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Get a new e-reader? #IndieBookFair

January 2, 2012

Did you find a new Kindle, Nook, or iPad under the Christmas tree? Browse the Indie Book Fair and find a new ebook to break in that reader!


These great new books were released Nov 2011-Feb 2012 by Indie authors, priced right so that taking a chance on a new author doesn’t have to break your wallet. (Check out my previous Internet Book Fair for other great Indie finds.)

[Indie = self-published or small-publisher, for the purposes of this post, because no matter how we’re published, we’re all in this together, trying to get the word out about our books]

Note: Links are given for Amazon, but most authors publish across all e-book formats. Click on the author’s name for additional purchasing options, including paper copies.

For Your Browsing Pleasure

Contemporary (Adult)

Build a Man by Talli Roland (Chick Lit) 
Slave to the rich, rude and deluded, cosmetic surgery receptionist Serenity Holland longs for the day she’s a high-flying tabloid reporter. Unfortunately, every pitch she sends out disappears like her clients’ liposuctioned fat, never to be seen again. Then she meets Jeremy Ritchie — the hang-dog man determined to be Britain’s Most Eligible Bachelor by making himself over from head to toe and everything in between — giving Serenity a story no editor could resist. With London’s biggest tabloid on board and her very own column tracking Jeremy’s progress from dud to dude, Serenity is determined to be a success, even going undercover to gain intimate access to Jeremy’s life. But when Jeremy’s surgery goes drastically wrong and Serenity is ordered to cover all the car-crash goriness, she must decide how far she really will go for her dream job. $0.99 on Amazon

The Golden Sky by Elisa Hirsch (Memoir) 
The night I met Cade I never would’ve thought that two years later, after we were homeless street musicians in Hawaii, we would have a little girl and another baby on the way.  Our son was born with the type of birth defects that make televangelists cringe. The “death home” gave him a really nice funeral, the kind I’d never wished to attend. We lost it after that, totally cemented in our grief.  Cade got into drugs, joined a rock and roll band, and I kicked him out of the house. That was how I met: Earl (an old man and unlikely best friend), the “big sag” (a middle aged woman who still flashed folks), Todda (the stripper next door), and Chris (a cowboy who fell in love with me). It wasn’t until I killed a rogue skunk, and my daughter nearly choked on a fry, that I gave my husband another chance.  But could our marriage recover from the death of our son? $2.99 onAmazon

Someone Else’s Fairytale by E.M. Tippetts (Contemporary Romance) 
Jason Vanderholt is the hottest actor under thirty with legions of screaming fans. Chloe Winters is a college student who hasn’t gotten around to watching most of his movies. When they meet by chance, he is smitten, but it just isn’t her fairytale. In fact, it could be her worst nightmare as her past, attracted by the bright lights of the media, comes back to haunt her. $0.99 on Amazon


Historical Romance (Adult)

The Duke’s Divorce by Anne Gallagher Available late January 2012
A simple trip to the Scottish Highlands finds the Duke of Cantin with a bride he does not want.  With her impeccable beauty and fiery disposition, Fiona takes Society by storm.  As their prearranged divorce proceedings draw near, can Fiona change his mind? Check author’s website.




Literary Fiction

String Bridge by Jessica Bell 
Greek cuisine, smog and domestic drudgery was not the life Australian musician, Melody, was expecting when she married a Greek music promoter and settled in Athens, Greece. Keen to play in her new shoes, though, Melody trades her guitar for a ‘proper’ career and her music for motherhood. That is, until she can bear it no longer and plots a return to the stage—and the person she used to be. However, the obstacles she faces along the way are nothing compared to the tragedy that awaits … $6.99 on Amazon ALSO:  Music Sample!

Mystery

Sherwood Ltd. by Anne R. Allen
Sherwood. The name immediately conjures up images of Richard Greene, Michael Praed and Russell Crowe. Or maybe that sly fox in the Disney version. Only, in Anne R. Allen’s latest rom-com mystery the fox is a coyote and there’s no Robin Hood. Or is there? In her usual inimitable fashion Allen peels back the layers, one hilarious subplot after another, until you just never know what’s real and what’s not. Rather like the Robin Hood legend. When the Manners Doctor, Camilla Randall, flies into Robin Hood airport with a suitcase in one hand and a book contract in the other she thinks she’s leaving all her problems behind and is about to start a new life. If you look very carefully you may just spot the Sheriff of Nottingham, Maid Marian and even Little John hidden away. But as for Robin Hood himself… You’ll just have to read it and find out.  $2.99 on Amazon


Short Stories and Anthologies

The Initiate (Cloud Prophet Trilogy) by  Megg Jensen (YA Fantasy)
Over a thousand years ago, the gods left Eloh’s people and took their magic with them. To win back their favor, her people sacrifice ten female initiates every ten years. No has ever survived. There has never been a Chosen One. Forced into becoming an initiate, Eloh will try to find a way to beat the odds, stay with her boyfriend, and survive the fires that threaten to consume her. But will her lack of faith in the gods and her disbelief in their magic doom her to a painful death? $0.99 on Amazon

Eight by Karly Kirkpatrick (YA Paranormal Short Story Collection)
Prepare to be thrilled and chilled by Kirkpatrick’s eight short tales in EIGHT. These eight stories, while short, pack a big punch. There are demon spirits, zombies, and even some human baddies. Each story comes complete with author’s commentary. It also includes the previously unreleased short Grenades. $0.99 on Amazon




{CoverComingSoon} In His Eyes by The Indelibles (YA Anthology) – Available February 14th
Just in time for Valentines Day, The Indelibles bring you a one-of-a-kind young adult anthology! Twenty original short stories, all from the point of view of our favorite male characters – some are old flames from our novels and some were dreamed up especially for this anthology. Let these imminently crushable, swoon-worthy guys show you what romance looks like – in his eyes. Add to Goodreads TBR

The contributors to IN HIS EYES include award winners, frequent “Top 100” placers, and hot 2011 debut authors: S.R. Wells, C.K. Bryant, Elle Strauss, Susan Kaye Quinn, Jessie Harrell, Magan Vernon, Lisa Nowak, Heather McCorkle, RaShelle Workman, Ali Cross, Karen Amanda Hooper, Cory Putman Oakes, Laura Pauling, Stacey Wallace Benefiel, Sarra Cannon, Katie Klein, Cheri Lasota



Transcendent: Tales of the Paranormal by Lani Woodland, Melonie Piper, Rita Webb, Wendy Swore, Melanie Marks, Heather McCubbin and Evan Joseph (YA Anthology)
Discover the secrets of a siren, fly with a hawk girl over the mountains of Montana, and flee supernatural party-crashers as the décor comes to life in this magical journey through paranormal stories. Along the way, watch for ghosts in a haunted house, or ride through the moonlight with a stranger. Save a comatose boy who has lost his soul, and don’t forget to bring your garlic and wolfsbane—you never know when the shadows will snag you. Transcendent includes eight stories of magic, love, death, and choice by some of the newest names in young adult fiction. $0.99 on Amazon



Young Adult

Open Minds by Susan Kaye Quinn (Paranormal/Science Fiction) 
When everyone reads minds, a secret is a dangerous thing to keep. Sixteen-year-old Kira Moore is a zero, someone who can’t read thoughts or be read by others. Zeros are outcasts who can’t be trusted, leaving her no chance with Raf, a regular mindreader and the best friend she secretly loves. When she accidentally controls Raf’s mind and nearly kills him, Kira tries to hide her frightening new ability from her family and an increasingly suspicious Raf. But lies tangle around her, and she’s dragged deep into a hidden world of mindjackers, where having to mind control everyone she loves is just the beginning of the deadly choices before her. $2.99 on Amazon

Bound by C.K. Bryant (Paranormal Romance) 
When a photo shoot ends in tragedy, Kira discovers her best friend, Lydia,has been keeping a secret. Knowing the truth, and accepting it, will change Kira’s life forever and thrust her into a world of ancient curses, magical objects, and savage enemies. What happens next will challenge everything Kira knows about her world, herself and the shape-shifting warrior she’s falling in love with. No longer the timid mouse her mother accused her of being, but a woman who finds the mental and physical strength to endure and survive. $3.99 on Amazon

Become by Ali Cross (YA Urban Fantasy)
Sixteen-year old Desolation Black wants nothing more than to stay in Hell where it’s cold and lonely and totally predictable. Instead, she’s sent back to Earth where she Becomes the evil she despises and the good she always feared. When Desi is forced to embrace her inner demon, she assumes her Choice has been made—that she has no hope of being anything other than what her father, Lucifer, has created her to be. What she doesn’t count on, is a reason to want to change—something she’s never had before—a friend. $3.99 on Amazon

Exiled by RaShelle Workman (YA SF Romance) 

Worlds divided them. Chance brought them together. Only love will save them.
An alien princess exiled to Earth. An arrogant boy. One week to get back to her planet or she’ll die. And, her only chance for survival? She must help the boy find his soul mate.
Piece of cake! $0.99 on Kindle



The Secret of Spruce Knoll by Heather McCorkle (Urban Fantasy)
Following the tragic death of her parents, Eren Donovan moves to Spruce Knoll to live with an aunt she’s never met. Little does Eren know the entire town of Spruce Knoll is filled with “channelers”—a magical group of people who immigrated to the small Colorado town when they were driven out of their own lands. Channelers are tied to the fate of the world. As the world slowly dies, so do they—and they alone have the power to stop the destruction of Earth. Soon, Eren learns she not only lives among them, but she is one. When she meets local boy Aiden, his charm convinces her that being a channeler may not be all bad though. $4.99 on Amazon 

Destined by Jessie Harrell (Retelling) 
When Psyche receives a prophecy gone horribly wrong, she learns that even the most beautiful girl in Greece can have a hideous future. Her fate? Fall in love with the one creature even the gods fear. As she feels herself slipping closer into the arms of the prophecy, Psyche must choose between the terrifyingly tender touch she feels almost powerless to resist and the one constant she’s come to expect out of life: you cannot escape what is destined.  $0.99 on Amazon


Darkspell by Elizabeth Mueller (Paranormal Romance) 
Winter Sky believes she is everything ordinary . . . until she is kissed by Alex Stormhold. As seer of Stormhold Coven, Alex is sworn to be Winter’s protector against the darkness that hunts her.  Violently thrust into a magickal realm she always thought impossible, she stumbles upon a disturbing secret of her own. Will love prove thicker than magick? $3.99 on Amazon



Untraceable by S. R. Johannes (Thriller) 
Grace has lived in the Smokies all her life, patrolling with her forest ranger father who taught her about wildlife, tracking, and wilderness survival. When her dad goes missing on a routine patrol, Grace refuses to believe he’s dead and fights the town authorities, tribal officials, and nature to find him. One day, while out tracking clues, Grace is rescued from danger by Mo, a hot guy with an intoxicating accent and a secret. As her feelings between him and her ex-boyfriend get muddled, Grace travels deep into the wilderness to escape and find her father. Along the way, Grace learns terrible secrets that sever relationships and lives. Soon she’s enmeshed in a web of conspiracy, deception, and murder. And it’s going to take a lot more than a compass and a motorcycle (named Lucifer) for this kick-butting heroine to save everything she loves. $.99 on Amazon


Rival Demons (Book 5 of the Peachville High Demons Series) by Sarra Cannon (Paranormal Romance) Available January 20th
After narrowly escaping death at the hands of the Order of Shadows, Harper finds herself thrust into the strange and beautiful world of the shadow demons. But crossing through the portal doesn’t mean she is safe. The Order of Shadows is determined to bring her home and transfer the Prima line to the Harris family. They send their most vicious hunters after Harper. Hunters who will not stop until they have found their prey. Determined to keep her safe, Jackson takes her deep into an underground world filled with dangers of its own. Here, Harper will begin a journey that will teach her more about herself and her own path than she ever imagined possible. Add to Goodreads TBR

The Legend of Victor Standish: Under a Voodoo Moon by Roland D. Yeomans (Urban Fantasy/Romance) 
Can love kill? Yes … if you love a ghoul who hungers for your flesh only slightly less than she does your heart.  Yet to the lonely street orphan Victor Standish, who has risked his life for a meal, to find love (even for one magical French Quarter night) is worth dying in the morning. $2.99 on Amazon All profits go to the Salvation Army.



Getting Sideways (Book 2 in the Full Throttle Series) by Lisa Nowak (Contemporary) 
Getting shipped off to live with his uncle Race was the best thing that ever happened to fifteen-year-old Cody. Then a wreck at the speedway nearly ruined everything. Cody’s making every effort to get his life back on track—writing for the school paper, searching for the perfect girlfriend, and counting the days until he gets his drivers’ license—but there’s no escaping the nightmares that haunt him. A chance to build his own car seems like the perfect distraction. Until Cody realizes he’ll have to live up to Race’s legendary status. But that’s the least of his worries, considering he doesn’t have his dad’s permission. All he has to do is the impossible: keep Race from discovering his lie until he can convince his dad that racing’s safe. Yeah, sure. That’ll be easy. $3.99 on Amazon

Tangled Tides by Karen Hooper (Sea Monster Memoirs) 
Yara Jones doesn’t believe in sea monsters—until she becomes one. When a hurricane hits her island home and she wakes up with fins, Yara finds herself tangled up in an underwater world of mysterious merfolk and secretive selkies. Both sides believe Yara can save them by fulfilling a broken promise and opening the sealed gateway to their realm, but they are battling over how it should be done. The selkies want to take her life. The merfolk want something far more precious. Treygan, the stormy-eyed merman who turned Yara mer, will stop at nothing and sacrifice everything to protect his people—until he falls for Yara. The tides turn as Yara fights to save herself, hundreds of sea creatures, and the merman who has her heart. She could lose her soul in the process—or she might open the gateway to a love that’s deeper than the oceans. $4.99 on Amazon

Here by Denise Grover Swank (SF Romance)
Sixteen year old Julia Phillips buries herself in guilt after killing her best friend Monica in a car accident. Julia awoke in the hospital with a broken leg, a new talent for drawing and false memories of the accident, in which she dies and Monica lives. The doctors attribute this to her head injury, but no one can explain how a bracelet engraved with her name ended up at the scene of the accident. A bracelet no one has ever seen before. Classmate Evan Whittaker paid Julia no attention before the accident, let alone after. Now suddenly he’s volunteering to tutor her and offering to drive her home. She can’t ignore that his new obsession started after his two-day disappearance last week and that he wears a pendant she’s been drawing for months. When the police show up one night looking for Evan, he begs Julia to run with him, convincing her that Monica is still alive. Julia agrees to go, never guessing where he’s really from.  $2.99 on Amazon

The Veil by  Cory Putman Oakes (Paranormal Romance)
Seventeen-year-old Addison Russell is in for a shock when she discovers that she can see the invisible world of the Annorasi.  Suddenly, nothing is as it appears to be—the house she lives in, the woman who raised her, even the most beautiful boy in town all turn out to be more than what they seem.  And when this strange new world forces Addy to answer for a crime that was committed long ago, by parents she has never known, she has no choice but to trust Luc, the mysterious Annorasi who has been sent to protect her.  Or so he says . . . $7.99 on Amazon

Embrace by Cherie Colyer (Paranormal Romance)
Madison is familiar enough with change, and she hates everything about it. Change took her long-term boyfriend away from her. It caused one of her friends to suddenly hate her. It’s responsible for the death of a local along with a host of other mysterious happenings. But when Madison meets a hot new guy, she thinks her luck is about to improve. Madison is instantly drawn to the handsome and intriguing Isaac Addington. She quickly realizes he’s a guy harboring a secret, but she’s willing to risk the unknown to be with him. Her world really spins out of control, however, when her best friend becomes delusional, seeing things that aren’t there and desperately trying to escape their evil. When the doctors can’t find the answers, Madison seeks her own. Nothing can prepare her for what she is about to discover. $6.99 on Amazon

Onyx Talisman by Brenda Pandos (Paranormal Romance)
Unrest stirs deep in Scotts Valley. Filled with uncertainty, Julia anxiously awaits Nicholas’ return. Phil, holds the pieces of Julia’s fragile psyche together, secretly hoping Nicholas stays away forever. But Alora secretly conspires to reclaim her talisman and strip Julia of everything she holds dear. Little do they know, a war is coming and more than one vampire would like to see the Prince of Vampires overthrown. Can Julia bargain with fate? Find out how it all ends in this explosive grand finale of The Talisman Trilogy. $3.99 on Amazon

How to Date an Alien by Magan Vernon (Science Fiction) 
High school senior Alex Bianchi’s estranged father gets her an internship at Circe Operations Center to pad her college applications. But Circe isn’t your typical military base. It’s an alien-run operation center and not all of the aliens are friendly, especially the one that tries to kill Alex on her first day. When Ace, a dark-eyed Caltian, enters and saves the day, she can’t help but be drawn to him. Can these star-crossed lovers survive when they’re on the brink of intergalactic war? $2.99 on Amazon


Fireseed One by  Catherine Stine (Science Fiction/Thriller) 
Fireseed One is a journey into a tricked-out near-future earth where 18 year-old Varik has inherited a vast ocean farm, following the suspicious drowning of his Marine biologist father. When Marisa, a beautiful and devious terrorist, destroys the world’s food source, Varik is forced to travel to a lethal hotzone, teeming with dangerous nomads and a strange cult to search for a magical hybrid plant that may not even exist. The catch? He must take Marisa along, the only person who seems to know way, way too much key information.  $2.99 on Amazon




The Missing by M.A. Leslie (Paranormal)
Eight-year-old, Ethan Doyle is just a normal kid whose biggest problem in life was to fight for the attention of his busy parents from his older twin siblings. But, after his aunt and uncle tragically die, his family takes in his teenage cousin, Kelsey, and moves to a spooky old, manor house in a new town. At first, everything seems fine, but when he begins to see and speak to a spirit named Lucas, his biggest problem becomes, just staying alive. Lucas was ten years old when the spirits of the house came to him and asked him for help setting their spirits free. Unfortunately, he never made the deadline and as a result the spirits took him and made him a part of the house as well. As he soon finds out, the only way he can save his own soul is to save the souls of the missing boys in the house. With his own deadline in place, Ethan enlists the help of his cousin Kelsey to solve the twenty-year-old mystery of THE MISSING. $0.99 on Amazon



Princess Kandake by Stephanie Jefferson (Fantasy) Available February 1, 2012

In Nubia a woman can be whatever she chooses. At 14, Kandake knows exactly what she chooses…Prime Warrior of Nubia. But her grandmother has said that she will follow her father on the throne. Refusing to abandon her warrior dreams she continues to train. When her brother is kidnapped, Kandake learns she must be both queen and warrior to win his release! See Author’s Website 





Middle Grade

Blink of a Dragon by Eisley Jacobs (Fantasy)

Discovering she’s connected to dragons is one thing, but when another dragon is caught hanging out in the fifth grade, Meia thinks things couldn’t get any worse. Is she ever wrong! Trouble is brewing in the cosmos and Deglan believes this new dragon holds the answers, but his hopes are crushed when the leader of the exiled dark dragons ambushes them. The fate of the dragons and possibly the whole world falls to Deglan and Meia as they search for the only creature powerful

enough to send the dark dragons back into the abyss. What they encounter along the way makes the adventure worth fighting for. $6.99 Paperback preorder
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Happy New Year & Trilogy cover release

December 31, 2011

Happy New Year everyone!

I can’t even begin to express my thanks to all of you for making 2011 huge for my writing success. All my books have hit Amazon best selling lists, include The Emerald Talisman listed at #6 on the top of Amazon free list and Onyx has become a HUGE hit! Right now, there’s 18 five star reviews listed and I’ve received countless emails from pleased fans, even one with OMG in the title (lol!). I’m relieved everyone loves the end.

I’m also excited to share the cover of the e-book complete trilogy being released in a few days on Amazon and B&N! Isn’t it gorgeous???

Today is also the last day to post a review and enter the drawing for the Onyx faux talisman. Don’t miss out!

As I reflect, I can’t help but remember the hard times and wonderful times. I appreciate all your support and encouragement during my son’s open heart surgery. Also, I’m thankful for all the new friends I’ve made along the way. I can’t wait for 2012 and what it has to bring, good and bad.

Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

Happy New Year! See you in 2012!

Hugs, Brenda

Signed Copies Onyx Talisman Pre-sale

December 16, 2011

I forgot to post the pre-sale as promised. In my defense, I actually left my house, got my hair done, did some Christmas shopping and spent my birthday money on some adorable shoes and a coat, and visited Starbucks for a peppermint mocha. And then I stalked myself for reviews.

So here it is: the pre-order print of books for The Onyx Talisman with matching bookmark!

$11.99 
$9.99 until 1/31/12

The Onyx Talisman Book Birthday!

December 14, 2011
Happy Birthday The Onyx Talisman! 

I can’t believe this day is finally here. It’s been a journey like no other. I literally feel like I’ve run a marathon, but it’s here… early by a day! But this time, it’s bittersweet and I’m sad to see this series come to an end. I can’t believe all the sweet emails I’ve received from fans over this series and you’ve touched my heart tremendously. And because you love my characters as much as I do, the book has been dedicated to YOU!

Buy it NOW on Amazon
Buy it NOW on B&N


The Onyx Talisman by Brenda Pandos
Publisher: Obsidian Mountain Publishing (December 16, 2011) 

Series: Talisman #3 

Add it to Goodreads

Synopsis:
“Alora looked back and the corner of her lip turned up. “It’s always darkest before the dawn, Julia. Good luck.”
Her words sent chills up my spine as she vanished. “

Unrest stirs deep in Scotts Valley. Filled with uncertainty, Julia anxiously awaits Nicholas’ return. Phil, hurt and unsure of his place as a sober vampire, holds the pieces of Julia’s fragile psyche together, secretly hoping Nicholas stays away forever. Scarlett bides her time, plotting for the perfect moment to prove herself and earn redemption. But somewhere in L.A., Alora conspires to reclaim her talisman and strip Julia of everything she holds dear.

Little do they know, a war is coming and more than one vampire would like to see the Prince of Vampires overthrown. As more and more vampires show up from nowhere, addicted to her scent, Julia must pick her allies carefully before it’s too late. Can Julia bargain with fate? When the time comes, will she even have a choice? Find out how it all ends in this explosive grand finale of The Talisman Trilogy.


WIN YOUR OWN TALISMAN!

CONTEST DETAILS

For those who write a review of The Onyx Talisman and post on either B&N or Amazon (or both), can be entered into a drawing to win a life-sized replica Onyx Talisman of their very own or a T-Shirt custom designed my me, you’re choice.

Enter HERE or below:

Thank you to everyone for making this dream possible. To Kristie Cook, Lisa Langdale, Lisa Sanchez, Nicole and Jaime … all my love and thanks are yours!

Stay tuned for the announcement of a twitter party and the physical book release in January, 2012! Pre-sale starts TOMORROW!

Hugs, Brenda

EVERBLUE is a Best of the Best in 2011 novel

December 12, 2011

We interrupt the countdown to Onyx (which is 4 days people, well, 3 days and 15 hours if you look at the countdown –> ) to announce something SUPER exciting. Everblue, my Mer Tales novel, was picked as a Best of the BEST in 2011 by Nicole at Books Complete Me.

*insert screaming and flailing of hands*

Holy carp!!

Of all the amazing books out there, I have no idea how bloggers choose anyway, I’m so thrilled and honored to have Everblue chosen for this prestigious title. Thank you, Nicole.

So, if you follow the link, you can read the sweet things she said about Everblue and some questions she asked me AND enter to win a signed copy with matching bookmark. Go… go right now!

*swoon*

Okay… back to the countdown of Onyx… *bites nails*

Hugs, Brenda

The Onyx Talisman comes in 6 days

December 10, 2011

I wanted to give a quick exciting update. Yes! The Onyx Talisman will be available through Amazon/Kindle and B&N/Nook Friday, December 16th and I just have to say, my team ROCKS! Without their dedication and help, it wouldn’t have happened. Donna Wright, Kristie Cook, Lisa Sanchez, Lisa Langdale, Nicole from Books Complete Me and Jaime from Two Chicks. Muah!

I can’t believe the day is almost here and I am so nervous! The pressure to deliver a satisfying ending is… HUGE! I’ve bit down my nails, worn off my fingerpads  and forked out quite a lot in nanny money to make this date. And I hope it will be worth it. Anyway, there’s still last minute things to do, so I’m not talking on here long. I’ll be sending out a newsletter the minute it’s available. Sign up here: BrendaPandos.com to receive it.

Thanks everyone for all the lovely well wishes and prayers for my family. Missing a deadline hurt like heck and I’m glad you all were so kind to me. My son’s heart is doing awesome and he’s running around faster than the rest of us now. Modern medicine is absolutely incredible.

And actually, this book is dedicated to YOU!

Thank you…. sniff.

Hugs x a million,

Brenda

PS. Physical books will be available online sometime January 2012. A presale will be posted Friday, the 16th for those who want signed copies!

Onyx news and first chapter teaser

November 16, 2011

As you can see, Onyx isn’t being released today as planned. Life’s been a little crazy in my world. Good news is things have been improving for us and I am so grateful for all the prayers and well wishes for my son. And as long as we stay on this drama-free course, the ebook of Onyx should be out in December and physical books in January.

I apologize to all of you who have been waiting so patiently and can’t wait to share with you the last installment of the Talisman series.

So, without further ado, here’s the first *unedited* chapter of The Onyx Talisman!!


“I need some ore,” Phil said with a scrupulous grinbehind his fanned out cards—eyes flirting directly with mine. “Anyone got any?”
Three ore cards mocked me within my undisclosed hand, along with a fewothers. If I traded my ore—which Ireally didn’t need—he might win again. His smug aura told me he pretty much hadthis game in the bag, it was just a matter of time.
“I’ll trade for a brick?” he asked, his sharp caninesrevealed in his smile. No one budged, though I sensed a few were tempted. “Two bricks?”
Katie caved first. “Okay.Here.”
Within moments of the trade,Phil switched out his city for a settlement, pleasure beaming from himlike a strobe light.
“Nice,” Tyler said with atwisted grin.
“Pschtt!” I spewed and nudgedKatie in the arm, pretending to be upset. “Why did you do that?”
“I need a brick and Phil’s sitting on a brick factory over there.” She pointedat the board and shrugged.
True.
Tyler’s turn was next. As Iwatched him palm the dice, my competitive side itched for lady luck to grace methis turn. Normally the rolls I needed came up all the time, but not in this particulargame of Settler of Catan.
Scarlett sat off to the sideand read her worn Tales by EdgarAllen Poe. The fact she enjoyed the stories as much as she did gave me thecreeps. Her mind reading abilities had ousted her from playing any games withus—not that she’d play anyway.
Tyler blew into his partiallyclosed fist. “Come on karma! Papa needs a new set of shoes.” He shot us a coysmile then winked at Katie.
I withheld my comment asKatie giggled. If she got the karma she deserved, she’d lose every game. Quickas a flash, Katie grabbed his hand and kissed his fingers before he could flingthe white cubes. The interruption discombobulated his throw, causing them toskitter from his hands, across the table, and onto the floor. I peeked overTyler’s knee and watched one of the die move of its own accord from a four to afive.
Scarlett coughed. Her icy-blueeyes peered at us momentarily over the binding of her book
“You so cheat,” I accusedPhil, who at the moment looked bewildered.
“I didn’t do it.” Phil heldup his hands—truth rolling off him in huge waves. “This is crap anyway.”
“That was so a four.” I pursed my lips and raiseda brow as guilt billowed out of Katie like a hole in a balloon.
She snickered and waggled hereyebrows. “What?”
“Yeah. No fighting.” Tylerflipped it back to a four and finished his turn.
Katie’s turn was next. Icrossed my fingers for something I could use.
“Eight,” she called out.While she traded out her cards and pieces on the board, I playfully mad-doggedPhil. Our competitive sides quietly bantered with one another through our eyes.My turn was next and I only had one chance to finish him off. Without looking,I kept an eye on Phil and felt for the dice when Katie’s shock and suddenelation sliced right through my psyche.
Her squeal, followed by her inhumanlyfast flit around the table, upset the board onto the floor. Annoyed, I pushedaway from the table and moved over to the couch opposite Scarlett, away fromKatie’s blatant display. Though she rarely won, I wouldn’t indulge her poorsportsmanship with any type of congratulations.
Phil came over and sat nextto me—a little too close, actually. His wonderful natural scent filled my lungsand tempted me to bury my nose in his neck.
“Awww, don’t pout,” hewhispered in his honey golden voice.
A huge part of me wanted tolean over and kiss him right then and there, but I knew his powers ofpersuasion were running at a high level. I fought the temptation and pulled outmy iPhone instead, searching for a text from my missing boyfriend Nicholas—anobsession I couldn’t kick.
“I’m not,” I said defiantly.“If I would have gotten one more turn, I would have won. Katie was lucky.”
“I see.” He touched the tipof my nose then pointed to my touch-screen. “Anything exciting happening at drama-high?”
With a smirk, I put the phoneaway in my pocket. “No. Not today. But that reminds me. My Dad’s out of townthis weekend and—”
“No,” Phil said quickly,flipping from sexy to cold in an instant. “Out of the question. We’ve alreadydiscussed the dangers as a group, not to mention I will not escort you to L.A.without your father’s knowledge. Not after what happened.”
His words sent little pinpricks of pain radiating across my chest. Every day I’d conspired a way to getPhil to take me to L.A to see Nicholas and every time he’d tell me no. Sincethe big showdown four months ago, the only word I’d received to even suggest hewas on the mend was a letter stating he missed me along with some song lyricshe wrote and a reassurance he’d return soon. That was a month ago.
The lyrics lay neatly foldedin my pocket next to my phone. I’d continually read and reread them, lookingfor clues to what he was thinking. But all I could decipher was that separatedships never docked at the same pier at the same time. Was that how he saw ourrelationship? Something that could never really be?
“I can’t keep doing this dayafter day. I have to find out something,” I finally said with clenched teeth.
“I know.” Phil looked at metenderly while he massaged my shoulder, infusing me with his stress-releasingcharm. “Patience, my dear sweet Parker. Patience.”
I sunk into his chest.Whether I liked it or not, Phil did make me feel better. My spirit mended inhis presence and I was beginning to need him—like a drug. I shut down myempathy and closed my eyes so I didn’t have to watch Katie and Tyler snuggledup together on the opposite couch as they started a movie. She of all peopledidn’t deserve the happiness wafting around us and lately my jealousy wasgetting the better of me. I didn’t want to be a love buzz-kill, but theirblatant displays often rubbed raw the longing in my heart.
But, for some reason I alwaysreturned to hang with the Fab Five. Sam, my absent BFF, had all her free timesucked up with Todd, her boyfriend. So, I had no choice but to melt into the coven’sregular routine where my melancholy mood was understood, for the most part.Phil and Katie were our sober vampires, Tyler and I were the inducted humans,and Scarlett was the token den mother—a very motley group. After school, Tylerand I would cruise over and hang out at Nicholas’ abandoned house where Philand Katie hid during the daylight hours.
“Do you have homework?” Philasked while petting my hair.
“Mostly studying for finals,”I murmured. “I also need to finish my History report.”
Phil scoffed. “So glad Inever have to finish high school.”
I nudged him in the side.“Brat.”
After a few minutes and withmuch reluctance, I slid down onto the floor and pulled out my backpack. Myreport wasn’t going to write itself. Phil continued to try to distract me byplaying with my hair, but eventually succumbed to the movie.
I started to read about BetsyRoss, the subject of my report, but my mind drifted. The group didn’t know it,but I’d devised a new plan. Sam and I were going to Disneyland for a few days assoon as school was out for summer. She’d scored tickets from her aunt andduring the trip somehow someway, I’d get to Preston’s house and see Nicholas inperson. I had to. 
I refocused my attention backto Betsy Ross when I felt it. A storm of rage sped towards Nicholas’ house andwhomever the feelings belonged to, they weren’t about to let a door stand intheir way from getting inside. I stood up, eyes glued to the sunlight blockingbarrier as I held my breath, hoping that someone was Nicholas.
“Parker, what’s wrong?” Philasked before Scarlett’s warning screamed in our minds.
“Hide!”
The sudden movement ofvampires escaping the scene launched my notes into the air like confetti, leavingTyler and I alone to deal with whoever was about the come through the door.
Copyright Brenda Pandos 2011