Bewitching Book Tours Magazine Issue 7 January 2013 Bewitching Book Tours Magazine is a publication of Bewitching Book Tours and Bewitching Books. Editor: Roxanne Rhoads Design Editor and Layout: Lisa McGeen Contributors include Bewitching Book Tours Authors and Tour Hosts learn more at www.bewitchingbooktours.blogspot.com Submission details- for every issue we are accept: Articles- topics include writing, research, paranormal, vampires, advice for authors, publishing advice, and more Flash Fiction- paranormal and urban fantasy (for other genres please query) True tales of paranormal encounters Recipes Poetry Book reviews Please send submissions to RoxanneRhoads@bewitchingbooktours.com place “Bewitching Magazine Submission” in subject line Ad space rates are: $40 full page ad $20 half page ad $10 quarter page ad You can subscribe to this magazine at http://issuu.com/ bewitchingbooktours © Copyright 2013
Contents Auntie Ann’s Homespun Advice Naughty Nook Alison Beightol Interview Green Living Tips Tarot in Fiction Kevin Klehr Interview Vampires in Fiction Sonata Excerpt Shattered Circle—Feature Dark Beauties Barbara Morgenroth Interview Bad Apple Excerpt Brett Davis Interview Mama Lona’s Man Excerpt Top 5 Vampires in Movies Kindred Excerpt Awaited Review
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Top of the New Year to you all. I hope your holidays brought you everything you hoped for and that 2013 will be your best year yet. Keep those letters coming! Ann@anngimpel.com Looking forward to sharing a tiny part of your lives as this next year unfolds. Dear Auntie Ann, Like many who read BBT Magazine, I also write. Please don’t print my name (or even my initials), but I’m having a really hard time with scathing, nasty reviews. They’re mostly on Amazon, but sometimes on Goodreads, too. Any advice for how I can do something more productive than burst into tears? Dear Nameless by Choice, Aw, they do sting, don’t they? I know. I’ve gotten a few myself. A writer friend of mine got one on Goodreads that was probably 2000 words. She couldn’t even read to the bottom of it.
One of the problems is when we’re attacked—and those crummy reviews can feel pretty personal—our first inclination is to fight back. Writers who are smart will not do that. There’s no way to win against some-
one you don’t know slinging mud from a distance. Since we can’t face our attacker directly, we feel helpless. It’s not a good feeling.
The other more insidious part is we begin to doubt ourselves. There’s a little voice inside that wonders, What
if they’re right? Reading is a matter of taste, just like food or hairstyles. Some people like a certain thing, others don’t. One of the downsides of the proliferation of “rate this item” on every internet site is we’ve cul-
tivated an entire phalanx of armchair critics. They couldn’t write a book if their lives depended on it, but
they take great joy in denigrating yours (or mine or JK Rowling’s latest).
The other dynamic in play is there are a lot of unhappy peo-
ple out there. Because they’re unhappy, they think everyone else ought to be also. So they make certain their unhappiness bleeds all over the place. It’s too bad social niceties like being polite and compassionate have fallen out of fashion. There used to be more tolerance for a variety of tastes.
So, Nameless, if the reviews upset you, don’t read them. EL
James got tens of thousands of bad reviews and she’s laughing all the way to the bank. Remember, any publicity—even
bad publicity—is better for your career than no publicity. It
means people are reading your book.
Dear Auntie Ann, I have an odd problem. I love things instead of people. Which things aren’t important, but I’d like to have a more normal life. I’ve tried dating, but guys make me feel ill when they get close to me and I run back to my non-human thing. I had a pretty bad childhood. What can I do? I’d like to get married and have a family. I’m twenty-seven. G.P. Dear G.P. What you’re describing is object sexuality or objectophilia. It’s not as uncommon as you might think. One of the hallmarks of object sexuality is the individual is content with their object or objects. Since you’re not, I’m guessing you’d be a good candidate for psychotherapy to untangle your childhood issues. (You did say you had a “bad childhood” so you understand there’s a link between
it and your lack of sexual feelings for people.) No matter what the people who abused you told you, whatever happened to you when you were young was not your fault. Me saying that is one thing, you believing it is another and that will take some work on your part. I know it feels like you’re getting older, but you have lots of life ahead of you. If you need help finding resources for low cost therapy in your area, please e-mail me and tell me where you are. I’ll try to help. If you have access to cable, the National Geographic Channel just ran a piece on object sexuality. You might find it interesting and validating.
Dating on a Budget: Ten Fun Dates That Cost Little to No Money By Roxanne Rhoads Money woes killing your love life? Here are ten budget friendly dates that cost little to no money. While they might not impress or be appropriate on the first date they’re perfect for those already in an established and comfortable relationship. Romance doesn’t have to cost a fortune and it is often the littlest thins that end up meaning the most and will become the memories you cherish.
Look for free events in your area. Summer time is full of festivals, concerts and outdoor shows. Local parks often offer art in the park, movies under moonlight, and music in the park. They are usually free, of course vendors are usually there charging excessive fees for drinks and food but you could always pack a picnic basket.
Visit art galleries or museums with free admission. Add some culture to your life; it may be a completely new experience for you. Enjoy it…for free and with the one you love.
Be one with nature. Seriously, go to a local park, nature preserve, lake or somewhere and just enjoy nature. Go for a walk together and hold hands, hike or ride bikes together. A little physical activity gets the blood pumping which can lead to other physical activities later.
Have an old fashioned picnic in the park. Grab a blanket, pack some sandwiches and drinks and hit the park. Watch children play and people stroll. It’s a quiet way to unwind. Ditch the cell phones and iPods and just enjoy each other.
Star gaze. This is something my husband and I love to do. On warm clear nights we’ll sit outside under the stars and just watch the sky change above us. Sometimes we’re even lucky enough to see a shooting star. Many times because we’re so quiet we’ll see critters roam through our yard: deer, raccoons and coyotes have all made appearances.
Cook dinner together with only the ingredients you have on hand. Now this can be a very creative and fun experience. We’ve come up with some tasty (and other not so tasty) and always interesting dishes. Thank goodness we always keep pasta and rice in the house. You can make pretty much anything with one of those.
Play old fashioned board games…with a twist. Make it strip monopoly or strip checkers or whatever sounds found to you. You two will spend old fashioned quality time together while still heating up the evening.
Have an old fashioned movie night at home. Raid your old movie collection and watch one of your favorites that you haven’t seen in years, or find an undiscovered gem lurking in the stacks. Pop some popcorn and cuddle on the sofa, just the two of you… clothes optional.
Make something together. This may sound odd to those who are craft challenged but give it a try, collect art supplies that are lying around the house and get creative together. Whether you write bad poetry or create whimsical greeting cards make something together or something for each other. Creativity is the spark of life.
Have a spa day at home. Grab all the beauty products you can find, pull out the mani/pedi supplies, grab the deep conditioner, the bubble bath, the body scrubs or whatever you have on hand, get out the fluffy towels and bath robes and pamper the heck out of each other. After all the scrubs, the filing and the conditioning give each other a massage. It’ll be the best date ever. Trust me guys, even you’ll enjoy it. There’s a lot of naked time involved.
Alison Beightol Do you have a specific writing style? I’m a pantser. I wait for my characters to “talk” to me. I wish I could make and work from an outline. Do you write in different genres? So far no but I am working on a edgy women’s fiction. It’s hard writing when there is nothing paranormal to it! You have to tell the story based on just quirky human elements! How did you come up with the title for your latest book? Coming up with titles is like having a root canal for me. I hate it. I can write an entire novel but coming up with a title kills me. Fortunately, my publisher came up with the title. Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete? Blood Betrayal was titled after the book was completed. The next two books in the series I had the titles before I started writing. The third book, Death Hunter, came to me before the storyline for the novel, which was a BIG change Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet? I would love to write historical fiction. Since I love history it would be awesome but that would be WAY down the line. Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why? I loved writing Eamon. He was great. I loved taking him through his personal crises and eventual personal growth. The more I threw at him, the more he grew and had to take hard looks at himself. I also loved writing
the villain in my next book. Or I had a love hate relationship with him because he is a fictionalized portrayal of a real person. Writing him came with tons of emotional baggage but it was a terrific challenge that has added something to me and my world view. If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share? This book is the first in the series The Primigenio Tales. The next book, Blood of New Beginnings deals with a nasty blood war between Eamon and another ancient vampire with Amelie as the pawn. It also introduces a new major character who readers are going to love to hate! Do you have any advice for other writers? Never give up. If you feel like writing is your passion, don’t give up. Don’t let rejections or bad reviews or critiques get to you personally. Take them at face value. Learn from them but never let them hold back from reaching your goal. There are too many alternatives to publishing to stop! Tell your story! When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures? When I am not writing, I am working as an RN full time and being a mom. I am also finishing my Political Science degree at Penn State University. I take 6 hours each semester. :O I really don’t have much time for hobbies but a guilty pleasure is napping because naps are rare and feel positively sinful! What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress? I am working on the third in The Primigenio Tales series. It is about half done. The second book, Blood of New Beginnings is tentatively scheduled to be released in the early summer of this year. Blood Betrayal Book 1 in The Primigenio Tales Alison Beightol Genre: Paranormal Romance/Dark fantasy Publisher: Charles River Press/ Cambridge Press US EBook ISBN 13: 978-1-936185-83-2 Paperback ISBN 13: 978-1-936185-82-5 Number of pages: 384 Word Count: 98,000 Cover Artist: Laurie Mc Adams
Book Description: Being the world’s oldest vampire, Eamon Rutherford has enjoyed women throughout the ages as beautiful meals and one night stands. That is until Eamon decides to find a mate and settle down. His lessthan-perfect choice is temperamental ballerina Lauryl Mellis. When Lauryl escapes from him in London, Eamon discovers that true commitment requires him to love another more than himself. As he struggles with his inner awakening and Lauryl’s rejection, Lauryl is busy planning her own special event, which might include the death of Eamon Rutherford.
10 Creative Ways to Upcycle and Reuse Tin Cans By Wenona Napolitano Tin and aluminum cans are one of the many things that Americans use and dispose of, perhaps more than any other container. Therefore recycling is very important and by recycling you can save precious energy and natural resources. But before you send the cans to the recycling center, how about having some fun and figuring out some creative ways to reuse them before tossing them in the recycling bin. Here are ten fun ways to reuse, repurpose and upcycle your tin cans. 1) Use old tin cans to make storage containers. The easiest and most common usage is to turn old cans into pen and pencil holders for your desk. You can spray paint them, cover them with scrapbook paper or let your kids decorate them with stickers. This is a super cheap solution for a problem many people have when it comes to their desks…wayward pens and pencils. 2) Turn tin cans into pretty gift baskets. Using a piece of metal wire or a pipe cleaner, a scrap of lace, a bit of wallpaper border and a piece of ribbon you can make a pretty Victorian style basket. 3) Create simple flower vases, flower pots or mini planters. You can spruce up the cans with spray paint and clear coat for protection. Make sure to punch a few holes in the bottom for drainage, then add a rock or two in the bottom for breathing room and add potting soil along with your plant and voila, simple, easy and cheap flower pots. You could create a whole tin can herb garden or a line of flowering pots on your porch or deck. Large coffee cans can make great planters for larger plants, especially for tomatoes. It’s an easy green way to garden economically when you don’t have a yard. 4) Create a decorative hanging flower display. String cans together with wire and/or brightly colored ribbon, or scraps of fabric and place flowering plants or floral arrangements inside. Hang from trellises, gazebos, fences, and poles for pretty outdoor party décor. Do you have a bare outdoor wall? You could attach cans directly to the wall for a very stunning wall container garden. 5) Create hanging luminary lanterns for summer parties. Add tea light candles or small votives and you’ll
have a creative and super cheap green lighting for your outdoor celebrations. Just punch holes in the cans with ice picks or another sharp pointed tool. You can use specialty tools used for punched tin crafts or a large nail and hammer. Add wire to hang and youâ€™ve got green lighting. If you are really good with metal you might be able to create pieces of art with metal cans like those at Metal Magic created by artist Lennie Kaumzha. 6) Make creative candle holders. Using the same basic technique as above you can create candle holders without turning them into hanging lanterns. Punch holes and designs into them or paint them with spray paint. Short, flat cans like those for tuna make nice tea light holders. Larger cans can be used to hold pillar candles. Big round cans like those for whole tomatoes can be filled with water and used for floating candles (just donâ€™t punch holes in those cans!) 7) Use cans to help grow seedlings. The cans make great planters to keep young plants safe until roots are established. Cut both ends off of the can, dig out the hole in your garden, place the can in and then put the plant inside the can, then add dirt. After the plant has grounded itself, slide the can out from the dirt. If you have really large cans like the bulk commercial size you can leave them in the ground to help keep bugs and other pests away from your plants. I have gardening friends that swear by planting tomatoes inside large coffee cans and placing can and all in the ground. 8.) Create kid friendly tin can crafts. Robots, animals, or totem poles are just some of the things you can make with mismatched silverware, nuts and bolts, and metal bottle caps. You can add awesome accessories to your tin cans to create fun creations kids will love. At Funinthemaking.net they created an awesome koala bear from a couple tin cans and some leftover kitchen utensils. 9) Create a pin cushion. Use small flat cans like those from tuna or cat food, a handful of stuffing, a scrap of fabric, ribbon, paint or scrap paper, and hot glue and you have a super cute little pin cushion. 10) Have fun and games. Get nostalgic and make the old tin can telephones from way back when. You know the two tin cans and a string.Can you hear me? Anyone? Hello? Or you can make a catch game with a tin can by attaching a ball and a string and see if you can catch the ball in the can. Or forget the string and use two cans to toss the ball back and forth and see who can catch the ball the most. These are just ten ideas for reusing tin cans.
What creative green craft project can you come up with using tin cans?
Two of Swords: The Balance I use Tarot cards a good deal in my writing, to give me ideas about creating characters and develop plot points. Sometimes, I pick cards on purpose that catch my eye, but more often, I deal them out at random. I let my imagination roam over the pictures to generate situations and connections among characters One of the cards that's intrigued me most over time is the Two of Swords. It shows a seated woman wearing a blindfold. She balances two swords over her shoulders. At her back is the ocean and a crescent moon. It's a very mysterious card, one that takes on a different meaning with each reading. The suit of Swords is tied to the element of Air: communication, mental faculties, logic, and messages. In numerology, the number two is about love and harmony - and it's ruled by the intuitive power of the moon. The Two of Swords usually signifies compromise, withdrawal, denial...and sometimes a stalemate. The woman is holding the swords to shield herself, and she is blindfolded against considering options. The ocean, representing the vastness of emotions, is at her back...and she's trying her hardest to put her head down ignore it. The moon has risen, and the moon-driven tide's going to rise and engulf her unless she rouses herself and takes action. The concept of the card reminds me of the myth of Eros, who is often depicted as wearing a blindfold. Eros was the son of the goddess of love, Aphrodite. But even that was up for dispute...some scholars believe he was a primeval force that came directly from Chaos: love, passion for life. In ancient Greece, Eros was not the chubby cherub we know today. He was a handsome man who carried a bow and arrow - whoever he shot fell hopelessly in love. The idea of the blindfold - which came later - signified the idea that love is blind. Love can make us powerless and make no rational sense. We love whomever we first lay eyes upon after we are struck by the magic arrow. With that idea in mind, I consider the woman in the Two of Swords. She's blindfolded herself to avoid considering her emotions - the ocean behind her. But all's not lost. She can still hear the ocean. And the lesson of the card is to listen to intuition, to love. She must consider these with as much weight as the tangible, rational swords on her shoulders. Not that she should cast them away...the swords are sharp, useful weapons. But she needs to remove her blindfold, face the tide. When she listens to her intuition and her intellect, the Two of Swords becomes a balanced force to be reckoned with. ~ Alayna Williams has an MA in sociology-criminology (research interests: fear of crime and victimology) and a BA in criminology. She has worked in and around criminal justice since 1997. Although she does read Tarot cards, she's never used them in criminal profiling or to locate lost scientists. Alayna also writes as Laura Bickle.
with Kevin Klehr
Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life? Kinda, sorta, maybe. During the course of the novel, I had several professional assessments from a wonderful woman who slapped me on the knuckles for my original draft, which hinted at storylines I didn’t explore in depth. When I told her in detail what aspect of my real life I was exploring in one of the scenes, she reminded me that I wasn’t writing about myself, and that the role of the writer is to take a shred from your waking life, and reinvent it in your writing. So, yes, there are aspects of life events, carefully re-crafted to entertain. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? First and foremost, before you go looking for a message, just have fun reading it. Let its twists and turns spark your own imagination before you find a message amongst the chaos. Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet? The editor assigned to me by the publisher, was a writer of erotic stories who encouraged me to add three sex scenes to my novel. Originally the story only hinted at sex, but never brought it to the fore. Her insights have made me interested in a proper adult novel, but I’d probably publish it under a pseudonym. I also have a paranormal possession story in the back of my head, which played out like a Hollywood movie in a dream I had. The images are still as clear as crystal with its small town American female in the centre of the drama. For me, this would be an interesting challenge to explore in first person. If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share? The second draft of the sequel, Drama Queens with Adult Themes, is sitting in my laptop waiting to be resurrected shortly. A late chapter in my current book gives you some leads into the storyline of the next in the series, but I will share the fact that Guy, the angel, will be dealing with relationship issues. What book are you reading now?
Markus Zusak’s novel The Book Thief is sitting on the coffee table with only a fifth left of it to be read. Without exaggerating, it is the most beautifully written book I’ve ever read, yet I put it down two months ago and still haven’t picked it up. It has to be finished. What books are in your to read pile? My ‘to read’ pile includes Jessica McQuay’s Black Moon, Robert Dunbar’s anthology Martyrs And Monsters, and Jonathan Tropper’s latest novel One Last Thing Before I Go. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? Three novelists I admire have only been recent finds. The first is Joe Keenan who, besides his notable screen writing credits, has written a series of three novels about a group of lovable camp characters. His writing was introduced to me by my assessor who encouraged me to expand on my own main character’s habit of being a little inappropriate from time to time. I love this author’s mad-capped plotlines and wonderful one-liners. Secondly, I stumbled on Jonathan Tropper. He writes tongue-in-cheek about fractured families, grief, and unrequited love affairs. His novels are clever, easy-to-read and hard to put down. A good lesson for any author. Last I’d say Craig Silvey who’s wonderful novel Jasper Jones, truly gave me an alternative life to get lost in, in between living my own life. Yes I know a good novel is supposed to do that, but the last time I really became addicted to a writer’s imagination was with two of the Patricia Highsmith ‘Mr Ripley’ series. To add credit to Craig Silvey’s writing, my partner, who usually takes a year to finish a book, couldn’t put this novel down. He shared his love of the characters and the plot regularly, in the short two weeks he read the book. So I would like my novels to be as eccentric as Keenan’s and as hard to put down as Tropper’s. Eventually I’ll see what I can learn from Silvey’s writing, when I’m ready to change genre. When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures? The other hobby in my life is a community radio program my partner, Warren, and I produce and present for Sydney station, Koori Radio. We’ve been on air with The Rhythm Divine once a week since 2004, exploring all kinds of music on our little show - http://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Rhythm-Divine/267773806939 Once a month our regular guests present segments as varied as Jazz, Hip-Hop, and the music of New Zealand. We also have interviews with well-known people within Australia’s Indigenous communities.
Vampires: Dead, Undead, or Something Else by Roxanne Rhoads In most myths, legends and even in plenty of popular fiction vampires are described as either dead or undead, sometimes referred to as walking corpses. No heartbeat, no need to breathe, no need to eat food or drink anything other than blood. Honestly all that doesn’t make a whole hell of a lot of sense to me. For me vampires are different and extraordinary creatures- and not dead at all. Just different. I can understand them being described as dead in the early incarnations. Because before the Gothic literature of the 1800s romanticized vampires early myths and legends portrayed them as monsters- grotesque walking corpses. More like today’s zombies than the sexy, romantic and sometimes sparkling vampires that we often envision them to be. I see being changed into as vampire as a transformation, not death- at least not completely. It is death and rebirth. A catalyst that transforms a person from human to Other. Changing from human to vampire is the death of the normal human life but not a true death. I simply can’t wrap my head around the concept of a vampire being dead because of several things. One they need to feed to “survive”. If you need to survive then obviously you’re not really dead, are you? Another thing- rapid healing abilities. If you can heal, how can you be dead? Dead things don’t heal. Other things I don’t agree with are the cold skin and lack of heartbeat and breathing. I think vampires are evolved and don’t need to breath as often as humans and their hearts don’t beat like ours- and the slowness of their heartbeat and breaths has something to do with the whole immortality thing. And the cold skin… when they get cold that just means they need to feed, if they are fully fed their skin is just as warm as ours. That brings me to the need for blood. As I mentioned I see vampirism as a transformation, a disease or mutation that changes the human body into something else, something more. It changes the metabolism and the higher functions of the body. To keep these processes going the body burns up its blood supply and constantly needs to be replenished. The other powers of vampires- the glamour and mind control and all that, even the teleportation and shape shifting that some can do…well that goes into the magic slot. I think vampirism is one part disease two parts magic.
In many of my stories the vampires defy the normal vampire conventions. They eat, they walk in daylight, they have heartbeats, and they breathe (usually). I try not to describe them as dead or undead and I don’t often stick them in coffins or in the ground. In my newest book, Hex and the Single Witch, the vampires are all a little different from each other. Some have issues with sunlight, some do not, some have silver sensitivities some do not. This is because there are many species of Others (fae, demon, shifter, witch, etc) than have interbred with humans over the centuries. When a human is turned into a vampire the dormant powers inside them become active. Most humans will never know they have “Other” blood inside them until the catalyst of becoming a vampire brings that dormant power to the surface. In addition vampires also gain some of their abilities and powers from the vampire that made them, their sire. The result is a species of vampires that have a wide variety of powers and abilities. Which is why they are so hard to track, kill or fight- you never know what you’re going up against when you deal with a vamp. A 100% human with no “Other” blood inside will not survive the change into a vampire. In the Vehicle City Vampire series I wanted to take all the myths, legends and variances of vampire abilities, mix them all up and create an explanation as to why vampires are so different. I hope that readers will enjoy my take on vampirism.
The following excerpt takes place the first time that Sayuri goes to Michael’s apartment. As they went down in the elevator and across to the park, Michael spoke to the dog, “So far so good. We’ve got her in my apartment. I expect your full cooperation tonight. Whatever happens you are not to climb on the bed, should I get so lucky, or slobber all over Sayuri. If there’s any slobbering to be done, I’ll do it. Got it, buddy?” Buttercup wagged her tail furiously, nearly knocking over a passing pedestrian. “Sorry, mam.” Michael thought about how Sayuri had looked when she answered the door. So cool and composed. Delectable. Good enough to eat. Down boy, he reminded himself. Don’t blow it now. You’ve got her this far. Taking a deep breath he muttered, “Keep it cool.” Then he looked at his dog. “Okay, Buttercup, do your thing so we can get back up there.” **** She heard the key in the lock and a moment later man and dog were back in the room. Buttercup trotted over to Sayuri and leaned against her, looking up at her adoringly with one blue and one brown eye. “That was quick,” Sayuri commented as she scratched the dog behind her ears. “She was anxious to get back to you. We don’t often have visitors. Actually, I’m surprised at her reaction to you. She usually hides under the bed when there’s anyone she doesn’t know in the apartment.” “Under the bed? I can’t believe she can get all that bulk under a bed. Just what kind of dog is she? I’ve never seen anything like her. She’s huge. And those eyes are amazing.” Sayuri moved to the armchair and sat down. Buttercup followed her and put her massive head in Sayuri’s lap. “Clearly she’s fallen in love with you. The vet thought she was probably half Malamute and half Newfoundland, but I’m pretty sure there’s some wolf in the mixture. And the two different color eyes are unusual, but they do happen, particularly in those breeds.” “Did you say wolf?” “Watch.” Michael came over to the dog, knelt down beside her and put his arm around her. He lifted his head back and started to howl. The dog threw her head straight back and joined him. The sound was at one and the same time musical and eerie. “Wow.” Sayuri stared at the dog. “I haven’t heard anything like that since I was twelve years old and went on a canoeing trip up Desolation Sound with my father. We could hear the wolves from our campsite every night. I loved the sound.” “Don’t let her howl give you any ideas about Buttercup’s personality. Her wolf genes begin and end with her howl. She’s a complete wimp.” “She’s a big dog for an apartment dweller.” “Yes, well, I didn’t exactly choose her. She just sort of happened.” Michael paused. You see, I’m in the R.A.A. Unit.” “R.A.A.?” “Robbery, Assault, Arson. We got an anonymous call that there was a break and enter in progress at an
apartment house on the east side. When my partner and I answered the call, we didn’t find a robbery in progress. What we found was found a room full of people cutting and bagging cocaine. We called immediately for backup, but before it could come, gun fire was exchanged and people got hurt. It wasn’t supposed to have happened that way.” Michael paused and frowned. Sayuri wondered if he was going to say anything more. Then he sighed. “When it was all sorted out, as we were to leaving the scene I heard whimpering. I pulled this small scrawny shivering mass of matted fur out from under the bed. I was supposed to take her to the SPCA, but I didn’t. I took her home with me. She couldn’t have been more than two months old and she was half starved and filthy. I fed her and bathed her and the next day I took her to the vet for a checkup. He said there was nothing wrong with her that food and love wouldn’t cure.” “So you had a dog.” “I had a dog. I had no idea at the time she was going to grow into a giant hairy mammoth.” This was spoken with obvious affection as he ruffled the dog’s head. “But her name?” “Just look at her.” Sayuri studied the dog. She had fur as thick as a bear’s, only longer. Her underbelly was white and everywhere else she was brown and black and white in large splotches. “I don’t get it.” “Look under her chin.” Sayuri laughed. “Of course.” There was a large spot of bright yellow there. The dog, tired of being the object of so much attention, moved to the fireplace, circled three times and plopped down in front of it. Sonata Blair McDowell Genre: Romantic mystery Publisher: Rebel Ink Press ISBN: 9781937265670 Number of pages: 130 Word Count: 56,500 Book Trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xVAhOqelyEE Purchase Link: http://www.blairmcdowell.com/Sonata.html Book Description: A jewel heist… When renowned concert artist, Sayuri McAllister, returns to the west coast of Canada after an absence of five years, she discovers her family home has been a broken into and jewelry worth two million dollars is missing. Michael Donovan, Sayuri’s old high school flame, now a detective with the Vancouver Police Department, is the officer in charge of the case. What chance can he have… Michael takes one look at Sayuri and falls in love with her all over again. But they parted in anger years ago and Sayuri is no longer the innocent girl he once knew. What chance can there be for a Vancouver cop with some-
one as famous as Sayuri McAllister? Especially when that cop is investigating her family and friends? An unexpected marriage… Then Sayuri’s widowed father, Sean, marries Alyssa James, a woman Sayuri has never even met. The three live uneasily together in the Point Grey mansion until the unexpected arrival of Alyssa’s brother, Hugh James, a devastatingly handsome, charming Irishman who immediately begins a campaign to bed and wed the delicious and wealthy Sayuri. Things take a dangerous turn… Accidents begin to happen. Or are they accidents? Nothing is as it seems. Michael distrusts Hugh James and fears that Sayuri’s life may be in danger. About the Author: I started to write soon after I found my first pencil. But I began to write for publication about 30 years ago -- professional books. I wrote six of them, all still in print and still in use. Only lately have I turned to fiction. I'd have done it a lot sooner if I'd had any idea how much fun it was! I’ve lived in many different places. The US -- Certain cities call to me. I love San Francisco and Seattle and the wonderful Oregon Coast. Australia -- among the most open welcoming people in the world, and a wide open young country with incredible land and sea scapes, with amazing animal and bird life right out of science fiction. Canada -- HOME. The place where I belong. I travel a lot. I usually spend the month of October in Europe, Greece or Italy, and the winter in a little house I built many years ago on a small non-touristy Caribbean Island. I have worked and studied in many places -Hungary, Australia the US and Canada, and have spoken in most of the States and Provinces as well as Taiwan and various cities in Europe. I enjoy being surrounded by cultures other than my own. I enjoy my own as well - but variety is indeed the spice of my life. I keep busy -- and I love my life. I love meeting the people who come here to the west coast of Canada and stay in my B&B. I love traveling after the tourist season is over. And I love writing. My interests?? Music, especially opera, reading everything in print, and Writing. And walking on the beach and swimming. At one point I had hoped to swim in every major sea and ocean. I've realized that may not be possible in one lifetime -- but trying has been fun! Website: http://www.blairmcdowell.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BlairMcDowellWriter Google+: Blog:
The main door opened and Meroveus, Advisor to the Excelsior and currently their esteemed guest, entered the suite. “She is back?” he asked. “That is what I’m told,” Goliath answered. “If you’re referring to Ms. Alcmedi, that is.” “I am. Is she here?” Leaning on one elbow, Goliath reclined. “She required a shower.” He wanted to give his nose a quick pinch to indicate she’d reeked of the scummy edges of Lake Erie, but he refrained. He was a Master now; taunting disdain was no longer acceptable. Mero headed for the iron-studded door. Goliath cleared his throat. In mid-reach for the knob, Mero stopped. His hand fell to his side and he turned on his heel. “I have been disrespectful. Forgive me, Haven Master.” His sardonic grin flashed fang. “Does urgency always make you thoughtless?” “I assumed that Menessos was still lord of these chambers, and that she was with him in the rear chamber.” Goliath sat up, placed his elbows on his knees, and clapped his hands together. “Hear me, Advisor Meroveus, and do not forget my words: The former Haven Master may have extended you many courtesies, but barging into his private chamber—especially if you think Ms. Alcmedi may be attending him—would be particularly dangerous.”
Mero glanced at the main door as if he would leave, but there was uncertainty in his expression. “To be honest,” Goliath added as he stood, “I have not yet made claim to these rooms, and, as you have assumed, the former Quarterlord is in the rear chamber. However, my Erus Veneficus has her own suite.” He used the formal title of the court witch for impact. Mero blinked. It seemed to Goliath that the other vampire had not considered that in declaring this the Cleveland haven and Goliath the master of it, Persephone would by default become Goliath’s court witch. Her services were now his to command. -------------There were many prophesies concerning the Lustrata. The one that the vampires were most concerned with claimed she was incredibly valuable to them. Because of this, they could not dare to kill her. But they could do much without killing her. The question was: What would interfere with her destiny, and what wouldn’t? Menessos would know the most about it, so Goliath resolved to follow his Maker’s lead. “Dabbling in the destiny that Menessos, the witch, and the Domn Lup share is a hazardous pastime, Mero. I strongly suggest you stay the hell out of their way.” Mero quoted the prophesy: “Lustrata walks, unspoiled into the light. Sickle in hand, she stalks through the night wearing naught but her mark and silver blade. The moonchild of ruin, she becomes Wolfsbane. “According to my interpretation,” Mero concluded, “she must be marked.” Menessos breathed deep. Releasing it, he said, “Your interpretation is bullshit.” Mero’s brows rose in surprise. Goliath struggled to keep a laugh from getting out. “The Witch Elders Council will not stand for their Lustrata to be marked by the Excelsior,” Menessos said. “Would you risk a war?” -------------------Opening the closet there, Beverley dug straight to the back where the item she wanted was stored. Her little hands grasped the cold sides of the rock-board and she pulled. It was heavy and the cast on her arm made the task more difficult. She lost her grip on the slate—the bottom edge dropped onto the top of her foot. Stifling her yelp of pain, she regained her grasp and silently laid it flat on the floor before shutting the closet door. Crouching between the bed and the wall so she couldn’t be seen from the doorway, she studied all the strange symbols painted across the surface. She’d heard Seph and Celia talking about
this. Great El’s slate. They’d said that a person could talk to ghosts with this . . . and that Seph had used it to find her mother. But how does it work? Beverley ran her hands over the surface. Her fingers traced the lines of a symbol here, there. They tingled like the fine lines of her fingerprint weren’t so fine after all. She studied her index finger, then compared it to her other hand’s index finger. If one tingles . . . what does two do? She picked two symbols she liked that were side by side and put her fingertips to the slate. Carefully, slowly, she traced both. The tingling began immediately and resonated through her hands and into her wrists. Suddenly, some force grabbed her hands. She gasped and tried to pull away, but it just squeezed tighter. It dragged her fingers along to one symbol, then on to another. She watched in horror as all her fingers were pulled across the board, each finger moving independently. The more symbols she traced, the more the tingling increased. It became like a fire inside her skin, swelling up through her thin arms, crackling through the broken bone. It hurt. It hurt so bad. She drew a breath to scream— —and then it felt good. It wasn’t hot, merely warm. It wasn’t warmth like summer, though, not something a thermometer would show. This was warmth of another kind. The kind only a heart could feel. She felt so . . . Loved. A shimmer flashed across the surface of the board. She whispered, “Mommy?” --------------Excerpt from SHATTERED CIRCLE: Liyliy, a vampire-harpy, had tried to kill me a few hours ago, and the struggle left me exhausted and sore. That was the reason I was still abed at nearly two in the afternoon. When my satellite phone blared the opening riffs of Ozzy Osbourne’s “Bark at the Moon,” it startled me, instantly reminding me about all the sore muscles I had. Mid-reach, I stopped. That was Johnny’s ringtone. He had tried to kill me, too. My hand shook as my finger jabbed the Answer button. “Hello?” “Red . . . I’m so sorry.” Johnny’s voice was barely audible.
I sat up and deliberated whether to play deaf and repeat my “hello” as if I hadn’t heard him. I considered being a jerk and hanging up. I even contemplated ripping him a new one. Instead, I remained silent. Two days before, minutes after I’d performed the forced-change spell on him and his loyal pack mates, Johnny had attacked me. He’d always retained his manmind while transformed, but that last time he didn’t—he’d been pure animal. The only reason I was still among the living was because I’d pumped ley line energy into him like a human Taser. “Red?” He’d frightened me to my core. The unshakeable faith I’d had in him had been shattered by an emotional earthquake. Damage was done. My fear felt like betrayal. But . . . Could going through the forced-change spell repeatedly have an undesired effect? No. I was sure the whole terrible incident could be pinned on the fact that my mother, Eris, had revoked the tattooed bindings she’d placed upon Johnny eight years ago. He suddenly had access to all the power and potential she’d locked away from him. That was surely a disorienting, difficult situation. I’d helped him dig up the clues, helped him achieve that goal. Hell, I’d even been a part of the reversal spell. So some responsibility for the consequences was mine to bear. “Persephone?” He rarely used my full given name; he usually called me Red, as in Little Red Riding Hood to his Big Bad Wolf. Or Seph like nearly everyone else. I had to respond. “I’m here.” “Then say something.” Pushing back the covers, I stood and began to pace. “I don’t know what to say.” He paused. “Can you forgive me?” I wasn’t sure. Part of me said I couldn’t allow his attack to be a personal issue because of the fateful trio that Johnny, Menessos, and I forged by binding ourselves magically. The other part argued that no matter the circumstances, attempted murder was very damn personal. It all happened because Johnny had surrendered to his destiny. His unique ability to transform at will made him the Domn Lup—king of the wærewolves. It was a position with power, prestige, and perks such as a Maserati Quattroporte. Johnny knew his royal place was unavoidable, but he’d fought it and hid from it a long time. He’d finally pushed forward because it was beneficial to our triple union, but kinghood was costing him his dream of being a rock star.
It had been my fear that he’d lose who he was in the course of this alliance of ours. More than ever, it seemed this fear was being borne out. On the other corner of our triangle was Menessos. He now bore two witches marks—mine, of course. That made him my servant. When Heldridge, his former right-hand man, learned of my authority over Menessos, he tattled to the highest vampire authority, the Excelsior. To protect us against the personal grudge of the truthseeing vampire-harpies sent by VEIN to make formal inquiry, Menessos had allied himself at great personal expense with someone dangerous—a “nameless” guy I had aptly dubbed Creepy. The secrets he’d wanted to hide from VEIN—secrets even I didn’t know—were apparently safe, but our little who-marked-whom secret was out. Menessos lost his haven and his status as Northeastern Quarterlord. Johnny had accepted great power and lost a lifelong dream. Menessos had lost great power and accepted serious personal risk. It didn’t seem fair. And what about me? In the last several weeks I’d learned that I was the longprophesied Lustrata, the Witches’ Messiah, She Who Walks Between Worlds, She Who Will Bring Balance, blah blah blah. As this news spread throughout the nonhuman communities, some scoffed and some believed. I was fine with the scoffers; it was the believers who were dangerous. They wanted to know if I truly possessed the power that accompanied those titles. Yeah, I was a magnet for nasties who either a) wanted me dead to be sure I didn’t have that power, or b) wanted to try to force me to wield power for their gain. I guess I’d accepted the endless complications of my status and was well on my way to losing all scraps of naïveté. At that thought, I stopped pacing. As I stared into the nothingness of a darkened corner, it felt like my innocence had slipped from my grasp and I was watching it skitter across the floor, waiting for it to come to a stop so I could reclaim it. I wasn’t sure it was worth the effort to look for it. Or perhaps it would be impossible to find if I made the effort. Maybe it had rolled into some crack, never to be seen again. I heard Johnny breathing through the phone. It wasn’t Johnny who had rescued me last night. When I defeated Liyliy, Menessos had been there to bring me to the haven. Sure, Menessos had a hand in creating the monster she now was. And it was he who had imprisoned her, creating her need for revenge. But it was me and my marks upon him that had brought her to Cleveland. When she pursued me from the haven—according to the Offerling I’d spoken to—Menessos had sent everyone out to search for me. Had Johnny even known I was missing? It was shitty of me to compare the two men in my life, but I couldn’t help myself. Though Menessos had drunk my blood numerous times, he hadn’t tried to kill me. Yes he did! He nearly killed you not long after you first met. We were strangers then, I argued with myself. Now, we know each other well.
Better, perhaps, than you should. . . . Defiantly, I ignored my conscience’s scolding. I will not regret what I did last night. During the predawn hours, reeling from my encounter, I’d kissed Menessos. Fine, but clearly you were able to forgive him. That was true. Considering this, I felt hope. I sighed heavily into the phone. My whispered answer was, “In time.” “There’s so much I need to tell you.” Johnny’s voice was raw, and the rev of an engine punctuated his words. I wondered where he was going. And I wondered if I should tell him about kissing the vampire. It hadn’t been a peck. When our lips had touched, I felt the promise and power of a more intimate union. He’d definitely felt it. It wasn’t only the power of the marks between us that had been kindled. “I don’t know where to begin,” Johnny said. His voice drew me out from my memory of a passionate moment with another man. Guilt swelled around my heart . . . but not remorse. What am I going to do?
Shattered Circle Persephone Alcmedi Linda Robertson Mass Market Paperback: 384 pages Publisher: Pocket Books ISBN-10: 1451648936 ISBN-13: 978-1451648935 JUST YOUR AVERAGE MEGA-WITCH. . . . It’s tough being a modern woman, but Persephone Alcmedi has it worse than most. Being the prophesied Lustrata has kicked her career as a witch into high gear, and juggling a wærewolf boyfriend who is about to become king of his kind and a seductive vampire who bears her magical Mark isn’t easy either. Still, Seph’s beloved foster daughter, Beverley, is causing more trouble than these two men put together. The young girl’s been playing with a magical artifact that’s far more dangerous than she realizes. Now Seph must summon help from a mystical being so potent that even vampires fear him . . . and the cost of his aid may be more than she’s willing to pay. Seph, Johnny, and Menessos face threats from all sides—and a few from within. Will the forces of destiny cement
their tenuous supernatural union, or shatter it forever? Simon and Schuster Amazon BN BooksaMillion IndieBound About the Author Linda Robertson is the mother of four wonderful boys, owns three electric guitars, and is followed around by a big dog named after Bela Lugosi. Once upon a time she was a lead guitarist in a heavy metal cover band and has worked as a graphic artist. She still composes and creates art, when time permits. Linda currently writes and rocks in northeast Ohio. Visit her at AuthorLindaRobertson.com and @authorLinda http://www.authorlindarobertson.com/ http://www.facebook.com/authorlindarobertson
January 2013 Sun
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February 2013 Sun
Shattered Circle Tour Schedule Please click on hyperlink to visit the site hosting tour. If there are two stops for a day the second stop will be indicated by a *. The Release Day Blitz Link will take you to Bewitching Book Tours for the complete list of stops. Have fun visiting stops each day throughout the tour.
Dark Beauties By Roxanne Rhoads I guess I’ve always been attracted to the dark side, even when I was really young my favorite things were witchy, spooky and creepy. I can remember rushing home every day after to school to watch Scooby Doo my all time favorite cartoon. I laugh at my husband because he said he couldn’t watch Scooby when he was little because it scared him. He still isn’t a big fan of scary movies either. Though he can handle going to all the crazy Halloween haunted houses when I can’t. Weird. Anyway, I digress. When I was a child my bookshelves were lined with all kinds of creepy, spooky and scary ghost stories and kids books about Halloween and anything just a little supernatural. By the time I was 10 I was already reading Steven King and Dean Koontz. I loved watching Tales from the Darkside, Twilight Zone, Tales from the Crypt and of course- reruns of The Munsters and The Addams Family. Morticia Addams and Lily Munster were idols of mine, dark, scary, beautiful. Especially the original Morticia. Then later came Elvira- now there was a frightening figure of femininity that men everywhere lusted after. The “Otherness” portrayed by these women was always intensely sexual. Lily was a nurturing mother but like mother nature her sexuality was apparent. Morticia always appeared so slinky and darkly beautiful, and the refreshing flirtation between her and Gomez is something to hope for in a relationship isn’t it? And Elvira, well, she was just sex incarnate wasn’t she? Did you know that Lily and Herman Munster was the first television couple to actually appear in bed together and Morticia and Gomez were always sexy and flirtatious while all the other couples on television sitcoms during that time period (1960s) had no apparent sex lives and were never seen in
bed together. With television showing such bland lifestyles how could you not want a touch of that dark sexiness in your world? For a little girl who dreamed of wild times and fantastic places emulating the dark beauties promised a much more interesting life. And now look at the popularity of the paranormal today. The books are flying off the shelves. A lot of people are catching on to the allure of the dark side and I couldn’t be more thrilled. Especially now that the ladies have some gorgeous eye candy to drool over- either in our imaginations from the descriptions given to us in books- or from television where beautiful paranormal men grace the screen for us. Often shirtless and sporting abs I could do laundry on. What character- from books, movies, or television- do you think is the most darkly sexual? What supernatural character would you gladly cross over to the dark side for? I have loved a lot of vampires over the years. On television Angel was my first vampire love, and then later I fell for Spike. I really loved Henry from the short lived series Blood Ties. He portrayed such a strong character who didn’t apologize for who or what he was. Mitchell from Being Human (BBC version) was dark and brooding with a hint of an Irish accent….*sigh* I quit watching that show. Aidan from the American version of Being Human doesn’t do it for me but the show has grown on me (I needed something to watch after the debacle BBC made of their Being Human). True Blood- forget the vampires I’m all about the werewolf, Alcide, on that show. But I have to admit…the eyes have it. Yes, Vampire Diaries fans you know who I’m talking about…Damon (played by Ian Somerhalder). Damon has got to be the best bad boy vamp with a heart of gold ever. Now that’s a vampire I’d cross to the dark side for. What about you?
With Barbara Morgenroth What inspired you to become an author? Nothing. It happened outside of my conscious will. It was the role that I was assigned in this lifetime. I always wrote but didn’t imagine I would start doing books as early as I did. I sold my first novel when I was 24. Do you write in different genres? I started in middle reader/tweens, then moved into Young Adult. Then I spent several years in daytime television, tried to break into film but Hollywood is a very insular world so I didn’t get very far. I did several cookbooks, a nonfiction book on gingerbread houses, a Complete Idiot’s Guide to Knitting Projects (I was the idiot, don’t ask for the details) and then has a spiritual transformation of sorts. I finally knew what I was supposed to be doing, not just doing it. I did some romantic comedies for adults, then came digital. That was the second huge transformational moment of my life. Suddenly I was free to write whatever I wanted. And did! If yes which is your favorite genre to write? I love Young Adult because you can tackle big issues, complicated emotions and darkness shot through with light. Such things tend to confuse adults. They like predictability and diversions. I like diversions, too! I think they’re great and they can be a public service and I mean it. A nurse running the intensive care ward has a break, picks up a book and wants to be taken as far away from her reality as possible for 15 minutes. Good on you if you can write that. It’s probably not my path although I am always surprised by life. Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete? If I don’t have the title first, I struggle with the title forever after. I think it’s like a compass keeping you pointed to True North. Everything for me is in the title. If I don’t have that, I flail around trying to find where I am. It’s a very messy bit of business you don’t really want to watch happen. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Life is difficult. No matter what’s happened, repair is possible. You can go on with your life, you can still have aspirations, accomplish your goals, and become a success in your own eyes. In Bad Apple, we have illustrations of characters who cannot get past their tragedies and we can see how it destroys their lives as well as the lives of people around them. We also see characters who overcome great difficulties and manage to put their lives back on track. Life is a fight. You should be prepared to do hand to hand combat with it. That’s where the real accomplishment is, not with fame or fortune. And just be nice.
Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life? A friend of mine was murdered. Someone came into his house and bludgeoned him to death with a baseball bat. That’s real anger when someone does something like that at close range, looking the victim in the face, beating him until “his jaw jellified” as the killer said. Because of circumstances, I was the one who intuited something had happened and called the police. That made me a suspect and treated as such, brought in, Mirandized, interviewed. Just like on television. Knowing I am a writer, the police kindly gave me copies of the confession and all the investigation files. Because the victim was a friend, I had access to his house, all his personal belongings and paperwork. I learned things I could have easily done without knowing and it took several years to be able to sort through the emotions of that time. Who was the victim and who was the predator? This is a question that plagues me still. Bad Apple is about a situation much like that. Nothing happens in a vacuum. Every event has its own history and reason for occurring . I drew bits of life from a number of sources to illustrate and make it understandable for people who didn’t live through it. Many pieces had nothing to do with the murder but a storyteller weaves disparate elements to lead the audience to a destination. Then you hope you’re successful and gave the reader an experience similar to your own. If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share? Bad Apple is Book 1 in the Bad Apple series. Burning Daylight is Book 2. Rise is Book 3. Bad Apple prepares everyone for the changes that will happen. Neal leaves the horrible family she’s been with and is brought into the Lambert home where she’s safe and loved. She joins Truly Lambert’s band and is able to express herself through singing and playing the fiddle. Burning Daylight brings further changes. The band breaks up leaving Tru and Neal free to explore the kind of music they want to do. Forming a new group called Maisie and The Boys Night Out, they perform what they call American music. It might be new, it might be old, it might be theirs, it might have been written by someone else but the thread holding it all together is the authenticity, the sincerity. The new band presents challenges and opportunities neither had ever dreamed of. And the threat of danger never leaves because Neal’s tormentor is still alive. Rise leads them further from home, meeting new people, presenting new opportunities. Book 4 will make us wonder if they should have taken those opportunities. Who designed the cover of your latest book? I design all the covers. Last year, after seeing a great cover a writer had designed for her I went in search of a cover designer. I found two, neither of whom were interested in reading the book. How can you find an image that represents the book without knowing what’s in the book? That left me baffled but I pushed on. After many emails struggling to explain the story and main characters, one sent me a mock-up cover I considered vulgar and the other person sent me a drawing of a sparrow with a cherry in its beak sitting (add an h into that word if you’d like) on a cupcake. Neither were appropriate for the book and they wanted a lot of money for this. Then my musician friend, Michal Towber, showed me the cover for her new album and I went to her photographer’s website. Helene Deroubaix perfectly captures the dreamy sensuality of all my adult books in her work. I found an image I love, purchased it, and used it for my book Unspeakably Desirable.
BAD APPLE Barbara Morgenroth Truly stopped the car at Maude’s house. “You’re okay getting home from here?” “Yes. I don’t want Toby seeing you.” “You can’t hide me forever.” “Let me try.” He laughed. All the way back to the house, in the dark, I remembered his laughter. Joy spilling out. I opened the door. Janie was standing in the kitchen smiling. I should have known something was really wrong. “Look who’s home!” She stepped aside. It was Joe. I felt my heart start to pound. “Isn’t it super?” Toby asked, draped around her brother. “Unbelievable!” I tried to smile. “Hi, Neal,” he said. “You’re sure growing up.” His eyes ran up and down my body just as if it were his hands caressing me. Joe crossed the room and grabbed me hard, pulling me close and kissed me. He stunk of beer and ripe body odor. He needed a shower. Or a fire hose trained on him. Joe pushed his bottle of beer at me. “Have a drink.” “No thanks, tempting, but I have homework.” “Yeah, she’s a real bookworm,” Toby mocked. “No kidding,” Joe said, eyes glued to me. I nodded. “It’s good to see you.” Janie was beaming. “He’s staying. We’re going to be a family again.” “Fantastic,” I replied. “Everyone’s going to be so happy.” As I walked to the stairs, they turned back to what they were doing, drinking and eating chips. I got to my room, closed the door behind me and stood there not having an idea in my head. Something had to be done before the fear submerged me. I dug through the clothes in my drawer until I found the cell phone hidden there and pressed the speed dial. “Neal?” “He’s back.”
“Who?” “Joe.” “Get out. Now.” “How?” “Come up with an excuse to leave.” “I can’t think.” I could barely breathe. “How many bedrooms are there in the house?” “Yeah. Shannon and I shared a room when he was here.” “Be magnanimous. Say you’re going to stay at Maude’s so he can have his own room. You don’t want him to be uncomfortable on the couch.” “Then what?” “One thing at a time.” “So I’ll go stay at Maude’s.” “Like hell, I’m turning around. I’ll pick you up at Maude’s.” “Then what?” “You’ll stay with us until we get it figured out. Don’t go downstairs until you’re sure you can convince them.” “Okay.” “I’ll see you in a couple minutes.” I sat on the edge of my bed feeling dizzy, feeling cold and wondering what he was doing back. There was a large duffel bag in the back of my closet. I packed it carefully with everything I considered important, everything I wanted in case I never went back. That was a real possibility. If Joe was going to be here forever, I was never going to live under the same roof with him again. It didn’t bother me leaving this room and this house. I had been little more than a boarder here. When I closed the door to my room, I heard them downstairs. Toby and Joe were on the way to being drunk but weren’t there yet. If I waited, Joe was a mean drunk and so was his sister. Right now, they were celebrating to be together again. The window of opportunity was very small and this was going to be the performance of my life. If I could get through this, the Enchanted Garden Canoe Rental gig was going to be a cinch. They were in the living room with the television blaring and for a moment, I thought about just leaving but didn’t want to risk it. If they caught me sneaking out, there would be hell to pay. I left the duffel bag by the door so I could grab it and go and they wouldn’t see how much I was taking with me. I waited until they were laughing then went into the living room. “Janie. I have a good idea. Maude’s knees are bothering her, you know how much I’ve been down there helping out.” Janie nodded. Toby and Joe weren’t paying attention, after all, it was me talking. “If I stay there, it’ll help her and Joe can have my room. He shouldn’t sleep on that old sofa.” He looked up at the mention of his name and tipped the bottle up to his lips. “Temporary. We’ll figure it out,” I waved my hand like it was all a nothing little thing. “Thanks, Neal,” Joe said. “Just like old times,” Toby added, looking at him adoringly. “Our rooms next door to each other.” “Okay. See ya, then,” I said, turned and made for the door. The duffel bag fought me on the way out it was so oversized and so full. Clothes, books, fiddle, laptop and a couple remaining items that belonged to my parents. Hurrying down the road to Maude’s house, soon I could see the light. Then as I got closer, I could see all the outside lights were on, his truck was parked next to her car in the driveway. I felt almost safe as I dropped the bag and went to open the kitchen door. Maude was there. “Are you all right? Truly’s told me what he knows.”
“I’m fine. They believed me about staying here and letting him take my room.” “But you’re not staying here,” Maude said. “Is that okay temporarily?” I asked. “Yes, but don’t make trouble for these nice people doing you a favor.” “I’ll call you as soon as I know something,” I said. “What am I supposed to say if they come looking for you?” I had wondered that, too, on the way down the road. “Let my father figure that out,” Truly said as he left the house. Maude gave me a hug. “I understand why you’re scared of him. He scares me, too.” “Will you be okay?” She smiled. “Sure. I’m tougher than he is.” I doubted that. Aunt Maude wasn’t crazy. We got into the truck, bouncing down the uneven dirt road and headed home. To his home. “Is this okay with your parents?” “It’s going to be fine. I tried to call my father but he was out. My mother is used to unexpected guests.” “Maybe I should have stayed with Maude.” “Too close.” “But she’s alone.” “He didn’t throw her under the tractor.” Yeah. I had been expecting this moment for years. Since Joe had left, I knew he’d find his way back home eventually. “I’m sorry you got involved in this. You’ve done so much already.” At least Joe had no idea where the Lamberts lived. He wasn’t going to show up at their door, stinking like a goat. “Stop it.” “Are you mad at me?” “No. You don’t have to be grateful someone’s not kicking you like you’re a cowering dog.” “Is that how I seem?” “Yes, Neal. That’s how you seem because that’s how it’s been. That’s over.” “Where am I going to go? I don’t want to go into foster care. Child protective services.” “Geez. What an imagination. Can you take things one step at a time?” “No!” “I know you’re scared. It’ll get solved. I promise.” “Truly?” “What?” “No. Do you promise truthfully?” “Yes.” He turned the truck into his driveway. “For one thing, you’re my lead singer, I can’t afford to lose you.” His father’s state police car was in the yard. “Did you tell him about the tractor?” “That’s your story to tell.” I got out of the truck. “Go in, I’ll bring your bag. It’s big enough. Did you pack everything?” “I figured I was never going back.” “You’re not.”
Steve opened the door for me. “Are you okay?” I nodded. “Think you can talk to me for a couple minutes?” “Sure.” “She’s fine,” Truly said as he came in with the duffel bag. “She fought with me all the way home.” “That’s an exaggeration.” “I’ll bet you haven’t had dinner. I’ll make everyone something and we can eat in twenty minutes. Okay?” Emily suggested. “That’ll be good. Come with me, Neal.” Steve led me into the living room. “A baby grand,” I said looking at the piano taking up half of the room. “Someone was moving, I helped them out, they helped us out.” Steve sat on a chair as I walked over to the piano just needing to touch it. “Ivory keys. It must be really old.” The surface of the yellowed keys felt like silk under my fingers. “Tell me what’s going on.” I sat on the piano bench. “Tru brought me home after rehearsal and Joe was there.” “Was there any explanation why he’s up from New Orleans?” “No. They were drinking. He smelled like a goat and kissed me. Looked at me in that special way.” “What way?” I tried to unearth words without saying the actual words I meant. “He said how much I’d grown.” “Anything else?” I took a deep breath. “Toby was...so happy to see him.” “I know you don’t want to be, but you need to be real specific.” “Does that include my suspicions?” “It sure does.” “Do I have to go back there? Because if he ever finds out I’ve told, this time he’ll kill me. He won’t stop at breaking my leg like last time.” “You’re not going back.” I had kept the secrets for so long, I couldn’t make my mouth form the words. “Let me ask you another question. Do you think he killed Paul?” Bad Apple Book One Barbara Morgenroth Genre: Mature Adult Publisher DashingBooks ASIN B0045JK2XW Word Count 39,000 Amazon
Brett Davis How did you come up with the title for your latest book? I wanted to convey that it's sort of a spy thriller, so in that sense using the words “Mama Lona's Man” echoed “secret agent man,” but it also conveys a darker message … that one of the leading characters is controlled by a witch doctor. He is, quite literally, someone else's man. Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete? I usually have a title in mind when I'm working, although I have been known to change it once it's done. This one stayed put all the way through, though. Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet? High fantasy. Maybe. I like the idea of world building, although I've never really tried it. All of my books so far, even the fantasy ones, have taken place in a world very much like my own. But someday I may write something that requires drawing a few maps. What book are you reading now? Game of Thrones … maybe that's causing the urge to world-build. What books are in your to read pile? Ender's Game. Heard about it a lot, never read it. I snagged a copy of it and it has been updated
to a position of honor on my nightstand. If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share? I'm plotting it out now, and working on a multi-book story arc. Abigail Callisto and Randy Straw will go somewhere interesting in the world and their love will be tested in new and interesting ways. And the U.S. Intelligence service will try to figure out just what they can accomplish with a zombie secret agent. I have a few options for the next adventure and am just trying to figure out which one works best for the second outing. Who designed the cover of your latest book? A very talented artist and musician named Cate Meyers. She's multi-talented! Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book? Any kind of Caribbean-style music would be good. Reggae and Calypso would be a good start. And my zombie man character is kind of stuck back in the 1980s musically, so if you want to get inside his head, put on a record (should you have one) of A Flock of Seagulls or The GoGos. When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures? Photography is the main one. I shoot pictures almost constantly. And, last year I wrote a movie script, a low-budget vampire flick. I then decided just to merge my two interests, writing and photography, and shoot it myself with some talented local actors I rounded up. What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress? Next up is learning video editing! Kind of excited about that. And plotting out and writing the next adventures of Abigail Callisto and Randy Straw. And then, maybe someday, tackling that high fantasy. About the Author
Brett O’Neal Davis is a native of Florence, Ala., and attended the same high school as Sam Phillips, who discovered Elvis Presley. He studied journalism at the University of North Alabama and the University of Missouri, writing about music whenever possible. He also briefly “fronted” the one-man punk band Screwhead. Despite clearing $1.50 in profit on consignment sales of the band’s lone album at Salt of the Earth Records in Columbia, Mo., he turned to the slightly more stable world of aerospace and defense journalism, working today in the field of unmanned systems and robotics in Washington, D.C.
Mama Lona's Man By Brett Davis Blurb Mama Lona’s Man combines a Caribbean love story with a zombie thriller. It’s a bit James Bond, a bit "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" and a dash of "Night of the Living Dead." Excerpt Abigail cautiously opened the bathroom door. The large men were gone. A guard rushed down the hallway past her without even glancing in her direction. She heard shouts echoing off the walls. She was beginning to think she wasn't going to get that ride home after all. She heard what sounded like machine gun fire down the hall, coming from what she thought was the outside of the house. Looking behind her she saw that while the bathroom was large it offered no place to hide. She could sit on the toilet and try to wait out whatever was going on, or she could go deeper into the mansion and find a place to hide or a way out. Another machine gun burst, this one accompanied by the grunt of a man in pain, settled the question. She opened the door and ran down the hall, heading for what she hoped would be safety. Having some knowledge of how the president's house was laid out would have been helpful. After a few minutes, Abigail realized that she was just circling around a large inner courtyard where fighting was taking place. She hid behind a sizable marble column and peeked around it. The president's guards—she recognized them from their uniforms—were arrayed against what looked like a ragtag militia, although one that was equally well armed. The militia members had no uniforms, just ratty T-shirts and stained khaki pants. The guards were hidden behind the furniture, including several overturned tables, and fired wildly through the front windows and doors. Everything was in tatters. The windows and doors were now nearly nonexistent, the drapes looked like moths the size of Mothra had eaten them and the furniture was riddled with bullets, although it was holding up surprisingly well. The guards no doubt were glad that their boss had not cheaped out on the décor. The militia was not making much progress. One of its members would briefly appear in a window or door, get off a shot or two and fall back. The guards, for all their firing, did not seem to actually hit anything and the militia members were no better. The noise was incredible, like an indoor thunderstorm, but as far as Abigail could see hardly anybody had actually been hit yet. She was just about to try to find her way out through the back of the mansion, leaving the guards and militia men to their target practice, when something amazing happened. One of the militia men went suddenly went flying to the side, losing his rifle in the process. He didn't seem to be shot. It looked like someone had just grabbed him from behind and flung him into the air. A few seconds later, a man walked right through the middle of the room. The combatants were so stunned by his presence, and his audacity, that they stopped firing. He was unusual not just for standing up in the middle of a firefight but because he was the only white man in the room. He was young, about Abigail's age, with straight, sandy-blonde hair that was a little disheveled. He wore a stained blue T-shirt and dark green pants but no shoes or socks. He seemed to have no weapons of any kind except his muscles—the T-shirt and pants revealed that he was lean and fit. Abigail was pretty sure he was also about to be dead, but still no one fired. The man stood still and gazed around the room as if in a daze. He did not seem surprised, or even particularly interested, to find himself in the middle of a small war. Not finding anything in the room of interest to him, he started to move on, heading for the doorway just to Abigail's right. That was when one of the guards remembered that he was supposed to keep people out of the house. He stood up and fired two shots into the man's chest. Abigail squeezed her eyes shut, not wanting to see her first dead body. She waited for the thump of the young man falling to
the floor but it didn't happen. She opened one eye; he was still on his feet. Maybe those weren't muscles showing through his shirt, maybe they were actually the ridges of a bulletproof vest. The man walked over to the guard, who had a stunned look on his face, picked him up by his lapels and hurled him against the wall as if he weighed only a couple of pounds. The guard sagged to the floor and lay still. The man continued on his way. Another guard rose from behind his hiding place, an overturned table, and fired a shot right into the man’s back. There was no bulletproof vest—with her own horrified eyes, Abigail saw a hole appear in the front of the man's shirt as the bullet punched through; though oddly there was no blood, just a yellowish stain. Still the man did not fall or even break stride. He completely ignored the fact that he had just been shot three times. He stepped through the doorway and noticed her crouching behind the column. His eyes, so dead in the other room, suddenly seemed to flare to life. He seemed surprised to see her. “You should come with me.” He extended a hand but she just stared at it, not knowing what else to do. The firing renewed in the front room. A bullet dug into the column above her head, showering her with dust. “I'm pretty sure that's not real marble,” he said. “You should come with me.” His voice was calm and even, just a little bit scratchy, and had more than a hint of the American South.
Mama Lona's Man The Straw Man Series Book One Brett O'Neal Davis Genre: Paranormal Romance ISBN: 9781301347049 ASIN: B00AH01DKE Number of pages: 219 Word Count: 74,000 Cover Artist: Cate Meyers Smashwords
Mama Lona’s Man combines a Caribbean love story with a zombie thriller. It’s a bit James Bond, a bit "How Stella Got Her Groove Back" and a dash of "Night of the Living Dead. The leading man is a ex-Navy SEAL controlled by a witch doctor. When he meets an American girl caught up in island intrigue, they fall in love even though he's been dead longer than she's been alive.
Top 5 Vampires in the Movies Michelle Cornwell-Jordan Why oh why do we love them? These creatures have been the most revered and simultaneously feared beings in myths and legends. Their appearance of humanity, but being more in all aspects speed, strength and their greatest tool, the unnatural beauty which mesmerizes others. So I am going to share my favorite picks #5) Jacob in Midnight Sun
#4) Louie â€œBrad Pittâ€? in Interview with a Vampire
#3) Eric in True Blood
#2) Edward in Twilight Saga
#1) Damon from Vampire Diaries
Excerpt Kindred Sweat traced a path across my forehead, trickling down with its salty kisses stinging my eyes, blinding me for precious seconds as I blinked hurriedly to clear my vision. The Alpha circled around me, a gloating sneer marring his handsome face; stalking me like the predator he was. I gripped the oak stake in both hands; I stood in a defensive stance, feet spread, knees slightly bent. I kept my eyes on the Alpha as he moved with feline grace. Although I was in a situation of life or death, I could not stop myself from being caught up in his movements, his grace and agility, but I quickly shook myself out of that haze. I knew that he could be trying to influence me, as that is one of the many tricks of vampires. Sometimes it seems unfair that they have so many tools at their convenience, such as being extraordinary hot, their incredible strength and wicked speed; so much so, that it can blind a person to what type of monsters they really are inside. I felt myself weaken a little and I began to lose focus. The Alpha mockingly asked “What’s wrong, little hunter? Would you like to stop the running, and lie down so that I can have my lunch?” He smiled, showing his fangs. I felt the cleansing flow of anger rush through me, clearing my head. I knew he was attempting to place those thoughts inside my head to eat away at my confidence. Madison, my mentor, says that I have to block it, brick by mental brick. I am to envision a wall in my mind; one that is impenetrable in order to stop the dark whisperings. I smiled and crouched slightly further in my stance. The vampire’s smile dimmed and he didn’t appear as sure as before. That uncertainty gave me a surge of adrenaline; I kept my eyes centered on the Alpha, but I was very aware of my surroundings. The hairs on the back of my neck rose and the tingling sensation began in my back, spreading and fanning out through my body. I call it my personal alarm system. Madison states that each Hunter has a different warning alert, tailor-made and wired into their body. Mine usually accompanied extreme nausea and headache whenever I was near a Shadowed One… I knew another vampire was behind me. I looked into the Alpha’s eyes, and his cocky grin was back on his face. I knew I was being mocked and frankly, that was making me madder. But I knew through training not to allow anger to take hold; it could cost me my life—too much to lose. All of this was really hard to take in. One minute, I am the crazy loner girl, just me and my little brother, and the
next I am a Vampire Hunter. The fact I didn’t even believe that vampires existed until a few weeks ago was bad enough, but now I’m some type of superhero? Oh, ok, right. But I have been told I am, and with the crazy, cool tricks my body can do…well, I guess it has to be true. I really haven’t had much time to think on it between trying not to get killed; it’s been pretty tough to wallow in doubt. I lobbed the stake right and left as I rocked on the balls of my feet as trained. I felt the vampire behind me come closer and move out of my peripheral vision. I scoped two other Shadowed Ones coming from both my right and left sides. I could tell the leader in front was driving, pushing me back towards the one behind me, and the others on the side were closing in for attack. “What, Hunter? No remarks, no witty comebacks? Do you have nothing to say? Or have you accepted that you will not win, that you are nothing but a little girl, and won’t be able to save your brother!” I felt blinding rage envelop me, but I heard a voice in my head saying, “Focus, control the rage, do not allow it to control you...” I breathed deeply and allowed the leader to be my focal point. Soon all I could see was the mocking vampire and then, with a hairsbreadth of warning—he attacked. Fangs showing, his hands forming claws, he lunged. I raised the wooden stake; he deflected my attempt, knocking the stake from my hand. He grabbed my wrist and, just as quickly, leaned in to take a bite. I tuned out everything else, and it was as if something else in me, a more primitive part of me took over. The vampire’s hands were steel bands around my wrist, but I drew from the inner power that I had been sensing and channeling over these last few weeks. I leaned back and grabbed the vampire’s wrists, twisting them out and down simultaneously. I then leaned back in and head butted the vampire, who, surprised, stumbled back. I took this opportunity to strike him in the throat, which caused him to go backwards, falling down. The second in command rushed up from behind. I quickly delivered a rear kick to the vampire coming from the back and, as the two came in from the side, I grabbed one, hurtling him from the right side. I grabbed him, ignoring the anger and shock, and now increased rage that flashed over his face. I used him as support, jumping, and fanning my left leg out into a side strike, kicking him in his throat. As I fell down into a sitting position, I still held onto the vampire, bringing him down with me, and while rocking, used my legs as leverage to tilt backwards, and flipped the vampire over as he shouted in rage. I quickly rolled back into a crouching half-stand and watched as the vampires regained their footing, all eyeing me menacingly. Just as I expected them all to rush me at once, I heard a familiar, loud, and irritating voice shout, “Enough!” We all stopped and turned, breathing heavily, watching as the Drama queen herself, Bella Donna, walked down the shaded path from Ame Academy, slowly clapping her hands. She stopped directly in front of me, looking at me, arms folded, head tilted to the side as if observing a bug. Just the tip of her fangs showed as she said, “Well done, Hunter. You just might not get us all killed, like I originally believed.” Jeez, where did I put that stake again?
Kindred Night School Vampire Hunter Trilogy Novella#2 Michelle Cornwell-Jordan Genre: YA Paranormal ASIN: B00AA04YW0 Number of pages: 82 Word Count: 28514 Cover Artist: Next Artist Media Services Amazon BarnesandNoble.com Smashwords
Angel and her friends at Ame Academy, a boarding school for preternatural and humans are back, and they are preparing for battle against the dark forces that kidnapped Angelâ€™s younger brother Jordan. Angel had recently discovered that she was a Hunter and that she alone has a special weapon against her enemies; her blood, which is discovered to be toxic to her enemies. Angel is prepared to use her training and all that is at her disposal in order to save Jordan, even if that means joining forces with the strange and mysterious Rafael, who at their first meeting, she recognized him as the boy she had dreamed about for weeks prior to his arrival at the school. Angel cannot shake the feeling that she knew Rafael before, and is hopelessly drawn to her extremely handsome fellow hunter. Rafael frightens her, he hints of a secret; another time and another life lived. Can love survive two lifetimes? Events unfold that provides the answers to who Rafael really is and what they mean to one another; and along with these strange and blossoming emotions for Rafael, along with guilt and fear for her brothers safety; Angel discovers that she is more than just a Vampire Hunter, and that she plays a major role in a ancient prophecy, which she must fulfill by facing an a force so evil that survival is not promised. But she will face the Dark One, Angel will sacrifice all, if it means saving all whom she loves. Many questions are answered, but the drama is just beginningâ€Ś. Cecil Monique speaks regarding Night School and her music Video of Immortal Beloved http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JSj9nqK7-6Y&feature=youtube_gdata Song Trailer http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=slxdfVTs4tY Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/kQHlXuZLSpA
On a mission to recover the first female guardian born in hundreds of years, Russell Leonard finds himself face-to-face with the mysterious woman he’s been dreaming about. While it might seem strange that she recognizes him too, a total stranger, there are other, more troubling things about this young woman that have Russell wondering just who she is and what she means to him. As they embark on a journey that will either free both their souls or end in terrible tragedy, Russell and his Belle must accept each other wholly and completely or risk losing everything they, and everyone around them, hold dear. Awaited is a mustread! Title: Awaited Series: Wasteland #2 Author: Lynn Rush Prominent Characters: Russell, Annabelle Recommended Reader Age: 16+ Sexual Content Level: light and mild *** This review is SPOILER-FREE! Read on with confidence! ***
Awaited will have you on the edge of your seat right from the start. Where Wasteland took a good number of pages to build to “can’t put it down” momentum, Ms. Rush brings her A-game to the very first page. Visceral and intense, the opening chapter of this book will have your heart beating faster and your eyes skipping ahead to see what happens next. Like it’s predecessor, Awaited unfolds in first person male point of view. This time, instead of living in Da-
vid’s head, we get nice and cozy with Russell, the story’s hero – an unusual viewpoint in this market of female dominated 1st-POV, but a refreshing change. We first met Russell Leonard in Wasteland, as Becca’s “brother”and protector. He’s just as determined and rock steady in Awaited as he was then, but we also get a look at the soul-deep weariness a warrior of over 400 years old would experience when he lives with constant warfare. For someone so lethal with a sword, Russell is the epitome of gentleness when it comes to his Belle. Annabelle is mute, vulnerable, and damaged, with a core of inner strength and tranquility that shines through when you least expect it. Intriguing and unpredictable, she’s not your traditional heroine. The connection between Russell and Belle is like a shining strand of love, iridescent with faith and wrapped in heartwarming purity. The plot moves seamlessly from each near miss to new revelation, keeping you guessing about what’s coming next and who the players really are. Awaited has a darker, more hopeless feel than Wasteland, resolving in a sinking feeling that just won’t go away. You know bad things are coming and there’s nothing you can do but hang on, go along for the ride, and hope for the HEA. I devoured the first half of this book in one sitting, and it is no quick novella read. Despite its dark undertones, the writing in Awaited is quite classy and almost gentle feeling. The characters are generally all respectful and well-mannered despite their brutal occupations… yes, even the baddies! These Guardians are upstanding warriors for the Light, not the crass, foul-mouthed soldiers so commonly found in PNR today. David and Jessica make appearances in this one and it was great to see them again… especially Jessica. I love her spunky, modern, sassy personality, and the way she seems to carry so much on her shoulders yet still be so accepting and calm. I have a sneaking suspicion the next book will be her story, and it’s looking to be another dark one. The end of Awaited culminates in an emotional flurry of activity, with intense battles and unexpected sacrifices, and I didn’t want it to end! The marquee couple’s journey is nicely concluded and Ms. Rush leaves us with a slight cliffhanger concerning a few of the other characters, leading right into the final (likely to be impatiently-awaited!) chapter of this saga.
Original Post Can Be Found: http://gravetells.com/2012/04/27/arc-review-awaited-wasteland-2-by-lynn-rush/
We are now accepting submissions for the February issue of Bewitching Book Tours Magazine We would love to see some short stories and poetry along with the normal articles, interviews and book reviews. The theme for the month is Vampire Valentine. For every issue we are acceptTrue tales of paranormal encounters Articles (around 500-1200 words on writing, books, reading, and/or paranormal themes) Book reviews Poetry Artwork Recipes and Crafts Ad space rates are: $40 full page ad $20 half page ad $10 quarter page ad