Bewitching Book Tours Magazine Issue 27 September 2014
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 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 ÂŠ Copyright 2014 Stock images from www.123rf.com
Contents Chandrea Promise of Magic Declaration The Necromancer's Betrayal Tim On Broadway ClaraBelle’s Custom Creations Fading Light Sinful Craving The Tears of the Rose Blood Diva The Witches Who Stich Witch’s Bane Feature Michigan Events Seven Seeds of Summer Isis Vampires & Ghosts Oh My! Green Living Tips Twinfinity Silent Partner After the Silence Naughty Nook Seek Peek
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Looking anxiously to her right, she saw that, despite her brief run, the clouds had come much closer, and that the clashing lightning and thunder were almost on top of her. Flutters of fear crawled down her spine and made a home in her belly. This was not good. Chandrea looked around for some place to find protection. Though the grasses seemed to be thinning out and she was seeing small scrubby bushes here and there, there still werenâ€™t any signs of civilization, so she continued to walk tiredly east.
fied, ragged gasps, but she was all but oblivious to it as she dug and tore at the stubborn soil. Every time lightning struck near her, she screamed and ducked, covering her head with her arms in an unconscious effort to protect herself, and then continued digging. She tore at the web of roots, desperate to dig a hole she could take shelter in, but to no avail. The old grasses had been in the dry plains for a long time, and had grown their roots long and wide to find any available ground water. Without a shovel or a pick, she could make no headway, and only managed to tear her hands to the point of bleeding in the effort.
The brisk wind turned into powerful gusts, and she had to lean to avoid being thrown off her feet. Dust and debris were torn from the ground and swirled all around her, and she was forced to raise her hands to Gasping, she stopped and looked around with wild, shield her eyes. Lightning struck nearby, followed by a frightened eyes. The world around her had gone mad. powerful blast of thunder that shook the ground. Chan- Lightning struck rapidly now, all around her, for miles drea cringed and screamed in raw fear. in all directions, and the sharp booming thunder was close on its heels. She felt the first few warm splashes of water on her skin, and looking up, saw that the bulk of the sky had A small, sane portion of her mind recognized that turned a deep heavy looking grey. She began to run she should hunker down and try to make the smallest again, the flight instinct now in full control of her. target of herself possible, but that was akin to taking The heavens opened up and rain came sheeting your eyes off the hungry lion crouched nearby and down. The drops were huge at first, but quickly behoping it wouldnâ€™t notice you. Instead, she knelt and came small and piercing as they pelted her skin. Her watched with horrified fascination as the prairie took a clothing soon became saturated, weighing her down. beating from mother nature. Her entire body shook Lightning flashed all around her, dazzling bursts of from the fear that washed through her, and she knew light followed closely by violent claps of thunder. The that at any moment lightning would strike and kill her. strikes blew chunks of dirt and debris into the wind. Without conscious thought or effort, her magic The world was shaken by the repeated crack of thunder bloomed to life. She gasped at the suddenness of it, yet and her eardrums throbbed in painful harmony from welcomed it with a desperate hope. She felt it growing the overwhelming sounds. and expanding inside her, filling her completely with an eerie, tingling sensation. What was happening? Animal instinct took over. Throwing herself to her What would her magic do this time? knees, she clawed at the dirt. Her breath came in terriHer skin began to glow a soft ethereal white. She
held her hands out in front of her, and, despite the dangers surrounding her, wonder filled her at the sight. She’d seen her skin glow before, but never so clearly. The glow rapidly enveloped her until she was encased by a soft white ball of energy that extended a few feet out from her on all sides. The wind and rain no longer affected her, apparently unable to penetrate her protective sphere. Curious, she poked a finger at the ball. It rippled like water when she touched it. She became bolder and stuck her whole arm out. Once again, the wind, rain, and nearby grass stalks pelted her tender skin. She pulled her arm and hand back inside and the sensations ceased. She looked around with a newfound sense of security. The storm raged on around her, but in her sheltering bubble, it seemed that none of the elements could touch her. She gasped as a bolt of lightning struck nearby. She could only hope that the bubble would protect her against the lightning strikes as well. With a frightening intensity, suddenly a new roaring sound filled her senses, causing her to gasp and duck involuntarily. It was followed immediately by anther, and another, each successfully competing in
volume and depth with the crashing thunder. But, these new sounds weren’t caused by mother nature. It was almost as if a whole pride of hungry lions were surrounding her, and roaring in excitement of the hunt and the kill to come. But, it couldn’t be lions, for, like the thunder, these sounds came from the sky itself. Some had a deep, throbbing quality to them. Others were shrill and almost metallic. All of them were terrifying. Chandrea tried to determine what was up there in the deep dark grey of the clouds. It was difficult to see through the soft glow of her bubble. When several lightning bolts struck, causing a strobe effect, she sucked in her breath in disbelieving terror at what she saw. Silhouetted in brief, white-clad glory, were dozens upon dozens of dragons of various shapes and sizes. Each time the lightning flashed, it would cause a stilllife effect of the great beasts circling in the sky with an almost playful air about them. With huge, earth- shaking roars, some shot massive flames from their mouths, causing the heavens and the ground far below to be lit by the intense yellow-red flare.
Chandrea: The Return of the Avatar Queen Marlene Wynn Book Description: Chandrea Averill thinks she’s just like any other normal young woman. But, on the day of her 23rd birthday, her life changes forever. Surrounded by magical creatures, dangerous sorcery, and insidious political intrigue, Chandrea desperately wants to return to Earth and the only life she’s ever known. But, the longer she stays, the more she realizes that she may be the only one with the power – both magical and political – to save the people of Lyrunia. Will she find the courage to remain and fight for her home world? Book trailer http://youtu.be/lzJpY3nai34 Available at BN Smashwords Amazon Kobo iTunes
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About the Author:
Marlene Wynn is a Utah native - fondly referred to as "Utonian" by a friend. She transplanted herself in 1992 from the majestic Rocky Mountains to the beachy shores of sunny Virginia Beach, Virginia and has been there ever since. Though she has worked in the benefits field for several years, she finally worked up the courage to chase her dream as an author.
Website: https://www.marlenewynn.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MarleneWynn.Author https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/8343236.Marlene_Wynn https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/MarleneWynn
Excerpt: Tarian forced her eyes open to focus on the rock in front of her. Earth as dense as anything she’d ever seen, more power than she’d ever experienced. The feeling of old that surrounded it. The sense of longing as if the stone itself wanted freedom from the long and arduous task it had been set. She grabbed onto the longing and let the stream of energy pour into it, into the Stulos, then twisted it as she’d done once before. Another twist, and the flow of power into the Stulos reversed. Three streams of colored light became one solid column of white. A thousand voices sounded in her head. High ones, low ones, her sister’s voice, dolphin cries and emotion, all around and through her. The energy bound them into something greater than mere humans and Ancients. They were timeless. Eternal. It was almost like she felt when she made love with Daric, but…different. At once more intense and at the same time more encompassing. Less personal. More global. As though the universe spoke through her, and she through it. The awe of it. Tears spilled onto her cheeks. Another cramp gripped her body and she swayed on her knees, gripping the rock as it crumbled, trying to maintain her balance as the ground shifted and her body twisted. Not now. Too soon. Not now. Too soon. She couldn’t be…the baby couldn’t be… The voices rose in her head. Everyone joined in as the power flowed around and through, around and through, until she, the Caraigg, her sister, the baby, and the dolphins were all one with it. The crack in the Stulos widened, a giant lesion extending from the floor all the way up until she couldn’t see the end. Cold retreated, heat entered. A loud snap. The Stulos shattered into a million pieces that hung suspended in air for a flash of eternity before rushing outward to the edges of the cavern. A dolphin cry sounded, triumphant, exalted, as the world exploded in a rain of cold fire, magic power, ash and lava.
About the Author: Melinda VanLone writes fantasy and science fiction, freelances as a graphic designer, and dabbles in photography. She currently lives in Rockville, Maryland, with her husband and furbabies. When she's not playing with her imaginary friends you can find her playing World of Warcraft, wandering aimlessly through the streets taking photos, or nursing coffee in Starbucks. http://melindavan.com
twitter: @melindavan https://www.facebook.com/MelindaVanLone https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6691466.Melinda_VanLone Promise of Magic House of Xannon Book 3 Melinda VanLone Genre: urban fantasy ISBN: 978-0-9887455-4-4 ASIN: TBD Word Count: 65k Cover Artist: bookcovercorner.com Book Description: On instinct, Tarian bowed her head in return, shocked. “Dulra. Welcome.” She breathed the words, awed by the presence of creatures she’d only known through legends. What is the Balance Court doing here? “Tarian A’marie Maitea Xannon, of the House of Xannon, Keeper of the Water Artifact, you are summoned to the Balance Court.” She’d been summoned, and every particle of her being cried out to answer it. Despite the advanced stage of her pregnancy, Tarian has some explaining to do. Fulfilling her Agreement with the Carraig was an issue of honor—but it led to complications. The Keeper of the House of Xannon is called to account, and Tarian must embark on a dangerous mission which could cost her the life of her unborn daughter, end in disaster for all planes of existence—or save the world. Some promises are deadly to keep. Will the promise of magic be one of them?
Excerpt: Ethan hid in a dark doorway, panting, while he considered his options. No way Caulb and his felons in training would give up once they figured out he outsmarted them. Shouts echoing in the cavernous hallway alerted him. Danger was closer than he’d thought. Great. Weren’t schools supposed to be crawling with staff members looking out for the welfare of the students? Yeah, right. Too bad, he’d left his cell phone in Leah’s car. Not that it would have done him much good since the school used a dampener to keep students from texting in class. If high schools were a theme park, then tenth grade was the roller coaster. It started uneventfully. The most stressful part had been fending off all the helpful staff members, who wanted to redirect him to the middle school, assuming, since he was shorter than a good portion of the girls, he wasn’t old enough for high school. The voices veered off to the left, down the science corridor. A window of opportunity opened up. Ethan shot up the hallway to the gym, where the wrestling team practiced earlier. His father had nagged him to try out for the wrestling team. Even the coach asked him to give it a go, because they needed someone in his weight class. Most of his matches would forfeit due to not having anyone in his class or he’d end up wrestling a girl, the coach said. No thanks. He already had enough things to be teased about. The dimly lit hallway stretched as if it were endless. Maybe this was a dream and he’d wake up soon. Caulb’s voice filtered down the hallway. His bass timber was menacing enough without the eerie quality of it bouncing off the metal lockers and taking on an almost mechanical quality. Caulb was a deadly droid, on the mission of annihilating anyone who didn’t conform to his standards. Unfortunately, no tip sheet existed to specify what his standards were. All Ethan knew was, he didn’t meet them. The gym doors came into view. Sanctuary. He swung the door open with a gasp, unsure what he was going to say. All he had to do was stick close to the coach. Maybe he could say he needed to use the phone to call home. His eyes darted around the empty gym. Where was everyone? An image of the wrestlers in their spandex suits came to mind. They were dressed in their team apparel when he’d seen them earlier, which meant they were probably at an away meet, and why no one was in the gym. The lights illuminated the wooden floor and abandoned
mats. He took a few steps into the gym, stopped, and turned slowly, seeing no sign of following bullies, or an almost friend who stabbed him in the back. His lips pulled down into a frown, remembering the different expectations heâ€™d had for the night, much different. Declaration Pagan Eyes Book Three Rayna Noire Genre: YA Paranormal Publisher: Sleeping Dragon Press Date of Publication: August 2014 ISBN-13: 978-0692254363 ISBN-10: 0692254366 ASIN: Number of pages: 241 Word Count: 75,156 Cover Artist: Dawne Dominique Book Description: Ethan finds himself trapped between the world he knows and the world that could be. A sadistic bully, an unsympathetic principal, and an unreachable love interest make high school difficult for Ethan. He feels like heâ€™s living a lie, trying to blend in at school in an effort to keep his head attached to his body. The support his Wiccan family provides is negated by fear of not being the son his father wants. An impromptu trip into the future saves him from an enraged bully while instilling doubts about where he really belongs. Somehow, he has to find a way to survive in his own world tossing aside his mask and doubts. Book Trailer http://youtu.be/gU5lJ-YKzsc Available at Amazon Keywords: Paranormal, Young Adult, Suspense, Romantic Suspense, Coming of Age, Wic-
“See, that’s the difference between demons and vamps. No honor, here.” I stuttered a laugh. “Demons do not have honor.” I paused. “You have honor. You just don’t want to admit it.” “Does an honorable vampire lust after the woman his friend desires, but can’t have?” I laughed, taking his words as typical alpha supe flirtation, but when I looked at his face, my laughter stilled. He wasn’t joking. I dropped my gaze to the deck, and he returned to messing with the sails. His admission had tainted our breezy conversation, and a salty awkwardness layered the air between us for the rest of the cruise. When Ewan had stumbled upon Lysander comforting me after my encounter with Dominic, I had to lie to him. Of course, that led him to imagine a much worse scenario than the actual truth, which I couldn’t reveal. Now a new, more insurmountable obstacle divided Ewan and me, but the episode with Lysander was almost more unacceptable to Ewan because I’d caused it. And now, Ewan had written our relationship off, and I was sailing in the moonlight on a boat captained by a hot vampire, who used to be a pirate, and who had given me the occasional glimpse into a passion and vulnerability that would be increasingly hard to resist. I was screwed. We cruised into the Oakland Inner Harbor, heading for the Alameda Marina. He pulled up next to a catamaran and docked the boat. We disembarked and traversed the wooden dock, heading for one of the new oyster bars that signaled the revitalization of the once-industrial area. I clutched my scarf against the chilly air creeping along the waterfront. The nearly-full moon projected an incandescent glow onto the water, providing the only light to dispel the thickening darkness. We left the dock and took a dirt path intersecting a concrete sea wall on our left and a string of warehouses on our right. The only sound came from the water slapping against the sea wall. I darted my eyes around us and sidled closer to Lysander. The shadows lengthened, seeming to nip at my heels as we walked. Shadows didn’t have malevolent intent, did they? These seemed to crouch, ready to pounce; Seemed to whisper, “Come . . .” Lysander gave me a reassuring look, obviously perceiving my nervousness. The lights of the bar about fifty feet ahead became visible, and I shook off my anxiousness. I was with a fricking vampire who used to be a pirate. Lysander stumbled. “Not very smooth for a vampire,” I said with a laugh. He didn’t laugh back. His only response was to stop suddenly and groan. I moved to face him and recoiled at the sight of his face illuminated by the moonlight. “What the hell? You’re turning all Nosferatu on me. I liked the movie and all, but it’s not a look that works for you.” When he met my eyes, and I saw his confusion and desperation, I realized this wasn’t some normal vampire transformation. His skin was shriveling in sick slow motion before me, prune-like, turning to the color of ash and flaking away as if burning from the inside out. “Oh, Christ. Lysander, what’s happening?” “I don’t know,” he managed to croak from a throat that was shrinking upon itself. Whispers, real now, louder, drifted toward us from the shadows clinging to the spaces between the warehouses. No. I’m not going crazy. Someone is out there. “Who’s there? Son of a bitch. Show yourself!”
A soft laugh answered me. Fuck this. I turned toward the warehouses, but a tug on my pants stopped me. “Blood,” Lysander rasped. “Where . . . oh.” He meant my blood. “We can’t.” “I’m dying.” His voice sounded as shriveled as he looked. His skin was no more than a thin layer of plastic shrink-wrapped around protruding bones. I slapped my head with my palm. Oh God. Oh God. I can’t do this. I wasn’t worried about transforming into a bloodsucker. I knew it took much more than a few blood exchanges to turn someone. My fear came from my own power. Like with Dominic’s lieutenant, the necromancy could taint the blood connection and turn Ly into a zombie. I took another look at him and dispelled my fear. He was dying. Maybe he was stronger than Dominic’s lieutenant. Maybe his blood would resist my power. Please. I squatted next to him, held out my wrist, and squeezed my eyes, not sure what to expect. Getting sucked on by a vampire was supposed to feel better than ecstasy—that’s why so many people frequented the vampire club—but when the lieutenant had sucked my blood, his fangs had felt like hot pokers ramming into my neck. Lysander jerked his fangs into my wrist, and I cried out. Okay. No pleasure here. His fangs shook, like he needed his fix bad. He tore at my skin with sloppy slurps. I gritted my teeth at the pain that scorched my wrist. My arm shook, but he held tight and sucked. I didn’t even know if this would work. I didn’t want him to die, but what would I do if he transformed into a zombie? I felt my power murmur inside me, unhappy at the intrusion, but I stamped it down, hopefully before it could taint the blood. Lysander pulled off my wrist. The force of the movement caused me to fall back on my ass. The air and ground spun around me, and I fought off the nausea with deep breaths. The moonlight slashed across Lysander’s profile, and I sighed, relieved at the pale, vampire tone of his wonderfully tight and unshriveled skin. I reached out my hand, trembling violently, and touched his shoulder. He twisted his head, and I recoiled, seeing the same emptiness in his eyes that the lieutenant had reflected when he’d drunk my blood. No. No. No.
The Necromancer’s Betrayal The Necromancer Series Book 2 Mimi Sebastian Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance Publisher: ImaJinn/Belle Books ISBN: 978-1611945119 ASIN: Number of pages: 226 Cover Artist: Patricia Lazarus
Book Description: Her powers have been hobbled. Her enemies are growing stronger. Old loves challenge her. And her worst betrayer may be herself.
Necromancer Ruby Montagne is battling for her life in the realm of demons. Unfairly branded for the death of a fellow necromancer, she’s got to prove her innocence without the full use of her magic. And the real culprit is still on the loose. While someone is stalking her friends among the witches, Ruby searches for answers inside the dark intrigues of both the demon and necromancer worlds. Ruby must confront this new, sinister threat while reconciling her feelings for her former lover, a demon warrior. Only it’s difficult . . . because a sexy vampire is making it clear that he’d like to be a lot more than just friends. The competition for Ruby’s trust heats up as the enemy pushes her toward a dark side that could threaten the entire realm. Yet what can Ruby do when she’s not even sure what she is? With the fabric separating the realms at stake, she must decide whom to trust. But will the ultimate betrayal be her own? Available at Amazon About the Author: Mimi Sebastian raised herself on books and the strange and unusual, and an unhealthy dose of comics and movies. When a career as a punk guitarist failed to materialize, she completed her degree in urban planning, spent two years in the Ivory Coast with the Peace Corps, and another three years in Brazil. By day, she debates the merits of transport oriented development, by night she writes about necromancers and pirates. She’s convinced she could live off coffee, ice cream, and comic books, but is sure only one of those is good for her health. She's a member of Romance Writers of America and the Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal chapter of RWA. A transplant from the beaches of Florida, Mimi now wanders the desert in Phoenix, AZ, and attempts to balance writing with a day career, fantastic family, and household diva: her Amazon parrot. www.mimisebastian.com https://www.facebook.com/ NecromancerSeriesMimiSebastianAuthor https://twitter.com/SebastianMimi http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/13508578-mimisebastian
Tim on Broadway Season One (The Full Season) By Rick Bettencourt Published by Bettencourt Concepts Copyright © 2014 Rick Bettencourt All Rights Reserved. www.rickbettencourt.com This literary work may not be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, including electronic or photographic reproduction, in whole or in part, without express written permission. This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, business establishments, events or locales is entirely coincidental. Warning: Contains sexual content between consenting male adults. Chapter 1: America’s Got Divas I put down my doughnut, picked up my iced coffee and took a sip. The extra-extra cream and extra-extra sugar gave me a nice little rush. It wasn’t quite as good as Starbucks’ but being unemployed I had to make the best of my homebrewed pot. I had my cell phone cradled in the crook of my shoulder, talking to my best friend Julia. “With my Kindle,” I said, “I can read them without people staring at me on the subway.” “I still can’t believe you like girly romance books,” Julia said. I could hear her slurping her own coffee, probably an iced Double Mocha Grande, being that she was at our old Starbucks in Salem. “You’re the only guy I know who has every Chippendale Publishing book ever released.” I didn’t really but I didn’t want to quibble over details. “Oh my God,” I said, as a bit of powdered sugar sprayed from my mouth and landed on the blanket I had covered over me. I was getting ready to watch TV. “I almost forgot to tell you.” She slurped some more of her coffee. “What?” “Guess who’s doing a comeback concert?” I brushed the sugar dust off the blanket. “Who, Cher?” “No,” I said, raising my voice.
“I don’t know. You got me,” she said, and from her muffled speech, I could tell she was eating, probably a slice of carrot cake or a blueberry scone. I know what Julia likes. When she eats desserts, she usually goes for something that has a vegetable in it or some antioxidant fruit, because, of course, they’re healthier than my powdered doughnuts. I pulled the blanket closer to me. “Carolyn Sohier,” I said. “She’s finally coming out of seclusion and doing a concert.” “Carolyn, who?” I heard the clinking of the fork against the plate. Carrot cake, I bet. “Carolyn Sohier― you know, the singer who was in Witches of Salem, that movie we saw the night I slipped on the ice in Danvers? And she was also on Broadway in―” “Oh, her. That movie was terrible.” I could practically hear her nose wrinkle in disgust. Julia was brutally honest. Well, I liked it,” I said. “She’s an amazing singer.” “She didn’t even sing in that movie,” she said, with her voice trailing off at the end. “Well, it wasn’t a musical. But she did sing the theme song. Remember, we saw her on last year’s America’s Got Divas. She was the guest judge.” “I suppose you’ll want me to go with you,” she said. I clicked the remote control. “We’ll see. Tickets are expensive. She’s decided to come out of seclusion, out from her Greta Garbo cocoon. It’s a one-night only performance up in Bar Harbor.” “Maine? Who the fuck gives a comeback performance in Maine? Bar Harbor, nonetheless. What, is she going to come out on stage riding a moose?” She laughed. My neck was beginning to ache. I rubbed it. “I guess that’s where she lives. It’s a benefit of sorts.” “So are you going to take the train or bus your ass up here to see her?” By here Julia was referring to New England, where we had both grown up. “You wanna go?” I asked. “You mean will I go?” Julia wasn’t a huge fan of divas like I was, but she knew I had no one else to go with and wouldn’t travel alone. “C’mon, you like her,” I said. “You even said her rendition of that Barry Manilow song was better than his.” “Is that the song she sang when she shit herself on stage?” “Whatever,” I said and tossed the remote onto the seat cushion next to me. Julia was referring, of course, to Carolyn’s fairly well-publicized stage fright. Carolyn had suffered a particularly bad spell several years back and, well, embarrassed herself on live television. It was pretty sad. Julia thought it was funny. I turned as an ambulance’s siren rang out from the street below, followed by a blare from its horn. I hated the sound of ambulances. I got up to shut the window as it took a turn down Charleston Place. “Five floors up and it sounds like the cops are right next door,” she said. “I don’t know how you can stand living in New York City.” “It was an ambulance and I’m in Brooklyn.” “Whatever.” I looked at the wall clock, a gift I bought myself. It had logos from nearly all the big Broadway shows over the past two years. “Shit. It’s almost time for America’s Got Divas and I haven’t even set the DVR.” “Alright, I’ll let you go. Besides, I should check the dryer.” She was at our old Starbucks across from the Laundromat. “Oh and how are you going to come up with the money to buy tickets for this reclusive diva? Didn’t you just get done telling me you’ve already spent this week’s and next week’s unemployment check?” I didn’t want to get into it. “Javier,” I said. “This week, he’s finally going to pay me the money he owes me.” “Oh, God. Not Javier.” I knew her well enough to know that she was probably rolling her eyes as she said it. “Shut up,” I said, with no real force behind it. Julia could be such a bitch. She was always reminding me of the things I did wrong, which were plenty, and the things I should be doing to better myself, which, quite honestly, were spilling out of my inbox. I didn’t want to be reminded of the humiliating experience I had had with Javier, the bagger at the Good Barn, my former place of employment. In short, he got me fired. “He’s getting money from his student loan,” I said. “He is going to pay me back on Wednesday.”
“We’ll see about that. Didn’t I tell you not to give him that money? Didn’t I tell you you’d probably never see it again? But no,” she said, holding onto the vowel a bit longer than necessary. “You still went off and gave it to him after giving him a BJ in the beer cooler behind Produce. He’s going to ruin your wholesome, good-natured reputation.”
Tim on Broadway: Season One The Complete First Season Books 1-5 Rick Bettencourt Genres: New adult, gay fiction, LGBT, humor, paranormal, show business, personal growth, M/M Romance Publisher: Bettencourt Concepts and Beaten Track Publishing ISBN: 978 1 909192 86 7 ASIN: B00M4N1L9K Number of pages: 268 Word Count: 75,000
Book Description: Carolyn Sohier, the Greta Garbo of divas, is giving a once in a lifetime concert that Tim can’t afford to attend. Tim—an overweight, twenty-something virgin—regrets lending the hunky bag boy at the grocery store money that could have bought him a ticket. Tim needs to call in his debts, but money isn’t the only thing holding him back. The first time Tim met Javier, he was blown away by the attention. He didn't often—actually ever—get a guy, let alone a hot one, pay attention to him. The problem, Javier is straight; yet he gives Tim mixed messages. Tim can’t get Javier off his mind, unless he is pursuing his love for theater—or talking with his best friend, Julia, about the “unattainable” crushes they share on some of the guys back home. With the Carolyn Sohier concert fasting approaching, Tim struggles to get tickets. If he hadn't lent Javier the money to, well, have his way with him in the beer cooler at the store they worked at together, maybe Tim wouldn't have lost his job, and would be able to see Carolyn perform. But Tim’s learned his lesson from all this…or so he thinks. Available at Amazon Smashwords iTunes Kobo Scribd BN Inktera
About the Author: Rick Bettencourt is the author of Tim on Broadway, Painting with Wine and Not Sure Boys. He lives with his husband and their little dog, Bandit, in the Sarasota area of Florida. Rick originally hails from Boston’s North Shore where he learned to speak without pronouncing the letter “r”— and say things like “tonic” when he wanted a Coke, or “bubbler” when getting a drink from the park’s water fountain. A few years ago, Rick was adopted by a Cairn Terrier named Bandit. Recently, Bandit moved Rick, and his husband of several years, to Florida to escape the New England winters and avoid being engulfed by snow drifts when going about their business. When Rick is not being walked around the block by Bandit, he might be found working on a story about an underdog character triumphing over adversity. Or you might catch Rick watching The Walking Dead or Once Upon a Time, reading something like Running with Scissors or some personal development book, or writing to a group of folks on his mailing list.
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Excerpt Copyright © 2014 Angela Dennis All rights reserved — a Samhain Publishing, Ltd. Publication Darkness embraced Brenna like a thick wool blanket. It wrapped around her, blocking the dim lamplight as she walked toward the seedy bar. Glass residue from the riots crunched beneath her leather boots. Mixed with snow, the bits of broken beer bottles and smashed windows glittered like an army of broken icicles. She breathed deeply, inhaling the cool night air. It smelled of sour beer and clove cigarettes and left a bitter taste on her tongue. Shadows embraced the sides of the stone structure that housed the Dirty Ruby, one of the few multispecies bars in Denver proper. They stalked across the snow and mixed with the night to merge into a black mass. From its midst stepped a man. Well over six feet, he moved with grace in contrast to his size. The moonlight played across his face, highlighting his chiseled features. Brenna’s pulse quickened and she took an involuntary step forward. Self-conscious, she ran a hand through her copper curls, freeing them from the careless bun. The thick strands streamed down her back like fire as she moved, her breath coming in quick harsh bursts. She slipped off her black leather duster and draped it across her arm. Without it the tight black corset left her taut belly and back exposed, but she didn’t feel the cold. She never did around Gray. “Four demons. Thirty humans. Keep the casualties to a minimum.” Brenna brushed past him, tossing him her coat. “I’ll bring them out. You send them back to hell.” “Hell?” Gray grinned. His teeth gleamed in the moonlight. “You speak human now?” She shrugged. “When in Rome.” Her back to him, she turned toward the freshly white-washed door. But before she could move, he had her shoulder in a vise grip. His fingers twined in the hair at the base of her skull. His breath hot against her cheek. “I know your other partners let you boss them around.” He turned her to face him. “I’m not them.” He stepped forward, forcing her back. They moved in an awkward dance until her ass hit the stone wall. Trapped, she stared at him, wary. A shadow fell across his face hiding all but his piercing violet eyes. “We enter together. Once they’re dead, we leave.” He stepped back, loosening his hold.
“The humans—” “Won’t remember a thing.” He crushed his lips to hers even as he slid the duster across her shoulders. “And I’m not your coat rack.” Releasing her, he stepped back. Brenna rubbed the back of her hand against her bruised lips. Gray would be the death of her. If she didn’t kill him first. She leaned against the wall to regain her bearings as he stepped into the light. He moved like a jungle cat. Ropes of strong muscles slid beneath his bronzed skin as his wild untapped power stirred beneath the surface. Akin to a force of nature, he would never go unnoticed. Even incognito, only a fool wouldn’t recognize Gray was dangerous. He was a beautiful, powerful thing to behold. And he was hers. If she wanted him. His black hair shimmered in the pale lamplight. It was tied with the usual brown leather strap, but a few pieces had slipped free. They curled around his face, softening his features. The sight of him stirred memories of what they had been to each other. Memories she had struggled for nearly a hundred years to repress. But she still wanted him with a fervor that was both frightening and exhilarating. A sigh slipped from her lips as she pushed off the wall to follow him into the bar. Wooden planks creaked beneath their feet as they stepped inside. The room was crammed wall-to-wall with sweaty bodies. Humans surged on the dance floor, moving in chaotic abandon. Brenna stripped off her duster. The heat from the wood stoves was overpowering. Sweat beaded on her forehead. It dribbled down her face, sliding across her bare skin to pool between her breasts. She threw the duster on the seat of a red plastic booth then slid in beside it. Her leather pants moved across the slick fabric like silk as she took a quick inventory of the room. Humans clanked beer bottles together, their shouts drowning out the death metal band screeching in the far corner. She closed her eyes to focus and searched for her prey. It took several minutes, but she found what she was looking for. The stench of rotten flesh and brimstone. It was subtle, but unmistakable. The demon was here, but he wasn’t alone. Her seat shifted as Gray slid into the booth beside her. “This is new. They don’t usually hunt together.” He tossed a muscular arm across her shoulders. Brenna leaned into his body. Her head against his chest, she breathed him in. He smelled of sage and wood smoke. “I doubt they’re aware of each other. Demons are territorial. They don’t play nice, and they’re not that bright.” Gray shrugged. “There’s a first time for everything.” “True.” He brushed a stray curl from her face. Unable to resist, she closed her eyes and enjoyed the simple touch. “You take the males. I’ve got the females.” His breath was hot against her skin.
Her body tightened. She pulled back, a false smile playing on her lips. Beneath it she cursed her inability to keep him at a distance, even on a job. With a quick nod, she tossed back the shot of whiskey he shoved across the table. She leaned into him, her hands pressed against his chest. “We’ll meet at the van.” “Agreed.” Gray kissed her lips. “Sam knows the drill.” She could still taste him as he walked away, and that treacherous part inside her yearned for more. The best way to blend in was to act like a couple, but they needed another option. She was already sexually frustrated, and the night had barely begun. But there was nothing more cathartic than a good hunt. Brenna glanced at the demon. It lounged on a barstool, deep inside a human man around thirty. With a bored look, he watched as a young woman, her shirt in tatters on the dirty floor, straddled him. Her skirt hiked to her crotch, her body trembled as he drained her life force. A second woman stood behind him. Clad in tiny purple panties and a lace bra, she swayed to the music. Glassy eyed, breasts heaving, she waited her turn. It was disgusting. It had been a human war that had ripped through the Veil between the planes of reality, and the humans had paid the price. Supernatural creatures, the humans now called deviants, had poured onto the Earthly plane, only to be trapped once the Veil had healed. The humans had managed to survive the onslaught by allying themselves with sympathetic deviants, but they had gotten too comfortable. And the demons were taking full advantage. Brenna slammed the shot glass on the table. Time to play human.
Fading Light Shadow Born Book 2 Angela Dennis Genre: Urban Fantasy Publisher: Samhain Publishing Date of Publication: September 23, 2014 ISBN: 1619224569 ISBN13: 9781619224568 ASIN: Number of pages: 279 Word Count: 76,000 Cover Artist: Kanaxa Tagline: Everyone has a breaking point. Book Description:
Her hundred-year penance lifted, Shadow Bearer Brenna Baudouin returns to the Earthly plane with her partner, Gray Warlow, to keep the peace between humans and supernatural creatures—and to prevent another apocalyptic war from happening. The attraction between them is nearing a critical point, but their checkered history has left Brenna unable to trust either her heart or her instincts. It’s chaotic business as usual until humans begin turning to statues of dust. There is no explanation, no sign of magical foul play or a biological toxin. The humans are convinced it’s the work of a deviant supernatural faction, twisting the knife in the already tense relationship between their species. Brenna and Gray agree—the deaths have a former comradeturned-rogue stamped all over them. In a race against time, they enlist the help of both friend and foe to save the human race and stop the impending civil war. Along the way, they are forced to come to terms with their past and decide, once and for all, whether they will come together or fall apart. Warning: Contains a heroine who knows her weapons but not her own heart, an outbreak of supernatural proportions, copious bloodletting, and a race to save an endangered species— humans. All tied up in a tight bow of sexual tension. Available at Amazon BN Kobo iTunes Google Play About the Author: Angela Dennis lives outside Cincinnati, Ohio with her husband, son and a sheltie with a hero complex. When she is not at her computer crafting stories, she can be found feeding her coffee addiction, playing peek-a-boo, or teaching her son about the great adventures found only in books. You can visit Angela at her blog www.angeladennisauthor.blogspot.com or at her website www.angeladennisauthor.com She loves to hear from her readers, so find her on Twitter for a chat @angeladennis https://twitter.com/AngelaDennis
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“Are you always going to flirt with my suitors?” I tossed my purse on the counter in our hotel suite and faced Val. “Jealous?” “I’m not sure but I think Cooper is more excited to see you than me lately.” The last time we visited him at his cabin in the garden district, I could swear he wagged a non-existent tail when Val stepped out of my VW Bug. A girl could get a complex if her fiancé stole all her lovers. “I never flirt with Zur-Sin.” “I’m pretty sure Sin considers the amount of fighting you both do as foreplay.” Val pulled a handkerchief out of his suit pocket and mopped his forehead. He had grown up in a different age and still had some old fashion habits. He appeared pale and his hands shook. I went to him but he withdrew from me. “What’s wrong?” I called out to Val’s live-in assistant, Hoel, who should be home. He’d worked for Val for over fifty years. The fallen angel didn’t answer. I tried to support Val’s elbow but he sidestepped out of my reach. “Pia, stop trying to touch me.” Val leaned against the counter. “I’m very hungry.” My hands fluttered to my sides. “Oh.” I’d never seen him look so flustered. “You shouldn’t let yourself go so long between feeds.” “I’ll go check the mail. My wives’ package should have arrived today.” “Then I’ll go with you.” “No. Just stay here.” Val left me standing opened mouth in the middle of the suite. The boom of the door echoed. He almost sounded afraid. Even when faced with a crazed demon, Val hadn’t shown any fear. I gazed down at my petite body. Had I grown horns? I hurried to our bedroom and changed into more comfortable clothes. Maybe I should call John and have him come over early. Screw the contract for one night. Cooper and John dealt directly with me when it came to our contracts. In exchange for feeding me, they had exclusive rights to my body for that evening. Zur-Sin had a special deal with my father concerning my being fed. Let’s just say I couldn’t break any of the terms or my father would lose his soul. I’d made a big mistake and my dad had paid for it.
Something savage snarled outside our suite door and I jumped. With a racing heart, I peeked out of the bedroom half expecting to see Amel, John’s badass brother. Nothing. My cell phone was in my purse on the counter and this seemed like a good time to call for help. Not that 9-1-1 responded to demon attacks but at least they could clean up my body parts. I tiptoed toward the kitchen and froze mid step. Pale with a thin sheen of sweat covering his skin, Val halted just over the threshold of our suite. His piercing blue gaze pinned me to the spot. Shadows carved the features of his face and he appeared… Starved. Primal heat of desire blasted through my body as he strode around me, staring as if he could see right through my yoga pants and t-shirt. I twisted to follow his path. “Val?” My voice shook and I was surprised to hear it was from fear, not anticipation. My sweetie knew how to turn on the smolder but this type of intensity bordered on supernatural to the power of ten. He undid his tie and slid it free, wrapping the ends around each hand as if wanting to strangle someone. Me? I knew I did some things that drove him crazy like squeezing the tooth paste tube from the middle, but that didn’t deserve capital punishment. I swallowed with a throat gone dry and searched the room. “Where’s Hoel?” The fallen angel assistantslash-shadow was never far. “He’s occupied.” Val’s voice caressed my flesh. Incubi were born with enough sexual magnetism to draw the most resistant of succubi to them. Evolution, only the strong surviving, and all that jazz made Val almost crackle with come-hither. Their need to feed upon us gave them the skills to melt the panties off any succubus within their vicinity. With all that power focused directly at me, I caught my hands already inching inside my pants. Something was seriously wrong. My clothes felt too tight like I couldn’t bear their touch. Every inch of my flesh tingled and my nipples popped in aching readiness. I’d never seen Val this hungry. An incubus of his power and influence couldn’t afford to lose control. Incubi could only feed off succubi and if his wives couldn’t provide what he needed then he’d be forced to go hunt. Last time I checked raping and pillaging were considered bad. Normally, as his prospective bride I’d feed him but I couldn’t afford to feed another mouth. Hadn’t Val gone to check the mail for a package containing more vials from his wives? The responsibility to keep him well fed was theirs, not mine. Not yet. For a succubus, I was considered picky when it came to my lovers. One night stands might be good for my body but they did terrible things to my soul. I needed a few bad boys that irked me enough not to fall in love yet dependable to be around when I need-
ed them. Yeah, I know, but I was allowed to dream big. “Take off your clothes.” It didn’t sound like a request.
Sinful Cravings Lake City Stories Book 2 Annie Nicholas Genre: Paranormal Romance Date of Publication: August 11, 2014 Word Count: 50,000 word Cover Artist: Kanax
Book Description: Pia Blyton, a succubus, isn’t ready for an official engagement since her skillset consists of setting kitchens on fire, singing at vampire hellholes, and most embarrassingly, she recently passed out in bed while feeding Valerio Hunan, the most eligible incubus in Lake City. Yet somehow he turns a blind eye to all her faults and still wants to set his marriage tattoos on her wrists. The compulsion to have sex forces their people to have unconventional relationships. Every three days, she has to orgasm creating energy to survive. She can’t even live off bad sex. Unlike her, Val can’t feed off just anyone. He consumes the energy only a succubus creates and his hunger isn’t on a clock. Most incubi feed legally by luring multiple succubi into marriage with money and power. Val had caught Pia by the heart strings. Sneaky bastard. When his food supply suddenly stops, he’s faced with starvation. Despite Pia’s adoration, she’s not an all you can eat buffet. He would suck her dry of all her life force within days. In order to save her, Val forces her to leave. With nowhere to go, Pia ends up at the last place she wants to be—her parent’s home, with nothing but her pink suitcase and a list of all her failures. Pia needs to pull on her big girl panties and figure out why Val’s energy supplies have stopped arriving before he kills some unsuspecting succubus. But the demon inside Val is closer to the surface than either of them realize. When Pia leaves, the only thing on its mind is tracking her down and dragging her back into its bed where she belongs...even if it kills her.
About the Author: Annie Nicholas writes paranormal romance with a twist. She has courted vampires, hunted with shifters, and slain a dragon’s ego all with the might of her pen. Riding the wind of her imagination, she travels beyond the restraints of reality and shares them with anyone wanting to read her stories. Mother, daughter, and wife are some of the other hats she wears while hiking
through the hills and dales of her adopted state of Vermont. Annie writes for Samhain Publishing, Carina Press, and Lyrical Press. Website: www.annienicholas.com Blog: www.annienicholas.blogspot.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/ authorannienicholas Twitter: https://twitter.com/annienicholas Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/ show/3132972.Annie_Nicholas Pinterest: http://pinterest.com/annienicholas / Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/yt8Kv
The Tears of the Rose The Twelve Kingdoms Book Two Jeffe Kennedy Paperback: 336 pages Publisher: Kensington Release Date: November 25, 2014 ISBN-10: 075829445X ISBN-13: 978-0758294456 ASIN: B00KFP7YCW Book Description: Three sisters. Motherless daughters of the high king. The eldest is the warrior-woman heir;the middle child is shy and full of witchy intuition;and the youngest, Princess Amelia, she is as beautiful as the sun and just as generous. Ami met her Prince Charming and went away to his castle on the stormy sea-cliffs—and that should have been her happily ever after. Instead, her husband lies dead and a war rages. Her middle sister has been taken into a demon land, turned into a stranger. The priests and her father are revealing secrets and telling lies. And a power is rising in Ami, too, a power she hardly recognizes, to wield her beauty as a weapon, and her charm as a tool to deceive… Amelia has never had to be anything but good and sweet and kind and lovely. But the chess game for the Twelve Kingdoms has swept her up in it, and she must make a gambit of her own. Can the prettiest princess become a pawn—or a queen?
Pre-order at Amazon Available in ebook and paperback About the Author: Jeffe Kennedy is an award-winning author with a writing career that spans decades. Her works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. She has been a Ucross Foundation Fellow, received the Wyoming Arts Council Fellowship for Poetry, and was awarded a Frank Nelson Doubleday Memorial Award. Her essays have appeared in many publications, including Redbook. Her most recent works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, and an erotic contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera, which released beginning January 2, 2014. A fourth series, the fantasy trilogy The Twelve Kingdoms, hit the shelves starting in May 2014 and a fifth, the highly anticipated erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under, will release starting in July. She lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine. Jeffe can be found online at her website: JeffeKennedy.com, every Sunday at the popular Word Whores blog, on Facebook, and pretty much constantly on Twitter @jeffekennedy. She is represented by Foreword Literary. http://www.jeffekennedy.com/ http://www.jeffekennedy.com/category/blog/ https://www.facebook.com/jeffe.kennedy https://twitter.com/jeffekennedy
Excerpt: Her bathroom was en-suite, but could be accessed through a second door from the living room. Rosa, who came in the mornings to clean, routinely filled the bath. There was a timed heater that kept the water warm. Alphonsine slipped into the oversized tub. She dove under the bubbles. While her kind needed to breathe, they could control respiration and stay under for hours. She enjoyed soaking this way in very hot water, allowing herself to think and dream. Her morning kill had been so unusual, so exciting, she wanted to relive every detail. She hadn’t been planning to feed that night, though it had been almost four weeks. She could go five, even six in a pinch, but after that long she felt so fatigued it was hard to distinguish day from night. Pierre and she were planning to get out of town to feast together. He often chided her for her recklessness, pointing out it was not like the old days. Trains, planes, and automobiles made it easy to place distance between oneself and one’s prey. No reason to kill where one lived, but sometimes, one couldn’t help oneself. She had left the party feeling a particular restlessness. At first believing sex alone might be enough to stave off the hunger, her plan had been to head downtown or back to Brooklyn to find some pretty thing to hook up with. Then she caught a scent, felt something unique was waiting. Violent images flooded her mind as she entered the bar. It was coming into focus – a mortal who killed, not in war, but for fun. While her telepathic powers were weak – she was after all still quite young, she could sense emotions, especially strong ones, and he had been a seething caldron of barely suppressed rage. Under the warm water, she could still taste it on her tongue, his blood, his essence – all of that delicious hate, and yet in the intimacy of the death-grip, she felt more, his humanity, as though they both were spiraling backwards in time to a moment when even he was innocent. She’d given him peace. It had been a good death for him. True, she had frightened him when she jumped out. They said in the best hunts the prey never suspected, never felt a moment of unease, but allowances had to be made. After all, he believed he had killed her. She couldn’t let him go to his grave thinking that. Blood was more than nourishment. It was a sacrament. Some said the blood itself contained the very soul. She doubted such a thing existed. She only knew it had something – a power, a magic like nothing else. Strange how easily satisfied beings like her were, hardly the monsters depicted in myth. As pleasurable as it might be to hunt and feast every night, like the noble lion, they only did so when hungry. No two people tasted the same – not father and son, nor brother and sister, not even twins. This she knew from her own experience. Children’s blood had a sweetness like the candied grapes young men once brought her as tokens between acts at the opera. There was a freshness to young blood, like apples picked in the summer at a perfect moment of ripeness. Teenaged girls tasted of secrets, and boys of lust. Women, pretty ones, whose hearts had been broken had a certain tenderness and resignation, especially if you came to them when their looks were fading, and there wasn’t much hope. There were men who had an edge like a wine
with a bitter after taste, while others were warm and smooth. The old, whom she wasn’t fond of, tasted of sadness, disappointment, and defeat, though they would certainly do when convenient. Human blood, like the human voice, had different timbres. Some had the richness and depth of a bass-baritone while others were light but agile like a coloratura soprano. A killer, however, especially one who dispatched his own so remorselessly, this was a rare treat indeed. The essence would hold within it all whom he had taken. For her to act so boldly, to take so many chances to have him, was a risk, but what would be the point of immortality without gambles? And she had always loved games of chance. When she walked in and saw him, saw those thick arms, the sandy hair, could already feel what it would be like to fuck him, to take him perhaps when he was inside her, she knew she had to go through with it. The combination of lust and hunger made her almost giddy, barely able to contain herself. Still immersed, Alphonsine began to touch her thighs, working up to her pussy, replaying the night. As soon as she sat down at the bar it became clear he had picked her, imagined her as his next victim. It was too delicious! A chance for play-acting. Something different and rough. Alphonsine lifted her head above the water, feeling the urge to breathe. Her breaths became quick as she felt her release, the first taste of his blood a vivid memory. Her kind not only felt everything more strongly than mortals, but could recall in full sensory detail. It had been everything she hoped. Feeling him draining, feeling his life force leaving his body, merging into hers. That final beat of his cruel heart. A rush of something – all his anger, perhaps? It overwhelmed her for a second and then was gone. And he had looked so tranquil – transformed by death – beyond the desire to hurt and kill, beyond it all, finally at rest – a gift she had bestowed on him. She had closed his eyes, and kissed him once softly on the lips before beginning the task of clean up. The act of remembering left her not hungry for more blood, but still unsatisfied.
Blood Diva VM Gautier Genre: Urban Fantasy ISBN: 9781620154663 Number of pages: approx 450. Word Count: 120,000 Book Description: The 19th century's most infamous party-girl is undead and on the loose in the Big Apple. When 23 year-old Parisian courtesan, Marie Duplessis succumbed to consumption in 1847, Charles Dickens showed up for the funeral and reported the city mourned as though Joan of Arc had fallen. Marie was not only a celebrity in in her own right, but her list of lovers included Franz Liszt – the first international music superstar, and Alexandre Dumas fils, son of the creator of The Three Musketeers. Dumas fils wrote the novel The Lady of the Camellias based on their time together. The book became a play, and the play became the opera La Traviata. Later came the film versions, and the legend never died.
But what if when offered the chance for eternal life and youth, Marie grabbed it, even when the price was the regular death of mortals at her lovely hand? In 2014, Marie wonders if perhaps nearly two centuries of murder, mayhem, and debauchery is enough, especially when she falls hard for a rising star she believes may be the reincarnation of the only man she ever truly loved. But is it too late for her to change? Can a soul be redeemed like a diamond necklace in hock? And even if it can, have men evolved since the 1800′s? Or does a girl’s past still mark her? Blood Diva is a sometimes humorous, often dark and erotic look at sex, celebrity, love, death, destiny, and the arts of both self-invention and seduction. It’s a story that asks a simple question – Can a one hundred ninety year-old demimondaine find happiness in 21st century Brooklyn without regular infusions of fresh blood? About the Author: VM Gautier is a pseudonym. This is not the author's first book, but it is his or her first book in this genre. You haven't heard of him or her. Web: http://www.blooddiva.com Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22731729-blood-diva Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Blood-Diva/1478472872374508 Twitter: https://twitter.com/VM_Gauthier
The Witches Who Stitch Interview Alix Richards’s Blake Ravenstone from Twin Flames: Soul Design There is a boutique hiding out between the fractured, narrow storefronts lining New Gotham’s foggy docks. The shingles are ribbed and black. Washed, peeling paint and displays offering views into wicked leather and lace studded glam. The mannequins are ghoulish beauties stitched together from whatever was left from the last fool to cross one of the sinister witches.
Welcome to Sinister Stitches…apparel for a wicked fairy tale. A spicy trinity of black magic sisters breathe star-dusted dreams to life with their gothic apparel boutique. They are schooled in the old ways of “fabric-bending” by the Needlewitches of old. With this knowledge, they’ve created an entire line of clothing that all share the same basic design element: one-size fits all. Each garment will magically tailor itself to its wearer once worn. Last time the Witches-Who-Stitch, hosted a literary catwalk, heroines were called from all walks of life and genres to challenge their seamstress skills. This time, their men have joined the fun—apparently, they’ve been sent to the boutique. (Whether they like it, or not.) The witches were NOT expecting men. Their expertise is usually limited to DEMANDING their husbands NOT wear that in public, and, of course, the fashioning of fantastic clothing for all of literature’s heroines. (New Gotham’s men usually get their goods from Rumpel’s Twisted Threads, BUT that’s beyond the point, the girls put a quill to their interview, changed some bits, and rose to the occasion.) To enjoy the hilarity, please check out some of the questionnaire Alix Richards’s Blake Ravenstone from Twin Flames: Soul Design was asked to fill out after he was swaggered into Sinister Stitches.
THE WITCHES WHO STITCH QUESTIONNAIRE Please provide the witches with your name: Blake Ravenstone Please provide the witches with the following: Hair Color: Black Hair Length: [ ] Short and Sharp, [X] Shaggy and Sexy, [ ] Lush and Long
Eye Color: Silvery Brown Skin Tone: [ ] Ghoulish, [ ] Snow White, [X] Cina-baby, [ ] Mochalicious, [ ] Dark Chocolate, [ ] Other:__________ Please provide the witches with your measurements and body-type. a.) Height: b.) Body Type: [ ] Skeletal, [ ] Lean and Tender, [X] Lean and Tough, [ ] Ripe and Edible Do you have any extra extremities? Place an “X” to all that apply. [ ] Horns or [ ] Halo [ ] 20 ft. of Hair or More [ ] Gills and Fins or [ ] Hooves [ ] Wings (Span: ) [ ] Tail (How many: ) How many heads do you have? (Your boy bit doesn’t count!) 1
Do you have arms and legs? If so, how many? The last I checked it was a pair of both. Although, hang on…yep, still have two of each. Haven’t had to sell one yet. *grin* How dead are you? [X] Living, [ ] Undead, [ ] Astral Form What are you? (Species/Breed) Cursed human with a splash of feline and canine in for good measure. It really sucks being caught up in the petty jealousies of deities. What is the occasion? (Ideas include: Wedding, Funeral, Sabbath, etc. Oh, and seduction is a valid occasion. The more details, the better.) Seduction date. What’s the occasion setting? (Beach, haunted castle, grand ball, etc.) A private dining room at a restaurant. Will you be fighting for your life at some point in the evening? I don’t think so. I’m leaving my cousins behind. The last time we were all together it wasn’t pretty. *cringe* Will you be set on fire? Better yet, will you be setting other people on fire? Uh…my plan is to set my mate on fire. Other than that no. No setting people on fire.
Will you be grave-robbing? (Dirt is a tailor’s tedium.) Ye-ah, no. Not happening. What are you wearing right now? Who picked that outfit out? (Basically, who let you leave the crypt in those?) Torn faded jeans, black wife beater and a button down long sleeve shirt with the sleeves rolled up. Can’t handle that shit around my wrists. *grin* Gotta be able to move. I did, why? *eyebrow raised* Doesn’t look good? I’m a tattoo artist after all. Do you hope to be naked at some point in the evening? (All right, dirty birds. Such questions are actually intended toward the weres and shifters in regards to their transformations.) Oh most definitely! Oh, wait…you didn’t mean it like that. Sorry. *blush* Uh, than no. Changing forms in front of non-shifters is a no-go. Describe your last brush with Death in two sentences. (Helps us plan for the unexpected.) My mate’s Eldest Elder. It was harmless really, every young one does it time to time. Unfortunately, most don’t have an Elder like Lady Ana. *shivers* I still have nightmares. Do you need a secret compartment for gigantic swords? Guns and condoms? Eyeliner, maybe? I don’t think so. Normally I use fangs and claws. What are your three favorite colors? Black, silver and blue What two colors ninja your brain, sweetie? Any that mess with my vision. Please pick a style that you feel embodies you the best. If none apply, feel free to surprise us by providing your own brilliant description in the “other” slot. [X] Dark Angel: This is for the spoonfuls of charming. The good-natured and naughty boys next door types. Thoughtful and sensual. Loyal and intelligent. More often than not, his head is in the clouds, but those dreams and that smile holds hope for all of us. Our philosophers. [ ] Beast King: This is for the warlords and alphas. The type of men who walk into a room and their presence hushes out the sun. They live in their bodies, but their minds are searching for the next challenge. Hands for fighting and these boots for ass-kickings. Our protectors. [ ] Smooth Criminal: This is for the bad boys. You know, the types---mother’s worse nightmares. The kind of man that makes your skin itch every time he devours you with that hundred yard stare. Chances are his senses of humor is as wicked as his tongue. To hold him, isn’t to catch him. Our scheming rogues.
[ ] Black Knight: This for the mysteries. The ones no one can quite make heads or tails out off. He’s a mixture, a melting pot of strong, sinister, and sweet. He might be Dark Angel one day, and a Smooth Criminal other days. Our brothers. [ ] Other: _____________________ Who is your favorite comic/storybook villain? It’s a toss between the Riddler and the Joker. Both are interesting and funny as hell. Showmen of the awesome variety. You pick. If you could be any comic/storybook book hero, who would it be? Most def the Batman. Only because he has cool as shit toys. What billionaire wouldn’t want to have the stuff he has? The motorcycles, the plane, boat…car! Yeah, I’d be the bat for sure. *smirk* Now, tell us who you love the most. My mate, Josslyn. She’s everything that’s right within the world. Anything else you’d like to add… If you can make me look awesome, that’ll be great. Joss is forever saying I need a new wardrobe. Not that she doesn’t like my choices, she does. Just want to show her I clean up well.
After many barrels of chocolate, a dash of magic, and furious sewing…
Sinister Stitches’ Rockabilly Starlet Gillian Dweyer presents Blake’s Completed Threads “Jawbreaker”
The witch that greets you is by far the most beautiful thing you’ve ever seen. Oil back curls frame her sweet moon-face, little button nose between two lush black suns for eyes. The poet’s shirt hanging off her dainty snow-white shoulders is of pale mauve crepe de Chine, rounded neckline with frill and long full sleeves cut by narrow bands around the wrists. Otherwise, everything else is pink. Pink, pink, pink. The close fitting, long skirt flaring gradually from her hips to the floor, the pink ballerina six-inch stilettos—everything about this woman is princess pink. Her small, pouty mouth curves in a flash of cute, somewhat crooked teeth: Welcome to Sinister Stitches, handsome. I’m Gillian the Candy Witch. This is my mother’s store. You’re in the wrong place. We’re dressmakers, suga. Twisted Threads is that way, but who could fault your effort? Really. You’re adorable---I could almost take a bite of you. Now, let’s talk about what Gillian is gonna fashion for her babycakes.
In terms of colors, we took our cues from your color requests, and have fashioned Davis blue threads spun from my mother’s silk. That’s right. You have a Madame Mari original—it is one of a kind. It is a heavier silk, so it will suit wintertime, too. It is also stain resistant, so do not be afraid to get a little wild. Now, in terms of cut, we’re gonna go a classic Italian “thin man” cut. These suits are considered the absolute height of fashion. They speak of power. Very clean, very tailored. You’re gonna be sharp enough to cut glass, baby. Expect some very light shoulder padding and thinner lapels than normal—we wanted to give you a broader chest. And we did not cut a vent in the jacket. This will give the jacket a cleaner look. However, you’re going to be a little more constricted while you’re wearing the jacket. BUT I suggest you keep it buttoned unless you’re seated. That is how gentlemen wear their threads. And you’ll do me proud. We’ve paired the threads with matching trousers and a matching crimson tie. That should do perfectly. Oh, and while you’ve been standing here Astrid… My sister is a vampire, and she…lost her mind and cut your hair. I am so sorry. Here’s your gift bag, the threads are on the house. No, really, I insist. Here, take a business card. And a cookie. Goodbye! *flees the tearoom* IMPORTANT BULLETINS from THE PIXIES: For more information about Alix Richard’s and Blake Ravenstone’s adventures in Soul Design (Twin Flames series), please check out her publisher’s website. Care to check out the last round of Sinister Stitches interviews? Check out Sophie Avett and Jennifer Blackstream’s paranormal den, the Brimstone Pub. All SS interviews are retired there after their tour until the release of the SS e-book. Fancy a tour of New Gotham? Check out New Gotham’s Survival Guide! It might save your life! For more information about Sophie Avett’s New Gotham Fairy Tales, the Sinister Stitches series, and recent releases, please check out her website.
Image Credit(s): Viorel Sima Image Editing Credit(s): Elaina, For the Muse Design
Cry Wolf A New Gotham Fairy Tale Sophie Avett Genre: Dark Fantasy Romance (MM/New Adult) Publisher: Skeleton Key Publishing Date of Publication: May 1, 2014 Number of pages: est. 22 pages Word Count: est. 10, 000 Cover Artist: Elaina, For the Muse Design Amazon BN ARe Kobo Smashwords Book Description: There’s a wild animal on the loose in the black forests surrounding New Gotham... Not that anyone cares. Well, Peter doesn't care. Peter Ume is more interested in finding a way to alleviate the skull-numbing boredom of a city wide shut down. So far his ideas for excitement hover between stealing an unwary idiot’s underwear (soul works, too), setting someone’s eyebrows on fire, or stabbing the next person he meets in the eye with a hot French fry. It turns out, he’ll be able to save assault and theft for a rainy day. As luck would have it, this naughty kitsune is about to meet the big bad wolf. And man, is the wolf in for a surprise... Warning: This story can be read as a standalone, but you will want to smack Sophie for it. (Or so the ravens have said.) So, do keep in mind that there is a part two. (And it will be a freebie. Sophie’s Pixies will carrier pigeon everyone more information soon.) About the Author:
Sophie Avett is kind of a nerd. Like not even one of the cute, hip ones everyone brags about nowadays. More like the socially awkward hippie who eats way too much bread and dreams about being a dragon from behind towers of mythology books. Um...yeah. Picture old, tattered paperbacks and comic books--mostly Batman and Wonder Woman--dwarfing a tiny desk, with just barely enough room for the troll who writes there and the 70 pound hell-hound that insists on laying it's wet nose on top of her bare foot. Granted not the most exciting existence, but she tries to make up for it by writing romances populated with her own peculiar ilk of paranormal beasties. Trolls, wyverns, the obscure Nordic brownie--she likes to keep things interesting. And bloody. (And mostly naked--but, we'll keep that bit between us.) Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/SophieAvett Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7779293.Sophie_Avett Sinister Stitches Boutique Blog: http://sophieavettsinisterstitches.blogspot.com/ Newsletter Post-Its, the Blog: http://sophieavett.weebly.com/post-its-the-blog.html Brimstone Pub, the Blog: http://thebrimstonepub.com/
How Mountaineering Shaped my Life By Ann Gimpel I started traveling the backcountry when I was a teenager. My first love was a mountain climber, and he shared his love of the outdoors with me. The bug bit deep and after we parted, because first loves almost never go the distance, I found another mountaineer and we made a life together. I’m an unlikely climber. For one thing, I’m short. If you take a look at most climbers, they’re tall and rangy. Having that extra reach helps—a lot. It’s good for stepping around obstacles and for navigating rock-strewn slopes. But size cuts both ways. Sometimes I’ve been able to wriggle through a tight spot that would have defeated a larger person. While I can’t point to a specific special mountain, each of them (and I’ve climbed close to two hundred) holds a special spot in my heart. Climbing has taught me patience and perseverance. It’s also taught me to manage my fear and to live in the moment. All good life lessons. All the years I was a psychotherapist, I’d tell my clients not to expend too much energy on the might-have-beens in their pasts, and also not to worry about things too far in the future. There’s a middle ground where we can maximize the bang for the buck if we concentrate our efforts. Boy is that true about climbing. It makes absolutely no sense to get much beyond the next set of moves on a mountain. Either they work for you, or they don’t. If they don’t, you go down. If they do, you keep moving up. There are a couple of caveats, though. If the weather turns, turn around, and if you don’t start early, don’t start at all. Last summer a physician didn’t get rolling climbing Norman Clyde Peak out of the Big Pine Creek trailhead area until midafternoon. They left the trailhead mid-morning, but by the time they made it to the lake they planned to camp at it was past two. Though he should have known better, he headed for the peak traveling alone. (Another no-no.) He made the summit around 8:30 p.m. I know because that’s when he signed the summit register. It was getting dark and instead of doing the smart thing, which would have been staying on the peak’s broad, flat summit plateau, this fellow headed down. There are some steep, gnarly parts of that mountain. Not something you want to down-climb when you can’t see. Depth perception depends on vision. Anyway, he fell to his death, and extricating his body for his next of kin cost a bundle. Mistakes in the mountains are cumulative. You can sometimes get away with one, but rarely with two, and he made two: late start and not staying put on the summit pyramid until morning. There’s an old saying that the mountain gods protect children and fools. Except they don’t. Nature is chillingly random. People die in the world’s high places all the time. Not because they lacked skill, but because their reasoning ability took a hike. Beyond patience, perseverance, and continuously assessing my physical capacity vis a vis the mountain I’m on, climbing has also taught me respect and humility. There’s no shame in retreat. It’s how I got to be an old climber. One last anecdote, and I’ll close this off. A couple weeks ago, hubby and I were on a backpacking trip. We’d planned a loop, except the pass we planned to exit over was choked by a 45 degree snow slope and the snow was hard and icy. We didn’t have crampons or a rope or ice axes, and the tricky snow extended about 150
feet down and across a very steep mountainside. He and I both understood fully that if one of us fell on the slick ice, we’d be dead. I told him we were retracing our steps, even if it meant an extra fourteen miles and 5000 feet of climbing, which it did. He tried to talk me into the snow route, but I refused. It took us an extra day to exit the backcountry, but at least we exited on foot and not in a box. That’s a good lead-in to the last thing mountaineering has taught me, which is not to overestimate my abilities. Could I have managed the snow slope? Probably. If I had to lay odds, I’d have given them maybe 80%, but it wasn’t good enough. How about the rest of you? Do you engage in things where you face danger and have to be self-reliant? What’s your fish-or-cut bait criteria?
Witch’s Bane The Witch Chronicles Book 2 Ann Gimpel Publisher: Taliesin ISBN: Release Date: 8/7/14 Genre: Dark Paranormal Romance Word Count: 65,000 Two stubborn people—a witch and a mage—come together with a fierceness borne of desperation. Can passion trump their intense need for independence? Will they live long enough to find out?
Book Description: Roz, Jenna, and Colleen are the last of the demon-stalking witches. So far, they’ve escaped disaster, but their luck is running low. When demons strike in the midst of Colleen’s wedding, Roz launches desperate measures because she and her sister witches are Earth’s only hedge against being overrun by Hell’s minions. As she shape-shifts to keep one step ahead of the demons, at least it takes her mind off her other problems. Personal ones. She burned through a couple of marriages with a string of loser men before, after, and in between. Though she wants to be happy for Colleen, the jealousy bug bit deep and hasn’t let go. In Roz’s secret heart she’s attracted to Ronin, one of the Daoine Sidhe. He’s so profanely beautiful she can barely breathe around him, but he’s also headstrong and arrogant. Not good partner material, she tells herself, unless she wants to end up dusting her heart off one more time. Ronin set his sights on Roz when she was at his home in the U.K. for a strategy meeting and he
can’t get her out of his mind. Unfortunately, she’s so prickly getting close to her requires scheming. He casts an enchantment to lure her at Colleen’s wedding, but she senses the spell and rebuffs him. Roz is used to calling the shots. So is Ronin. Sparks fly. Tempers run hot, right along with an attraction too strong to be denied. Roz and Ronin come together with a fierceness borne of desperation, but demons are determined to rid themselves of the witches for good, no matter what it takes. Excerpt: Ronin Redstone unwound his arm from Roz and gripped his hands together in his lap to lessen the temptation to touch her again. Where he figured most of the guests were anxious to see the bride, he’d been interested in Roz. Probably too interested since he’d bounced to his feet the moment she entered the room and had even spun the mildest of spells to coerce her to sit near him. He pressed his lips into a flat line as he wrestled with his thoughts. Ever since he’d met the tall, imposing witch at his home in northern England a couple of weeks before, he’d been able to think of little else. She even entered his dreams with her silky black hair, pronounced cheekbones, and hawk-like nose. In those dreams, she was naked, her bronze skin glimmering in moonlight. Her heady scent, pine forests and jasmine, tickled his nostrils and made him wonder what she’d feel like in his arms. Once he kicked the door open to that slippery slope, his cock sprang to life, clearly eager to find out. He tried to clip his libido before things whirled out of control and she noticed his arousal, but his cock wasn’t in the mood for negotiation—or retreat. He wove the tiniest don’t look here spell and draped his lower body with it. In years past, he’d simply have created a love charm, imbued it with compulsion, and bedded the woman. That probably wasn’t a good idea, though. Roz would sense his magic, be outraged he tried to coerce her, and that would be the last he ever saw of the striking witch. Never mind she had good reason to not want much to do with him since he’d been one of the key players two hundred years ago who’d suggested foisting demon stalking onto the witches. He tightened his jaw muscles. Who could have guessed his little machination to get his kin out from under a highly unpleasant task would nearly be the death of the few witches who’d inherited the power through a magical version of gene splicing? Of course, he’d also been the one to send Duncan to fetch one of the witches to quell a demon uprising in the U.K. last month. That was how they’d discovered only three of the special witches remained… No wonder she’s not overly fond of me. Ronin grimaced, not liking the truth in his thoughts. An inner voice huffed, reminding him it wasn’t his fault the witches in question hadn’t produced more offspring, but he shushed it. Surely I can at least charm Roz out of that sour expression on her face. He forced his breathing into a regular pattern and glanced toward Duncan and Colleen at the front of the room. The resident witch had completed her part of the ceremony and Titania was speaking in Gaelic so old he had trouble following it. The Sidhe binding ceremony lasted at least half an hour, so he let his thoughts drift. Anywhere but to his cock, which still throbbed uncomfortably. As de facto leader for the Sidhe, a post he held more because no one else wanted it than because of any special skills on his part, he sensed they stood at the edge of a cataclysmic event. Abbadon and his henchmen, the Irichna demons, had grown appallingly strong. Capturing them one at a time and shepherding them to the Ninth Circle of Hell where they were trapped for all eternity wasn’t a workable solution anymore. There were too many of them, and maybe not enough space in the bottom of Hell. Because he was afraid of a firm answer regarding Hell’s demon storage capacity, he hadn’t asked Titania, though surely she’d know. If they couldn’t dump Irichna behind the Ninth Circle’s gate, he had no idea what they’d do with them. And if Abbadon consolidated his full power, Earth would be laid waste. Ronin clamped his jaws together. Apocalypse didn’t come close to describing what would happen if Abbadon were
freed from protecting his demons and could concentrate on taking over Earth. In addition to not inquiring too closely about the Irichna, I also haven’t asked about Oberon. Ronin grimaced again. If the King of Faerie were truly so tired of immortality he’d let himself fade into the Dreaming, Ronin didn’t want to know about that, either. When did I turn into such a craven I avoid unpleasant answers? Even though he wasn’t expecting one, a response popped up anyway. He’d loved a human woman once, but she’d died bearing their son, who’d perished right along with her. The major vessel serving her heart had ruptured, and no amount of Sidhe magic could heal her or breathe life into their dead child. Ronin withdrew from the other Sidhe after that, mostly because he didn’t want to hear their lectures about the whole debacle being his own fault. After all, they weren’t supposed to mate outside their blood. When he finally picked up the reins of command a couple of centuries later—or maybe it had been three—he held himself aloof and avoided confrontations with anyone, about anything. He ground his jaws harder together. His internal inventory was damned depressing; it forced him to take a harsh look at himself, and he didn’t like what he saw. He glanced at Titania. She clasped Duncan’s and Colleen’s hands between her own, and his eyes widened. Had he truly spent the entire ceremony sunk in memories and self-pity? It would appear so, he thought dryly. In moments, Titania would utter the final words, Duncan would kiss Colleen, and the ritual would be done. He barely had time to wonder why Titania hadn’t kicked up more of a fuss about Duncan marrying a mortal, when the bridal pair kissed. The tiniest sigh escaped Roz, and he looked sidelong at her. Her full lips were parted in half a smile, and she looked captivated by the ancient binding that had unfolded, mostly without him paying one whit of attention to it. She leaned toward him, her earlier ire apparently forgotten. “They make such a lovely couple,” she whispered. Ronin narrowed his eyes and looked hard at Duncan and Colleen, wrapped in one another’s arms and kissing enthusiastically. He didn’t know about the lovely couple part, because he didn’t view the world that way. “They do look happy,” he whispered back because he thought he ought to say something. Bubba, who’d been standing off to one side, made a grab for a bag Ronin hadn’t noticed before. The changeling reached inside and Ronin’s internal alarm went off. The changeling was about to throw something at the couple. Had the creature been co-opted by demons? It wasn’t unheard of since their race contained a smattering of demon blood. Afraid if he hesitated he’d be too late, Ronin pulled strong magic and rose to his feet. Before he could loose it, Roz fastened a hand around his lower arm. “It’s just rice,” she said, her voice still low. “He’s going to throw rice at them. Stand down.” Ronin met her dark, luminous gaze. “What sort of custom is that?” he demanded. Magic thrummed around him, making the air shimmer in iridescent hues. The changeling indeed tossed rice high in the air, showering everyone within a ten-foot radius of him, laughed uproariously, and then did it again. “An old one.” Roz tugged on his arm and he sat reluctantly. “Bubba adores Colleen. He’s laid his life on the line for her a bazillion times. He’d never hurt her.” “Better safe than sorry,” he muttered, feeling like an ass. “How was I to know?” “It’s okay.” She let go of his arm and patted one of his hands. As long as he was in an apologizing mood—they were rare for him—Ronin exhaled sharply and said, “I’m sorry I, um, suggested you sit next to me.” She cocked her head to one side and quirked a brow. “If you’d only suggested, it would have been fine, but you did a tad more than that.” Flutes and guitars began to play Mendelssohn’s “Wedding March.” Colleen and Duncan turned and floated up the center aisle with Bubba right behind, still throwing rice. Even Ronin had to admit they looked radiant. He’d known Duncan his entire life, and he’d never seen his fellow Sidhe look so carefree and besotted with joy. In one wild, unrestrained moment, before he glossed his emotions over with rationality, he wanted the same for himself. Ronin felt Roz’s gaze still on him and knew he couldn’t ignore her comment. “You’re right,” he said stiffly. “I did do more than that.” She repositioned herself so he had to look at her. “Why?” Because I’ve wanted to strip you naked and worship your body from the day I met you. He cloaked his
mind, hoping he’d been fast enough and she hadn’t read his thoughts. “I’m not quite sure,” he stumbled over the words, because they weren’t the truth. Her dark gaze never left him as she weighed his statement. Finally she nodded, almost to herself. “When you figure it out,” she said and winked broadly, “be sure to let me know.” Heat rose from his neck and swooshed over the top of his head. Damn! He was a Sidhe and a warrior. It was unseemly to blush like a love-struck maid. He opened his mouth to stammer some sort of reply, but she got up, along with the rest of the guests. “Come on,” she said. “I’m starving.” He’d been afraid the second the ceremony was over, she’d race away from him as far and as fast as she could, but she’d just invited him to eat with her, at least he thought she had. He bit back a smile until just the edges of his mouth twitched. Maybe she didn’t abhor him as much as it seemed when she’d shot him that poisonous look once she sensed his magic. I learned something. I have to ask her, not simply push her to do what I want. He hurried after her swishing skirt, not wanting to lose her in the crowd. He could always locate her, but the less magic he used until she got to know him, the better. * Roz caught up to Jenna just inside the dining area and hugged her. “Wasn’t it just perfect?” she gushed, still caught up in the mystical pull of dual wedding ceremonies. Jenna hugged her back and nodded. She disentangled herself and eyed her friend. “What the hell, Roz? It isn’t like you to fall all over yourself.” Roz settled her face into its usual, stern planes. “There. Is that better?” Jenna grinned. “Yup. There’s the grumpy witch I know and love. What happened to you anyway? I looked back and you were trailing after that hunky Sidhe.” “He snared me in a spell.” “Ooooh.” Jenna clapped her hands together. “He must be interested.” She leaned close. “What did he do during the ceremony?” Roz felt her face redden. “Nothing. I got mad at him once I realized he’d bamboozled me. Hush. Here he comes.” “Awesome.” Jenna practically vibrated with enthusiasm. “He can eat with us.” “I already invited him.” A knowing look crossed Jenna’s face and she opened her mouth, but Roz hissed, “Can it, sister,” just before turning to Ronin and asking, “Where would you like to sit?” He half-bowed—a courtly, old world gesture that drove home just how old he was—lifted Jenna’s hand to his lips, and said, “Nice to see you again, Miss Jenna. Anywhere the two of you wish to settle is fine with me.” “Maybe we should get our food first,” Jenna suggested brightly, “since the tables will fill fast.” “Good idea,” Roz snapped, feeling unaccountably jealous. Ronin hadn’t kissed her hand, but he’d been quick enough to snatch Jenna’s. “If you don’t want him…” Jenna spoke in their telepathic speech. “I thought you were interested in Tristan.” Roz led the way to a buffet table and picked up a plate. Jenna smirked. “I am, but he’s not here.” Roz dished up an interesting looking salad, brimming with shrimp and crab, and followed it with a few slices of rare beef and a roll. They found a table beneath a leaded glass window and laid their plates down. “I’ll get us something to drink.” Ronin smiled. “Preferences?” “What are you getting?” Roz asked, avoiding Jenna’s gaze. “Mead,” he answered. “It’s what I prefer.” “I’ll take Irish whiskey,” Jenna trilled and settled into her seat. “Just bring me a glass of one or the other,” Roz muttered. “I’m not picky.” As soon as Ronin was out of earshot, or close enough, she glared at Jenna. “Leave him alone.” “But you’re not even sure you’re interested in him,” Jenna protested. “And how would you know that?” Roz stuffed a forkful of salad into her mouth, chewed with a vengeance, and swallowed.
The other witch dropped her gaze, looking sheepish. “I, um, peeked.” Roz slammed a fist on the table hard enough the dishes rattled. “You looked inside my head without asking?” “’Fraid so. Sorry.” Jenna started eating with a studied nonchalance. Roz exhaled and then did it again. Both of them were lonely; getting angry with her longtime friend wouldn’t serve any purpose other than creating bad water under the bridge they’d have to clear at some point. “Jenna. It’s the wedding ceremonies. All the old magic in them makes us want what Colleen and Duncan have.” “I suppose you’re right.” Jenna’s hazel gaze met hers and she looked repentant, her brows drawn together. “I’m sorry.” “Me too.” Roz smiled crookedly. “Let’s not fight. Not today.”
About the Author: Ann Gimpel is a mountaineer at heart. Recently retired from a long career as a psychologist, she remembers many hours at her desk where her body may have been stuck inside four walls, but her soul was planning yet one more trip to the backcountry. Around the turn of the last century (that would be 2000, not 1900!), she managed to finagle moving to the Eastern Sierra, a mecca for those in love with the mountains. It was during long backcountry treks that Ann’s writing evolved. Unlike some who see the backcountry as an excuse to drag friends and relatives along, Ann prefers solitude. Stories always ran around in her head on those journeys, sometimes as a hedge against abject terror when challenging conditions made her fear for her life, sometimes for company. Eventually, she returned from a trip and sat down at the computer. Three months later, a five hundred page novel emerged. Oh, it wasn’t very good, but it was a beginning. And, she learned a lot between writing that novel and its sequel. Around that time, a friend of hers suggested she try her hand at short stories. It didn’t take long before that first story found its way into print and they’ve been accepted pretty regularly since then. One of Ann’s passions has always been ecology, so her tales often have a green twist. In addition to writing, Ann enjoys wilderness photography. She lugs pounds of camera equipment in her backpack to distant locales every year. A standing joke is that over ten percent of her pack weight is camera gear which means someone else has to carry the food! That someone is her husband. They’ve shared a life together for a very long time. Children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out their family. www.anngimpel.com http://anngimpel.blogspot.com http://www.amazon.com/author/anngimpel
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“Aw, that’s too bad. A bunch of us from Sketch Chapter One class were going to head over to Rusty's Grill for a goodbye lunch,” she said as she pushed her bangs from “Summer!” her face. I noticed her hands were still dirty from paintI could hear my friend, Maggie shouting my ing. I wondered how long she had been in the studio name across campus. There wasn’t one person who overnight working on the last project of the year – the hadn’t heard my name. My cheeks heated with my em- one due this morning. I let out a sigh and shrugged. “I’m sorry, Maggie. My mom and I have a long barrassment and I slowly turned to see Maggie running toward me. Her brown hair billowing in her face as her drive,” I glanced over in my mother’s direction again. loose ponytail fell apart. I caught myself grinning at She was standing by the car with her arms folded over her chest, expectantly looking at Maggie and me. “I seeing her dressed in her paint-splotched overalls better get going. I’m sorry for leaving in such a rush. again. She was always adamant that they were her I’ll keep in touch with you over the summer.” I lied as lucky painting clothes. It was all I ever saw Maggie wear to classes. She advertised “artist.” best as I could. It was hard to walk away from a person “Hey Maggie,” I murmured, giving her a small that only wanted to be my friend. I just didn’t want any smile. I clung to my over sized sketchbook and waited friends. I had spent the entire year in the studio, paintfor her to catch her breath. ing, drawing, painting, and drawing. Lunch and dinners “Are you going home now?” she asked me, usually consisted of me, alone; grabbing something pushing her hands on her waist, looking as if it was all from the Quick-Fix in the student center and taking it she could do to hold herself up, either from the allto my dorm room. Usually, that was the only time my roommate saw me. I must have made Rachel’s life very nighter that she more than likely had in finishing her project, or the fatigue in wrapping up the semester and easy. packing to go home. I gave her a curt nod and turned For the next year, I applied for a single, so I my head in the direction of my mother, seeing her could set up my easel and paint into the wee hours of stuffing in one of the last boxes from my dorm room the morning and not have to worry about bothering into her car. Spring semester was finally over, and I someone with the stenches of paint, or the tiny trickle was officially considered a sophomore in college. of classical music escaping from my computer. Thank God. No more “annoying freshman” classifica“Who was that?” my mother asked me as we tion. climbed into her silver 1990 Honda Accord.
“That was just Maggie,” I murmured, pushing my pillow towards my feet as I reached for my seat belt. “She was in a few of my art classes with me.” I clicked the seat belt into place and pulled the pillow back up into my lap. “You never mentioned a Maggie,” my mother said, glancing over her shoulder as she backed out of the parking lot and started to drive toward the exit of the Institute. “I never had to mention a Maggie,” I said, pushing my pillow against the window and leaning on it. I knew what was coming next. My mother was going to tell me how much she wished I had made friends at school, and if I applied myself more, I would be happier. In her mind, not so alone, but I enjoyed being alone, for the most part. “Honey, I think friends would be something positive in your life. You need friends. You always do everything alone. Every time either your father or I would call you, you were always alone. Always in the studio. Always doing something. You never even tried to be friends with your roommate.” “You don’t know that!” I growled and closed my eyes, wanting her to drop it. “I do know it, Summer. If you just tried hard enough, you could be so much happier. You have so much potential to do so many great things, and meet people. If you don't try hard, you'll never have those opportunities." “I don’t want friends, Mom. I just want my art degree and to move on, get a job and live.” “But you are living,” she argued. “What do you think you’re doing now? This is life, honey. This is it. We didn’t just fork over the money to The New England Art Institute for you to just sit in a studio…” “I thought you were paying for my education. For my future, to get a great job in something I love to do. Not make friends.” “We thought this place would open you up, and give you a chance to test your social skills.”
“I’ve been evaluated and measured, and ta-dah, I have none,” I said improvising one of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite movies. “You don’t have to be so negative all the time,” my mother sighed, pushing her sunglasses over her eyes. I could tell this was going to be a long drive. The New England Art Institute was only an hour away from Point Judith, where we lived in a small house by the ocean. It was probably my favorite place in the whole world. There was nothing but ocean, and sand, and more opportunities to paint quietly. “Your father is back in Greece,” my mother murmured after a few minutes of nothing but the silence and the soft hum of the air conditioner. “Again?” I asked, opening my eyes to glance at her. She nodded, not looking away from the road. “He was called out about three days ago. They found something more on the Hades location.” “Elis?” “Yes,” she said with a grin. “Elis.” “They found something more than rock and rubble?” “Well, they just asked your father to come out and give his opinion on their recent findings. I’m not even sure what exactly they wanted him to look at.” “Rock and rubble,” I finished, lowering my head back down onto my pillow. My family loved anything that had to do with Greek Mythology. Our house was filled with relics, and pictures of relics, statues, and temples. My mother was fascinated by Aphrodite, the Goddess of Love. I was sure it was because my mother was in love with the idea of love. She lived for Valentine’s Day and stories of Cupid, and was fascinated by how love worked in stranger’s lives. It could have been the fact that she was a psychologist and loved studying people, but I had a feeling the reasons for her fascination delved much deeper than what surfaced. There were pictures that littered our fridge and our hallways of my parents in their younger years,
posing in front of all sorts of different temples. I imagine this is where or why my mother began her fascination with the Greek Gods and Goddesses. It must have started out as just an admiration, until she started to pray to them. The only part of her decision to pray to them that bothered her was my growing adoration for Hades through my childhood, into my adolescent years. I had the freedom to explore and learn more about my dark friend, and even at times, prayed to him in the quietness of my mind. I started at a very young age, after being told of the story of Hades and his love, Persephone. In my eyes, he was the perfect man. I became obsessed with him. “Do you have to be so morbid?” my mother asked me when I told her of my fascination in our kitchen one morning. “Can’t you choose another God to like?” “Why should I have to? You can't make fun of me for liking him when you decided against going to church like all the other normal families.” I asked, hoping I'd make my point with her. “Normal is over-rated, honey. Don’t be ashamed to be different.” “Then I’ll stick with Hades,” I said, giving her a smile. “He’s different, and I like him.” It could have been the story that I heard growing up as a child. It could have even been the Disney version of Hercules, when Hades was given blue hair that started my admiration for him. I always felt a tug toward him that I couldn’t understand. There were several paintings that littered my room, filled with black oil paint and faces that longed for love and daylight. He was something that I had created in my imagination, and I desperately wanted for him to be alive and real. But I knew they were only stories. “Why do you like him so much?” my mother asked me one evening when she came into my room and caught me painting his dark face. He was a mix of colors, all washed in water and coal dust. He was my perfect creation.
“I feel like he knows me,” I uttered, lost in the painting, washing his eyes with a blue paint that seemed to encase the loneliness that I knew he suffered. In those dark caverns, filled with spirits and doom, I knew that my God wanted to have more than what he already knew. He wanted to taste love and companionship. When I looked up, I saw my mother giving me a weird look and I knew I needed to explain and find the words to describe the connection that I felt. “I don’t know, Mom. I guess it’s like that Godhuman connection people get with Jesus.” “Jesus and Hades are two very different people, Summer,” my mother said in a stern voice. “Well, yeah. Hades is a God,” I said with a smile. “I don’t think your obsession is healthy.” “I’m not obsessed, and I’m not worshipping him or anything.” “What do you call that?” She pointed to my painting in front of me. My hands were all black from the watercolor when I glanced at my work. “Or that?” she said when she pointed to the collection of other paintings leaning against the wall near my bed; my dark love. “A creative outlet.” I said with a smile. “You need to let that go,” she said, shaking her head. “Why do I have to let it go? He’s not a bad person or anything,” I argued. “He’s the God of the Underworld, Summer. Don’t you think that classifies him as a bad person?” I shook my head and lowered my brush onto my desk and lifted the half-painted drawing to show her. “He didn’t choose the Underworld, Mom. If you remember right, Zeus took the Universe, Poseidon chose the oceans, and that only left Hades with the Underworld.” “I already know the story, Summer,” she murmured, leaning her body against my door.
“He’s not really a villain at all. He’s just the keeper of souls. Without death, there can be no life.” I said, trying to defend him. “You really need to find a new hobby, Summer. Or a new God to fantasize about.” “Why should I? You’re the one that worships all of them. I just love one.” “I don’t make my whole life about them.” I lowered the painting back down onto my desk and shook my head. “Yes, you do. Have you taken a look at our house? They’re everywhere. You and Dad have made this house into a temple of your own.” “And you’ve made your room into a temple for Hades. How do you think that looks to us?” She shouted, lifting her hands into her hair. I could tell that she was frustrated and was about to "let me have it." My mother made accusations that she was going to "Let me have it one day." Maybe today would be that day. “Dad doesn’t think that,” I argued back. “You don’t know what you’re father thinks about you.” She accused as she closed the door behind her in disgust; her disgust echoed all around me. “I guess that leaves the two of us.” I whispered, glancing back down at my painting. My dad was more willing to understand. He loved all the Gods – loved learning about ancient Greek culture, and mythology. He loved Apollo and Hermes; probably more so because he could relate to what they were Gods of. “What do you think that says about me?” my dad asked one evening, while we were driving back home from one of his Greek artifacts exhibits. We had all been comparing Gods and Goddesses, and I was extra careful not to ruin the conversation with any mention of Hades. “That you like order and being the middleman to everyone,” my mother said with a smile. I saw my father wink at my mother under the orange glow of the highway streetlights. It was true. My dad often played the middleman in between my mother and me in fights. He was usually the only reason why we made
up. There had been plenty of nights when my father came into my room and tried to apologize on my mom's behalf, or beckoned me to come to their room to talk to her. He'd sit on the edge of the bed and coax me out with stories of Greece, of his childhood, and sometimes even with stories of the Gods and Goddesses that he claimed no one knew about. I had always suspected that there was more to them then what was written in countless books, and my dad was the only clever man who knew about them. My attention snapped back to the present, as I thought of something. “Do you know when Dad will be back from Greece?” I asked my mom, as she drove past the “Welcome to Point Judith,” sign. Point Judith was a small town at the southernmost point of Rhode Island. It was beautiful; the kind of beauty that you find on post cards with tall, white lighthouses and lobster boats. It was a quiet place. The only sounds at night were of dinging bells on the buoys, and the silent waves that crashed onto the white, powdery beaches. I couldn’t wait to pull my shoes off and walk around in the cool evening sand. “He’s going to be there for a few more days. He’ll be back Wednesday night.” It was only Friday. I did the math, counting down the days in my mind. That meant Saturday, Sunday, Monday and Tuesday alone with my mom. I anticipated it would be a long couple of days. Days filled with my mom trying to do things with me, while I'd try and escape; searching to do anything but what she'd plan. She liked to go into town and look at other people's gardens. She liked to go to farm festivals, if she could ever find one near the shore, and spend hours looking at their fresh produce and greens, commenting on how well or poor their harvest had been. I'd count the hours on my wristwatch, hoping for some relief in the hours to come. Just as all mothers seemed to do, from what I observed from the few tourists that trekked to Point Judith, and from the high school classmates, my mother was notorious for pulling me around, station to station,
talking about my schooling, the things that I was doing, and the things that she hoped I'd do in the coming years. She wanted what was best for me - a good education and a good head on my shoulders to face the world with once I was done with school. I wanted to focus on the few more years I had before I had to face those realities. The only highlight was the promise in the coming days for me: the chance to run away after dinner to the shore, and spend the last few hours of daylight lost in the strokes of my paintbrushes, the colors of the night sky and the images of faces and scenes in my mind. “What do you want for dinner?” my mother eyed the local McDonalds as we slowly drove past it. I already knew she wanted to stop there and eat, and not have to be bothered to cook anything when we got
back to the house. She hated to cook. She’d much rather be out in her gardens planting and weeding, than being bothered to take the meat out of the freezer and prepare it and have to plan side dishes and desserts. She’d rather pay for someone else to do it for her. There was a joke that if my father ever died, my mother and I would most likely starve, if there was no such thing as take-out or drive-thru’s. “Dad didn’t leave you any TV dinners in the freezer?” I asked, amused. She gave me a small smile and shook her head. “I’ve been eating them for the past two days. I think I could use some real grease in my system.” My mother didn’t hesitate to make the decision for me. She pulled into the U-Turn lane and went back to her favorite grease-filled fast food stop.
Seven Seeds of Summer Chantal Gadoury Genre: YA Paranormal Romance Publisher: Waldorf Press Date of Publication: March 15, 2014 ISBN: 1630684775 ISBN-13: 978-1630684778 ASIN: B00J1PMYAE Number of pages: 332 Word Count: 66,420 Cover Artist: Karen Davis and Terri Cooper
Book Description: Seven Seeds of Summer follows the story of Summer, a college art student who has grown up in a house full of Greek mythology and legends. Summer grew up with a love for the darkest of all Gods: Hades, which caused tension between her and her mother. Summer comes home to Point Judith, Rhode Island, to find a mysterious figure on their family beach. The figure comes to her with questions about a familiar myth of her childhood: of Persephone and Hades. He proceeds to tell her of a new version of the story with a different ending that Summer never knew; an ending that includes herself.
A trip to Greece leads to tragic twists, leaving Summer in the arms of the strange figure whom she had met before. He takes her on a whirlwind through the busy streets of Athens, to the lowest point of Greece where his lair awaits: The Underworld. Determined to find out the secret of herself and her piece in the story, Summer goes with him, and tries to make herself at home in his world. Summer has to decide to follow her heart or follow the same footsteps of the mysterious woman in her past life. Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/klFPgDuwwSY Available at Amazon LuLu BN iTunes About the Author: Chantal Gadoury is young author who currently lives in a small town in Delaware with her two cats, Theo and Harper and her boyfriend, Robert. Chantal likes anything Disney, plays a mean game of Disney trivia, enjoys painting, and has a interest in British History. Chantal first started writing stories at the age of seven and continues that love of writing today. As a recent college graduate from Susquehanna University, with a degree in Creative Writing, this is her first book. Twitter: https://twitter.com/cgadoury16 Blog: http://chantalgadoury.blogspot.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chantalgadouryfans
Tumblr for Book: http://sevenseedsofsummer.tumblr.com/
What inspired you to become an author? I’ve been writing stories all my life, for really as long as I can remember. And I’ve always wanted to share them with others. Quite a few friends from high school remember me simply because I wrote a lot and then asked them to read what I’d written. So I feel becoming an author was a foregone conclusion. Even in my “real job” I became a writer and was actually a published author of IT technical documents and User Guides long before I was an author of fictional works. Do you write in different genres? I do, though most of the genres I write in can be covered by the giant umbrella of speculative fiction. Even if their sub-genres would then be Urban Fantasy, Chick Lit, Young Adult and so on. I’m currently working on a ‘cozy crime’ series too, so that is a different genre all together and I really hope it works out. If yes which is your favorite genre to write? Speculative fiction… mostly in the Urban Fantasy sub-genre as I love the ‘What if…’ scenarios they set out. Reality with a twist. How did you come up with the title for your latest book? The story’s original title was actually The Darkness within but I kept calling is Isis, Vampires and Ghosts – Oh My! as a joke because of all the characters in it and as a play on words to the Wizard of Oz quote ‘Lions and tigers and bears – Oh My!’ Everyone seemed to like the new title better and it just seemed to stick. And has now spawned a whole series with titles that are also joke versions of the Wizard of Oz such as There’s no place like Hell which is the second book in the series. If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share? Isis, Vampires and Ghosts – Oh My! is the first book in the Other World series. Currently there will be five books in this series, but we will see how true it is once I get to the fifth book. There may be more needed to be written and therefore more books would appear.
The other titles, so far, in this series are: There’s no place like Hell, We present the Demon Guild and If I only had a brain. Still thinking up a title for the fifth one. What books are in your to read pile? I’m lucky enough to be a part of a library that has an extensive eBook library and I’ve just discovered a whole stack of Edward Marston books I’ve not yet read. He is an author who has written a few different historical crime series. And historical crime is one of my other favourite genres so I was thrilled to stumble across them all. As I love paper books too, I’m also currently reading Raven Black by Ann Cleeves. She is a crime writer from the UK who befriended me on twitter and has been extremely helpful in guiding me to becoming an author. Lovely lady too, I got to meet her in real life last year. Can you share a little of your current work with us? This is the beginning of Chapter two in There’s no place like Hell. It’s still the rough draft version though. I surveyed the shopping centre sceptically. It wasn’t an area known for catering to the Other World. In fact it was in the tourist trap area of the city and full of your typical boutique type shops that sold unnecessary fripperies to those with more money than sense. There was one of those expensive crystal figurine shops, a ‘genuine souvenir’ two dollar shop, some kind of Asian general store with an overabundance of kitsch ornaments and furniture on display out the front, a store that seemed to purely sell TV and movie merchandise and the Irish shop I had come to investigate. I mean, I had been annoyed at such shops when they had been popular. But seeing one surviving now after all the Celtic craze had settled just had my teeth on edge. Usually this was a good sign that something Other Worldly was going on in a place. But I really did hate such places in general. I was fairly certain most people had a little Celtic in them, as their rampaging was as renowned as that of the Vikings. But to use it as an excuse to wear green and to tattoo shamrocks on your backside? Pass! Who designed the cover of your latest book? The cover of Isis, Vampires and Ghosts – Oh My! was designed by Jade Zivanovic (http:// www.darkrunecreations.com.au/#!__jade) with the title text created by Scarlett. I was lucky enough to get to choose who did the cover and after Jade was suggested to me I just couldn’t say no. And she has done a brilliant job, taking my terrible stick figure sketch and multiple descriptions and turning it into an absolute work of art. Do you have any advice for other writers? Write what you know. This doesn’t mean base everything on events from your life and things that you’ve experienced. What I mean is to write in a genre you are comfortable with, one that you have read a lot. As reading is truly what makes you a better writer. Don’t think you can just write on a specific topic or genre because you think you can. You need to experience that genre, see how it is written, how the story flows, to truly understand how to write it. Finish your story completely before picking it apart, editing it and polishing it to perfection. Plus, don’t polish it too perfectly as publishers are going to want to change it, no matter what. Be yourself, be confident and keep trying. If you are passionate about your writing, just write. If you want it to become published, work as hard on your pitch as you did the story. And don’t take rejection as a negative that stops you in your tracks. Take is as incentive to try harder, take a different track and try again. Don’t doubt yourself, if you’re writing stories you are a writer. It doesn’t matter if no one else has read them. You are a creator of worlds, you are a writer.
What would your readers be surprised to learn about you? I am shy, and that I hate drawing attention to myself maybe? My books, my stories – yes, pay attention to them! They are worth it. Me, I’m nowhere near as interesting. I am my biggest critic and am learning to tell that nasty inner voice of self-doubt to just shut up. :-) Excerpt from Isis, Vampires and Ghosts – Oh My! by Janis Hill Chapter 5 Estella had the grace and timing to wake up just after I’d hauled her dead weight, literally, into the chair and balanced it there long enough the grab the rope. “By the Light of Isis, what do you think you’re doing?” Her tone was nearly petulant enough to be the old Estella asking me, not the new peace-and-love one. “Following your High Priestess’ instructions.” I grunted while tying her hands behind her back as best I could, before continuing to wrap the rope around her and the chair. “But why are you tying me to a chair now?” she asked, aghast to realise just how tight I had done it. “Branwyre can’t take over until night time. We’ve got at least another hour.” Ignoring her question for a moment, I snatched her right foot and tied it to the corresponding chair leg. Then, ignoring the attempted kick, did the same to her left one. “Roxanna clearly states in her instructions here to gather the required items, purify them and set it all up, you included.” I waved the note at her before continuing to wrap her legs, backside and chair in the rope. Yeah, I’d gotten a decent amount. Who says two for one sales are a waste of time? “Nowhere in her instructions does it say we should stop for coffee and a chat. When I’ve got as much of it ready as I can before moonrise, I can actually have a rest. You know, something even we non-undead need to do from time to time.” She went to protest, I even paused to watch the show I felt she was about to perform, but other than gaping a few times like a stunned fish, she stayed quiet. Wow, this Light of Isis was amazing if it could prevent the Queen of Whinge from speaking. “Fine then,” she finally managed, a slight sulky tone to her voice. “But how am I meant to eat dinner?” I sighed; I hadn’t honestly thought of that, going along the lines that she was dead. Yes she was an animated corpse right now, but dead was dead. You shouldn’t have to provide meals for them. “Nowhere in my instructions does it say I have to feed you.” I muttered. Then feeling I should relent a little as she’d found it within herself to be nicer. “But how about I order pizza, and you eat it cold later. Surely even the Light of Isis can’t have cured you of your cold pizza habits.” She sighed, but said no more for a moment. Didn’t even pout, which surprised me even more than the silence. “I do wish you’d be more respectful of Isis and her purifying Light,” is all she eventually said as I was adding a few more knots to the back of the chair. “Uh-huh.” I was more interested in making sure I’d done a good job, than listen to a lecture on appropriate religious respect. Especially from someone who in the past hadn’t held any respect for anyone or anything. “And no dinner is fine; I don’t seem to have the need to eat that often anymore.” She continued, trying to watch me over her shoulder. “I won’t have you dissing cold pizza though.” “Sure!” I said, standing back and wiping sweat from my brow and then my hands on my dress. I remembered I was still in one of my best ‘sombre but not kinky’ little black dresses, not having had a chance to change. So Roxanna’s wodge of cash was buying me a few clothes tomorrow, too. Why not! If I wasn’t allowed to go home until this was all over, she owed me at least a pair of jeans and clean underwear. I checked the instructions again. Okay, so all items purified, sister roped tightly into chair. Salt time! Boy I hoped the motel’s maid service wouldn’t be too pissed at me, or at least wouldn’t notice until after we’d left.
Isis, Vampires and Ghosts – Oh My! Other World Series Book One Janis Hill Genre: Urban Fantasy Publisher: Hague Publishing ISBN: 978-0-9872652-7-2 Word Count: 90,000 Cover Artist: Jade Zivanovic Book Description: Too late to save her sister’s life, Stephanie Anders must now try to save her soul from the vampire who has possessed her, Branwyre, eighteenth vampire Lord of the Aegean. With only the aid of the ghost of a pissed-off Buddhist monk with a potty mouth and the modern day Priestess of Isis, Stephanie must take on demons and other denizens of a world she knows nothing about if she is to succeed in banishing Branwyre. But even more difficult than that, she must learn how to forgive her sister Estella for what she did to her if she is to have even half a chance of saving her soul. Welcome to a world within our own – the Other World. Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wl_GYTFkU1c Available at Hague Publishing About the Author: Janis grew up in and around Darwin, Australia, and its rural surrounds. As a child, she spent a lot of time around 'science geeks' at the Darwin University, where her father was a lecturer for many years. It took her a long time to realise that not everyone got to grow up like that or could relate to all the Science Labs scenes in the old Dr Who. @Janis_Hill https://www.facebook.com/JanisHillAuthor http://janishill.wordpress.com/
A Review of Wise Craft: Turning Thrift Store Finds, Fabric Scraps, and Natural Objects Into Stuff You Love by Blair Stocker Reviewed by Wenona Napolitano The premise of this book pulled me right in. I am an avid flea market and yard sale shopper. My weekends are often full of treasure hunting excursions to second hand stores and garage sales. Sometimes I keep the treasures as-is other times I creatively repurpose items. And I always love to see what likeminded crafters do with their finds. At first I was disappointed in this book. The seventies retro feel to the crafts just arenâ€™t my style. Then I got to the Fall section. Go figure that would be my favorite place. Autumn is my favorite time of year and Halloween my favorite holiday. My two favorite projects are the spooky Silhouettes and the Zombie Barbies.
This book is worth a read if you love crafting flea market finds into something new and fun. You can find some of the Halloween projects online at ValueVillage.com: The Zombie Barbies, Spooky Dishes, Bat Photo Backdrop, Sinister Ceramics, and the Spooky Silhouettes.
Excerpt: This excerpt is from Chapter 10 of Twinfinity: Nethermore. In it the main character, the blind and deaf Whitney Leighton, is preparing to make a physical statement to her summer camp peers. They are all gathered at the obstacle course located in Camp Tumbling Waters and the group is divided. Half of the campers blame her for the recent troubles in the camp, and the other half believe that she is the solution to those problems. Whitney knows that she needs to prove a point to all of them in order to unite them. Whitney had been a little surprised by how clearly her course could be directed through her imagination and memory. Every step, and every move had been based on what she remembered from when she was piggy-backed with Kat, but she had been able to lay everything out in her mind with near perfect clarity. She had been sitting on the bench brooding over her conversation with Kat. She was mad all right, but little Mike had changed her mood. She couldn’t see the fear in his face, and she couldn’t hear if he had said anything, but she had seen his shadow approach the wall and she had waited with anticipation for his shadow to ascend into the air. She might not be able to see it with her eyes, but she would have still felt pride for him as he succeeded. She could see that climbing it was important to him, and Kat had insinuated that it was so important that he had spent a year trying to get himself ready for it. His body appeared to be weak and frail and Whitney had searched Kat’s mind for an explanation for that. He had an accident when he was younger--a tragic accident that had broken many bones and left him in a wheel chair for years. He was just getting to the point that he could walk again. And, according to Kat’s memories on the subject, climbing that wall was his motivation—his driving force. It was the thing that he talked about last year that inspired him to work so hard in his recovery. He wanted to do it, but he was afraid. Like she was afraid. He backed off and someone else was approaching the wall in his place. She didn’t want to sense someone else climbing the wall. She wanted to sense him doing it, and she didn’t think it was right for everyone else to just shrug it off. When she first got up from the bench and started walking toward the group her intention was to find a way to convince Mike to make his climb. She was only vaguely aware of the clarity with which she could visualize her course. She could see every clump of dirt, every stone that could make her stumble, and she could even remember seeing a Twix candy bar wrapper as she walked by it. Her mind was more focused on how to convince Mike to make his climb. By the time she got there she had figured it out. She would lead by example. It was after Kam had put the safety harness onto her and attached the safety line onto the clip on the back when she knew she had to take it off. It was doing its job. It was making her feel safe. There was no danger. The spotters were trained to make sure that she wouldn’t be injured if she slipped. It was crazy, but
she didn’t want to feel safe. She wanted every handhold and every foothold to be risky and she wanted to feel the danger of it. Most of all she wanted to rely on others to catch her if she did fall. She had been playing it safe all of her life and for once she wanted to leave safety behind her. She had never let herself rely on anyone but Tommy—who she depended on vigorously for help in almost everything and she was done with that too. She had chosen the members of her net the way she did because she wanted to show everyone that she trusted them even if they didn’t really trust her. She didn’t just want to convince Mike to make the climb. She also wanted to find a way to bring the group back together again. She had divided everyone, and so she’d have to be the one to link them back together again. She was a couple of levels off of the ground when the idea of the teambuilding element began to form in her mind. The concept was simple enough. You had to trust in the members of the team to catch you if you fell backward into them. That teambuilding element was about a three foot drop into the arms of your team. What if someone did it from the top of the climbing wall? It was a scary idea, but if that didn’t make an impact on the crowd than nothing would. Whitney ascended the wall. Despite her nearly perfect memory of every hand and foothold her fear was a very tangible and real thing. Slipping off and falling was still extremely dangerous even with the group below her because she might not be able to control how she landed and a broken leg or arm or even both was a probability. She reached up and grabbed the next handhold, brought her leg up, and hauled herself up another level. She had made it halfway up and she could feel her nervousness increase with her height. She was about fifteen feet off of the ground, and her limbs began to betray her. She was getting tired and her muscles were beginning to tremble despite her desire to remain steady and calm. She was no athlete and it was beginning to show. This was stupid she thought to herself. If she fell from that distance and they didn’t catch her she may or may not break a limb. Just do it now her mind begged. And she knew she could. She could steady herself, lean back, and fall into the arms of her safety net. She could do that safely and no harm would come to her. Her point would even be made pretty clearly. But wasn’t Erik’s speech, as corny and predictable as it was, about just that? Wasn’t it about pushing past your fears even though they sometimes seemed like an impenetrable wall? She could make her leap from that point but if she did wasn’t she still relatively safe? If so then was she really making her point? Wasn’t her point to go beyond safety and to leap when the outcome wasn’t predictable? She reached up for the next grip-hold and brought herself up to it. Her nerves began to betray her even more. She had never been this tired before in her life. She had already exerted herself beyond exhaustion and she knew, from that very moment, that she needed to start training her body for more endurance. She was never again going to let herself tire out this easily. So much for being lazy, because she knew that those days had to be over. She was three quarters of the way up but her muscles were aching and she was losing her breath. On top of that she wasn’t sure if making it to the top was even going to be possible. No matter how bad she wanted to get there. She sucked in a deep breath, gathered her determination, and made two more handholds in quick succession. Her fingers began to throb and go numb. Her leg muscles were screaming at her to stop and her arms felt like rubber bands stretched out to their maximum. The only good thing was that she only had three levels to go.
Twinfinity: Nethermore Volume 1 Chris Podhola Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal,Urban Fantasy Date of Publication: May 26, 2014 ISBN: 978-1499625035 ASIN: B00KGZ41CM Number of pages: 411 Word Count: 107,000 Cover Artist: Llpix.com
Book Description: Whitney Leighton has a secret. She is both blind and deaf but that’s not what she’s trying to keep hidden. Her secret is that she can both see and hear through her twin brother Tommy. They call it piggybacking because she can shift her consciousness into her brother’s mind. Whitney’s not the only one with a secret; Tommy has one too and it’s Whitney that he’s keeping it from. His secret is that Whitney isn’t who she’s supposed to be. He has dreams of her, but in his dreams she has tattoos, battle-scars on her face, and a formidable look of determination. If Tommy’s dreams come true then Whitney is in serious trouble and so is everyone else. The simple Whitney that is, doesn’t stand a chance against the evil that exists in his sleep, and the world will be thrust into chaos. The teen twins end up at Camp Tumbling Waters and Lake Amicolola where something is waiting for them. Something as dark as Whitney’s vision and as insane as Tommy’s dreams and IT needs Whitney to escape the prison that IT calls … Nethermore. Book Trailer: http://youtu.be/nfmpW8Kn4wM Available at Amazon
What inspired you to become an author? I always was an avid reader. When I was an eighth grader, I searched my school library for something interesting, and couldn’t find anything that excited me. I went home and started writing my own novel on a pad of paper. I think I wrote around a hundred pages. Obviously it wasn’t a masterpiece, but I liked it because I had targeted myself as a reader. It had everything I was looking for in a novel. At that time I decided that I wanted to write real books someday and even have an entire shelf of my own books. I finally have achieved that goal and now have two of my bookshelves filled with my own writing. Do you write in different genres? I do love to write in different genres. I’ve written a biography of the novelist Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. and a reader’s guide to the works of mystery writer Michael Connelly. On the technology side, I’ve written lots of books for the general public as well as come college textbooks on computers and telecommunications. As far as fiction goes, Silent Partner is a paranormal mystery. I’ve published an Amazon best selling children’s adventure novel (Journey to a Different Dimension) and a YA adventure (Egypt Rising). If yes which is your favorite genre to write? Right now I’m really enjoying writing mysteries, particularly paranormal mysteries. In fact, I’ve already completed the sequel to Silent Partner (tentatively entitled A Bullet for the Ghost Whisperer). How did you come up with the title for your latest book? I LOVE the title of this book because it works on two different levels. A silent partner is someone who helps but no one knows about that person. Clearly Andy helps Josh in that way. Also, because Andy just happens to be dead and nobody but Josh can hear she really is a “silent” partner. I guess I thought of this title when I realized how frustrated Josh was when it came to explaining about Andy. Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete? I wait until I’ve completed the book because I never know if the book will take a different direction than I originally planned. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Gosh, let me put on my old college lit teacher hat for a minute. There are several messages or themes worth
considering in the book. I’m even putting a discussion guide up on my website (www.stanschatt.com) for any reading groups that want to consider discussing this book. Here are some off the top of my head: Is gender identity destiny? What does the book suggest is the purpose of life and what happens after a person dies? Is evil simply a force onto itself or do the evil characters in Silent Partner have sufficient motivation to explain their actions? Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true-life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life? What books/authors have influenced your life? Several books and authors have influenced me. The first name that comes to mind is Kurt Vonnegut, Jr. I actually corresponded with him while writing a book about him. He was kind enough to tell me that I was on the right track; that meant a lot to me and gave me confidence. I tend to re-read Dune every year, in part because it’s the best example I’ve ever read of an author creating an entirely new universe with a history that sounds plausible. Everything in that universe makes sense if you accept the initial assumptions. I find it a much more believable job than the Harry Potter universe as an example. I’m not saying that the writing itself is wonderful in Dune, but it’s certainly a novel of ideas. Finally I would add Michael Connelly to my list. When I find a novelist I like, I tend to devour all his or her works. In the case of Connelly, I read every novel, every short story, every interview, and even the articles Connelly wrote as a crime reporter. I was fascinated by how Connelly develops his characters such as Harry Bosch over several years and several novels. I actually wrote a book about Connelly’s writing (Michael Connelly: A Reader’s Guide) because I thought it might help readers understand Connelly’s brilliance. Reading the Harry Bosch novels several times caused me to decide to try to create a female Harry Bosch, a female detective who was driven by many of the same problems that drive Bosch. One reason was the challenge of creating such a character, but another was my fascination with the police procedure mystery format. Could I develop an interesting Bosch-like detective and could I add to the genre by including a paranormal element? That’s what I tried to do in Silent Partner. What is your current “work in progress” or upcoming projects? I tend to work on several projects at the same time; I find that by moving from project to project I avoid writer’s block and stay fresh. So, I’ve been working on a revision of the sequel to Silent Partner (tentatively titled A Bullet for the Ghost Whisperer). At the same time, I put the finishing touches on my sequel to the Amazon best selling children’s novel, A Journey to a Different Dimension. I also am co-authoring a YA novel entitled Jane Blond, International Detective. Finally, I’m about a third done with a science fiction novel that centers on a love affair between an ex-SEAL and a very beautiful but very complicated female extraterrestrial. Do you think your relationships are complicated? Can you share a little of your current work with us? Sure. Here’s a key scene: Now Josh was thirty, but he wasn’t sure what great changes he could expect in his life. He limited himself to one drink a night, so he wasn’t afraid of going the way of his father or the other illustrious Harrell men, at least when it came to becoming an alcoholic. Several of his ancestors had been committed to asylums,
and one had even been burned as a witch. He sat down in the large leather chair that faced his TV, holding his drink in his right hand while he sipped it and thought about Foster’s story, the one he had started to research. What did the detective call it? Reading between the lines? Hell, it was like writing a novel. Robinson didn’t care how much of the story was fiction as long as the paper couldn’t be sued. He hadn’t looked at the file yet, but knew the story had something to do with the disappearance of several coeds from Hawthorne State. That probably meant a front-page story. He wondered if he could turn that story into a novel proposal and finally get Larry the Lizard off his back. Josh raised his glass in mock salute to the blank television. “Happy birthday,” he said. Carl had suggested they go out to dinner to celebrate, but he didn’t feel like being with anyone. All he could show for his thirty years on the planet was a novel no one read and two broken marriages. Josh glanced at his Worthington Master watch, the only souvenir besides his sidearm and bum leg that he had brought back from his Ranger days. The watch weighed more than a pound and had been featured in some spy movie, except the movie version had a built-in laser. Still, every time he looked at it, Josh thought about his unit, the men he had saved as well as those he had failed to save. Maybe that’s why he still had nightmares. He noted the time, remembered his time of birth that Jasmine had insisted he give her, and realized that now he was officially thirty. Josh closed his eyes for a minute. When he opened them, he saw a young woman standing beside him, and she was a knockout. He blinked, but she didn’t go away. The tight strapless black cocktail dress revealed all of her curves. She wore her wavy brown hair up in a way that called attention to her gray eyes and small upturned nose. “You’re not real. I’ve finally started losing my mind.” Who designed the cover of your latest book? My publisher Pen-L designed the cover for Silent Partner. I find it very clever since the cover displays a detective’s desk that includes a tabloid on top along with some file folders. Since Detective Frankie Ryan teams up with tabloid reporter Josh Harrell, I think the cover helps reveal the relationship. Since Frankie receives a lot of criticism from the press because she hasn’t solved the crimes yet, the tabloid’s headlines reflect that criticism. Do you have any advice for other writers? It’s funny because so often writers offer the same advice for new writers; it’s almost like they’re reading from a script. You know what I’m talking about. Published novelists always new writers not to be discouraged and to keep at it. Blogs are filled with all kinds of advice when it comes to leveraging the power of social media. Here’s my advice for what it’s worth: Read in the genre that you plan to write in. If you want to write mysteries, read some of the best mystery writers. If you want to write science fiction, read great science fiction novels. By doing so you’ll learn the rules that govern different genres. Keep good records. When it comes to pursuing agents and publishers, keep a spreadsheet updated; similarly, use the spreadsheet to keep track of bloggers you’ve approached when asking for reviews. Write quickly and then revise slowly. It’s important to get something down on paper and not obsess with getting every word perfect. Once you have a draft, then take the time to revise several times before even thinking of submitting your manuscript. If you get writer’s block, move to a new project and then return to the old one when you feel momentum building. Don’t just stop writing. Back up everything. If you want to back-up off premises and don’t want to pay for a service, send yourself emails with drafts attached.
Except Silent Partner
Frankie glared at Landry. His neck turned red, but he didn’t say anything. “How could I live without her? I was addicted to her. Once you had her in your system, you never wanted her to leave. When I was away from her, I thought of her constantly. It wasn’t just the sex. She was the smartest, wittiest woman I’ve ever known. She was the most interesting and exciting woman I’ve ever met. She was also the most manipulative woman I’ve ever met. I hated myself for not throwing her out, but I just couldn’t. Love is a horrible thing, and not the wonderful things poets say.” “Did she leave a note?” Frankie was trying to develop a timeline. “I came home around five-thirty, and she didn’t leave a note. I never believed her notes anyway. You have to understand something about Lorna. She never admitted she was wrong about anything, and she never apologized. She could convince herself in a minute that anything she said was true. Lorna once left me a note that she was going shopping with a girl friend. That friend called later and didn’t know anything about the shopping. I told my wife I knew she lied to me, and she became furious that I didn’t believe her. I’m sure she totally believed that she was right and I was wrong. I think the shrinks call someone like that a sociopath.” “We’ll need your statement. Does your wife have any enemies?” Frankie said. Marco looked up. His eyes glistened from his tears. “It’s probably a long list. As I told you, Detective, she didn’t play by the same rules as everyone else.” “Let’s start with the names of people you know had reason to dislike her,” Frankie said. Silent Partner Stan Schatt Genre: Paranormal Mystery Publisher: Pen-L Publishing ISBN: 978-1-940222-45-4 Number of pages: 239 Word Count: 60,000 Cover Artist: Kelsey Rice Book Trailer: None
Book Description: Detective “Frankie” Ryan tracks a sadistic killer while the press attacks her as a feminist vigilante who takes the law into her own hands. The only one who can help her is a tabloid reporter who can’t decide if he’s a psychic who sees ghosts or is just going insane. As they search for the killer in a sunny seacoast city’s seamy S&M underside, they begin to question everything they know about sexual identity. How can they find the killer before he strikes again when he defies any description? Silent Partner is a paranormal mystery, a police procedure novel with a female detective that will remind you of Harry Bosch, a ghost story that suggests what lies beyond death, and a comic look at a tabloid where the “truth” is whatever sells.
About the Author: Stan Schatt grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and now resides in Carlsbad, California. He has written thirty-five books on a wide variety of subjects ranging from fiction to technology. He is co-author of Journey to a Different Dimension, an Amazon bestseller. He also authored Egypt Rising, a YA novel focusing on a teen’s experience in Egypt at the time of the Egyptian revolution of 2011. This novel contains paranormal elements including a secret buried under the Sphinx. The paranormal mystery Silent Partner is Schatt’s latest novel. He has led several careers including futurist and executive for many of the world’s leading technology market research firms, police department administrator, autopsy assistant, software trainer, Telecommunications Department Chairman, and English professor. He taught at Tokyo University as a Fulbright exchange professor. His non-fiction includes books on such diverse topics as strategies for changing careers for a green industry job, studies of Michael Connelly and Kurt Vonnegut, Jr., network and data communications technology, telecommunications, computer programming. www.stanschatt.com http://www.pen-l.com/SilentPartner.html @stanschatt
After the Silence - Bree Part 4 Jacqueline Paige One woman’s journey through the chaotic new world. Those left standing make the paths for the future generations. Those the planet allowed to live still have to survive the trials of the virus. If you manage to come out of it alive you are left with some form of mutation that could give you an ability that could be harmless or lethal. Bree Taylor is the last survivor of her family. With no other choice she sets off on her own to escape the clutches of the new government’s army—that does not place safety and security in their code of behavior only the highest bidder get their protection and loyalty.
The entire volume 1 will be released in January 2015. First part of volume 2 (Kane's story) is TBR in November 2014 Excerpt for #4: It felt like months, the hours dragged on. I’d listen carefully to the voices to try to figure out when the guards changed, but without ever seeing daylight or night I couldn’t be sure if it was three times a day or only twice. My hands no longer throbbed; in fact I couldn’t feel them at all. I tried not to think about the woman I’d known only for that one day, I tried not to think about Kismet and Tremor and what was happening to them without me to keep them safe. I drifted in and out of sleep, or maybe I was just numb, not feeling or sleeping at all. When I stopped feeling thirsty, I knew I’d reached some sort of bridge. A person should always feel thirst to some degree I imagined. My stomach, was insistently reminding me that I hadn’t had more than a few sips in the time I’d been here—I still didn’t try to identify what the taste had been. With each second I lay there in the dark, I felt myself starting to accept not getting out of here.
My teeth hurt from trying to chew the cord around my wrists to free my hands. Why they only tied my hands I didn’t know, was I a threat to the two men that were always outside the door? In my weakened state probably not much of one, unless they were afraid I’d flick dirt off the floor at them when they came in. After the Silence - Bree Part 3 Jacqueline Paige Excerpt Part 3 The sound of wings flapping had my undivided attention; I stopped and held my breath trying to locate the direction it was coming from. The moment I honed in on the area the bird had been I wished I hadn’t. Here I was half way to the middle of the clearing in snow up past my knees and coming out of the trees roughly thirty feet from me were two very rough, huge men. I had twenty seconds grace before they spotted me, just enough time to turn in the snow and take the first step in what would likely end up being the most difficult run of my life. Running in snow this deep was like running through water. If your feet didn’t clear it you got nowhere. I hadn’t stopped long enough to measure the height of the men quickly gaining on me, but I was fairly certain their long legs would move through this snow faster than my own. As I hit the tree line again, I hesitated long enough to pick a direction. Kismet and I had been through this area enough times I knew most of it without thinking now. Slipping in the snow I changed directions and headed towards the hill that led to the river bed. If I could out-maneuver them in the densest part of the trees I might just be able to put a big enough gap between us that they’d give up. Chancing a glance over my shoulder I noted one thing. They were large enough it would take four of me to make this anywhere near equal. My heart was thrumming, pumping blood through my veins in a chaotic beat. A part of me knew I couldn’t outrun them, but I had to try. Turning, I bolted back towards a tight grouping of trees. I could hear the pounding of their feet hitting the ground behind me and had one second to regret the one time I didn’t let Kismet come with me. He would have evened the odds. One of them was close enough I could hear his heavy breathing over my own as I dodged between two trees I knew he wouldn’t be able to go through. My coat was actually slowing me down, but it held the knife and gun and there was no way I was dropping either of those right now. I heard him curse behind me and knew I only had seconds before he would have me. Ducking left, I stopped and spun around at the same time. My knife was now in my hand held down against my side as I gasped to settle my breathing. He stood a foot away from me and looked really pissed with the fact that I had made him run after me. I wanted to look around for the other one, but didn’t dare take my eyes off of him. A familiar flick sound brought my attention to his hand to see a blade slide smoothly from the handle it had been folded into. There was nothing I could say that was going to change this man’s plans. His eyes were wide and bored into mine with a look of craziness. A branch snapping behind me was the only warning I got before a big arm wrapped around my waist and pulled me back into a hard chest. They spoke to each other and it wasn’t in any language I understood, then again I only knew English. The tone the man in front of me used and the sudden smirk on his face told me I was in deep shit. There was no way, no how this was happening to me. I refused to be a victim. The one behind me tightened his hold, making breathing hard. He rubbed his face against my neck making my skin crawl. The other one waved the
knife in front of me a few times and then used it to push open my coat. He grinned and said something to the one that was breathing on my neck. The adrenaline was pumping so fast through my body I didn’t know how I was able to not vibrate. Now or never! Lowering my head, I relaxed my body as much as I could. Taking a deep breath, I threw my head back and brought my hand with the knife up at the same time, aiming for the arm around me. The loud crack and sudden pain in my head told me I’d connected hard with the face behind me. He cursed and let me go just as the other one lunged towards me. I felt the sting across my cheek as I brought the knife down and across his chest.
After the Silence – Bree Part 2 Jacqueline Paige Excerpt Part 2: Claws dug into me as it climbed to my neck at the same moment ice cold water swallowed me. My breath left my body so quickly it felt like my lungs were going to burst. The intense pain from the incisions the animal was making across my chest brought me the strength to kick as hard as I could towards the surface. I wasn’t the strongest swimmer by far, but I had more than enough will to live to try for both of us. In the brief glimpses I managed to keep my head above the water, I didn’t spot the shore once. We were being sucked into the middle. Through the white choppy water that blurred my vision I was only able to catch a quick look each time before we were dragged under again. I could feel the rocks rake over my back and hoped there would be enough flesh left to survive it. The cat was practically wrapped around my neck and holding several layers of skin and flesh captive in its young claws as we swirled around again in a deep pit of rushing water. Each time we surfaced, I gulped as much air into my lungs as I could before water filled my mouth again. The undercurrent calmed just long enough for me to find the direction of shore and with every ounce of strength I could find I kicked and paddled with my arms trying to shove us in that direction. I could make out a tree that was floating near the bank just seconds before I was inhaling water again. Hitting the bottom I shoved as hard as I could and tried to aim to the calmer water near the shore, not even knowing if I was going in the right direction until air hit my face once more. The tree was still in sight and I somehow knew if we didn’t reach it we wouldn’t be on land after that. Releasing my hold on the animal that was anchored to me so deeply that no way was it going to jump off and float away I swam towards the tree and prayed I’d reach the limbs lying in the water before we were dragged beyond them. After the Silence – Bree Part 1 Jacqueline Paige
Excerpt Book 1: The snapping and crunching of branches told me something was moving through the trees. Turning the flash light off, I hunched down to be as small and invisible as possible. I listened in the darkness for anything that would let me know where the noise had come from and what had made it. Voices were carried to me in the dark, a man and a woman. I moved slowly back towards my things and sat with my back against the tree straining to see in the dark. Time stopped as I waited to see if the voices kept moving or came closer. I wasn’t sure what I’d do if they did come closer. I touched the handle of the knife inside my coat, hoping this wasn’t when I find out if I could use it. Leaves rustled from behind me. I held my breath and pushed back against the tree, waiting. When I heard a low growl coming from around the tree I think even my heart even paused. I had strangers coming closer on one side of me and an animal voicing a warning behind me. Tremor shook his head and pranced a few times and the growling got louder. I sat there trying to gauge what was the most important and decided there was no way I was going to let something happen to my horse. Sliding up the tree as quietly as I could, while focusing on the voices, I tried to recall every skill instilled in me, drawing more blanks than anything useful. Pulling the knife from the pocket, I prayed it was sharp enough to cut the rope I’d tied Tremor to. I guessed I had about fifteen seconds to cut it and get to the horse before whatever was growling took a bite off one of my legs or other body parts. Chewing my lip, I hoped I could still get on his back without the saddle. The plan was to ride like hell and come back later for my stuff—if we could find it again. About the Author: Jacqueline Paige lives in Ontario in a small town that’s part of the popular Georgian Triangle area. No one has ever heard of Stayner, so she usually tells people she lives “near Collingwood” and no, she doesn’t ski at Blue Mountain or at all, in fact she’s not even fond of snow. She began her writing career in 2006 and since her first published works in 2009 she hasn’t stopped. Jacqueline describes her writing as “all things paranormal”, which she has proven is her niche with stories of witches, ghosts, physics and shifters now on the shelves. When Jacqueline isn’t working at her ‘reality job’ or lost in her writing she spends time with her five children, most of whom are finally able to look after her instead of the other way around. Together they do random road trips, that usually end up with them lost, shopping trips where they push every button in the toy aisle, hiking when there’s enough time to escape and bizarre things like creating new daring recipes in the kitchen. She’s a grandmother to four (so far) and looks forward to corrupting many more in the years to come. Jacqueline loves to hear from her readers, you can find her at www.jacqpaige.webs.com , www.jacqpaige.blogspot.ca or http://magicseasonsbooks.blogspot.ca
Want a sneak peek into one of my works in progress? This story features LizBeth and Christien. If you’ve read the novella, Eternal Desire, you’ll be familiar with the characters. The title is a work in progress itself. I haven’t really found one that fits the vibe I want yet. If you have any suggestions after reading this sample feel free to email me. The setting is loosely based on the Henderson Castle in Kalamazoo, Michigan. Rumored to be haunted but open as a Bed and Breakfast my husband and decided to spend a night in the castle…it was interesting. I’ve included a few images with this intro section of the story. The history I created regarding the past owners and residents of the castle is completely fictional, especially the part about it once being a brothel. I took creative license and spun a new history for my erotic tale.
The Inn of Amorous Apparitions By Roxanne Rhoads The drive to Kalamazoo was uneventful and the city itself unremarkable. It looked pretty much like every other Michigan city I’d been to. Shiny new buildings stuck out between historical buildings in various states of decay. On the outskirts of town the business districts had seen better days. You could tell some areas were poor. Closer to downtown the once industrial buildings were in various stages of abandonment or gentrification. The main strip of downtown Kalamazoo bustled with restaurants, shops and other businesses. The bed and breakfast Inn I was looking for was on the outskirts of downtown Kalamazoo, in the “college town” area. As I drove I took note of the numerous Victorians in all states from boarded up and falling down to lived-in but long past their original glory to fully restored and beautiful. I thought it pretentious that the Victorian I was heading to was called a castle. Yes, Victorians can be downright gorgeous, but worthy of the title castle? Not one I’d been to, and I’d been to many, many Victorians. They were almost always haunted. You can’t accumulate that much history without holding onto at least one restless spirit. Every city had ghosts. Some were just more prevalent than others. New Orleans has always been one of the most haunted locations in the United States. It was where I used to call home. But the devastating aftermath of Hurricane Katrina more than quadrupled the number of lost souls floating around the city. They wouldn’t leave me alone. I tried to help as many as I could but they
tormented me night and day, whether they meant to or not. Their lost cries, the pushing and prodding they inflicted on me once they realized I could sense them…I finally couldn’t take it anymore and left. Packed up my business and joined friends in Michigan. They send work my way constantly. Like the place I was headed now. Radcliff Castle, a Victorian built in 1895 that was being renovated and turned into a bed and breakfast. That’s all I knew. I never did background research because I didn’t like names or historical facts to influence my investigation until after I got a feel for the place and the spirits inhabiting it. I spotted the sign for the castle and turned to drive up a steep hill. As the house came into view I gasped. I suddenly understood why it was called a castle. The title was not pretentious at all. This was the grandest example of a Queen Anne Victorian I had ever seen. Made of sandstone and brick the building sported turrets and towers that gave it the unquestionable look of a castle, this was Victorian elegance at its finest.
I parked my car and stepped out. I stood there, absorbing the feel of the place. History clawed at my senses but I was seeking spirits, not the heaviness of the past. Unease hung in the air, not an eerie vibe like most haunted places had but a weird vibe, it reminded me of nervous energy, the kind you get when you’re really excited about something. It was intense, full of expectation, need. Definitely not the feel of your average haunted house. I walked around the building looking for an entrance and finally found a path that led to a long wrap around porch. The porch was quite lovely and contained small bistro dining sets. A nice touch for guests who wished to enjoy the open air. I entered and walked up to a desk and rang the bell. While waiting I glanced around. To my left was a formal dining room. To my right I could see a bar and various doors and openings that probably led to a kitchen and other rooms. To the right of the desk was a staircase. A busty blonde bustled in from one of the side rooms on my left. Her attire and demeanor were all business. She must be the owner, Barbara, who I had spoken with on the phone. “LizBeth, thank you so much for coming. I’ve heard great things about you and about your skills communicating with ghosts.”
“Thank you, Barbara. So you have experienced a lot of ghostly activity here?” I glanced around the castle; it sure looked like the type of place that would have ghosts. I could feel its history reaching out to me. I have been in many Victorians over the years searching for ghosts, but none this fancy. It was not truly a castle, but the over the top extravagance gave it a royal appeal. Now Barbara simply called it the Castle Inn. “Let me show you around a bit,” She gestured for me to follow her. As we walked around I paid close attention to details. Sometimes the smallest thing could make a difference when it came to hauntings. Occasionally it was an object that was haunted and not the location. One never knew until immersing themselves into the haunt. On the surface the Castle Inn was in top shape. It appeared to have been completely restored and from what I could tell everything was original, from the elaborate trim and crown molding to the built in buffet in the large formal dining room and the bar in the back. It was breathtakingly exquisite. I wasn’t sure what to expect from this job. When Barbara called she didn’t give many details over the phone. Just that she wanted me to check out her new Inn for spectral activity. She probably wanted me to rid the place of the spirits that were scaring away customers. “Rumor has it that the Inn was once a brothel, of course it was simply advertised as a boarding house after Mr. Radcliff passed away. Stories swirl about this place. There were a lot of fights, several deaths…it all leads to ghostly tales, you know?” She continued talking as we walked through the grand building, her pointing out various rooms and historically significant things as we went along. “I bought the Victorian from the great, great grand-daughter of the brothel’s madam. Can you believe the same family owned it for over 100 years? Amazing. It all started with the Radcliff’s. The story goes that Mr. Radcliff built this big mansion in 1895 for his wife, the love of his life. A few years later he was killed over some gambling debts and the widow was left destitute, she had to turn the Inn into a boarding house, renting out rooms just so she could afford to keep the place. But the rooms were mostly rented to lovely young women who had a lot of male visitors. And the parties they had…” she winked at me. “It must have been one wild whore house…the things I found in this place. Wow.” Her eyes were bright with excitement. The mention of interesting historical items grabbed my attention. Antiques were one of my hobbies. Anything related to the past, to history. I loved it. “What kinds of things?” I asked inquisitively. “Oh very naughty things from the brothel. All kinds of lewd and lascivious objects,” Her eyes glittered and her grin was mischievous. My opinion was changing about her. At first I took her for an uptight Inn owner, suddenly I was get-
ting a new vibe. One I thought I was really going to like. I smiled slyly, “Really? Did you keep them?” “Of course, they have a historical connection to this place. I had to. I created a room just for all the historical ‘artifacts’.” Her little air quote was emphasized with a naughty grin. She led me to a small ladies’ sitting room on the second floor that was set up a like a museum of historical kink. I gasped. There were numerous sex toys and contraptions from the Victorian era. Unbelievably bawdy pornographic photos were hanging framed on the wall and displayed all over the room- everything from daguerreotypes and tin types to more modern style images. I had never seen such a collection of antique porn. “Are these images of the women that worked here?” I asked as I walked around studying each fascinating object in the room. “I believe most of them are. Some have names and dates on the back or along the bottom edge of the images, some had dates and names written in the cardboard frames.” “Extraordinary…” I murmured as I continued to look around the room. Corsets, bloomers and other unmentionables were displayed in glass cases hung artfully on the wall. It was a decadent display of Victorian era sexuality. It is quite funny that historical accounts often lead us to believe the Victorians were sexually repressed prudes. The couples and groups in the photographs were anything but prudish…and the toys were quite ingenious. In fact many of the antiquities were quite raunchy. I loved it. “Check out the book case.” She pointed to a small bookcase in the corner. I perused the titles pulling out a few to browse the pages. Several were illustrated manuals full of sexual positions, naughty books full of hand drawn and colored nudes. It was spectacular. “What a collection. It’s marvelous.” Barbara practically radiated excitement. “I know. It sets the whole theme of this place, what I envision it to become.” I looked at her quizzically. “I want this to be a sexual retreat. An escape where people can indulge in eroticism.” “Oh, I think I’m beginning to understand. You want me to try and get rid of the ghosts so it has a sexy vibe not a scary vibe.” Barbara looked away biting her lip and I’m pretty sure she blushed, “Actually, I want you to try and get the ghosts to come out more. And indulge.” “Pardon me?” No one had ever asked me to rile up ghosts and make them more active. “You see…the ghosts here are rumored to be…well…very randy. There have been reports over the years of guests being aroused, fondled, and pleasured by people unseen.” “And you believe this?” I asked. I had dealt with a lot of ghosts over the years- mad ghosts, confused ghosts, and mostly harmless apparitions but horny ghosts? Never, well almost never. Halloween was a different story. Ghosts tended to indulge in all kinds of fleshy decadence when the veil was lifted… and the one Halloween I spent in New Orleans…well you can multiple that by…oh I don’t know, like a thousand. That night was the most decadently debauched ghostly encounter I had ever had- and I didn’t even have sex with any of the ghosts. My vampire boyfriend whisked me away before I could be caught up in the spell. It was the magic in New Orleans to blame for those ghostly encounters, most places didn’t have the kind of mojo a ghost would need for extended fleshy interaction…even on Halloween. “I’ve only been open a few months but I’ve been here two years- cleaning, renovating. A lot of people have stayed with me during this time. After their stay one couple approached me cautiously and told me about their threesome…with one of the ladies from the brothel. Later a male friend of mine woke up in the middle of the night to find himself being stroked. This continued until he was satisfied. Very satisfied. He never seen the woman, but he felt her and claimed he could smell her perfume. Another man, also alone in his room, suddenly
found himself with two young and attractive women pleasuring him in ways he had only fantasized about.” “Sounds like a couple horny and lonely men with very active imaginations.” I still wasn’t sold on carnal haunts. This time Barbara definitely blushed. “I would be inclined to agree had it not been for the first account from the couple. And I have seen scantily clad women in Victorian era garb running around the house late at night. One time during renovations I walked into a bedroom and a naked couple were going at it on a bed…that wasn’t there. I squeaked in surprise and they disappeared.” “Seeing remnants of the past are one thing, but interaction, especially sexual interaction between spirits and the living, it is crazy. I mean, if it were Halloween yes, spirits tend to crave the flesh and when the clock strikes midnight sometimes they get their wish. But everyday interaction,” I shook my head. “I know it sounds crazy, but I’ve…” she stammered, “I’ve not only seen the spirits but um, uh, I’ve had sex with them, too.” Now her entire body was flushed. It crept down her neck and across her ample cleavage. “You had sex with a ghost?” I asked incredulously. “The first time I had just stepped out of the shower. I was applying lotion and I felt a nudge against my bottom. I looked behind me but nothing was there. I thought I was imagining things, you know, getting easily spooked being all alone in this place. I ignored it, bent back over and continued rubbing the lotion down my legs.” She stopped and squirmed a little. “After I applied lotion to my backside, I felt a penis slide across my buttocks, nudge into my crevice and push against my opening. I freaked out and pulled away. Again nothing was behind me. Then I turned and looked into the full length mirror beside me. A gorgeous man was behind me, his very large, very erect penis standing proud. I don’t know what came over me but I bent over and offered myself to him. As he slid into me the room swirled and filled with mist. Voices whispered to me. I could feel caresses everywhere on my body. He continued to thrust into me. It was so…it was like nothing I ever experienced before. I came over and over. My knees were shaking and my legs were threatening to give out when I felt him orgasm. Then poof, he was gone.” Her bottom lip was trembling and I could see her trying to refrain from squeezing her thighs together. Barbara was becoming very aroused just talking about the encounter. It was getting very hot in the tiny little room filled with sexual items. I was getting very hot. I couldn’t
believe it but I was being seduced by the thought of spectral sex. I stifled the urge to fan myself. “Have you had any other encounters?” I asked. I suddenly wanted to know more. In great and explicit detail. She giggled. “Oh yes, he’s been back several times. Sometimes he brings a female friend, or two. I never imagined anything could be so erotic. The orgasms are like magic.” “And you want me to convince the ghosts to come out and play more?” I was beginning to think this job was going to be a lot of fun. “Yes, with guests. I think the shades have become used to me and they know I enjoy them but they are still very shy around guests, sometimes too shy and quiet. I’ve had several people pay a lot to stay in here in ‘the haunted brothel”. They want the ghostly experience. But they are very disappointed when nothing happens.” “So people want to have sex with ghosts?” I wondered absentmindedly if there were any bad side effects from getting amorous with an apparition. “Yes, spectrophilia is becoming quite popular. I can see why. It’s amazing.” “Spectrophilia? There’s a word for it?” Wow, I was behind in my ghost hunting research if I didn’t even know there was a word for ghost sex. “Oh yes, a word for it, websites about it, lots if chatroom talk, too. It’s becoming the new ‘thing”. You should try it. I guarantee nothing could ever compare.” At that point Barbara did fan herself. I doubted that ghost sex is that great. What I witnessed in New Orleans had been spectacular, but they weren’t technically ghosts at the time. They had been fully corporeal after the veil had lifted. Anyway, I had great sex all the time. My vampire boyfriend knows how to rock my world. Woo, nothing could hold a candle to what a vampire can do when it comes to sex. My vamp is a rock solid male with centuries of skills, an exquisite sexual appetite, and has enough sex magick and pheromones to spin me into a seductive surrender in 2.2 seconds. Not that he even needed the magick and pheromones, those were just fun bonuses. “I’ll take your word for it.” I said with a grin suddenly wishing Christien was with me so I could drag him to our room. I couldn’t wait for him to join me. “So, you’ll take the job?” she looked hopeful. “Sure, I’ll give it a shot. It sounds a lot easier than my normal gigs. Most of the times I have to rid a place of spirits which can take elaborate research and a lot of convincing to get them to move on, sometimes even an exorcism. You just want me to let them know it’s okay to come out and play.” “Yes, heavy emphasis on the coming part. Ghostly orgasms will make you see stars.” The look on Barbara’s face convinced me that she would be heading to her room for some boogie man banging once we were done talking. “Great, I’m in.” “Wonderful, let me show you to your room. It’s in the tower. The room has had a lot of spirit sightings but no physical contact. It was once part of Mr. and Mrs. Radcliff’s adjoining suite of rooms. But later was sealed up into just one room. There is a shy doxy that haunts that room. She is petite and very busty. I catch a glimpse of her occasionally but she never comes out to play with any of the guests. Hopefully you can change that.” With a smile she turned and left me at the doorway to my room. I watched as Barbara quickly and headed down the hall and enter a room at the far end by the stairs. Within several minutes I heard some murmuring followed by moaning. My hunches were right. Barb called her ghostly boyfriend for some nookie. This was going to be an interesting job.
Published on Sep 15, 2014
The September issue of Bewitching Book Tours Magazine features: Ann Gimpel, Mimi Sebastian, Janis Hill, Marlene Wynn, Rick Bettencourt, Meli...