Bewitching Book Tours Magazine Issue 35 May 2015
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
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The Talented Feature AD Marrow Interview On Provenence Interview with Laila Blake and LC Spoering Clarabelle’s Custom Creations Should Relationships have Secrets? Ann Gimpel Feature I’ve Got Designs on You MJ Rose Interview Green Living Tips Town From Hell Feature Kyoko M Feature Naughty Nook Naughty In Nature Naughty Nook Dewdrops and Decadence
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Carmel’s Interview with Queen Ice Queen Ice: Please sit down, make yourself comfortable. Carmel: What do you think you’re doing? Queen Ice: I believe it’s called an Interview. Carmel: How are you here? The only way we can communicate is through a mirror, or my dreams, or when you talk to me through my mind. Queen Ice: Yes, well stranger things have happen, please take your seat. (Carmel finally sits down.) Carmel: Why are you in the Nurse office? Queen Ice: Why must you ask so many question, I am doing the interview, so I ask the questions and you answer them, I believe that’s how this work. Carmel: Someone woke up on the wrong side of the bed this morning. Queen Ice: I slept quite comfortably actually, Heaven has beds made out of clouds. Carmel: It was an expression, Ice. Queen Ice: I am aware. Please state your name. Carmel: Why? You already know what my name is. Queen Ice: State your name, this is how an Interview is done. Carmel: My name is Carmel Queen Ice: What is your age?
Carmel: Seventeen, these questions are pointless, people know this stuff about me already. Queen Ice: I believe I reserve the right to determine if a question is pointless or not. Do you enjoy living at H.O.T? Carmel: Honestly? Queen Ice: Yes honestly, why would you fib? (Carmel rolls her eyes.) Carmel: I love it here, I’ve met new people, made friends, fell in love. Queen Ice: You’re in love with Devon correct? Carmel: Yes, which people already know. Queen Ice: Have you guys had sexual relations? Carmel: Why is that any of your business? Queen Ice: It is my business because you’re using my body to perform this act. Carmel: Using your body, you are dead, this is my body now, and I will do what I want with it. Queen Ice: I’ve notice, you should limit your sweets, you are a lot heavier than I was at your age. (Carmel looks down at her body.} Carmel: Are you calling me fat? Queen Ice: Me? Of course not. Carmel: Honestly, I have no idea why I’m talking to you, you aren’t suppose to talk to yourself. Queen Ice: You should be honored to be speak with me, and be in my presence. I am a Queen, you know. Carmel: You were a Queen; you died, remember? Queen Ice: Yes Carmel, I am aware of that, please stop reminding me. How does it feel to speak to someone as beautiful as me? Carmel: Ice, we look alike, I see myself every day in the mirror, it’s nothing new or amazing. Queen Ice: That may be true but I am prettier than you. Carmel: Heaven must not have any mirrors. Queen Ice: Why would we need a mirror in Heaven, we worry about nothing up there, looks included.
Carmel: That was sarcasm Ice. Queen Ice: I very well know what you were implying, and please stop referring to me as Ice, I am Queen Ice. It will do you well to remember that. Carmel: What I’m saying ICE, is that we look just alike, if your pretty than I’m pretty too. We are the splitting image of one another. Queen Ice: I don’t believe that to be true, my eyes are not that big, and my thighs are not that huge. (Carmel gets up out of her seat.) Carmel: I’m not about to do this with you. (She walks to the door.) Queen Ice: I did not dismiss you Carmel. (Carmel ignores her and walks out the door) Send in my next victim. Flora’s Interview with Queen Ice Flora: (She walks in the room with two pieces of notebook paper in her hand. She sits across from Queen Ice.) Carmel warned me about this little interview you’re doing. Queen Ice: Did she now?
Flora: Yes. (Flora stares at Queen Ice without blinking.) Queen Ice: Is there a problem? Flora? Flora: No, it’s just your resemblance to Carmel is unbelievable! Queen Ice: I do believe you mean, Carmel resemblance to me. I was here before she was. Flora: I know what I said. (Flora smiles.) I want you to know, if you say anything about my weight, I will leave. Actually to avoid you disrespecting me, and me possibly beating you black and blue. I’ve come prepared with my own list of questions. (Flora holds the paper out to Queen Ice.) Queen Ice: (Queen Ice snatches the paper out her hand.) What is your favorite color? What creatures do not like you? Will there ever be anyone as beautiful as you? How do you keep your hair so straight? These questions are absurd, and a tad bit vain. Flora: You think, I believe these questions are really important. Queen Ice: You cannot believe that to be true. People want to hear important stuff, like why are you so unapproachable. Flora: I can answer that one, I’m not unapproachable, I’m just so awesome, some people can’t
handle it. Queen Ice: You cannot be serious. Flora: Very! (She smiles.) Queen Ice: (Rolls her eyes) Do you enjoy Carmel being in the house? Flora: That’s another question that I will answer, since I’m in such a generous and giving mood today. Queen Ice: Oh Glory! Flora: I love Carmel being in the house. At first it was just me, then it was me and Devon, then it was Ricky and I, then Ricky, Devon and myself. I think of her as a sister, I never had. Carmel accepts me and my awesomeness as is and that is very important to me. Queen Ice: Are you sure? She seems a tad bit dim-witted? Flora: Are you talking about you or Carmel? Queen Ice: (Rolls her eyes.) You know whom I’m speaking of. Flora: Well, Carmel is not dim-witted as you put it. She’s quiet and reserved. You would be that way too if your memory was erased not once but three time. Queen Ice: I never consider that reason. Hmmm… I will take that into consideration. My last question pertains to Devon. You stated earlier that it was you and Devon in the house alone before any other members. Did you and Devon ever have a sexual relationship? Flora: (Pretends to throw up.) That’s just gross, I mean yes he’s cute, but he’s soooooo annoying and a huge liar. Queen Ice: So why was it you and him, at one point? Flora: This is yet another question! You said THAT was your last question. However, I will oblige you with an answer. I spent a lot of time with Devon before Ricky and I became a couple. Queen Ice: Why? Flora: Within the hour of me moving into the H.O.T., I met Ricky. We both knew without a doubt that we were each other’s equal. However we wanted nothing to do with one another. So I bothered Devon, just because it amused me. Queen Ice: Why did you both deny each other? Flora: Ricky reason was his own, I never asked him why. My reason was I didn’t want his
love. I grew up knowing that I was Talented. Yet I never could accept it, I wanted to be fully human so bad. I didn’t think it would be right to fall for a guy who was the complete opposite of what I wanted to be. So I avoided him a lot, and bothered Devon. Devon was the one who showed me that being different was okay, and it made me more awesome. Queen Ice: After you came to terms with being Talented; is that when you began to chase Ricky? Flora: ICE, I don’t chase any man! Ricky came to his senses and realized he wanted Flora’s awesomeness in his life. Like who wouldn’t want this. (Flora runs her hands up and down her body.) Queen Ice: Yes who would not want a short midget, with a big bottom! Flora: I’m fun size honey, and big booties are in right now. So I win. I would tell you more about my awesomeness but I told Carmel, I would help her with something. (Flora gets up.) Oh yea before I forget, Devon told me to give you this letter. Queen Ice: (Takes the letter.) Send in my next victim! Flora: (Flora bows) as you wish your highness. Queen Ice: I have a feeling, you will not go fetch and send him in.
Flora: You know me so well. (Flora smiles and leaves.) Devon’s letter to Queen Ice Dear Queen Ice, I will not be attending your interview nor entertain Carmel’s clone. It’s a waste of my valuable time. My secrets or whatever you will ask, are mines to keep. Please feel free to pretend to be me and answer the question to the best of your ability. Yours Truly, Devon Ricky Interview with Queen Ice Ricky: (Pokes his head inside the door, when he sees Queen Ice waiting on him, he walks in.) I was told you wanted to interview me. Queen Ice: Yes! Please sit. (Ricky sits.) Did you come prepared with your own list of questions as well? Ricky: (he laughs.) No but Flora wrote out a list for me, but I decided to leave it. I’m pretty sure she’s noticed it by now, I’ll hear about it later.
Queen Ice: I feel extremely sorry for you, she’s… well words cannot describe what she is. Ricky: Yet, I love her all the same. Queen Ice: Well good, I suppose we should jump into it, not figuratively of course. Ricky: Yes I know what you mean. (He laughs.) Queen Ice: Before I start I want you to know I appreciate your calm behavior, because it displays respect and shows me how open you are to this interview. Ricky: Well it’s not every day you’re in the presence of royalty. Queen Ice: Oh stop! (She smiles.) You should teach those skills to your equal and Carmel. Let’s begin. Do you believe Flora controls you? Ricky: I anticipated this question. The answer is no; I’m simply a man who believes in the phrase, “A Happy Wife, Happy Life.” In my case, it’s “A Happy Girlfriend, Happy Life.” Now we have our disagreements, but there resolved rather quickly. Queen Ice: Would you prefer Flora to be quiet and timid like Carmel? Ricky: Another interesting questions but no. God made no mistake when he chose my equal. Flora is strong willed, and strong minded, her environment molded her as such. Queen Ice: How did her environment partake in molding her? Ricky: Flora grew up in the human world. Now for some Talented, this isn’t necessary a bad thing, but for her it was. The humans knew there was something strange about her; Flora was never given a chance to fit in and that bother her greatly. In return, this made her tougher, and unapproachable. I on the other hand, never experience this problem because humans flocked towards me. Therefore, I never develop that tough skin. Whereas Carmel, simply didn’t care, she knew she was different and gravitated to those who were different as well. She made the best out of the situation.
Queen Ice: You are very knowledgeable! You project an old soul inside of a young man’s body. Hmmm. What about Devon? How did his environment shape him? Ricky: Devon asked that I do not discuss him in any shape, form, or fashion. However, I will answer this one question! But if it gets back to him, I will suddenly develop amnesia. Is this understood? Queen Ice: Yes I understand. Ricky: Devon grew up without love or affection from the people he needed it most from. He was feared because of who he was meant to be, but he didn’t understand why. He assumed he was like every other Talented. When he was told of his destiny, he could never accept it. That is all I will say about that.
Queen Ice: Do you think he eventually learned to accept it? Ricky: You would have to ask him that. Queen Ice: (She rolls her eyes.) Yes but he’s refusing to speak to me. There always has to be a difficult one in the bunch. I have one more question. Ricky: Okay. Queen Ice: Flora mention, that you didn’t want her to be your equal in the beginning. Why? Ricky: I’m sorry that is a question that I cannot answer. Do you mind if I ask you a question? Queen Ice: I suppose. Ricky: Why are you here? I assume it’s a reason and it’ not about the interviews. Queen Ice: Carmel knows the reason ask her. (Queen Ice vanishes in thin air.) *If you want to know why, then read The Talented * The Talented Desy Smith Genre: Young Adult Fantasy Romance Fiction Publisher: Floebe Publishing Date of Publication: January 30, 2015 ISBN: 9781507799291 ASIN: B00SXOLV80 Number of pages: 197 Word Count: 46,170 Book Description: At age 17, Carmel founds herself in a mental institution thanks to an ice dagger, and a woman who apparently isn't human. After being rescued and arriving at the H.o.T, House of Talents. A house where no one is entirely human. She learns that she's Talented and has the ability to control Water and Ice. At the H.o.T, Carmel learns to control her Talent, makes new friends, a few enemies, and begins to fall head over heels for a handsome guy. Who has a few secrets of his own. Carmel begins to realize that many people want her dead because of who she is. However she has no idea why. Can she figure it out or will she die. Look inside to find out. Available at Amazon and BN
She led me to the other side of the cafeteria where a wall separated us from everyone else. We made our way towards two separate tables. Ricky was sitting at a table by himself, and there were four other people sitting at the other table. I was getting ready to walk in when Flora stopped me. “You see them four at that table.” She pointed to all of them. “Yes.” “That’s Montigo.” She pointed to a guy with skin the color of melted chocolate, and brown eyes. He was tall like Ricky and had black dreads in his hair. “His girlfriend is Tess.” She pointed to a white chick that had red hair, green eyes and freckled skin. “She’s a hot head. That’s Lanisha over there.” She rolled her eyes at her. She pointed to this light skin black chick with crazy brownish green eyes and brown hair. “Last but not least, there’s Simon, who is the nicest of the group, if you ask me.” She pointed to this white guy. He had pretty blue eyes and blond hair. “What are their talents?” She was about to walk in, but I stopped her. “Montigo is water, Tess is fire, Lanisha is air, and Simon is earth.” We walked in the room, and Flora greeted everyone at the table before we sat down. “Why are you guys pointing at people?” “I was filling her in on whose who.” “Oh.” Ricky eyed my plate. “Are you going to eat all that?” Ricky asked me. “No, if you want something, you can have it.” His hand went directly to the chocolate chip cookies. I stopped him. “Yeah, anything, but those.” Then his hand went for the peach pie. I had to stop him once again. Flora started laughing. “Let me clarify. You can have anything but the sweets.” “Looks like someone has a sweet tooth,” Flora said.
“So where’s Devon at?” Flora asked Ricky. “I don’t know. What do I look like his keeper?” “Don’t start, I just asked a simple question, that’s it.” They got into an argument. I ate my nachos and realized something was missing. Where was my hot sauce? I looked around and saw it was sitting on the farthest table against the wall with the rest of the condiments. As I grabbed the bottle, I heard someone whistling. I ignored it until I realized they were whistling at me and not that, ‘Oh you’re fine whistle’, it was that come here, whistle. I turned and saw who it was, Montigo. I rolled my eyes. If he wanted to talk to me, he would have to use his words. All of a sudden, I felt something wet hit me on my but almost like a belt. I jumped and dropped the hot sauce on the floor. I turned around to touch my pants to make sure I didn’t feel anything, and sure enough there was a wet spot there. I
looked at Montigo, as he sung a water lasso around his head. “Keep your hands and other objects to yourself.” “This is what happens when you ignore me hon, so tell me what are you going to do about it.” I remained quiet. “Nothing, just like I thought.” He threw the water lasso at my arm, and it left a wet whelp there. “I already told you to stop,” I said. “Or what?” I noticed Flora and Ricky looking at us now. “Montigo stop, it’s not funny,” Flora said. “Mind your business Flora.” She gave him the finger. Montigo looked at me again and once again threw the water lasso. This time I caught it and slowed down my breathing, and it froze. When I let go of it, icicles formed going everywhere in the cafeteria. One almost hit him in his face, but his girlfriend Tess, held up her hand just in time. She created a fire wall melting the ice dagger. Tess rose up, but Montigo raised his hand, and she sat back down. Instead, he got up. “Finally your group is complete.” He said eyeing me up and down. “So you think you’re big and bad, just because you can make a few icicles?” He laughed not waiting for me to answer. “I think you need to be taught a lesson.” I noticed everyone’s cups beginning to shake. He raised both of his hands, now had two water lassos. He threw one at me, and I mentally prepared myself to grab it, but at the last second, someone stepped in front of me. I realized it was Devon. The water was melting off his body. “Still picking on people smaller than you?” Devon said. “Yeah and you’re still poking your nose in other people’s business.” “If you stop starting shit, then I wouldn’t have too.” “What makes you think I started it?” “Who else would it be?” Montigo stepped closer to Devon. “Again what does this have to do with you?” up.
Suddenly a line of fire appeared separating Montigo from Devon. Tess slowly, but gracefully got
“That’s enough for tonight boys.” Her voice sounded like she was older than what she appeared to be. “Wouldn’t want Devon killing you over his little equal.” She looked at me. “Word of advice, next time he speaks to you, just answer him.” I smiled at her. “The last time I checked, he isn’t anyone of importance, and I’ll speak when I want to. Not a moment sooner than that.” Then I mimicked her. “Word of advice, whistling at someone isn’t the right way to get their attention. I’m not a dog.” She looked at me and twirled her hair around her finger. I bent down to wipe the hot sauce I spilled. I felt something hot on my back, and I turned around to see the fireball coming at me. I rose my hand, slowed my breathing, and it froze, it was now a big ball of ice. It fell on the floor not shattering. I looked at Tess, who was now smirking at me. I noticed Devon looking at us, probably wondering if he needed to intervene. He didn’t, I could handle it on my own.
“I don’t know what’s more pathetic, you trying to attack me when my back is turned or you attacking me and me defending myself, when I just find out today that I had a talent.”
About the Author:
Desy Smith was born and raised in Dallas, Texas. She wrote her first book when she was thirteen years old, because she ran out of books to read inside her home. She loves reading books as much as she loves writing her own. Desiree also loves food and sweets, if she’s not reading, she’s probably eating a cupcake or two.
She published her first book The Talented under a publishing company she started Floebe Publishing. Desy writes to provide an escape for anyone who wants to live in a fantasy world, and not worry about the trouble of everyday life. She also writes to inspire. This is Desy’s first novel, and she plans to release the second part of The Talented series during late summer.
The Talented will be a five part series. Currently she is working on another story, which she hopes to release in the fall.
Q: You have written several books, is there one character you identify with the most? A: Ther e ar e so many char acter s that I love mor e than life, but I identify with Bane the most. Yes, I said, I identify with the murderous transvestite vampire. Like so many domestic violence survivors, he has been turned into a monster and wears a visible mask to hide the horror that he has become. It’s allegorical, of course, but Bane is a literary manifestation of how I felt when I was overcoming the situation. Q: Where did you draw your inspiration from for Chaos and Moonlight? A: Chaos and Moonlight was a perfect storm, of sorts. I have always had a love of the paranormal and wanted to write a vampire saga. Once Taris showed up, the story all but played itself out for me. All I really had to do was write it as faithfully as it was told. I balked… A LOT, especially when it came to some aspects but in the end, Chaos reigned supreme. Q: Describe your writing routine–any silly author quirks we should know about? A: I wake up very early. The latest I sleep in is 6:15 a.m. I make coffee first thing, without fail. As “Donna Reed” as this sounds, I iron my husband’s work clothes and make sure he is completely ready for work. It makes for a stress--‐free morning. Once he’s out the door and I’ve got the kids up and fed, it’s time for me get them to school. After that, I allow the muse to take over. I’m not a linear writer, but dear God in Heaven, sometimes I wish I were, so I will do whatever needs to be done around the house until something strikes me. After that, the gloves come off and I write until I hit the wall. Q: Would you mind opening up on your personal inspiration for Taris? A: Taris was born out of a need to survive. That sounds so dire, but it is very true. I was in an abusive relationship and cut off from friends and family, so my subconscious created someone that would be my champion. Voila, Taris. He was tall and gorgeous and dangerous and he has always been loyal to me. That sounds so completely looney, but it’s true. He was a coping mechanism. Q: What does the future of the Chaos series hold? A: Everything! Different characters will all get their stories and though there will most assuredly be some heartache, there is a happy resolution at the end of it all.
Chaos and Moonlight Order of the Nines Book 1 A.D. Marrow Genre: Fantasy Publisher: Full Fathom Five Digital Date of Publication: May 6th, 2015 ISBN: 978-1-63370-053-6 (epub) ISBN: 978-1-63370-054-3 (mobi) ASIN: B00U9QUJ9W Number of pages: 280 Word Count: 91,993 Cover Artist: Fiona Jayde Media
Book Description: The Nines, an elite group of vampires, was established to stand as protection for their race. Fractured by centuries of betrayal and loss, the group is now little more than myth, its remaining members scarred and shattered. Taris, the oldest living vampire, is no stranger to loss and heartbreak. He is all that holds the Nines together as they struggle to save themselves from total extinction. Enter the beautiful and brilliant Dr. Sarah Bridgeman, whose medical research has resulted in a breakthrough for both humans and vampires. Her work may be the salvation this weary band of guardians has been looking for. Taris needs to reach Sarah and enlist her help—before those aligned against him can act. Can a vampire king convince a stunning young scientist to save a species that isn’t even supposed to exist? For now, only one thing is certain: no science can explain the explosive chemistry between them. Chaos and Moonlight is the first installment in the Order of the Nines series, and is A. D. Marrow’s debut novel.
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Excerpt: "It was several minutes before Sarah realized she wasn’t dreaming. The tall guy in her room, the creepy guy on the stairs, all of it had been real. After about five miles of telling herself to wake up, then looking at the tall guy who was driving, then pinching herself, then telling herself to wake up again, then looking at the tall guy some more, reality and the promise of a full-fledged panic attack set in.
“I swear, if you let me go, I won’t tell anyone, okay?” Sarah finally found her voice. She had a moment where she thought that maybe this was a dream again, judging by the way the driver of the car looked. He was dark and mysterious, chiseled from head to toe—she should know, she all but crawled into him when they were running away from that other guy. She couldn’t make out much in the dark of the truck’s cab, but even in the faint light of the street lamps, something about this guy made her feel different. Maybe it was his voice—that deep, gravelly, slightly British voice. Maybe it was the smell that came off him, that man-mixed-with-leatherand-aftershave smell. “Who are you?” Her damned voice box rebelled against her and her question came out in a whisper. He was focused on the road, his eyes never leaving it as he maneuvered the giant diesel truck in and out of the one a.m. traffic. “I’ll explain everything when we get to where we are going. In the meantime, just sit back and try to relax, okay?” “Relax? Okay, yeah. I was taken out of my bed in the middle of the night by some guy I don’t even know, and then I was chased up the stairwell by a Sherman tank of a drag queen, and you tell me to relax? Yeah right, pal! Listen, seriously, whatever ransom you’re asking for, I can pay it. Just bring me to an ATM, and you can have whatever you want, okay? Just let me go.” “It’s not that simple, Dr. Bridgeman.” “The hell it’s not. Look, just let me out, and anything you want, it’s yours. Cross my heart, I won’t tell a soul you took me.” She made a little crisscross motion over her heart. “Like I said, Dr. Bridgeman, it’s not that simple. I don’t need your money. I need you to do a job for me. That Sherman tank drag queen apparently wants you to do the same job. I think, circumstances being what they are, you might want to consider working for me.”
“Work, my ass.” Sarah mumbled to herself. “Who the hell are you, anyway? And what job could I possibly do for you? I’m a medical researcher, you dickhead.” He didn’t bother looking at her. He took in a deep breath and let out a long sigh. “My name is Taris. I’m an eight-hundred-year-old vampire, and I need you to use your medical research to help me stop the slow yet brutal extinction of a race of people who really do exist but are made into horror movie villains and romance novel heroes.” When he was met with silence, he glanced over to see her passed out cold in the seat. “I knew it wouldn’t work.”
About the Author:
A.D. Marrow is a registered Sapiophile, a proud geek since before geek was chic, and believes that everyone deserves a happily ever after.
She lives in the foothills of North Carolina with her ridiculously hot and amazingly supportive
husband, three kids that rock so hard there should be a national holiday for their awesomeness, two really stupid dogs and a plethora of Post-it notes with book ideas to last her until she’s 90.
Her childhood dream is realized in the fact that YOU have cause to read her bio. She hopes that one day, it lends her enough credibility to live out her second dream, which is to write an episode of Doctor Who.
Her personal mantra echoes that of Morticia Addams: “Normal is an illusion. What is normal for the spider is chaos for the fly.”
ON PROVENANCE: WHAT MAKES HEUER TICK Who we are and what we are depends on how honest we choose to be. At least that’s how my character Jürgen Heuer (pronounced ‘lawyer’) likes to play it out in life and death. Born in Bremen, Germany with summers spent in the Austrian Tyrol he is literally preprogrammed to be a romantic. His mother, a dreamer raised on Schumann, palinka shots and weeping Hungarian violins demands it. “Love, my love, and desire—Sensucht—longing: These are the things that make the history, the things upon which great legends are built. Without these, you have dust in your mouth.” Yet Heuer’s love for things musical “the cicada’s song” or lyrical “... her tangs of violet commixing with scents of must, like the old place back home in Europe” are squelched by history and a profound belief that he is “born bad” and cannot undo it. “Small, both in mind and body, he had tremendous appetites, all of which skewed towards becoming more than what he actually was.” An apropos description not of the man, but of the father, Werner, whose tastes “... classic in [their] narcissism, embraced the moldy old ethos of ethnicity over geography, and, as such, he was first in line when Anschluss came to Vienna...” Werner Heuer has no time for art or music: “For him, the rhythmic tapping of jackboots on pavement went beyond forced occupation; it was the end of the road after a long trek.” Eschewing his parents’ hang-ups, Heuer does his best to build a life in America that is, by all accounts, immensely successful and hardly lonely. But it is contrived. Dodging promotion, cruising the outer banks that frame society, he keeps to himself, except when he toys with the lives of others. When a young colleague joins the firm Heuer takes action, not swiftly, but slowly, the way he likes it: “The decision to ruin a young man half his age was taken lightly and on purpose, as if giving weight to the decision conferred unjust power on the youth. To Heuer, it was personal, but also a test to see if he could actually do it.”
All business, Heuer reminds me of another character, Irmtraut Weibigand, currently under construction in POOR UNDERTAKER, a work in progress. A woman of business, she wrestles with secret doubts about the veracity of her citizenship, place in the community, and the integrity of the people she tries to call friends. A raucous Chamber of Commerce luncheon exacerbates this, when she rises in defense of her frenemy Hartmut Fläche, whose effete manners and pomposity alight the simmering hatred of fellow Chamber member Conrad Hickey. Defending Fläche’s right to exist, Irmtraut loses her cool as she’s reminded that she’s as ‘foreign’ as he is even though she has been a part of the community for nearly thirty years. Well read, she cannot help but think of Shakespeare’s monster Caliban from the Tempest making a subtle but conscious comparison to her own place on the ‘island’ that is Portside, Michigan. Thinking back to her mother, her provenance and her roots, she is cut at the knees, reminding herself that no matter how fine she becomes, she will always wear homespun. Like Irmtraut, like Werner, Heuer wrestles with his identity which takes centre stage anno domini. His inane Germanity no longer an issue, Heuer wishes only to be cared for and remembered. Heuer Lost And Found Unapologetic Lives Book 1 A. B. Funkhauser Genre: Adult, Contemporary, Fiction, Metaphysical, Paranormal, Dark Humor Publisher: Solstice Publishing Date of Publication: April 23, 2015 Number of pages: 237 Word Count: 66,235 ASIN: B00V6KLAMA Formats available:
Electronic, Paper Back
Cover Artist: Michelle Crocker Book Description: Unrepentant cooze hound lawyer Jürgen Heuer dies suddenly and unexpectedly in his litter-strewn home. Undiscovered, he rages against god, Nazis, deep fryers and analogous women who disappoint him. At last found, he is delivered to Weibigand Brothers Funeral Home, a ramshackle establishment peopled with above average eccentrics, including boozy Enid, a former girl friend with serious denial issues. With her help and the help of a wise cracking spirit guide, Heuer will try to move on to the next plane. But before he can do this, he must endure an inept embalming, feral whispers, and Enid’s flawed recollections of their murky past. Is it really worth it? Book Trailer 1
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Reviews: Fresh writing filled with rich vocabulary, this story features a vivid cast of colourful, living-breathing characters. This one will keep you reading late into the night until the final page.—Yvonne Hess, Charter Member, The Brooklin 7 Ms. A.B Funkhauser is a brilliant and wacky writer …Her distinctive voice tells an intriguing story that mixes moral conflicts with dark humor.—Rachael Stapleton, Author, The Temple of Indra’s Jewel and Curse of the Purple Delhi Sapphire The macabre black comedy is definitely a different sort of book! You will enjoy this book with its mixture of horror and humour. —Diana Harrison, Author, Always and Forever Heuer Lost and Found is a quirky and irreverent story about a man who dies and finds his spirit trapped in a funeral home with an ex-lover who happens to be the mortician. The characterization is rich the story well-told.—Cryssa Bazos, Writer’s Community of Durham Region, Ontario, Canada Author A. B. Funkhauser strikes a macabre cord with her book "Heuer Lost and Found". I found it to have a similar feel to the HBO series "Six Feet Under".--Young, Author, A Harem Boy’s Saga Vol I, II, and III
Short Excerpt: Enid Krause nee Engler had made her way down to the embalming room where he lay waiting for her. She paused on her way to dither over some emails and, he noted with approval, to check out Kijiji for vintage GTO’s. Next, she mucked about with the coffee maker, juicing up her brew with two bags of pre-packaged Columbian. This, he noted wryly, was not the wisest thing to do when one’s hands were already shaky. It was apparent to him that she liked her booze as much as he did, and if she were to play around with sharp things, she stood a good chance of facing him sooner, rather than later. “It is here that you must speak to her,” the lamp intruded, muddling his thoughts and destroying his pleasure. He did not like this popping in and out at will inside his head. He hoped her powers were limited to audiences in the basement, but not so—she was a body trapped in a house she did not choose, yet her spirit travelled, permeating the mind at will. “If you want to move on, it must be so. Put things right, mein Schön.” He frowned at her use of ‘Schön.’ It was his term of endearment, yet she took it for her own, as if her right to trample him escheated once he agreed to do her bidding.
Make amends. Sure. The Holy Moly Book of Hooey said so, but to which place would he go thereafter? The land of milk and honey, where everyone ran around in bed sheets? Or the other place, where no amount of sunscreen would help? “Neither,” the lamp said confidently, her words ironic, because she was a lamp and obviously hadn’t been anywhere. “To your purpose,” she said, twisting him in the direction of Enid, who muttered under her breath as she fumbled with her earrings. He grinned, longing to see what she would do next: Fraulein Engler was obviously struggling over his dramatic return, and for good reason. They had not parted on the best of terms. She wept sentimentally in the coroner’s suite—woman’s tears—much to her colleague’s chagrin, and now she was dragging her feet like a shotgun bride. Walking alongside her, he thought about theatres and floorboards and actors moving from mark to mark, their steps mapped out strategically on the floor with sticky tape. “This is why people spend so much time and money on make believe, Mächen,” he said. “It’s so much better to watch.” Enid managed to get past the door that separated the O.R. from Weibigand’s outer hall, where she was greeted by the buzz and hum of a big fan that would keep his stink off of her. He concentrated on the noisy traffic that was her brain: like car tires spinning, rubber burning, a lonely heart hammering, and an incomprehensible fear. He was in despicable shape and it would take every ounce of skill to bring him to heel.
About the Author: A.B. Funkhauser is a funeral director, fiction writer and wildlife enthusiast living in Ontario, Canada. Like most funeral directors, she is governed by a strong sense of altruism fueled by the belief that life chooses us and we not it. “Were it not for the calling, I would have just as likely remained an office assistant shuffling files around, and would have been happy doing so.” Life had another plan. After a long day at the funeral home in the waning months of winter 2010, she looked down the long hall joining the director’s office to the back door leading three steps up and out into the parking lot. At that moment a thought occurred: What if a slightly life-challenged mortician tripped over her man shoes and landed squarely on her posterior, only to learn that someone she once knew and cared about had died, and that she was next on the staff roster to care for his remains? Like funeral directing, the writing called, and four years and several drafts later, Heuer Lost and Found was born. What’s a Heuer? Beyond a word rhyming with “lawyer,” Heuer the lawyer is a man conflicted. Complex, layered, and very dead, he counts on the ministrations of the funeral director to set him free. A labor of love and a quintessential muse, Heuer has gone on to inspire four other full length works and over a dozen short stories.
“To my husband John and my children Adam and Melina, I owe thanks for the encouragement, the support, and the belief that what I was doing was as important as anything I’ve tackled before at work or in art.” Funkhauser is currently working on a new manuscript begun in November during NaNoWriMo 2014. Website: www.abfunkhauser.com Twitter: https://twitter.com/ iamfunkhauser Facebook: www.facebook.com/heuerlostandfound
Interview with LC Spoering and Laila Blake How did you come up with the title for AFTER LIFE LESSONS? L.C. Spoering: In the books, we call the years following the zombie apocalypse the After, and the first book is all about learning out to survive after tragedy. Thus: After Life Lessons. Laila Blake: We were also looking for something to help convey the feeling of the story - that it isn’t a zombie splatter adventure, but a complex drama about life after the end of the world. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? LCS: We’re both fascinated with human reaction and interaction. In After Life Lessons, we really wanted to explore the idea that there is more than one way of surviving. No one has the same reaction to a tragedy, and we never know what our real strengths and weaknesses are until we face our fears head-on. Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet? LCS: Historical fiction. I get deeply interested in historical events somewhat out of nowhere, and I’d love to set a story in one those time periods. LB: Upmarket or Literary Fiction. It’s 80% of what I read, and so it’s an obvious route. But there’s a part of me that feels I’m still too young, too inexperienced, and not quite good enough a writer to do it well. Or maybe I’m waiting for the right story to go there. I’d also like to get into more YA. I have an almost finished manuscript, but no YA publications yet, and I love the vibrance voices of that age can have. Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why? LCS: In the After Life Lessons books, I think it’s an even split between Song and Kenzie. I think I just have a love of writing non-adult characters as realistic as possible, based on memories and people I know. LB: I absolutely love Kenzie. But I also need to stand up for Emily, who is one of those characters that will stay with me for a long time to come. I really like writing complex women, women who defy the
standards we often place on them and each other.
What books are in your to read pile? LCS: The House of the Spirits by Isabel Allende, Everything I Never Told you by Celeste Ng, and The Thing Around Your Neck by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie LB: Americanah by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, I’ll be Right There by Kyung-sook Shin, The Buried Giant by Kasuo Ishiguro and Bad Feminist by Roxanne Gay. And so many others. Can you share a little of your current work with us? LB: As you will already publish an excerpt of A fter Like Lessons: Book Two to go along with this interview, we won’t publish any more long pieces of writing here. But you can find excerpts of all our novels on the Lilt Literary website (www.liltliterary.com). But when it comes to really current work, we recently finished writing the third book in a brand new series, we’ll start to publish later this year. Like in A fter Life Lessons, we took a classic genre -- this time Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance -- and mash it up with our own rebellious flavor. So instead of a hulking alpha male, our werewolf is a grieving widower and the kick-ass heroine is a chubby, gentle med student who also happens to be Fae. Do you have any advice for other writers? LCS: Anyone who has read my blog in the past will see this coming: keep writing. Even when you don’t want to, even when you’re sure everything that comes out of you sucks, keep writing. The instant you fall out of practice, out of habit, the harder it gets, and more difficult it becomes to grow and improve as a writer. LB: What Lorrie said - and also: Find a Writing Friend. A support system just for your writing, someone who talk about, who shares your passion and will listen to you, even when you just need to ramble about your plot while you work the knots out. I also find that it helps to read writing advice books every once in a while. Not because any of them tell you anything new, but if you’re anything like me, they’ll boost your motivation to keep acting on all those things you already know. Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book? LB: We do, as a matter of fact. We do that for most of our books, because we both have such strong opinions on music and it continues to be a great source of inspiration for us. For After Life Lessons, we went with a list full of folk and alternative country, the kind of music that feels like the road and roaming the countryside. Playlist for reading Book One | The Interlude | Book Two After Life Lessons Book Two Laila Blake and L.C. Spoering Genre: post apocalyptic
Publisher: Lilt Literary
Date of Publication: April 28, 2015 Number of pages: 350 Cover Artist: Laila Blake Book Description: Years after the end of the world, the scattered survivors have begun to reconcile with their fate and are starting to build communities from the rubble. Life has been kind to Aaron and Emily, and maybe it is that infusion of hope that leads them on a winter trip to search for Aaronâ€™s family. But the world outside their little haven has grown harsher, the conditions rough and dangerous.
tween the small settlements of the south.
Not everybody they meet on their journey allowed the grim realities to harden their hearts, however. Malachi and Kenzie - an easy-going drifter with a bum leg and amnesia, and a teenage girl who has lost everyone and everything are on an ill-conceived mission to Mexico, while Iago and his band of nomads work to forge trading connections be-
All of them will discover new nightmares on the road, far surpassing the threat of the last rotting zombies still roaming the countryside. And now they must come together to fight for peace and justice in the world they trying to rebuild. Warning: This novel contains language some might find offensive, some gore and situations of a sexual nature. Reader's discretion is advised. About the Authors: Laila Blake is an author , linguist and tr anslator . She wr ites character-driven love stories and blogs about writing, feminism and society. Her work has been featured in numerous anthologies. Keeping a balance between her different interests, Laila Blakeâ€™s body of work encompasses literary erotica, romance, and various fields in speculative fiction (dystopian/post-apocalypse, fantasy, paranormal romance and urban fantasy) and she adores finding ways to mix and match. A self-proclaimed nerd, she lives in Cologne/Germany with her cat Liene, harbors a deep fondness for obscure folk singers and plays the guitar badly. She loves photography, science documentaries and classic literature as well as a number of popular TV-Shows. http://www.lailablake.com/
https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6829033.Laila_Blake https://www.pinterest.com/stainsofblue/ http://stainsofblue.tumblr.com/ https://instagram.com/lailajblake/ L.C. Spoering has a degr ee in English wr iting fr om Univer sity of Colorado, and a lesser degree in sarcasm earned from the days of yore on AOL. A storyteller since she started talking, she now spends her days writing, reading and contemplating the universe through various pop culture lenses. http://www.lcspoering.com/ https://twitter.com/kisstheground https://www.facebook.com/LCSpoering https://www.goodreads.com/author/ show/6646545.L_C_Spoering https://www.pinterest.com/kisstheground/ http://rockcandymelted.tumblr.com/ https://instagram.com/kisstheground/
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Should a Relationship Have Secrets? By Wenona Napolitano Almost everyone keeps secrets but is the key to a successful relationship full disclosure? Experts are torn on whether or not a person should keep a secret from their significant other. Personally as long as it isn’t something super serious I think a few secrets in a relationship are healthy and perhaps necessary. Once the mystery is completely gone a relationship can grow stagnant. Most experts believe it depends on the person, the situation, the relationship and most important-the secret. Others are adamant that full disclosure is the only way to go. “Secrets are cancer to a relationship,” says Marriage Counselor Ace McKay, Author of The Marriage Playbook. Dr. Dennis W. Neder, CEO of Remington Publications, the publishers of Being a Man in a Woman's World I & II thinks that secrets should be kept. “In fact, it's impossible not to. The concept of a truly ‘open and honest relationship’ is a nice sound bite, but in fact, doesn't exist.” I’m with this guy. I think it is impossible and hurtful to be completely, 100% truthful all the time. Lisa Abbie Paz, LMFT, Ph.D. explains that “The word ‘secrets’ has a negative connotation in the realm of relationships because it implies an active choice to ‘hide’ information and that feels inauthentic. However, individuals ARE entitled to their privacy. Not every relationship requires 100% disclosure - in fact I would say 100% disclosure is problematic.” Yeah guys, like when she asks you if she looks fat in those pants, tell her no even if she does. If you tell her yes, there will be blood. Victorya Rogers, Life & Love Coach, author of the books Finding a Man Worth Keeping and The Automatic 2nd Date believes “Intimate details of past loves are best kept secret. Can your partner know you have had previous serious relationships and minor information about that person, sure. But they do not need to know everything including positions, quantity, location and any other details of your previous physical relationship. There is a difference between honesty and advertising.” Unless of course you are with a voyeuristic person who gets off on details like that. To each their own I suppose. In Breathing Room - Creating Space to Be a Couple, Relationship Coach Elayne Savage, PhD writes that secrets can inhibit intimacy, that true intimacy is “sharing your secret thoughts and feelings, allowing yourself to expand, opening your heart, so your truest essence is revealed. It means inviting another person into this sacred space and understanding that the other person is willing to allow you in, as well.” I don’t know about you but my sacred place needs a little space, I can be intimate without letting go of all my feminine mystique. Jeanine Swatton, Relationship Coach says “In my opinion, I feel as though secrets should not exist in a relationship unless you are planning a surprise birthday party or other special event.”
This is what most experts agree on, “little harmless secrets” are no big deal in a relationship. Your significant other is likely to get more upset if you didn’t keep the secret. Thomas Edwards Jr., Dating & Lifestyle Development Coach believes that “every relationship, the dynamic is different and it can definitely be an, "it depends" kind of thing.” He also says “The most damaging secret to keep would be if you had (or are having) an affair. It will only fester and explode down the road, causing insurmountable damage.” Other experts disagree believing that if the affair is over, or if it was a onetime deal you will only hurt your partner by confessing. Keep it a secret otherwise you risk ruining your relationship. Edwards also believes, as do many other experts, that common ‘secrets’ should be shared before getting into a serious committed relationship: STDs, kids and child support, if you have been divorced, your financial situation, family issues, if there’s a history of genetic diseases, etc. Julie Spira, Dating Coach and Bestselling Author of The Perils of Cyber-Dating: Confessions of a Hopeful Romantic Looking for Love Online agrees and says that you should offer the truth “If there is something from your past that could affect the physical, emotional, or financial health of your partner.” Comedian and author of God is a Woman: Dating Disasters, Ian Coburn thinks that complete honesty is the only way to go. “We don't keep secrets for our significant other and their best interests. We keep secrets for ourselves and our best interests. When you keep secrets, you rob people of control over their own decisions. Keeping secrets is simply a form of manipulation and that's never good.” “There is no "right" or "wrong" answer about keeping secrets,” says Chris Auer, M.A. I think Debbie Mandel, M.A., author of Addicted to Stress sums it up best, “We all have buried treasure and do not need to reveal our fantasies, innermost thoughts to another nor by the same token does the other person… if you need to get it off your chest to feel lighter, then do it. The truth will set you free. However, only you can make this decision. Keep in mind that everyone comes to a relationship with baggage, and the important thing is to get rid of idealizations and deal with reality to make a fresh start.” So in the end it’s up to you whether or not you want to keep secrets in your relationship. You just have to use your better judgment and hope you make the right choice.
Ghosties, Ghoulies, and Samhain with Ann Gimpel Many of my books have a Celtic influence. That’s not accidental. I’ve always been drawn to Celtic gods, myths, and rituals. The Celts divided the year into dark and light halves. Samhain marks the start of a new year as well as the beginning of the dark half of the year. In olden times, villagers gathered around a huge bonfire. They brought an earthenware pot to contain some of the fire and lit their individual hearths from it. This ritual symbolized a commitment from the village inhabitants to help each other through the winter to come. It’s tempting to segue into how devoid modern life is of ritual, but I’ll hold myself back. Samhain lasts for two or three days, depending which account you read. During that time, the veils between worlds thin and spirits of the dead roam freely among the living. Families set places at the Samhain table for their dead relatives and carve likenesses of them into giant turnips that grow like wildfire throughout the U.K. Our modern Halloween celebration stems from Samhain, but most of the meaning of the Celtic tradition’s been lost. It’s too bad. Kids in store-bought costumes of the latest superhero, who can’t take candy that’s not individually wrapped because it might be poisoned, are a far cry from this holiday’s true meaning. One of my problems with our modern, scientifically-based lives is all the customs that have been tossed out as meaningless. I’m not religious in a traditional sense, but I am spiritual. What does that mean? The least complicated definition I can come up with is I believe in something larger than my body and my mind. Something that ties them together. Whether you call it spirit, or the Collective Unconscious doesn’t much matter. A working definition of gestalt, is that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts. Living creatures are way more than neurons firing in certain patterns. It’s why no one has ever made a truly successful robot outside of Hollywood. Our ancestors, superstitious as they were, had a much better understanding of the mystical quality of life than we do. Where we go racing to the Internet to look up explanations for things, they were content to accept the esoteric nature of certain events.
How about all of you? Have you had paranormal experiences? What did you do about them? Run like hell, embrace them, or some path in between. Earth’s Requiem Earth Reclaimed Book 1 Ann Gimpel Dream Shadow Press 107K words Release Date: 3/1/15 Genre: Dystopian Urban Fantasy Resilient, kickass, and determined, Aislinn's walled herself off from anything that might make her feel again. Until a wolf picks her for a bondmate, and a Celtic god rises out of legend to claim her for his own.
Book Description: Aislinn Lenear lost her anthropologist father high in the Bolivian Andes. Her mother, crazy with grief that muted her magic, was marched into a radioactive vortex by dark creatures and killed. Three years later, stripped of every illusion that ever comforted her, twenty-two year old Aislinn is one resilient, kickass woman with a take no prisoners attitude. In a world turned upside down, where virtually nothing familiar is left, she’s conscripted to fight the dark gods responsible for her father’s death. Battling evil on her own terms, Aislinn walls herself off from anything that might make her feel again in this compelling dystopian urban fantasy. Fionn MacCumhaill, Celtic god of wisdom, protection, and divination has been laying low since the dark gods stormed Earth. He and his fellow Celts decided to wait them out. After all, three years is nothing compared to their long lives. On a clear winter day, Aislinn walks into his life and suddenly all bets are off. Awed by her courage, he stakes his claim to her and to an Earth he's willing to fight for. Aislinn’s not so easily convinced. Fionn’s one gorgeous man, but she has a world to save. Emotional entanglements will only get in her way. Letting a wolf into her life was hard. Letting love in may well prove impossible.
Excerpt Book One:
Available at Amazon
Aislinn tried to stop it, but the vision that had dogged her for over a year played in her head. She squeezed her eyes shut tight. Mental images crowded behind her closed lids, as vivid as if they’d happened yesterday. She raked her hands through her hair and pulled hard, but the movie chronicling the beginning of
her own personal hell didn’t even slow down. She whimpered as the humid darkness of a South American night closed about her… Her mother screamed in Gaelic, “Deifir, Deifir,” and then shoved Aislinn again. She tried to hurry like her mother wanted, but it was all too much to take in. Stumbling down the steep Bolivian mountainside in the dark, she ignored tears and snot streaking her face. Her legs shook. Nausea clenched her gut. Her mother was crying too, in between cursing the gods and herself. Aislinn knew enough Gaelic to understand her mother had tried to talk her father out of going to the ancient Inca prayer site, but Jacob hadn’t listened. A vision of her father’s twisted body lying dead a thousand feet above them tore at Aislinn. Just a few hours ago, her life had been normal. Now her mother had turned into a grief-crazed harridan. Her beloved father, a gentle giant of a man, was dead. Killed by those horrors that had crawled out of the ground. Perfect, goldenskinned men with long, silky hair and luminous eyes, apparently summoned through the ancient rite linked to the shrine. Thinking about it was like trying to shove her hand into a flame, her pain too unbearable to examine closely. Aislinn was afraid to turn around. Tara had already slapped her once. Another spate of Gaelic galvanized her tired legs into motion. Her mother was clearly terrified the monsters would come after them, but Aislinn didn’t think they’d bother. At least a hundred adoring half-naked worshipers remained at the shrine high on the mountain. Once Tara had herded her into the shadows, her last glimpse of the crowd revealed one of the lethal exotic creatures turning a woman so he could penetrate her. Even in Aislinn’s near-paralyzed state, the sexual heat was so compelling, it took all her self-discipline not to race to his side and insist he take her instead. After all, she was younger, prettier. It didn’t matter at all that he’d just killed her father. …Aislinn shook her head so hard, it felt like her brains rattled from side to side in her skull. Despite the time that had passed since her father’s murder, she still fell into these damned trance states, where the horror happened all over again. Tears leaked from her eyes. She slammed a fist down on a corner of her desk, glorying in the diversion pain created. Crying was pointless. It wouldn’t change anything. Self-pity was an indulgence she couldn’t afford. Pull it together. The weak die. Even though she wasn’t sure why life felt so precious—after all, she’d lost nearly everything—Aislinn wanted to live. Would do anything to hang onto the vital thread that maintained her on Earth. A bitter laugh bubbled up. What a transition: from Aislinn Lenear, college student, to Aislinn Lenear, fledgling magic wielder. A second race of alien beings, Lemurians, had stormed Earth on the heels of that hideous night in Bolivia, selecting certain humans because they had magical ability and sending everyone else to their deaths. It was a process. It took time to kill people, but huge sections of Salt Lake City sat empty. Skyscraper towers downtown and rows of vacant buildings mocked a life that was no more. In her travels to nearby places before the gasoline ran out, Aislinn had found them about the same as Salt Lake. Jacob’s death had been a harbinger of impending chaos—the barest beginning. The world she’d known had imploded shockingly fast. It killed Aislinn to admit it—she kept hoping for a miracle to intercede—but her mother was certifiable. Tara may as well have died right along with her husband. She hadn’t left the house once since they’d returned a year before. Her long, red hair was filthy and matted. She barely ate. When she wasn’t curled into a fetal position, she drew odd runes on the kitchen floor and muttered in Gaelic about Celtic gods and dragons. It was only a matter of time before the Lemurians culled her. Tara had magic, but she was worthless in her current state. The sound of the kitchen door rattling against its stops startled Aislinn. On her feet in a flash, she took the stairs two at a time and burst into the kitchen. A Lemurian had one of its preternaturally long-fingered hands curved around Tara’s emaciated arm. He crooned to her in his language—an incomprehensible mix of clicks and clacks. Tara’s wild, golden eyes glazed over. She stopped trying to pull away and got to her feet, leaning against the seven-foot tall creature with long, shiny blond hair, as if she couldn’t stand on her own. “No!” Aislinn hurled herself at the Lemurian. “Leave her alone.” “Stop!” His odd alien gaze met hers. “It is time,” the Lemurian said in flawless English, “for both you and her. You must join the fighting and learn about your magic. Your mother is of no use to anyone.” “But she has magic.” Aislinn hated the pleading in her voice. Hated it. Be strong. I can’t show him how scared I am. Something flickered behind the Lemurian’s expression. It might have been disgust—or pity. He turned away and led Tara Lenear out of the house. Aislinn growled low in her throat and launched herself at the Lemurian’s back. Gathering her clumsy magic into a primitive arc, she focused it on her enemy. Her tongue stuttered over an incantation. Before she
could finish it, something smacked her in the chest so hard she flew through the air, hit the kitchen wall, and then slumped to the floor. Wind knocked out of her, spots dancing before her eyes, she struggled to her feet. By the time she stumbled to the kitchen door, both the Lemurian and her mother had vanished. An unholy shriek split the air, followed by another. Aislinn clapped a hand over her mouth to seal the sound inside and clutched the doorsill. Pain clawed at her belly. Her vision became a red haze. The fucking Lemurian had taken her mother. The last human connection she had. And they expected her to fight for them? Ha! It would be a cold day in Hell. She let go of the doorframe and balled her hands into fists so hard her nails drew blood. Standing still was killing her, so she walked into blindingly bright sunlight. She didn’t care what happened next. It didn’t matter anymore. A muted explosion rocked the ground. She staggered. When she turned, she wasn’t surprised to see her house crack in multiple places and settle. Not totally destroyed, but close enough. Guess they want to make sure I don’t have anywhere to go back to. Her heart shattered into jagged pieces that poked her from the inside. She bit her lip so hard it ached. When that didn’t make a dent in her anguish, she pinched herself, dug her nails into her flesh until she bled from dozens of places. Fingers slick with her own blood, she forced herself into a ragged jog. Maybe if she put some distance between herself and the wreckage of her life, the pain sluicing through her would abate. As she ran, a phrase filled her mind. The same sentence, over and over in time to her heartbeat. I will never care for anyone ever again. I will never care for anyone ever again. After a time, the words etched into her soul…
Earth’s Blood Earth Reclaimed Book 2 Ann Gimpel Dream Shadow Press 105K words Release Date: 3/1/15 Genre: Dystopian Urban Fantasy Clinging to their courage in a crumbling world, Aislinn and Fionn vow to save Earth, no matter what it takes. Book Description:
left can’t get past their distrust of the Celts.
In a post-apocalyptic world where most people have been slaughtered, the Celtic gods and a few humans with magic are all that stand between survival and Earth falling into chaos. The combination of dark sorcery leveraged by the enemy is daunting. Destruction is all but certain if the small enclaves of humans who are
Captured by the enemy, Aislinn Lenear wonders if she’ll ever see her bond wolf or Fionn, a Celtic god, again. She’s had nothing but her wits to rely on for years. They haven’t failed her yet, but escape from her current predicament seems remote.
An enticing blend of dystopian urban fantasy and romance, this second volume of the Earth Reclaimed Series provides fertile ground for Aislinn and Fionn’s relationship to deepen. Headstrong and independent, the pair run up against each other’s demands time and time again. Fireworks spark. In the end, they learn to savor every moment in a bittersweet world where each day may well be the last. Excerpt Book Two:
Available at Amazon
…One last quick breath. Aislinn threw her power wide open, diverting some to shield herself. She funneled the rest into a wild sprint away from the gaping maw of a door. Pain lanced up her leg, but she ignored it and urged her muscles to greater speed. She needed to free up at least a three-minute lead so she could jump herself out of there. Portals took time to form, so she was vulnerable at the start of traveling jumps. Her lungs burned; the ragged sound of her own breathing echoed off the walls. Where were Rune and Fionn? Throwing caution to the winds, she called for Rune. Maybe he could find her. If he can do that, he’ll lead Fionn to me. A high-pitched shriek filled her ears and built to where it was unbearable. Her leg wasn’t the only thing on fire. Her eardrums ruptured. Hot fluid ran down the sides of her face. A wave of dizziness threatened to flatten her, but she didn’t slow. It had taken the Lemurians a few precious seconds to react to her disobedience. She prayed it would give her enough time to escape. The air in the corridor shimmered fifty feet ahead. Desperate, she looked for a side tunnel, an open doorway, anything she could duck into. It would be just like the Old Ones to cut off her escape from all sides. Noooooo, a voice in her head screamed. I do not want to die here. The brightness intensified. It may not matter what I want, a different inner voice muttered dourly. She snuck a peek over one shoulder. The air looked funny there, too, but it was different somehow. Bleaker. “Lass, drop your shielding.” Fionn’s voice sounded in her head. “Ye must, or I canna jump us out of this hellhole. Hurry, or they’ll have you from behind.” She wondered if it was some kind of insidious trap. She tried to sense Fionn, but couldn’t. He’d be warded as well, but still... She risked another glance behind her. The ocher-tinged air was, indeed, closer. It smelled like the reptile exhibit at the zoo her parents used to take her to when she was a child: musty and rank. A few more steps, and the brilliance ahead surrounded her. “Now, lass. Now.” Fionn’s unique energy pulsed against her. Practically sobbing with relief, Aislinn pulled magic from her wards. The second she did so, he closed his arms around her. The gut-wrenching sensation of jumping when someone else controlled the spell pummeled her. Even if it made her puke, she’d never felt anything quite so welcome. “Rune?” “He’s fine. Hush. I need to concentrate. This was a much narrower margin than I’m comfortable with. We’re not out of the woods yet, leannán.” Her ears throbbed. Her leg ached. She didn’t mind being quiet. Not when Fionn’s arms were around her.
She could stand just about anything so long as they were together. Travis’s sneering face filled her mind, along with an impotent rage. I’m going to kill that bastard if I ever see him again. “Only if I doona get to him first,” Fionn snapped. She considered complaining because he was in her head again—without her permission—but choked on a snort. After today, Fionn MacCumhaill could spend as much time as he wanted in her mind. Hell, he could take up residence there for all she cared. The familiar walls of Marta’s kitchen rose around her. Snarling and snapping came from the study, followed by Gwydion’s Celtic brogue. “There now. She is back. ’Tis a stubborn creature, ye are. Ye dinna believe me. Go.”
Rune galloped into the kitchen, his claws skidding on the wooden floor, and launched himself at Fionn in his eagerness to get at Aislinn. “Put her down,” the wolf demanded. Bella flew into the room right behind the wolf, quorking, “Yes, put her down.” The bird landed on Fionn’s shoulder. “Be careful,” Fionn cautioned. “She’s hurt. Doona be too exuberant. Bella, watch your talons.” “I know how Aislinn feels,” Rune said indignantly. “After all, she is bonded to me.” “Och aye, I hadna forgotten.” Fionn rolled his eyes and chuckled indulgently, while ruffling Bella’s dark feathers.
Aislinn lowered herself to the floor and closed her arms around Rune. She gloried in the feel of his rough outer coat and the soft fuzz beneath. Fionn and the hard, muscled planes of his body would keep. In spite of everything that had happened, desire forked through her at the thought of his lips on hers, his hands stroking her naked flesh, and his hardness buried deep inside her. “Soon, lass.” Fionn winked at her. He added a vision of her mouth locked around his shaft and quirked a brow. She laughed and raised her gaze to meet his intensely blue eyes. “No secrets, huh?” “Never, lass. It may not be a Hunter bond like ye share with the wolf, but our pledge, one to t’other, runs just as deep.”
Bella took flight, landed on Aislinn’s shoulder, and rained love pecks on her head. “Don’t be listening to my bondmate. He always had a honeyed tongue.” “Really?” Fionn stepped close enough to mock-swat the raven. “No secrets,” the raven cawed scornfully. “Point taken. Come here.” Fionn held out an arm, and Bella fluttered to him. The two bent their heads together. Aislinn figured they were probably talking in their private mind speech. The wolf howled and then whined and licked every inch of skin he could find. “Hurt? Where are you hurt, bondmate?”
“Ankle and ears. It’s nothing. Aw, Rune. I never thought I’d see you again.” Gratitude swelled inside her. Her throat thickened until it was hard to breathe; tears rolled down her face. The wolf licked them up…
Earth’s Hope Earth Reclaimed Book 3 Ann Gimpel Dream Shadow Press 95K words Release Date: 3/6/15 Genre: Dystopian Urban Fantasy Power so old, deep, and chilling it hurts to think about it will overrun Earth if nothing changes. Targeted, furious, and fighting back, Aislinn runs wide open, gathering allies and putting her life on the line. Book Description: Aislinn Lenear has traveled a long road since the dark gods invaded Earth better than three years ago. After seeing her father slaughtered in front of her, and her mother sink into madness, Aislinn built strong walls around her heart. First her bond wolf, and then Fionn MacCumhaill, changed all that, but she and Fionn are far from home free. Four of the six dark gods are still sowing destruction, and they’ve joined forces with Lemurians, a desperate lot, running just ahead of the tide of their own mortality. In a bold move, they try to coopt a group of young dragons, and very nearly succeed. Dewi, the Celtic dragon god, and Nidhogg, the Norse dragon god, banish their brood to the dragons’ home world, but they refuse to stay put. In a fast-paced, tension-riddled closure to this dystopian, urban fantasy series, Earth's Hope sweeps from Ireland to the Greek Islands to the Pacific Northwest to borderworlds where the dark gods live. Fionn’s and Aislinn’s relationship is strained to the breaking point as they struggle to work together without tearing one another to bits. Fionn is used to being obeyed without question, but Aislinn won’t dance to his tune. If they can find their way, there may be hope for a ravaged Earth. Available at Amazon
Excerpt Book Three: …One of the red dragons leaped from the water, wings flapping, and dive-bombed her, showering her with slimy moat water. “Ewww.” Aislinn sputtered the dank water away from her lips. “Play with us,” the female dragon demanded. “It’s almost time for bed.” Aislinn tried to sound stern, but she had the same problem with the younglings that plagued Dewi. They were so damned cute, it wasn’t easy to pull rank. “Bed?” echoed from six other dragonlings. They vaulted from the water and converged on her, nearly crushing her beneath their bulk. “Get off me,” Aislinn cried. “You’re heavy.” “Yes,” the one black dragon announced proudly and nudged Rune with his scaled snout. “Once I rode you. Soon you’ll fit atop my back.” “Don’t count on it,” Rune snarled. Aislinn snickered. Flying atop a dragon wasn’t the wolf’s favorite activity. He tolerated it when he had to, but avoided it when he could. “How’s it going, leannán?” Fionn strode down the greenway separating the moat from his castle. Aislinn scrambled to her feet and shook water out of her hair. Her beige trousers were thick, boiled wool and fairly resistant to moisture. A cloak woven from the same wool wrapped around her body. She’d found the clothes in one of many trunks in Fionn’s attic. He couldn’t recall who they’d belonged to, but she assumed it was an earlier wife or girlfriend since he’d been born in 1048. “Good, you’re here.” She squinted through the gloom. When he got close enough for her to see his face, the welcoming smile died on her lips. “Aye, well at least someone is glad of my presence.” “Didn’t go well, huh?” She held out her arms. He walked into them and wrapped his around her. “Nay. Mostly the humans want to wait until we’re attacked. Bran wants to annihilate the Lemurians first.” He tightened his arms around her shoulders. “I want to bash our way through the dark gods until they get fed up enough to retreat, but I canna do it by myself.” “We’ll help.” The black dragonling tried to wriggle between Fionn’s and Aislinn’s bodies. His scales caught on Aislinn’s pants. “We will, we will,” other young voices chimed in. “The dark ones killed our sister,” the black dragon went on, his piping voice serious. “We want revenge.”
“Mother won’t let us fight,” a green dragon spoke up. “She already said so.” “Father disagreed,” the red dragon who’d invaded Aislinn’s lap said. She’d gotten better at telling them apart, but it would be a relief once they named themselves. In all, there were two red females, three green males, the black male, and a copper male. “I fear all of us will get our chance in battle afore this is over.” Gwydion, flanked by Bran, walked into their midst. “Come with me. Time to give Aislinn a break.” “Will you tell us a story?” the copper dragon demanded. “Yes,” a red dragon clapped her clawed forelegs together. “You tell the best stories.” “I’ll be your bard tonight.” Bran made a sweeping bow. “Mayhap you’d care to hear about how dragons came to be.” “Yes!” the red female shrieked. “Follow Bran,” Gwydion urged. Once the dragons were in motion, some flying, some walking, he rolled his eyes and brought up the rear. “Thanks,” Aislinn shouted after him. “Ye owe me, lass,” he called over one shoulder. Aislinn leaned her head into the nook between Fionn’s neck and shoulder. “Would you like to walk a bit before we go inside?” “Aye, lass. Now ye mention it, I’d like that verra much.” “Do you suppose we could go as far as the sea?” “I thought we’d remain within my wards—” Bella flapped out of the darkness and landed on Rune’s back. “We’re coming,” she announced. “Of course we are,” Rune seconded. “My bonded one would never consider leaving me behind.” Aislinn stifled a snort. The bond animals had their own network and frequently shared things among themselves that they’d never tell their humans. Apparently Bella had complained about Fionn ditching her, and the wolf was reminding her of that in a less-than-subtle manner. “Since we’re all going,” Aislinn cut in before Fionn got into another argument with the cantankerous raven, “let’s do this. I sat for so long, I’m cold.” She wriggled out of Fionn’s embrace, reluctant to leave the warmth of his body. “Would ye like me to find you a warmer wrap?” Fionn asked. She shook her head. “I don’t want this to be a big production number. Mostly, I want to work the kinks out of my legs before we go to bed. Thank Christ Dewi will be back by the middle of tomorrow.” Fionn hooked a hand beneath her arm and guided her toward the wall that rose all around his manor. He’d had the mansion built in the fifteen hundreds to exacting specifications. Flat, gray stones comprised the
outer wall; they fit together so precisely it was nearly impossible to detect their edges. The house itself was built from huge wooden beams and river rock. Five stories, with turrets and a tower and leaded glass windows, it looked like something out of a movie set. Aislinn fell into step beside him, grateful for her long legs that let her keep pace easily. They passed beneath one of four curved gateways set into the outer wall and out onto open moorland. Humans who’d been assigned sentry duty nodded as they passed. The salt tang of the sea deepened, tickling her nostrils. For a moment, she felt homesick for the dry air of the American west where she was from. Rune jumped to one side, jaws snapping, and came up with a small, wriggling creature. “I shall hunt too,” Bella declared and launched herself off the wolf’s back. The black of her wings melted into the shadows until Aislinn couldn’t see her anymore without magic. “Why’s she unhappy this time?” Aislinn asked.
“What it comes down to,” Fionn replied, “is she doesn’t enjoy sharing me. Aye, she likes you well enough. Not like your mother, who she detested, but jealousy still gets the better of her.” “She’s good to have by our side in battle, though.” Aislinn licked her lips and tasted salt from perpetual mists that hung in the air. “Speaking of which, I assume there’s another pow-wow with the humans.” “Aye, that there is. If nothing else, we must craft a defensive plan should we be attacked.” “Not if, but when,” she cut in. “I can’t put my finger on it, but time grows short. I feel it here.” She laid a hand over her chest. “Ye and Bran, both. He says the Lemurians are closing, and I presume the dark gods are masterminding whatever they’re up to.” Rune growled from around his impromptu meal. “I’m ready.” He shifted to mind speech because his mouth was busy. Aislinn waited for the raven to jump in, but either Bella was out of earshot, or biding her time. The roar of breakers on sand got louder as they closed the distance to the beach. Fionn stopped walking and spun her in his arms until they faced one another. He murmured a string of Gaelic endearments just before he closed his mouth over hers. Aislinn wove her arms around Fionn’s muscled torso and opened her mouth to his insistent tongue. Need flared, hot and urgent, but Fionn always had that effect on her. From the moment their bodies had first slammed together, passion drove reason from her mind.
She’d lost her father to Perrikus and D’Chel the night they’d pierced the veil separating Earth from their borderworlds. Lemurians had killed her mother a year later, and Aislinn had vowed to never let another soul get close enough to hurt her if something hideous happened to them. She’d held firm for two years, but first Rune and then Fionn, had walked into her life and changed everything. Too late. It’s too late to worry about it now. Her breath quickened, and her nipples formed hard peaks where they were squashed against his chest. Fionn dropped his hands lower and cupped the curves of her ass, pulling her hard against an obvious erection. She tore her mouth from his. “So, do you just want to fall into the wet grass and get it on?” He made a decidedly male sound deep in his throat. “Not a bad idea, leannán. I can make us a dry place with magic.” He butted his hard-on against her pelvis. “At least we’d have a shred of privacy. No telling who’ll burst into my rooms back in the house.”
“No kidding. Do you suppose the dragons have figured out how to work their way past the deadbolt?” “Och, lassie. Now ye mention it, I caught the black one using magic to do just that earlier today.” He tugged one of her arms from around him and pushed her hand over his engorged flesh. “We willna be long. Think of the adventure aspect.” Muted humor ran beneath his words…
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.
I’VE GOT DESIGNS ON YOU Privet! (That’s Russian for “Hi!”). I’m Nelli Rees and my first novel, ‘Ghost Love’, is out now, published by Phaze, billed as a romantic thriller with a flavouring of the supernatural. ‘Ghost Love’ has two intertwined stories set twenty years apart these following the adventures of a Russian girl, Tonia, as she discovers that true love really does conquer all … even death. When I’m not writing I fill what little time I have left with creating and writing about making jewelry. I began making Murano glass beads and jewelry pieces because I like playing with colors - just as a writer likes to play with a reader’s emotions. One of my signature designs is my "Matrioshka" bead, which is a riot of bright colors and bold patterns. It also hints to my Russian origins: “Matrioshkas” are the wooden dolls which have a family of smaller dolls nestling inside, they are a favorite toy of Russian children. My "Matrioshka" beads brought me 1st Place in the prestigious UK Bead Magazine competition, in the category of handmade lampwork beads. When I come to think about it, there’s a great deal of symmetry between writing and jewelry making. Not only are they both engrossing occupations, they’re ones that demand care, attention to detail and become all-consuming. But the similarities go further than that. Writing fiction involves putting together a plot which is coherent, engaging and which seizes the reader’s attention. It’s exactly the same with jewelry making. For example, this necklace, “Pink Flowers”: it took me quite some time designing how all the individual elements – the glass beads, the silver spacers, the hand-dyed silk ribbon and the clasp – would fit together to make a piece which is coherent, engaging and which seizes the attention of anyone seeing it. The other thing a good story demands is interesting characters: those who stand out from the crowd and stick in the reader’s memory. The beads I create serve exactly the same purpose; they’re the focus of attention and hence I take great pains in crafting them so that you’re lured to take a closer
look. Even the plain beads have their role to play, complimenting the focal beads and enhancing their beauty. Their function is like the ‘supporting’ characters in ‘Ghost Love’: not memorable by themselves but serving to put the passions and foibles of the lead characters in sharper relief. Coco Chanel once said that perfume heralds a woman’s arrival and delays her departure. It’s exactly the same with good jewelry - and with good fiction. I’ve often lost all track of time when I’ve been engrossed in reading a good book. My hope is that ‘Ghost Love’ will have exactly the same effect on its readers - just like my jewelry pieces on those who admire them.
Ghost Love Nelli Rees Genre: Romance (with a hint of the paranormal) Publisher: Phaze Date of Publication: 20th January 2015 ISBN: ISBN-13 978-1-60659-849-8 ASIN: B00SNYRXH8 Number of pages: 332 Cover Artist: Niki Browning Book Description: In the madcap, chaotic days when Communism crumbled in the USSR, Tonia meets and falls in love with Englishman, Peter Monroe. Despite the protests of her family and the more strenuous objections of the KGB Tonia agrees to marry Peter only for him to mysteriously disappear. Twenty years later a life-toughened Toni must revisit these bitter-sweet memories when she finds herself and her daughters endangered by the consequences of that love affair.
In her despair Toni comes to realise that true love really does conquer all … even death. Available at Phaze Amazon BN ARe Excerpt: Prologue Present Day: Dorset, England Excitement being a kindred spirit to fear, Toni was undecided as to whether it was a trickle of fear she felt shivering down her spine or a trickle of excitement. As she sat staring at the screen of her laptop, the darkness shrouding the room seemed to draw in
on her: her head swam, her palms became clammy. Tears welled up in her eyes. She blinked them away, hoping that by doing so the message on her screen would disappear. It didn’t. Peter Monroe wants to be friends on Facebook Hesitantly she maneuvered the cursor over the ‘connect’ button and pressed ‘enter.’ The screen mutated to show the Facebook page for ‘Peter Monroe.’ It was Peter! She recognized the profile photograph instantly. She’d taken it. She remembered posing him in front of the bandstand in Gorki Park on that spring day back in 1990, remembered laughing at the stupid faces he pulled, remembered the way his long chestnut hair flopped over his forehead, remembered… How could she forget? He had been her one true love. Love. A word made empty by misuse…by overuse. She wondered how many had ever endured the touch of real love, that soul-eviscerating sensation that comes when you know you have found your soul-mate. Very few, she decided. Perhaps this was all for the good: true love brought anguish in equal measure to joy. As the last twenty years had taught her, finding true love was a bitter-sweet blessing. Her fingers trembled as she typed. Is it really you, Peter? The reply was instantaneous. Yes…I’ve missed you, Tonia. She couldn’t stop herself: the tears flowed down her cheeks. But… ish.
She paused, terrified that what she would type next might cause this marvelous mirage to vanBut I thought you were dead. The seconds ticked by, then: I am.
About the Author: Nelli Rees, born in Moscow, trained as a linguist and a musician. With her future husband Englishman Rod she worked and travelled around Russia, finally coming to live in England in 1998. Nelli has had several successful careers: recording a critically acclaimed nu-jazz album “Jazz Noir”, becoming an award-winning jewellery maker, writing a book “Glass Bead Jewelry Projects”, and doing all this whilst being a mother and a wife. “Ghost Love” is Nelli’s first novel and draws heavily on her own experiences as a young woman in Soviet Russia and the obstacles she and her husband-to-be faced during those difficult times. www.ghostlovebynellirees.wordpress.com
What inspired you to become an author? Actually I didn’t want to be an author but a painter. And I started art classes when I was six and graduated from colledge with a fine arts degree. But I fell in love with books when I was a little girl reading my mother’s copies of The Secret Garden and Nancy Drew and that love grew and grew and the desire to write grew along with it, slowly. Do you write in different genres? Yes, I write my own version of a mix of gothic, erotic, & suspense. How did you come up with the title for your latest book? Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete? I always come up the titles before I write the book — in fact can’t start till I have a title. This book had a very different title with several French words in it and my publisher wasn’t keen on having words no one would understand. So for the first time I titled a book after it was finished and I based it on one scene that had the greatest impact on me as a writer. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? There is but I don’t mind if they don’t get it… it is that sometimes you have to tap into your inner witch to get what you want. That putting so much pressure on a woman to be a “good girl” is silencing women both sexually and artistically. It did in the past and it still does. We’re too preoccupied with it as a society. At least I think we are. What books/authors have influenced your life? The Great Gatsby, The Fountainhead, Rebecca, Jane Eyre. What book are you reading now? The Fifth Gospel by Ian Caldwell
Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? I need to see my characters, hear them, smell them and really understand them before I start writing. So I spend 3 months creating a scrapbook with collages and images in it while I do my research… the scrapbook becomes a blueprint for the main characters. I draw in it, make notes, cut out images… have fun with it really. I call it procrastinate your way into writing a novel. The Witch of Painted Sorrows M.J. Rose Genre: Gothic – Erotic
Publisher: Atria/S&S Date of Publication: March 17 2015 ISBN-10: 147677806X ASIN: B00LD1ONBC Number of pages:384 Book Description:
explainable force is drawing her home.
New York socialite Sandrine Salome flees an abusive husband for her grandmother's Paris mansion, but what she finds there is even more menacing. The house, famous for its lavish art collection and elegant salons, is closed and under renovation. Her grandmother insists it's too dangerous to visit but Sandrine defies her — an un-
There she meets Julien Duplessi, a mesmerizing architect, who introduces her to the City of Lights — its art world, forbidden occult underground, nightclubs — and to her own untapped desires. From a mysterious fire at the Palais Garnier opera house, to a terrifying accident at the Eiffel tower and classes with Gustav Moreau at the École des Beaux-Arts, Sandrine's experiences awaken her passions. Among the bohemians and demi-monde, Sandrine uncovers her erotic nature as a lover and painter. Then more ominous influences threaten — her husband is tracking her down and something insidious is taking hold, changing Sandrine, altering her. She's overcome by the spirit of La Lune, a witch, a legendary sixteenth-century courtesan, and an unsung artist in her own right, who exposes Sandrine to a darkness that could be a gift or a curse. This is Sandrine's "wild night of the soul," her odyssey in the magnificent city of Paris, of art, love and witchery, and not until she resolves a tragic love story and family curse will she be free
of the ghost's possession.
Effortlessly absorbing and richly imagined, with sumptuous detail and spellbinding suspense, The Witch of Painted Sorrows conjures the brilliance and intrigue of Belle Époque Paris and illuminates the fine line Available at Amazon BN iTunes IndieBound Excerpt Paris, France April 1894 I did not cause the madness, the deaths, or the rest of the tragedies any more than I painted the paintings. I had help, her help. Or perhaps I should say she forced her help on me. And so this story—which began with me fleeing my home in order to escape my husband and might very well end tomorrow, in a duel, in the Bois de Boulogne at dawn—is as much hers as mine. Or in fact more hers than mine. For she is the fountainhead. The fascination. She is La Lune. Woman of moon dreams, of legends and of nightmares. Who took me from the light and into the darkness. Who imprisoned me and set me free. Or is it the other way around? "Your questions," my father always said to me, "will be your saving grace. A curious mind is the most important attribute any man or woman can possess. Now if you can just temper your impulsiveness..." If I had a curious mind, I'd inherited it from him. And he'd nurtured it. Philippe Salome was on the board of New York City's Metropolitan Museum of Art and helped found the American Museum of Natural History, whose cornerstone was laid on my fifth birthday. I remember sitting atop my father's shoulders that day, watching the groundbreaking ceremony and thinking the whole celebration was for me. He called it "our museum," didn't he? And for much of my life I thought it actually did belong to us, along with our mansion on Fifth Avenue and our summerhouse in Newport. Until it was gone, I understood so little about wealth and the price you pay for it. But isn't that always the way? Our museum's vast halls and endless exhibit rooms fascinated me as much as they did my father—which pleased him, I could tell. We'd meander through exhibits, my small hand in his large one, and he'd keep me spellbound with stories about items on display. I'd ask for more, always just one more, and he'd laugh and tease: "My Sandrine, does your capacity for stories know no bounds?" But it pleased him, and he'd always tell me another.
I especially loved the stories he told me about the gems and fate and destiny always ending them by saying: "You will make your own fate, Sandrine, I'm sure of it." Was my father right? Do we make our own destiny? I think back now to the stepping-stones that I've walked to reach this moment in time. Were the incidents of my making? Or were they my fate? The most difficult steps I took were after certain people died. No deaths were caused by me, but at the same time, none would have occurred were it not for me. So many deaths. The first was on the morning of my fifteenth birthday, when I saw a boy beaten and tragically die because of our harmless kisses. The next was the night almost ten years later, when I heard the
prelude to my father's death and learned the truth about Benjamin, my husband. And then there were more. Each was an end-ing that, ironically, became a new beginning for me. The one thing I am now sure of is that if there is such a thing as destiny, it is a result of our passion, be that for money, power, or love. Passion, for better or worse. It can keep a soul alive even if all that survives is a shimmering. I've even seen it. I've been bathed in it. I've been changed by it. ********* Four months ago I snuck into Paris on a wet, chilly January night like a criminal, hiding my face in my shawl, taking extra care to be sure I wasn't followed. I stood on the stoop of my grandmother's house and lifted the hand-shaped bronze door knocker and let it drop. The sound of the metal echoed inside. Her home was on a lane blocked off from rue des Saints-Pères by wide wooden double doors. Maison de la Lune, as it was called, was one of a half dozen four-story mideighteenthcentury stone houses that shared a courtyard that backed up onto rue du Dragon. Hidden clusters like this were a common configuration in Paris.These small enclaves offered privacy and quiet from the busy city. Usually the porte cochère was locked and one had to ring for the concierge, but I'd found the heavy doors ajar and hadn't had to wait for service. I let the door knocker fall again. Light from a street lamp glinted off the golden metal. It was a strange object. Usually on these things the bronze hand's palm faced the door. But this one was palm out, almost warning the visitor to reconsider requesting entrance. I was anxious and impatient. I'd been cautious on my journey from New York to Southampton and kept to my cabin. I'd left a letter telling Benjamin I'd gone to visit friends in Virginia and assumed that once he returned and read it, it would be at least a week before he'd realize all was not what it seemed. One thing I had known for certain—he would never look for me in France. It would be inconceivable to Benjamin that any wife of his could cross the ocean alone. Or so I assured myself until my husband's banking associate, William Lenox, spotted me on board. When he expressed surprise I was traveling by myself, I concocted a story but was worried he didn't believe me. My only consolation was that we had docked in England and I had since crossed the channel into France. So even if Benjamin did come looking, he wouldn't know where I'd gone. That very first night in Paris, as I waited for my grandmother's maid to open the door, I knew I had to stop thinking of what I had run away from. So I refocused on the house I stood before and as I did, felt an overwhelming sense of belonging, of being welcome. Here I would be safe.
Reviews April Indie Next List March Library Reads List Big Spring Books – Amazon #1 Historical Fiction for 2015 - Goodreads "This bell époque thriller is a haunting tale of obsessive passions." —People Magazine
"Provocative, erotic, and spellbindingly haunting...will have the reader totally mesmerized cover-tocover....a 'must-have' novel." —Suspense Magazine "A haunting tale of erotic love.... M.J. Rose seamlessly weaves historical events throughout this story filled with distinctive characters that will keep the reader captivated to the end." —Examiner.com "Rose has a talent for compelling writing, and this time she has outdone herself. Fear, desire, lust and raw emotion ooze off the page." —Associated Press "Haunting tale of possession." —Publishers Weekly "Rose's new series offers her specialty, a unique and captivating supernatural angle, set in an intriguing belle epoque Paris — lush descriptions, intricate plot and mesmerizing storytelling. Sensual, evocative, mysterious and haunting." —Kirkus
About the Author: New York Times Bestseller, M.J. Rose grew up in New York City mostly in the labyrinthine galleries of the Metropolitan Museum, the dark tunnels and lush gardens of Central Park and reading her mother's favorite books before she was allowed. She believes mystery and magic are all around us but we are too often too busy to notice... books that exaggerate mystery and magic draw attention to it and remind us to look for it and revel in it. Rose's work has appeared in many magazines including Oprah Magazine and she has been featured in the New York Times, Newsweek, WSJ, Time, USA Today and on the Today Show, and NPR radio. Rose graduated from Syracuse University, spent the '80s in advertising, has a commercial in the Museum of Modern Art in NYC and since 2005 has run the first marketing company for authors - Authorbuzz.com The television series PAST LIFE, was based on Rose's novels in the Reincarnationist series. She is one of the founding board members of International Thriller Writers and currently serves, with Lee Child, as the organization's co-president. Rose lives in CT with her husband the musician and composer, Doug Scofield, and their very spoiled and often photographed dog, Winka. Newsletter: http://goo.gl/AjJRo9 Website: http://mjrose.com/ Blog: http://www.mjrose.com/blog/ www.facebook.com/AuthorMJRose
Twitter: https://twitter.com/MJRose Goodreads: https:// www.goodreads.com/author/show/69003.M_J_Rose Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/M.-J.-Rose/e/B001ILFLQS/
Ideas for Eco Summer Fun By Wenona Napolitano Are you considering adding a little eco to your summer fun but you’re worried it will be too difficult or time consuming?
BBQs, cookouts, picnics, and parties – and the last thing you want to deal with is a sink full of dishes after a big get together. But filling the garage bin with plastic cups, plates and silverware isn’t very eco.
You forget about those worries because going eco can be easier than you ever imagined. Good thing there are many eco options now when it Here are some easy eco summer tips that anyone can comes to eco friendly yet disposable tableware. The do: key thing for maximum eco-effectiveness though is that the eco-tableware should be composted so it bioGo green by growing green. Planting a gar den and degrades faster- the way it was meant to. If it isn’t posgrowing your own food is one of the most economic sible to compost the disposables- it is still greener to and eco-friendly ways to go green this summer. You’ll have used eco-versions instead of plastic and have fun, teach your children about veggies, and have Styrofoam- neither is very eco. home grown food. If you don’t have a lot of space many veggies like tomatoes and peppers can easily be There’s a wealth of places online where you can stock grown in containers and placed on your porch or patio. up on eco-goods. BambuHome.com, Verterra.com, EcoWareProducts.com, EarthenTrading.ca, BirchaSupport local farmers. If you don’t have a green ware.com, GreenPartyGoods.com, and GreenPlanetthumb or if you want a larger selection than what you Parties.com all offer different types of eco-party and can grow visit local Farmer’s Markets and roadside tableware supplies: plates, bowls, napkins, eco veggie stands. Even if the produce isn’t organic, shop- “silverware”, cups, and tablecloths made from ecoping local is far greener than buying produce that’s friendly, sustainable, recycled or recyclable materials. been grown and shipped from hundreds and thousands of miles away. Plus you are supporting the local econ- Have a local green vacation- or even better a staycation. By staying local you suppor t the local economy. omy and save on travel expenses and carbon emisVisit LocalHarvest.org to find markets near you. - both very green things to do. Another great green option is having a “staycation”. Shop Green. One of the things I love most about You can pitch a tent in your own backyard and have a summer is all of the garage sales, flea markets, and campout with the kids without ever going anywhere. yard sales. I love “treasure hunting” for amazing You can also explore local attractions that you may not steals, deals and unique finds. Not only can you find have visited before- or at least haven’t visited in toys and clothes for the kids you can even find some amazing items to decorate your home, yard and garden awhile. And don’t forget there’s always a festival or carnival - especially if you know how to refinish furniture or going on throughout the summer- be sure to include a craftily upcycle items that may need a little TLC. few of those in your local summer fun. Why is shopping this way green? Because it’s all used ~Wenona Napolitano is the green author of The Eveand pre-owned items- no new materials are used to make them and once again it’s a great way to support rything Green Wedding Book. the local economy. Party Green. Summer is filled with backyar d
Visit her online at www.creativelygreen.blogspot.com
Can you tell readers a little bit about yourself and what inspired to write in this particular genre? Besides writing, I like doing anything creative including painting, drawing, photography, and making crafts. I love putting together book trailers and made one that’s on YouTube for Town from Hell. I also like staying active with tennis, yoga, hiking and walking the dogs. I love animals and have four dogs, two cats, a guinea pig and several aquariums. I also volunteer at the local shelter. I was inspired to write a supernatural/horror because I enjoy reading and watching both. What is it about the paranormal that fascinates you so much? I really don’t know why I like paranormal. I just remember that ever since I was little, I loved watching Frankenstein, werewolf and Dracula movies. I also liked reruns of The Ghost and Mrs. Muir, the Munsters and the Addams Family. What inspired you to write this book? Honestly, I wanted to write a book that my daughter, Marisa, would want to read. She’s a horror/supernatural buff, too. Please tell us about your latest release. Dagger & Brimstone: Town from Hell tells the story of what happens when seventeenyear-olds Racer and Arloe try to go off the grid so they can have the perfect summer together without their parents interfering. As you can gather from the title, they should have probably researched the vacation spot better. Everyone in town is hiding a secret, but so is Arloe. Do you have a special formula for creating characters' names? Do you try to match a name with a certain meaning to attributes of the character or do you search for names popular in certain time periods or regions? Some of my characters are named after family and friends. In my Pirates Off series, Tommy is named after my son, and Connor and Dil are his good friends although they’re his brothers in the book. Francois l’Olonnais was a real pirate, and I searched French baby names in the appropriate time periods to get the names Fleurie and Cosette. For Town from Hell, my friend
Hillery suggested the name Arloe and I found Racer in a baby names book.
Do you have a formula for developing characters? Like do you create a character sketch or list of attributes before you start writing or do you just let the character develop as you write? I usually will write down traits that I want a character to have before I start a story, so I can be consistent with the characters’ reactions—unless they undergo a change. For instance, Arloe is easily frightened at the beginning of the book, but under the circumstances, she has to toughen up. The characters always develop more traits the farther into the story I get. What is your favorite scene from the book? Could you share a little bit of it, without spoilers of course?
My favorite scene is when Racer finds out Arloe’s secret. She wasn’t ready to tell him, but events that happen make it impossible not to spill it. Did you find anything really interesting while researching this or another book? I’ve done research for every book I’ve written, and I’ve found out many interesting things. I can’t say what I researched for Town from Hell because it would be a spoiler. I’ve typed some odd things into search engines because I needed to know for a story. For instance, for The Troubled Souls of Goldie Rich: The Zombie Next Door, the zombies are created by voodoo, so I researched tons of information on bokors, voodoo, and zombies. I also go to the library and check out many books when I’m doing research.
Do you ever suffer from writer’s block? How do you deal with it? I stump writer’s block before it starts. I usually have to projects open at one time, so if one story isn’t flowing, I switch to the other. Spending time away from a story is usually all I need to get ideas flowing again. My kids sometimes can be helpful to get ideas flowing. I’ll give them a scene and ask them ‘What would you do?’ Even if I don’t use their solution, it can spark an idea. I’m also in SCBWI critique groups, and they are always helpful. As a side note, I really recommend joining a critique group if you’re a writer. Other than writing, what are some of your interests, hobbies or passions in life? I love to play tennis, do yoga, hike, walk the dogs and do anything creative including painting and drawing. I can never be bored. There’s too much I love to do and not enough time to do it. What can readers expect next from you? Readers can look forward to another book in the Dagger & Brimstone series titled Call from Hell. Where can readers find you on the web? I am on Facebook as T.W.Kirchner, WordPress, Twitter, Amazon, Goodreads and I have a website with my art and books. www.twkirchner.com https://aceinlv.wordpress.com/
@TinainLV http://www.amazon.com/T.-W.-Kirchner/e/B00EWOZBK4/ http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7240442.T_W_Kirchner Would you like to leave readers with a little teaser or excerpt from the book? I didn’t normally mind the heat, but it was like crazy hot outside. Mind-numbing, brainmelting hot. It ranked a ten on the hotness scale just behind Arloe’s bod, a lava flow, and how I imagined Arloe’s dad’s boiling, red face after we split and he found her note and cellphone. I figured at about that time, he’d be hell-bent on, as her dad would put it, shooting my ‘white-trash’ ass full of buckshot for stealing his princess. The thought made me grin. He’d never find us—I made sure of it. In three months, I’d worry about the return visit when he’d try to put me in traction. Torrid, hated, and wanted. I was turning into my old man. Another Roane on the dark side. Town from Hell Dagger and Brimstone Book One T.W. Kirchner Genre: Young Adult Paranormal/Horror Publisher: Short on Time Books Date of Publication: April 19, 2015 ISBN: 1508982635 ASIN: B00V0R61H8 Number of pages: 274 Word Count: 76,636 Cover Artist: Tony Bryson
Book Description: Seventeen-year-old Racer and his girlfriend Arloe want to be together despite resistance from her parents. In defiance of an upcoming separation, they run away for the summer, going totally off the grid to a remote town in the Nevada desert. The teens think no one knows where they are—but they couldn’t be more wrong. Racer’s wellorchestrated plan for freedom turns into a nightmare from hell. Lies, deception and betrayal blur his lines of reality, and he discovers everyone in town is hiding a terrifying secret, including Arloe.
Book Trailer: https://youtu.be/CNz_rxt2ztM
Available at Amazon
The town appeared as a dot over the hill. Five miles max. Anticipation overtook my shaky nerves. We passed several road signs that promoted ‘going green’ and ‘recycling.’ Another sign boasted Winthrop’s claim to fame: Home of the World Famous Green Links Heath Food line. An ancient gray truck with Nevada plates lumbered up the road. We passed it on the left side like it was standing still. The old dude driving the clunker stared at me through the open window, a cigarette clenched in his yellowed teeth. Just as much smoke billowed from the cab as sputtered from the exhaust. I wondered how the truck made it that far from town…or the old dude for that matter. Neither he nor his truck modeled ‘going green’ with all the pollution they created. Any other time, I’d have ignored his stare, but it made me uneasy, more so after the gut-wrenching incident moments before. I reassured myself it didn’t mean anything—no different than all the other stares I’d received though my seventeen years. I pulled off the highway into a run-down gas station on the edge of town, a half mile past the faded wooden ‘Welcome to Winthrop’ sign that likely would topple over in the next stiff breeze. It didn’t surprise me when Arloe hopped off my bike and flew around the side of the mini-mart toward the ladies’ room. She didn’t even wait to take off her helmet. Her urgency made me laugh because I’d always kidded she had the bladder of an ant. What amazed me was that she hadn’t asked to stop at all in three hours on the road. For her sake, I hoped the bathroom didn’t require a key. The midday sun blazed hot, yet the intense heat didn’t seem to affect the flies swarming around the overflowing garbage can placed between the two retro pumps. As I stood up, my butt peeled in layers from the leather seat. My jeans and boxers fused to my legs from sweat. I’d never traveled that long a distance on my bike before without stopping, and my aching legs paid the price. Even after I took off my sweltering black helmet and hung it on the handlebar of my once black, now gray-looking bike, the slight breeze didn’t give me any relief. In fact, it was worse. The breeze simulated a blow drier set on hot, pointed at my face. A few stray flies abandoned the trash and went on the attack, buzzing around my sweaty head and biting my arms. I hoped the attraction didn’t indicate I smelled worse than the trash. One black fly landed on my right bicep inside of my new dagger tattoo. My hand nicked the annoying pest, but it had already bitten me and buzzed away. The skin around the tattoo immediately tingled and itched. Damn. I ran my hand across my hair. It was sticky and wet because I sweated faster than the air could dry it. As I staggered toward the door to pay for a fill-up, I tried to stretch the stiffness out of my legs while I pulled areas of my soaked jeans away from my skin. Halfway across the parking lot, the heat from the asphalt felt like it had eaten through the soles of my boots. It wouldn’t have surprised me if they melted like crayons into a waxy puddle. The desert excursion proved interesting at best, so far. My dark blue jeans had lightened by two shades of dust, my white T-shirt had darkened by two shades of dust, and sandy grit crunched between my teeth even though the helmet’s face shield had been down the whole time. When I pulled open the glass door of the mini-mart, a rusted cowbell clanked across it. The metal made an ear-splitting slap, and I expected the murky glass to shatter or at least crack, but it didn’t. I slinked through the door thinking I’d attracted unwanted attention, but the place was almost empty. The top of the attendant’s head showed behind the counter, but my presence went unacknowledged. What did I expect in a town of fifty residents that boasted a twenty-foot rattlesnake fashioned from beer bottles as the main attraction? I ducked into the first aisle. The half-stocked shelves carried very few of the usual mini-mart snacks but a lot of the Green Links Health Food products. A half-filled refrigerated section stretched across the back wall. I walked up the second aisle before approaching the faded, red counter, covered almost entirely by paper ads and signs. The middle-aged attendant relaxed on a wooden barstool with her feet resting on a twofoot stack of magazines piled on the floor. She slumped over to browse through a magazine spread out on her lap. The tabletop, portable fan behind the counter blew her frizzy hair all around. It made an annoying click each time its blades completed a rotation. The attendant ran her knobby pointer finger along the page while she read. She must have reached the end of the article because she looked up and pushed her wire-framed, granny glasses down on the bridge of her pointy nose. “Kin I helps ya?” This time, I stared. Her dental work looked like she’d tried to stop a bowling ball with her face. She lacked every other tooth, and the remaining few resembled gray and yellowish nubs. She only needed a wart on
her chin and a long black dress. The broom already leaned up against the wall behind her. I placed a twenty on the counter. “Yeah, I need a fill-up.” The attendant slid off the barstool and set the magazine down. The legs on both her and the stool creaked and wiggled. She tugged at the bottom of her black, oversized tee and pulled up her baggy jeans. They hung pathetically off her emaciated frame and were frayed at the bottom where they dragged the floor. She picked up the money, sniffled loudly, and wiped her nose on the back of her vein-popping hand. “Which pump?” I gazed out the huge, front window. The station only had two pumps, and my bike was the only vehicle around for at least a mile. I bit my lip and choked back the smartass comment that popped into my mind. “Pump two, please.” Witch Hazel pushed a gold button on the ancient cash register and the drawer barely slid open. With the swiftness and grace of a baboon wearing a baseball glove, she placed my twenty in the drawer. I tried to figure out how that register could possibly be connected to the pump when she enlightened me. “Go on and pump. Lemme know how much it comes to, and I’ll give ya your change back.” She slammed the drawer closed. She looked me up and down. “You ain’t from around here, are you?” I wiped my forehead on the sleeve of my T-shirt, exchanging a layer of sweat for sand. “No, how’d you guess?” She pointed from the cubic stud in my nose, to the gold ring through my eyebrow, and at the three tattoos on my right arm. I shrugged. She smacked her cracking lips and turned away, only to pick up the magazine and plop back on the creaky barstool. I’d already forgotten about the cowbell, and it smashed into the glass again when the door closed behind me. As I headed over to my bike, Arloe came from around the corner, swinging her helmet back and forth by the chin strap. She smiled like she’d won the lottery. I pushed the nozzle into the gas tank and flipped the lever, unable to hold back my grin. “Feel better?” Arloe hung the bright purple helmet I’d given her on the bike’s handle and snuggled up against me. She smelled sweet from the freshly-applied cherry lip gloss. When she smiled, her eyes sparkled as much as her pink, shiny lips. “Lots.” Arloe ran her hands through my damp hair to spike it up and took a step back to admire her handiwork. “But now I’m thirsty. Can we get something to drink?” She had me so totally captivated that when the pump clicked off, I jerked. Arloe smirked, but I pretended not to notice and replaced the nozzle. “Sure. Witch Hazel will hook us up inside.” She stared at me with her eyebrows lowered and shoved her hands in the back pockets of her acid -washed, body-hugging jeans. “Who?” I shrugged. “Never mind. Bad joke.” She gently slapped my hand. “Racer, stop.” Without realizing I’d done it, my stubby fingernails had scratched the area around my dagger tat to a bright red. I shoved my hand in my pocket. While she examined my bicep, she grimaced. Her smooth fingers glided along my skin, but her voice had lost its sexy edge. “Racer Roane. You should’ve gone back to the tattoo shop. It’s been two weeks and you’re still messin’ with it.” She leaned back and stared into my eyes. “Maybe it’s infected…or the ink was bad.” The first two tattoos never bothered me like that one had, and it did concern me. I just didn’t want Arloe to know it. Besides, I couldn’t do anything about it now anyway. Arloe pulled her silky hair back into a ponytail and swatted at a fly that attacked her face. I shooed the fly away and pushed a few stray strands of hair from her eyes. “Just think, you could be in Spain taking classes right now, but you gave up the opportunity for all this.” She surveyed the empty desert and turned back to me, holding my calloused hands in her delicate ones. Her eyes showed determination and a spark of renewed energy. “No, I gave it up for you. For us. We’ll see Spain one day. Together.” About the Author: T.W. Kirchner is the author of the Pirates Off middle grade series and The Troubled Souls of Goldie Rich young adult series. Besides writing, she loves tennis, yoga, painting and gardening. She lives in Las
Vegas with her husband, two children, and furry menagerie known as the Kirchner Zoo.
Website: www.twkirchner.com Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/T.W.Kirchner Twitter: @TinaInLV
Why Bother? The Two Deadliest Words to a Self-Published Author Kyoko M Y’know what sucks? Being unemployed and your books not selling at the same time. It’s not just the lack of money, either. I’ve been unemployed before back when my second retail job went under thanks to rent issues in 2012. The funny thing is, the first month is kind of a like a honeymoon period. You wake up when you want to, do what you want to, don’t do what you don’t want to, and feel this general sense of relaxation since you don’t have a set schedule as you don’t have to go to work anymore. You sleep pretty well and you have the free time to do practically anything. Then it wears off. Then the stress starts. Okay, so it’s not like you thought getting hired for your dream job was going to be easy. It’s going to take time. You throw yourself into your writing while you’re praying to God (and sacrificing a goat just in case Satan’s listening) someone hires you. After all, your sales have been pretty consistent for the past few months and you’re slowly building readers, right? To quote Kevin Spacey’s Lex Luthor, “WROOOOOOOONG!” Out of the blue, September hits you with the biggest sales flat-line since you started self-publishing. I’m talking you don’t even make it into double digit sales per week. You close out your September sales with less money than you made in literally four hours at your previous day job. And October is looking to be the exact same way. No big deal. Deep breath. You can totally handle it. It’s not like you became an author to get rich. It’s probably easier and more lucrative to sell crack than be a self-published author, after all. You’re in this because you love writing and you love stories and you want to share the reading/writing experience with your fellow man. That’s easy enough. It’s what the Internet is for—connecting people together across vast distances. Except you kind of suck at it. Twitter? Not that many followers. You get maybe a handful of replies per week. Maybe you should redirect your energy. Tumblr? Oh, don’t talk about your book. No one cares unless it’s a natural recommendation from a
book nerd. Just write occasional fanfics and reblog handsome celebrities and social justice speeches. Anything else and you get unfollowed en masse. Facebook? Only a tenth of the people who liked your page see your posts, and even less than that like your posts? Right. Uh, keep trying. Maybe it’ll get better. Then you’re lying in bed for a while, watching television because it’s a fantastic distraction from the horrible current state of your life, your manuscript untouched for days, and then a quiet little voice whispers in your ear the scariest words to any self-published author: “Why bother?” “What?” you sputter back indignantly.
“Why bother?” the voice continues. “What’s the point of putting yourself through this misery? You’ve been writing your whole life with nothing to show for it but a couple fans and a pocketful of change. You can’t make friends. You can’t get through to readers. You can’t even make enough money to get your own place by yourself. Just give up. You gave it your best shot. You’d make twice the money if you just settled for a job like your old day job. You’re never going to be the female Richard Castle. You’re never going to be a bestselling author of any sort. Better to figure that out now than before you use up all your savings and die in a gutter somewhere.” “That’s pretty melodramatic,” you scoff. “But it’s not far from the truth. Aren’t you tired of this? Aren’t you tired of being a nobody? Of putting yourself out there and almost never getting anything out of it?” “I have gotten stuff out of it!” you argue. “I’ve met people! Not a lot of them, but enough. And I’ve met some really cool people who think my work is great.” “Yes, and I’m sure you can pay your student loan bills with reviews,” the voice muses. You hesitate. This a-hole has a point. Maybe you’re just being stubborn, chasing this dream of yours. Maybe it’s time you grew up and did what thousands of people do every day—shelve the dream in order to make a living. After all, you can’t get what you want. Who reads your work is beyond your control. You can’t hold a gun to your readers’ heads and order them to buy your books. You can’t threaten Bookbub into accepting your book. You can’t convince bloggers to review and spread word of your book on your own. Maybe it is time to throw in the towel. Maybe you were wrong. Maybe your work isn’t that good. Maybe it never will be. You have too many bills to pay. Time to get real. But then you think about Stephen King’s On Writing. You think about how that man spent the better part of thirty years trying to get his feet beneath him, facing hundreds of rejections day in and day out. Sure, you’re nowhere near as good, but he’s fantastic and even he had to wade through the long stretch of no one knowing who he was or caring about the work he poured his sweat, blood, and liquor into. “No one cared who I was until I put on the mask,” Bane said in The Dark Knight Rises. The fictional criminal had a point. Nobody cares who you are. They won’t care until you’ve made it to the Big Time. Right now, it feels like you’ll never make it, but you’ll definitely never make if you give up. Maybe you won’t. Maybe you’ll never be anything more than an underground author with a tiny fanbase of less than 100 people.
But guess what? There is one goal you’re still meeting. You’re sharing your story with others, even if it’s not as many of them as you’d like. People are reading your work. People have made the choice to sit down one afternoon with your characters when they could be reading Stephen King or James Patterson or Suzanne Collins or J.K. Rowling. They said yes to you when they said no to so many others. For better or worse, they stuck with you, even if they end up disliking the book, even if they don’t want to move on through your series. And that is why you still bother. “Screw you!” you say cheerfully to the voice. “Maybe I’ll always struggle and not be where I want to be, but at least I met my original goal and not even you can take that away from me.” The voice grumbles and shuffles off to that dark place in the back of your head, kicking over trash cans along the way. You turn off the television—well, after that Castle marathon on TNT ends—and crack your knuckles and open your Word document and get back to work. You are a poor self-published vagrant and you’ve got work to do. So keep doing it, against all odds, even those your own doubts and fears present.
The Holy Dark The Black Parade Series Book 3 Kyoko M Genre: Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance Date of Publication: April 24, 2015 ISBN 10: 1511543736 ISBN 13: 978-1511543736 ASIN: B00VULGGBK Number of pages: 346 (eBook) 460 (paperback) Word Count: 147,000 Cover Artist: Gunjan Kumar and Christopher Cold Book Description: Sarcastic demon-slayer extraordinaire Jordan Amador has been locked in a year-long struggle to hunt down the thirty silver coins paid to Judas Iscariot. The mere touch of these coins is enough to kill any angel.
Jordan's demonic opposition grows more desperate with each coin found, so they call on the ultimate reinforcement: Moloch, the Archdemon of War. Moloch puts out a contract on Jordan as well as her estranged husband, the Archangel Michael. Now Jordan and Michael will have to find a way to work together to survive against impossible odds and stop Moloch's plan, or else he’ll wage a war that will wipe out the human race. Excerpt:
Available at Amazon
Chattanooga had been a nice place to live for the past ten months, a fact proven by my utter disapproval of the hotel we checked in the following night we left. The safe house was in Montpelier, Vermont and by car it was an eighteen-hour drive. However, the two of us were exhausted from the recent fights we’d had and needed some sleep so we stopped in Newburgh, Connecticut. We’d camp out here for the night and then leave first thing in the morning. Myra worked at an office supplies store back in Tennessee, which paid alright, but neither of us were exactly swimming in cash. The hotel we chose was not of the highest caliber. The only benefits it boasted were cable television and air conditioning. I missed my thin pillows and slightly lumpy mattress back home. We were behind schedule, but only slightly. Myra went to buy some dinner while I opted for a long, hot shower. It wasn’t a nice place to stay, but it had one admittedly awesome amenity—a handheld sprayer with plenty of settings. I stayed in until my fingertips were pruny, mulling over recent events and hoping that a clear solution would arise. No such luck. We were still on defense. I didn’t like it, not one bit. The weight hanging off my soul was starting to make my knees buckle. I had to fix this. I had to save the angels. I owed them. They had shed blood for me more than once. I wasn’t going to disappoint them, not again. Never again. I finished rinsing out my hair and groped for the towel with my eyes closed to avoid getting any residual shampoo in them. Weirdly, my fingers hit nothing but the moist air near the rack. Frowning, I reached out farther. It wasn’t there. Had it fallen onto the floor? “Lose something?” I froze. A deep, mocking, dry-as-sandpaper voice. No. Please, God, let it just be my imagination. I pried my eyes open and ducked my head around the shower curtain. There, in front of the sink, stood a tall, pale-skinned man with shoulder-length hair as black as soot and a smile as sinister as the devil himself. His eyes were the lightest hue of blue that existed and the pupils were thin and diamond-like rather than round. His features were vaguely European—small forehead, narrow nose, thin but sensual lips, arched eyebrows— but I knew he didn’t have an accent. He clutched my towel in his long-fingered hand, the other tucked in the pocket of his easily seven-hundred-dollar black suit pants. I recognized his favorite dark color scheme—a charcoal grey button up shirt, black silk tie, and Gucci dress shoes. “Looking good, my pet.” The archdemon Belial was standing in my bathroom. Shit.
About the Author: Kyoko M is an author, a fangirl, and an avid book reader. Her debut novel, The Black Parade, has been on Amazon's Bestseller List at #5 in the Occult Horror category. She has a Bachelor of Arts in English Lit degree from the University of Georgia, which gave her every valid excuse to devour book after book with a concentration in Greek mythology and Christian mythol-
ogy. When not working feverishly on a manuscript (or two), she can be found buried under her Dashboard on Tumblr, or chatting with fellow nerds on Twitter, or curled up with a good Harry Dresden novel on a warm central Florida night. Like any author, she wants nothing more than to contribute something great to the best profession in the world, no matter how small. Website/Blog: http://www.shewhowritesmonsters.com Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/misskyokom Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/She-Who-Writes-Monsters/161227150647087 Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7189997.Kyoko_M_ Tumblr: http://www.minaminokyoko.tumblr.com Newsletter: http://goo.gl/Wu2WIM
Valentine’s Day A Short Story from The Black Parade Series If there was one thing being a Seer taught me, it’s that nothing in life is ever simple. Take my personal life, for instance. After six long months of God-mandated separation, Michael returned to me and proposed. I said yes after some careful consideration and then we had a sweet little courthouse marriage with the immediate family—Gabriel, Lauren, Lily, and Raphael. We promised to do an actual ceremony when things were less hectic, which was reasonable considering how much trouble the two of us get into on a regular basis. A couple weeks later, I was in the kitchen peeling carrots when Michael snuck up behind me—a habit he developed because he thought it was hilarious when I jumped in surprise—with an idea. “I just realized something,” he said, pressing a kiss against my nape. “You’re secretly Batman?” He chuckled. “No. We’ve never spent Valentine’s Day together.” I paused, my nose scrunching as I thought about it. He was right. We met in August of last year and were with each other for a few months before he was sent away. “Guess not.” “Well, I had an idea,” he continued, resting his chin on my shoulder, his muscular arms wound about my waist. It was so terribly comfortable I almost stopped peeling the carrots. “The fourteenth is next week. What if we have a late celebration?” “Michael, it’s April.” “So?”
“So that’s two months after the fact. You don’t want to just do it next year?” He shrugged. “I thought this could be fun. Plus, it’d be easier to get you stuff since the holiday passed.” My ears metaphorically perked up at the mention of stuff. I wasn’t a material girl, but I did like to eat. “Don’t suppose any of said ‘stuff’ would include chocolate?” He angled his face towards my hair, his lips brushing my ear, dropping his voice to a seductive tone. “I’ll get you a Lindt chocolate basket.” I shuddered. “I love it when you talk dirty.” He laughed and kissed my cheek. “It’s a date then.” Fast forward to a week later with me curled up on the couch blowing a quart of snot out of my nose. Like I said. The life of a Seer is never simple. “I cannot believe this,” I moaned through the tissue. “I should be up to my ears in chocolate! And sex. But mostly chocolate. And some sex.” I could hear Michael’s rumbling laugh from the kitchen. “I know. I’m sorry you caught a cold, baby.” I tossed the tissue in the wastebasket next to the couch, pulling the comforter I’d stolen from Michael’s bed tighter over my shoulders. The television blared the second season of Castle—my goto viewing in an attempt to cheer myself up—but my pounding head, itchy throat, and congested sinuses eradicated any sense of enjoyment. I flopped over onto my side, sniffling. “Why? Is God punishing us because we boffed like ten times in the first 48 hours of being soul-married?” “I don’t recall there being any commandments against sex marathons,” he answered. “Besides, you work at a restaurant. There’s no telling how many people you come in contact with on a daily basis, so someone was bound to get you sick.” He finally returned from the kitchen with a white ceramic bowl and a spoon. I sat up and he handed them to me, revealing what he’d been cooking for the past hour. Rotini pasta floated in hot chicken broth amongst chunks of boneless chicken thigh meat, carrots, and celery. I couldn’t smell anything thanks to the congestion, but my mouth watered at the sight of non-canned, nonpreservative-stuffed soup. “Thank you,” I mumbled, shoveling in a couple spoonfuls. Heavenly stuff. “This is so good I wanna divorce you just so I can marry you all over again.” “Thanks, that’s sweet.” He kissed my forehead and sat down next to me. I squirmed, trying to put some distance between us. “Not too close. You’ll get sick.” Michael arched an eyebrow. “I’m an angel, you dork. I don’t get sick.” I frowned. “Want some hot soup in your crotch?” He bit his bottom lip, trying to hide a smile. “Sorry. Didn’t mean to rub it in. I just meant you don’t have to quarantine yourself because I won’t catch it.” “That’s my point, though,” I said, putting the soup down on the coffee table. “This is two weeks into our marriage. You shouldn’t have to see me all gross and disgusting yet. I’m supposed to be your smoking hot wife. This stuff doesn’t come until way later.” He shook his head. “Our lives have never been normal. I wouldn’t expect our relationship to be either. You’re still my smoking hot wife no matter what. I’m in it for the long haul, remember? ‘Til death do us part.” The honest sincerity in his words made me glance down and fidget with my shirttail. “I’m not used to this.” “Used to what?” “Being taken care of,” I whispered. “Someone making me soup and saying nice things to me. Even when I was with….” I swallowed, trying to say his name without my voice cracking. “Terrell, I always hid at my place when I caught a cold.” He didn’t say anything for a moment. Then he caught my chin, lifted my face, and kissed me very gently. “You are such a freaking killjoy, woman.”
I laughed. “Sorry.” “You are forgiven. Now eat your soup that I slaved over a hot stove for all day.” “Yes, sir.” I stretched out on the couch and picked up my bowl, eating quietly while watching Richard Castle break down the door to Kate Beckett’s exploded apartment. Michael tugged my legs across his lap and started massaging my feet. Maybe it wasn’t a fairytale fake-Valentine’s-Day like we planned, but this would certainly do for now. Five days later… “I hate you.” “I know.” “I really, really hate you.” “I know.” “I’m an archangel of the Lord. How did you get me sick, Jordan? How?” “I don’t know, babe.” I sifted my fingers through his dark hair, smoothing it away from his sweaty forehead. About half of his upper body was curled up in my lap. He wore a stony expression, his nose as red as Rudolph the Reindeer’s, his eyes bloodshot, his skin a couple shades paler than normal. I wasn’t surprised that he was this grouchy. Angel or not, a man-cold was a man-cold. “You want anything?” “To breathe through my nose,” he groused. I rolled my eyes. “Not what I meant, Captain Sassypants.” He paused. “I mean, I wouldn’t be upset if you took your shirt off.” I flicked him in the ear. “Food. I meant food.” He sighed. “Green tea. Make like a gallon of it.” “Okay.” “I’m gonna pour onto my head and melt my face off so I can’t feel anything.” I bit my lip to keep from smiling and gently slid out from beneath him. “Yes, dear.” I walked towards the kitchen. His voice reached me before I got there. “…seriously, though, do you have to be wearing a shirt right now?” “Don’t make me hurt you, pretty boy.”
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Naughty In Nature A Collection of Outdoor Erotica By Roxanne Rhoads Available at Amazon Book Description: Eight erotic tales of love in the great outdoors Naughty Little Forest Nymph
Logger Sam encounters more than he bargains for when he finds himself up against a group of tree hugging environmentalists, intent on saving the trees he’s due to cut down. Cassie, the free-spirited wild child who has chained herself in protest, finds herself unexplainably drawn to him, despite her initial disgust of his work, and the two discover they have more in common than they first realized – leading to an erotic and heated attraction neither of them expected Restless in the Storm Angie feels the heat in a very unique way and when it storms her ache for release is even worse. Now a thunderstorm is coming and Angie’s husband isn’t home to help her through it. She’s going wild trying to wait for him – he almost doesn’t make it in time. Thankfully he arrives home just before the rain starts pouring from the sky and that’s when the sparks really start to fly... Welcome Spring
Tom is scouting a forest area for his land-developer boss when he encounters a beautiful woman naked in the forest performing some kind of ritual. He is intrigued and highly aroused so he hides in the shadows watching her with complete fascination. Ardwinna, the Earth witch and protector of the land, knows Tom is watching and takes extra delight in his arousal as she performs her spring fertility ritual that includes bringing herself to climax, while he watches. When she invites him to join her, he gladly accepts her offer... Something More Than Friends A clandestine hookup in the front seat of a car is anything but casual as two friends simmer with emotion while hiding their secret affair from the rest of the world. Sun Worship The heat brings out carnal urges in Gina, urges she can't control as the hot summer sun beats down upon her bare skin. You wonâ€™t believe the naughty things she does to appease her needs...while her neighbor, Joe, secretly watches. Lawn Service Serena's loneliness and the relentless summer heat have her aching for something sinful. Her wishes are granted when Rob, a sexy lawn service technician, shows up to get her yard in shape for the annual 4th of July party.
A Hot and Sticky Summer Night Itâ€™s a hot summer night and a young couple is plagued by boredom. They drive around looking for something fun to do. They end up making love in the woods... and it's anything but boring. Not Another One Night Stand Rebecca has been watching Damon at the nightclub for weeks. One night she finally works up the courage to approach him...and he goes home with her. Will it be just a one night stand or could it be something more?
Dewdrops and Decadence A Collection of Erotic Poetry Roxanne Rhoads Publisher: Bewitching Books Release date: March 3, 2015 ASIN: B00SQ87E9S Book Description: Sexy, sultry, seductive...this arousing collection of erotic poetry will delight your senses and stimulate your mind. Ranging from soft and sensual to explicitly erotic, lovers of erotica are sure to find something to tempt and titillate. Flip through the pages with a lover or enjoy them alone as naughty bedtime reading.
The Garden of Sensual Delight The warm summer breeze whispered sensual secrets to the leaves on the trees Pleasure grew like wild vines climbing, twisting and entwining in a loverâ€™s embrace Fresh blossoms heady fragrances filled the air Inhibitions peeled away layer by layer in the secluded playground Naked I lay before you Heat from the sun aroused my senses causing my soft dewy leaves to unfold in the morning light revealing a hard pink bud ready to bloom Parting my petals you tasted my nectar before burying your stem planting your seeds of passion deep inside me opening me to full bloom in the secret garden of living fantasies
Check out the May issue of Bewitching Book Tours Magazine- filled with author interviews, excerpts, author advice and more. Flip through the...