EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY
Strange Magic: Part One
(Magic Book 1)
(Magic Book 1)
by Michelle Mankin
Strange Magic is the first volume of Michelle Mankin's Magic series. It currently consists of Strange Magic: Part One (ON SALE for $0.99) and Strange Magic: Part Two (NEW RELEASE). Still to come: Dream Magic and Twisted Magic.
Billy Blade is a hardworking, hard living, razor sharp musical force. Mysterious behind his dark shades, the rough around the edges Texan mesmerizes with his haunting harmonica and tantalizes with his dangerous looks and smooth country charm. His latest album is topping the charts. He’s the newly crowned King of the Bacchus Krewe. He’s definitely living the rock star dream.
Exotic Creole beauty Thyme Bellerose couldn’t be more content. She has it all. An adoring grandmother. A handsome Tulane medical student beau. A satisfying job in the heart of New Orleans’ French Quarter. Her life is as rich as the ice cream she creates. She’s got everything under control.
But control is an illusion. Dreams can turn into nightmares. And now during Mardi Gras, otherworldly powers stand ready to shape their destinies in ways they could never imagine.
Shadow and light. Magic and mystery. Reality and myth. All come together in a place where rules bend and lines blur. Even those between life and death.
I quickly grabbed a pillow and covered my lap while Arla Gautreaux rolled his eyes to the ceiling as if searching for the patience he required within the recessed lighting of the tour bus.
Access to my dick denied to her, the brunette kneeling on the floor between my spread legs rocked back on her spiked heels. She wasn’t wearing anything else. Neither was the other brunette on the bed next to me, but she wasn’t as bold as her companion and pulled the rumpled silk sheet in front of her too big to be real breasts. The entire scene too familiar to be shocking to him anymore, my manager continued to voice his displeasure peppering the air with Cajun curses strong enough to make my eyes water.
“Next time maybe try knocking,” I mouthed lamely. It wasn’t much of a defense. He had it right when he called me a hot mess. I was a pedal to the floor, picking up major momentum, barreling headlong down a predictable path to its natural dead end disaster.
“I’ll start asking your permission to enter,” Arla tapped his watch and jerked his chin over his shoulder to emphasize his point, “when you start taking your commitments seriously, no? You forget you have a show tonight, Billy?”
I shook my head. Of course, I hadn’t. “Excuse me, darlin’.” I tossed the pillow aside and moved Brunette One out of the way so I could yank up the Rock 47 jeans from around my ankles. She and her eager friend might have told me their names at sound check before they offered me their services as a two for one deal, but I’d be damned if I could remember either one. In fact, I was already regretting taking them up on it.
“I gotta go. Playtime’s over,” I announced gruffly despising the weakness that made me screw up everything in my life.
Untamable strands of dark blond slid forward effectively shielding my eyes from my manager’s condemnation as I carefully tucked my dick back inside, buttoned my fly and re-buckled my Nocona belt.
“If you wanna keep your fans and tour sponsors you need to stop pulling stunts like this, podna.” Arla dished out the well-deserved verbal lashing ignoring the brunettes as they sifted through drifts of empty liquor bottles and six months of accumulated tour clutter for their discarded clothing.
“You’re right, Arla. I screwed up. I know.” I swiveled at the waist snagging my favorite wadded up black Fender t-shirt from where it lay on the bed behind me. Bunching the soft cotton between my fingers, I punched my head through the frayed collar. Before I could get my arms into the sleeves, one of the white gold bands from the silver chain I wore around my neck got caught on a loose thread. Guilt burned inside my gut as I paused to untangle it.
“I hope so, Blade.” Arla slammed me with a censuring gaze the moment I looked up, his dark scowl eradicating the trio of laugh lines that usually framed his muddy brown eyes. “I surely do hope so, but lately it doan seem like anything I say gets through to you.” Arla’s lazy way of drawing out his words and stressing the last syllable came from time spent deep down in the Louisiana swamp and was even more noticeable than my south Texas twang.
Arla’s disappointment stung. I didn’t really care what most people thought about me, but he was a loyal friend, one of the few who had stuck by me when everyone else had written me off as a lost cause. For nearly a year I had taken a sabbatical from everything, holing up in the old tool shed behind my parents’ house, drowning my sorrow in alcohol. The only breaks in the monotony were the regular visits from the one man who had refused to give up on me. If not for his stubborn persistence, I’d probably still be languishing within the ramshackle confines of my self-imposed exile.
Walkie talkie sputter crackling in his hand, Arla made a rolling gesture with the other. I knew the drill. Best get moving. Arla wasn’t some label lackey that I could brush off or push around. We’d been together too many years for that, since the very beginning of my career when I had been seventeen and winning the Professional Bull Riding world championship had been my goal. Singing had just been more of an afterthought, something I did to impress the chicks. Pathetic now that I thought about it, how my pickup technique hadn’t changed in all this time.
Anyway, Arla had convinced me to hang up the spurs, placed a guitar in my hands and insisted I learn to play. He had showed me the basics of songwriting, and not long after I got the knack of it he had negotiated my first record deal. The latest one with Black Cat Records was his doing as well.
“Blade, take us backstage with you,” Brunette One whined blocking my exit, a pile of clothes in her arms, but still as naked as the day she’d been born. Brunette Two in her bra and jeans hovered beside her friend chewing disinterestedly on a raggedy red thumbnail.
“No can do, darlin’.” I stepped around her snagging sunglasses from the shelf and lifting my black Stetson off its stand. I raked back the thick layers of my hair to get them out of my eyes before shoving the hat down on my head. “We leave for Houston directly after the show tonight.” I slid on the dark aviator shades I always wore on stage, dismissing her, but more importantly shielding my glacier blue eyes from Arla’s scrutiny.
He barked an order to event security on his handheld before addressing my companions. “Ladies, you’ve got two minutes to get dressed and get off the bus. I’m sending someone back here in case you need some encouragement.” He turned and made his way down the center aisle past the sleeping bunks to the front lounge without pausing to look over his shoulder to see if I followed. He didn’t need to. I might be on the slow road to ruin but I didn’t have a death wish.
My three man security detail and my personal assistant, Lorraine, fell into place around us as soon as we stepped onto the pavement. As a unit we set off across the gated lot where all the buses were parked. The steady roar of the outdoor crowd grew louder as we approached the scaffolding of the stage but I knew it would be even crazier once I stepped out in front of them.
Praise for the Book
"I was riveted by this storyline and the way it caught my attention. I honestly didn't know what to expect and was happily surprised that anything even remotely paranormal could captivate me this much. The author continues to step up her game and write stories with heart that you can't but help fall in love with each and everytime. She pays attention to detail and you feel as much a part of the story as the main characters. The wait for book 2 won't be long thank goodness ... here in February just in time for Mardi Gras." ~ mjlovestoread
"The writing in the book was top notch, as I've come to look forward to with Author Michelle Mankin. She is exceedingly ingenious in her field! Her characters are always so well developed, as they are in this book as well. Seriously people, even if you aren't a regular PNR fan, give Strange Magic a try. Even if it's not 'your thing', you won't walk away unimpressed. I can't wait for Part 2 and I've never said anything like that about a PRN read before!" ~ Samantha Kurtz, Sammy's Book Obsession
"Great story, great characters, great setting. Michelle has rocked it again, and part two is just around the corner, so read this now to be ready when it comes." ~ Amazon customer
"No one is what they seem and things get a little out of control- in the middle of Hurricane Katrina no less! And that ending - ugh! I need the next book now! I won't say any more so you can experience the story for yourself, but if you love a great paranormal read grab a copy of Strange Magic." ~ Kim U
"Love, Love, Love this book!! The characters are great! I loved who they were and what they stood for. New Orleans ... I could see every place just like I was there. And the locker room scene ... WOW ... OMG ... that was HOT!! The story was so great that I didn't want it to end. So happy that it's coming out right at Mardi Gras time. Simply obsessed!" ~ VICKY MILLER
About the Author
Michelle Mankin is the Amazon bestselling author of the Black Cat Records series of novels. Romance with subtext. Reimagining classic stories with sexy rock stars and thought provoking issues.
For many years she worked in the insurance industry as an underwriter. Somehow, the boredom didn't kill her but the hours and hours of looking at facts and figures provided ample time for her mind to wander.
Love Evolution, Love Revolution, and Love Resolution are a Brutal Strength centered trilogy, combining the plot underpinnings of Shakespeare with the drama, excitement, and indisputable sexiness of the rock 'n roll industry.
Things take a bit of an edgier, once-upon-a-time turn with the Tempest series. These pierced, tatted, and troubled Seattle rockers are young and on the cusp of making it big, but with serious obstacles to overcome that may prevent them from ever getting there.
Rock stars, myths, and legends collide with paranormal romance in a totally mesmerizing way in the Magic series.
When Michelle is not prowling the streets of her Texas town listening to her rock music much too loud, she is putting her daydreams down on paper or traveling the world with her family and friends, sometimes for real, and sometimes just for pretend as she takes the children to school and back.
Enter the giveaway for a chance to win an ebook copy of Strange Magic: Part One by Michelle Mankin. The prize will be sent out after 2 March.