Thursday, 17 November 2016

BEWITCHING TOURS**REVIEW & GIVEAWAY**: The Demimonde Series By Ash Krafton

Title: Bleeding Hearts
Series:Demimonde Book One
Author: Ash Krafton
Genre: urban fantasy
Publisher: Ash Krafton
Date of Publication: October 13, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-946120-00-7
Number of pages: 380
Cover Artist: Red Fist Fiction
AmazonUS  AmazonUK

Sophie Galen is an advice columnist whose work leaves her neck-deep in other people's problems. Thanks to her compassion, her gut instinct, and her magnetic charm, Sophie really knows how to attract little black clouds.

Marek Thurzo is no little black cloud; he's a maelstrom. Marek is Demivampire, a race with the potential to evolve into vampire. A warrior who's taken his share of spiritual damage, he hovers dangerously close to destruction.

He seeks salvation. She's driven to save him. But what if he can't be saved?

Sympathy for his plight becomes true empathy as Sophie's hidden nature is revealed. Marek suspects she may be one of the Sophia, oracle and redemption of the damned Demivampire. She alone can turn back the evolutionary clock.

All she needs is the courage to face her fears. Can she save him from Falling?

Title:Blood Rush 
Series:Demimonde Book Two
Author: Ash Krafton
Genre: urban fantasy
Publisher: Ash Krafton
Date of Publication: October 13, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-946120-01-4
Number of pages: 376
Cover Artist: Red Fist Fiction

Sophie doesn't believe in happily ever after. These days, she'd settle for alive after sunrise.

Advice columnist and newly-appointed oracle to the demivampire, Sophie Galen has more issues than a Cosmo collection: a new mentor with a mean streak, a werewolf stalker she can't shake, and a relationship with her ex's family that redefines the term complicated. And then there's her ex himself, who is more interested in playing leader of the vampire pack than in his own salvation. 

Becoming a better oracle is tough enough, but when Sophie encounters a deadly enemy - one she never dreamed of facing - it will take everything she's ever learned in order to survive.

Blood Rush: Book Two of the Demimonde
Chapter One

I don't believe in happily ever after. These days, I'd settle for alive until sunrise.

I never thought I'd become a nine-to-fiver. Certainly never thought I'd be too preoccupied to make fun of myself for being one. Sometimes the irony was too great to appreciate. 

While I waited for the elevator to arrive at The Mag's foyer, I smoothed my scarf along the back of my neck and hefted my tote bag a little higher on my shoulder. Every chime increased my trepidation, tightening the fist of anxiety in my chest and the sensation of bees swarming in the top of my stomach. I hated quitting time.

More underappreciated irony. Why not?

People chatted around me but I fidgeted with my zipper, keeping my gaze lowered and my mouth closed. Leaving at five in the afternoon meant more than crammed elevators and crowded buses; it meant the light would fade soon and with it my peace of mind. The autumn wasn't a happy golden foliage time of year for me anymore.

Although it was only early October, already the longer nights and shorter days made me feel nervous and brittle. Bad enough I didn't have a sweetheart to share the long nights but even worse now that I knew what came out when the sun went down. Although I hadn't had any problems with vampires over the last year, the threat never left my mind.

Vampires were out there. It was just a matter of time until I had to deal with them again.

Halfway during our descent, I felt a vibe. It was a mild one but, over the past year, my empathy had become sensitive to the point of being squirrelly. The thin thread of power wound its way around each of the passengers as the Demivampire who owned it checked out who else was in the car. When it reached me, it felt like a poke on the arm. I glanced over my shoulder, catching the eyes of an older dark-eyed woman near the back. 

She sent a tiny pulse of apology-laden power and lowered her eyes. 

I smiled politely and concentrated on tugging my scarf loose. The DV didn't approach me in public where any old human could see. We kept our dealings distant and private. That was the way I preferred.

The door opened and I flowed out with the crowd, sunglasses on and scarf over my hair. I hoped everyone would more or less continue on together today so I could hide in the crowd a bit longer.

Without turning my head, I saw a rail-thin guy, his scruffy head and jeans out of place amongst the exiting office employees. He leaned against the wall, scanning the people emerging from the other elevators. Seemed to have missed me—good. Taking shelter behind a taller woman and her chatty companion, I hustled out the front doors.

Outside, my luck ran out. My camouflaging crowd of co-workers suddenly scattered like roaches when the kitchen light is turned on. I hesitated, taking too long to pick a direction.

It was all he needed to spot me. I looked back through the glass into the foyer of The Mag's building. He was on the move, eyes locked onto me.

I bolted.

Startled faces blurred past as I hurried through the five o'clock exodus, bumping into one man, dodging another, and rounding the corner at a speed unfitting for heeled pumps. Steve Madden would be horrified if he knew what I did in his shoes.

Well, Steve could kill me later. Right now, I was facing a much more immediate threat. 

At the corner, a bus was loading and at this point I didn't care if it was mine or not. An elderly lady with a big shopping bag struggled on the steps and I danced behind her like a first grader with a full bladder. Once she cleared the last step I leapt up, slamming my token into the fare box.

The door closed behind me just as my pursuer caught up. For once I was glad for the driver's rude efficiency. The bus leveled and lurched forward. I grabbed the bar, almost swinging into the laps of the front seat passengers. As we pulled away from the curb, I met the man's stare through the grimy glass of the door.

Rusted-orange eyes with wide pupils. 

Non-people eyes.
Werewolf eyes.

I sank onto an empty seat, heart thumping, gradually slowing. 

Glancing up at the sign over the driver's seat, I realized I'd ended up on the round-about route. Close enough for me. I tugged my necklace out of my shirt and kissed the pendant, my good luck charm, and offered a silent thankful thought to whatever divine powers had saved my behind, yet again.

Reaching into my bag, I pulled out a book of poetry and readied for a long ride home. Ironically, when I'd flipped to a random page, I opened to one of Dylan Thomas's poems.

Do not go gentle into that good night. Rage, rage against the dying of the light.

I had no energy left for rage. All I could muster was a thankful thought because at least today's escape had gone better than most.

A beast of a different sort met me at the door once I got home, but I was prepared for this one. Since moving to my current apartment, Euphrates had become a one-hundred-percent-indoors cat and poor kitty was not coping well.

I squeezed through the narrowly-opened door and blocked his escape with my tote bag. He'd made it out into the hall twice since moving here, which could have caused major fallout. The other apartment on this floor was occupied by a No Pets Allowed vigilante who seemed intent on catching me with the furry goods. Mrs. Petterson already suspected Euphrates wasn't a television and frequently warned me something dire would happen should I dare bring in a dog.

As if. I definitely didn't swing that way.

Luckily, Euphrates wasn't up to any cat acrobatics so my bag was enough to contain him. He accused me with a heavy-lidded glare and a toothy wail that made me pity his near-solitary confinement.

Scooping him up, I dropped my bag on the couch and glanced around with dismay. Stacks of cardboard boxes exaggerated the tight fit of the room. I'd begun to unpack when I moved in three months ago but quickly grew disheartened by the lack of space. If I'd had time when I was planning the move, I could have picked an apartment that was at least big enough to fit the couch. Instead, it sat at a strange angle across one corner of the room. Either that or block the doorway.

I would have gotten a place that allowed pets, too, but I just didn't have the luxury of time to browse through rental listings. Once that Were had discovered my last apartment, I was out of there in four days flat. 

What was the point of unpacking when it didn't feel like home?

Life hadn't been exactly all new-pumps-and-Oreos since my soul mate Marek and I split more than a year ago. Well, more precisely, he split. Demivamps pushed to the brink of evolution tended to do that, since their own society generally wants nothing more to do with them. Evolution is a one-way street, more or less. Nothing can bring a brinking DV back from that terrible edge.

Nothing, except maybe for me. Still, it didn't make me immune to being dumped. Marek had made it crystal clear he didn't want to see me anymore when I tracked him down after the Crap That Almost Killed Me. I was an old fashioned girl, you know? If a guy made love to you one night then tore out your throat and exsanguinated you the next, he should at least call you in the morning.

I sighed and pulled out a stack of mail I'd brought home from the office. Before meeting Marek and the rest of the DV, writing my column was barely enough to justify my gainful employment at The Mag; I usually contributed to other features in order to claim a regular paycheck and benefits. (It shames me to admit the lengths to which I'd go for health insurance.)
Unfortunately, being Sophia for the American Demi-vampire also made writing my advice column a full-time job, since the DV decided it was the perfect way to petition me. Every once in a while, a letter would contain an emotional signature so strong it evoked the Sophia. I couldn't risk having my eyes change color in front of the mail clerk again.

It was almost like face-on petitioning, really. I could simply sort the petitions from the human letters and get on a roll. Once the Sophia responded, the answers flowed smoothly. First drafts were last drafts and, when I included select petitions for print in the column, they were the ones that impressed my editor most. I would then mail the remaining responses off to their respective petitioners.

Sometimes the petition was doubled with a pushy compulsion, a "read mine first" or some other obnoxious request. That sort of thing really bunched up my boy shorts. Of course, I couldn't complain about it at work because no one knew about the Demivampire, much less that I was their spiritual guardian. Hence, all the off-the-clock work.

Give Until It Hurts Sophie, that's me.

Flipping through the mail, I breathed a tiny sigh of relief. None of the envelopes triggered a compulsion so I figured there was probably nothing I couldn't handle today.

I sliced open the envelopes and began to sort the letters into piles. 

Column, column, petition. 

The petitions were easy to spot even to someone who couldn't sense DV power; each was addressed Dear Sophia and signed with a real name, not a witty pseudonym. I had a growing number of regulars who made me think I ought to start charging them. 

Column, petition, column, Rodrian.

I blinked, trying to focus my eyes and dispel my surprise, recognizing the handwriting on the envelope at once. Rodrian Thurzo preferred writing to typing and he had a real thing for fountain pens.

Yep, that Rodrian. Marek's brother.

When I pulled out the letter, the power signature tripped a switch in my brain, triggering my Sophia. My eyes changed so fast I swore I could feel them flow from brown to oracular blue. 

I had to sit down before I fell over and felt behind me for an afghan to wrap around my shoulders. The chills were so intense I thought my teeth would chatter.

Damn that Rodrian.

Once my Sophia settled, I unfolded the letter and read it. The letter contained a brief request to meet him at his Tenth Street office. Some sort of business proposition. I couldn't imagine what business he could possibly have with me. 

I especially couldn't imagine what was so important that he'd send enough power to turn my intestines into balloon animals. I came this close to throwing up on Fraidy. I'm sure the cat would have loved that.

So. Business with Rodrian. Now the question remained: would I go?

Title: Wolf's Bane
Series: Demimonde Book Three 
Author: Ash Krafton
Genre: urban fantasy
Publisher: Ash Krafton
Date of Publication: October 13, 2016
ISBN: 978-1-946120-02-1
Number of pages: 388
Cover Artist: Red Fist Fiction

Since becoming oracle to the demivampire two years ago, advice columnist Sophie has battled werewolves and survived a vampire attack (or two). However, not only was she powerless to save her lover Marek when he slipped to the brink of evolution, she also witnessed his transformation into a falcon, the symbol of Horus United. 

Sophie’s quest to save Marek is further complicated when rock star Dierk Adeluf – who also happens to be the king of the Werekind – invites her backstage after a concert. Just when it seems she will find respite from heartache, Sophie is bitten by a werewolf and Dierk decides she is destined to be his queen. 

Sophie is caught between the demivamps she loves and the Were who commands her to love him. Throw in his jealous wanna-be girlfriend—a true bitch if ever there was one—and an ambush by witches, and there you have the big mess that Sophie calls her life. And, hello? Her soul mate is still a bird.

$25 Amazon gift card and eCopy of Bleeding Hearts (Demimonde #1) in winner's choice of format (Kindle, Paperback, or Audiobook)

Ash Krafton writes because if she doesn't, her kids will…and NOBODY wants that. A speculative fiction girl through and through, Ash writes paranormal romance and urban fantasy novels as well as poetry and short fiction. Her work has won a bunch of awards and was even nominated for a Pushcart Prize. When she's not writing, she's practicing Tai Chi, listening to loud rock and metal, or crushing on supervillains.

Most recently, she's re-released her urban fantasy trilogy THE BOOKS OF THE DEMIMONDE because she never really left the world of Sophie and her Demivamps.

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