Wednesday, January 24, 2024

The Nite Fire Series Tour and Giveaway

 


Murder, mystery, mayhem - and dragons!

Flash Point

Nite Fire Book 1

by C.L. Schneider

Genre: Urban Fantasy, Supernatural Thriller, Paranormal Mystery 

What if the legends are true? What if monsters are real? What if there are worlds beyond our own?

Slated for execution, shapeshifting assassin, Dahlia Nite, flees her world to hide in the human realm. As payment for the shelter they unknowingly provide, Dahlia dedicates herself to protecting humans from what truly lives in the shadows. Moving from town to town, she hunts the creatures that threaten an unsuspecting human race; burying the truth that could destroy them all.

But the shadows are shifting. The lies are adding up. And when Sentinel City is threatened by a series of bizarre brutal murders, light is shed on what should never be seen. The secrets that have kept humanity in the dark for centuries are in danger of being exposed.

Wrestling with a lifetime of her own deceptions, Dahlia investigates the killings while simultaneously working to conceal their circumstances. But with each new murder, the little bit of peace she has found in this world begins to crumble. Each new clue leads her to the one place she thought to never go again. Home.

Flash Point is the award-winning first book in the Nite Fire Series, an immersive mashup of urban fantasy and murder mystery—with shapeshifters, dragons, and parallel worlds.


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Fire dripped like rain from my scaled fingers. Gliding past my jean-covered thighs, then boots, the flaming beads breached the puddle beside me with a hiss. A last stubborn burst of light flared brightly, illuminating the red pool for a breath before it sputtered out.

The pattern repeated: drip, flare, hiss, sputter…drip, flare, hiss, sputter, as I stood in the abandoned train depot, counting the circles of blood overrunning the pockmarks on the fractured concrete floor. Each bloody puddle corresponded to a body hanging upside down from the rafters above my head.

Thick ropes bound their ankles. Their flaccid arms dangled toward me, as if reaching down in hopeless supplication. But their death throe pleas were illusion. The six had died long before they were dragged in, stripped of their clothing and skin, and hung like a side of beef in a slaughterhouse. If they’d died here, I would have felt an imprint of their trauma on the room. Instead, all I sensed was their ripe stench drifting with the breeze as it blew in through the rotted holes in the ceiling.

“Looks like a full hunt.” I glanced up with a frown as moisture landed on my head. The color got lost in the red of my hair as the blood slid down into the curls. “And you’re fresh. Dammit…” I stepped to the left, dodging another drop escaping from the corpse overhead. I waited to see if it would be enough, if one little bead would trigger a flood, ambushing me with the images and emotions of the victim’s last moments.

Not now, I thought. The last thing I needed was an unsolicited, untimely death-glimpse. Experiencing the terror of being skinned alive would definitely lower my guard.

Trying to stave it off, I busied my mind. I studied the dilapidated building, the architecture, and the faded peeling murals gracing the wide walls. I thought back to when it had all looked fresh and new. Opening day, the ticket counters had been bustling, handing out adventure and opportunity with every ticket. So many lives had passed through the front door. All that came through now were the rats.

And the monsters.

Sensing no extraneous rush of emotions, I went back to rooting out my prey. “Guess that means you’re ready to pack up and head home.” I raised my voice higher. “Except you can’t yet, can you? You’re stuck for now. You’re ineffective. Vulnerable.” 

Just the way I like it.

Moving deeper into the vacant building, swarms of buzzing flies scattered at my intrusion. My low-heeled boots clicked softly on the wooden planks covering a broken section of floor. My steps were leisurely. It was a nice change, not having to run. The creature was in no shape for such dexterous moves. It wouldn’t be for hours. Hiding was another matter. Sentinel City’s original depot had been vacated long ago in favor of a bright, shiny new building on the other end of the train yard. Here, amid the debris of a forgotten time, were cracks and crevices, and lots of shadows.

“You can’t leave this world until you digest,” I said, keeping my voice loud. “Until your pathetically slow stomach consumes all that delicious human skin you’ve been gorging on.”

Getting no response, I pushed crimson scales out over more of my body. They ran like water beneath my black halter, affording extra protection to my upper half. As they reached my face, I shifted my eyes. Sockets enlarged. Pupils widened and elongated. Their reddish hazel-brown color deepened to warm amber, and my vision amplified. Sweeping the room, I peered into nooks and crannies, studying the fallen beams, broken signs, piles of busted chairs and rows of dusty benches; fallen light fixtures and detached stair railings barely hanging on by a thread.

“You should’ve added some brains to your diet,” I said, scanning for movement as I walked. “Maybe they would have made you smarter. Because I’ve already warned you once—this isn’t a buffet,” I said with force. “There are no free refills here. No ‘all you can eat’ night. The human world is off limits to the del-yun. It’s off limits to everyone.”

His voice came out of the dark, scratchy and dry like sandpaper on a chalkboard. “You have no right. No authority to enforce the elders’ rules. You no longer hold position in the dragon ranks, pretty shifter. The Guild tossed you out so very, very long ago.”

“Ninety-seven years, two months, and three days. But who’s counting?” Bristling, I tossed back my hair. “And they didn’t fire me. I quit.”

“You ran, like those cowardly small ones with the perfect skin…so soft and supple.”

Understanding him, I frowned. “Children?”

“Yes, you fled like a child.” His laugh was stilted and wobbly. “And now you’re a maid.”

“I prefer the term contract cleaner. Scrubbing away those stubborn off-world assholes is my specialty. How about I give you a free demo?” I lifted my hand. Fire dribbled down the side.

“You can’t blame me for this! The human world is so beautifully curious, so dangerous. It’s why all the other worlds are drawn here. It’s why we watch. Why we learn to speak their sounds.”

“Why you eat them?”

“No. We eat them because they’re tasty. And their skin comes in so many varieties. It’s not our fault they can’t live without it. It’s a…structural flaw.”




Chain Reaction

Nite Fire Book 2

Murder, mystery, mayhem, dragons--and mutants!

If anyone can tell the difference between monsters and humans, it's Dahlia Nite. For nearly a century, she's hunted one to protect the other; safeguarding humanity from the creatures that slip through the torn veil between the worlds--creatures like her. But the lines are blurring. As people begin mutating and combusting on the streets, Dahlia realizes a strange affliction has descended upon Sentinel City. The mysterious ailment strikes all walks of life, from the posh, high-end nightclub district to the homeless community. Its victims, driven to random acts of savagery, are drawing attention too fast to cover up.

Assigned to the case, Dahlia and her human partner, Detective Alex Creed, investigate the deaths. But all they have are questions and bodies, and a public on the verge of panic. Working behind the scenes with her self-appointed sidekick, Casey Evans, Dahlia struggles to discover what, or who, is behind the alarming transformations. As the violence spreads and the mystery unfolds, she wonders: are the victims still human? Were they ever?


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Smoke & Mirrors

Nite Fire Book 3

She knows monsters are real because she is one. But how long can she hide the truth?

Secrets are a dragon's best friend. Deception is a close second. Both provide a sturdy armor, allowing half-dragon shapeshifter, Dahlia Nite, to live undetected among the humans. Walking in two worlds, belonging in neither, she wraps herself in a shroud of lies to hide in plain sight. But nothing stays hidden forever.

When dismembered bodies of multiple species are dumped on the riverbank, the case falls to Dahlia and Detective Alex Creed. Backed by Sentinel City's new task force, the pair find themselves urged along by clues that seem too good to be true. Bouncing from one crime scene to the next, they hunt for a clear motive in a murky sea of conflicting evidence. Already on edge from the recent string of unexplained crimes, the city begins to unravel.

Drowning in missing creatures, slaughtered remains, masked men--and the search for her sidekick's missing sister--Dahlia burns the candle at both ends. Seeking answers, she employs her empathic abilities, and uncovers something deeper and more sinister than a simple serial killer's web. As the dots connect, and worlds collide, she struggles to shields her friends from the truth. But secrets can be deadly. And Dahlia's not the only one who keeps them.


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Slash & Burn

Nite Fire Book 4 

Time is running out. Change is coming, and the linked worlds will never be the same.

Surviving her ordeal on Drimera was only the beginning. Forced to pick up the remains of her life and move on, Dahlia returns to her vigilante ways: hunting monsters by the cover of darkness. Backed by a new team, she vows to keep the streets safe while training to harness the eye's abilities. But the city has become a time bomb, and every day the clock ticks faster--as the creatures pour in and the blight spreads. Dahlia worries she will never be enough to stop the impending destruction. How can she be the answer to saving them all?

Already stretched thin, Dahlia shies away from investigating the Sentinel's latest murder spree. But the victims' identities confound her. And the fragile thread tying the postmortem mutilations to Ella Chandler is impossible to ignore. Compelled to unravel the truth, what she uncovers only deepens the mystery. Who engineered the sinister plot? Why does everything lead back to that first case--the one that brought Dahlia out of the shadows and into the light?

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Exit Strategy

Nite Fire Book 5

All good things come to an end. Not if she can help it.

The life Dahlia built in Sentinel City is over, shattered by betrayal and crushed beneath the rubble of a world she’s come to love. But, in the apocalypse, grief is a luxury none can afford. Least of all, the scaled vigilante fighting to protect them.

With half her team MIA, creatures rampaging the streets, and humanity facing destruction, Dahlia struggles to put out more fires than one shapeshifter can handle. All the while, the damaged veil between the worlds is eroding faster. Exits are multiplying, giving the blight free reign to devour all in its path. Relishing in the chaos: the mad scientist bent on seizing Earth for his own devious plan.

In a race against time, Dahlia must find a way to save what remains of this tragic new reality—before the Renewal extinguishes all life on the linked worlds. The dragon inside her is done sitting quietly in the background.

Exit Strategy is the 5th and final book in the Nite Fire Series.


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Born in a small Kansas town on the Missouri river, C.L. Schneider grew up in a house of avid readers and overflowing bookshelves. Her first full-length novel took shape while she was still in high school, on a typewriter in her parent's living room. Though Schneider has been writing all of her life, Magic-Price (the award-winning first installment in The Crown of Stones Trilogy) was her first published novel.

While her main focus is epic and urban fantasy for adults, she dabbles in all areas of speculative fiction. Her stories tend to be dark, conflict-laden tales full of magic and mystery, action and intrigue, antiheroes and villains, monsters and myths, friendship, love, loss and sacrifice—with enough twists to give you whiplash.

Learn more about C.L. Schneider, and the magical worlds she creates, at clschneiderauthor.com, where you can read reviews, excerpts, sneak peeks and teasers, subscribe to her newsletter, and join her Street Team. An active part of the online indie author community, you can connect with her on social media, or visit the News and Events page on her website for a full list of C.L. Schneider's in-person appearances in the NY, NJ, and CT area.


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Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Signed Paperback of Flash Point,

$20 Amazon giftcard

- 1 winner each! 

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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