Colors Release Blitz @gabbiesduran @MTWPromotions

Title: Colors
Author: Gabbie S. Duran
Series: The Dragon Knights #2

Genre: Adult, Contemporary Romance
Published: March 21, 2016

Alyssa lives her days hiding from the nightmares of her childhood, fearful of only one thing: being found. She no longer feels pain, for her soul has been numbed by the cruelties she endured.

Chris is empty on the inside, even though he portrays a facade of happiness to the outside world. He attempts to fill the void with women, sex, and music. In his lonely existence, nothing really matters . . . until he meets Alyssa.

When two dark souls collide, can the colors repair their broken souls, or will they surrender to the darkness of their broken pasts?

Copyright © 2016 Gabbie S. Duran
Chris
“What are you doing?”
Ignoring her, I grab the first brush with paint my hands can get a hold of. As if predicting what I had intended to do, she reaches for it, yanking it from my hand. Annoyance fills me when she ruins my plan, so my mind is just as suddenly making a rash decision. Lifting a tube up ready to aim, she just as suddenly retreats, threatening, “Don’t you dare,” as she holds her arms out in an attempt to protect her.
It does nothing to deter my plans of retaliation. I swiftly flick the tube in her direction and squeeze at the same time. The content lands on her chest, earning an echoing gasp as it makes contact.
“There, now we’re even,” I say, slamming the tube back down on the table then begin my steps to retreat from the room. I’ve barely taken two steps when the feel of a wet substance runs down my back.
Whirling to face her, she gloats with an arched brow, holding a can.
Now you have an array of colors to take with you,” she smirks.
“What the hell did you pour on me?”
“Dirty water,” she proclaims before spinning to place the can on the table then tries to march past me. She believes she’s won. However I’m notorious for not allowing myself to be defeated. My arm wraps around her waist and lifts her off the ground, making her yelp in surprise.
“Oh no you don’t,” I tell her, stomping my way over to where the table of paints are at while she protests with shouts to put her down. She’s furious while I’m wickedly laughing at her reaction.
“What color would look good on you?” I ask, gently placing her on the floor to grab two brushes with paint. Lifting one hand, she side steps away as she exclaims,
“Don’t you dare, Chris!” She steps right in to the other already aimed at her face.
Her stupefied reaction makes me laugh, giving her the perfect opportunity to yank one of the brushes from my hand to mimic my earlier motion, smearing paint across my cheek.
“Purple is not your color.” Lowering the brush to dip it into a dab of green paint, I’m already following her movement to dip my own brush back into the red and we both hastily return to poking at each other with the brushes.
Our laughter booms in the room as we chase one another with our brushes. My resentment of how this all started has completely evaporated and is now replaced with cheerful competition as I try to cover Alyssa with as much paint as possible. Unfortunately for her, it’s much more difficult since she has been protectively guarding her paints.
In one swift move, I reach in and manage to grab a tube off the table then open it, ready to squirt it at her. Alyssa holds her hands up in surrender as she declares, “Please, don’t. That tube is a very rare color and hard to find.”
Snorting at what I believe is a ploy, I say, “I’m not buying that shit. You’ll probably use it on me.”
“I swear, I won’t,” she pleads, holding her hands out for me to surrender it.
First to catch my eyes is how labored her breathing has become as she cautiously closes the distance between us and gently takes the tube from my hands, all while explaining, “It’s called glaucous and this particular tube must have been expensive. That’s why I haven’t opened it.”
She walks back to the table, placing it against the far end of the wall. She takes another tube and returns, holding it out for me to take. “You could use this one if you’d like. I don’t care about that color at all and rarely ever use it.”
Taking in the tube she’s given me, it’s the color black.
Gazing down her entire body, she is covered in an array of colors. To add black would be to dim the beauty shining from her.
Shaking my head, I tell her, “You look too pretty to be covered in black.” Her cheeks are completely covered in paint, but there is no denying they are blazing crimson underneath the color.
Feeling as if I’ve exposed enough of myself to her today, I swiftly change the subject. “Please tell me this stuff will come off in the shower,” I say, staring down at the colors already caking on my skin.
She giggles, using her fingers to wipe paint away from my face. “Most of it should, but even if it doesn’t, you needed a little color in your life, remember?”
“That’s what I have you for,” I tell her, completely at a loss as to how rapidly those words came out. Nonetheless, they hold nothing but truth behind them.
She shocks me when she leans forward, kissing me on my lips with the same bashful smile still on her features. I can no longer hold back the restraint I have held with her . . . My heart and mind are screaming in unison not to anymore, and since it’s the first time they’ve ever agreed when it came to a girl . . . this time, I’m going to listen.
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Colors Spotlight

Colors

by G.C. Nichols

Room with Books header

About the Book

Colors_GCNichols_Art_DsnBk1_revisedGypsies bestowed the curse. A sadistic man unleashed its power.

Gioia Vita, at thirty-four, is not living the joyous life her cultural name might suggest. Haunted by an abusive past and tormented by the harsh illustrations of a cynical world she struggles to bury her secrets and find serenity in her life. Plagued by a glitch in her vision, she perceives colors and mystical imagery surrounding people that warn her of their intrinsic nature. With a fear of old world superstitions implanted into her from an early age, Gioia finds herself believing in these enchantments. Especially now, that she is seeing these… colors.

The desire for adventure in her sheltered life prevails when an acquaintance invites her back into the subculture of her rebellious youth. Her vision helps her navigate this tumultuous world few get to experience, the world of one-percenters. An enclave of brothers, bearing colors that reject normal society. She unexpectedly finds the warm colors of family, friends and a new love. Braden Davies restores passion in her heart, but can an outlaw from a chaotic underground culture heal her wounds? First, they must conquer the manipulative adversary that haunts them, unearth long buried family secrets, and learn that sometimes a curse can really be a gift.

 

Colors Promo

Excerpt

from Chapter Sixteen: Resolution

The sun emitted particularly balmy rays that seeped into my exposed skin and warmed me throughout. Like Mom’s chicken soup on a cold day, it flowed through my body to my soul and healed me. The wind cooled my face, knotted my long flowing hair, and created pockets of force between my limbs as it raced against us. We were in flight for the two-hour ride, and my soul appreciated some much needed freedom. Even though my sunglasses kept the bright sun out of my eyes, Braden’s brilliant metallic fire captivated me.

We snuck in small rides every day the fall weather permitted, but this particular Indian summer day was an unexpected gift received along the Merritt Parkway. The almost eighty degree temperature was truly out of the ordinary for the end of October. We were going to an ally club’s Halloween party that evening and decided to extend the trip to northern Connecticut.

There were few times in my life I could remember being this happy. Waking up to Braden’s golden sun almost every morning for the past few weeks surely made this one of them. I felt safe with him, not only because of his gleaming rapture that guaranteed he was pure but also because I could sense it in everything he did. His touch was always gentle, and he never failed to watch over me. In these past few weeks, I grew to know him well and love him entirely.

I was still frightened and questioning everything. What had I done to deserve him in my life? Had I endured enough hardship to finally find a decent man? Our passion was rising to daring heights, and I wanted nothing more than to become one with him, but he always held back, as if making love could risk our bond. Was it only a matter of time before the devil would find me again and take Braden away?

The gypsies continued to invade my dreams and fear of their evil nature consumed me. Luckily, I managed to hide the nightly turmoil from Braden. My brain struggled to comprehend the most recent nightmare. I found myself wandering back to last night’s vision.

“Mom, can we open the presents now? Please!” I begged my mother.

She looked lovingly into my eyes and smiled. “Not yet, Gioia. We have to take care of something very important first.”

I watched as my mother hung bundles of red peppers around the room and wondered what could be more critical than opening presents on Christmas Eve. Why was she decorating now? The Christmas tree lit up the otherwise dark room, and the large nativity set beneath it glowed shimmering white light.

My aunt poured water into a large, ornate ceramic bowl and then waited patiently, holding a small pitcher of greenish oil over it.

“Is Zia Francesca making something special tonight?” I asked, my juvenile mind always hoping for the next treat. Spending Christmas in Italy meant I would be spoiled with gifts and sweets typically unimaginable. It was rare we spent the holidays in Europe and my aunts would cater to my every wish.

“Yes, but probably not what you’re thinking of,” my mother answered, chuckling.

“What do you mean?” My voice turned to a full on whine as I grew impatient.

“Tonight is a holy night and we’re going to utilize the exceptional power we’re offered to say a prayer over you so no evil can ever hurt you. It’s a special gift that Zia Francesca wants to offer you,” my mother explained.

“Ti voglio protegere dal malocchio,” my aunt told me in her native language. I only understood some of the words and looked to my mother for clarification.

“Zia Francesca said she wants to protect you from the evil eye.”

A sudden chill crawled up my spine and I shivered, almost falling off the high stool I sat on. Terror treaded wildly over my skin. Immature thoughts clouded my eight-year old brain allowing my mother’s words to send me into utter panic. Evil? What did I need protection from?

My mother nodded to my aunt as she made her way across the room to stand near us. Zia Francesca slowly drizzled the thick, green oil into the bowl of water.

I counted nine drops carefully placed in the shape of a cross. We all watched quietly as the small, liquid circles spun away from one another, slow at first, then gaining speed until the outline of an eye appeared.

“It’s true. She is cursed,” my mother whispered, tears forming in her eyes.

“What, mom? What’s the matter? What do you mean?” I begged.

“Gioia, pay attention! Just do as I and Zia Francesca do.” My mother commanded, avoiding my wide eyes and panicked tone. She made the sign of the cross in front of me and exclaimed, “Padre, Figlio, Spirito Santo.”

“Dammi la tua mano,” Zia Francesca commanded me to give her my hands. She also began gesturing the sign of the cross over my pale skin.

I could see the outline of the gypsy in my peripheral vision. She stood in the window just beyond the Christmas tree watching us. I refused to make eye contact. My body sat frozen, and terrified from the mysterious ritual my mother and aunt were performing. I would obey my mother until this nightmare ended.

“Father, this prayer is being said for Gioia. I pray it works in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” My mother spoke the words quietly, closing her eyes and lifting her head up toward heaven.

She continued to chant as a gust of wind swept across the tiled floor. It wrapped around me and seeped into my pores forcing tears of panic as I shut my eyes in horror.

“Glory be to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirt, as it was in the beginning is now and forever shall be,” my mother concluded and grabbed my right hand. Zia Francesca already clutched my left in a firm hold.

The warmth of their skin brought on a calm sensation that flowed throughout me. I finally found the courage to face the gruesome hag staring at me through the window. Cavernous wrinkles weighed on the corners of her eyes turning them into slits of darkness. Her voluminous lips curled downward into a scowl only meant to curse. The multiple strands of colorful beads encircling her neck appeared to choke her. The sight of her was hideous and I found myself hissing the word, “Zincara.”

My mother and Zia Francesca jerked their heads toward the window. The gypsies’ outline dissipated into a puff of amethyst smoke, and she was gone.

The bike slowed as we approached our destination, waking me out of my memory. I shook my head trying to free my brain from its’ unnerved state. Realizing my dreams did nothing but bring on paranoia, I decided to chase out the crazy thoughts. Braden’s gentle soul gave me hope to believe in righteousness again, and being with him was the most blissful place in the world. Even if an evil gypsy or the devil came, I would fight. A surge of adrenaline ran through me as I realized that, in the end, no one could keep me away from this love.

 

About the Author

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G.C. Nichols is a Creative Director by day, a graduate of Parsons School of Design, and writer by night. Brought up by parents possessing a strong respect for the arts she was afforded the freedom to pursue and explore her artistic abilities in New York City. Developing interests in writing, fashion, fine art and music led a youthful nature of rebellion to emerge within her.

Placed on a motorcycle for the first time at a very young age paved the way to a passion for riding, and into the intriguing world of motorcycle clubs. The fearless nature and free-thinking ways of this underground culture felt like a natural place for an artist with curiosities to call home.

Growing up as a first-generation Italian American offered G.C. the opportunity to learn about the mystical realm of gypsies and curses, or as she likes to refer to it, Italian witchcraft. Spending summers in Southern Italy allowed her to interact with these mysterious characters first hand, their fiery spirit embedded in her mind forever.

Other than getting lost in the imaginary worlds her mind creates, G.C. enjoys riding, hunting, and fishing, with her husband, family and friends. She is happiest on the wooded acres of serenity they call home in upstate New York, surrounded by a wild array of entertaining pets.

Connect with the Author

Website: http://www.gcnichols.net/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/gc_nichols

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorGCNichols