Monday, March 20, 2017

MUST READ NEW RELEASE with EXCERPT and GIVEAWAY - BEAUTY OF THE BEAST (Fairy Tale Retellings #1) by Rachel L. Demeter:

"I was riveted by this read and enjoyed it beyond measure. The writing alone was outstanding and swept me away, but the story was all consuming and was reminiscent of the classics." - Craves the Angst

TITLE: Beauty of the Beast
SERIES: Fairy Tale Retellings
AUTHOR: Rachel L. Demeter
GENRE: Gothic Romance
RELEASE DATE: March 15, 2017
PUBLISHER: Self-Published
PAGES: Approx. 342
IndieSage PR

Experience the world’s most enchanting and timeless love story—retold with a dark and realistic twist.


Reclusive and severely scarred Prince Adam Delacroix has remained hidden inside a secluded, decrepit castle ever since he witnessed his family’s brutal massacre. Cloaked in shadow, with only the lamentations of past ghosts for company, he has abandoned all hope, allowing the world to believe he died on that tragic eve twenty-five years ago.


Caught in a fierce snowstorm, beautiful and strong-willed Isabelle Rose seeks shelter at a castle—unaware that its beastly and disfigured master is much more than he appears to be. When he imprisons her gravely ill and blind father, she bravely offers herself in his place.


Stripped of his emotional defenses, Adam’s humanity reawakens as he encounters a kindred soul in Isabelle. Together they will wade through darkness and discover beauty and passion in the most unlikely of places. But when a monster from Isabelle’s former life threatens their new love, Demrov’s forgotten prince must emerge from his shadows and face the world once more…

Perfect for fans of Beauty and the Beast and The Phantom of the Opera, Beauty of the Beast brings a familiar and well-loved fairy tale to life with a rich setting in the kingdom of Demrov and a captivating, Gothic voice.

* * *

Beauty of the Beast is the first standalone installment in a series of classic fairy tales reimagined with a dark and realistic twist.

Disclaimer: This is an edgy, historical romance retelling of the classic fairy tale. Due to strong sexual content, profanity, and dark subject matter, including an instance of sexual assault committed by the villain, Beauty of the Beast is not intended for readers under the age of 18.

Purchase at Amazon US | Amazon CA | Amazon UK | B&N | Kobo | iBooks


~ Isabelle stumbles upon Adam’s castle ~

“Welcome, Beauty, banish fear,
You are queen and mistress here.”
—Jeanne-Marie Leprince de Beaumont

Isabelle’s mouth went dry. She couldn’t find her voice, let alone form a coherent sentence. Every fiber of her being drew quiet with cold, sudden fear.

A dark figure lurked beneath the castle’s archway. He towered above her, impossibly tall, his long, lean body a flesh-and-blood barricade to her one chance for shelter. A tattered black cloak concealed him from head to toe, making him resemble Death. Indeed. From her vantage point, she couldn’t see a centimeter of skin.

His gloved hand clutched a rusted lantern, which gave off a rather inadequate light. Manipulated by the wind’s breath, it eerily bobbed in midair and threw shadows along the castle’s dark walls.

She’d never witnessed someone so tall, so imposing... so strangely regal. In spite of the cloak, she noticed that his shoulders and chest were broad, likely corded with muscle; their immense width almost brushed against either side of the doorjamb. Standing like a king before his council, his head remained high and proud, his back straighter than an arrow. Hot breaths wafted from the folds on his hood, pale against the darkness, resembling smoke from a dragon’s mouth.

But alas, this is no fairy tale. Only cold, harsh reality.

In spite of herself, Isabelle’s eyes fell downward. She took a measured step back, noticing for the first time since he’d opened the door that a gigantic dog stood at his side. The thing was by far the tallest and most formidable canine she’d ever seen. It boasted a muscular, lithe body, a long neck, a gray rough-coat, and oddly soulful eyes. It reminded her more of a small horse than a dog.

The creature’s lips curled back to flash his sharp teeth, his body arched, and he released a low warning growl. Papa trembled and pushed close to her body. Isabelle tightened her hold on his arm and whispered reassuring words into his ear. Her other hand rose to her throat in an unconscious, protective gesture. “It’s fine, Papa. Don’t be frightened.” Despite her words, her heartbeat was a panicked staccato. She swallowed deeply, then exhaled a calming breath.

Non. Stand down.”

The dog obeyed at once and plopped onto the ground next to his master. Silence stretched between the three of them. So bizarre and surreal was this man and beast’s presence, Isabelle wondered if she was dreaming. Or rather, perhaps, she was trapped in a lucid nightmare. Soon she’d awaken at her little cottage with a book sprawled across her lap. Papa would lounge in his beloved rocking chair, looking healthy and vibrant once more.

Her train of thoughts brutally shattered and whipped her back to reality. When the figure spoke again, his voice sounded low, raspy, morbidly sensual. “What do you want?” The decadent baritone surrounded her like liquid velvet—and Isabelle felt herself drowning beneath those sultry refrains.

She turned to Papa and saw he’d physically stiffened. There was an acute fear in those cloudy, hazel eyes.

Be strong. Be brave.

“I—we got caught in the storm... My father—he’s very sick. The cold has weakened him greatly. I was hoping—”

“Not my concern.”

“Wait. Please! We only need shelter, somewhere to stay for the night until the storm calms. Please, monsieur. He’s terribly ill. I only—”

A haunting chuckle resonated while the door slowly creaked shut. That sound was hollow, void of humor and joy. No one in their right mind would have called it laughter.

Isabelle wedged her foot in the door, lunging forward in a desperate movement, and latched on to the man’s sweeping cloak. He spun around, agile and quick as lightning, his six-foot-three frame towering above her. She glanced at his hooded face and struggled to make out his features. That damnable hood obscured most of him, and darkness cloaked whatever details were left exposed. She could bear not knowing his face. Not seeing his eyes, however, disturbed her greatly; it felt as though she were pleading with Death, rather than a flesh-and-blood man.
Isabelle straightened her posture and fixed her gaze on what she assumed was his eye level. “Let us stay till morning. Please, monsieur. That’s all I ask. He’ll die out in the cold.”

Pure silence. Only the howling wind shattered the quiet. The figure remained still, his immense form blocking her one hope for shelter. She refused to be frightened or intimidated by his callous attitude and demeanor. He’d answered her knock. Now, he would answer her request.

After a long silence, he said in a tone designed to strike terror in the boldest heart, “A pity. As I said, not my—”
“I heard what you said, monsieur, with resounding clarity.” He visibly stiffened at her words, as if they were a slap to his face. If he thought such a menacing tone would frighten her off, he had another thing coming. “Now hear me. I refuse to be turned away.” Indeed, she would die before he refused her again. Her papa’s life depended on this beast’s mercy—and, Mon Dieu, she would have it.

“Is that so?” Isabelle’s skin tingled at the deep baritone. The man’s voice blasted down her spine and made her skin prickle with gooseflesh. He sounded slightly amused, which increased her frustration tenfold.

Then he edged closer until he stood intimately close. After Raphael, instinct taught her to move back, to resist a man’s nearness. Each of his steps was slow and measured, as though testing her tolerance for his proximity. His hot breaths wafted against her cheeks in tantalizing caresses. She yearned to draw backward—even just a blessed centimeter—to release herself from his suffocating presence, yet she refused to show fear. Instead, she stood a little straighter, lifted her chin a little higher, and grasped Papa’s arm with a firmer resolve.

At this nearness, the scents of sandalwood and pine reached her nose. The unique blend mixed with the winter air in a rather compelling way. Her heart pounded. Both palms grew hot and clammy in spite of the cold. All five of her senses felt overwhelmed, challenged, lifted. The man raised the lantern in a graceful motion and illuminated her face. Or rather, scorched her face. For such an inadequate candle, the thing gave off an intense and penetrating heat. Warmth from the flame burned her cheeks and assaulted her eyes. She squinted and turned away, needing refuge from that burning light.

“He is blind.” It wasn’t a question. The accent of the man’s voice, morbidly husky and slightly cultured, spilled through her veins with the audacity of a dark wine.

Isabelle silently nodded, still turned away. She needed her resolve and couldn’t bear the sight of that looming hooded figure another moment. If only he’d remove that damnable hood and let her meet his eyes, person to person…

Within that silence, an eternity seemed to crawl by. Then he shifted backward and gestured them inside the castle with a hauntingly elegant motion.



Rachel L. Demeter lives in the beautiful hills of Anaheim, California with Teddy, her goofy lowland sheepdog, and her high school sweetheart of fourteen years. She enjoys writing poignant romances that challenge the reader’s emotions and explore the redeeming power of love.

Imagining dynamic worlds and characters has been Rachel’s passion for longer than she can remember. Before learning how to read or write, she would dictate stories while her mother would record them for her. She holds a special affinity for the tortured hero and unconventional romances. Whether crafting the protagonist or antagonist, she ensures every character is given a soul.

Rachel endeavors to defy conventions by blending elements of romance, suspense, and horror. Some themes her stories never stray too far from: forbidden romance, soul mates, the power of love to redeem, mend all wounds, and triumph over darkness.

Her dream is to move readers and leave an emotional impact through her words.
Don’t be a stranger! Rachel loves to connect and interact with her readers:

The author is giving away...
$5 Amazon Gift Card, Kindle eBook of Finding Gabriel by Rachel L. Demeter

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