Bewitching Book Tours Magazine Issue 38 October 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 $20 half page ad $10 quarter page ad You can subscribe to this magazine at http://issuu.com/bewitchingbooktours ÂŠ Copyright 2015 Stock images from www.123rf.com
Did you read last monthâ€™s issue?
What Makes Bewitching Book Tours Different From Other Virtual Book Tour Companies? Bewitching Book Tours has been in business since 2010 making us one of the oldest virtual book tour companies around. We know book promotion. Our authors are our number one priority. This is not a hobby or a side job in addition to the day job. This is our day job, which means we put our author s fir st. Bewitching Book Tours offers multiple tour packages and services for authors- we have one day packages for cover reveals, release day blitzes, and one day tours. We also offer one week, two week and one month tours. Bewitching also offers Kindle Free Book Blitz tours to promote your Kindle free book for up to five days. Other services we offer are Twitter parties, Facebook parties, Press Release Writing, and radio interviews. Custom packages are available. Bewitching has optional special features including a monthly magazine, a BlogTalk Radio Show and we offer custom Bewitching Book swag creations such as bookmarks, keychains, purse charms and more. The most important things about Bewitching is that your book starts receiving promotion as soon as you sign up with Bewitching. A media kit is created, tour banners are made, and a page goes up on the Bewitching Blog announcing your upcoming tour. An invitation is sent out to all the Bewitching Tour Hosts and your upcoming tour is shared throughout our vast network of social media which includes multiple Facebook pages and accounts, Tsu, Twitter, Google +, Pinterest, Tumblr, and other book social sites. Immediately your book has been put in front of thousands of book lovers. And we don’t stop there. We continue to work on your tour scheduling tour stops, reviews and more depending on your tour package chosen. Once your tour is set up we send you the tour schedule, materials and instructions so there is no confusion. You return requested materials to Bewitching and we handle the rest. Once your tour has started we promote every single tour stop every day on multiple social media platforms several times throughout the day. Combine this exposure with the daily tour hosts’ and the author’s social media promotion of the tour stops and you have your book in front of thousands of readers every day. An author will have quality content that can be used after the tour including a professional media kit with all the book and author information in one place that can be distributed to future promotion locations. You’ll also have great quotes you can pull from reviews to help you promote your book. If you wrote guest blogs or other promotional materials (character profiles, book soundtracks, the story behind the story posts, etc.) you now have content you can reuse on your blog or website as bonus material. Yes, your guest blogs and other tour materials that you created, are
yours. You retain copyright to them. Now if a blogger adds images, comments or other materials you cannot reuse the blog exactly as it appeared on their site. You retain the rights only to your original creations. I suggest waiting at least a month after your tour ends before reposting to your sites that way it does not hurt the tour blog traffic. Interviews are not the same, not unless you provided both the questions and answers (for instance a character interview you created). If you wish to repost an interview you must ask the blogger who interviewed you if it is okay to republish their questions. Or simply post a link to the interview. Even after the tour Bewitching continues working for you. Your name and web link will be listed on our blog as a client and your tour pages will be archived, not removed. So they will always be available for readers to access. If Bewitching has special events in the future like calls for submissions, holiday contests or other multi-author events you will be invited to participate.
Bewitching Book Tour Packages and Pricing Book sales will magically soar during one of our spellbinding virtual book tours
Bewitching Book Tours specialize in tours for paranormal, urban fantasy, and paranormal erotica books with prices just right for any author's budget
Every tour package includes:
a custom media kit custom tour button and banners including a facebook header banner the option to offer review copies to bloggers- the number of reviews actually received during a tour are not guaranteed- they depend on blogger participation two tour pages at Bewitching Book Tours (one invitation tour page announcing the upcoming tour and one final tour page with schedule) distribution to our mailing list of over 600 tour hosts Daily promotion throughout the Bewitching social media outlets including multiple facebook pages and accounts, twitter, and google plus
Giveaways are not necessary during tours but they are highly encouraged. Giveaways draw many more readers and viewers to tour stops plus they help increase your social media followers.
We utilize Rafflecopter entry forms so you can offer one prize package or several throughout your tour- winners are chosen at the end of the tour.
$47.50 will get you the Release Day Blitz
One day book release blitz includes
Posting on up to 20 blogs which will include- tour banner, your book info, excerpts, and fun tidbits (character profiles, music playlists, etc or whatever other materials you would like to provide) a custom media kit custom tour button and banners including a facebook header banner the option to offer review copies to bloggers- the number of reviews actually received during a tour are not guaranteed- they depend on blogger participation two tour pages at Bewitching Book Tours (one invitation tour page announcing the upcoming tour and one final tour page with schedule) distribution to our mailing list of over 600 tour hosts Daily promotion throughout the Bewitching social media outlets including multiple facebook pages and accounts, twitter, and google plus The release day blitz can be purchased alone or added to another tour package
$50.00 will get you the week long Bewitched Book Blitz Tour
Your will receive 1 week of tour stops
Posting on approximately 5-7 stops which will include- tour banner, your book info, guest blogs, interviews, excerpts, and fun tidbits (character profiles, music playlists, etc or whatever other materials you would like to provide) a custom media kit custom tour button and banners including a facebook header banner the option to offer review copies to bloggers- the number of reviews actually received during a tour are not guaranteed- they depend on blogger participation two tour pages at Bewitching Book Tours (one invitation tour page announcing the upcoming tour and one final tour page with schedule) distribution to our mailing list of over 600 tour hosts Daily promotion throughout the Bewitching social media outlets including multiple facebook pages and ac-
counts, twitter, and google plus This tour is perfect for an author to get a taste of how a book tour works
Great for new releases or for the backlist book that could use a sales boost
$85 will get you the 2 week Cast a Magic Spell Tour
2 weeks of tour stops
Posting on approximately 10-14 stops which will include- tour banner, your book info, guest blogs, interviews, excerpts, and fun tidbits (character profiles, music playlists, etc or whatever other materials you would like to provide) a custom media kit custom tour button and banners including a facebook header banner the option to offer review copies to bloggers- the number of reviews actually received during a tour are not guaranteed- they depend on blogger participation two tour pages at Bewitching Book Tours (one invitation tour page announcing the upcoming tour and one final tour page with schedule) distribution to our mailing list of over 600 tour hosts Daily promotion throughout the Bewitching social media outlets including multiple facebook pages and accounts, twitter, and google plus
$140 will get you The Spellbinding Special 1 Month Tour
This is our most popular so far- with it you'll receive one month of tour stops
Posting on approximately 20 stops which will include- tour banner, your book info, guest blogs, interviews, excerpts, and fun tidbits (character profiles, music playlists, etc or whatever other materials you would like
to provide) a custom media kit custom tour button and banners including a facebook header banner the option to offer review copies to bloggers- the number of reviews actually received during a tour are not guaranteed- they depend on blogger participation two tour pages at Bewitching Book Tours (one invitation tour page announcing the upcoming tour and one final tour page with schedule) distribution to our mailing list of over 600 tour hosts Daily promotion throughout the Bewitching social media outlets including multiple facebook pages and accounts, twitter, and google plus
Kindle Free Book Blitz $50
Is your book going free on Kindle?
Get the most out of your Kindle free days with Bewitching Book Tours
We are now offering a Kindle Free Book Blitz Tour- Up to 5 days of promotion just $50- this includes:
Posting on numerous blogs that will announce that your book is free is Amazon a custom media kit custom tour button and banners including a facebook header banner the option to offer review copies to bloggers- the number of reviews actually received during a tour are not guaranteed- they depend on blogger participation two tour pages at Bewitching Book Tours (one invitation tour page announcing the upcoming tour and one final tour page with schedule) Daily promotion throughout the Bewitching social media outlets including multiple facebook pages and accounts, twitter, and google plus
Cover Reveals are $45
Add a live Facebook party to any package for $100
A Facebook Party includes the coordination, set up and moderation of a live Facebook party (event) page. The party will last for about two hours.
A party page will be created and moderated by Bewitching Book Tours.
This is a great way to interact with readers. They can post questions and the author can answer in real time.
The author will be responsible for providing party content (book/author facts and links, quizzes, games, and prizes). Bewitching Book Tours can help with brainstorming ideas for content and prizes.
The Facebook party can be purchased by itself or added to a tour package.
Please understand Bewitching Book Tours is not responsible for missed your stops on your tour. After the tour is scheduled and all of the tour materials have been sent out, it is the responsibility of the Blogger who signed up for the tour to post materials on their designated day.
Bewitching Book Swag Bewitching Book Tours offers custom book swag creations that can be added on to tour packages or ordered separately. We offer high quality, hand crafted, one of a kind items made to match your book. Currently we are offering beaded bookmarks, beaded keychains, purse charms, belt loop charms, wine glass charms, and earrings. These items can be created with colored beads to match the colors in your book cover. We can also add small charms to coordinate with book content- we have a wide variety of charms to choose from and if we don't have something that matches your book we can get it. Some of the silver charms available are: vampire fangs, wolves, witch hats, keys and locks, books, hearts, haunted houses, bats, foxes, hamsas, dragons, sugar skulls, rhinestone skull and crossbones, high heeled shoes, Fleur de lis, masquerade masks, owls and many more. You can also opt to have the items completely customized by adding your book cover to a metal charm. The book covers are encased in small metal photo frame charms and sealed in resin for a high quality charm that looks fabulous and is very durable. Our goal is to create custom book swag that represents your book.
Hooray for Halloween By Roxanne Rhoads Halloween…the one day when spirits can walk this world in the flesh when those who are no longer ‘real’ once again become corporeal. A day full of ghosts, witches, fairies, magick… I don’t know where the love of the paranormal came from, it is something that has always been part of my life. Maybe it was the books my mother read to me or maybe that just helped it along. I grew up reading fairy tales with my mom, not the Disney versions either but the real Grimm style fairy tales that did not always have a happy ending. (In the real Little Mermaid story, she turns to sea foam at the end and drifts away, there is no happily ever after). By the time I was 10 I was already reading Steven King, Dean Koontz, and other adult paranormal novels. At the age of 11 I found Anne Rice’s Interview with a Vampire at a garage sale and was forever after seduced by vampires. As I grew older the paranormal stories became more than just a little creepy and scary but also a little…sexy. And later… outright erotic. Over time I have watched books transform and change from the veiled eroticism in Dracula and Anne Rice’s books to the flat out hot sex scenes in today’s romance and erotica novels. And something about creatures with supernatural powers just adds a whole new level of sexiness to the books. Alpha male shapeshifters give us that power, control, and animal magnetism coupled with primal urges that can’t be denied, vampires have centuries of sexual experience and awesome powers that make us swoon, demons are the ultimate hotties with badditude written all over them, and then there are the
other magickal men; beautiful, wicked fey: wily wizards, seductive sorcerersâ€Ś And Halloween they all come out to play. Itâ€™s no wonder the Halloween season is my favorite time of year. During the Halloween season I can walk around vamped out in Goth attire looking dark and spooky. I get to play dress up for all the parties and costume balls (and yes I attend a couple every year) The rest of the year I tend to hide the darkness inside only letting it out in my fiction. But on Halloween I can let my freak flag fly high and be as sexy, spooky, Gothic and vampy as I wantand I can make my house match. Got to love that. Halloween- the one time of year I can truly be as dark as I want and no one thinks twice about it. Hooray for Halloween. ~Roxanne Rhoads
A Guide to Greening Halloween By Wenona Napolitano
Halloween is one of the holidays that can really take its toll on resources: candy, decorations, food, costumes, and more but hereâ€™s a guide that can help you green the three major areas of Halloween fun: the costume, the party and the decorations.
Green Your Costume
One of the first ways to green Halloween this year is by making sure your costume is as ecofriendly as possible.
Store-bought Halloween costumes are often made from synthetic fabrics that can be full of petroleum by products and harsh chemicals. If you want to be eco-conscious there are a couple eco-friendly options you may want to consider for greening your Halloween costume.
First of all you could wear an old costume. Per haps there' s something sitting in the back of your closet that you haven't worn in years, or you could borrow something from a friend. By not purchasing a new costume you are saving precious resources. Reusing is very green. You can always purchase used costumes on places like eBay, too. This is a really great place to find gently used and super adorable kidsâ€™ costumes.
Another way to green your costume this year is to make one out of old clothes. Check out your attic, basement, garage or wherever you have boxes of old clothes - better yet, check your parents' or your grandparents' house for old clothes and accessories. There could be a treasure trove of items just waiting for new life as your Halloween costume. Think of the possibilities:
20’s flapper chick, 50’s sock hop style, groovy hippie clothes, and awesome 80’s…you get the idea.
Go on a costume and clothing scavenger hunt. Visit thr ift stores, consignment shops and even antique stores to look for old costumes or clothing that can be transformed into a cool Halloween creation. Some online sites like eBay, Craigslist and your local Freecycle chapter may also have fabulous green Halloween potential where you can find free and low cost Halloween costume items.
Skip Halloween masks. Most masks are made of vinyl, PVC or other petroleum byproducts and are full of harsh chemicals. If you really want a mask for your costume opt for the simple do-it-yourself eye masks that you can make from cardboard or craft foam--decorate with feathers, glitter and sequins.
Beware of toxic cosmetics. With all the scar y stuff that' s been showing up in tr aditional cosmetics (like lead, phthalates, parabens, etc) you’ll want to look for natural cosmetics in colors to match your costume and theme.
Search for costumes made from eco-friendly fabrics. If you can’t put together a great costume out of old clothes or old costumes search for costumes made from fabrics like hemp, bamboo, peace silk and organic cotton.
Halloween Décor That’s Eco-Friendly
Halloween décor is another area where everything seems to be mass produced and disposable.
Stores are often filled with Halloween decorations that cost a fortune and may not even survive the season and even if they do many people toss a lot of stuff straight into the trash once Halloween is over.
Quit spending your hard earned money on plastic junk when you can use stuff you have lying around the house to make your own creepy concoctions. Go green this Halloween by skipping the shopping spree and have a fun-filled family weekend craftactular instead. Start out by raiding the garbage and recycling bins. Donâ€™t say gross, your recycling bins should have rinsed out and semi clean containers in them not oozing food trash (that should all be composted). So, what did you find in your bins? Some tin cans, glass jars, plastic containers and cardboard toilet-paper and paper towel rolls? Perfect.
Now let's see what Halloween goodies you can create out of these items.
You can turn the tin cans into spooky candle holders with a little paint and a hammer and nail. Use the hammer and nail to punch holes in the can. The designs can be random or made in scary Halloween designs like pumpkins, ghosts witches and cats.
If that's too hard you just punch holes around the top and bottom in a row all the way around the can, and then a few in the middle. Just put plenty of holes in them so the candlelight will shine through.
A tip to make the punched hole designs easier-fill the tin cans with water and freeze them. While the water is frozen inside punch the holes in the can. This makes the process so much easier.
Paint fun Halloween colors and designs on the cans with acrylic paint. Then add candles or flameless LED lights to give them that creepy glow.
Now that you are done with the tin cans you can transform any glass jars you found into crafty candy containers or fun candle holders. To create these green Halloween container s you can glue on paper designs, add stickers or paint the bottles with acrylic or glass paints. If you are creative and skilled enough you could even etch the glass with fall and Halloween designs. To make the jars into candy containers purchase unwrapped colorful candy in bulk and add to the candy jars for colorful displays. (This also makes a great contest if you count the number of candy pieces in the jar so you know how many there are, then you make guests guess for a chance to win a prize). Put candles inside to jars to transform them into scary luminaries.
Another recycle bin craft is turning the cardboard toilet-paper and paper towel rolls into fun favor boxes and creepy little crafts. With just a little paint, some sticker s, maybe a few pipe cleaners or even a few jewels, you can turn plain and ordinary into something surprising and extraordinary. To transform them into simple Jack O' Lanterns, paint them pumpkin orange, let them dry, and then paint black or yellow faces on them.
Hereâ€™s another green Halloween craft idea-turn plastic containers into fun Halloween creatures. Plastic laundr y soap bottles can r ather easily be tur ned into spooky black cats and big orange pumpkins with a little bit of spray paint for plastic and a good imagination.
Does that sound a little too crafty for you?
How about getting ghostly with old sheets, pillowcases or tablecloths? Old white or ver y light colored linens can easily be made into ghastly ghosts that you can hang indoors or out. Just toss a sheet over a ball or a "head" made of stuffed newspaper, tie something around the head and let the rest of the sheet float freely. Get fancy and shred the bottom of the material to let it float freely in the breeze, get creative and add some blood spatter with red paint or tape in a few battery-operated LED lights for glowing creepiness.
More creepy green dĂŠcor can be made with old clothes. You can welcome tr ick-or-treaters or party guests with scarecrows, zombies and dismembered body parts by using some old clothes to create spooky creatures and dismembered parts that can be placed in chairs, seated on benches or arranged shockingly wherever you wish. All you have to do is stuff the old clothes with other old clothes or crumpled newspaper; then add a mask or a pumpkin head. Make it super spooky by adding a small tape recorder with some creepy sounds or a moving animatronics hand to really give people a fright. Just make sure to be green and use rechargeable batteries. J
Another way to make super green Halloween decorations is by incorporating natural elements as part of your spooky Halloween and seasonal Fall decor. Pumpkins, gour ds, squash, cornstalks, dried corn and apples look really great arranged artfully together as show stopping Autumn displays., Add fall flowers like mums, marigolds and late-blooming sunflowers for beautiful flower accents.
Pumpkins are very versatile and can be used alone, with other natural elements or even
used as elegant vases. The tops of pumpkins can be cut off, scooped out and filled with water, then used as a decorative vase filled with flowers. And don’t forget about carving some pumpkins. The trusty Jack O' Lantern is still one of the best ways to decorate green for Halloween. Grab some pumpkins, have a family fun night and see who can carve the best pumpkin and don't forget to light them up on Halloween with eco-soy candles or safe battery operated LED candles. Green Your Halloween Party
Are you planning to have a Halloween party this year?
You can have an earth friendly Halloween party by being a little more aware while planning and making just a few changes to make sure this year is a green Halloween.
Even though ecological awareness is growing many people get confused during holiday planning, especially if they are throwing a party. They fall back into the ways they've always done things like using plastic silverware, disposable plates and tablecloths and other one time use items. That’s not exactly an ecologically friendly option. Ditch the disposables. Forget the plastic. Opt for natural, sustainable things that won't hurt the earth.
You can start your eco-Halloween party out right by sending electronic invitations. Evite is a great Website that helps you organize and keep track of your mailing list, invitations and RSVP notices. Not a single piece of paper needs to be used for the invitation process. It's all electronic.
If that’s not your thing at least go tree free--or choose recycled paper for your spooktacular invitations. If you have kids that want to make the invitations and pass them out to friends this may be an easier route. Choose scrap paper, recycled paper or anything you already have on hand and some eco-friendly art supplies then let the kids design and make invitations and even some decorations.
Make sure to ditch all the disposables that you can. Tr y not to use disposable table wares or one time use tablecloths. Opt for fun and colorful plates, napkins and tablecloths in fun seasonal colors and prints that can be reused year after year. And use regular silverware. Yes, that means washing more dishes, but it's better for the environment and it won’t kill you, honestly it won’t.
Decorate your green Halloween party with natural, reusable and recycled items. See the previous section on green Halloween decorating for ideas. Try to serve an organic, local and seasonal menu. Think of fresh apples, pumpkin muffins, caramel apples, fresh apple cider, apple tarts, and other sweet treats made from organic ingredients. Visit your local Farmerâ€™s Market to see whatâ€™s in season and stock up on the local grown goodness.
Give party goers and trick or treaters earth friendly tasty treats. You can give out yummy organic candy like Endangered Species mini organic chocolate bars and YummyEarth organic lollipops. Visit www.naturalcandystore.com for many organic candy options.
Want to light up the night? Consider solar powered outdoor decorations and LED lights to conserve energy and if you use candles, pick natural beeswax and soy candles.
Giving away door prizes or goody bags? Choose items that are eco-friendly. For get about the plastic favors that often get broken, lost or thrown away within hours, consider reusable and fun things guests can enjoy for a long time like canvas tote bags, books, notebooks made from recycled or tree free paper, or for kids - eco-friendly toys.
This year you can make a difference by greening Halloween. For more info visit GreenHalloween.org
Captured Warriors of Hir Book One Willow Danes Genre: Science Fiction Romance/ Paranormal Erotica Publisher: Here Be Dragons Date of Publication: August 8, 2014
ISBN: 0692271813 ISBN: 978-0692271810 ASIN: B00MH65BDG Number of pages: 218 Word Count: 55,000 Cover Artist: Steven James Catizone
Book Description: Jenna McNally is tending to the heartrending task of clearing out her grandfather’s cabin when she’s knocked off her feet by the impact of a nearby plane crash. She races into the snowy North Carolina woods to help and discovers that this is no plane that’s crashed. Ra’kur’s people have been brought to the brink of extinction by war. After years spent searching for a compatible mate to bond with, an enemy attack lands him on a backward, primitive planet and right to the very female he has been seeking. And a Hir warrior’s first task in claiming a mate is to capture her . . . Available at Amazon Excerpt Captured
The screaming came from overhead, like metal ripping through the sky.
In the next instant Jenna stumbled, falling onto her hands and knees as the cabin itself seemed to be lifted up a bit before being slammed back down in a puff of dust, the books and boxes and Pap’s many doohickeys rattling around her. She was gasping, her ears still ringing as the cabin settled into quiet again. Shaking, Jenna eased back onto her haunches, her hand going to the little golden bird charm that hung on a chain around her neck. Earthquake? Quakes were rare in this part of North Carolina, and besides, she’d felt that tremble, that rumbling, beneath her feet a few times out west and this was nothing like that. Jenna’s glance darted about the room—the half-packed boxes, the groupings she’d made as she sorted her grandfather’s things into piles of stuff to keep or give away or throw out. Through the cabin’s front window, she caught sight of a far-off spray of snow thrown high into the air and now falling rapidly to the ground. When she’d fallen, she’d dropped the framed photo of her and Pap standing in front of The Sweet Tooth on opening day. Thankfully it hadn’t broken, but the faded oval rag rug had done little to protect her knees from the fall and her palms felt raw and scraped. Shakily Jenna placed the picture on the coffee table, put a hand on the worn red and black plaid sofa, and, wincing, got to her feet. Her right knee was likely going to sport a nasty bruise tomorrow but the couple steps across the living room to the window assured her that would be the worst of it. She frowned out at the sunny, snow-covered landscape, her breath fogging up the windowpane. Plane crash, maybe? There was a tiny airport not far from here. Recently built and meant for small craft—a few of the new, wealthy residents of Brittle Bridge used it when they didn’t want to go to Six Oaks—it was little more than a runway and a couple hangars. Jenna scanned the woods, looking for smoke, but even the snow had settled now and the mountain seemed peaceful as ever. It took her a moment to realize that the TV that she’d had on to keep her company while she tended to the heartrending task of packing up Pap’s things had gone dark. A quick look at the blinking red light showed the Wi-Fi was out too. No satellite, no Internet. “Great,” she muttered, rubbing her forehead with her fingertips. Thinking she could get by fine with just her cell she’d made the mistake of having the landline cut off last week before she realized her fancy—and expensive—new phone didn’t work inside the cabin. Outside, sure. Go twenty feet or sit in the SUV and the damned thing worked perfectly. Jenna chewed the inside of her cheek. She hadn’t seen anything except the now-resettled spray of snow but if it were a downed plane then someone could be hurt out there. It got dark around five this time of year so there were a few hours of daylight left at least and she knew these woods better than anyone—excepting her grandfather, of course. She grabbed her cell off the coffee table and in a few moments had her white down jacket zipped, the hood yanked up, and her gloves on. She was already wearing her sheepskin boots; the cabin floor sometimes felt cold to her even in the summer and now in January it was bitterly so. Jenna drew in the bracing smell of snow and pine as she stepped onto the porch and shut the front door behind her. She was careful going down the cabin’s front steps; she’d slipped often enough on them over the years to remember to hold the handrail in winter. The soft powdery snow crunched under her boots as she walked and, as expected, three steps past her SUV the cell had reception again. She scrolled through the numbers to the right one and hit “Dial” as she headed in the direction where she’d seen the snow spray. “Sheriff’s Department.” “Sarah Jane? It’s Jenna McNally.” “Hey there, Jenna, you okay?” Sarah Jane had once been a model, or so Pap had said. Got her heart broke by a famous artist in New York and fled to Brittle Bridge to escape it all. But then again, he’d made up stories about everyone with Jenna—the mayor was in the witness protection program, her teacher was a secret agent. She’d been labeled a “sensitive child” by the social worker who had handled the transfer of custody to him. Of course to Pap “sensitive” meant “creative” so he’d gone all out in encouraging her in all of it—the arts and music, crafting, baking—anything she wanted to try, and he was proud as punch to let her. But if Sarah Jane had been a model, it was thirty-five years ago or more now and twenty since she joined the sheriff’s department. “You up at Pap’s still?” Her grandfather’s name was William James McNally. But it had probably been since before Sarah Jane’s supposed model-artist affair days that he had been called anything other than “Pap” in the vicinity of
Brittle Bridge—at least never in the twenty-six years Jenna had known him. Well, excepting that social worker. “Yeah, I’ll be here for a couple more days,” Jenna said, already past the clearing around the house and into the forest. “Listen, I think a plane crashed up here on our”—she swallowed hard—“my land.” “A plane?” Sarah Jane’s voice went from neighborly to official. “Where did it come down?” “Not sure.” Jenna ducked under a branch as she headed deeper into the woods. “I heard something real loud and then it was like ‘bam,’ something hitting the ground hard. Shook the whole place.” “Can you see smoke from where you are now?” “No,” Jenna admitted, trotting along as fast as the snow would allow her. Some of the drifts were deep and she had to mind where she stepped. She wouldn’t be doing anyone any good if she broke her ankle. “I’m heading out to take a look now.” “But you saw the plane go down?” “Uh, no.” Sarah Jane’s too-patient tone was starting to make her feel a little embarrassed for calling when she hadn’t actually seen anything. Maybe it was something else: a really big tree falling or a damn meteorite or something. “Huh,” Sarah Jane said. “Lemme call around and see if anybody’s gone missing. But you call me straight off if you find anything, ’kay?” “Sure thing.” Jenna ended the call and slipped the phone into her jacket pocket. Whatever crashed couldn’t be far from where she’d seen the snow spray up. Forced by the lack of schools and friends for his young granddaughter, Pap had kept the house in Asheville, but they’d come to Brittle Bridge at every opportunity. Pap’s heart was here and she’d happily spent the summer days running barefooted in these woods clad in overalls, her chestnut hair in pigtails at first, then tied back in a ponytail as she got older. Her stride faltered and she steadied herself against a pine, the rough trunk pulling on her knitted glove. Pap’s beloved woods were quiet and bright around her but Jenna suddenly had a strong urge to run back to the cabin. She set her jaw and pressed on. Pap hadn’t raised her to be a coward and this was her land now. He’d left her five hundred acres and anyone on it without her say-so was trespassing, even if it was about to go up for sale. Still, she wished she’d thought to grab Pap’s revolver or rifle or even his hunting knife before she’d come racing down here. I’ll go as far as the creek and if I don’t find anything I’ll head on back. But all was quiet at the creek too, the crystal clear water moving placidly between the banks— Jenna stopped short. There was tang to the air, a burned smell that wrinkled her nose. It reminded her a little bit of the inside of a mechanic’s garage, out of place in such pristine woods. It smelled wrong. Not only that… There’s no snow here. There was snow all around, covering the ground, hanging heavy in the tree limbs above, but here there was just a long patch of mud and broken sticks. The sudden sick feeling of being watched raised the tiny hairs on the back of her neck. With a shock of awareness she realized just how very vulnerable she was out here, alone and unarmed. Pap hadn’t raised her to be an idiot either. With trembling fingers she pulled her phone out and hit redial to the Sheriff’s office. In horrified disbelief she watched the screen flash “Connection failed.” She took a step back and searched the silent, still forest. All I have to do is make it back up to the house. I can get the gun, get my car keys, call for help, get the hell out of here! Her quickened breath was visible as she headed uphill back toward the cabin, the drifts and her fear slowing her down. She couldn’t remember if the ammunition was still in the kitchen cabinet or if she’d moved it to— Something off to her right gave a soft, deep growl . . .
Taken Warriors of Hir Book Two Willow Danes Genre: Science Fiction Romance / Paranormal Erotica Publisher: Here Be Dragons Date of Publication: February 1, 2015 ISBN-10: 0692377735 ISBN-13: 978-0692377734 ASIN: B00T0VFO8S Number of pages: 271 Word Count: 69,000 Cover Artist: Steven James Catizone
Book Description: Hope MacGowan is a city girl but reeling from a break-up on top of a layoff has her determined to have a weekend away in the North Carolina mountains—even if all her friends have bailed at the last minute. Hope’s life is one big train-wreck and getting kidnapped by a tall, blond alien—even a gorgeous one—sure isn’t helping. R’har crossed the galaxy to seek a mate on this newly discovered world and this delicate redhaired female is everything he’s dreamed of—except happy to find herself mated to him. R’har knows in his heart he’s her true mate, even if he’s not human. But taking her doesn’t mean he can keep her and somehow he has to convince Hope to choose him before time runs out . . . Excerpt Taken:
Available at Amazon
Coldness snaked through Hope’s belly as Keri’s silence dragged on.
“Did you know?” Hope asked again. Her cell pressed hard to her ear, her heart in her throat as she waited for her friend’s answer, she had a sudden urge to open the car window and hurl the damned thing into the road before Keri could reply. “Did you know about Brian and Megan?” Through the phone she heard Keri sigh and Hope’s grip tightened on the steering wheel, the center diamond of her engagement ring sparkling in the sunlight. Parked in front of the diner where she was to pick up the rental’s keys, Hope blinked out at Brittle Bridge, North Carolina’s quaint Main Street. Outside her car, people strolled about on their Friday morning errands, enjoying the May sunshine and the sweet mountain air, chatting and laughing. Inside the car, Hope’s breath had the quick shallow pant of an animal caught in a trap. have.”
“Look,” Keri began, a little impatiently. “It wasn’t my job to tell you. Megan—Brian really—should
“You’re my friend. You went with me to look at venues, at wedding gowns. You bought a bridesmaid’s dress.” Hope’s throat tightened. “Megan bought a maid of honor dress!” “I didn’t actually buy the dress,” Keri mumbled. “I called the boutique after we left and asked them to cancel my order.” But that was back in March! “How long?” Hope asked, her voice high and tight. “How long has it been going on? How long have you known?” Keri sighed again. “I went to Gable’s with some people from work back in January and I saw Brian and Megan in a booth in the back and they were—It’s probably been going on longer though.” “January? But—” Hope began, her tone pleading now as if she could argue this away, as if to point out the faulty logic of it would cast a spell and make everything right again. “But we got engaged on Valentine’s Day! He asked me to marry him on Valentine’s Day. If he and Megan were—” Her eyes stung. “He broke our engagement by text, you know. He sent me a text today to tell me that he and Megan were together and how very, very sorry he was. Megan texted to say she’s sorry too—Oh, and since she’s not coming for the weekend she’s not going to pay her third for the rental.” “Oh, that is shitty,” Keri said. Shitty as letting me plan a wedding when you knew all along Megan was fucking my fiancé?
But the great burden of red hair was everyone expected you to have a bad temper and a sharp tongue. Hope had spent most of her twenty-seven years showing the world how even-keeled she was, how she could handle anything with a cool head, not raging or weeping even in the face of heartbreak and grief, not letting anyone know how bad she hurt. Those walls went up when she was eight and were so thick now that nothing—not the death of her parents, not the humiliation of her fiancé screwing her maid of honor—was going to bring them down. “Yeah, it is,” Hope said instead. “So when were you going to get around to telling me that you aren’t coming for the weekend either?” “Look, I just thought if you and Megan were alone—maybe the truth would finally come out. Being with the two of you and pretending I didn’t know sucked.”
“Wow.” Hope nodded even though Keri couldn’t see her. Even a determined redhead had her limits. “That must have been really rough on you.” Keri went silent again. ing.”
Hope put her hand over her eyes, blocking out the cheerful spring sunlight. “I lost my job this morn“What?” Keri sounded startled for the first time during their conversation.
“They made the announcement today. They sold the company to the Hindle Group last week and they had one too many graphic designers so they let me go. They made me drive all the way to Asheville to give me the news. My fiancé ends it in a text but my company had to tell me in person.” “Jesus . . .” “They gave me three months’ severance. And they shook my hand too. Apparently someone in the D.C. office did me the favor of clearing out my stuff while I was driving to Asheville yesterday so I’m all packed up. They’ll have everything delivered to my apartment by the end of the day.” “So you’re driving back to D.C. tonight?” “What for?” Hope asked bleakly. “Brian and Megan are at his place, making the most of the romantic curtained bed I bought. I don’t have work on Monday. No fiancé, no best friend, no job. My apartment lease is up in ten days and now I won’t be moving in with Brian. Maybe I’ll just move up here to the mountains. Take up wood crafting or something.”
“Call me when you get back,” Keri urged. “I’ll take you out and get you drunk. We’ll find you someone “No. I’m cursed.” Hope shut her eyes. “No one on the planet has worse luck with men than I do.” Keri was smart enough not to argue that point. “I really am sorry.” “Yeah, me too,” Hope said and hung up.
She turned off the car and sat there, the cell cradled in her lap. The invitations hadn’t gone out yet so she didn’t need to work through the guest list; with her parents both dead and no siblings there was no one left to call. No one at all.
Stolen Warriors of Hir Book Three Willow Danes
Genre: Science Fiction Romance /
Publisher: Here Be Dragons
Date of Publication: July 28, 2015
ISBN-10: 0692500820 ISBN-13: 978-0692500828 ASIN: B012UW5YKG
Number of pages: 265
Word Count: 68,000
Cover Artist: Steven James Catizone
Book Trailer: Book Description: Kidnapped from Earth by an alien warrior when she visits her uncle, Summer Mills is terrified she will never be able to return home. Her alien captors are using human females as breeding stock and her only chance to return to Earth is Ke’lar, the one Hir warrior willing to stand between her and his own kind.
Returning this human female home won’t be easy and Ke’lar knows by this act of defiance he is throwing his own chances at a lifemate away. Both his family’s enemies and his own clan have pledged to reclaim the woman he has stolen, the only woman he will ever love . . .
Available at Amazon
The alien warrior, naked beside her, gave a soft snore, his thickly muscled arm thrown over Summer, keeping her close as he slumbered. When he had first captured her on Earth, she had only seen beast—his full mouth, his gleaming fangs, his inhuman ridged forehead and heavy brow. Now, lying beside him, his bare tan skin smooth and warm against her own, his eerie glowing amber eyes shut, she knew how very intelligent he was, this wild creature who had brought her to his planet. He, like all the males of his kind—the g’hir—was tall, powerfully built, fast as quicksilver. Summer wet her lips. She could see the movement of his eyes behind his lids. Dreaming.
She’d never get a better chance. Escaping a seven-foot-tall alien warrior who’s claimed you as his mate and taken you halfway across the galaxy is impossible. But when it’s your only chance in hell of ever seeing home again, you just tell “impossible” to fuck off. Six days after her abduction, her heart hammering so hard she feared the sound of it would wake the warrior at her side, Summer eased out from under his heavily muscled arm and slid from his bed. He stirred, reaching for her. She froze, crouching beside the bed, praying his vibrant eyes stayed shut, his face slack with slumber. His long, silky, red-brown hair was spread across the white pillow, his swarthy coloring a stark contrast to her own pale complexion. When she’d first awoken to find herself captive on his ship he’d looked her over with his unnervingly brilliant alien gaze. He’d taken a lock of her pale blond hair between his large fingers, frowned at her skin, and asked if such pallor in a human meant she was sickly. Trembling before the huge warrior, thinking he’d kill her if he thought her ill, not even understanding how she was processing those growls of his as language—Summer swore she was completely healthy. He’d given a satisfied fanged smile; pleased, she knew now, that she’d be able to produce the robust, healthy offspring he wanted. The warrior—Ar’ar—gave another soft snore and Summer straightened to standing. Clad only in a whisper-thin nightgown, the polished tiles cold under her feet, she padded silently through his luxurious quarters. Sweet spring air drifted through the open balcony doors, the fine silk curtains fluttering in the breeze as she passed them. The balcony of Ar’ar’s rooms—the opulent living quarters of a clanfather’s heir—overlooked his family’s vast holdings, and the three moons of his world—Hir—lit her way. The wind stirred her long hair, momentarily blocking her vision, and impatiently Summer tucked the bright strands behind her ears to keep them out of her eyes. She had one chance at this. If they caught her she’d be watched constantly no matter what concessions Ar’ar—her new alien “mate”—made to his female’s pleas. He was confident enough, and proud enough, that he had dismissed the honor guards his father, Mirak, tried to attach to her. Ar’ar gave a huffing, indulgent laugh as he’d waved them off at her request. After all, compared to him, Summer, even at five foot nine, was just a slip of thing.
A weak, harmless, helpless human female . . .
Using the building to help her balance, she climbed up to stand on the balcony’s wall.
Eight stories above the ground of an alien world. Summer swallowed hard. There was a reason she always insisted on having a room on the first floor of a hotel. Just glancing out the glass-wall window of her high-rise office back home left her woozy. But there was only one way out into the hallway—and ultimately to Earth—that wouldn’t wake the glowing-eyed fanged warrior snoozing back there. She had to get from these quarters over to the unoccupied rooms beside them. That door she could open without fear of waking him, then get the hell out of this monstrously large building they called a clanhall and run for freedom. It wasn’t even very far over. Twelve feet, maybe. All she had to do was get to the next balcony. Never mind that the only way there was a small decorative outcropping on the side of the building barely as wide as her foot . . .
About the Author: Willow Danes is the pen name of author Ariel MacArran, creator of the Tellaran Series. She is an Amazon bestselling author, currently at work on book four of the Tellaran Series, The Princess. www.willowdanes.com
The Lovers in the Tarot by Alayna Williams I use Tarot cards a good deal in my writing, to give me ideas about creating characters and develop plot points. Sometimes, I pick cards on purpose that catch my eye, but more often, I deal them out at random. I let my imagination roam over the pictures to generate situations and connections. One of the cards that captures many peoples’ imagination is the Lovers card. When I first glance at the card, I see a man and a woman standing under the sun, blessed by the archangel Gabriel. On the surface, it’s a card that gives one a warm fuzzy, as love so often does. It’s easy to assume that this card is all about romantic love and eternal bliss. But there’s much more to the Lovers than that, as there is in any relationship. When I look more closely at the card, I see a tree in flames behind the man, and the serpent coiling around the Biblical Tree of Knowledge behind the woman. The man and woman are also standing apart, as opposites. The traditional meaning of the card is that the querant is at a crossroads – a choice must be made between two alternatives. Duality is represented here: good and evil, knowledge and naivete…and harmonizing them. The card also reminds me of famous mythological couples, especially the story of Isis and Osiris. Isis and Osiris ruled Egypt as king and queen, overseeing a prosperous kingdom and happy subjects. Osiris’ brother, Set, was jealous of his brother’s power. Set lured Osiris into a coffin, nailed it shut with a host of co-conspirators, and sent the coffin floating down the Nile. When she heard of this, Isis flew away in search of her husband. Convinced that without proper burial, he would not be able to reach the Land of the Dead, she searched the river for the coffin. She succeeded in finding the coffin lodged in a cedar tree and took it with her. Isis hid it away in an isolated marshland as she prepared the proper rituals to allow Osiris to enter the Land of the Dead. But Set was not through. He discovered the coffin, tore it open, and dismembered the body. He scattered the pieces of Osiris’ body all over Egypt. The distraught Isis began to search for the pieces. She searched high and low until she had gathered them all and sang him back to life to receive the proper rituals. At this time, she conceived a child with him, Horus, the falcon-headed god that many of us associate with ancient Egypt. But Osiris was dead, and could not remain in the land of the living. He descended to the underworld to become King of the Dead. Though he and Isis were reunited, they were also separated by that bridge of life and death… …and this idea brings us back to the Lovers card, the union of opposites. Life and death are the ultimate opposites. And when we turn the card upside down to read its reversed meaning, it signifies division in a Tarot card reading. And that’s what love’s often about in a story…union and division. Love is never a smooth road. Even fairy tales and old myths have monsters and obstacles. The Lovers card reminds us, through the distance between the man and woman – whether we cast them as Isis and Osiris, Adam and Eve – standing apart from each other and reaching out.
Humor in Horror Hi there! My name is Merry Freer and I am the author of Special Levels of Earthly Hell. Horror is supposed to be scary, right? But does that mean it can’t be injected with a little humor here and there? Humor breaks the tension and it helps to build characters. A horror novel, or even a novel in the genres of paranormal and occult are a little more balanced and enjoyable when levity is utilized. I don’t write about vampires, werewolves, witches or other paranormal creatures, though I imagine such a creature could be drawn by the writer as more likeable by giving it a sense of humor. My creature is a demon, “The Beast,” and there is nothing funny about him. The humor in “Special Levels of Earthly Hell” is created by the earth-bound characters. How does any author bring humor into a horror story?
character from another.
My characters are based on real people. Their personalities are varied and, as in real life, humor is one way to differentiate one
For example, Adriana (The target of The Beast) has a very dry sense of humor. When using the herbs and spices she believes she needs in order to ward off The Beast, she comments: “Who knew you could find so many demon repellents in the spice aisle and produce section of Albertsons?” It’s not roll on the floor humor, but it provides a moment of amusement when dealing with a somber subject. When the protagonist, Drew, is having a conversation with Sweetie (his mother) about the color he and his wife have just painted the bedroom they are occupying in Sweetie’s home, Drew says: “It was pink! A man shouldn’t have to sleep in a pink bedroom!” Sweetie counters with: “It was not pink. It was ‘Sunday Brunch,’ a lovely, neutral shade of beige.”
Again, the humor is subtle. It helps to define Sweetie’s character as one you can count on for a smile – in her
phraseology, her reactions to events, and her naivety.
The takeaway here is that humor need not be avoided in a horror story. It’s a tension breaker and a character builder. Take advantage of its usefulness to your story.
A Desperate Battle with a Demon is Captured in this Novel Review by Jeanette Andromeda HorrorMade.com First off, a little personal back story on this one. I’ve pretty much overbooked myself with book reviews for this month (I know what my reading list is all the way into December at this point) and I knew reviewing Special Levels of Earthly Hell was going to be a challenge for me because I basically had a single day to read it. Which, I honestly could have planned for better, because I spent the entire weekend sketching up count-down to Halloween art. Oops. And I don’t skim books, especially when I’m reviewing them. I read every page, every word from cover to cover. How else could you possibly give a well informed and honest review? So, I stayed up until 3am or so reading this book followed by fevered dreams about the violence of the world afterwards. On to the Review! Special Levels of Earthly Hell by Merry Freer is the topic for the day. I’ll try to be succinct with the review of it, but I can tell you it will already be a challenge,(because I’m underslept and) because this book brings up so many deep questions.
Can demons exist outside of a cultural context?
How much can the human mind take before it breaks?
How much stress can a marriage take before it or the people in it break?
How do immigrants deal with losing their cultural identities when they move to America?
What is a family’s capacity for trauma?
Special Levels of Earthly Hell
Written by Merry Freer
Genre: Par anor mal, Occult, Horror, True crime Two sentence plot synopsis (because I tend to give too many details away…) Drew Collins has to fight off an evil energy that has begun to possess his wife before it destroys their family. But how do you fight a demon without a religious context?
Long Description (because I’m incorrigible) The book opens with us meeting Drew Collins, husband of the possessed Adriana and self-professed atheist struggling to deal with a demonic energy he calls “The Beast.” “The Beast” is spreading it’s evil influence though Adriana’s entire family, tearing them apart one mind at a time and culminating in bloodshed and murder. And we get to see step-by-step how it unravels everything it touches. This book is the tragic story of a family battling a non-corporeal evil in a very realistic way.
Thoughts It was the premise that captured my attention and convinced me that I needed to review this book, because I do not approach the world with a religious mind (although I was raised Roman Catholic). But I do believe there are evil things in the world science has yet to explain. And this book delved into those exact thoughts. It was the depth and breadth of this book entirely surprised me. It all starts in Mexico where we first meet Adriana and her family. Adriana is a beautiful, smart girl working her way up in the government when she’s swayed into contact with evil forces out of childish curiosity. It’s after that moment she meets Drew, an American visiting her town, that her plans for power slip into dreams of family and love. We see their whole relationship and the struggles Adriana and her sister’s face when emigrating to the US. And wrapped inside of this tale of cultural blending and isolation is this pulsing, hideous evil energy that is wrapping it clever net ever tighter around the family.
The Plot The plot and pacing of this book meandered through the life span of Drew and Adriana. Touching here and there, showing the slow build of tension and danger as the story progressed. It was a slow burn kind of book.
For me, it was a little too real. I got to know the characters as human beings and because of the incredibly tangible and realistic way this book is written, it broke my heart several times over. And what happens in their lives is tragic. I would tell you to read this book like you would an epic Greek tragedy. Be cerebral with your approach to this book, because to feel it’s depths is going to hurt. A lot. It left me with a lot to think about, and despite not being exactly my cup of tea, it is an incredibly well written book. So for the right readers it is a 5 out of 5 blood spattered star book. But dammit! That ending had me bawling my eyes out!
If you’re interested in reading the book you can find it on Amazon About the Author Merry Freer is an author of memoir and fact-based fiction. She is a native of San Diego, where she lives surrounded by a large, eclectic family and a treasured handful of truly close friends. While “Doctor, Doctor” is her debut novel, she has been a writer and editor for many years, including work with the San Diego Chargers and the San Diego Hall of Champions. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Journalism from San Diego State University and has been a featured speaker for classes dealing with medical ethics. Her controversial memoir, “Doctor, Doctor,” topped the Best Seller List in True Crime/White Collar Crime for 10 months and received a “Best Books of 2014” award from “Suspense Magazine.”
Beast The Untold Legend Shoshanna Evers Genre: M/F, Fairy Tale, PNR About the Book: Deflowering the princess may just save her life. Princess Justine found an unlikely ally when she stormed into the stables and found an angry, devastatingly handsome young man tending to her mare. Victor belonged to her soon-to-be Queen mother-in-law, and he had the whip marks on his muscled back to prove it. The Queen, an enchantress well-accomplished in the art of black magic, turns Victor into a creature like no other. He’s a ten foot tall beastly wall of muscle, animalistic sinew and savagery ready to unleash every primal urge coiled within him. At the Queen’s command, he kidnaps Justine on her wedding day to the prince — but refuses to kill her. Instead, he keeps her safe by turning her from a threat to the Queen’s power, into a ruined woman who will never ascend the throne. Now the Beast holds his princess captive in the woods, his focus on only one mission: deflower her and get her with child before the queen comes back to kill Justine herself. He wasn’t expecting Justine to see past his terrifying form and straight into his heart. Setting her free is no more of an option than keeping her. But as their tentative alliance forms, both Victor and Justine can’t help but wonder— what if being together is their chance for true love? Excerpt:
Available at ARe
"Beast," she said, trying to steady the tremble in her voice. "I have no quarrel with you, sir. Please don't hurt me." To her surprise, the beast dropped down on all fours to be closer to her, and shook his massive head. A lock from his dark mane fell over his blue-gray eyes, and Justine paused. It made no sense for him to remind her of... Victor.
Maybe it was just that feeling they inspired in her that drew the comparison in her mind. That feeling she got when she stood on the edge of a cliff and stared down, and wondered what it would feel like to jump if only she had wings to keep her from crashing. Staring at the beast now, he felt like both the cliff... and the wings. "I had no choice but to take you, Princess," he said, his voice gravelly and deep. "Do not run from me." The cadence of his low voice sounded familiar, but that didn't make sense. "You're not real," Justine said. "I fainted at my wedding and hit my head; I'm sure of it." The beast loomed over her, covering her with his body, so there would be no escape. "I am real." "Please, do not harm me, Beast, I beg you."
"I will not harm you," he said. "Look at me, Princess. *You know me.*" No. This wasn't real. "You are a figment of my imagination. There is no beast like you in nature. " His face was millimeters from her own. He pressed his cheek to hers, his rough whiskers prickling her own delicate skin. Goosebumps raised along her arms. If it were a dream, would she be feeling that? "I am real," he growled. "But you are right about one thing, Princess. I am not natural." "Please wake up," she shouted, hoping it would jolt her out of her nightmare. With a dangerous smile that bared his fangs, the beast gripped her arm. "This is no dream. Shall I pinch you, and prove it?" "Yes," she said, with a boldness she didn’t feel. This nightmare was going on too long— The beast raised one thick eyebrow... though the eyebrow blended in on his face, which was covered in smooth short hairs that did nothing to hide his strong jaw and high cheekbones. He picked her up off the ground, his large hands so human if not for the claws that adorned them. Yet they weren't paws. He definitely had fingers, holding her firmly under her buttocks. Each one sent a line of heat through her chilled flesh. The claws that had torn her gown earlier didn't touch her now. Had he... retracted them? Like a cat? With a groan that sounded too much like raw satisfaction for her sensibilities, he pinched a handful of the flesh on her bottom. The jolt of pain made her yelp in surprise. *Pinches in a dream shouldn’t hurt.* He dropped his mouth to her neck, his whiskers scratching her delicate skin, and nibbled her ear. It didn't hurt, despite his sharp fangs. He wasn't tasting her... he was toying with her. His tongue was soft sandpaper against her fragile skin, like a cat tongue. It tickled and made her restless, unable to keep still his arms. He pulled away from her ear to stare into her eyes. She couldn't look away as he growled softly and pinched each handful of her ass cheeks again, holding her flesh hostage even as she squirmed against him. *This is not a dream.*
"Stop!" she gasped, struggling to be free of his iron grip. Her attempts to move her bottom away from his hands only served to press her mound against torso. Quick as could be, the beast adjusted one hand to grab the junction of her thighs, forcing a moan from her mouth. "Am I real to you now, Justine?" He knew her name. He used her name as if he knew *her.* ~ About the Author: Shoshanna Evers, New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author, has written dozens of sexy stories since her debut in 2010, including Beauty and the Beast (an erotic re-imagining), The Man Who Holds the Whip, and I Am Not Your Melody, all of which hit the bestseller lists in box sets. Among her most popular books are The Tycoon’s Convenient Bride…and Baby, Overheated, The Enslaved Trilogy, How to Write Hot Sex, and the controversial novella Held Captive by the Cavemen. Shoshanna Evers has been listed on Amazon as one of the “Most Popular Authors in Romance,” as well as on the Contemporary Romance, and Erotica “Most Popular Authors” lists. Reviewers have called Shoshanna’s writing “fast paced, intense, and sexual…every naughty fantasy come to life for the reader” with stories where “the plot is fresh and the pacing excellent, the emotions…real and poignant.” Ms. Evers is also the cofounder of SelfPubBookCovers.com, the largest selection of instantly customizable, one-of-a-kind, premade book covers in the world. Shoshanna used to work as a syndicated advice columnist and a registered nurse, but now she’s a full-time smut writer and a home-schooling mom. She lives in the mountains of north Idaho with her family and three big dogs, and loves to connect with readers on Twitter @ShoshannaEvers, and Facebook at www.facebook.com/shoshanna.evers For more information on other books by Shoshanna, visit her official website: www.ShoshannaEvers.com
Between Him and a Hard Place Kelex Genre: M/M, Dystopian, Vampires, PNR About the Book: They survived catastrophe, but can they live on together? Archer survived the zombie virus that brought down the world by doing things he didn’t know he was capable of. When his traveling companion is murdered by dead ones, he knows his time has come. Seconds before he’s slaughtered, a combat vehicle crashes through the scene and a masked man saves the day—a man he feels inexplicably drawn to. Only the man isn’t a man, but a vampire. Syn is a tracker, sent out by his kind to find and protect the last of the humans and the precious blood in their veins. Archer isn’t like the others he’s found. He feels tied to the human in a way he can’t explain. The two come together explosively, both fighting the intense emotion they feel before running to escape their burning lust. Can they find a way back to one another?
Available at ARe Excerpt: Archer heard an engine rev out of nowhere, and a huge vehicle ran through the crowd of dead ones, mowing them down with ease. The passenger door was flung open before him. A masked man stared at him, hiding who his potential savior was. Or if he could trust whomever was behind it. “Get in!” a tinny voice cried out. Without much more consideration, as the inside of that truck was better than the death surrounding him, he jumped in. The man stepped on the gas before Archer could barely even attempt to slam the door closed, not that he could’ve had he wanted to. “Get the door shut and fast!” “I’m trying,” Archer screamed, stabbing his hunting knife into the head of a dead one clinging to the door. As soon as he kicked that one off, he jammed his knife into another, slamming the door on another set of decaying fingers and slicing them off. They fell in his lap, still wiggling. A dozen dead ones hung on to the hood of the truck, which was being spun from side to side, trying to fling the creatures off. Archer reached for a non-existent seatbelt and then held on for dear life. “Hold on to the wheel,” the guy screamed, rolling down his window.
The driver lifted a pistol as Archer grabbed the huge wheel and leaned out. One by one, he got the dead ones between the eyes, and they fell under the moving vehicle. Bouncing as they rumbled over the bodies, Archer tried to keep the thing on the road. He wasn’t even sure what it was. It was something between a truck and a tank, with an Army vibe. The tech surrounding the wheel was anything but Army-issued, though. Whatever it was, he’d never seen anything like it, and was more than happy to have seen it when he did. Finally, the driver dropped back into his seat, the dead ones gone from the hood. Just as he began to roll up his window, a hand reached in. Lightning quick, the guy sliced the hand off with a scary-looking blade, then proceeded to roll his window up. Archer leaned back into his seat and stared at the road ahead, stunned as hell he’d made it out alive. His heart continued to thump hard in his chest as he stared at the masked driver.
“Syn,” the guy said with that robotic-sounding voice. He held out his gloved hand. Archer really took in the guy’s appearance for the first time. He wore some weird gas mask-like thing with goggles. Here it was, the middle of the summer, and he was covered from head to toe in black leather, from his neck to his gloved fingers and shitkickers. “Syn’s short for Synclair,” the guy said again, still offering his hand. “As in my name. You’ve got one, right?” “Archer,” he answered, finally taking the extended hand. “I can’t thank you enough,” he added as he shook it. “No problem. I’ve been following you for weeks,” the masked man said, returning his hand to the wheel and looking ahead. “I’ve been just a day or so behind you for the last week. Good thing I caught up when I did.” Archer frowned, his hackles rising. “Why were you following me?” “I find humans to take to the Southern Citadel.” The Southern Citadel? “Wait, what?” “You haven’t heard of the Citadels?” he asked, glancing over at Archer. Archer shook his head. “There are three human cities. They’re walled and protected and already teeming with people. It’s my job to help find the last of the humans to take there so some sort of civilization can start again.” Human cities? Walled and protected? It sounded too good to be true. And he’d learned anything that sounded too good to be true likely was. Even with his doubt, only one question truly came to mind. “You guys got food and water there?” The masked man chuckled. “All you could ever want.” “Then what are we waiting on?” Archer knew he might be walking into a trap, but the promise of hot food and a hot shower was too good to ignore. He was running on empty. He needed to regroup.
He glanced at the man driving, again wondering about the weird get-up, but weird was now the norm in
their fucked up world.
About the Author: Kelex is a bestselling gay erotica author, writing contemporary to fantasy to sci-fi and everything between. Living in the south, Kelex swelters at the laptop, writing spicy tales to the sound of soulful jazz music in the background. For more information on Kelex’s books, please visit http://kelexerotica.blogspot.com/
Bounty’s Flame Lia Davis Genre: M/F, Shifters, PNR About the Book: His claim on the Phoenix and her host will finally unite them…or destroy them all. Amelia Carter has one goal: to stay alive and keep the Phoenix within from falling victim to the evil that has kept them on the run for the past year. With the Phoenix’s power of sight, they are able to stay one step ahead, until Caleb Reed catches up with them, sparking desires beyond her wildest fantasies. A shapeshifting hellhound and paranormal bounty hunter, Caleb finally ends his century-long search for his runaway mate. When he discovers his charge is the Phoenix who fled his bed over a hundred years ago, he turns the tables on the crime lord who seeks to capture her for her powers. Keeping his mate safe becomes his priority, because he won’t fail her again.
Available at ARe Excerpt: Amelia never knew if she was stuck in a dream or one of the Phoenix’s visions. Nor did she care as long as she got to see the sexy, dark demon that brought her pleasure beyond anything she’d ever experienced. The scene was the same. A dimly lit room with a large-ass bed dressed in black satin sheets, taking up most of the space. Straight out of an erotic romance novel, right down to the hero, who stood beside the bed, waiting for her. Dark hair framed a masculine face. Even though she couldn’t see his eyes, she knew they watched her. She felt it like a physical touch. Sexual heat rolled off of him in thick waves. She found it impossible to turn away, not that she could anyway. He captivated her.
“Come here, Nix.” She shivered at his soft, husky command. The one thing Amelia didn’t understand was the nickname. The man—no, demon—had always called her that. Or was it the Phoenix’s nickname? The bird within her wouldn’t talk about it, and she remained silent while they’d relived the erotic dream over and over for the past couple of months. As if she had no control over her body, Amelia walked farther into the room, not stopping until she reached the bed. Then she climbed onto it and kneeled, facing him. Leaning into her, the demon smiled before reaching out to stroke her cheek. A soft moan escaped her. Electrifying energy flowed between them, sending tingles skittering all over her. When his lips touched hers, she melted. A sense of belonging and security filled her. With this male, no one would ever hurt her. She knew that down to the bone. The internal flame that belonged to the Phoenix raced through her veins. The male hissed out a groan and pressed his hard cock into her thigh. Her pussy ached for his touch. Gripping his large shoulders, she scored his skin with her nails and moved her hips against him. No matter how many times she’d lived the dream-memory-vision, the intense spark of heat and raw passion ignited like it was their first time. He broke the kiss and trailed his lips along her jaw to her neck. Sucking in a breath, she whimpered when he bit down gently on the sensitive part of her throat. Damn, he was going to kill her with the teasing.
One rough hand slid down her side, which was bare to him. She didn’t remember undressing. Then again, she never did. It’s just a dream. Go with it. A squeeze of her hip jerked her attention to his features. His dark brown gaze held hers. A flash of silver rippled through his irises right before a primal growl rumbled from his chest. Wolf was the first word that came to mind, but that didn’t seem correct. “What kind of demon are you?” He didn’t answer. He never did. It was as if he couldn’t hear her. Was it even her dream? But there was no doubt it was her body he pleasured.
Gliding his hand across her belly, he captured her mouth in another hard, demanding kiss. His tongue dipped inside, searching for hers. Just as their tongues twined, he slipped two fingers inside her. Desire burst within her and built with each thrust of his fingers, pushing her over the edge. “We have to go! Amelia! Wake up!” About the Author: Lia Davis ventured into the world of writing and publishing in 2008 and never looked back. She has published more than twenty books, including the bestselling A Tiger’s Claim, book one in her fan favorite Ashwood Falls series. Her novels feature compassionate yet strong alpha heroes who know how to please their women and her leading ladies are each strong in their own way. No matter what obstacle she throws at them, they come out better in the end. While writing was initially a way escape from real world drama, Lia now makes her living creating worlds filled with magic, mystery, romance, and adventure so that others can leave real life behind for a few hours at a time. Lia’s favorite things are spending time with family, traveling, reading, writing, chocolate, coffee, nature and hanging out with her kitties. She and her family live in Northeast Florida battling hurricanes and very humid summers, but it’s her home and she loves it! Sign up for her newsletter, become a member of her fan club, and follow her on Twitter @NovelsByLia For more information on other books by Lia, visit her official website: www.authorliadavis.com
Evermore The Dragon Wars Book Four Rebecca Royce
Genre: M/F, Werewolves, Shifters< PNR
About the Book: How is love possible when all is lost? Werewolf Homer Prinze wants nothing more than to complete his assignment and get out of the wasteland that is the city. The dragons have destroyed everything, but a cry catches his attention. Before he knows it, he has met his mate. She needs his help and he is going to give it to her. Camille is no one’s idea of great mate. Pregnant and alone, she is scarred and not looking for a companion in the hard world in which she lives. But when Homer needs her, she will risk everything to bring him home. Available at ARe Excerpt: Homer Prinze prowled through the crowd, counting the seconds until he could leave the putrid stink of the city. One year since the end of the Dragon Wars— the battle that had raged between werewolves and dragons for over seventeen years and caused nothing short of total destruction in the end—and the reconvening survivors of the war were arguably worse off than they’d been during the attacks. At least when they’d all been fighting a common enemy the werewolf population had been all on the same side. Postwar, the werewolf community all seemed to be turning their former dragon hatred on each other. They needed Alphas again. Pack life. A return to the thing which had at one time made them great. How the wolves could find their way again was beyond his limited viewpoint. Homer had been a great secret soldier during the war and he was, he hoped, an excellent dominant pack mate since. Solving the world’s problems had to fall to someone else. He couldn’t get home fast enough. His Alpha, who had once been his commander during the war, Robbie Owens, honored him with the task of negotiating supplies. He was cognizant of the recognition it brought him within the pack. Only he hated coming to the city every time. Gods, the smell. He shook his head. As soon as he returned home, he was shifting and running the last two days off. Robbie usually handled the trips to the city himself. Entrusting Homer to make the run showed enormous confidence in him as a pack member, and Homer was not going to screw anything up. If only all these lost souls could find the small beacon of happiness he had with his newly formed pack. He shook his head. The Owenses had been good to him, given him a chance first as a soldier and now as a valued member of their group. The small beacon of paradise in the midst of all this hell… A cry caught his attention and he turned toward the sound. Why the one noise called out to him when so many didn’t he had no idea. But the small feminine agony in the midst of all the rest of it trapped his attention and wouldn’t let him move another step. The black market vendors he did business with were going to deliver the seeds to his hidden truck in two hours time. He had to see to whoever needed help. Waiting in the truck for his supplies to show up was out of the question. The hidden Alpha in him wouldn’t let him do anything else.
About the Author:
Rebecca Royce is the mother of three and married to her best friend. Moving from the NYC area to Austin, Texas, she is trying to eat her way through Texas barbecue. Anything can happen, believe that it will. For more information on other books by Rebecca, visit her website: www.rebeccaroyce.com
Gabriel From Grace Book One Kris Norris Genre: M/M, Angels and Demons, PNR About the Book: He asks for a demon and gets an angel. Awkward! Kei can’t believe his last ditch effort at stopping what could very well be the coming apocalypse has failed before it ever started. All because he messed up one spell. One awkward summoning. From the moment the angelic man looks up at him from the within the sigil inscribed on the ground, Kei knows he’s in trouble. Blue eyes, smooth skin, and a body so perfect…it’s Heavenly. Getting involved with someone like that—no matter the physical pull—is nothing short of sinful. He just wished his soul cared enough to stay away. Becoming lovers is the least of their worries. Darkness is on the horizon, and if they can’t find a way to stop it before it takes hold, humanity won’t be the only thing that falls from grace. Available at ARe
Excerpt: “An angel?” Kei scrubbed a hand down his face as he tilted his head forward. “I summoned a fucking angel?” Fire licked across his skin, the tiny arcs flashing bright in the darkness. Anger fueled the flames, burning the yellow wisps into a deep crimson. Of all the bloody fuck ups... Kei crossed the cemetery, stopping just shy of the symbol he’d inscribed on the ground. Black ash coated the parched dirt, traces of blood baked into the grooves scored on the land. He stared at the man crouched within the circle, muscles straining, creamy skin gleaming in the moonlight. Crisp white feathers fluttered in the breeze, his wings still unfurled across his back. Sweat beaded the guy’s flesh, trailing down the strong curve of his spine. Summonings weren’t pleasurable for demons. For angels—they killed more often than they succeeded. Kei frowned. He’d cast a fire enchantment. Used more than a bit of his blood and all the damn power he could spare as payment. A desperate last effort to prolong his life, just long enough to hunt and kill the fallen bastard who’d cursed him to this fucking realm. The god damn human world. The one entity who could destroy this dimension and a dozen more like it if Kei didn’t end the war before it began. He’d expected a blood demon. A soulless vessel he could possess until he’d found his prey. Preserve what little strength he had left before the final battle. And he’d fucking deserved the creature. Fire enchantments were tricky. Risky. He would have gladly accepted death as a suitable recourse for a botched attempt. But he’d gotten every intonation and ancient pronunciation right. Had known the moment he’d finished, he’d been successful. And yet, he’d somehow summoned a fucking angel. Kei crossed his arms over his chest as he braced his feet a shoulder width apart. “Don’t suppose you’re really a blood demon in disguise?” The man’s ragged breathing filled the air, his head finally lifting enough to meet Kei’s gaze. Pain creased his forehead, his clear blue eyes wide with surprise. Kei shook his head, leaning his hip against a tombstone. “Guess that’s a no.” He held up his hand, hoping to stop the guy when he looked as if he was going to try to stand. “I wouldn’t do that just yet unless you like falling. Wouldn’t want to bruise that pretty-boy face of yours.” The angelic man glared at him, pushing to his feet before stumbling across the circle. He hit one of the stone crosses, the dull thud echoing through the graveyard. He sagged against the headstone, anger coloring his eyes. Kei tsked. “Can’t say I didn’t warn you.” “Silence, demon, before I strike you down for simply standing there.” Kei chuckled. “Yeah, you might find that whole smiting thing a bit difficult. Summonings tend to drain your life force. And I didn’t use near enough energy to fuel an angel.” He cocked his head to the side. “You got a name?” The man clenched his jaw, drawing himself up despite the ways his limbs shook from the strain. “I’m an angel, not stupid. Names are powerful.”
“Right. Because that’s really what I’d been hoping for. A self-righteous asshole with enough soul to fill this godforsaken cemetery. That was my plan all along.” He sighed. “The name’s Kei.” “I don’t care.” “Jackass it is.” The man sneered. “I won’t fall for your tricks.” About the Author: Kris Norris is a jack-of-all trades who’s constantly looking for her ever-elusive clone. A single mother and slave to chaos, Kris started writing some years back, and it took her a while to realize she wasn’t destined for the padded room, and that the voices chattering away inside her head were really other characters trying to take shape. (And since they weren’t telling her to conquer the human race, she went with it. Though she supposes if they had…insert evil laugh). Kris loves writing erotic novels. She loves heroines who kick butt, heroes who are larger than life, and sizzling love scenes that leave you feeling just a bit breathless. For more information on other books by Kris, visit her website: www.krisnorris.ca
How To Seduce A Gargoyle in 10 Days Saranna DeWylde Genre: M/F, Paranormal , PNR About the Book: Got gargoyle? Ginger Butterbean would like to, but she’s not sure how to go about it. Her
marriage of a hundred years has crumbled to dust and she’s worried her witchy bits might be so full of cobwebs, they’ve malfunctioned. She needs sexy gargoyle Slade Nightwing to remind her of what it means to be a witch and that love isn’t just a fairytale. Available at ARe Excerpt: Ginger Butterbean had made a total ass out of herself at Midnight Cherrywood’s bachelorette tea. She’d been raised in a time when witches didn’t behave the way she had. If her mother were alive, she’d have zapped her wrists with magick lightning the same as she had when Ginger was a witchling and used her magick inappropriately. She sighed and decided that warlock society could damn well give her a break. Her marriage of one hundred years was circling the bowl, and a witch was entitled to act a little...crazy. The little voice in her head reminded her that was really no excuse. Witches of good breeding didn’t behave this way. Witches of good breeding looked the other way when their husbands cheated on them. Even if it was with Aloe Hugginfroth—slag extraordinaire. Just thinking the other witch’s name made her hands tighten into claws and her nails dig into her palms. Logically, she knew that she couldn’t only blame Aloe. Gavin had his part in it. If she were honest with herself, she couldn’t blame Aloe at all. It wasn’t her place to police Ginger’s husband. It wasn’t Ginger’s, either. Gavin had cheated. If she could stop rage-flailing, she could even see why he cheated. If he’d just left her, it would’ve still stung her pride, and it might have hurt her heart just a little bit. Their marriage had been over for a long time. It was the public humiliation that made her so angry. She’d spent her life being the perfect society witch, and this was what she’d earned for her trouble? She’d only added fuel to the fire at Middy Cherrywood’s bridal tea by being such a bitch, and she’d practically—no, not practically—actually fellated the little novelty cock straws that the gargoyle entertainment had been handing out. Ginger blushed after the fact. She’d been lusting after them, but she’d denied their countrymen one of their main sources of support when she’d taken Gavin’s name off of her bank account. He was a big supporter of the Gargoyle Ball, a huge charity event that helped support post-war rebuilding. It fed hatchlings, provided medical care... She was such an asshole.
There was no excuse for her behavior.
She’d gotten her revenge on Gavin. Publicly humiliating him, but it didn’t make her feel any better. She didn’t know anything that would. Ginger knew that was a lie. There was one thing that would make her feel better. She hadn’t been touched like a flesh and blood witch in over twenty years. She wanted someone to pull her hair, fuck her hard, and tell her she was beautiful. She didn’t think that was too tall an order. Her witchy bits were probably so dried out they were like a condemned building.
Everything would come crashing down at the first touch. Ginger wished she was as bold as Aradia Shadowins. She’d taken a gargoyle lover and didn’t give a flying newt’s ass what anyone thought about it. Ginger could admit that he was a delicious specimen of masculinity. But it was his brother who’d captured her attention. Slade Nightwing. About the Author:
Saranna DeWylde has always been fascinated by things better left in the dark. She wrote her first story after watching The Exorcist at a slumber party. Since then, she’s published horror, romance and narrative nonfiction. Like all writers, Saranna has held a variety of jobs, from operations supervisor for an airline, to an assistant for a call girl, to a corrections officer. But like Hemingway said, “Once writing has become your major vice and greatest pleasure, only death can stop it.” So she traded in her cuffs for a full-time keyboard. She loves to hear from her readers. For more information on other books by Saranna, visit her website: www.sarannadewylde.com
Shadows in Savannah Lissa Matthews
Genre: M/M, Vampires, PNR About the Book Is the prospect of love worth dying for? Vampires exist, and travel through space and time. Immortal, beautiful creatures. Neither dead, nor living. Dane has no memory of being human. He only remembers waking after being unwillingly turned. He is left with a parchment with one single line written upon it: his human birthday. For this one day a year, he can live and die as a human. He is ready. It is time. 126 years after becoming a vampire, he is ready to die. When he meets Jorge, with his dark good looks and brilliant blue eyes, Dane reconsiders his choice. Can he take back the life that was stolen from him by dying? Or can he make a life with a soulmate he never imagined having?
Available at ARe Excerpt: There was an unusual chill in the early evening air for Savannah in October. It wasn’t quite midmonth, yet. Dane could feel it, even with his...condition. He smiled, a wry twist to his lips. His condition. Right. That’s what it was. Like something he could wake up from one day. Only he never woke up from it. It was there, this nightmare he called living, this never ending existence. He was neither dead, nor alive. He survived on blood and very rare cooked meats. He had money, more than he knew what to do with, more than he could spend in three lifetimes. He could walk in the evenings and in the pre-dawn hours. He could even be out in midday, so long as he never stepped foot in direct sunlight. And with the advances in science, he could appear to have a light tan with a regular application of self-tanning lotion. He wasn’t like the fabled and fictional vampires in books and movies. Well, not entirely. He could feel, taste, smell, though most things felt odd against his fingertips, tasted bitter or overly sweet on his tongue, smelled like...? He didn’t have a word to describe the smells. Neither acrid nor lovely. Things just...smelled. A burst of raucous laughter reached his ears and he turned from where he stood against the edge of the walkway, mere feet above the water. His restaurant and pub was in fine form tonight. It was one of several businesses he owned under a parent corporation he’d formed some years ago. Everyone was owned by someone else, so it didn’t look odd to anyone that his corporation owned a bar, a hotel, and a bookstore. There were several other small companies he owned or invested in, but those first three were
his money makers.
The bookstore had been a surprise. He loved to read, especially historical thrillers, Victorian erotica, and letters from soldiers who’d died on battlefields. He hadn’t expected the place to make any money, but then he hadn’t counted on the number of people who loved the same type books he did. He also had a section from local Savannah families who’d loaned parts of their personal libraries out to him for display. They were much like museum pieces. Priceless, fragile, exquisite. The bookstore was where he spent the majority of his time, talking of books and places he’d traveled, showing off the volumes he brought back from various parts of the world. The bookstore was his passion. It was the only thing he had that kept him from taking the step that was closing in on him once more. Death. His human birthday was the one day a year he and all other turned vampires became fully human. They could do anything any other flesh and blood and beating heart person could do. Even die. Oh, he could die any other time, as well. All he had to do was walk into a stream of midday sunlight and the life force which held him together would disintegrate and he’d be nothing more than vapor. He wouldn’t sizzle and burn. He’d been told he’d barely feel a thing. Whether that was true or not, he didn’t know. But he was tired, felt as though his soul, what was left of it, was stretched thin and to the point of completely unraveling. Vampires could go mad and there were days, hours, where he thought he just might. Then, he’d lose himself in a book and the feeling would pass, calm would settle in, and he’d be all right. Those times were passing more quickly than they used to and something told him the end was near. Vampires were immortal, but those made against their will felt the call of death in ways those who were made willingly, never did. It was calling to him. About the Author Lissa Matthews has many loves in her life: Family, friends, NASCAR, football, music of all kinds, cooking, BDSM, and last, but not least, coffee. She loves it so much she and those who know her are surprised she hasn’t floated away on a caffeine-induced cloud while giving life to feisty heroines and hunky heroes. Lissa’s love of romance came from every book she has ever picked up. No matter what she read, she fell in love with the written word. The promise of escape, the deep, intriguing characters, and the winding journey from beginning to end, constantly drew her into bookstores and libraries as she was growing up. Her first stories were written in junior high and she kept it up through college. She would stay up late at night when her kids were little reading romance and still penning her own stories. In 2007, when she and her family moved to North Carolina from Florida, she began pursuing writing as a profession and she couldn’t imagine doing anything else… Well, except maybe writing in her own cupcake bakery/coffee shop. But that dream is a ways down the road… Lucky for Lissa, she believes in dreams coming true. Lissa is married with two children and seven, yes, seven cats. She blames her oldest child for the cats. For more information on other books by Lissa, visit her website: www.lissamatthews.com
Single Wicked Wolf Wolves of Willow Bend Heather Long
Genre: M/F, Werewolves, PNR
About the Book: He’s single, wicked, and a perfect pretend boyfriend…but exactly who is she fooling? Murphy DeWitt enjoyed two years touring American consulates in Europe as an assistant to a diplomatic attaché. It was a dream come true, and a hell of a learning experience. A master of languages, she knows how to get her point across. Romance, however, proves to be a tongue twister. Now en route to Willow Bend for a friend’s wedding—without the make-believe boyfriend she created for her family—she debates how to confess her deception. Luckily, her flight includes a fantastically hot wolf that leaves her breathless and contemplating all kinds of naughty things. Giovanni Conti thrives on protecting others. As a Centurion for the Seven Hills pack in Italy, it’s his pleasure to serve his Alpha wherever he is needed. Dispatched ahead in preparation for the Alpha pair’s trip to Willow Bend, he has no problem entertaining the sexy wolf he encounters in the airport. The last thing the playboy wolf expects, however, is to find in Murphy the most captivating chase of his life… Available at ARe Excerpt:
“I’m in Rome, Mom,” Murphy repeated the information for the third time. The connection sucked, but she’d promised to let her family know prior to boarding the flight taking her back to the United States. After two years of hopping all over Europe, she was actually ready for a good old fashioned burger and beer with her friends. If it were warm enough, maybe they could have a picnic by the old swimming hole and catch up. Navigating through the crowded corridors, she avoided being run over by businessmen hurrying, tourists gawking, and mothers herding. She’d already checked her suitcase, but kept her go bag with her. After visiting more than sixty U.S. missions and consulates throughout Europe, she was heading home to Willow Bend. The roaming had been fantastic for her, a dream come true. The idea of returning home— returning to her pack—made her wolf heart sing. “Rome,” she said again when her mother’s voice crackled. “I thought your last assignment was in Zurich.” Switzerland was an appropriate place to finish her European tour. Serving as a translator for an assistant attaché may have landed her in boring meeting after boring meeting, but it had also taken her to a wide variety of cities. A once in a lifetime opportunity, especially as not all packs welcomed foreigners in their territory. Thankfully, most had given her a pass for a day or two with freedom to leave the consulates or embassies. Only three times had she received a text from either her Alpha Mason or his second, A.J. advising her to stay with the detail in the host city or on the embassy grounds. Some packs killed and asked questions later. She’d been turned when she was eighteen and at twenty-seven, she’d had nine years of being a wolf. Even after two years of limited shifting because of location and observation, she’d become more comfortable with her wolf. Still, she avoided fights—and she dodged another cluster of people. The airport made her crazy. She had to cross the entire length of it to get to her connecting flight to the U.S.
“I was, Mom,” she told her, weaving to avoid students from Japan who streamed past in organized fashion. Part of the reason she’d taken the job was when she’d asked Toman for the bite, she’d had to forgo a year of foreign studies. Her wolf rubbed against the inside of her skin. Yes, totally worth it. “Now I’m in Rome, I’ll be boarding my flight in fifteen and I’ll be home sometime tomorrow…and no, before you ask, don’t send anyone to pick me up. I’m going to rent a car.” “You’re sure?” Alison DeWitt was the perfect mom. She baked cookies, attended all extracurricular functions, encouraged her and didn’t hover. But she always had to confirm everything. “The wedding is in three days, two after you get here, and I thought we could meet your young man before the wedding. It will be so crazy at the wedding.” Crap. “I’m sure—I see my gate. I need to go. I’ll see you soon. Love you.” Ending the call before her mother could add anything else probably earned her bad daughter karma, but she didn’t want to admit the mysterious boyfriend stories she’d entertained them with on and off for the last few months were complete and utter lies. Self-defense was her only excuse. After Shiloh and Matt announced their mating, Mom began dropping huge, nuclear bomb-sized hints about marriage or mating prospects for Murphy. The first fabrication had been to get her mother off the phone, and it sort of snowballed from there. Not one to lie to her parents, she’d come right to them at fifteen and confessed her desire to be a wolf. Her human parents were a part of the Willow Bend pack, and all of her siblings were human, too. Her aunt and uncle, and by extension her cousins, however, were wolves. Her aunt had taken the bite, and her children had been born wolves. Murphy wanted to be like them.
No one in her family tried to talk her out of it. Her stomach rumbled, so Murphy diverted into a gift shop. Bottle of water, one pre-packaged turkey sandwich, and some chips in hand, she dropped the food into her duffle bag after paying for it. Returning to the concourse, she blew out a breath. No, no one tried to talk her out of her desire to become a wolf. No one pushed her to be anything other than what she was—and her mom talked to every wolf family, including her sister, and they all took Murphy under their wings. Eyes watering, she held her breath at the cloud of Chanel and sweat floating past her. Contrary to what most women thought, bathing in their perfume did not cover the lack of a shower. Learning to ignore her nose took practice, and the airport was a great place to remember not to suck in the scent of everyone in her path. A glance at her phone told her she had another forty minutes till her plane boarded, which was good. She would have time to eat and pee without going into the nasty little onboard bathroom. Plan firm, she found an opening amongst the passengers hurrying along. Carry-on in hand, she heard a mother call out to her child in French. The snap in the mother’s tone jerked her attention more than the words. Homesickness swamped her all at once and tears filled her eyes. It had been so long since she’d seen her mother, save for the occasional Skype call, or been around the pack. The longing left her aching. Distracted, she didn’t slow until she slammed into the hard bodied male and bounced off him. All the air whooshed out of her, and her chest actually hurt from the blow. If not for his hands on her arms steadying her, she would have landed on her ass. Embarrassing enough to slam into someone, worse to fall. Tilting her head, she met the deep brown eyes glinting with concern and humor. The sexy brown eyes matched the sexy, rugged features. Very Italian. Very hot. Her nostrils flared and her heart clenched.
Oh. Crap. Very wolf. ~ About the Author Heather Long likes long walks in the park, science fiction, superheroes, Marines, and men who aren’t douche bags. Her books are filled with heroes and heroines tangled in romance as hot as Texas summertime. From paranormal historical westerns to contemporary military romance, Heather might switch genres, but one thing is true in all of her stories—her characters drive the books. When she’s not wrangling her menagerie of animals, she devotes her time to family and friends she considers family. She believes if you like your heroes so real you could lick the grit off their chest, and your heroines so likable, you’re sure you’ve been friends with women just like them, you’ll enjoy her worlds as much as she does. Sign up for Heather’s newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/iKxQ5 For more information on other books by Heather, visit her website: www.heatherlong.net
Something Wicked This Way Comes Jenika Snow
Genre: M/F, Werewolves, Vampires, PNR About the Book Being wicked never felt so good. Born from hate and violence, Lathan knows all too well what darkness feels like. He’s centuries old, and an abomination to the supernatural world. With a vampire father who forcibly took Lathan’s werewolf mother as his own, Lathan’s hybrid genetics make him feared by all. Abbi has no one, nothing of importance in her life, but that doesn’t stop her from living. When Lathan feeds on her and tries to use compulsion to make her forget, she realizes he isn’t just a vampire, but something altogether different. He’s also her mate. Can Abbi accept Lathan for who and what he is? Can she allow herself to be mated to a man who is half vampire and half werewolf, one feared amongst human and immortal alike? She knows he won’t stop until he has her. Available at ARe Excerpt: Lathan was born of this world in blood, hatred…violence. He took his first breath with his mother’s arms around him, her tears of sadness, hurt, disgust, filling him. It was the only world, the only emotions he’d ever known. And it was that memory, even as he lay there vulnerable—unable to speak, barely able to breathe—that he watched his mother pass. It was a curse being able to remember every single memory of his life, a “gift” because of his hybrid breed, his dual species genetics. He stood in the shadows, his hunger insatiable. He watched the humans, knew their blood—the sustenance that gave him life, gave him strength and power—was also the same viscous fluid that disgusted him.
He was half vampire, half werewolf, a demon among his kind, an abomination because of the two bloodlines running through his veins and of how he came into this world. His werewolf mother was kidnapped and raped by his vampire father, a male that claimed she was his mate. But Lathan’s father hadn’t cared about anyone but himself. He’d defiled the one woman that was claimed to be his mate, took her from Lathan because he was a selfish bastard. It was because of his father he didn’t have a memory that wasn’t tainted with violence and degradation. It was because of his father, Karloff, that Lathan couldn’t show his face in the paranormal community without fear and disgust following him, because everyone knew who he was. The stench of his father’s blood ran through his veins, tainting him, marking him as evil. Karloff’s reputation was by far the most sinister of their kind, was tainted with the horror of the life he himself led, and of the lives he took. Maybe Lathan should have had more empathy for the man that sired him, the man that forced his seed upon Lathan’s unwilling mother. But the truth was after three hundred years of living in this world alone, Lathan had no empathy for anyone or anything. He had no emotions, no expectations, or even hope that he’d find a mate, if one even existed. But he’d killed his father a century ago—ripped open his throat, bathed in his blood—sand knew that killing the man that had raped Lathan’s mother, took from her everything she knew and loved, was a small act of vengeance on his part. It wouldn’t solve anything, wouldn’t make anyone see him as anything more than a monster, but it made Lathan feel a little less dark inside. He moved back into the shadows even further when a young, beautiful, and unsuspecting woman started walking toward him. She was human, with long reddish brown hair, and eyes the color of the greenest emerald. She was slender, couldn’t be more than in her twenties, and the animal in him—the wolf, the demon he was—rose up. He wanted to taste her, wanted her blood to coat his tongue and move along the back of his throat. He’d never been this thirsty before. But it could be because he’d held off feeding for the last couple weeks, hating to taste the metallic flavor of the substance that gave him life. Lathan wanted her blood, wanted it covering his mouth and dripping down his chin. His vampire side felt the call of the blood, felt the power move through him, strengthening his muscles, making his body coil tight, ready to snatch her body to his, tilt her neck to the side, and expose the creamy expanse of her throat. And then she was right here, the wind picking up and blowing her hair around her shoulders, having her scent slam into him. His dick got hard, his claws emerged, and his fangs punched forward. He hadn’t been this excited, hadn’t been this aroused in his entire existence. ~ About the Author: Jenika Snow is a USA Today bestselling author, a mother, wife, and nurse. She lives in northeast with her husband and their two daughters. Jenika started writing at a very young age. Her first story consisted of a young girl who traveled to an exotic island and found a magical doll. That story as long since disappeared, but others have taken its place. She loves to hear from readers, and encourages them to contact her and give their feedback.
For more information on other books by Jenika, visit her website: www.jenikasnow.com
The Cure Sam Crescent
A Wicked Tale ARe Books Genre: M/F, Vampires, Werewolves, PNR About the Book: What will they decide when the two choices are the coward’s way out or certain death? When Sandra looks into the eyes of a killer, she believes her life is over. The Cure is chasing down wolves, witches, warlocks, and anyone who threatens their control of the world. Lucas has been watching Sandra for a year. She’s his mate, even though he’s a vampire and she is a wolf. He will do whatever it takes to protect her. With no choice but to accept Lucas as her mate, Sandra will do everything to fight The Cure that is destroying them. Can a mated vampire and wolf save the day? Or are their days of being mated numbered? Available at ARe Excerpt Sandra King ran through the forest terrified for her life. Her pack had just been ransacked by a scourge of vampires. She’d witnessed the murder of so many, along with several of her family. I shouldn’t be alive.
She had run while listening to most of her pack being destroyed. They had been killed, but who had been responsible for giving away their location? For as long as she could remember, and even according to all the history books, wolves and vampires had been at war with each other. She didn’t even know why, only that she had to hate them. During her twenty-five years she’d never once met a vampire, or even touched one. Tonight, that was all about to change. She kept on running, and when her lungs were about to burst, she had no choice but to lean against the nearest tree trunk trying to gather her senses. Her heart was pounding, and she couldn’t hear anything other than the howling of the wind. This is what made vampires so deadly. They didn’t have a heartbeat, or a scent to them, and this made them impossible to track. Some romance fiction talks of vampires and wolves having repulsive smells; it was a complete lie. Vampires didn’t have anything. They were evil to the core, disgusting in every single way. She’d just witnessed so many of them taking out her pack. A twig snapped in the distance, and Sandra turned toward the sound. Out of her whole pack she’d always been the slowest. Where a lot of wolves had naturally slender bodies, she didn’t. She’d always been plagued to be bigger than most of her pack. Her own mother had put her on a diet to try and get her to slim down so she could attract the right kind of man. There was no man for her, though. All of the guys had placed her in the friend column, or they had not cared for her. One day she hoped to find a man who would love her for her, and to start a family with him. She loved kids, and one day she would love to have many children call her mother, and love them.
Staring up at the sky, Sandra closed her eyes in the hope that whoever was out there didn’t find
When she opened her eyes again, she knew it was the biggest mistake she’d ever make. She’d let her guard down, and now she was staring into the scariest eyes she’d ever seen. His eyes were black, and reminded her a little of a shark just before it struck its prey. Her heart pounded and for several seconds neither of them did anything. Suddenly, he closed his eyes, and when she looked at him again his black eyes had changed to brown, and he looked almost human. She opened her mouth about to scream, and he sprung into action. He pressed his hand against her mouth, wrapping an arm around her waist, and tugged her close so that her back was to him. At first, she tried to fight but he was just too strong, keeping her locked into place.
“Don’t scream, baby. You scream, they all come running, and I won’t be able to protect you.” She was confused. He was the one who was trying to kill her. The man, whoever he was, wrapped his entire body around her, placing his hand over her heart. What the fuck was he doing? “Be still, be quiet, don’t make a sound,” he said, whispering the words against her ear. Sandra couldn’t believe the response he gained from her body. Heat spilled between her thighs, and she had to fight her own need to reach out and touch him.
The vampire behind her didn’t say anything. He didn’t respond even though he must have scented her arousal to their closeness. Couldn’t the ground just open up and swallow her? About the Author: Sam Crescent is a USA Today Bestselling author who is passionate about romance. She resides in the UK, and loves creating new exciting characters that take her on a journey she never expected. When she’s not panicking about a story or arguing with a character, she can be found in her kitchen creating all kinds of havoc. For more information on other books by Sam, visit her official website: www.SamCrescent.Wordpress.com
The Guardian of Blackbird Inn Kerry Adrienne
Genre: M/F, Horror/Suspense
About the Book:
Saving the inn might mean losing her life.
Sophia Yates travels to the famed and haunted Blackbird Inn to help its mysterious owner, Garren Am-
sel, research its history. The state wants to claim eminent domain and take the property, but the historical inn has been in Garren’s family for generations and he can’t bear to lose it. After learning the truth behind the inn’s biggest mystery, and why Garren stays, saving Blackbird Inn may cost Sophia her life. How far will she go to protect him? Available at ARe Excerpt: “Welcome to Blackbird Inn, Miss…” Sophia pushed her rain-soaked hair behind her ears and studied the tall man a moment before replying. He stared, probably at the frizz her red hair took on when wet. Either he hadn’t been expecting her, or he wasn’t used to guests at all. Being that this was a popular tourist inn, she assumed the former. With his good looks, he didn’t appear to be the desk clerk type, and he seemed really uncomfortable, picking at pages on the desk and fidgeting as he talked. A chill rolled through her and she stepped up to the small registration desk and stuck her hand out. “Sophia Yates. I’m here to help with the research. Oh, and I have a reservation.” “Ah, yes.” He grasped her hand and squeezed, his gaze lingering on hers a moment. Lightning flashed outside, illuminating him in blue and searing his image in her mind. Tall, dark, and mysterious didn’t even begin to cover it. Handsome was too common a word. The man was divine, his features aquiline and his hair jet black.
She licked her lips and pulled her hand from his, certain he’d felt her palms dampen. “And you?” She fidgeted with the handle of her wheeled suitcase, noting the trail of water she’d brought in with her. The storm hadn’t let up since her bumpy landing in Philly a few hours ago. Good thing the rental car had fog lights because the remote inn had been difficult to find, even after stopping for directions in the tiny town nearby. She looked back at the man behind the desk. Why wasn’t he answering? He smiled, the sort of crooked smile a man might give you before he tied you up and… “Garren.” Thunder boomed outside, and the vibration traveled through the inn, rattling the foyer windows. “Garren Amsel. I’m the owner of the inn, but you probably know that by my name.” He paused. “And I’m the desk clerk, occasionally.” He pushed his hair out of his eyes. She shivered. You’ve been reading too many scary stories. Driving through a thunderstorm to the rocky inn on the side of a mountain in remote Pennsylvania didn’t help. The place looked like something straight out of a horror movie, with its stone façade and overgrown hedges. A movie where the girl dies. “Nice to meet you.” I think. “Likewise. I hope we can get this issue taken care of quickly.” He shuffled a stack of papers then set them aside. “But I can see you’re cold, and probably exhausted from travel. Let me show you to a room. If you want some hot tea, I can have it brought up to you.” She nodded. Cold and tired explained her nervousness. That, and a day of traveling. Her unease had nothing to do with all the research she’d done about how Blackbird Inn was haunted, or about the disappearance of a young woman almost a hundred years ago. All stories to drive in business to the isolated inn, she was sure of it. She was here now on business, nothing more. Not to solve a mystery or be afraid
of a ghost.
It didn’t matter that Halloween was in two days. The only sign of decorating she’d seen was a pumpkin and haystack arrangement on the front lawn. The inn didn’t need anything added to be spooky. “Arturo Beck will be in tomorrow night.” She gazed around the small foyer, taking in the dark woodwork and high ceiling. “I hope we can find something useful before he gets here.” The inn was over a hundred-fifty years old, but seemed to have been well maintained. Ancient navy blue silk wallpaper lined the foyer, making it appear smaller than it actually was, and an antique clock rested against one wall. In the center of the tall ceiling, a chandelier draped in small crystals dangled on a lone cord. One bulb was out, and dust concealed the refraction of the prisms. “He told me you’d be here first.”
About the Author: Kerry loves history and spends large amounts of time wondering about people who lived and walked on Earth in the past. She’s a mom to three daughters, six cats, and various small animals. Her husband says she’s a marketer’s dream, as she often believes everything she hears—at least initially. Her shoe horde will attest to her fine shopping skills. Her new love is her Mini Cooper Convertible, Sheldon, and they have already gone on many adventures. Repped by the fabulous Marisa Corvisiero with the Corvisiero Literary Agency. http:// www.corvisieroagency.com/
Wicked Odd Virginia Nelson
Genre: M/F, Werewolves, PNR
About the Book Best way to tame a bad wolf? Be a little wicked yourself… Carmen finds it hard to trust—then again, her father went mad and had to be put down by her current Alpha. Carmen might hold a position of power within the pack, but part of her always wonders if they could turn on her as quickly as they did him. When she finds a man who she’s pretty sure the current Alpha failed on a lot of levels, she decides to take matters into her own hands and prove Dara isn’t as perfect of an Alpha as everyone thinks. Seth lost his mate, but he survived. He can’t stand to watch other wolves happily carrying on with their lives and mates after he’d failed to protect his own. Dara allows him his privacy and ensures that he survives, even if there are days when he wishes otherwise. When one headstrong and opinionated she-wolf decides she’s going to end the unique hell of his isolation, Seth has to make a choice… Kick her butt to the curb or answer the call to claim her. But can he dare claim another mate when he knows he failed once to be the man his mate needed? Available at ARe Excerpt: The stink of humans slathered in too much cologne and perfume competed with the smell of open beers and possible promiscuity in a cloud of inevitable shame—at least to Seth. He wasn’t sure why he still bothered to come down from his hill to visit the dance hall, but it was a ritual he practiced on one specific night of every year.
“Seth!” called Alex Jewel. “Good to see you, man.” Seth grunted and nodded as he passed over the cover charge. “’Sup, buddy?” “Not much. Haven’t seen you in ages. How the hell have you been?” With a shrug, Seth headed past him and down the hall that led to the bar and dance floor. The ritual must be completed exactly for him to feel satisfied, which meant one beer on the outside patio, one inside, then he could go home. Not that fulfilling the pattern actually made him feel any better at the end of the day. Still...
He ordered the first beer and headed outside with it. Few were out on the patio, but then again that was typical, too, for this time of year. Only the really dedicated smokers or secret lovers looking for a quiet dark spot would bother to brave the humid, still summer air—filled with tiny and annoying biting bugs—to sit outside. Watching a single large-wing katydid perched on the fence helped him pass the time. He ignored the humans with their clouds of smoke and lust. The katydid busily cleaned his wings while Seth sipped the beer. It wasn’t as cold as he preferred, and he never drank this brand any other time of the year, but that, too, was part of the tradition. Soon, his beer had been emptied and the katydid had flown to do whatever important insect tasks awaited him in the darkness.
Heading back inside, Seth caught the scent of a wolf and scanned the dance floor to see if he recognized whoever it might be. He pinpointed the direction of the aroma to be near the stage, which meant the smell must be coming from one of two women dancing near the speakers. He couldn’t help the half smile the sight brought him. One of the women wore silver leg braces, yet danced with carefree abandon and a smile. Her movements might be restricted by her obviously weak legs, yet her joy flowed as effervescent as anyone else’s in the room, if not more. Next to her dark haired beauty, her dance partner looked particularly mundane. The other woman had boy-short blonde hair and seemed just as happy. Something about the pair caught his wolf’s attention, but he wasn’t sure what other than the fact it was good to see an obviously crippled woman having a good time with a friend. Shrugging off the oddity, he moved to the bar to order the second ritual beer. Once he had it in hand, he headed for the small booth at the back of the dance hall as per routine. From there, however, he broke the pattern a bit. Instead of staring at the Elvis cut-out hanging on the wall below a clock with only fives—because it was always five o’clock somewhere—he watched the girls dancing. At one point, the blonde went and got them both drinks, so they backed away from the dance floor to cool off then went right back to dancing. His wolf stirred again, but he disregarded it. But then the blonde looked in his direction, a flash of yellow in her eyes. His wolf more than stirred at the glance, practically clawing him from the inside. Unsettled, he stood to leave. He’d finished the beer and therefore the dance hall portion of the ritual. At the door, someone caught his arm. “Hey, do I know you?”
About the Author: Virginia Nelson, USA Today bestselling author, likes knights in rusted and dinged up armor, heroes that snarl instead of croon, and heroines who can’t remember to say the right thing even with an author writing their dialogue. Her books are full of snark, sex, and random acts of ineptitude—not always in that order. For more information on other books by Virginia, visit her website: www.virg-nelson.com
Witch’s Concubine Cara Carnes Genre: M/F, Vampires, PNR About the Book Nothing stands between a cursed witch and her quarry. Macy Davenport has two weeks to purge the familial curse or she’ll suffer a sex-starved eternity. Finding a vampire strong enough to handle her rare dragon witch powers isn’t easy. But Doctor Death comes with a very high price and a string of complications. Prince Dmitri Siysky, aka Doctor Death, doesn’t have time for the fiery dragon witch, even if her carnal dilemma offers interesting compensation. There’s an underground slave ring selling vampires and he’s been sent the witches responsible. He expected trouble, but he never anticipated Macy. Available at ARe Excerpt: “This is crazy, even for you.” Macy Davenport merged into the left lane, her right palm pressed hard on the horn and her foot on the accelerator. People didn’t have respect for fast lanes anymore. “Sarah, this is the perfect solution to my problem.” “Honey, not him.” Sarah’s voice fell into a hushed whisper, as if the world would hear her speak his name from the darkened interior of Macy’s Ford Festiva. “Doctor Death isn’t for you.” “He has a name.” A shiver skittered down Macy’s spine. “I seriously doubt Dmitri Siysky appreciates that one.”
“That vampire deserves to burn. Did you hear what he did to poor Hilda?” “Hilda the Hag?” Macy shook her head. “Look, that vampire has slept with half of Seattle, and the only reason he’s in Imperial custody right now is because he refused to sleep with the other half—most of whom are in command. Everyone with half a spell in them knows his only crime is not playing the political game. Or, in his case, screwing Hilda.” “So you’d take her on to break him out?” “I’d dare her to take me on. Two more days of these powers simmering in me and I swear I’ll take out half of Seattle.” She shuddered. “Starting with Hilda the Hag’s den.”
Soap box stored for a later time, Macy dodged a white minivan and careened around a corner. Ten minutes before Imperial Station closed for the weekend. No way in hell was she suffering another night of debilitating arousal. “I’m fresh out of luck spells, Macy, and I have yet to find one for fixing bad driving. Please slow down.” Sarah gritted her teeth. “He’s not going anywhere.” Macy guffawed. Oh, he’d be going somewhere eventually. Every horny, cursed witch this side of the Mississippi had probably heard about the legendary Doctor Death being incarcerated. The charges were as trumped up as the wretched hex spurring Macy into desperation. “Look, I’m twenty nine for two more weeks. If I don’t purge the hex before the big three-zero strikes you might as well tie a bib around my neck and toss me in Witches Haven.” “Do not speak of that place,” Sarah gasped. “I would never, ever put you there. Only the most cursed witches are sent to that…that…that travesty.” Silence remained for a moment as the notion of Witches Haven brewed between them. They both knew the gut wrenching truth—Macy had to screw or she was screwed. “Look, it’s like this. I literally have nothing at all to lose at this point. The only way to purge the hex is to…” Macy turned her head and slammed on her brakes when the light blazed red. Damn. One more minute lost. “You know what I need.” “Yeah.” Sarah sighed. “I still don’t understand why this is your hex to carry.” “It’s the curse of ten thousand nights. My mom only suffered a thousand of them before she…” Okay, she wouldn’t dredge the river of trouble tonight. “Until the hex is gone I can’t marry, I can’t have kids. I can’t even let a male witch or mortal touch me. I’m left with the trolls who gifted me with the rotten problem because my mom wouldn’t marry their king, the faeries who I loathe because they are as trustworthy as pond scum, and the vampires.” And Dmitri was one hell of a vampire. “So you’re going to march in there and demand he bed you?” “Geez, Sarah.” Macy wheeled into the Imperial Station’s parking lot and threw her car into park. “You make me sound crass. I’d take him to my place first.” “Pfft. Whatever.” Macy glowered at her longtime friend and grabbed her purse. “Stay here if you want, but I’ve got myself a vampire to indenture.” Talking a confident game was one thing. Following through was an entirely different ballgame Macy wasn’t sure she had the equipment to play. Hell, had she even found the right ballpark? Her knees knocked together, clattering with the knock of her kitten heels as she made her way up the zillion stairs. The first guard to slow her down before she got to her quarry was toast, or rather, an oversized toad. She didn’t have time for anything beyond level one magic. Not when her entire future was at stake.
Literally. ~ About the Author Cara Carnes was a princess, a pirate, fashion model, actress, rock star and Jon Bon Joviâ€™s wife all before the age of 13. In reality, her fascination for enthralling worlds took seed somewhere amidst a somewhat dull day job and a wonderful life filled with family and friends. When sheâ€™s not cemented to her chair, Born in small-town Texas, Cara loves traveling, photography and reading.
For more information on other books by Cara, visit her website: www.caracarnes.com
The Svatura Series Abigail Owen Genre: paranormal romance Publisher: The Wild Rose Press Cover Artist: Debbie Taylor Series Description: Meet the ladies of the Svatura series: Ellie, Selene, Lila, and Adelaide. One will come out of hiding to protect others from the fate she suffered. One will lead her people after being released from a hellish nightmare. One will try to start a new life only to discover that her path lies where it always has. And one will experience a loss so terrible that only oblivion can stop the pain. Individually they are strong. But together these sisters of the heart are a force before whom even their most powerful enemies will tremble. However, that may not be enough. Is the key to their salvation power…or love? Svatura Series Additional Info The Svatura Series Pinterest Board Book Trailer Blue Violet The Svatura Series Book One Abigail Owen Publisher: The Wild Rose Press Cover Art: Debbie Taylor
Page Count: 266 Word Count: 62050 ISBN (digital): 978-1-62830-946-1 ISBN (print): 978-1-5092-0358-1 About the Book: When fairy tales turn into nightmares… Ellie Aubrey has spent most of her unnaturally long life hiding her extraordinary abilities from the world. On the run from the shapeshifting wolves who murdered her family, she risks discovery in order to secretly watch over another group of similarly gifted people, determined they won’t suffer the same fate. Alex Jenner has come home to protect his family from an unknown danger lurking in the woods. Suspicious of the new girl in town, he challenges Ellie in ways that will spark one of two possible outcomes: they’ll spontaneously combust, or she’ll lose control of the one power she’s fought so hard to contain. In this fairy tale, the dragon the prince must slay is also the princess who holds his heart. Excerpt #2 (555 words) A separate part of her mind remained grudgingly impressed with Alex’s powers of observation. Very few people paid close enough attention to catch little nuances as he had with her. Usually they were too selfcentered. But he’d called her out on her vagueness from day one. It had the effect of strengthening the connection she was resisting so desperately. “What is it that you think I’m hiding, exactly?” Ellie asked, hands on her hips. “You can’t be who you say you are.” “I don’t say I’m anyone. I’m just me!” she exclaimed. “Who else would I be?” He flashed her a dark look. “I saw you.” “Saw me doing what?” Ellie’s confusion was feigned, but her exasperation was authentic. “Standing in the woods outside my house.” Ellie gave him a dumfounded look. “And when exactly was I supposed to be standing outside your house?” “Late last night,” he snapped. “Yeah,” she scoffed, “that makes total sense. You really are full of yourself. You know that? You think that some little high school girl likes you so much that she’s just going to stand around your house in the cold, hoping for a glimpse?” “I think you’re a damn good liar is what I think.” Alex clenched his fists. He looked like he wanted to shake her. Ellie fumed. Forget that he was right. He didn’t know that for sure, and here he was calling her a liar to her face. She narrowed her eyes, and her voice grew cold. “And what exactly am I supposed to be lying about?” Alex’s mouth set in a grim line. “I can’t tell you that.” Ellie arched an eyebrow. “So let me get this straight…After becoming, well, friends I guess, you suddenly start ignoring me. We barely say two words to each other in six weeks, then out of nowhere you kiss me. But based on…” She flung her arms out all akimbo. “I don’t know what exactly…you come over here to tell me that I’m not who I say I am. That I’m apparently stalking you. Then you call me a liar. But you can’t tell me what you think I’m lying about. Could you be more insulting or more weirdly vague?” “I guess that’s usually your role, isn’t it? Is anything you’ve ever said to me true?” “Ah!” Frustration engulfed Ellie until she couldn’t speak. She just stood there, her hands on her hips,
shaking her head and blinking. She couldn’t do this, she suddenly realized. She didn’t want to lie to him. She didn’t want to fight with him. But she couldn’t tell him anything. And he was in the same predicament. And, just like that, her anger with him turned in on herself and the situation. She started shaking. A violent trembling that signaled a loss of control…and the horrifying possibility of what she might become if she didn’t immediately rein it in. Anger, and now fear for Alex’s safety, warred within her as she struggled to keep her human form. Without another word she turned and rushed for the back door, grabbing her keys off the kitchen counter. She had to get away from him and force herself to calm down before something terrible happened. Alex grabbed her arm and whipped her around. “Where do you think you’re going?” “Away from you.”
Hyacinth The Svatura Series Book Two Abigail Owen Publisher: The Wild Rose Press Cover Art: Debbie Taylor About the Book: Selene sacrificed everything when she took her brother’s place as ruler of the Vyusher—including her secret love for one-time adversary Griffin Aubrey. When nightmares that are just a little too real start, Selene fears she’s turned into a cold-blooded killer…the monster Griffin thinks she is. Griffin and Ellie Aubrey are finally safe for the first time in over a hundred years, and Griffin doesn’t want to easily forgive the woman he blames for killing his family. But when an unknown menace drives Selene to leave her people and seek their help, Griffin must decide. Can he move past his hatred of everything she is? Or will the bond that could bring them both the greatest joy now be the source of their deepest despair? Excerpt #2 (506 words) The nightmare had started the same as all the others…. She was in her wolf form which was always different than her human self—enhanced sight and more sensitive hearing, attuned to the sounds of the night, and her point of view was lower to the ground. In this dream, she’d been watching a house from the deep shadows of the woods. It was nighttime, and with the lights on inside the house she was watching, she had an easy view of the inhabitant—a middle-aged woman who appeared to be alone. The urge to hurt that woman filled her, overflowing into a barely contained snarl of aggression. What is happening to me? Confusion swept through Selene. Her urge made absolutely no sense. She’d never deliberately harmed another being in her life. She started to move, as though her body had a will of its own. She wasn’t in control, the need to kill dictating her actions. Selene prowled over to a small patio that extended from the back of the house. She stopped within feet of the structure and crouched low in a pool of moonlight. Her white form blended in perfectly, ren-
dering her almost invisible. And there she waited. But the rational part of Selene had no idea what she was waiting for exactly. It was as though her dream-self had been here before, stalked this woman, and knew something was about to happen. Selene didn’t recognize where she was. She was sure she’d never been to this place when she was awake. What was she doing here? Panic started to set in, she could feel it in the thumping of her heart. Or maybe it wasn’t panic, maybe it was anticipation for the kill. Her thoughts were all tangled up. What was wrong with her? The fur on her back bristled, and Selene realized that a moment of no return was fast approaching. Her keen hearing picked up the soft tread of the woman inside the house, followed by the click of the door handle. Her muscles coiled more tightly, ready to pounce. The door opened, a ray of light from inside just missing the spot where Selene was hidden, and the woman stepped out onto the patio. Selene felt her body spring into the air. No! No! No! She tried to hold herself back, make herself stop. But she couldn’t. Screams pierced the night air, ringing in Selene’s ears as she slammed into the woman. Selene sank her sharp teeth into the sweet spot at the back of the woman’s neck. Bones crunched under the pressure of her jaws and the sharp, metallic taste of blood surged into her mouth. The woman continued her screeching, thrashing around hysterically under Selene’s deadly grasp. With a guttural growl, Selene clamped down harder before she shook the woman like a rag doll. She felt the satisfying crack when the woman’s neck snapped. Then, as suddenly as the nightmare had started, darkness consumed her and she jerked awake to find she was safe in her bedroom.
Crimson Dahlia The Svatura Series Book Three Abigail Owen
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press Cover Art: Debbie Taylor About the Book: Lila Jenner left her family to start a new life away from Ramsey Pierce. After decades of rejection, she needs the chance to discover who she is without him. Helping to rebuild relationships between tribes of Svatura is just the opportunity she needs.
Determined that the fire raging inside him will never harm Lila, Ramsey denies the magical bond that could be theirs alone. But when an old enemy resurfaces and Lila disappears, he realizes he’ll do anything to win her back and make her his. However, Maddox, driven by a centuries-old quest for revenge, is stronger than any of them ever imagined. Friends and enemies must band together against this shared threat. Even then, they may discover too late that one dragon is not always enough… Excerpt #2 (300 words) With a muttered curse, Ramsey closed his mouth over hers. His kiss was not gentle. He was to full of pent
up need and frustration for gentle. He didn’t merely kiss. He devoured her, his need was so great. She tasted of mint and a hint of the wine they’d had with dinner earlier that night. Slowly, savoring each sensation, he moved his hands over her. Every delectable inch of her body. He couldn’t get enough of touching her. Every luscious curve under his hands spurred him to more intimacy. He swept one hand around her waist to her lower back and then inched his fingers under the elastic band of her undies. Lila suddenly broke off their kiss with a sharp cry. She stepped back from him, realized that he could see all of her, and hurried over to a nearby bush to grab her dress. That’s when Ramsey saw it. An ugly welt in the shape of a handprint was rising on the back side of her hip. “Lila,” he choked. She pulled her dress over her head. “Don’t. It’s not your fault.” “I burned you.” The horror of what he’d done to her—and how much worse it could have been—doused every last desire in ice water. “It’s fine. I’m fine,” she said. She reached out for his hand, but he jerked away from her, stumbling in his haste. “We need to get Hugh. He’ll heal it for you,” he said. “No!” Lila shouted. She took a breath and spoke in a calmer tone. “There is no way I’m explaining to my dad how your handprint ended up burnt on my butt. It’s fine. It’ll heal on its own.” “It’ll scar.” She tipped up her chin. “I’ll live with that.”
Black Orchid The Svatura Series Book Four Abigail Owen
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press
Cover Art: Debbie Taylor About the Book: Only oblivion can stop her pain. Adelaide Jenner feels nothing… she is completely numb inside. Her fated love abandoned her and joined their enemy. On that day her sister turned off all Adelaide’s emotions in order to save her from a heartbreak that could push her over the edge of sanity. But the great power she claims, wielded without compassion or love, can only lead to pain. Nate Pierce believes Adelaide used her extraordinary powers to deceive him all these years. So he destroyed a relationship he thought to be false and hungers for revenge. Now, Nate serves Maddox, unaware that his new leader is using him as a pawn in a bid to enslave or kill all Svatura. The only hope of finally defeating Maddox is for Adelaide and her sisters to combine their growing powers against him. But the key to a Svatura’s power is the heart, and Adelaide is still missing hers.
Excerpt #2 (325 words) “You can’t be here,” she said in a low, raspy voice. “Don’t be afraid. I won’t hurt you…. I just saved you!” She raised her gaze to his, and Nate was stunned to see her green eyes were now glowing bright yel-
“You don’t understand,” she whispered. “I could really hurt you. You need to leave. Now.” Nate took a step closer to her. He could see that her slender body was quaking from head to toe. Adelaide held up both her hands. “I can’t hold it in much longer. You really need to go.” The anguish in her voice concerned him. He could tell she was terrified, but it seemed to be for him, not because of him. She bent over and put her hands on her knees, sucking air into her lungs as fast as she could. Nate took a step closer but hesitated. She’s a con artist, don’t forget. But he also wasn’t exactly sure what was happening to her. As far as he knew, none of her powers were actually dangerous. Suddenly Adelaide fell to her hands and knees. He could see her chest heaving as she struggled for control. Nate acted on pure instinct. Tapping into his speed, he was at her side in less than a blink. He wrapped his strong arms around her from behind, sat down on the ground, and pulled her in tightly to his body. Leaving one armed wrapped around her midriff, he started running his other hand through her hair in a soothing gesture. Now that he was touching her, Nate was amazed her shaking wasn’t rattling her very bones. It was that violent. Definitely not faking it. “Breathe.” Come on. “I… can’t,” she choked out. He knew that if he could see her face, tears would be streaming down her cheeks. And he didn’t like it. It reminded him way too much of his dreams. But he couldn’t think about that right now.
About the Author:
Award-winning paranormal and contemporary romance author, Abigail Owen was born in Greeley, Colorado, and raised in Austin, Texas. She now resides in Northern California with her husband and two adorable children who are the center of her universe. Abigail grew up consuming books and exploring the world through her writing. A fourth generation graduate of Texas A&M University, she attempted to find a practical career related to her favorite pastime by earning a degree in English Rhetoric (Technical Writing). However, she swiftly discovered that writing without imagination is not nearly as fun as writing with it.
Website/Blog: http://abigailowen.com/ Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Abigail.Owen.Books Twitter: https://twitter.com/AOwenBooks Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/abbyowen/
Raven Familiars By Laura Bickle Ravens play a pretty large part in alchemy. Classical alchemy sought to conjure gold from base metals and to create the elixir of eternal life. There are seven processes the alchemist must accomplish in order to achieve a perfect transformation: calcination, dissolution, coagulation, sublimation, mortification, separation, and conjunction. Ravens are the symbol of the mortification stage, the stage of alchemical death. While creating the magical world of MERCURY RETROGRADE, I was pretty fascinated with the history of ravens in alchemy. In MERCURY RETROGRADE, ravens became familiars for a group of undead ranch hands called the Hanged Men. The Hanged Men have haunted the small western town of Temperance since the Gold Rush days. The town was founded by an alchemist, Lascaris, and they were one of his incomplete experiments on the road to figuring out the secret of eternal life. The Hanged Men were made at the feet of the Lunaria, a magical tree standing in an empty field. The scarred tree stands above a warren of tunnels that creep miles underground – so deep that the no one really knows their full reach. The Lunaria symbolizes the “as above, so below” alchemical principle, as its roots dig into the earth and the branches brush the sky in perfect symmetry. The Hanged Men were executed at this tree, and the tree grants them immortality… of a sort. An archaic term for a gallows is the “raven-stone,” a place they can never escape. As far as being undead goes, these guys got a raw deal. Some of the early Hanged Men have retained most of their memory and self-awareness, when it isn’t being partitioned off into the bodies of ravens to spy on their enemies. But later generations received less consciousness as the power of the tree waned. Some can’t talk, and a few aren’t even passably human. The men must return to the tree each night to decompose and regenerate, and they can’t wander very far from it. And that decomposition and regeneration? Not a pretty process. They’re stuck in the mortification stage of alchemy, experiencing death over and over each night.
Gabriel was one of the first of the Hanged Men. He came to Temperance more than a hundred years ago, as a Pinkerton agent sent by Lascaris’s investors to figure out where all the gold was coming from. His specialty was the arcane and supernatural – the nineteenth century’s answer to the X-Files. Alas, things did not go so well for him. He was hanged by Lascaris from the branches of the Lunaria, and has remained in Temperance ever since, pretending to be a ranch hand for successive generations of cattle barons. It’s like a coating of dust on a rattlesnake – camouflage that works right up until someone steps on the snake. But times have changed. The tree is dying. It’s shedding leaves out of season, dropping branches, and the energy slips away from its brittle roots. The Hanged Men have tried all they know to feed it, but it is clear that it will not last much longer…and neither will they. Their last hope is to find a magical creature – a basilisk, awakened by seismic tremors in the backcountry of Yellowstone National Park, leaving a trail of poisoned bodies in its wake. The blood from the right side of the basilisk grants eternal life, while blood from the left is certain death. The Hanged Men send their ravens far and wide, hoping to find the creature before humans capture it for their own purposes. It’s a terrible risk, with a terrible price – the Hanged Men are as vulnerable as any other men to the basilisk’s venomous powers. But they must find it and make an offering to the tree before it dies…and the Hanged Men, along with it. Mercury Retrograde A Dark Alchemy Novel Book Two Laura Bickle
On-Sale 10/27/2015 ISBN: 9780062437617 About the Book: Geologist Petra Dee and the citizens of Temperance, Wyoming come up against a venomous enemy, not to mention a biker gang that’s hell on wheels, in the second book in Laura Bickle’s Dark Alchemy series. Something venomous has come to Temperance… It’s been two months since Petra Dee and her coyote sidekick Sig faced off against Temperance’s resident alchemist, but things are far from quiet. When an Internet video of a massive snake in the backcountry of Yellowstone goes viral, a chase for the mythical basilisk is on. Monster hunters swarm into the area, and never one to pass up the promise of discovery, Petra joins in the search. Among the newcomers is a snake cult on wheels - the biker gang Sisters of Serpens. Unlike some, the Sisters don’t want to kill the basilisk - they want to worship it. But things get complicated when the basilisk develops a taste for human flesh that rivals the Sisters’ own murderous skills. Meanwhile, the alchemical tree of life is dying, and the undead Hanged Men of Temperance who depend on it know the basilisk may be their last chance for survival. With time running out for everyone around her, Petra will be forced to decide who survives and who she must leave behind in this action-packed sequel to Dark Alchemy. Amazon BN iTunes About the Author:
Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology - Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of WisconsinMilwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs. Her work has been included in the ALA’s Amelia Bloomer Project 2013 reading list and the State Library of Ohio’s Choose to Read Ohio reading list for 2015-2016.
More information about Lauraâ€™s work can be found at www.laurabickle.com https://twitter.com/Laura_Bickle https://www.facebook.com/Author.Laura.Bickle
The Raven By Edgar Allan Poe Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary, Over many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore, While I nodded, nearly napping, suddenly there came a tapping, As of some one gently rapping, rapping at my chamber door. "'Tis some visitor," I muttered, "tapping at my chamber door, Only this, and nothing more." Ah, distinctly I remember it was in the bleak December, And each separate dying ember wrought its ghost upon the floor. Eagerly I wished the morrow;, vainly I had sought to borrow From my books surcease of sorrow, sorrow for the lost Lenore, For the rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore, Nameless here for evermore. And the silken sad uncertain rustling of each purple curtain Thrilled me, filled me with fantastic terrors never felt before; So that now, to still the beating of my heart, I stood repeating, "'Tis some visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door, Some late visitor entreating entrance at my chamber door;This it is, and nothing more."
Presently my soul grew stronger; hesitating then no longer, "Sir," said I, "or Madam, truly your forgiveness I implore; But the fact is I was napping, and so gently you came rapping, And so faintly you came tapping, tapping at my chamber door, That I scarce was sure I heard you", here I opened wide the door;Darkness there, and nothing more. Deep into that darkness peering, long I stood there wondering, fearing, Doubting, dreaming dreams no mortals ever dared to dream before; But the silence was unbroken, and the stillness gave no token, And the only word there spoken was the whispered word, "Lenore!" This I whispered, and an echo murmured back the word, "Lenore!", Merely this, and nothing more. Back into the chamber turning, all my soul within me burning, Soon again I heard a tapping somewhat louder than before. "Surely," said I, "surely that is something at my window lattice: Let me see, then, what thereat is, and this mystery explore, Let my heart be still a moment and this mystery explore;, 'Tis the wind and nothing more." Open here I flung the shutter, when, with many a flirt and flutter, In there stepped a stately raven of the saintly days of yore; Not the least obeisance made he; not a minute stopped or stayed he; But, with mien of lord or lady, perched above my chamber door, Perched upon a bust of Pallas just above my chamber door, Perched, and sat, and nothing more. Then this ebony bird beguiling my sad fancy into smiling, By the grave and stern decorum of the countenance it wore. "Though thy crest be shorn and shaven, thou," I said, "art sure no craven, Ghastly grim and ancient raven wandering from the Nightly shore, Tell me what thy lordly name is on the Night's Plutonian shore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." Much I marveled this ungainly fowl to hear discourse so plainly, Though its answer little meaning, little relevancy bore; For we cannot help agreeing that no living human being Ever yet was blest with seeing bird above his chamber door, Bird or beast upon the sculptured bust above his chamber door, With such name as "Nevermore." But the raven, sitting lonely on the placid bust, spoke only
That one word, as if his soul in that one word he did outpour. Nothing further then he uttered, not a feather then he fluttered, Till I scarcely more than muttered, "other friends have flown before, On the morrow he will leave me, as my hopes have flown before." Then the bird said, "Nevermore." Startled at the stillness broken by reply so aptly spoken, "Doubtless," said I, "what it utters is its only stock and store, Caught from some unhappy master whom unmerciful Disaster Followed fast and followed faster till his songs one burden bore, Till the dirges of his Hope that melancholy burden bore Of 'Never, nevermore'." But the Raven still beguiling all my fancy into smiling, Straight I wheeled a cushioned seat in front of bird, and bust and door; Then upon the velvet sinking, I betook myself to linking Fancy unto fancy, thinking what this ominous bird of yore, What this grim, ungainly, ghastly, gaunt and ominous bird of yore Meant in croaking "Nevermore." This I sat engaged in guessing, but no syllable expressing To the fowl whose fiery eyes now burned into my bosom's core; This and more I sat divining, with my head at ease reclining On the cushion's velvet lining that the lamplight gloated o'er, But whose velvet violet lining with the lamplight gloating o'er, She shall press, ah, nevermore! Then methought the air grew denser, perfumed from an unseen censer Swung by Seraphim whose footfalls tinkled on the tufted floor. "Wretch," I cried, "thy God hath lent thee, by these angels he hath sent thee Respite, respite and nepenthe, from thy memories of Lenore! Quaff, oh quaff this kind nepenthe and forget this lost Lenore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." "Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil!, prophet still, if bird or devil!, Whether Tempter sent, or whether tempest tossed thee here ashore, Desolate yet all undaunted, on this desert land enchanted, On this home by horror haunted, tell me truly, I implore, Is there, is there balm in Gilead?, tell me, tell me, I implore!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." "Prophet!" said I, "thing of evil, prophet still, if bird or devil! By that Heaven that bends above us, by that God we both adore,
Tell this soul with sorrow laden if, within the distant Aidenn, It shall clasp a sainted maiden whom the angels name Lenore, Clasp a rare and radiant maiden whom the angels name Lenore." Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." "Be that word our sign in parting, bird or fiend," I shrieked, upstarting, "Get thee back into the tempest and the Night's Plutonian shore! Leave no black plume as a token of that lie thy soul hath spoken! Leave my loneliness unbroken!, quit the bust above my door! Take thy beak from out my heart, and take thy form from off my door!" Quoth the Raven, "Nevermore." And the Raven, never flitting, still is sitting, still is sitting On the pallid bust of Pallas just above my chamber door; And his eyes have all the seeming of a demon's that is dreaming, And the lamplight o'er him streaming throws his shadow on the floor; And my soul from out that shadow that lies floating on the floor Shall be lifted, nevermore!
Cooking for Paranormals: It’s Bloody Hard Business
Several months ago, six authors decided to put together a stew (or is it a roux?) of new paranormal noir novelettes—the spirit of film noir with a paranormal twist. The name of the collection? Dark Secrets. What does that have to do with food? Well, hey, even faeries have to eat. So here is a three-course meal from some of the authors, paranormal noir style. (Wait, you might say—is that two soup courses? Just roll with it, okay?) The Appetizer: Faerie Gumbo, by Suzanne Johnson In my paranormal noir novelette The Consort, the Faerie Winter Princess Tamara and faery-in-hiding Liandra are in New Orleans. The appetizer served in their French Quarter restaurant is gumbo. Gumbo is all about the roux. Butter, flour, and water, browned to a dark burnt siena color. Cook it too short a time and it’s bland; cook it too long and it’s bitter. Faeries like their roux just right. Lazy people like the author like the slow-cooker version. 1/2 cup vegetable oil or butter 1/2 cup flour 1 c chopped onion
1/2 cup chopped celery 3/4 cup green bell pepper, diced 1 pound andouille (or smoked sausage), sliced 1 Tbsp minced garlic 3 cups okra, sliced ½ tsp thyme 2 bay leaves ¼ tsp cayenne pepper ¼ tsp black pepper 1/2 fryer, cut into pieces, or six chicken thighs, skinned and salted 5 cups chicken broth 1 15-oz can stewed tomatoes 1/3 cup shallots, chopped
Heat oil to high temperature in a large skillet; add flour and whisk until it turns dark brown (if using butter, note that this happens pretty quickly—don’t overcook). Add onion, celery, green pepper and
andouille and cook until vegetables are soft. Add garlic, okra, thyme, bay leaves, cayenne and black pepper and stir another five minutes. Place in a slow-cooker. Top with the chicken pieces, broth, and stewed tomatoes, and cook for 5-6 hours on low. Stir in green onions and adjust salt and pepper to taste. Serve alone or over steamed rice. Serves 6. Main Course: Djinn Stew, by Mina Khan My story in the DARK SECRETS Anthology is The Djinn in the Mirror, which is a paranormal Cinderella story with a young witch as the heroine and a wicked sexy djinn instead of a fairy godmother. The heroine Dahlia, step-daughter of a power hungry wizard, works as a free housekeeper and cook for her step-father’s commune. She is used to cooking meals that stretch, and stews are definitely part of her repertoire. Once the story is done with, Dahlia reclaims the house as her rightful inheritance and works with her heroic djinn Ashmael to turn it back into a working ranch and farm. Since she has a soft spot for Ash, it’s a given that she’d make a special stew for him reminiscent of his childhood. I’d imagine Moroccan flavors and spices would be pretty close to what he grew up eating. Of course, Dahlia wouldn’t use frozen meatballs, but for myself and for most modern readers, I think convenience is a big plus. Additionally, my kids will eat anything with meatballs. Personally I love this stew because the house smells amazing while it’s cooking and in the end you have a warm and comforting meal. As a food writer (my official day job), I try to come up with recipes which are healthy, interesting, and satisfying. I hope y’all enjoy the stew as much as my family does! Mina’s Moroccan-Inspired Meatball Stew 2 tablespoons olive oil 2 cinnamon sticks 2 bay leaves 5 cardamom pods, cracked 5 cloves 6 black peppercorns 1 1/2 cups chopped onions 1 1/2 cups diced potatoes 1 cup baby carrots 6 garlic cloves, minced 1/2 teaspoon turmeric 1 teaspoon ground coriander 1 teaspoon Spanish paprika 1 teaspoon ground cumin 2 cups beef broth Frozen meatballs (as many as you want) 1 jalapeno, de-seeded and minced (optional) 1 28-ounce can diced tomatoes in juice 1 15.5-ounce canned garbanzo beans/chickpeas, drained
1 cup whole green or black olives 1/2 cup chopped dried apricots 1 5-ounce package baby spinach leaves Salt to taste 1/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro plus additional for garnish 1/4 cup thinly sliced chives or green onions Serve over Brown Rice or Couscous with fresh chopped Cilantro and Lemon wedges to squeeze. Directions: 1. Heat oil in a large pot or a dutch oven. 2. Add whole spices (cinnamon to peppercorns) and cook for about 2 minutes. 3. Add chopped onions, potatoes and carrots and cook until onions are softened. 4. Add in ground spices (turmeric to cumin), cook using bits of broth to keep the spices from sticking (but don't too much liquid at a time because you want to cook the rawness out of the spices) 5. When the spices look cooked, add in remaining broth, meatballs, jalapeno, tomatoes and chickpeas or garbanzos and apricots. Bring to a boil, lower heat and simmer for about 15 to 20 minutes. (Potatoes and carrots should be tender by the end of it) 6. Add in olives and spinach, stir, Add salt to taste. Take off heat and top with fresh cilantro and green onions. Stir before serving over rice or couscous.
Dessert: Megan Hart’s Sweet as Sin Chocolate Muffins
From her paranormal noir novella, Dance with the Devil….because the devil loves him some chocolate!
1/2 cup milk 1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 cups all-purpose flour 1 cup white sugar 3/4 cup chocolate chips 1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder 1 teaspoon baking soda 1 teaspoon vanilla extract 1 egg 1 cup plain yogurt
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Grease 12 muffin cups or line with paper muffin liners. Mix dry ingredients: flour, sugar, 3/4 cup chocolate chips, cocoa powder and baking soda. Beat egg, yogurt, milk, and vegetable oil separately until smooth. Combine with chocolate mixture and stir until batter is just blended. Fill muffin cups 3/4 full and sprinkle with remaining 1/4 cup chocolate chips. Bake in preheated oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 20 minutes. Cool in the pans for 10 minutes before removing to cool completely on a wire rack. And there you have it—a perfectly paranormal noir meal just in time for fall!
Dark Secrets: A Paranormal Noir Anthology Rachel Caine, Cynthia Eden, Megan Hart, Suzanne Johnson, Jeffe Kennedy, Mina Khan Genre: Paranormal Noir, Romance, Fantasy, Urban Fantasy Date of Publication: September 29, 2015 ISBN: 978-1-942840-05-3 ASIN: B0147D7JTU Number of pages: Approx. 350 Word Count: Approx. 150,000 Cover Artist: Robin Ludwig Design Book Description: Six award-winning authors bring you this spellbinding collection of stories about dark desires, mysterious worlds, and danger that lurks in the shadows of the night. Where nothing is black and white; where things might not be as they seem; where magic and mayhem rule.
MARION, MISSING by Rachel Caine Valentine is a detective with two major problems: he's been offered a kidnapping case that will probably get him killed, and his partner won't let him turn it down. He owes her that much … since his partner's a ghost, and he's the one who killed her. A dark, haunting noir mystery of love, hate and loss. FEMME FATALE by Cynthia Eden PI Mick Swayne has seen it all—his clients have included liars, thieves, and even killers. He thinks he can handle anything and anyone. Then she walks into his office. Savannah Moreau is beautiful, seductive, and…a vampire? The gorgeous vamp hires Mick to help her track down a killer who is hunting in Chicago, but as Mick slips deeper into Savannah’s paranormal world, he wonders if he can really trust his new client… DANCE WITH THE DEVIL by Megan Hart When the devil starts the music, you'd better get ready to dance. Kathleen Murphy has sold her soul to the devil. Fame, fortune, success...everything she's ever dreamed of is hers, and all she has to do is the devil's bidding. When love comes knocking, the last thing in the world she wants to do is involve Jake in her twisted world, but the devil's started up the jukebox and Kathleen has no choice but to learn the steps. THE CONSORT by Suzanne Johnson
Faulkner Hearne, the captain of the ruthless Fae Hunters, finds his duty at odds with his heart when he’s ordered to capture the consort of Faerie’s cruel Prince of Summer when she flees across the veil into modern New Orleans. Can Faulk turn Liandra over to a certain death at the hands of the prince, or will he risk a war with Faerie in order to save her? An all-new novella set in the Sentinels of New Orleans multiverse. HEART’S BLOOD by Jeffe Kennedy, a Twelve Kingdoms novella A dark fairytale retelling of a princess robbed of rank, husband and even her name. Nix is nothing. The Princess Natilde—her former waiting woman—attacked her on the journey to wed Prince Cavan, stripping her of everything and taking her place. With no serving skills, Nix becomes a goose girl. Perhaps if Nix keeps her promise never to reveal who she really is, Natilde won’t carry out her vile threats. Prince Cavan entered his arranged marriage determined to have a congenial, if not loving relationship with his future queen—for the sake of both their kingdoms. But, his wife repels him more each day and he finds himself absurdly drawn to the lovely Nix....With broken vows, anguish and dark secrets between them, Cavan and Nix struggle to find the magic to restore what’s gone terribly wrong... if it ever can be. THE DJINN IN THE MIRROR by Mina Khan, a Djinn World novella A paranormal Cinderella story with a young witch as the heroine and a wicked, sexy djinn instead of a fairy godmother....Dahlia, the step-daughter of a power hungry wizard, promises to free a djinn trapped in a mirror if he rescues her from impending death. But Ashmael the djinn has his own agenda: to trick & seduce his way to freedom. The only problem is he ends up falling for Dahlia. Can he win his freedom and save the girl?
About the Authors: Rachel Caine is the New Yor k Times, USA Today, and #1 inter nationally bestselling author of more than 45 novels that span the categories of horror, suspense, urban fantasy, science fiction, media tie-in, historical, and young adult. She’s also the author of more than 100 short stories. http://www.rachelcaine.com Twitter: @rachelcaine Facebook: www.facebook.com/rachelcainefanpage Award-winning author Cynthia Eden writes dark tales of paranormal romance and romantic suspense. She is a New York Times, USA Today, Digital Book World, and IndieReader best-seller. Cynthia is also a three-time finalist for the prestigious RITA® award. Since she began writing full-time in 2005, Cynthia has written over fifty novels and novellas. http://www.cynthiaeden.com Twitter: @cynthiaeden Facebook: www.facebook.com/cynthiaedenfanpage
Megan Hart is a USA Today, Publisher ’s Weekly and New York Times bestselling author who writes in many genres including mainstream fiction, erotic fiction, science fiction, romance, fantasy and horror. http://www.meganhart.com Twitter: @megan_hart Facebook: www.facebook.com/megan.hart Suzanne Johnson is the author of the awar d-winning Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series. Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is author of the award-winning Penton Legacy paranormal romance series as well as The Collectors romantic suspense series, including Lovely, Dark, and Deep, winner of the 2015 Holt Medallion and the 2015 Booksellers Best Award winner for romantic suspense. Her new Wildlife Wardens romantic suspense series begins in 2016 with Wild Man’s Bluff. http://www.suzannejohnsonauthor.com Twitter: @suzanne_johnson Facebook: www.facebook.com/AuthorSuzanneJohnson Jeffe Kennedy is an awar d-winning author whose works include non-fiction, poetry, short fiction, and novels. Her most recent works include a number of fiction series: the fantasy romance novels of A Covenant of Thorns; the contemporary BDSM novellas of the Facets of Passion, an erotic contemporary serial novel, Master of the Opera, the fantasy series The Twelve Kingdoms, and the erotic romance trilogy, Falling Under. The first of the Twelve Kingdoms books, The Mark of the Tala, has been nominated for the RT Book of the Year while the sequel, The Tears of the Rose, has been nominated for best fantasy romance of the year. Jeffe lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, with two Maine coon cats, plentiful free-range lizards and a very handsome Doctor of Oriental Medicine. http://www.jeffekennedy.com Twitter: @jeffekennedy Facebook: www.facebook.com/Author.Jeffe.Kennedy
Award-winning author Mina Khan grew up in Bangladesh on stories of djinns, ghosts and monsters. These childhood fancies now color her fiction. She daydreams of hunky paranormal heroes, magic, mayhem and mischief and writes them down as stories. She is the author of the Djinn World Chronicles, including The Djinn’s Dilemma and A Tale of Two Djinns, as well as Wildfire, a paranormal mystery with cowboys and dragons. http://minakhan.blogspot.com/ Twitter: @SpiceBites Facebook: www.facebook.com/Mina.Khan.Author
What Happens In Venice Trilogy Diana Cachey Genre: Paranormal Romance TAGLINE: Among the romantic canals of Venice—and oh so many Italian distractions—can a stunning American lawyer, her psychic sister and a free-spirited best friend, help the Ghosts of Venice solve a hushed up crime? About the Series: Louisa Mangotti, an American lawyer working as an Interpol expert for the international crime unit in Venice, receives a mysterious postcard from the Venetian ghosts, ancient protectors of the Republic. She scoffs at the ghosts, who plant clues for her to help them solve a hushed up crime that threatens Venice, because she suspects her bad boy ex-lover, Matteo, has crafted a plan to distract her from his own involvement in the crime. Nonetheless she’s forced to depend on him to decipher clues, including diving with him on a haunted shipwreck in the lagoon and venturing to far out hidden islands. Her sister, who communes with ghosts, arrives to rescue Louisa but is lured away from the chase into a steamy affair with a possible phantom. Another feisty foreigner, Louisa’s best friend Rebecca, further spices up the action and adds to the antics when she visits for Carnival and samples the Venetian charm and romance. More sexy men, as well as ghosts, distract the women as they follow a maze of cryptic clues, baffling signs and cunning messengers. As the three women fall deeper into the whirlpool of the mysterious lagoon town, its wonderful sights, and alluring men, they continue to navigate a stormy course. With time running out, can the beauties solve a crime that threatens the future of Venice itself? On top of being sexy, gorgeous and classy, Louisa Mangotti is a respected attorney and Interpol expert who is puzzled by the odd postcard that arrives in her mailbox signed mysteriously… "Venetian Ghosts". She assumes it's a quixotic attempt by her bad-boy ex, Matteo, to re-ignite their relationship. Louisa may have dismissed the ghosts, but the ghosts aren’t quite done with her. Available at Amazon Halloween Day of the Dead Sale .99 cents!!
Love Spirits What Happens In Venice Book One Diana Cachey About the Love Spirits: When the bodies of two glass makers wash up on Murano Island, the cryptic messages persist. Louisa is drawn to the story of the Venetian ghosts and initiates a personal investigation. Reluctantly, Louisa calls upon her bad boy ex, Matteo, to help decipher the clues. Before she knows it, a flame that was never fully extinguished is unexpectedly rekindled.
Sensing that her sister is in over her head, Barbara Mangotti rushes to the rescue, only to be lured away by two hard-toresist good-looking Venetian men. With time running out, can these two beauties solve a crime that could threaten the city of Venice itself?
leave you breathless.
This book is like a magic carpet ride that takes you to Venice, capturing in a most wonderful way its unique allure and mystery. Part travelogue, part mystery, part romance novel, it will warm your heart, send goosebumps up your spine, and
Available at Amazon LOVE SPIRITS, Excerpt # 3 (455 words):
Flights, hotels, apartments. Clothes, jewelry, shoes. Check, check, check. She’d tried on sweaters, jeans, jackets, surveyed each item to determine the most Italian look and picked only the most flattering combinations. She lined up toiletries, stockings, scarves, lingerie and make-up, but not too much, she’d buy better stuff in Italy. Cat sitters were called to assess availability and suitability. Processed food was sneered at in grocery stores for savoring of fresh Venetian produce. The voluntary time-off she scoffed at months earlier when offered it, turned out to be a perk, not a temporary discharge due to shortage of work. For Barbara, getting to Venice was easy. Finding ghosts in Venice? Harder. Fetching Louisa and releasing Matteo’s grip? Impossibile. Louisa would scheme and stick until everyone else became unglued. If ghosts were to be found, Louisa would find them. Barbara hadn’t stopped Louisa from going to Venice so how would she get her home? Investigate the ghosts, disprove their existence? Barbara imagined her own escape into those Venetian palaces, their moldy facades toppling into canals. Those quiet evenings with no traffic, strolling along sea water, visiting quaint bars or vegetable markets that hugged tiny bridges. Foggy thoughts of Venice led Barbara to recall how Louisa had written her about a fall, not into the arms of Matteo, but into a canal. She’d slipped on the algae-coated steps leading into a traghetto that ferries passengers across the Grand Canal and the only gondolas still in regular use by Venetians. This traghetto was her daily ride to work, so exposed algae didn’t concern her. Yet, one day she’d been unable to maintain her bal-
ance long enough to avoid the dive. She’d fallen into the drink, straight out of the helpful hand of the gondolier, with her expensive Italian boots, cell phone and all. “Venetians rallied so fast,” she’d written to Barbara. “that my shoulders barely touched the water when they lifted me out of the canal as easily as a floating plastic bag.” Her Venetian rescuers assured Louisa that all self-respecting residents fell into canals at some point in their lives. She’d been baptized, Venetian-style. The young gondolier, feeling somewhat responsible for not holding her securely enough, made up for it by embracing her tightly. With both arms, he enveloped Louisa in his goose down parka and rubbed her wet body vigorously and lovingly. Barbara smiled as she sensed Louisa’s presence deep in her heart, thousands of miles across the pond--as was the Atlantic Ocean referred to by jet-setters like Louisa. Don’t fall in again, dear one, Barbara quietly prayed, until I get there. She tried sending those words to Louisa, knowing not whether they fell onto her sister’s distant ears.
Lagoon Lure What Happens in Venice Book Two Diana Cachey
About the Lagoon Lure:
Sexy sleuth Louisa is back! She captivated romance novel readers and mystery lovers in Love Spirits, the first book of the intriguing international mystery and crime series, What Happens in Venice. Book Two, Lagoon Lure, continues this seductive ghost story and resumes the carnal pleasures, conspiracy and corruption. American in Venice, Louisa, resumes her Venetian exploits, steamy love affairs and paranormal assisted murder investigation she began in Love Spirits. The mystery and romance further ensnares her in the second book of the What Happens in Venice mystery series. Still unnerved by the notion that Venice ghost stories are real, Louisa delves further into the mystery of the deaths of two glassmakers while juggling the lustful manipulations of her exlover, Matteo, whose role in the double murder grows murkier. Meanwhile Louisa's usually shy sister, Barbara, explores her new-found sexuality with Venice's willing men, sharing her adventures with her sister but keeping one particularly mysterious man a secret. Romance novel readers will love the changes in her and the tension created by the af-
fairs of the heart that Venice leads her into before she realizes that she's fallen hard despite the haunted happenings around her. When Louisa's best friend, "Rouge," arrives for Carnival to sample its masked men and create her own romance novel subplots and complicates the situation further by encouraging the sisters to embrace the pleasures of secret Venice. Rouge not only steams up the landscape but she is lured into her own complicated romances and supernatural events, if not a reluctant ghost story or two. With Venice as the lush backdrop for double murder and a web of passionate intrigue, Louisa deciphers clues planted by ghosts and struggles to resist the wicked charms of the very tempter she suspected in the crimes. Her unfinished romance and ghost story compete against her love affair with Venice and its secrets. While she tries to enjoy her days of Venice travel, food and fashion, as well as her new admirer’s own brand of magic, the mystery of the dead glass makers still looms in the lagoon. Lively supporting characters add sex, chuckles and suspense to the already twisted plots and turned phrases when they too must navigate Venice mystery, romantic liaisons and the ghost story encounters. The gothic setting, the romance laden environment, the mysterious corners and shadowy lagoon lead everyone astray. Haunted Venice gives everyone plenty to puzzle over right until the end. Venice cafés, restaurants, and other haunts play a prominent role in this sexy supernatural romance and international crime series about a beautiful American in Venice guided by ghosts to solve the mystery of a hushed-up crime. Paranormal clues and ghost apparitions lead Louisa deeper into the lagoon, and she is forced to reluctantly enlist Matteo's support. Can she trust him, or will this ghostly lagoon lure prove deadly? Available at Amazon LAGOON LURE, Excerpt #2 (1000 words): Once they reached the dive site, Matteo, ever the expert captain, dropped anchor and secured it. He even politely and patiently walked Barbara through some boat safety issues. After suiting up, Louisa glanced back at Barbara and again saw that faint look of pleasure on her face. Her three-way on Lido did something to that girl, thought Louisa before she rolled back over the side of the boat and into the cold Adriatic waters. She gave the signal to begin their descent. As Louisa grabbed the rope to pull herself down to the shipwreck, barnacles cut her fingers and small fibers stung her palms. She cursed herself for forgetting her dive gloves. Given the icy water, it was a stupid mistake. She winced from the pain as she pictured her gloves lying dormant on the hearth, where she left them drying after yesterday’s dive, her first ever in the murky waters of the Venice lagoon. Matteo, her dive buddy, was entering the water behind her so she had to move fast down the rope despite the pain in her hands. Finally her fins hit the wreck and with algae billowing up, she lowered herself down. From extensive research of the vessel, they learned that entry would be easiest at the cargo hold area but in near zero visibility she couldn’t see either the bow or stern. She needed to reorient based on rope slack but Matteo was already descending it. So with little time to waste, she used her injured hands to negotiate the wreck. Silt filtered through her fingers, gently coated her hands and washed across her face. She brushed it off her dive mask, tucking loose strands of blonde hair back into her hood. She found an open hatch and looked back to check on Matteo before penetrating the wreck. She could barely see him. Matteo’s careless movements had stirred up quite a bit more algae and she began to seriously question her decision to dive with him today. Yet anticipation and curiosity called her into the wreck anyway. Once inside the enclosed, clouded space, she waited for Matteo and tried to quiet her nerves.
During those few minutes, she felt a rush of nausea. Her intuition urged her not to dive with Matteo, an inexperienced diver and someone who could not be trusted to think soundly on land. Ignoring her intuition, she refused to let it stop her from diving today. It wasn’t the first time she had trusted him to her dismay. When Matteo joined her inside the wreck, they entered the main cabin where visibility was marginally better. Scouring the sunken boat for details, she recorded it foot by foot by mapping it on her slates. Barely recognizable broken benches lie next to tables on their sides, earmarks of a once lively galley. The eerie scene reminded her why she loved diving wrecks -- their human element. She thought about the last meal this ship might have served. Fish crackling on the stove with the scent of garlic in the air. Their dive plan was to find the main cabin then separate to search for the bridge where most likely would also be the captain’s quarters. They signaled each other to confirm the plan was on and it was ok to go. She, the more experienced and better-trained diver, would enter a small opening into a confined compartment and she turned to swim toward it. Matteo motioned he’d explore the opposite end, near a large gaping whole in the wreck, an area where you could view the open sea and a school of sardines swirling about. Matteo had no intention of continuing directly to the bridge and when he was sure Louisa had entered the confined compartment at the opposite end of the ship, he cased the area. His eyes darted around the room, scanning it quickly, his breath slowed and instinctively and continuously he looked around and behind him. Spying some interesting cabinetry and being familiar with boats, he realized he was in the galley, began to look for drawers and instantly spotted one. He struggled for a few seconds to open it then grabbed his knife and swung it ferociously at the drawer until it relented. Well, well, what wealth was waiting underwater to welcome me, he mused when he discovered the drawer was full of eating utensils made of what appeared to be fine silver. Not much time, lucky he was good at what he did. A nyone on this boat won’t miss their treasure, he thought and then yanked the drawer out, dumped the contents into his mesh bag and tossed the drawer aside. Next his attention moved to what would have been the floor. The wreck being slightly tilted on its side, he knew to look for its lowest point, logically knowing that this is where any heavier objects would have come to rest. His sharp vision, trained by years of thieving and fishing, caught a glimpse of sparkle amidst the soot. His hands carefully siphoned through the settled silt and he slowly lifted an old gold chain. He kissed it thinking, my dear darling, I am so sorry you had to sleep here alone all of these years, but now that I found you I will take very good care of you, and he placed it gleefully in a zippered pocket. A small creature moving in the corner drew his attention. A tiny crab pulled stones and coral pieces one by one into its den, a hole in the wall. He remembered Louisa holed up in a small compartment alone. At the opposite end of the ship, Louisa had been attempting to move carefully and nervously through several confined cabins much smaller than she had imagined they’d be. It was awful. She pictured the eerie scene, the city of Venice only eighty feet above her, but with visibility and confinement closing in on her, it felt more like being hundreds, even, thousands, of feet at the bottom of the ocean. Back near the bridge, Matteo spotted what looked to be bones, possibly human bones. He stepped away from them, not out of fear, but out of respect. He was an honest thief, he would never take those off the ship. So he knelt and crossed himself next to their grave, undisturbed but by the changing currents and sea life. “Ohhhhhh.” “I’m taking a shower and putting on Cleopatra. It’s time to get my Carnival on. You driving me or not?” “Yes,” he moaned from under the covers. “Then get your butt in the shower. Now.” “Noooo,” he said. He knew he sounded infantile but these two women, his wife and Rouge, had that effect on him. It wasn’t difficult for any woman to have that effect on him. “See you in a few minutes?” he begged and grabbed to pull her back. With what little strength he had left after their frenzy, he failed in his attempt to hold on to her. “All-right,” he mumbled. He dozed off thinking what a shame that they were extremely compatible but could never be together. He knew they were soul mates. Sexually. While he snoozed, Rouge became Cleo. Madonna went all Cleopatra at the super bowl performance, recalled Rouge. So she’d been told for she couldn’t force herself to go to the popular Venetian bar where Americans watch championship sports. Rouge, now turned Cleopatra, was soon ready for the ball.
Magic Island What Happens In Venice Book Three Diana Cachey About Magic Island: Sexy sleuth Louisa is back — with Venice as the lush backdrop for double murder and a web of passionate intrigue. In this final installment of the Trinity, Louisa captivates readers by deciphering clues planted by ghosts & struggling to resist the wicked charms of the very tempter she suspects. Her unfinished love story continues to compete against her love affair with Venice and its secrets. She tries to enjoy her days of Venice travel, food and fashion and new admirer’s own brand of magic but the mystery of the dead glass makers still looms in the lagoon. Lively supporting characters add more sex, chuckles and suspense to the already twisted plots and turned phrases as they too must navigate their own romantic liaisons and thought provoking ghost encounters. Magic Island gives everyone plenty to puzzle over right up to its surprising finish! Available at Amazon MAGIC ISLAND, Excerpt #2 (100 words) Venice isn’t sinking. For it to sink, this magical lagoon town must float. It isn’t floating, can’t be sinking. Its canals simply can’t rise up enough to take over hundreds of palaces and churches. The shallow waterways, dredged through marshlands, have often been refilled throughout history to create additional land, new calles and campos. Venice hasn’t lost ground, it has gained more earth. True, Venetian streets and houses flood occasionally and, admit- tedly, do so with increased frequency as time goes on. But the lagoon cannot wash away San Marco forever. Never has, never will. That was Louisa’s opinion. Even if Venice were sinking, much more pressing problems frustrate locals and visitors. They must climb over bridges, trudge through throngs of sightseers, suffer sweltering summers and endure icy winters. Not the least of all frustrations for the budding Venice aficionado are the labyrinths and the looming probability of getting lost. And Louisa was lost again. *********
About the Author: Diana Cachey is a licensed attorney, published academic, and former adjunct law professor. She
also holds a BA in English, and while in law school, she was the first female editor in chief of her universityâ€™s law review. The author of the novel Love Spirits, she has trained with several New York Times best-selling writers, including Robert Allen, with more than seventy-two million books sold. For more than a decade, Cachey has been traveling to Venice, the setting of her novel, on extended trips several times a year. The cafĂŠs, restaurants, and many other haunts of Venice play a prominent role in her sexy paranormal mysteryromance about a beautiful American lawyer guided by the Ghosts of Venice in the investigation of a hushed-up crime. http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00N6HDHSG
https://www.youtube.com/user/dcachey @dianacachey https://www.facebook.com/diana.cachey https://www.facebook.com/pages/Diana-Cachey/153347544749839 HAUNTEDP-PALOOZA VIDEO: https://youtu.be/4wTodeBxiY8
IT’S 5:00 A.M. SOMEWHERE by Larry Weiner In the kingdom of sleep I wear the royal robes. I consider sleep a sport, a hobby and a calling. So on the rare occasion I can't sleep its usually one of three things: 1. The drugs wore off 2. I slept too much the previous day (which in my case I did because of a nasty virus brought on by auto-immune disease) 3. I'm not writing 1. The drugs wore off - unlikely. I take Klonopin to combat anxiety and to help with sleep. This shit works and it works well. I wake up somewhat zombiefied (you can purchase my zombie book Paradise Rot at http://amzn.to/1GwDPrl and that's how you whore) but it wears off quickly. So that's off the table. 2. Slept too much. I have psoriatic arthritis, and you're right - it's the same disease that Rush guitarist Alex Lifeson has - anyway it's brought on by eating poorly and I blame that on that fucking all-day roller hockey event I attended because my son is a rink rat and insists on watching all of the games. I don't blame hockey per se, but I do blame the tasty burgers, M&Ms, Fritos and Cokes I consumed which is like lighting a match in front of the hairspray Donald Trump uses. Thus I get viral and sleep all day. Could be that. 3. I'm not writing. Well shit. It's true. I sort of have an excuse. Shark Week. Did you catch the shark attack footage? How about the one where they put tourists in a cage, then lure great white sharks with meat, then pull the meat out of the water so the shark rams right through the cage trying to eat the tourists? You can't get shit done thinking about that. It's also partly true that I've been doing a lot of promo work on the re-release of my first novel Paradise Rot http://amzn.to/1GwDPrl (somebody stop me) and it's taken up a lotta my time filling out seven interview questionnaires for a blog tour, tweeting the living shit out of the book, Facebooking, wearing a sandwich board outside of my loca bookstore and just me, me, me in general, Who has time to write when you got that going on? I mean, I can bang out at least 1k words in a couple of hours, but who has time to spare? I'm also a house Dad. I'm driving kids all over creation, bringing cars in to get serviced, the dishwasher doesn't empty itself, laundry? Okay my wife has been doing the laundry because she doesn't trust me ever since I shrunk her bras. I have 5k words of a new book down. I'm using index cards and a bulletin board and have standing desk, so maybe I'm getting used to all of that. It's a good idea, this book and a departure from the paranormal (so far). But I've found every excuse not to write it. WTF? I went to the wisdom of a writer I admire, Chuck Wendig and reread his blog "Writer's Block Might Be:" The first thing he says is: "I don’t believe in writer’s block anymore than I believe in, say, Bigfoot, the Loch Ness monster, or a UFO-load of butt-probing, almond-eyed, macrocephalic aliens." I agree. He writes a laundry list of problems and solutions ranging from lack of confidence: "Recognize that sucking during a first draft means that later you can come up behind your own shitty manuscript like a motherfucking editorial ninja and snap its neck and then use its blood to redline the work to make it better." To laziness: "Stop fucking around. Stop lying to yourself and others. Super-glue your derriere to that overturned bucket you call an office chair and refuse to stand until you’ve written. Full stop. Game over. The only thing you get to quit is quit making excuses."
Okay. I might be a subscriber to the second one. I read about writers who bang out 7-10k words A DAY. To borrow a phrase, "This is some fucked up, repugnant shit," I don't know why it happened. I banged through the first three novels (i use the word "bang" a lot, "I banged out," "she banged out, "They banged out." Note to my therapist, whose sessions we bang out). It might be that my schedule is on summer time which means it's a constant mutating thing, like Orphan Black - i swear to god that show has me exhausted, but i love it, particularly Cosima, I digress. I do think it's important to keep schedules because ADD and because I'm also watching Peaky Blinders which has an awesome soundtrack. Okay. Okay. I have trouble with focus. And I'm lazy. And there is just too much excellent content floating around me. But this new novel has all the makings of a decadent and depraved piece of work - I should be all over that shit. I mean I have the Ypsilanti flasher and arsonist in this book. How bad could it be? (Larry, here's how bad it could be.) See? Now I'm pumped. I'm feeling tight and frosty. My shit is together. I'm ready to bang it out. I just had to get up at 5:00 a.m. and write through the problem. Bang!
All errors, i mean allllll errors, are intentional, LarryCo.2015©
Sharky’s Top 10 Indie Reads By Robert Pruneda I’d like to share a list of favorite books that I’ve read over the past couple of years, but since I started my writing journey as an indie author this Top 10 list will focus on indie authors.
I didn’t have paperback copies of all the Top 10 books, so I added a few of mine. J 10 | Eleven by Carolyn Arnold Eleven is an FBI thriller that has great character development, a unique writing style that dares to “break the rules”, and an excellent
overall story. Carolyn Arnold wrote the characters in Eleven very well. They each had their own unique personalities, and it is evident that the author put a lot of time and care into developing them. They were created in a way that didn’t overwhelm you with a lengthy back story or flashbacks, but instead you get to know a little more about them as the story progresses. Carolyn Arnold “breaks the rules” when it comes to her writing style in Eleven. It begins with the reader following the story from the main character’s perspective. Later, however, as the story unfolds, Arnold makes a shift and tells the story from the perspective of her antagonist. It’s works very well in this novel. The author also did a very good job of keeping me guessing throughout the investigation. Just when I thought the FBI team was on the right track, something threw them off. I had my suspicions of who the killer was (I was wrong of course!), but I was pleasantly surprised when Carolyn finally revealed the identity of the serial killer. 9 | Billy Purgatory: I am the Devil Bird by Jesse James Freeman The title character Billy Purgatory is a loner with a bad-ass attitude and says some of the funniest one-liners that I’ve ever read. Billy’s quest for his true meaning in life, and more importantly finding the mother that he’s never known, takes the reader through some fantastic adventures that span the globe. He encounters gypsies, mystical beasts, zombies, and one pain-in-the-butt vampire, just to name a few. Medusa even makes an appearance in this novel in a way that I never would have expected. Jesse James Freeman has a very interesting style of writing where you get to know several of the characters from their own perspectives while also enjoying other elements of the story in the third person. His writing is clever and near flawless; you can tell he treated this novel with care and did not rush it to publication. There is a lot of character development in Billy Purgatory, and while the switch in perspectives may be a little bit distracting at times, I feel it worked well. The lengthy character development is also completely necessary as each character has a very important role in the overall story. As an avid gamer, for me it was like playing a huge roleplaying game with several side quests that all tie in to the main story. Each individual character’s story is woven together masterfully to Billy Purgatory’s main quest. In my opinion, the final chapters are where this book shines the most. The fast-paced writing in the action scenes kept me turning the pages and reading well into the night. Billy’s conflicting relationship with Anastasia is also one of the best character relationships that I’ve read in a while. 8 | Enigma Black by Sara Furlong Burr I’m not a big fan of superhero stories, but I really enjoyed Enigma Black. As I read it, I found myself engrossed in the story in a way that I felt a connection with the characters and cared about their fate. The author did a great job of character building and moving the story along. Even if you rarely read superhero stories, like me, if you enjoy action, romance, sci-fi, conspiracies, humor, or all of the above, you’ll more than likely enjoy Enigma Black. I loved the relationship between Celaine and Blake (the two main characters), and Cameron is one of my favorites; he’s such a smart ass. I think the narrative is where the author shines the most. She did a good job with her shifts between first (Celaine Stevens) and third person perspectives. Dialogue sometimes feels a bit too formal, but overall it was great! Sara wrote some entertaining lines in Enigma Black, particularly between Celaine, Black and Cameron. The story does end in a cliffhanger, but not in such a way that it feels unfinished. I’ve never read a book that was flawless, and there are a few minor formatting issues in the e-book (mainly with some indents here and there) and a few minor typos, but they were minor and limited. Enigma Black is an easy, enjoyable read. 7 | Blood Skies by Steven Montano Blood Skies is a unique fantasy read with vampires that don’t sparkle. I wasn’t certain what to expect when I started reading this book, but Steven Montano promised “real vampires” in his marketing material. Vampire stories still aren’t my preferred choice, but I figured I’d give this one a chance. Blood Skies surprised me and far exceeded my expectations. I love reading fantasy and grew up playing Dungeons & Dragons when I was a kid (still a big fan of the computer games), so I was pleased to see some familiar creatures make it into Blood Skies. However, this is not your typical fantasy story. That took some getting used to. Blending undead creatures (such as vampires, wights, liches, zombies and hellhounds) with modern weaponry and the arcane powers of witches and warlocks was something that gave Blood Skies a unique touch. Montano’s descriptive writing in this fantasy-adventure was top-notch. He paints a vivid picture of each scene and does an excellent job of narration and dialogue. This is one of the most unique fantasy novels I’ve read in a long time and left me craving for more. 6 | Gabriel’s Redemption by Steve Umstead My normal reading usually consists of fantasy, horror, and thrillers, but I decided to try out the SciFi genre with Gabriel’s Redemption. After reading the first chapter, I immediately grew interested in the story. I have to admit I was a bit confused at first. I just didn’t understand some of the technology, such as “neuretics” and “Mindseye.” I blame that on my lack of reading science fiction novels, but it started making more sense as I continued reading. The author did an excellent job of creating believable technology that isn’t
too far-fetched. There’s a lot of backstory in Gabriel’s Redemption. Some readers noted that it was too slow-paced, but I disagree. I rather enjoyed it. Steve gives just enough without going into information overload. If you are the type who expects action from the first page all the way through the end, a little patience goes a long way. Umstead rewards that patience with some intense action and a satisfying ending! I finished reading Gabriel’s Redemption with a smile on my face. 5 | Osric’s Wand: The Wand Maker’s Debate by Jack D. Albrecht Jr. and Ashley Delay Osric’s Wand: The Wand-Maker’s Debate is a very enjoyable tale with magic, talking beasts, wizards, and dragons. And I love dragons! If you enjoyed reading The Chronicles of Narnia and Eragon as I did, then you’ll more than likely enjoy the Osric’s Wand series. I loved the main characters in this book. I particularly enjoyed Gus, the talking prairie dog. This creature’s sarcasm and grumpy demeanor kept me smiling and laughing throughout. Jack D. Albrecht Jr. and Ashley Delay have created a world that is a great start to an epic fantasy adventure. It. For a debut novel, I was very impressed. 4 | In Her Name: First Contact by Michael R. Hicks After reading Gabriel’s Redemption, I picked up a very popular science fiction series by friend and “mentor’ Michael R. Hicks. In chronological order, this is the first of several books in the epic science fiction fantasy series. It took me a while to read this one only because it’s lengthy and I’m not a very fast reader, but I absolutely loved this book. There’s a reason why Michael Hicks is one of my favorite authors, not only because I know him personally, and he’s been personally helpful to me as an author, but because of his writing style and attention to detail. He created a believable world and executes his story in such a way that I’ve not seen from many of the best New York Times bestselling mainstream authors out there. If you enjoy reading science fiction, don’t pass this one up. It’s free on all ebook platforms to hook you . . . and it will. 3 | As the Ash Fell by AJ Powers One of the things I look for most in a novel is good character development. AJ Powers did a phenomenal job of that. His characters felt realistic. They spoke and acted in such a way that was believable in their situation. I felt like I was personally getting to know Clay, his family, and the other characters in the story. I cared about them. It was so hard finding a good stopping point every night I read this novel, and due to my growing interest in the characters, I wanted to know more. Heck, there were even a few times that I turned off my Kindle, went to bed, and then decided to read just one more chapter. The overall story is what really drew me in. What would it be like if the supervolcano at Yellowstone erupted? The author only briefly touches on that subject, but I think it worked well. The story isn’t so much about the eruption, but how a man struggles to keep his family alive and safe from the real threat . . . other people. As the Ash Fell has a good mixture of suspense, drama, some romance, and action, but what I really loved most about this novel were the characters and their relationships. AJ got bonus points for making a grown man cry, so that bumped Michael Hicks’s In Her Name: First Contact down a rank, but he still gets the No. 2 spot. J 2 | Season of the Harvest by Michael R. Hicks I told you Michael Hicks was one of my all-time favorite authors. Season of the Harvest gets the runner-up spot. I have always been a fan of fiction based on reality, such as Jurassic Park and Prey. It’s one reason why I’ve always enjoyed reading books written by the late Michael Crichton. He knew how to entertain us with a good work of fiction based on reality, and he often got me thinking, “Could this really happen?” With the passing of Mr. Crichton, I never thought I would find another writer who wrote in a similar style until I read Season of the Harvest by Michael R. Hicks. It had all the elements I was looking for, including the science fiction based on reality. This particular book focuses around the science of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), something that is very real and a bit scary if you do some reading about it. But what if the food you ate was genetically altered and you didn’t even know about it? After reading Season of the Harvest, you may think twice about taking a bite out of that corn on the cob. Aside from the science fiction/horror based on fact aspect of Season of the Harvest I think one of the best things about this book is that it is fast-paced and has a lot of action. It is written very well, flows well, and has a satisfying ending. In fact, the ending got me screaming at my Kindle (just like screaming at the television). But that’s a good thing. Michael did a great job at ending the story that left me disappointed at the outcome, but completely satisfied at the same time. It’s hard to explain without giving anything away. You’ll just have to pick up a copy of Season of the Harvest to find out. Oh, by the way, this one is also free on all e-book platforms. 1 | Imago Chronicles: A Warrior’s Tale by Lorna Suzuki The battle sequences shine in A W arrior’s Tale. L.T. Suzuki did an amazing job with the detail in this story of Nayla Treeborn, the halfhuman/half-elf female protagonist, in this compelling fantasy story. A W arrior’s Tale is very long, but well worth the read. The story starts a bit slow, but only because the author spends this time building up the main character. There is A LOT that goes on in the first book of the Imago Chronicles. It spans over several years of Nayla Treeborn’s life (she is half-elf after all). The author kept me engaged in the story and I’m pleased to say that it left me with a smile on my face. I’m glad I also purchased the print edition for my fiction library because it includes maps of Eastern and Western Imago (printed on the back pages), which is a nice bonus.
A Warrior’s Tale is not the typical fantasy that I’m used to reading, but that is definitely a positive note. I think where Suzuki shines the most is in the battle scenes. They were awesome! And there is plenty of it! I loved her descriptive detail of the action scenes, and it does not surprise me that these books are in production for a major motion picture with Oscar-winning producer Don Carmody on board. Suzuki placed me right in the middle of the action with her battle scenes. I could almost hear the sounds of steel clashing and arrows flying through the air as I read A W arrior’s Tale. I can’t wait to see the movie!
Dames de Horreur By: Thomas S. Flowers
With October being, as we nerds of macabre tend to think, the month of fright, I thought I’d talk a little about the role of women in horror and who some of my favorite lady characters are in the genre. Women have broken boundaries and defied not only gender clichés, but also social and cultural trends as well, with more tenacity than any Joe Shmoe on the block. Now, in all honesty, horror is not without its own stereotypical tropes, but in fairness, horror has also done more to water down those grey stone walls of truism. Slasher movies for one have a nasty habit of typecasting women into weak character roles. Yet, looking at it from another angle, you might notice that as said slasher movie victim is running around bumping into dead things and screaming at the top of her lungs, she survives while typically every single if not 99% of the male character population parishes in some grotesque way. At the very least, perhaps even slasher movies are saying that when the shit hits the fan, women are survivors. Consider Tina Shepard from Friday the 13th part 7, she didn’t need help from hunky would-be boyfriend Nick, she took care of business all her own. In 2013’s home invasion horror movie Y ou’re Next, which may or maybe count as a slasher flick (we’re going to roll with it), but in the film while there are a few damsels in dis-
tress, Erin Hanson (played by the beautiful Sharni V inson) utterly dominates the movie, chewing bubble gum and kicking ass. To say the only contribution women have made for horror is to play the victim is a gross generalization. In movies where women are intended to be the victim, they survive. And then there’s the other side of the road, the villains. The creepiest characters and monsters of horror, in my humble opinion, have been women. Consider Kathy Bates in Misery and you tell me if her portrayal as Annie Wilkes didn’t creep you the fuck out! Let’s all be honest here guys, put aside our egocentric macho bullshit and come clean. Let’s admit it, women have done more for horror in recent years than men. Boom. I went there. As a writer of dark fiction, the role women play in my stories are typically strong albeit human roles. In my recently published novel, Reinheit, Rebecca Moss is a kind, gentle, comedic woman. She’s not perfect though, as no one is. Rebecca weakness is in her stubborn belief people can change. She suffers the wrath of her husband because, well, despite loathing his boiling temperament, she fundamentally loves him. However, as the story continues, we see more of the positive potential in Rebecca, the courageous spirit of the suffering hero. When facing impossible situations, her strength blossoms. Writing Rebecca was extremely fun as it was tragic. There is a laundry list of fictional characters that I molded Rebecca from, most of which have come from my love of horror and strange television. Here are a few of my favorite women in the genre. Lina Leandersson as Eli in Let the Right One In released in our most desperate hour, during a very strange and scary time for vampire tropes. I hate to mention it, but it needs to be said, in 2008, vampire lore had been polluted with Twilight-esk glowworm sparkle people making me want to scream! And thank Zeus those days are over. Let the Right One In was a welcomed breath of fresh air, an absolute amazing horror flick. And Lina Leandersson playing the century’s old vampire Eli was magnificent. She was so innocent until she wasn’t. The best scene has to be at the pool when Oskar is confronted with some rather violent bullies. You do not see her inflict the carnage, but when Oskar comes out of the pool and you see all the gore surrounding this small adolescent girl, it is an utter chilling moment in horror history. Her portrayal as his protector was totally believable. The American remake was decent, but I have to go with the original Swedish version. It was by far the superior. Next, there’s Gillian Anderson as Special Agent Dana Scully in The X -Files (1993-2003, 2008). What can really be said about our favorite doubting Special Agent? The X-Files had a huge impact on my life growing up. And the show is still good. Better than most of what passes as TV nowadays, not to sound like some bitter old man. Gillian Anderson’s portrayal as Dana Scully is interesting. She’s the yin to Fox Mulder’s yang (not to sound dirty). She was the rational part of the relationship, Mulder was the wide eye dreamer who jumped at any and all shadow that spelled conspiracy or extraterrestrial or both. She was a skeptic, sure, but she had to be to level out Mulder’s eccentricism. She was also the scientist, the doctor, the brains of the operation. Her portrayal is interesting because it’s a role typically played by men. Are men not the more rational? DON’T ANSWER THAT! (Cough-cough, wink-wink). Then we’ve got Sigourney Weaver as Ellen Ripley in A liens (1986). Though the first time Miss Weaver portrayed Ellen Ripley was in A lien (1979), she did not feel to me as strong of a character as she was in its sequel, A liens. She was a survivor, for sure in A lien, but in A liens she kicked some major xenomorphic ass! In James Cameron’s epic sci-fi horror, Ripley was easily the strongest character not only because of what she did, but the fact that she did it while struggling with PTSD, struggling with the memories of the traumatic events from the first film. She was a protector when at times you felt she was the one needing protection. Hell, she came out on top while every single one, save Hicks, of the supposedly badass Marines gets bush whacked! She even goes toe to toe with the “get away from her you bitch” queen bee! A liens is an excellent movie for many reasons, but the best parts are watching Ripley transform from traumatized survivor to tuff-as-nails She-Ra! Next on my favorites list is Jane Levy as Mia in The Evil Dead (2013). I have no idea what some nerds have against this movie. It is absolutely fantastic. It wasn’t a reboot, it wasn’t a remake, it wasn’t a continuation; 2013’s The Evil Dead was simply another cabin-in-the-woods movie cast in an Evil Dead universe. The mood from the very beginning is grainy and dark, given the subject matter of Mia’s rehabilitation with drug addiction. And it just gets darker. And her struggles felt real. And when the table turns and her inner-demon, as they say, comes out…her creep factor goes sky high! It was fun watching Mia start off playing the victim of the demon that had taken hold of her, and then in actuality becoming the monster (and a scary one at that!). And it was satisfying seeing her, by the end, transform into a person willing to literally and metaphorically come out swinging. Mia
was not some A sh trope, she was her own character, and a strong and realistic one at that.
Next, I’d like to talk about Gaylen Ross who played Francine in Dawn of the Dead (1978). While I struggled between Gaylen as Francine in the original and Sara Polly as Ana in the 2004 remake, because I felt both characters and women are strong in their respective films, in the end I had to go with Gaylen Ross. Blame it on my favoritism to the original classic or on my love for Romero or whatever you want. Regardless, who can deny the magnetism in Ross’ portrayal as Francine? She was a lone woman surrounded by male machismo and was still able to keep her voice heard over all the grunts and farts. From the very get-go, when they land at the mall and she says, “Stephen, I’m afraid. You’re hypnotized by this place. All of you! You don’t see that it’s not a sanctuary, it’s a prison! Let’s just take what we need and get out of here!” Yet, while being overruled by the male majority, she remains patient and lets it slide until her prophecy becomes reality. Of course, her best line is when the boys hatch a plan to secure the mall without consulting her and she confronts them with her own demands, telling Stephen to never leave her without a gun again because (she states mockingly) “I just might know how to use it.” And what’s more interesting is that she is not only the lone woman in the group, but also pregnant. There’s that motherhood qualia going on, which says something to the strength of her character to deal with these boys and keep her cool in the midst of a zombie apocalypse. Lastly, I’d like to give honorable mention to Ashley Laurence who played Kirsty Cotton in Hellraiser (1987) & Hellbound: Hellraiser II (1988). I want to mention Ashley Laurence’s portrayal as Miss Cotton in both films because she was pretty much the same character types in both films, though you can imagine that in Hellbound she was struggling more with the hellish (no pun intended) events from the first movie. Miss Cotton was a believable loving daughter who did everything she could to get-along her step-mother, but as the classic trope demands, her step-mother was quite wicked and unlovable. I love Cotton’s character. She’s not weak necessarily. She is a survivor. And she most certainly has her wits about her during times of tribulation. Consider the moment in Hellraiser when she first opens Lemarchand’s box (aka The Lament Configuration, aka The Puzzle Box). When the cenobites first appear, though terrified, for obvious reasons, she is still able to keep her cool and hatch a plan to trade her life for Frank’s. And in the end, when the cenobite attempt to alter the deal she sends each and every one of them back to hell via solving the puzzle box. In Hellbound, though traumatized, she not only confronts the return of her wicked step-mother, Julia, but manages to humanize Pinhead (Doug Bradley) and the other cenobites, allowing them to turn back to their original self’s. Clare Higgins also deserves mention here. I was not impressed with her portrayal as Julia in the first Hellraiser, her character was too needing of Frank to stand on her own. But in Hellbound, the gloves came off! She was a strong and dominate villain, blood thirsty and seductive, even without skin. Yet, despite strong acting from Higgins, I’m more favorable toward Laurence as Cotton. She was smart and foul mouthed, a perfect combination.
Top Ten Horror Novels By Dane Cobain Hi, folks! My name’s Dane Cobain, and I’m the author of a supernatural thriller called No Rest for the Wicked, which follows the story of the elderly Father Montgomery as he struggles to protect his parishioners from mysterious, evil Angels. I’d like to talk about my pick of the top ten horror novels. I read all of the time, and I have a book blog of my own at SocialBookshelves.com, and so books are something that I’m passionate about – I think I might struggle to narrow it down to ten, but I’ll give it a go. 10 – Phillip Pullman: Count Karlstein I had to include this book, even though it’s more of a YA novel than a horror novel – it’s just a fantastic story, and even though it’s almost like a fairy tale, fairy tales do contain their fair share of horror if you look deep
enough. Besides, Pullman is one of my favourite living writers.
9 – Henry James: The Turn of the Screw The Turn of the Screw is a masterclass in suspense, and it’s as relevant today as it was way back in the 19th century, when it was first published. It’s reasonably short, and it’s exceptionally readable considering it’s a ‘classic’, so what’s not to love? 8 – Susan Hill: The Woman in Black I heard of the film first, then the play, and then the book. I’ve seen the movie and read the book and both have their merits, but the book in particular is gripping and gritty and well worthy of a place on this list. 7 – Mary Shelley: Frankenstein I personally don’t think that Frankenstein is a particularly scary novel, but then I suppose that not all horror is scary. It’s certainly horrific – Shelley’s depiction of Frankenstein’s monster has stood the test of time and entered the consciousness of popular culture. 6 – Stephen King: Misery Perhaps this is made scarier by the fact that I’m a writer myself, and so I could easily have been the victim of Annie Wilkes, the film’s antagonist. Misery is another great example of a novel in which the actual horror is few and far between, but the overall vibe is of fear. 5 – Stephen King: Duma Key This is the second Stephen King novel in the list, and there are actually three in a row – it wasn’t intentional, it’s just where they happen to rank in my list of overall favourites! Duma Key is particularly memorable for the unusual world of Boo Ya Moon, and it certainly left a lasting memory on me – I can even remember where I was when I finished it. 4 – Stephen King: Doctor Sleep Confession time – I didn’t think much of The Shining. Fortunately, however, I really enjoyed Doctor Sleep, which is its sequel. In this novel, King follows the story of Danny, the little kid who was Jack Nicholson’s son in the movie version, and for me it’s a rare case of a sequel being better than the original. I suggest that you read both, though! 3 – Bram Stoker: Dracula Dracula is my favourite ‘classic’ horror novel, and I’ve read it several times – I love the way that Stoker uses an epistolary (look it up) format to tell the story, and even though it takes a long time to get through it, I’ve re-read it several times since I first picked it up. On my first read, it gave me nightmares! 2 – M. R. Carey: The Girl With All the Gifts This book is hands down my favourite zombie novel of all time, and I’m looking forward to reading more of Carey’s work. I’m not convinced that it counts as a horror novel, but it most definitely incorporates elements of horror into the storytelling and it works really well. 1 – William Peter Blatty: The Exorcist
“Like the brief doomed flare of a thousand exploding suns, the beginning of the horror passed almost unnoticed.” This book left such a deep impression on me that I can still remember the opening sentence. Even if you’re not a horror fan, I think you should read The Exorcist – it’s a classic novel, as well as a classic movie, in my opinion. So there we have it – those are my top ten horror novels! What did you think of the list?
Hi people. I’m J.G. Clay; the new nightmare from the U.K. I have a Top 10 for you. I like doing Top 10s. The only problem I have is that they can change from week to week. However, there’s one Top 10 that never does – My personal favourite Scary/Horrifying moments from both the large and small. The following scenes are still guaranteed to send a shiver down my spine at the very least.
10. ‘The Space Dragon Feeds’ – Space: 1999 ‘Dragon’s Den.
I’ve actually written a guest blog piece about this particular instance (which can be found here: http:// bit.ly/1haRLOQ). But just to break it down – crew of spaceship find derelict craft. They go onto craft. They are consumed and then spat out as smoking corpses by a screaming many tentacle monsters. Horrifying for a 9 year old. I never watched that episode again. 9. ‘The Peking Homonculus – Doctor Who ‘Talons of Weng Chiang’
Staying with British science fiction, I give you Mr Sin, The Peking Homonculus. An android puppet with a pig’s cerebral cortex, this Asian cousin of Chucky not only threatens the Doctor and his companion, Leela, with a large knife. We also learn during the story that the awful little puppet killed the children of a future Government official who thought he was a toy. A memorable monster from a memorable show. 8. ‘If Thine Face Offend Thee, Then Pull It off’ – Poltergeist
Why, Mr Spielberg? Just why? The original ‘Poltergeist was meant to be a ’15’ rating. This scene tipped it well over that. And proceeded to scare the living s**t out of me. I’ve never forgiven Spielberg or Tobe Hooper for this. This scene proves that we were harder in the Eighties than we are now. Which leads me nicely to….. 7. ‘This Is What Happens When You Leave A Nazi In The Sun’ – Raiders of the Lost Ark
Toht. A horrible slimy Gestapo agent with a nice line in glasses, snappy head gear and gooiness. It’s not the actual effect that always disturbed me. It’s the gurgling scream as the remains of his head flow down his throat. 6. ‘You heard the Man, You Know The Drill’- City of The Living Dead
Giovanni Radice Lombardo ¬– also known as John Morghen – had the distinction of being Italy’s go to guy for nasty deaths. He is the unfortunate man in ‘Cannibal Ferox’ who lost his manhood and the top of his head to a cannibal tribe, as well as being shotgun blasted in Cannibal Apocalypse, beaten and humiliated in House at The Edge of The Park and left hideously scarred in the 2006 remake of The Omen. However, it’s this star turn as the victim of a head drilling that has always stuck in my mind (bad pun alert).
5. ‘One, Two, Freddy’s Coming For You’ – A Nightmare On Elm Street
At one point, both the King Of Cinematic Killers and Extremely Bloody irritating, Freddy Krueger’s first outing was a masterpiece. His very first appearance where his arms are far too long is unnerving. A shame that he became he became a bit over the top in later outings. (really??? you had to go with Freddy...arg...that's my biggest horror movie nightmare, I was way too young to watch it when I did and it never left me, never...just the sound of 'one two..." sends shivers down my spine!!! ~WN) 4. ‘My Tummy (John) Hurts’ –Alien
John Hurt – Chest Burster. What more needs to be said?
3. ‘That Face You Make….’ – An American Werewolf In London
I am utterly terrified by that face. In a film chock full of shocks, this is the scene that had me screaming and running from the living room the first time I saw it on VHS. To add to the fun, some bright spark has now released a line of T-Shirts and Hooded Tops with this face on. Thanks a bunch. (I tried sharing this movie with my daughter- she loves horror movies. I don't think she appreciated the 80s cheesiness of this film and I didn't remember how chessy it was either- of course the last time I watched it I was a child- LOL- yes I watched too many horror films as a kid. Could explain why I am so warped now ;-) ~WN 2. ‘No Tears Please’ – Hellraiser
Not so much scary as fascinating. Doug Bradley’s regal performance as the Priest of Pain is amazing, especially in some of the sequels which are just rubbish horror films guest starring Pinhead. His debut, however, is still one the best performances I have ever seen in a horror film. A Salute for Mr Bradley. 1. ‘It’s weird and p***ed off, whatever it is’-The Thing
I can’t pick one singular moment in this masterclass of terror. The whole film still unnerves me, even after repeated viewing. An amazing film that had stood the test of time. So there you have it, folks. My favourite scares of all time. I hope you’ve enjoyed this as much as I have. Until the next time, farewell.
How to Survive a Time Jump Living on the streets as a time jumper doesn’t have to be torture if you remember to always keep your cool, plan each move carefully, and trust your logic. The first instinct is to run, but don’t. That’ll only draw attention to yourself. If you’re not in immediate danger, then stop, look, listen, and most of all, think! Sounds easy, doesn’t it? Well, it’s not. Especially for a newbie. A zillion things can go wrong, but if you can stay calm and focus, it’ll keep you alive. That usually means starting with a chill pill, because a major panic attack will only make the situation worse. I know, ladies. That was me when I first started. I was such a complete spaz. It’s so embarrassing now that I think back on it. It’s also important to memorize my simple Post Jump To Do List and put it into action as soon as you land: clothes, food, and shelter. In that order. Remember, only living cells can be transported across time and space, so you won’t be able to take any clothes or supplies with you when you jump. You can’t plan ahead and build a stash either. Time jumps can take you months or even years ahead, and you’ll usually come out in some other part of the city. By the time you get back to your stuff, it won’t be there. So don’t bother. It’s a giant waste of time. One thing I’ve learned over the years is that homeless people develop a special kind of uber radar for finding things. Trust me, they WILL find your stash. No matter where you hide it. And you can forget about keeping your bling safe. I know this all sounds insane, but eventually you’ll learn to fly by the seat of your pants, even though you won’t have any. A sense of humor helps, too, since everyone’s gonna notice you’re not wearing any clothes after a jump. Forget modesty, too. Focus on survival and ignore everything else. I still remember the first time I jumped. I came out in the burning hot parking lot of a huge shopping center in Phoenix with a curious rent a cop standing over me. The mall guard turned out to be a really nice guy and helped me a lot, but still. You never know who’s gonna be around. Being naked in public takes some getting used to; however, once you do, it serves as quite the distraction for eye witnesses when they try to tell their story to the cops. After all, who remembers a girl’s face when she’d naked? But you need to realize up front, this won’t be easy. Everywhere you turn, there will be creepers. Always gawking. Pointing. Drooling. Totally grosses me out, but what’s a girl to do? Eventually, you’ll get used to it, just like I did. There’s nothing you can do about it, so just deal and move on. Being naked is the most natural thing there is, though it can wreak havoc on your feet, especially in the city. OMG, what I wouldn’t give for a pedicure and a foot massage. Some nail polish would be nice, too, and some makeup, but that’s a whole other story. Truth is, I never liked my Sasquatch feet anyway, but now that I’m a veteran time jumper, they’re even more hideous. Ugly feet run in my family and my mom’s were the worst. I guess that’s why they invented shoes—to cover up the nasty. Which reminds me, the worst part about time jumping is not having socks. My feet are always cold when I come out of a jump, no matter where I end up and believe me, you can end up anywhere. Been there, done that if you know what I mean. One time I came out of a jump and found myself face to face with a pissed off orangutan at the Phoenix Zoo. He snarled at me with his big, ugly face, and then threw crap at me—literally—and it stuck in my hair! IN MY HAIR! Yuck! Granted, my hair is always a hot mess and I would gladly trade a kidney for a good hairbrush, but come on, really? Poop in your hair? Do you know how hard it is to get that @#^! out when you’re homeless? And the smell! You know what I’m talking about—that funky jungle stink that seems to take on a life of its own. Makes me want to hurl just thinking about it. So let this be a warning. If you come out of a jump and find yourself staring at a giant primate
armed with a handful of smelly stuff, remember to DUCK! Then run! There aren’t exactly bathtubs for the homeless on every street corner, so avoid the zoo at all costs. Oh, and stay away from police stations, too. Cops don’t have a sense of humor when it comes to girls running around in public in their birthday suit. Anyway, always being cold after a jump is something you must be prepared for when you first arrive somewhere. I think it has something to do with the compression of space-time through a quantum fold, at least that’s what I read in a physics book at the public library couple months back. There’s no heat when you’re transported through time, so my poor little piggy’s always come out as ice cubes when I wake up. Even in the middle of the blistering hot summers in Phoenix. Luckily, it passes quickly and so does the nausea, so just give it time. Homeless shelters are where most rookies head for when they first arrive. Don’t. Those people are impossible to deal with. There’s too much competition for an already sucky selection of clothes, and the people that run the place ask WAY too many questions. I’ll pass, thank you very much. Instead, I look for the nearest church. Especially if it’s St. Bob’s or whatever. Catholics are the best people to hit up for free stuff. They’re always looking to help someone out, like it’s their religion or something. Go figure. But they usually have boxes and boxes of nice stuff sitting around, and they’re just waiting to give it all away. Free stuff is like gold—never pass it up. When you get there, grab a few things that fit and don’t worry about fashion. If it’s warm and doesn’t smell like orangutan (if you know what I mean) —be thankful. I don’t recommend carrying a suitcase around ‘cause it screams HOMELESS GIRL. Actually, it screams DUMB HOMELESS GIRL. It’s like walking around with a great big sign that says COME HURT ME. The streets are filled with evil around every corner, so there’s no reason to go out of your way to attract it. Be smart. Stay off the radar. Layer on a few outfits and get moving. Don’t hang around any longer than necessary because even the nice church people will eventually get nosey. It seems like everyone wants to help the poor homeless girl—always trying to fix you or change your life. Little do they know, time jumpers can’t be fixed and we don’t need help! We’re just fine the way we are. Once you’re dressed, get out as fast as you can and don’t forget a good pair of shoes and socks for the road. Comfort over style is one of my rules, and I have many rules I live by. But I’ll save that list for another time. Once you’ve covered all your goodies with some clothes, it’s time to think about food and water. Water is easy—faucets are everywhere in the city, so keep your eyes open and head down. When you pass a trash can, dig around and see if you can find something to use as a water bottle. People always throw them away, so it shouldn’t take long to find something useful. Keep it filled every chance you get. Just be sure to wash it out good the first time. Oh, and never, and I mean never, share it with the old homeless man who reminds you of your grandpa. Can you say backwash? Food is a little tougher. My favorite place—a Mexican food restaurant. They put so much food on a plate for everyone, there’s plenty of leftovers that get thrown away. A quick trip around back and you can usually score a fresh meal from the dumpster, assuming you don’t mind sharing it with a bunch of hungry fly’s. Enchiladas are my fave, but I don’t recommend the beans. Being homeless with bad case of gas— and I’m talking about kill a horse kind of gas—won’t earn you any brownie points with the normals. Eventually you’ll need help from one of them, so try not to offend their sense of smell. Special Emily Tip: If you happen to stumble across some unused wet-naps in the dumpster, snag ‘em. You can trade them for almost anything. Way back in the early days, finding a specific kind of restaurant was easy. I’d just find the nearest phone booth, grab the yellow pages and turn to the restaurant section. Now that cell phones are all the rage, it’s almost impossible to find a pay phone anymore—let along yellow pages. Since I don’t recommend talking to anyone or asking for directions, that leaves you with two options: wandering around like a crazy person, or using the Internet. Public libraries are the best choice for getting online, especially if you’re a skilled, ninja chick like me. It didn’t take me long to learn how to
sneak past the old Nazi lady at the front desk. How? Let’s just say, this girl has skills. In an upcoming entry, I’ll show you seven handy tricks for sneaking into places using my famous stealth moves. For now, just find a group of chatty Kathy’s and slip inside with them. That usually works. Once you’re past the entrance, you’ll need to head to the back and sweet talk the tech guy. Every girl should already know how to do that, so I won’t go into detail. LOL. Boys as soooo predictable—and gullible. Soon you’ll be using a computer station without a library card any time you want. Just use your imagination, girls. That’s all I’m gonna say. Wink. Wink. One last tip before I end this journal entry. Most people don’t realize this, but good luck trying to prove your identity when you’re a homeless time jumper who doesn’t age and can’t bring anything along when the blue fire comes. I’ve been traveling for thirty years now and my records are long gone. Yours will be, too. Anonymity is both your friend and your foe. So be prepared to deal with it. You won’t be able to get a job or stay in a motel like a normal person without proper ID, so you’ll have to get creative if you need cash or a place to stay. That’s it for now. Next time, I’ll show you how to find shelter and hunker down for the night. Like they say, it’s all about location, location, location. Remember, street urchins are everywhere, so stay safe and stay strong! And never, ever give up! —Emily Heart
Glassford Girl Boxed Set: Parts 1 and 2 Emily Heart Time Jumper Series Jay J. Falconer Genre: Sci-Fi / Fantasy / Paranormal / Young Adult Publisher: Bear Down Publishing Date of Publication: 4-10-2015 ISBN: 978-1508985815 ASIN: B00VXYTS2S Number of pages: 430
Book Description: Teleportation. Telepathy. Superior strength and speed. Abilities she never wanted. Abilities she must learn to control. Emily Heart used to have a normal life. A life filled with family, friends, and a warm bed to sleep in. But that was before the night of The Taking. The night when she was abducted and genetically transformed against her will. Now she's lost everything and living on the streets of Glassford Park, struggling to stay alive one more day. But it won’t be easy. Not when a gang wants to kill her, cops want to arrest her,
and a reporter wants to expose her.
However, Emily’s problems don’t end there. Any uncontrolled burst of emotion can send her jumping randomly across time and space, arriving naked and alone. If she's not careful, she could travel to infinity and beyond, never to be heard from again. Emily doesn't quite know what she is, or what she's capable of, but she knows what she can't afford to do -- feel anything. And she can’t afford to make any mistakes. Available at Amazon About the Author: Jay J. Falconer is an independent author, publisher, blogger, editor, engineer and Sci-Fi junkie who lives in the mountains of northern Arizona where the brisk, clean air and stunning mountain views inspire his workday. He makes his online home at: www.JayFalconer.com and is an active member author with BookBreeze.com. Mr. Falconer is the author of the critically acclaimed Narrows of Time Series and The Emily Heart Time Jumper Series, and is currently developing an all new apocalyptic Sci-Fi series called Redfall, The Flames of Tomorrow, due to be released in 2015. Be sure to watch the video trailer for the Author's Narrows of Time book series by cutting and pasting this link: http://youtu.be/QXic3vkwC1U Website: http://www.JayFalconer.com Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/ NarrowsOfTime
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/ show/5314496.Jay_J_Falconer
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Jay-J.-Falconer/ e/B00IZO33N4
Vampires: Dead, Undead, or Something Else by Roxanne Rhoads Nothing says Halloween like people running around dressed as Dracula proclaiming “I vant to suck your blood.” I don’t think that’s the image Bram had in mind when he wrote Dracula but it’s become the vampire caricature we are most familiar with. Especially at Halloween. In most myths, legends and even in plenty of today’s popular fiction, vampires are described as either dead or undead, sometimes referred to as walking corpses. No heartbeat, no need to breathe, no need to eat food or drink anything other than blood. Honestly all that doesn’t make a whole helluva lot of sense to me. For me vampires are different and extraordinary creatures- not dead at all. Just different. I can understand them being described as dead in the early incarnations. Because before the Gothic literature of the 1800s romanticized vampires, early myths and legends portrayed them as monsters- grotesque walking corpses. More like today’s zombies than the sexy, romantic and sometimes sparkling vampires that we often envision them to be. I see being changed into as vampire as a transformation, not necessarily a true death, though in a way it is, but not like what it is often described as. I see it as a catalyst that transforms a person from human to Other. Changing from human to vampire can be a death of human life and rebirth as a vampire, but not a true death. I can’t wrap my head around the concept of a vampire being dead because of several things. One they need to feed to “survive”. If you need to survive then obviously you’re not really dead, are you? Another thing- rapid healing abilities. If you can change and heal, how can you be dead? Dead things don’t heal. Zombies don’t heal. Other things I don’t agree with are the cold skin, lack of heartbeat and lack of breathing. I think vampires are evolved and don’t need to breath as often as humans and their hearts don’t beat like ours- and the slowness of their heartbeat and breaths has something to do with the whole immortality thing. And the cold skin… when they get cold that just means they need to feed, if they are fully fed their skin is just as warm as ours. That brings me to the need for blood. As I mentioned I see vampirism as a transformation, kinda like a disease that changes the body. It changes the metabolism and the higher functions of the body but to keep these processes going the body burns up its blood supply and constantly needs to be replenished. The other powers of vampires- the glamour and mind control and all that, even the teleportation and shape shifting that some can do…well that goes into the magic slot. I think vampirism is one part disease two parts magic. In many of my stories the vampires defy the normal vampire conventions. They eat, they walk in daylight, they have heartbeats, and they breathe (usually). I try not to describe them as dead or undead and I don’t often stick them in coffins or in the ground. In my Vehicle City Vampires Series, the vampires are all a little different from each other. Some have issues with sunlight, some do not, some have silver sensitivities some do not. This is because there are many species of Others (fae, demon, shifter, witch, etc) that have interbred with humans over the centuries. When a human is turned into a vampire the dormant powers inside them become active. Most humans will never know they have “Other” blood inside them until the catalyst of becoming a vampire brings that dormant power to the surface. In addition vampires also gain some of their abilities and powers from the vampire that made them, their sire. The result is a species of vampires that have a wide variety of powers and abilities. Which is why they are so hard to track, kill or fight- you never know what you’re going up against when you deal with a vamp. A 100% human with no “Other” blood inside will not survive the change into a vampire. In the Vehicle City Vampire series I wanted to take all the myths, legends and variances of vampire abilities, mix them all up and create an explanation as to why vampires are so different. I hope that readers will enjoy my take on vampirism.
Sponsor an Art Student’s Trip to Europe
My daughter Arianna is an aspiring artist and junior in high school. She is taking Visual Design Communications at the Genesee Career Institute. In June 2016 she has the opportunity to travel to Europe’s Mediterranean Coast with her design class- a dream come true for lovers of art, architecture and history. However a trip to Europe isn’t cheap. So I am seeking sponsors to help fund her educational trip. Sponsorships can be written off on your taxes as advertising expenses for your business. Everyone that donates will receive an advertising or design package based on the level of your donation. You will be responsible for providing graphics for your ads. If you wish to purchase design services please let me know, those are separate from sponsorship prices. This fundraising venture is not affiliated with my daughter’s school or class, this is strictly created by me and every dollar you donate will go directly to my daughter’s trip. Sponsorship Levels $10 - Donate $10 and receive a ¼ page ad in an issue of Bewitching Book Tours Magazine $20 - Donate $20 and receive one month of sidebar advertising at Fang-tastic Books $40 - Donate $40 and receive two months of sidebar advertising at Fang-tastic Books $50 - Donate $50 and receive two months of sidebar advertising at Fang-tastic Books and one half page ad in an issue of Bewitching Book Tours Magazine $100- Donate $100 and receive three months of sidebar advertising at Fang-tastic Books and two half page ads or one full page ad in future issues of Bewitching Book Tours Magazine $200- Donate $200 and receive 6 months of sidebar advertising at Fang-tastic Books and six half page ads or 3 full page ads in future issues of Bewitching Book Tours Magazine $500- Donate $500 and receive a one month Make Magic Happen Tour Package and 12 months of sidebar advertising at Fang-tastic Books and eight half page ads or 4 full page ads in future issues of Bewitching Book Tours Magazine If you have any questions or you are interested in sponsoring her trip please email me at RoxanneRhoads@bewitchingbooktours.com
I will invoice you via Paypal so you have a record of your advertising expense. I will also send you details and required sizes for the ads. Thank you for your time and consideration. ~Roxanne Rhoads You can see a sample of some of her work in this facebook album https://goo.gl/uTUeUN
How Horror Stories Saved A Lonely Kid
From as far back as I can remember I loved horror films and scary stories. Back in the day when I was a child, I got hooked on the old Universal horror flicks from the 1930s, 40s, and 50s. My best friends were Frankenstein’s monster, the Wolfman, Dracula, the Mummy, the Invisible Man, and the Creature from the Black Lagoon . I watched these movies endlessly on the Saturday afternoon movie channels or on Creature Features. I had them memorized. No joke. I could recite complete scenes word for word, and perform the lines in the same accents as the actors. People like Lon Chaney, Jr., Bela Lugosi, Boris Karloff, and even Maria Ouspenskaya (I could remember the spelling of her name before I was ten) were the celebrities I favored, not the rock stars of the day like my peers. I fell in love with the music scores, most of which were composed by German-born Hans J. Salter. I’d put a cassette recorder up to the TV speaker and record the films onto audiocassette so I could listen to them over and over again. Okay, I was a weird kid. LOL I didn’t understand until much later in life that my love of these films and characters fed the sense of isolation I felt from everyone around me. I was a shy kid, yes. But more than that, I was born with a hearing loss that impaired my ability to understand with clarity what people around me were saying. There were no hearing aids at the time that could help me, and no one in the family or at school had hearing loss like me. Even my grandmother could hear better than me when she was ninety years old! So I was very much in a world of my own, a true outsider that no one around me could fully understand. Horror films are otherworldly, about people outside the “normal” spectrum, often shy loners like me who didn’t fit in. I felt immense empathy for The Creature from the Black Lagoon, uprooted from his home, brought to a strange place, and put on display for people to gawk at. Frankenstein’s monster, especially as portrayed by Boris Karloff in the first three films, was incredibly sympathetic. He was misunderstood by everyone. All he wanted was love and acceptance (like all of us.) His ugliness frightened people so they rejected him. Those films inspired me to read the original book, and through that story I felt an even greater kinship with the monster. I wasn’t physically ugly like him, no, but I was “weird” in the eyes of my peers. I would give strange answers to questions, or respond oddly to a statement, or react incongruously to something another child did simply because I couldn’t hear correctly. But because I wore no hearing aids and the disability was invisible, even I would forget it was there and think I was just stupid or dumb for how I responded or acted in a given situation. I struggled in every group activity because the noise and chattering from other kids made it much harder for me to understand them clearly. And team sports? Let’s not even go there! So horror was, for me, an escape into a world where even weird people have a place and a purpose in life. Horror films helped me manage my own fear when I’d be confronted with something new and scary. My favorite TV show as a child was “Dark Shadows,” a daily soap opera populated with outsiders like me. The main character was a vampire who didn’t want to be a vampire, just like I didn’t want to be hard of hearing. Barnabas Collins tried so many ways to “cure” his vampirism, but they all backfired on him. The message to me, a young boy, was that even as a vampire he could still be a good person, successful and well liked. And that meant maybe I could be, too. Those characters got me through middle school. They were my friends when I didn’t have any. They taught me lessons
about life and death, love and fate. Good horror always does this while also stimulating our imagination and filling our hearts with dread. In Spinner, I attempted to create this kind of horror tale, one that will engage all the emotions, not just fear. The teen characters are like me, outsiders with disabilities who don’t fit the “norm.” But they accept very quickly that something dangerous and otherworldly is happening to them and they use the skills they do have to solve the mystery and save lives. Spinner has lots of traditional horror “scare scenes,” but it also features action, excitement, sadness, the power of friendship and family, and the overriding need for all of us to find our place in the world. Horror helped one lonely boy find his way through life. Maybe, with Spinner, that boy can pay it forward to someone else.
Spinner Michael J. Bowler Genre: teen horror/mystery Publisher: YoungDudes Publishing Date of Publication: August 5, 2015 ISBN: 978-0-9946675-1-9 Number of pages: 464 Word Count: 138K Cover Artist: Louis C. Harris
Book Description: Fifteen-year-old Alex is a “spinner.” His friends are “dummies.” Two clandestine groups of humans want his power. And an ancient evil is stalking him. If people weren’t being murdered, Alex might laugh at how his life turned into a horror movie overnight. In a wheelchair since birth, his freakish ability has gotten him kicked out of ten foster homes since the age of four. Now saddled with a sadistic housemother who uses his spinning to heal the kids she physically abuses, Alex and his misfit group of learning disabled classmates are the only ones who can solve the mystery of his birth before more people meet a gruesome end. They need to find out who murdered their beloved teacher, and why the hot young substitute acts like she’s flirting with them. Then there’s the mysterious medallion that seems to have unleashed something malevolent, and an ancient prophecy suggesting Alex has the power to destroy humanity. The boys break into homes, dig up graves, elude kidnappers, fight for their lives against feral cats, and ultimately confront an evil as old as humankind. Friendships are tested, secrets uncovered, love spoken, and destiny revealed. The kid who’s always been a loner will finally learn the value of friends, family, and loyalty.
If he survives…
What Are You?
Available at Amazon Chapter One
Alex felt uneasy as he lay in his bed and listened to the wind outside. It had been an okay day at school – he’d only been called “Roller Boy” twice, which was almost a world record. After school, he’d kicked it at Roy’s house and they cranked some Hawthorne Heights tunes and chilled. Even Jane hadn’t bitched at him. So why can’t I sleep? He didn’t know the answer. His eyes returned to the dancing shadows that flitted across his floor from the window. His drapes were closed, but the wind whistled through the trees, and the shadows mesmerized him. The patterns of light and dark pulled on his eyelids, dragging him slowly under. A dream loomed at the edges of his consciousness. One of those dreams. Sleep overcame him, and the dream began….
Ms. Ashley trudged down a flight of stairs from her second floor apartment to street level, carrying several overflowing bags of trash. The traffic sounds were omnipresent, but otherwise the night was calm and clear. A slight breeze ruffled her long brown hair as she slunk quickly to the rear of the complex. Rounding the building, she passed alongside a sloping hill of ivy-covered ground toward the row of trashcans in the far corner. Looking chilled and unsettled, Ms. Ashley lifted one lid and struggled to get all her bags in without spilling anything. A rustling noise startled her and she whipped her head around to the left. The ivy-covered hill ascended upward into darkness, but there was no movement. Only a creepy silence. She quickly tossed her bags into the can and dropped the lid back in place with a hollow clang. Suddenly, a large cat dropped onto the top of the can from somewhere above. She uttered a startled cry and leaped back a few steps. The cat meowed and she chuckled, extending one slightly trembling hand. The animal snuggled against it, wanting to be stroked. She ran her fingers through the fur around the cat’s neck and under its chin. More rustling leaves drew her attention to the ivy. The darkness in this corner was deep and penetrating, making the vines and leaves snaking their way up the slope barely visible. Another cat materialized from beneath the thick cover of ivy. Then another. And another. In seconds, the hillside crackled and seethed with cats of all shapes and sizes. Their glowing eyes shone like eerie beacons in the night. The cat beneath Ms. Ashley’s fingers hissed and swiped its claws at her, raking the top of her hand and drawing copious amounts of blood. Startled, she cried out and yanked her hand back, gazing in shock at the dark liquid gushing forth and spilling onto the concrete at her feet. Terror etched her face. She cautiously backed away. The cats crouched on the hillside, poised and threatening. The huge one she’d been petting wailed into the night, and then they were on her, leaping and clawing at her face and hair. Hundreds of cats streamed down the hillside and flung themselves at her while the big one sat and watched like a general commanding his troops. Ms. Ashley screamed, but loud traffic sounds drowned out her cries. Flailing wildly, she turned and stumbled along the side of the building toward the street, desperately crying out for help. Claws dug into her back and raked across her neck. Teeth sunk into her arm. She shrieked in agony as they yanked out chunks of her hair and raked at her legs, shredding her sweat pants and digging viciously into her soft flesh. Blood spilled from everywhere on her body. The street loomed just ahead. She tossed one cat off in a frantic attempt to save herself, only to have three more replace it. She clearly didn’t have much time before she’d topple beneath a tidal wave of claws and fur. A large truck roared along Lincoln Boulevard as Ms. Ashley staggered toward the curb. The headlights
were bright and blinding. The biggest cat now flew from the retaining wall at her face and gouged a chunk of flesh out of her cheek, exposing the bone. She wailed in agony. Her knees buckled, but Ms. Ashley managed to stay on her feet while stumbling headlong into the street at a frantic pace. Suddenly aware that the truck was almost on her, she clutched at the nearest light post in desperation. One bloodied hand caught the post and slowed her momentum as the cats ceased their brutal attack. She gesticulated frantically with her free hand, hoping to attract the attention of the driver. With her urgent gaze fixed on the truck, she didn’t see the figure in black leap from behind the retaining wall right at her. Strong hands pressed hard into her back and propelled her forward. The truck mowed her down in a splatter of blood and gore, flinging her broken body to the pavement and then crushing it beneath massive tires. As the truck screeched to an ear-piercing halt near the corner, the figure in black melted into the darkness. Several cats sniffed the dead woman's remains before they, too, disappeared into the shadows. The first cat was the last to depart, watching as the horrified driver jumped from the truck cab and pelted toward Ms. Ashley’s broken body. The cat seemed to grin before vanishing into the night…. Alex screamed and bolted upright in bed, sweating profusely, his young face etched with horror, hair plastered to his sweat-sheened forehead. Heart thumping with urgent terror, he scanned his darkened room. The door leading outside was closed, but the ominous shadows still crept through the window. His desk was messy as usual, and the door to his bathroom stood ajar, but he’d left it that way. Everything looked like it had before he fell asleep. Dropping onto his pillow, Alex fought to control his breathing and calm his pounding heart. A dream. That’s all it had been. He’d known one was coming, and he’d been right. God, he hated those dreams! Poor Ms. Ashley. He lay there, sweat making his t-shirt cling uncomfortably to his chest as his heart rate slowly drew down. Could this dream be like the one about his parents? He hadn’t had one like that in years. It seemed so real! He lay in bed worrying about the morning, and what he’d find when he got to school, even though there was nothing he could do to change anything. Gradually, he calmed down; the tree branches outside tapping against the house lulled him to sleep. The last image to assail him before he went under was that ugly-ass cat grinning at him before running off into the dark.
About the Author: Michael J. Bowler is an award-winning author of eight novels––A Boy and His Dragon, A Matter of Time (Silver Medalist from Reader’s Favorite), and The Knight Cycle, comprised of five books: Children of the Knight (Gold Award Winner in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards), Running Through A Dark Place, There Is No Fear, And The Children Shall Lead, Once Upon A Time In America, and Spinner.
His horror screenplay, “Healer,” was a Semi-Finalist, and his urban fantasy script, “Like A Hero,” was a Finalist in the Shriekfest Film Festival and Screenplay Competition. He grew up in San Rafael, California, and majored in English and Theatre at Santa Clara University. He went on to earn a master’s in film production from Loyola Marymount University, a teaching credential in English from LMU, and another master's in Special Education from Cal State University Dominguez Hills. He partnered with two friends as producer, writer, and/or director on several ultra-low-budget horror films, including “Fatal Images,” “Club Dead,” and “Things II,” the reviews of which are much more fun than the actual movies.
He taught high school in Hawthorne, California for twenty-five years, both in general education and to students with learning disabilities, in subjects ranging from English and Strength Training to Algebra, Biology, and Yearbook. He has also been a volunteer Big Brother to eight different boys with the Catholic Big Brothers Big Sisters program and a thirty-year volunteer within the juvenile justice system in Los Angeles. He has been honored as Probation Volunteer of the Year, YMCA Volunteer of the Year, California Big Brother of the Year, and 2000 National Big Brother of the Year. The â€œNationalâ€? honor allowed him and three of his Little Brothers to visit the White House and meet the president in the Oval Office. He is currently working on a sequel to Spinner. His goal as a YA author is for teens to experience empowerment and hope; to see themselves in his diverse characters; to read about kids who face real-life challenges; and to see how kids like them can remain decent people in an indecent world. www.michaeljbowler.com FB: https://www.facebook.com/michaeljbowlerauthor Twitter: https://twitter.com/BradleyWallaceM Blog: www.sirlancesays.wordpress.com tumblr: http://michaeljbowler.tumblr.com/ Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/michaelbowler/the-knightcycle/ Freado: http://www.freado.com/book/16160/children-of-the-knight Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6938109.Michael_J_Bowler
Halloween Erotica by Roxanne Rhoads Eternal Desire Roxanne Rhoads Publisher: Bewitching Books Release Date: April 14, 2015 (2 edition) ASIN: B00VWIQGFM Halloween in New Orleans, where anything can happen including love and magick. Paranormal researcher Liz Beth's dreams are haunted by a sensual vampire. She arrives in New Orleans the week of Halloween in search of her elusive dream lover, but instead finds a handsome stranger. They begin a passionate affair. Soon she is torn between dreams and reality, lost somewhere in the middle trying to regain reason. She aches to find the vampire of her dreams but can't seem to break free of the spell her sexy stranger has her tangled in. Amazon iTunes Scribd Inktera Kobo Nook
Halloween Surprise Roxanne Rhoads Publisher: Bewitching Books Release Date: October 14, 2014 ASIN: B00ODDW58U Length: 16 pages Genre: short story Halloween erotica
Book Description: Alcina and Estra are ready to enjoy everything Halloween has to offer them – food, fun, and, most of all – the pleasures of the flesh. After enjoying each other’s bodies for hours they decide it’s time to find a man. Luckily for Michael he’s the one that happens to cross their path. After quickly deciding that he is exactly what they were looking for, they convince him to take them back to his place for a wild Halloween ménage ‘a trios. He ends up getting more than he bargained for with a sexy, but shocking, Halloween surprise...
Contains f/f and f/m/f sexual situations
Available at Amazon
A Halloween to Remember Roxanne Rhoads Publisher: Excessica Genre: short story Halloween erotica Book Description:
What says Halloween better than a wild party at an old Victorian mansion complete with its own cemetery? Perhaps meeting the man of your dreams thanks to the magic of Halloween. Adena can’t believe her eyes when she spots Dimitri in the library- he looks like something straight off the cover of a historical romance novel-the type of guy she’s always dreamed of. Too bad he disappears before she has the chance to introduce herself. When she finally spots him again later that night she decides she’s not letting him get away again. Adena thinks she’s finally found the one. Until she wakes up alone the next morning- in the cemetery. Halloween magic brought them together but will it be strong enough to keep them together? Available at Amazon Also Appears in Paranormal Pleasures:Ten Tales of Supernatural Seduction
The Story Behind the Story – The Kitsuné Hi, I’m Maureen O. Betita and I’m happy to visiting today. I’m off on a book tour, chatting about my newest book, Foxoddness. And today I want to share a bit about what inspired me to write about an American version of a kitsuné. Some years ago, I read a book about a female fox falling in love with a human male. With magic, she slowly seduces him, convincing him that she is a beautiful and mysterious woman. He falls in love with her and moves into what he perceives is a lovely home, with all the amenities of a richly appointed house. But it isn’t. In reality, it’s a hole in the ground. The children are fox kits, and he is slowly wasting away under the magic of thinking he is eating well, etc. In this story, the fox isn’t meaning to be the ruin of the young man. She truly loves him, but his greater family knows something is wrong. To the Asian, the fox is a mythological being. able to transform into women. Legends depict them as intelligent beings, growing wiser with age and capable of magic. Often seen as tricksters, ala Coyote or Raven, similar to American Indian mythology. At other times, they are portrayed a faithful guardians, friends, lovers and wives. This book was really a tragedy. The only way the man survives is to leave his fox wife and return to human. She has to let him go, and lose her love. To be frank, I don’t quite remember how this book ended. But the idea intrigued me. I tend to be a believe in magic, the everyday sort, living right next door, like the fox you catch a glimpse of in the corner of your yard is really…more. When Will arrives at the front door of the Denby’s home, they see a workman, come to help the remodel. He is a reverse sort of kitsuné, carrying a mix of foxoddness from his mother, the real fox. And he comes with a mixed bag of magical abilities. My American kitsuné don’t trick or seduce. For them it’s more like the right mate is the right mate, period. I don’t want to reveal the full story of Will and his family, save to say I enjoyed myself thoroughly meddling with the mythology and adding an American twist. Thought Will isn’t a shifter, he comes from what I believe might be a basis for the idea of shifting. I know in Native American mythology, it wasn’t unusual for the ancient animal guardians to shift completely into human. To woo women and more. Have you ever heard of the kitsuné, or read any of the stories regarding Coyote’s tricks with humans? Lucky for Will, Sarah and Andrew find themselves charmed by his story… Sarah actually… well, read it here!
He took her hand, and turned her face to look at him. “Sarah, my mother is a fox.” “Well, that’s nice.” Sarah cocked one eyebrow at him. “I’m sure she appreciates that you see her that
“No, I mean she’s a fox. A real fox…the bushy-tailed type.” He looked down at the ground for a moment, before facing her again. “You know, I…” He went on to confess how he’d smelled her that first morning at Starbucks. And then said he’d thought it pure magic that she owned the house he’d been hired to work on. “And…” He sighed and continued, relating how he’d been able to read over her shoulder, and later he’d copied her writings on a data stick so he could finish reading the story. She listened, finding it impossible to not believe him. She should be offended, or scared, but neither of those emotions rose. How extraordinarily naughty of him! But that was the quintessential Will. A song rose in her chest and she just grinned. He tilted his head at her, an expression of waiting for her to laugh present. It almost caused her to do so, his concern was so apparent. She supposed most would think him insane or pulling a terrible practical joke. She thought the entire progression simply charming and teased him by remaining silent.
Foxoddness Maureen O. Betita Genre: contemporary erotic paranormal romance Date of Publication: September 15, 2015 ISBN: 978-1-939914-67-5 ASIN: B0149PWFT0 Number of pages: 215 Word Count: 78,206 Cover Artist: Barbara Cool Lee
Book Description: A house by the beach, happily married for over 25 years – what more could Sarah and Andrew Denby need? Yet, something is missing…until Will Bramble knocks on their door. He leads them into a deeper sensuality than they ever imagined. The lanky redhead figures on a quick seduction, some fun in the sack and moving on. But Sarah’s laughter, Andrew’s strength, and the welcome of their bed, fills the hollow place in his heart. From the haunted hills of Santa Bella, to the rambling fields of Scotland and the enchantments of Ireland, they discover the powers of physical intimacy, while the legacy of his magic, hidden beneath his human skin, brings their world to life. Available at Amazon About the Author: Maureen O. Betita believes in the transformative power of sensual encounters. She uniquely blends
erotic romantic adventure, plus fantasy/paranormal elements in her books, including The Krakenâ€™s Caribbean series and the Forever A Pirate series. Pirate Festivals, Steampunk Gatherings, Science Fiction and Fantasy Conventions, Renaissance Faires â€“ these are all within her social sphere and she borrows, steals, and creates stories from her adventures at these venues. Her imagination includes worlds of science fiction romance with three books revolving around the common theme of Alien Encounters; an intricate creation of contemporary erotic fantasy, with Born in Flight; and trips to a slightly alternative side of contemporary Ireland with the upcoming 5 books series, Sex Magic. Website: http://maureenobetita.com/ Newsletter Sign Up: http://goo.gl/FBBh7S
Bewitching Book Tours Magazine is back with a Halloween Horror Issue full of Bewitching spotlights, excerpts, reviews, recipes, and Hallowee...
Published on Oct 16, 2015
Bewitching Book Tours Magazine is back with a Halloween Horror Issue full of Bewitching spotlights, excerpts, reviews, recipes, and Hallowee...