's my turn. As usual, the butterflies in my stomach kick into overdrive. I should be used to this by now, but instead, I think it only gets worse. And yet, there's no reason for it to. I'm here legally. We thought that bit of the plan through.
"Next."
"Hi." I flash her the best smile I can, making sure I show off some fang as I do so. She's supposed to check I have them. Which is ridiculous considering we're already proven vampires.
"ID?" Up close, she looks even more bored.
I slide it across to her. She picks it up and scans it through the machine.
It beeps to let us know I've been processed, and then she hands it back to me. "Done."
"Thank you." I smile again, but for no reason, she's already moved on to the next person. This must be the hundredth check she's done for me, but I still don't know here name. It's the same for other people. The less contact there is between people, the less chance there is that someone you care about will be carted off and killed. It's that kind of world.
I turn away from the rest of the vampires assembled and head back out onto the street. The rain has only gotten heavier while I did my thing. Great. All I need. I'm going to arrive at work sopping wet and without a change of clothes. Usually, I'd bring one with me, but it's best not to do anything like that on check-in day.
Water splashes from the pavement to my boots. Everyone around me is doing the same, with very few people opting to use anything else. No one bothers with cars because there's nowhere to go in them. If someone drives past, then they're an official, and it's best to dive for cover. And as for the buses...they're far too expensive for what they are. Which leaves walking.
"Hi Bernice," I say as I push through the door and into the office.
"Hey, Chloe. Check-in today?" she says, eyeing the state of my outfit.
"Yep."
"You should start keeping a spare set of clothes here. That's what I do."
I grimace. It's not a bad idea overall, but it is a bad idea for me. It's best I don't leave traces of myself everywhere. Not that I can explain it to her.
Sometimes, having a double life is tiring. Even more so when I remember it means no friends, no boyfriends, and no place to call home. I don't count my tiny apartment in the city. I didn't choose it, and there's nothing there that truly shows me.
I drop myself into my desk chair, ignoring the squelch of fabric as I do. I kick off my boots too, enjoying at least one part of my body being dry.
"Did you hear about the event this weekend?" Bernice asks.
"Huh, no? What happened?" I act as if I'm not interested despite the fact I am. This is the kind of thing I should report back when I'm called upon again.
"I don't know, but there's an email gone out. I'll forward  it to you."
I want to tell her no, but it's too late. "Do you have the link where I can sign up for stuff like this?" I ask, even though it's out of character. I'm supposed to act as if I don't care about what goes on in the city, but this is too important.
"Sure. But I thought you didn't follow this stuff?"
Damn. I've gone and acted suspiciously.
I shrug. "I just want to know when I shouldn't plan anything. You know how it gets when there's some kind of fight on."
"Ah, good point." She hits a button. "Sent it to you."
"Thanks, Bernice." I turn my attention back to my screen, pulling up my emails. There's a couple from clients, but nothing urgent. Instead, I focus on the two Bernice sent me.
The one with the sign-up link, I forward to an innocuous email address that would bounce around five different servers before hitting the person it needs to. Hopefully, they can then sign up for the alerts and get the intel straight to their inboxes. It'll save some heavily coded messages, that's for certain.
After signing up with my own email address lest Bernice get suspicious, I turn to her other email.
The sick feeling starts in the pit of my stomach. Fights. Lots of them. Which is just a slightly less obvious way of saying executions. Sometimes, I wish they'd simply outright say what they mean, but I understand that's not how it works.
"Are you going?" Bernice asks.
I jump, not realising she was looking over my shoulder.
I shake my head. "It's not my thing." Despite that, I will be there, but under one of my aliases. While my ID isn't a lie, it's not the only name I'm known by in the city. It isn't possible to find out everything I need to while using my real name.
But Bernice doesn't need to know that. As far as she knows, I'm nothing more than her fellow marketing assistant. I do my work and live an ordinary life.
She'll never know how wrong she is.

Pre-Order Here: books2read.com/dropofblood

Saturday, 4 January 2020

New Covers (and a Book 3!) For The Fae Queen Of Winter Series!

Saving Eira Fated Seasons: Winter Laura Greenwood paranormal romanceReigning Eira The Fae Queen Of Winter Laura GreenwoodCalling Eira The Fae Queen Of Winter Laura Greenwood Paranormal Fae Fantasy

The Fae Queen Of Winter series has had a makeover! I hope you love the new covers as much as I do! This rebrand has come after a lot of hard consideration, but I felt that Eira needed covers that represented the fae elements of her story more, especially as they come more into play in books two and three of the series. 

Along with the rebrand, book 3 of the series is now up for pre-order for November. That will see this series complete!

The Fae Queen Of Winter Series: 
Frost's Forfeit (Free Prequel)