November 26, 2012

River's Recruit Charm Bracelet (Giveaway)

First of all, I want to thank everyone that purchased a copy of River's Recruit. The response was amazing! It took Enchantment months to reach this milestone. I wish I could hug every single one of you! I'm also grateful for the positive reviews on Amazon and Goodreads. I am overwhelmed with gratitude. Seriously. I can't stop grinning!

Anyway... I thought y'all might like to see the River's Recruit charm bracelet I'm giving away. For details, scroll down and read my previous post. 

Everything on the bracelet represents something from the book. I'm especially proud of the mini-tags spelling "River" since I stamped them myself (without smashing any fingers ;-) but my favorite charm is the miniature book cover I purchased from "The Bookswag Shop." The photo doesn't do it justice.

The wolf, horse, dove, apple, dog tag and arrowhead are obvious symbols. The amethyst chips and clear crystals are slightly more subtle. Anyone care to guess what they represent?

To enter the drawing, leave a comment here (or on the previous post). And if jewelry isn't your thing, the winner may choose a signed paperback copy of River's Recruit instead.

Sorry this is such a short post, but I need to get back to work on Finding Valor. Channie, Josh and Hunter are a bit jealous of all the attention River and Jonathan are getting.

November 13, 2012

"Call of Duty" Means No Call for Booty: Time for a Hot New Book Boyfriend

The release of Call of Duty Black Ops 2 coincides with the release of River's Recruit. Perfect timing in my opinion. Almost as good as Super Bowl Sunday. When men turn into video game or football zombies, there's always a bump in book sales. I write paranormal romance, so that's what I'm going on. There's probably an equally dramatic slump in the so-called "men's genres."

You’d think this was my first book…I’m so freakin’ excited! The Sanctuary Series has a very special place in my heart. River’s Recruit evolved from my first “real” novel. But it’s a very different (and much better) book after beta reader input, editor suggestions and too many full rewrites to count.

ANYWAY... I'm inviting y'all to enjoy a romantic evening with my current book boyfriend, Jonathan McKnight. He's a tenderhearted alpha male that answered his own call of duty. And paid for it dearly. 

Here's the hottie that inspired him...

And here's what a few beta readers had to say about Jonathan and his story... 

“I felt Jonathan's desperation right down into my bones and was crying right along with him. This story reached out and grabbed me, and didn't let me go until the very end. Charlotte Abel is on the top ten of my favorite authors list and her books are on my keeper shelf so that I can go back to her wonderful worlds that she creates as much as I want to! It doesn't get better than that!”—Jen Berg

“This is by far the best book Charlotte Abel has ever written, loved the plot, simply amazing”—Karla Caldaza

 “Great characters, romance, intrigue and plot twists. What more could you ask for?”—Christina Harris

Leave a comment to be entered into a contest to win a book-themed charm bracelet or a signed paperback of River's Recruit. If you can't wait for a drawing, you can get the Kindle copy of  River's Recruit on Amazon. 

WARNING: River's Recruit is a "New Adult Paranormal Romance" so it's a bit edgier than YA novels like Enchantment and Taken. If you're under sixteen or offended by swearing or sexual situations. Then don't buy it! Or read the following excerpt. 

This takes place before Jonathan leaves for boot camp, so it's before he meets River.

The back seat of the Mustang wasn’t exactly ideal for a couple of virgins. Things were awkward enough without the added challenge of trying to seal the deal in such a small space. That’s why Jonathan decided to take Carrie out to his family’s abandoned gold mine for a private tour. Dad was thinking of reopening the mine so he’d had it inspected. The first twenty feet was solid rock. It’d take a major earthquake to bring it down. They’d stay in the entrance, just deep enough to block the wind. The prospect of getting laid should be enough to keep Jonathan’s claustrophobia under control. It wasn’t the most romantic place, but it was private.

Jonathan would have sprung for a hotel room, but that would have been too obvious. Carrie liked to pretend that every bit of progress in their physical relationship was an accident. If she wanted to claim that they’d been swept away by passion and that neither of them had planned for it to happen, well, who was he to argue? He patted his back pocket to be sure the condoms were still there then grabbed the sleeping bag out of the trunk.

Carrie arched her eyebrows. “What’s that for?”

“To sit on. The ground inside the mine is really cold.” Okay, that was lame, but Carrie didn’t call him on it. She didn’t object when he led her inside the mine and unrolled the sleeping bag. She even grinned at him when he kicked off his Tony Lamas and crawled inside. Things were looking good. Jonathan unzipped it a little further and lifted the corner. “Wanna snuggle?”

Carrie giggled, stepped out of her dainty, little shoes and slid in next to him. He knew the drill. He had to kiss her and rub her back for at least five minutes before she’d let him unbutton her shirt. So far, so good. He fumbled around with her bra for another couple of minutes before realizing it was one of those Victoria’s Secret contraptions that fastened in the front. But how did it fasten? It wasn’t a hook. Should he ask her to help him out or just keep pawing at it?

“Jonathan, stop.” Carrie grabbed his wrist and moved his hand to her shoulder. But then she scooted closer, accidentally-on-purpose brushing against him.

Jonathan gritted his teeth and rolled onto his back. Carrie was driving him crazy. Her mouth said ‘stop’ but the rest of her was saying ‘go, go, go.’ It didn’t matter. He never ignored a girl’s request to stop.

Carrie nuzzled his neck and whispered, “You don’t have to stop everything. Kiss me.”

 Jonathan hated this game. They’d been playing it forever during their on-again-off-again relationship. “I’m leaving for Camp Pendleton tomorrow. This is our last chance.”

“Don’t say that.” Carrie’s voice wavered.

Jonathan hadn’t meant to imply that he wasn’t coming back at all; but he might as well roll with it. “I don’t want to go to war without knowing what it’s like to be as close as two people can be.”

Carrie grabbed his face and crushed her lips against his, bumping teeth. She thrust her tongue into his mouth and groaned.

Ugh. Her TicTac must have dissolved. Jonathan didn’t want to ruin the moment by offering her another one, but jeeze…who orders roasted garlic on a date? He pulled his mouth from hers and nibbled his way down her throat.

Carrie froze. Her entire body stiffened beneath Jonathan’s. What now? He hadn’t even unhooked her bra yet.

She pushed him off and sat up. “Did you hear that?”

“Hear what?” He trailed his fingers up her spine onto her shoulders and tried to guide her back into his arms.

She grabbed her blouse and clutched it to her chest.

Great. It had taken him thirty minutes to get the damn thing off of her. If she put it back on, he might as well give up and go home.

Something growled.

The sound came from deep inside the mine. Okay, maybe this wasn’t such a good idea after all. Jonathan slid out of the sleeping bag and fumbled around in the dark for his flashlight.

He directed the beam into the tunnel. The hair on the back of his neck stood on end. Is that a wolf? The animal was freaking huge; black with a diamond shaped patch of white fur between its glowing, blue eyes. Blue? Didn’t wolves have yellow eyes?

Carrie whimpered and clung to Jonathan’s arm, jiggling the flashlight.

Jonathan lowered his voice to a whisper. “Move slowly and go get in the car.”

“I’m scared.”

“I can’t protect you if you don’t let go.” Jonathan kept his voice low and spoke slowly. “Just back up nice and easy and walk to the car.”

Carrie finally let go then turned and ran out of the mine, shrieking like a banshee.

Jonathan snatched a rock off the ground expecting the wolf to give chase. It didn’t. It bared its teeth and growled at Jonathan.

“Oh, you want a piece of me, do you? Well, come and get it.”

The wolf crept closer, growling and snapping its teeth. Jonathan aimed at the diamond patch between its eyes and hurled the rock.

The wolf yelped then collapsed on the ground.

Jonathan backed out of the mine then turned and walked to the car, fighting the urge to run as he watched over his shoulder.

He was almost there when the wolf staggered out of the entrance. Moonlight glinted off its sleek, black fur. Foam dripped off its canine teeth. Was the animal rabid, or just pissed?

Jonathan grabbed the door handle and gave it a yank, but only managed to rock the car. Are you kidding me? He pounded on the hood. “Carrie, unlock the door!”

The wolf crept closer.

Jonathan peeked in the window and found Carrie curled up in a ball with her hands over her face. He picked up another rock.

The wolf looked over its shoulder into the mine then turned and bolted into the forest.

Jonathan dropped the rock and knocked on the window. “It’s okay. The wolf’s gone.”

Carrie finally popped the lock.

Jonathan slid behind the wheel. “Why’d you lock the doors?”

“I was scared.”

“Of what?” Jonathan couldn’t believe she was that stupid. “Wolves don’t have opposable thumbs. It wasn’t going to open the door and climb in next to you.”

“I’m sorry.” Carrie turned on the water works. Her shoulders shook as she sobbed.

Jonathan pulled her close and pressed her head against his shoulder. He hated it when girls cried. “It’s okay. We’re both safe.”

Carrie fisted his shirt in her hands and clung to him.

Maybe the night wasn’t a total bust after all. Nothing could jump start a make-out session better than the fear of dying.

“You wanna get in the back?”

Carrie sniffed and nodded her head. “Can you get my shoes? I left them in the mine.”

“Can’t we get them later? There might be more wolves in there. They travel in packs.”

“Those are Coach shoes. I just bought them yesterday.”

“Fine.” He might as well grab his own boots and sleeping bag while he was at it. “But this time, don’t lock the door.”

Jonathan picked up another rock, just in case, and headed toward the mine. An earth-shaking blast knocked him to the ground. He covered his head as dirt, splintered wood and small rocks rained down on him.

What the hell? Was that a bomb? So much for getting laid.

So...what do you think? Leave a comment and let me know if you want to participate in the drawing. 

October 11, 2012

A little bit of Hunter anyone?

Well, I am very excited to announce that I have two stories published in a brand new Paranormal Romance Anthology: Midnight Surrender. I've included a story with Channie and Hunter that is kind of a prequel to Enchantment. And, I'm introducing you to some brand new characters, Jonathan and Franklin. They're the twins in my new book, River's Recruit.

You can pick up a copy for FREE at Smashwords:
or for $2.99 at Amazon:

(If you go to Amazon, don't be afraid to "report a lower price" so they might try to match it ;-)

Here is an excerpt from The Gathering:

Channie wished she’d thought this through a little better and thrown a pair of jeans on under her gown or at least brushed the tangles out of her hair. She combed her fingers through the worst of it as she walked towards the privy. When she was certain Momma couldn’t see her, Channie gathered the loose fabric of her gown into her arms and left the path.
Bluestem grass, heavy with dew, tickled the backs of her knees. A mosquito buzzed past her ear. Channie swatted at it then cast a bug-be-gone spell on herself. She should’ve done that before ever stepping outside. Hopefully, the chiggers weren’t out yet. Channie’s legs itched just thinking about it.
When she found Hunter leaning against the sycamore tree, one bare foot propped against the trunk, Channie’s stomach muscles tightened. And it had nothing to do with dried apricots.
Hunter’d grown since the last time she’d seen him. A lot. His shoulders were broader too.
Channie wanted to ask him how he’d learned to bounce across a protection spell on his shield; but he was cocky enough without her acting all googley-eyed.
She let go of her gown and jammed her fists on her hips, trying her best to look annoyed instead of impressed. “What’s so important it couldn’t wait ‘till morning?”
“What happened?” Hunter pushed away from the tree and traced the bruise on Channie’s forehead.
Startled by the tenderness of his touch, Channie turned her head. “It’s nothing. Just a bruise.”
“I thought you were apprenticed to Ms. Wisdom. How come you didn’t heal it?”
“I’m not allowed to use healing magic until I pass my herbology exams.”
“You better get someone to heal it for you soon or it’ll leave a scar.”
This time, when Hunter touched her, Channie held perfectly still. She didn’t even breathe.
He brushed his fingertips across her brow and tucked a strand of hair behind her ear. “Are you gonna be at Spring Gathering?”
Channie nodded.
Hunter edged closer. He trailed the back of his fingers down Channie’s jaw, leaving behind a path of fire and goosebumps.
Channie’s pulse thundered behind her ears as Hunter leaned in. He whispered her name — her real name. “Enchantment.”
She gasped and jerked away from Hunter when she realized her power-name was influencing him. She pulled her magic back inside her body and hoped he hadn’t noticed.
Hunter blinked and shook his head, as if coming out of a trance. He rocked back on his heels and jammed his fists in his pockets.
Most of the time, Channie loved her power-name, and the sound of it on Hunter’s lips warmed her heart. But right now, she didn’t know which was more embarrassing — the fact that she wasn’t in control of it; or that Hunter thought she was trying to enchant him. 
Channie squirmed as Hunter chewed on his bottom lip and studied her. She wished she knew what he was thinking. Should she try to explain and apologize or just keep her mouth shut?
Hunter lowered his gaze to his feet and flicked a pebble across the ground with his big toe. “When you get to The Gathering, tell Lovie Schmidt that you want to talk to her in private — and do it in front of her momma.”
“What?” Lovie Schmidt was not supposed to be a part of this conversation.
 “Once you’re outta sight, tell her to meet me inside O’Riley’s barn.”
Anger lit up Channie’s energy field like a hay field on fire. “You’ve got some nerve dragging me out here in the middle of the night! If you think I’m gonna cover for you so you can sneak off with somebody else you better think again!”
“Whoa.” Hunter’s eyes widened as his jaw dropped. After a moment, a grin spread across his face. “You’re jealous.”
“I am not!”
“You’re mad because I asked you to help me sneak off with somebody else. So, that means—”
“It don’t mean a damn thing!” Channie whirled around and stomped back to the cabin with Hunter’s laughter ringing in her ears.

Here is an excerpt from Down the Rabbit Hole:

The sound of bell-like laughter floated up from the trail.
Franklin froze then started backing away before the girls were even in view. “I’m gonna puke.”
He bolted into the bushes like a frightened deer.
Heather squinted her eyes and leaned forward. “Was that Franklin McKnight? Is he drunk?”
Time to intervene. “H-h-hey H-Heather, I’d like t-to talk to you as s-soon as I m-make sure J-Jonathan’s okay. He’s had a little too m-m-much to drink.”
Jonathan held his breath to make his face turn red and hoped that would convince Heather that she had the boys mixed up. 
“Of course, do you need any help?”
Tyler smacked Jonathan on the back. “I’ve got it covered. You go talk to Heather while I make sure your drunken brother doesn’t fall down a mine shaft or something.”
“Um … okay.” Jonathan swallowed loudly and rubbed his palms on his jeans as if they were sweaty. Franklin wasn’t the only one that could act. “D-do you w-wanna g-g-go somewhere t-to talk?”
Heather lowered her gaze and peeked at him from under thick lashes. She was actually sort of cute. Jonathan grabbed her hand and led her back down the trail, away from the fire and the crowd. He didn’t want an audience in case this blew up in his face, so he waited until they were out of everyone’s line of sight to turn his full attention to Heather.
She stared at their linked hands and grinned. “So … what’s on your mind, Franklin?”
“I… uh… yeah, well… I was w-wondering if you w-would go to H-h-homecoming with me?” Jonathan’s voice cracked when he said ‘me’ but Heather didn’t seem to notice — or maybe she just didn’t care. The way her eyes lit up when she smiled changed her whole face. Why hadn’t he noticed her before? Maybe because she’d never smiled at him. She was more than just cute. She was adorable. And perfect for Franklin.
She stepped forward and put one trembling hand on Jonathan’s chest. “I would love to go with you.”
Jonathan smiled, flashing his dimples.
Heather rose up on her toes, slipped her hand behind his neck and tugged.
For the first time in his life, Jonathan didn’t know what to do when a girl wanted to kiss him. He didn’t want to hurt her feelings, but if Franklin found out, he’d never forgive him.
Heather made the decision for both of them. Jonathan kept his mouth closed and his eyes open. The snap of a twig alerted him that someone was close.
He pulled away just as Franklin stepped around the bend. He didn’t say a word. He didn’t need to. The look of betrayal in his eyes said it all. He shook his head then stepped off the path, giving Jonathan and Heather a wide berth.
Jonathan grabbed Franklin’s shoulder as he passed. “Wait. I can explain.”
Frankie jerked out of Jonathan’s grasp then ran down the trail.
“Where do you think you’re going?” There was nothing down there but the parking lot. Franklin wouldn't leave without him. Would he? Of course he would. Jonathan didn’t like leaving Heather alone on the trail, but he needed to straighten things out with Franklin. 
She should be fine as long as she went back to the group around the fire.
“Heather, sweetheart, I need you to go back to the party and find your friends. Stay together and stay away from Rich and his group. I need to see what’s up with that crazy brother of mine, but I’ll be right back.”
He’d forgotten to stutter, but Heather just nodded her head and started walking back up the trail.
Jonathan was about halfway to the parking lot when the hair on the back of his neck stood on end. Two guys were pulling a very drunk girl off the trail into the bushes. Not cool. He had no idea who the guys were, but either they’d heard about the party and decided to crash it or they just stumbled on to it and decided to take advantage of the opportunity — and the intoxicated girl they were half-carrying-half-dragging between them.
Jonathan didn’t know her name, but he’d seen her at school. She was only a freshman. What sort of perv takes advantage of a drunk kid?
“Where do you guys think you’re going with the jailbait?”
“None of your business, punk.”
Since there were two of them and only one of him, Jonathan struck without warning or mercy. A gut-busting sidekick dropped the big guy on his right to his knees. Before he hit the ground, Jonathan threw a right cross to the jaw of his scrawny companion. It snapped the creep’s head back a good six inches. But it only made him mad. Never judge a book by its cover — or a potential rapist by his size.
The guy danced around with his elbows tucked in and his fists in front of his face like a boxer. He obviously knew how to fight. Jonathan didn’t mess around. He knocked the guy out cold with a round-house kick to the side of his head.
The perv was lucky Jonathan and Franklin had switched identities. If he’d been wearing his hiking boots instead of Franklin’s running shoes, the blow might have killed him.
The girl he’d just rescued was too drunk to walk. Jonathan wanted to get to Franklin, but he couldn’t just leave her lying by the side of the trail. He picked her up, tossed her over his shoulder and carried her back to the bonfire. She thanked him by puking down the back of Franklin’s parka.
When he got back to the party, Jonathan lowered the girl to the ground, yanked his arms out of Franklin’s ruined parka and turned it inside out. He used it to position the girls head so she wouldn’t drown in her own puke if she threw up again. He grabbed the first halfway sober girl he saw and enlisted her help.
“Hey, Carrie, do you know this chick?”
“She’s just a freshman. What’s she doing here?”
“Getting herself raped.”
Carrie’s eyes widened and her mouth formed a little “O” before she frowned.
“A couple of guys were hauling her into the bushes. I roughed ‘em up pretty good, so I don’t think they’re going to be a problem, but can you keep an eye on her? Make sure she doesn’t wander off. I gotta go find my brother.”
Jonathan suddenly felt light-headed as the last of the adrenaline from the fight left his body. He sagged onto the log next to Carrie and grinned when his car keys poked him in the butt. Franklin wasn’t going anywhere without him.