Welcome our fourth issue of the Bewitching Book Tours Reader Magazine. This month is our Halloween issue and we have some spooktacular short stories and a few frightful tales true paranormal encounters. We also have Wiccan and Pagan Samhain information and rituals for adults and children excerpted from Mrs. B’s Guide to Household Witchery: Everyday Magic, Spells, and Recipes By Kris Bradley and The Earth Child’s Handbook - Crafts and Inspiration for the Spiritual Child by Brigid Ashwood Autumn is my favorite time of year- the leaves are beautiful, the air is crisp and smells of bonfires and maple syrup, there are Harvest festivals and apple cider…and my favorite holiday… Halloween. Because I love Halloween so much this issue will probably be one of my all-time favorites. It is full of Halloween fantastic-ness. I hope you all enjoy it. For everyone who would like their work to appear in upcoming issues of the magazine we are accepting submissions of articles, short fiction, poetry, author recipes, true paranormal encounters, paranormal artwork and more. We will be working on holiday themes for November and December- think Thanksgiving recipes, Christmas gifts and holiday short stories. Send to RoxanneRhoads@bewitchingbooktours.com ~Roxanne
Contents Auntie Ann’s Homespun Advice Janiera Eldridge Interview A Ghost or My Imagination AF Costa Interview Hex and the Single Witch Blessing of a Restless Spirit Short Story with E Van Lowe The Great Sabbat Samhan Susannah Sandlin Feature Author Mrs. B Excerpt The Earth Child’s Handbook Excerpt David E. Porteous Book 2 Excerpt Oedipus Complex Hubert de La Bouillerie Interview Sky Purington’s Paranormal Investigations Flint Fang Fest The Awakening by Emma Mead Salem VI Rebecca’s Rising Evil Night by Jill James Unique Art Jill James Interview Kelbian Noel Interview Sinister Seductions
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Auntie Ann’s Homespun Advice Keep those questions coming, folks: email@example.com November and December columns will focus on holiday issues. Dear Auntie Ann, My husband is cheating on me. At least I think he is. All the signs are there. And I’ve found some pretty incriminating texts and emails. I don’t think it’s the first time, but I never said anything before. We’ve been together for almost twenty years. I’ve been home raising our two children and don’t feel I have any job skills. What should I do? Buck up and shut up, or try to talk to him? T.L. Dear T.L. Oh my, there are so many things you’re not saying here. It can be devastating when your partner breaks trust in any way. You need to know that your spouse’s infidelity is not about you. It’s about him and his own insecurities. This could be more of a midlife crisis issue for him (not that I’m excusing it, mind you); or if your suspicions are correct, having multiple partners could be an ongoing lifestyle choice. What does come through in your letter is that you’re feeling powerless. That’s not going to go away overnight, but there are some steps you could take right now that will help over time. I’m guessing your kids are old enough that you don’t need to be front and center in the house all the time. If that’s not correct, try to swap babysitting with some of your friends to free up time for yourself. 1. Focus on yourself. Get a new haircut. Start exercising every day. Even something as simple as a thirty minute walk can work wonders. Load some tunes in the iPod and go for it. 2. You say you “have no job skills”, but of course you do. Managing a household gives you lots of what I think of as “transferable” skills. And you can always take a class at your local community college if you’d like to brush up on something. Give some thought to what kind of work you’d like to do. Get whatever training you need, then start applying for jobs. Having your own money coming in will add to your sense of self-worth and help you believe in yourself again. 3. Pick a time when things are going well to talk to your husband. If you can, avoid hysterics. Even if he’s stepping outside the marriage for sex, the fact he’s still with you means he has an emotional connection to you, his home and his children. Try to build on what’s positive between you. No one can change what’s happened in the past. And
it won’t do any good to sling mud. Good luck to you. Remember, there are no perfect people. You and your husband have spent a lot of time together. That should give you enough common ground to salvage your marriage if that’s what you want to do.. Dear Auntie Ann, I feel stupid writing to you about this, but it really bothers me. I can’t get my two kids who are ten and thirteen to lift a finger around the house. I’ve tried lists. I’ve tried rewards (and punishments). Nothing works and I end up picking up after them. If I didn’t, the house would be a disaster zone. What should I do? A.D. Dear A.D. Consistency is the heart and soul of parenting. It’s also the hardest part. Start small. Give each child two chores that need to be done on a daily basis. Things like making their beds and hanging up their clothes. For each day they comply, great. No rewards needed. They’re functioning members of the family and need to know families support one another without getting anything special for their efforts. But for any day they don’t do those chores, they lose 24 hours of something they value dearly. Television, computer time (if they get a D or an F on their homework, it’s a natural consequence), or cell phone. Also, no friends can visit during that 24 hour period. Plan on it taking at least six months for your kids to “get with the program”. As they do, you can add to their chore list. Eventually (after they grow up) they will thank you for helping them develop the self-discipline to tackle tasks they’d rather not do.
Interview with Janiera Eldridge Do you write in different genres? Although I love to write paranormal, I’m currently working on a horror short because those are two of my favorite genres to write in. I would also like to write in sci-fi someday as I believe that is also a really cool genre. There are a lot of stories I want to tell so, I can’t imagine only writing under one genre.\ Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete? I have to wait until the book is done in order to come up with a title. It’s really hard for me to come up with a title before the book is done because the content speaks to me and creates the title itself. If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share? The next book in the series is Dark Expectations. Unfortunately, I can’t really share a lot about the storyline in case someone reading this hasn’t read the first book. I can share that it will be released December 21st and has more romance and bloody violence than the first book! What book are you reading now? The Night Disappeared by April Henry. I really love it! What books are in your to read pile? We don’t have nearly enough time to go through all 384 books. LOL. What books/authors have influenced your life? Dean Koontz, Stephen King, R. L. Stine, Christopher Pike, Anne Rice and Stephanie Meyers. Their all authors I read when I was little and they’ve influenced my love for writing paranormal and horror so much! What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress? Book 2 of the Soul Sisters series will be released December 21st. I’m also working on a short story for an upcoming horror anthology in April entitled “When Lights Fade.” What is your favorite movie to watch during the Halloween season? My new favorite is Trick r’ Treat. I love movies that have different, intertwining storylines. I just happened upon it one day when watching TV and fell in love with it. It’s a really underrated horror film. What is your favorite Halloween costume that you wore in the past? I haven’t trick or treated since the age of 13. After that it just felt silly however, when I was 8 I dressed up as a witch. My mother got me a long black wig and did my black witchy make-up. My 2 year old brother was pooh bear, It was so much fun and I have a lot of good memories of that night.
Thank you so much for having me!
Synopsis: Soul Sisters is an urban fantasy novel about African-American twin sisters Ani and Dana who have a rather unique secret: one sister is human while the other is a vampire. While the sisters have lived peacefully with each other for many years one fateful night will change both their lives forever. When a drunken man tries to attack Dana (the human sister) Ani (the vampire sister) protects her sister with all of her ferocious power. However, when the vampireâ€™s leader Donovan finds out about the public display he calls for the sisters to be assassinated for disobedience. Ani and Dana now are in for the fight of their lives to protect each other as well as the lives of their dedicated friends who have joined them on their mission for survival. If Dana and Ani can make it through this time of uncertainty, Ani can take her new place as vampire queen. Soul Sisters is expected to be a trilogy; The book also features a multicultural cast of characters that brings a new edge of chic to the vampire world.
A Ghost or Just My Imagination By Shandy Sanford Growing up I moved around a lot and we lived in a lot of different places. A couple of those places had weird things happen. I don't know for sure if it was paranormal but it was freaky. When I was eleven we lived for a short time with my great aunt Mabel. She lived in this huge old farm house, downstairs was pretty much original they had moved a staircase and expanded the master bedroom. Upstairs had been completely remodeled into a two bedroom apartment. My family, mom, step-father, sister and I, were living in the apartment. My parents had the big bedroom and my sister and I shared a smaller room. The smaller room had a closet, it was very small and the ceiling sloped because it was build were the roof came down and met the house. I hated this closet. It was right next to the door, and I always felt like someone was watching me when I walked passed. Whenever I had to get something out of it I expected someone or thing to jump out at me. Sleeping in the room was next to impossible for me, because I could hear footsteps walking from the window to the closet yet there was never anyone in the room with me. If it wasn't that it was freaky scratching noises in the closet. Of course my mother chalked it up to my over active imagination. So I took to sleeping in the living room, which had a small circular window at the very top of a wall, right under the the peak of the roof. Every night rain or shine there was a blue light on the wall opposite this window. Being the inquisitive youth I was I asked my mom about it. She said it was just a yard light shining in the window. Now this didn't make sense to me. For one, the barn light was too far to shine in that window and point down. For two, the yard light was on the front of the house not side where the window was and three the light was there even when the barn light out. We moved out after living there a few months, which wasn't unusual for my family. When I was older I questioned my aunt Mabel about these weird things. Now my aunt Mabel is huge into the occult and paranormal. After I told her about these things, she just kind of smiled and nodded. Then told me about a Ouija session she'd done, before the renovations. According to her there was a female spirit in the house. It had told her about a ring that had been lost years ago, when they tore out the staircase she found a ring. Which she showed me. True or not I don't know, I do know that my cousin who also lived in the apartment for a short time, told me she had the same experiences and her dogs refused to go in the smaller bedroom. Years later my aunt sold the house, and the buyers demolished it. So I guess I'll never know if what I experienced was a ghost or my imagination.
AF Costa Interview for Bruxa: The Secret Within What inspired you to become an author? The over follow of thoughts and stories piling up in my mind I had to unleash my writing demon
Within, I just loaded the gun. Blood ties I actually pull the trigger and third of the series will be the hit…
How did you come up with the title for your latest book? Bruxa actually means witch in Portuguese. I know it is a foreign word to most but I think the title lets the reader know that this is something completely different.
What books/authors have influenced your life? I have to say there are a few Stephen king, Jane Austin, but L.J. Smith is my greatest influence she has the ability to write a series and reinvent another one that is just a powerful. Actually, they all share the same trait.
Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete? The title is the root of my book so I already named my project before it began.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? My all time favorite is L.J. Smith, she’s is pretty much the Madonna of Y/A paranormal romance.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Yes, to never to give up even when the world around you is caving in, we will make mistakes and to never loss faith. Whatever doesn’t kill will only makes you stronger. Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet? I would one day like to tackle Y/A horror. Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why? Hands down, Alvero I wanted to create the perfect sensitive guy buried in a bad boy shell , ever girls dream boy. If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share? Bruxa –BLOOD TIES- is coming out late winter of 2013 Jan- Feb. Bruxa – The Secret
Nashville Nights Series By Cheryl Douglas "I think that Cheryl Douglas does a great job of showing real characters, real feelings, and presents it in an in-yourface kind of way that bodes the characters and their stories very well." **** Where's My Muse?
"Shameless has wonderfully flawed characters that have to fight to get back what they lost, but when they get it right, it is absolutely fantastic." **** Cocktails and Books
Hex and the Single Witch Vehicle City Vampires Book One By Roxanne Rhoads Genre: Paranormal Romance / Urban Fantasy Anwyn Rose is descended from a long line of powerful witches yet she can barely cast spells young witchlings have mastered. She has one functioning witch gift, the power of knowing, which she puts to good use as a Detective on Flintâ€™s Preternatural Investigation Team. Itâ€™s a new era in Vehicle City, supernaturals are running the town. The P.I.T has their hands full with paranormal crimes. Top priority is a serial killer, who appears to be a vampire, draining young women in the city. Anwyn is on the case with her sexy partner Detective Mike Malone. Complicating things is her relationship Galen, a vampire who looks more guilty than innocent, although Anwyn trusts her instincts even if her power is on the fritz. Mysterious spells, compromising situations, and a possible demon on the loose make it hard to focus on the case, but Anwyn has to make things right before the human police execute the wrong vampire. Hex and the Single Witch contains magick, a little bit of mystery, a lot of supernatural mayhem, and a sexy love triangle that will leave you wanting more. Amazon Kindle Smashwords Barnes and Noble Print About the Author: Story strumpet, tome loving tart, eccentric night owl...these words describe book publicist and erotic romance author Roxanne Rhoads. When not fulfilling one the many roles being a wife and mother of three require, Roxanne's world revolves around words...reading them, writing them, editing them, and talking about them. In addition to writing her own stories she loves to read, promote and review what others write. Roxanne is the owner of Bewitching Book Tours and operates Fang-tastic Books, a book blog dedicated to paranormal and urban fantasy books. When not reading, writing, or promoting Roxanne loves to hang out with her family, craft, garden and search for unique vintage finds. Visit her online Author blog www.roxannesrealm.blogspot.com Book Blog www.fang-tasticbooks.blogspot.com Bewitching Book Tours www.bewitchingbooktours.blogspot.com, Facebook www.facebook.com/RoxanneRhoads http://www.facebook.com/BewitchingBooktours http://www.facebook.com/RoxanneRhoadsAuthor http://www.facebook.com/FangtasticBooks http://www.facebook.com/FlintFangFest Twitter @RoxanneRhoads Roxanne can also be found on Linked In, Goodreads and Google+
Blessing of a Restless Spirit By Louisa Bacio An oversized vehicle rumbled down the street, stopping in front of our house. Red lights flashed through the darkened night. Almost 2 a.m., I stayed up, with a prevailing sense of doom. Peering through the blinds, I saw paramedics take my next-door neighbor Matt* out on a stretcher, his body unnaturally twisted and stiff. Mid-forties, Matt overdosed on pain meds and alcohol, but his restless spirit remained. My daughter Katrina, not yet 3, started having nightmares. She’d scream, “Ghost over there,” pointing at an empty corner of her room. One week after as my husband bathed Katrina, he opened the window facing Matt’s house. Scratches and noises emanated from outside. “Dada, close window,” Katrina said, “Matt’s outside.” The hairs on my husband’s arms stood up, as he looked first out into the night, and then back at his daughter. “A cat’s outside?” he asked. “No Matt’s outside,” she repeated. Katrina didn’t really know Matt, and certainly never said his name. My husband shut the window, but the terror continued. Not knowing what to do, we called my step-grandmother, who is a devout Catholic. She came prepared with holy water and her Rosary. She walked the house, casting out unwanted spirits and sprinkling water in every room. Finally, she moved outside and blessed the ground between our house, and his. Visions of a ghost stopped. Nightmares ceased, and hopefully Matt’s spirit rested. The patch of dirt that she blessed now houses a magnificent herb garden. * Names changed Louisa Bacio is the author of five erotic novels, including the paranormal series The Vampire, The Witch & The Werewolf, and numerous steamy short stories. She recently released her first 1Night Stand “A Date with Death” with Decadent Publishing, the short erotic paranormal “Bed of the Dead” with Hot Ink Press, and the short “light” BDSM “A Super Spanking” with Ravenous Romance. Visit her online at http://www.louisabacio.com
Short Story with E Van Lowe The short story you are about to read came about when a representative of my Never Slow Dance With A Zombie publisher (Tor/Forge) visited me in LA back in 2009 and asked if I would write a teen urban fantasy series. It was suggested I write a series with vampires. I thought there were enough vampire novels around at the time and began developing my Hollyweird series, about fifteen year-old necromancer, Kris Golden, who lives in Hollywood California. I wrote the short story, “We Have Come To Bury Cesar,” one Sunday afternoon to get a feel for Kris and some of the characters. If you’ve read (or plan to read) The Zombie Always Knocks Twice you’ll notice this story features an early version of some of the characters from the book. It’s a quick, fun, light-horror read. Tor/Forge eventually passed on the series. I am very happy The Zombie Always Knocks Twice found a home at Imajin, a Canadian publisher with great taste. Enjoy. E. Van Lowe
We Have Come To Bury Cesar “Thank you so much for coming, Kristine,” Mrs. Alejandro said. I’d just entered the funeral chapel and stood in the back, my eyes adjusting to the gloom. Mrs. Alejandro moved next to me, staring like I’d just found her lost puppy. When I arrived, she was standing toward the front, near the casket. The casket was a highly polished, dark wood affair with brass trim, quite expensive for someone so young. Closed of course. Mrs. Alejandro brightened when she saw me, getting that needy look in her eyes. She wore an expensive black pants suit with white accents, her dark hair down around her shoulders. She stood amidst a cluster of what must have been relatives. The way she was dressed she could have been at a cocktail party instead of her only child’s viewing. Some viewing. There’d be nothing to see. When she spotted me she whispered something to the group and broke away to join me in the back. “You have my deepest sympathies, Mrs. Alejandro,” I replied to her greeting. She was quite beautiful. Flawless skin, easy makeup. A young mommy. But the makeup couldn’t hide the red-rimmed eyes. “Nice turnout,” I said looking around. It wasn’t the PC thing to say. But what words can you come up with at a time like this? People began to fill the chapel. “Everyone’s going to be here.” There was an undercurrent of excitement in her voice. I nodded. Cesar was a popular kid, a junior like me, and word of
the accident spread amongst the students at our school like a viral video. Some kids spent their prom dress money for new outfits for the big send off. I don’t like funerals. Most people don’t, although some of my classmates seemed to be fascinated by them. I guess after watching so much death in the cartoons of our youth, real funerals didn’t seem real. Like I’ve seen Wile E. Coyote die fifty-seven times and he’s still kicking. “So… have you thought about my request?” she asked, her voice dipping in secrecy. “Mrs. Alejandro, we’ve been through this.” “I know. But you said…” Her words trailed off. What I said was, I’d think about raising her son. That was a lie. There was nothing to think about. She’d asked me to raise him this evening at the viewing in front of family and friends. Bad idea. Cesar was dead. It was best to leave him that way. Always best to leave the dead dead, but the living have other ideas. “Have you given any thought to how he’ll look?” I asked. “He was banged up pretty bad in the accident.” Cesar got drunk Saturday night and crashed his Nova into a utility pole. Fortunately he was alone. No sense involving others in his drunken stupidity. “The sight of a rotting corpse climbing out of a casket could be sickening,” I said. Vomit at a viewing—not good. “You said you’d think about it.” Anger crept into her words. “I did think about it. Did you?” I matched her venom. Her head snapped back as if she’d been punched. So much for respecting your elders. “Fine,” she said. The puppy dog look was gone. “I’ll get someone else.” With that she shambled away, back to her little group. Someone else? I didn’t like that idea. The past few years raising the dead had become a bit of a parlor trick thanks to YouTube. Any kid armed with a tiny bit of the gift and the YouTube instructional could do it. That video got over a million hits this past month alone. Damn internet. Nowhere was it more popular than here in Hollywood, or as I liked to call it, Hollyweird, considering who or what wound up here. Problem was, if you weren’t a true necromancer things could go wrong, and they often did. I’m a true necromancer. Roughly speaking, that means I have an intimate relationship with the dead, including raising the odd corpse or two. But not tonight. A group of girls entered behind me. Talia trailed them. Talia was my ride. What can I tell you, I can raise the dead, but I’m too young to drive. Talia moved to my side as the other girls continued to the front to pay their respects. She was wearing skin tight jeans and a snug fitting t-shirt with the word Bebe on the front in spangly glitter. All black, in honor of the dead. Leave it to Talia to be fashionably PC. “Did you tell her?” she asked. “Yeah. Didn’t take it very well.” “I’m not surprised. Let’s get out of here.” She turned to go. Talia hated being around death. Smart girl. I tugged at her sleeve. “Wait. I think we should stick around a little while.” “Why? You’re not going to change your mind, are you?” I shook my head. “She says she’s gonna get someone else. Maybe just talk, but I want to see who that someone is.” Talia let out a noisy sigh. She was expert at letting you know how she felt without talking. But just in case… “What do you care? You hardly knew him.”
“He was in my Geometry class last semester.” “That hardly makes you his protector.” “You’re right. It’s just that…” “You didn’t have a crush on him, did you?” I thought about that for a moment. “Maybe a little one.” I smiled sheepishly. What can I say—Cesar was a cutie. “So did half the girls in here. Get in line.” Most of the well dressed mourners were indeed high school girls. Many of them had crushes on Cesar since way back in junior high when he was cast as the lead’s annoying little brother in a very popular Disney Channel movie. That movie was the highlight of Cesar’s acting career, but from the number of girls present he was still living off the glory… or was. Then Willie Tillary walked in. Willie was wearing a dark blue crushed velvet suit in dire need of a pressing. “I think I saw Eddie Murphy wearing that suit in Coming To America,” Talia said with a chuckle. I smiled. Willie Tillary was a drunk who hung out in front of Grauman’s on Hollywood Boulevard, hustling tourists. Willie would do anything for a buck. I had a good idea why he was here. He approached us. “Hey there, Little Miss lady.” I could smell his wine breath. “Hey there, Willie. I didn’t know you knew Cesar.” His face went blank. “Who’s Ceezah?” he said dropping the ‘r’. “The kid you’ve obviously come here to raise.” “I thought his name was Benny.” “That was his character’s name in the movie.” “He was in a movie?” Now we sounded like an Abbott and Costello routine. I nodded. “Oh… Okay, thanks. Wouldn’t want to mess that up.” He smiled and nudged me as if we were coconspirators. Good old Willie. We actually did have something in common. Willie was also born with the gift and had been a celebrated necromancer before losing it all in an alcoholic haze. Over the past several years I’m sure he’d raised more hell than dead people. “Nice suit,” Talia said, mischief in her eyes. “Thanks.” Willie brightened, not realizing Talia was yanking his chain. The fog of drink shielded him from all embarrassment. No wonder so many high school kids indulged. Willie leaned into me. “How come you’re not doing this? This is a piece of cake for you.” “Not my thing.” “Yeah, I used to be like that.” “What do you mean, have scruples?” “Exactly.” “Mr. Tillary, thank you for coming.” Mrs. Alejandro again stood by our side. “Umm… yeah. Sorry to hear about your son, uhh…” His face went blank. He looked at me. “Cesar.” “Ceezah.” Willie hung his head. He watched her out of the corner of his eye for a reaction. The fact that he didn’t know her son’s name hadn’t phased her one bit. I didn’t think it would.
“It’s very sad.” She hung her head along with him. “So, have you considered my request?” She looked up, searched his face, eyes leaking desperation. “Yeah. Umm, no problem. As long as you’ve got the umm…” “Money,” I said my voice dripping sarcasm.” Mrs. Alejandro ignored me. “I have it,” she said. “And thank you.” Those words came out a breathy sigh of relief. “Why do you want to bring him back?” I asked. She turned to me, eyes defiant. “Why wouldn’t I? He’s my son. I love him. Parents should never outlive their children. You’re too young to understand.” She was probably right about that. “Hang onto those good memories,” I said. “His fifth birthday party, junior high graduation. That’s how you’ll want to remember him. The thing that crawls from that casket with his flesh peeling away like onion skin won’t be a fond memory. You’ll witness a nightmare you won’t be able to get out of your mind for the rest of your life.” She ignored me. “Come,” she said to Willie, and started for the front. Willie looked at me and shrugged. “Cesar,” I reminded. “Got it,” he said, winked then followed her. “Let’s get out of here,” Talia said. “We can hit Astro Burger. There won’t be any lines, most of the kids are here.” “You know we can’t go.” The hope drained from Talia’s face. She nodded. “Why do you think she’s wants him back so bad?” “I don’t know. But I think we’re about to find out.” Raising the dead was always tricky. Sometimes impossible if the soul had deserted the vicinity. I could sense the souls of deceased men and women in the chapel, circling through the air like mosquitoes, waiting, hoping for someone to connect with them. I was certain Cesar’s was among them. Among the tricky things about animating was the family’s reaction. The reanimated corpse was dead and often looked it. And while the dead don’t have the same feelings as you and I, I know it has to hurt like hell when your loved ones are begging the animator to send you back where you came from. And then, sometimes death made the reanimated surly or downright belligerent. As if they were being nice while alive because they didn’t want to hurt anybody’s feelings, but once they were dead, they had nothing to lose. Talia and I took a seat in the back to watch Willie get down to business. Twenty minutes later we were still sitting. Either Willie was making a bigger production out of animating Cesar than it needed to be, or he was having a hard time remembering the ritual. My vote was for the latter. “We really need to get out of here. The night’s young. But not too young, I have curfew,” Talia whispered. I should have taken Talia up on her request. I could use some fun. Being a necromancer means very little social life. Once the student body found out I had the gift even the geeks wouldn’t hang out with me. Of course, I could have conjured up some friends of my own, but I wasn’t too keen on hanging out with kids once they’d been to the other side. Like I said, rais-
ing the dead was tricky. Somehow Willie muddled through the chicken blood, the chicken bones and the secret sauce. By the time he arrived at the final step his jacket was off, and the back of his light blue shirt had become a collage of sweat stains. “Ceezah Alejandro, I bind you back to your mother and command you to rise!” Willie called his voice trembling like a tent show preacher. All part of the show. You just had to say the words. He could have whispered them and had the same effect. But the crowd loved it. They sat on the edge of their seats, eyes fixed on the casket in rapt awe. Willie looked at Mrs. Alejandro. “Say it with me,” he said in a hoarse whisper. “Ceezah Alejandro, I command you to rise,” He repeated again and again. She joined him, as did the crowd, their voices surging as they repeated the incantation. Thunk… thunk… thunk. A knocking against the fine wood from inside the casket silenced the crowd. Someone gasped. Willie stopped chanting. He seemed puzzled, or maybe just surprised he’d actually pulled it off. Thunk, Thunk… THUNK! “What now?” Mrs. Alejandro said, breathless with anticipation. Willie began scanning the crowd. I knew he was looking for me. “Remove the head piece,” I called. “Remove the head piece,” he said. Mrs. Alejandro scrambled the head piece off the casket. Willie’s eyes found mine in the back of the room. They bulged with fear. “He’s losing it,” I said to Talia. “We gotta get up there.” We started for the front as a collective gasp rose from the crowd. Cesar’s pale and twisted hand emerged from the casket. Then the other. By the time we’d reached the front, two gnarled hands gripped the sides of the coffin. Cesar was pulling himself upright. He sat up stiffly and looked around. This time there were shrieks from the crowd. Cesar’s matinee idol looks were no longer in effect. The hair on the left side of his head had been shaved off revealing tiny bits of his bony white scalp. Huge staples held his jaw in place. I saw a large indentation in his forehead where he must have hit the windshield. He looked around trying to figure out what was going on. I moved to Willie’s side. He was hyperventilating. “Get it together, Willie. You need to tell him what’s happening.” “Y… Yes. Right. Ceezah Alejandro, you died in an automobile accident. I brought you back.” Cesar stared at him through rheumy eyes. I could see his dead mind working, putting the pieces together. He looked at his mother. “Muh…muh.” The stapled jaw wasn’t meant for practical use. He was having a hard time getting his mouth to form words. “I’m right here, baby,” Mrs. Alejandro said, huge tears in her eyes. “Mom.” The word struggled from his lips. A smile appeared on the right side of his face. “H.. hi.” “Hi,” she said, clutching his hand. “I have some good news. You got the part.” The smile disappeared, replaced by a puzzled stare.
“Baby, you hear me? You got the part on the TV show. Twenty-six episodes guaranteed, a regular in the main cast. You’re back.” His eyes bulged, the whites were streaked with red. “N… no,” he said. “I d… don’t want it.” “Of course you do. This is your dream.” She stroked his hand. “NO! Y… your dream.” He yanked his hand away. I couldn’t hide my outrage. “Mrs. Alejandro, did you just raise your son from the dead so he could act on a TV show?” “Why not? He’s been working for this all his life. His death was just a little inconvenience.” “I’m sure the producers won’t want him like this.” “I have a restoration artist on retainer. By Monday morning he’ll be as good as new.” “Your dream,” Cesar repeated. The words flowed now, filled with despair. “Not mine.” He turned to Willie. “Send me back.” “He can’t,” I said, my voice barely a whisper. “Not without her permission. He bound you to her.” Cesar turned to his mother. “Send me back. Please!” “Why you ungrateful little brat,” his mother snarled. “Do you know how hard I worked for this, dragging you to audition after audition? I’ve lived my entire life for this opportunity. You’re about to become a star, and I am not going to let you throw your career away.” Cesar’s pleading eyes looked to me and Willie. There was nothing either of us could do. Hopefully when he showed up for work Monday morning they’d fire him. Although I didn’t think that would stop her. She would keep him at it for the rest of her life, until he achieved her dream of stardom. Stage mothers in the age of reanimation. A brave new world. “Come, Cesar. We have work to do. You can start looking over the script in the car.” She started for the door. The show was over. Cesar climbed out of the casket. The dead were always bound to a living person. One of the rules of reanimation. Only that person, along with a necromancer could send them back. Without the help of those two the dead were doomed to roam the earth forever. Like I said, raising the dead was tricky. Cesar started following his mother, stopped and turned to me. “What did you get in geometry last semester?” What a strange question, considering what was going on. “B plus.” “I flunked. I was repeating this semester. I hate geometry. Maybe this won’t be so bad.” The rationalizations of a dead guy. “Yeah. Maybe,” I said. And then without thinking I added: “Cesar, I’m… here if you need me.” The half smile appeared on his lips again. “You flirting with me, necromancer?” I smiled. Cesar had developed some charm in death. Go figure. “Cesar!” “Coming.” Cesar shuffled along after his mother and together they left the chapel. Monday morning he’d start his new life co-starring on a TV show. He wouldn’t be rotting in a grave, he didn’t have to go to geometry class. Who knows, maybe things wouldn’t be so bad after all.
The Great Sabbat Samhain Hi. I'm Victoria Danann, author of the Paranormal Romance series, The Order of the Black Swan. I'm also the author and illustrator of Seasons of the Witch published by 7th-House.com, now in its fourteenth year, and author of the Seasons in Avalon School, a four year program of intensive study in the magickal arts. Did you know that... ...Halloween is also known as All Hallow’s Eve, Hallowstide, Hallowmas, the Great Sabbat, the Feast of the Dead, and Witches' New Year? For Witches who practice one of the branches of magick based in Celtic heritage, it is called Samhain. Pronounced like sau'-wan. Celebrated October 31st, this holy day is the official beginning of the Witches’ year, most sacred of the holy days, a spirit night, a very magickal night often expressed as “the veil between worlds being it’s thinnest”. This is a night generally thought to be both magick and dangerous, to be approached with the reverence that a time of supernatural wonders deserves. Jack-o-lanterns, originally gourds rather than pumpkins, were very likely used as a tool to allow travel without mischievous interference from spirits or faeries along with their present use; by entrances as spells of protection. All the traditional Halloween customs - bobbing for apples, dressing in costume, trick or treat, ghost stories, etc. all have roots in the old ways. Observances most often focus on homage to those loved or influential who have passed to the other side. Experienced Witches may also practice necromantic rites. My students at Seasons in Avalon also know it as the beginning of Magick Season, the time between Samhain (Oct. 31) and Imbolc (Feb. 2). I began calling this period "Magick Season" many years ago when I began to notice that my magickal results were so much more productive and potent during this period of time. I also noted that almost every one of the applicants to the school reported Fall as being their favorite season. I don't think that is a coincidence. I will also share with you a poem which I include in the Witches' planners.
The veil between the worlds now thins, and Whispered Souls like violins will speak beyond the tides of time of secrets foolish and sublime. And so bid welcome unafraid to the Ever Living Shade. -Ravenâ€™s Wing Hecate's Cauldron I'm usually associated with my signature conical hat witches, some of which can be seen in the gallery at 7th House, but this is my all-time favorite Samhain art. It was part of a series of goddesses that I did for Seasons of the Witch 2010. Hecate has always been associated with witches partly because she is patroness of cross roads which are sacred. There was a time when she could be summoned to a cross roads on an esbat night (full moon), but people report that she no longer comes. I suspect that is because cross roads have lost their magick in modern day traffic, noise pollution, and over population. I have not seen her personally, but believe she can wear any guise she wishes. This is one fanciful interpretation.
Author Spotlight Susannah Sandlin What inspired you to become an author? It took me a while to get here, but when I was in a junior in high school, a teacher turned in one of my English papers to the principal and said I must have copied it because a sixteen-year-old wouldn’t have such a vocabulary. Up until then, I was firmly on a pre-med track, taking heavy course loads in science and math, but I decided maybe I had a talent at this writing thing. I worked in journalism and public relations until 2008, when my experiences with Hurricane Katrina as a New Orleans resident inspired me to turn to fiction. Then I got the bug in a serious way! Do you write in different genres? Yes, I write an urban fantasy series under the name Suzanne Johnson, which began in April with the release of Royal Street. Urban fantasy and paranormal romance are closely related, but they are very different genres to write. Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete? I title my books very early, before I ever start writing. Since I have a full-time day job and must maximize my limited writing time, I do some pretty extensive plotting before I ever start writing. Having a title early helps me think of the project as a true work-in-progress and not just an idea. Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why? In the Penton Legacy series, it’s a tossup between the hero of Absolution, Mirren Kincaid, and the hero of the next book in the series, Will Ludlam. Both of them have very deep scars from their past that they cover up in different ways—Mirren with being a hands-off badass and Will with coming across as a shallow playboy, which he really isn’t. Both of them have a deep nobility that gets uncovered during the course of their respective books. If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share? Book three, Omega, comes out February 5, and its events will change the future of everyone in the town of Penton. The overarching story that has been building through the first two books comes to a peak while we also have the individual story of Will. He was turned vampire by his biological father at age 22 in the 1960s and has one of the most brutal backstories I’ve ever written. He has a lot to overcome. What books/authors have influenced your life? I grew up with Casper the Friendly Ghost, then Stephen King, then the complex gothic family sagas of Susan Howatch, then moved on to Anne Rice. So it was probably inevitable that I’d write paranormal, with and without romance! Can you share a little of your current work with us? Here’s a little tease from Absolution. Mirren’s grouchy, impatient, has been tied up with silver
rope that burns him for the past thirty days, and his captors have sent in this human chatterbox who, after less than a minute, is already driving him nuts: She tugged harder on the ropes, burning his sensitive wrists with each pull. “Sorry, sorry. Why is it burning your skin like that?” Mirren growled and spoke through gritted teeth. “It’s laced with silver and I’m a freaking vampire. Just untie me.” Damn, but he hated a talky woman. They always expected you to talk back. “Almost there….but wait.” The girl paused in her fumbling. “You are a vampire, right? You have those eyes that are about four shades too light and I’ve been here long enough to know what that means, even if I don’t see any fangs.” God help him, he’d show her some fangs if she didn't hurry up. Do you have any advice for other writers? In today’s publishing environment, it’s tempting to take the shortcut and rush to self-publish. And it works very well for some. But don’t neglect the time and money to do it right: get a professional cover artist; get a developmental editor; get a copyeditor; realize that all of the promotion is going to be on your shoulders and that it’s going to take a lot of time. Not doing those things can really come back to bite you. What would your readers be surprised to learn about you? I come across as calm and laid back, but where work is concerned I’m pretty much an uptight control freak. Hm. I probably shouldn’t have admitted that! What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress? The second book in my Suzanne Johnson urban fantasy series, River Road, comes out November 13. In the Susannah Sandlin Penton Vampire series, the third book, Omega, comes out on February 5. I also (as Suzanne) have a standalone holiday novelette, Christmas in Dogtown, a paranormal romance, that should soon be available for download at Amazon and B&N. It’s been a busy year! About the Author: Susannah Sandlin is the author of paranormal romance set in the Deep South, where there are always things that go bump in the night. A journalist by day, Susannah grew up in Alabama reading the gothic novels of Susan Howatch and the horror fantasy of Stephen King. (Um…it is fantasy, right?) The combination of Howatch and King probably explains a lot. Currently a resident of Auburn, Ala-
bama, Susannah has also lived in Illinois, Texas, California, and Louisiana. Website: http://www.susannahsandlin.com Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/susannahsandlin Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/susannahsandlin Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/5828129.Susannah_Sandlin Indie Bound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781612183541 ABSOLUTION The Penton Legacy, Book 2 By Susannah Sandlin Release date: October 9, 2012 Publisher: Montlake Romance Book Description: With the vampire world on the brink of civil war over the scarcity of untainted human blood, battle lines are being drawn between the once peaceful vampire and human enclave of Penton, Alabama, and the powerful Vampire Tribunal. A Scottish gallowglass warrior turned vampire in the early 17th century, Mirren Kincaid once served the Tribunal as its most creative and ruthless executioner—a time when he was known as the Slayer. But when assigned a killing he found questionable, Mirren abandoned the Tribunal’s political machinations and disappeared—only to resurface two centuries later as the protector and second-in-command of Penton. Now the Tribunal wants him back on their side—or dead. To break their rogue agent, they capture Glory Cummings, the descendant of a shaman, and send her to restore Mirren’s bloodthirsty nature. But instead of a monster, Glory sees a man burdened by the weight of his past. Could her magic touch—meant by the tribunal to bring out a violent killer—actually help Mirren break his bonds and discover the love he doesn’t believe he deserves? It’s a town under siege, a powerful warrior in a battle with his past, and one woman who can make the earth move—literally—as the Penton Legacy continues.
Amazon Barnes & Noble Book Depository REDEMPTION Book One Penton Legacy series By Susannah Sandlin Following a worldwide pandemic whose vaccine left human blood deadly to vampires, the vampire community is on the verge of starvation and panic. Some have fanned into rural areas, where the vaccine was less prevalent, and are taking unsuspecting humans as blood slaves. Others are simply starving, which for a vampire is worse than death—a raging hunger in a creature too weak to feed. Immune to these struggles—at first—is Penton, a tiny community in rural Chambers County, Alabama, an abandoned cotton mill town that has been repopulated by charismatic vampire Aidan Murphy, his scathe of 50 vampires, and their willingly bonded humans. Aidan has recruited his people carefully, believing in a peaceful community where the humans are respected and the vampires retain a bit of their humanity. But an unresolved family feud and the paranoia of the Vampire Tribunal descend on Penton in the form of Aidan’s brother, Owen Murphy. Owen has been issued a death warrant that can only be commuted if he destroys Penton—and Aidan, against whom he’s held a grudge since both were turned vampire in 17th-century Ireland. Owen begins a systematic attack on the town, first killing its doctor, then attacking one of Aidan’s own human familiars To protect his people, Aidan is forced to go against his principles and kidnap an unvaccinated human doctor—and finds himself falling in love for the first time since the death of his wife in Ireland centuries ago. Dr. Krystal Harris, forced into a world she never knew existed, must face up to her own abusive past to learn if the feelings she’s developing for her kidnapper are real—or just a warped, supernatural kind of Stockholm Syndrome in which she’s allowing herself to become a victim yet again. Susannah Sandlin’s REDEMPTION is the first in the Penton Legacy series. Book two, ABSOLUTION, will be out September 18, and book three, OMEGA, on December 18. Amazon
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ABSOLUTION (The Penton Legacy, Book 2) By Susannah Sandlin Release date: October 9, 2012 Publisher: Montlake Romance What was Matthias thinking, throwing a human woman in the cell with a vampire who’d been locked up and starved for over a month? Mirren waited on the bench, his back against the wall, his head down. Waited until Matthias climbed the steps, slammed the door, clicked the dead bolt home. Waited until he could get control of the hunger that had begun raging the second the woman stumbled down the stairway. She was unvaccinated, and he wanted nothing more than to take her, blood and body, until there was nothing left. If he did that, he’d be no better than the version of Mirren Kincaid he’d tried so hard to leave behind. He’d be the Slayer again. His hands could too easily remember the mindless sweep of the sword, the heavy fall of the battle-ax, the controlled back-thrust of a heavy firearm. If the cold darkness ever fell over him again, he feared he’d embrace it. “Mister, you awake?” Shit. She would have to be a talker. Mirren hated a talky woman. They always expected you to talk back. He raised his head slowly and caught his breath. She was young, maybe mid-twenties, and pretty in a rode-hard kind of way. “Your eyes are silver—I’ve seen enough vampires since I was kidnapped to know when your eyes get lighter, it means you’re hungry. But I’ve never seen any like yours. How long has it been since you ate? Umm…Make that how long since you drank?” If the stupid woman kept walking toward him, he wouldn’t be held responsible. “Stay where you are.” He narrowed his eyes at her, thinking. How could she help him without sending his need so far over the edge he lost control of it? She eeked when he shifted on the bench and turned his back toward her. “Untie me.” She stumbled a little when she reached the bench and sat hard. The woman was stoned out of her gourd. He could smell the drugs on her. “Your wrists are all torn up. That has to hurt.” She sat on the bench behind him, and Mirren breathed in her scent with his eyes closed. Damn, but he wanted to feed so badly his muscles ached. She muttered as she worked, her drug-addled fingers slipping off the rope. “You’re so big that I’m surprised this rope could hold you. I should be able to…Let’s see here, it’s too dark. Man, this is funky rope.” “Stop yapping, start untying.” She had that broad, soft Southern accent he found sexy, but she used it way too much. “Yeah, yeah, okay.” She tugged harder on the ropes, burning his sensitive wrists with each pull. “Sorry, sorry. Why is it burning your skin like that?” Mirren growled and spoke through gritted teeth. “It’s laced with silver, and I’m a freaking vampire. Just untie me.” Damn, he had to get himself under control, or he’d scare the woman to death and she wouldn’t finish freeing his arms or feed him either one.
“Well, you’ve got the funny eyes, but I don’t see any fangs.” God help him, he’d show her some fangs. “I said I was a vampire. Now finish untying me.” Mirren twisted his wrists and felt the rope give way—the woman had gotten it loose enough that he didn’t need her help. “But wait, how do I know you—” She gasped as Mirren pulled his wrists apart, popped the rope onto the cell floor, and shifted around to face her. “Can you…?” She paused and swallowed hard, edging away from him on the bench. Mirren’s gaze dropped to her mouth. “Can you feed without killing me?” Mirren nodded slowly. Maybe. Maybe not.
Excerpt from SIMPLE SABBATS FOR THE BUSY WITCH: simple ways to celebrate the passing of the seasons Samhain—October 31 Though many look to October 31 as Halloween, Pagans from around the world call it Samhain (Sow-en), a time to remember their ancestors and to celebrate the start of a new year. This period is well suited to practicing divination, working on transitions of all sorts, candle magic, protecVisit Ann tion magic, and working with or contacting those who have passed on. Gimpel October is often one of the busiest months of the year in a Pagan household. The fun of Halloween, creating costumes for the family, school events, and getting the household and property ready for the coming cooler weather keep us hopping. Sometimes there are not http:// enough hours in the day to breathe, much less to plan a way to honor the season.www.anngimpel.com Here are a few / simple ways to celebrate. Ritual: 5 Minutes Alone This simple Samhain ritual lets you honor those who came before. If you have a few extra moments, add your favorite form of divination and see what the coming year will bring! Items Needed:
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• Your ancestor altar • Lighter or matches • A glass of apple cider • A small snack, such as gingersnaps or a sliced apple 1. Sit before your ancestor altar and take a few deep breaths. Think about those who have passed on—their struggles and how they’ve affected your life. Think about how blessed you were to have them in your life. 2. When you feel centered and ready, light the candle on your altar and say, I light this candle in honor of Samhain and to recognize the changing season. I honor the Lord and Lady and my ancestors and give them thanks. On this night, when their spirits walk among us and magic is in the air, I ask my ancestors for their blessings and ask them to watch over my family and home. So mote it be.
3. Sit for a moment or two. Drink your cider and eat your snack, being sure to leave some on your offering plate. Let the candle burn for as long as you safely can. Small Group Ritual This ritual is just the right length to do with a friend or two, your partner, or the whole family. Just gather round and share the time together. Items Needed: • A candle • A lighter or matches • Scraps of paper • A pen or pencil for each participant • Your cauldron or other heat-safe container • Cider and cups • A plate of cookies 1. Gather everyone, and sit down somewhere comfortable with all of your ritual items. Begin with a simple deep breathing exercise to get everyone centered. 2. When everyone’s ready, light the candle and say, On this fall night of Samhain, we celebrate the turning wheel. As the seasons change, so goes the cycle of death and rebirth. Tonight we mark the death of the old year and the birth of the new. We make these pledges to ourselves and to the Lord and Lady. 3. At this time, each person should write down any resolutions that they’d like to make for the new year or any plans for new beginnings that they’d like to put into motion. 4. Go around the circle, and one at a time each participant can choose whether to share what they’ve written out loud. The paper is then lit on the flame of the candle (younger participants should be assisted by an adult) and placed in the cauldron to burn. 5. When everyone has finished, pass around the cider and cookies and enjoy each other’s company. Everyone should save a sip of the cider and a bit of his or her cookie. When it’s time to finish up, take the cooled ashes outside and bury them in the ground. Leave your food offerings nearby. For the Kids There are usually more than enough Halloween activities going on in October for the kids. But how do you get them to understand what Samhain is really about? Create something fun
to draw their attention while you count down the days! Grab some orange construction paper and cut out thirty-one pumpkin shapes; number them 1 to 31 on one side. On the other side, write a short fact about Samhain, or paste on a picture of a loved one whoâ€™s passed or share a fun fact about that person. If you like, staple or tape a small treat to each pumpkin, such as a piece of candy, a coin, a small Halloween eraser, or something like that. Starting on October 1, find a place to stash the pumpkin where you know your child will find it. Pack it in their school lunch, stick it in their sock drawer, or prop it up by their toothbrush. On Halloween morning, tape the last paper pumpkin to a real pumpkin and help them carve a face in it so that it can guard your home that night. Book Description: For domestic goddesses everywhereâ€”add some magic and fun to those mundane household chores with Mrs. B.'s Guide to Household Witchery. Whether you're sweeping the floor, making a meal, or cleaning out that junk drawer, domestic witch Kris Bradley, creator of the popular blog, Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom, will show you how to create spells and magic to bring happiness and balance into your home. Bradley offers ideas and solutions to make the most out of everyday items, activities, and obligations. From Anchovies to Broccoli, and Wine to Yeast, from sweeping the floor to blow-drying your hair, you can change your outlook on life with a pinch of knowledge and a dash of magic! The book includes simple rituals, spells, and ways to connect with the spirits that watch over your home and family. Includes an appendix of herbs and a complete materia magica from the kitchen pantry. Mrs. B's Guide to Household Witchery features: ROOM BY ROOM: How to create magic while you cook, set up a family altar in the living room, or do a junk drawer divination THE ELEMENTS FOR THE DOMESTIC WITCH: a primer on the 4 elements and how to balance them in your home THE DOMESTIC WITCH'S HERBAL: Magical uses for every herb and food in your pantry, as well as instant magic with prepackaged spice mixes SIMPLE SABBATS FOR THE BUSY WITCH: simple ways to celebrate the passing of the seasons Magical Recipes: More than 100 recipes and spells Amazon B&N About the Author: Kris Bradley is the magic behind the popular blog Confessions of a Pagan Soccer Mom (2500 readers). She helped establish The Sisterhood of the Triple Goddess coven in Keyport, NJ and is a legally ordained minister, in addition to being a witchy wife and mother. Her work on domestic witchery has been featured in PaganParenting.org and as a national column for Examiner.com. She lives in Keyport, NJ.
Excerpt from The Earth Child's Handbook – Book 2 Fall/Winter – Samhain Other Names: Third Harvest, Day of the Dead, Old Hallowmas, Shadowfest, All Hallow’s Eve, Martinmas, Witch’s New Year, Halloween. Northern Hemisphere: October 31st November 1 Southern Hemisphere: April 30 -May 1 Herbs: Mugwort, Allspice, Broom, Catnip, Oak leaves, Sage, Straw, Rosemary, sunflower, pumpkin seeds, pine needles, garlic Incense: cinnamon, sage, mint, nutmeg, rosemary Colors: black, orange, white, silver, gold, brown, rust Decorations: gourds, apples, cats, Jack-O-Lanterns, brooms, pumpkins. Foods: apples, nuts, cider, squash, corn, soup, pumpkin Gods: Herne, The Hunter, Anubis, The Sage Goddesses: The Crone, Hecate Spirit: Family, remembrance of the dead, introspection Samhain is sometimes celebrated as the Pagan New Year. It is considered a night when the veil between the world of the living and the world of the dead is thinnest. This doesn’t have to be a scary thing. In fact there are many Samhain traditions that are a lovely way of remembering those we love that have passed on. Some families set a dinner plate at the table for every loved one that has passed over. They set out pictures and photos albums of them and tell stories remembering the ones they miss. This holiday, much like Yule, is a great time for resolutions. Write down what you hope to accomplish in the new year and put it in a bowl on your Samhain altar. Afterwards keep the slip of paper in a safe place, check it often to remind yourself of your goals. Samhain is a wonderful Sabbat in its own right, but perhaps is even more popular because of its close association with Halloween. Many Pagans celebrate both holidays. Some have separate celebrations for each, dividing the serious topics from the lighthearted; others incorporate the two together for a fun and inspiring celebration. Whatever you choose I hope you have a fun and safe
time. Enjoy yourself by decorating and making costumes but donâ€™t neglect to consider the more serious side of Samhain, and take a moment to remember those who have gone before. Even if you have not lost anyone close to you, we can all find brave and worthy people throughout history and in our local communities who deserve a moment of quiet remembrance in honor of their good works. Samhain Altar The Samhain altar is an altar bursting with texture and color. For this holiday you may want to drag out the full altar set up. If you have a cauldron display it proudly. Fill it with candy, or floating candles. Drape rich fabrics in gold and black across your table. Prints with stars and moons echo the dark decoration of the Samhain night sky. Witches on brooms are no stranger to Halloween decorations, but maybe you can draw a portrait of one you know personally and display them at your table. Set up framed pictures of loved ones, living and deceased. Pumpkins, and gourds make great decorations. Carve a pumpkin in a fabulous design and set them up indoors as well as out. Sprinkle flour around to give your table a dusty spooky look, and set your broom up in the corner. Samhain Recipe â€“ Pumpkin Bread Make a delicious bread to share from one of the best treats of the season! 3 cups canned pumpkin 1 1/2 cups vegetable oil 4 cups sugar 6 eggs 4 3/4 cups flour (all-purpose) 1 1/2 tsps baking powder 1 1/2 tsps baking soda 1 1/2 tsps salt 1 1/2 tsps cinnamon 2 regular size bread loaf pans or muffin tins with muffin cup liners. Have an adult preheat your oven to 350 degrees. Grease your bread loaf pans or spray them with oil spray. In a large bowl mix the pumpkin, sugar, eggs, and oil together. In another bowl combine the flour, baking soda, salt, and cinnamon. Stir this mixture into the pumpkin mixture bowl and stir everything well. Pour the batter into the two loaf pans being sure to divide it up evenly. Bake the loaves for about 45 minutes to an hour and have an adult check them to see when they are done.
If you are making muffins you will bake them for only 30 minutes. You can add raisins, nuts, chocolate chips or white chocolate chips to your loaves if you like. Wrap your loaves in plastic wrap to store them. The Earth Childâ€™s Handbook - Crafts and Inspiration for the Spiritual Child Books 1 & 2 Brigid Ashwood Genre: Pagan Parenting, Pagan Kids Book 1 ISBN-10: 1479265519 ISBN-13: 978-1479265510 Book 2 ISBN-10: 147927108X ISBN-13: 978-1479271085 E-Book Direct from author Amazon Book Description: The Earth Child's Handbook is a primer, reference, craft and activity book series for families that follow Pagan, Wiccan and Earth Based spiritual paths. Designed to appeal to all age groups (and grown-ups too!), the books address common Pagan beliefs and practices, explaining the principles and traditions behind them. Each chapter features: Recipes Instructional craft projects Coloring pages, mazes and word searches Color, cut and assemble projects Younger children will delight in the coloring pages and paper crafts. Older children will find educational fun with word searches, mazes, connect-the-dots and instructional crafts. And parents might find it a lifesaver with easy recipe ideas and inspiration for teaching and building
The Earth Child's Handbook - Book 1 features chapters on the joy of family and diversity, honoring the earth and the principles of the four elements, the universe and Pagan beliefs regarding the Sun and the Moon, explanation of Deities, and an introduction to Magick and Ritual with simple spells and exercises. Special topics include Shapeshifting, Runes, Book of Shadows, Animal Guides, Chakras, Meditation, Astrological Signs, The Elements, Cycles of the Moon, Magickal Correspondences, Sun Deities, Moon Deities, Triple Goddess and Triple God, The Four Quarters and Casting a Circle. Featured activities include making a Chakra shirt, rain stick, homemade face paints, herbal infusions, bath salts, a moon phase wheel, moon cake recipe, a complete "color, cut and assemble" paper altar and much, MUCH more. The Earth Child's Handbook - Book 2 features chapters on the Seasons, the 8 Pagan Sabbats and the Wheel of the Year. Each Sabbat chapter includes facts, traditions, correspondences and information about that holiday as well as recipes, altar decorating ideas, rituals and crafts, coloring pages, mazes and word searches. Special topics include Seasonal Altars, Solstice Sabbats, Equinox Sabbats, Quarters and Cross Quarters. Featured activities include cinnamon ornaments, Yule wrapping paper, Brigid's cross weaving, handmade paper, flower beads necklace, Beltaine masks, prayer flag, magickal broom and much, MUCH more. About the Author: Brigid Ashwood is an artist, illustrator, blogger and author of various and sundry titles such as The Earth Child's Handbook (Books 1 & 2), Oracle of the Tarot Deck and more. She is a core contributor to Wired's GeekMom Blog and creates
freebies for Geeky Kids with her monthly Printable Fun feature. Her artwork ranges from New Brow contemporary, Pop Surrealism, Steampunk, Fantasy and Fairy illustration, Celtic Knotwork, Witchy Pin-up to New Age, Pagan and Goddess imagery. The Book http://www.earthchildshandbook.com GoodReads: http://www.goodreads.com/brigidashwood Amazon Author Page: www.amazon.com/author/brigidashwood Twitter: http://twitter.com/skwerlgrrl Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrigidAshwoodArt
Flight Review Hmm, I'm not sure what to do with this installment in the series. Honestly, I am still reeling from the emotional impact of this book. This is definitely the book to leave me with the book hangover...which is so not good since I have no idea when book #4 is coming out. (please, I really need it to be released SOON!) This book was painful in so many ways, but that's the sign of a good book, right? You know when you are so emotionally invested that it leaves you completely wrung out? That's the way I feel after this book. -Smitten With Reading
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An Excerpt from Book 2 from David E. Porteous It was an hour past midnight when the doors of the garage were opened, the lights were turned on and a tow truck drove slowly inside, dragging what remained of a flatbed. “Yes indeed, you’re lucky to be alive,” said the mechanic. He scrambled back down from the cab like a monkey, swinging to the ground, and began unhooking the two vehicles. “I don’t feel lucky,” said Burt Monk. He was washed with the fine dust of the roadside; it deepened the few lines he had and leant gravity and care to his flat, round face. At his hair line a clot and a smear of dried blood had turned dark brown, marking the place where his head had struck his steering wheel hours ago. Burt eased himself out of the cab with stiff, awkward movements and leaned against the tow truck, nursing his shoulder. “What you need is a hot bath, a strong drink and a good night’s sleep,” the mechanic said. “Them was my greatgranddaddy’s trinity and he lived to be ninety-two.” “That’s a good age,” Burt said. “Uh-huh,” the mechanic agreed. Burt watched the mechanic take the hooks out of the ruined front-end of the flatbed. It had once been hunter green, now a brown splash of dried blood covered it from roof to bumper – except where the burst radiator still leaked and the water trickled through broken metal, dripping red onto the concrete floor. The mechanic added, “O’ course there’s no liquor to be had in this town anymore. An’ the motel ain’t what you’d call comfortable. An’ they won’t have any hot water today or tomorrow ‘cause their boiler is in bits in the back of my shop.” The mechanic pointed towards a section of the corrugated iron building where the lights were still off and a copper cylinder as big as a man lay across a workbench. He added, “Then again, if I’m fixin’ your truck, might be they don’t have hot water a few days past that.” Burt nodded and quietly said, “No Sir, I sure don’t feel lucky.” “What was it you said you hit again?” Burt frowned, thinking hard and said, “A deer.” “Uh-huh,” the mechanic said. “That’s what you said it was. Must’ve been the biggest deer we ever had ‘round here. Shame it still managed to run off.” “I suppose.” “Man could live off a deer like that for a month. O’ course it wouldn’t keep for a month; you’d want to share somethin’ like that.” The mechanic looked at Burt until Burt repeated, “I suppose.” “Always been partial to deer,” the mechanic continued and his tongue circled through the short
grey stubble that ringed his mouth. “Me too,” Burt said after a long pause. “That so, is it?” The mechanic eyed the back of the flatbed and the strange shape secured entirely underneath a cream-coloured tarpaulin. The wheels of his mind moved the muscles of his face. “Well, there’s nothin’ I can do for her tonight. In the morning I’ll put her up on blocks, pry open that hood and see what’s what. You come by around noon; reckon I’ll know somethin’ by then.” “I was supposed to make that delivery yesterday,” Burt said, mostly to himself. The mechanic rubbed his hands with a rag, though both hands and rag were equally greasy. “Don’t know anyone who can get you there yesterday. Bill Stillwater has a truck not much smaller than this. Reckon he could carry it the rest of the way. He don’t do nothin’ for free though, ol’ Stillwater.” “Where does he live?” “Mile on the other side of town there’s a dirt road that heads north. ‘Bout six, maybe eight miles along that road is his place.” Burt nodded, thanked the mechanic and left him to lock-up the garage. He hadn’t noticed the name of the little town on the sign they passed coming in and it was too dark to read the writing on the storefronts – even its main street didn’t have electric lights. Winds were sweeping down from Canada and he imagined he could smell a distant red forest of maple trees like the syrup he poured on his pancakes. But there was only dust on the breeze and Burt hobbled a little as the cold began to bite at the old wound on his hip. At what he judged to be a major intersection – where both roads continued farther than he could see – Burt Monk stopped, cleared his throat and began to sing. “Amazing grace,” he croaked. “How sweet the sound—” “I’m already here”. Burt did not turn around to face her, but sighed contentedly. “I’m sorry Ma’am,” he said. “I think I hit one the angels with the truck.” “You did, Burt,” she said, her voice a chocolate box of accents. “I smelt it miles away. A great plume of his blood being trailed across the state like smoke from a fire.” “He’s all right, isn’t he? Ma’am? The angel I mean,” Burt asked with sudden anxiety. “He gave me fifty dollars for the damage to the truck.” “Fifty?” she said sharply, making him wince. “That man could pinch a penny until it cried . . . but yes; apart from being irredeemably cheap, he’s fine.” “I’m glad,” Burt said, his shoulder relaxing back to its normal position. She wore heels and when she moved they clicked softly on the road, drawing closer to him. “Do you hear the foxes and the ferrets scurrying through the night, Burt? Do you hear the ragged mousers and the young wildcats singing their songs?” “No Ma’am,” he replied. “Neither do I,” she said. “Creation sleeps, Burt Monk. Or it pretends to. It hides under rocks and waits for the storm to pass – never stopping to wonder if the very rocks are friends or enemies. And you humans are always the last to feel the change coming.” “She rises,” Burt said, repeating the words he had been told a thousand times. “We must be ready,” she said. “You will secure a replacement truck and bring the cargo to Salem.”
“There’s a man—” “I don’t need to know the details.” She spoke into his ear. “Secure the truck by any means.” He felt a bundle of money slip into the pocket of his overalls. A chance gust caught a strand of her hair, pulling it forward into Burt’s view. Blacker than black, it cut even the dark of night, and with the wind came the dry, amber musk of her perfume. She said, “The others will meet you in Philadelphia when it is done.” “Or in heaven,” Burt said, a faint, childlike grin creasing his dusty face. She patted him on the injured shoulder, not without compassion, and replied, “Philadelphia first.” The clicking of her heels grew fainter and was replaced by the sound Burt knew well: four pads striking the ground, running tirelessly, faster than any car could travel. He listened until all he could hear was his breathing punctuating the silence. Stooping down to the roadside, he found a rock with a good round edge; one that fit neatly into his hand; one he could trust. He placed that rock in the opposite pocket to the money and continued along the road that would take him, eventually, to Bill Stillwater’s house. The Death of Jack Nylund Gods and Monsters Book One By David F Porteous Genre: Urban Fantasy ISBN: 978-1-291-03025-9 = Number of pages:127 Word Count: 37,000 Cover Artist: Rob Moran Book Description: America, 1922. Ten years have passed since The Lines went up, dividing the States and the world into isolated pockets. The oligarchs are gangsters, titans of industry, monsters – the secret masters of mankind. They have endured a decade of cold war stalemate – but with forces equally weighted, the life of one man might be enough to change the fate of all men. US Federal Marshal Clay Falk must bring Jack Nylund to New York. For the Marshal and his deputies the financial rewards are enormous, but in a landscape of shifting loyalties Falk is soon made a counter-offer he can’t refuse. The war can be ended in a single night – the price is the honour of a legend and the life of a god. Private Investigator Walter Black has no idea his latest missing person’s case is the balance on which the world rests. Jack Nylund’s sister is dying and Walter must track Jack’s scent across America, through ruined lives, secret addictions and unforgettable pasts. The enemy he must overcome is one he’s all too familiar with. The cost of his failure would be the death of Jack Nylund.
Traitor Synopsis: Lisa thinks she knows everything about her new life. She can deal with the boundaries and even being torn away from her family. But Alex withheld more than she ever expected. Like, what happens when you lose control? How about when you begin to realize just how trapped you are? He leaves out a lot of stuff about himself too. He doesn’t mention the dangers of some of the others—or of what she herself can do… Note to Reader: Please be sure you've read the debut novel C I N of the C I N Series, otherwise, this story, Book Two, TRAITOR, will not make sense. Please also enjoy the C I N Series Shorts (prior to reading this book): Story 1 Donna Denning, story 2 Jimmy & Amber, and story 3 Pete and Marie, available on amazon.com.
Oedipus complex An excerpt from the upcoming novel, Ripper. By J.A. Howell I"t is the fate of all of us, perhaps, to direct our first sexual impulse towards our mother and our first hatred and our first murderous wish against our father. Our dreams convince us that this is so." -Sigmund Freud Nausea rose in Lucas' throat as he stumbled past the metal gates surrounding the music festival. Sweat beaded his forehead and his legs threatened to give out beneath him as he stumbled toward the bus stop several yards away. It always ended this way. No matter the girl, no matter how much he wanted to fight the urge. He always won. Ripper always won. A scream pierced the air, the main stage grew quiet. Several waiting commuters turned toward the field. Not Lucas. He didn’t need to see what happened. He already knew. The band had just finished their set and someone had spotted her. She was stumbling when he’d left her there, blood spilling from her abdomen and down her thighs. She would have collapsed by now. All signs of life fading from her eyes as limp tender hands fell to her sides, allowing intestines to spill from the large gash Ripper had made. Nobody around her had probably noticed until then, even with the heavy coppery smell overpowering the scent of dirt and sweat from the crowd. No, Lucas didn’t need to look. It was the same horrific scene that played out each time Ripper took hold. As many times as it had happened, it was permanently ingrained in his mind. The air breaks puffed as the bus halted a few feet in front of him. He shoved past the other dazed commuters climbing onto the bus, flashed the driver his student ID, and settled into a seat toward the back of the bus. He closed his eyes in an attempt to quell the now overwhelming sickness that threatened to consume him. His head was spinning, his vision blurring around the edges as an ambulance screamed past, no doubt carrying his latest victim. Maybe I didn't kill her, maybe she has a chance. Even as he attempted to comfort himself, he knew the truth. The sinister voice laughed uncontrollably. He knew the truth too. He'd been there every time, hissing in Lucas’ ear. "She was just going to hurt you. She's just like the others. You're doing the world a favor, getting rid of a temptress like that." Lucas always tried in vain to fight the urge, to fight off Ripper. He always lost. In six years, he still hadn’t figured out how to stop him. Medication hadn’t helped. Isolating himself hadn't helped. The only thing that allowed Lucas any semblance of a normal life was giving in to Rip-
per every now and then. If he let him fulfill his bloodlust, the voice would subside for a short time. It was a temporary fix though, the taunting returned eventually. Ripper only wanted one thing, and he knew Lucas would let him have it. Since the first time he gave in, at the ripe age of fifteen, Ripper knew he owned Lucas. "You're thinking about her again, aren't you?" Ripper’s amused tone cut off his laughter. No, I'm not...just shut up! Can we at least make it back to my apartment? Lucas tried to focus his thoughts elsewhere, away from the dark gaze. "Oh please! I can read you like a book! Every time we do this, you Freudian slip right back to mommy. You're so pathetic!" Ripper sneered, turning his nose up at Lucas and looking out the window. Lucas shifted in his seat, unable to get comfortable against the molded plastic bench. The laughing started again next to him. Lucas sighed. His mind was on his mother, conflicted over wanting to remember her, and wanting to forget what he had done. He couldn't have it both ways. He always looked up to his mother; she was such a strong, beautiful woman. For so long, it had been just the two of them. Mommy and Lucas, versus the world! He'd liked it that way. He was the apple of her eye and, to Lucas, she was a goddess. Then Hank came along. Hank destroyed everything. "I remember that...that's when I came along too!" Ripper snickered, leaning in close, "I remember what we did to Hank too! You can't say you didn't enjoy that, Lucas. We both knew he deserved it." Lucas always remembered. It was impossible to forget the night he’d finally given in to Ripper. The sickening scene flashed through Lucas' mind even now, as clear as if it were yesterday. He still wondered how his lanky, fifteen year old body had managed to swing an axe like that. He had been standing in his mother's barn with Hank, barely paying him any attention until the words “marry” and “your mother” came out in the same sentence. "But you can't marry her! She doesn’t love you!" Lucas had protested. His vision had grown hazy as nausea rose and mixed with bile in his throat. "Listen you little shit, I wasn't asking your permission. I've been doing my best to try and have a relationship with you, but I sure as hell ain't letting you get in the way of mine and your mother's happiness." "You can't make her happy..." Lucas growled. “That's right”, the voice purred in his ear. His eyes fixated on Hank, feral with rage. "Your mother and I are in love kid, so you better get used to it. And this talking back shit better change real fast!" Hank crossed his arms, his stance towering over Lucas’ weak, awkward frame. "You're not my father. You can't tell me what I can or can't do asshole!" The voice laughed as Lucas shoved into Hank only for his legs to flounder, sending him backwards into the dirt and right next to the axe lying on the ground beside him. Hank laughed too. "You're right. I'm not your father. With a poor excuse of a son like you, no wonder he ran off!" Hank leaned forward, placing his hands on his knees, overtaken with his own "clever" joke. “You should shut this asshole up, Lucas,” the voice snarled. Hank's laughter was quickly replaced with choking, his amused expression traded for that of shock and horror as the blade effortlessly sliced through his throat. “Obliterate him!”
Lucas stood over Hank, the axe raised high above his head as he watched blood spurt from the deep gash in Hank's neck. Hank's eyes full of terror. All he saw in Lucas' was pitchblack rage. “I told you to finish him!” A savage growl escaped Lucas' body as the blade swung down, slicing open Hank's abdomen. Then again, across his face. Again...and again. He was frenzied, euphoric with the smell of fear and blood as Hank’s life spurted and sprayed over Lucas. By the time it had registered that he was no longer alone, it was too late. "Lucas!" His mother's voice broke him from his spell. The axe dropped from his hand and he turned to her. Blood dripped from face, arms, and chest. The metallic smell nearly overpowered him. She stood frozen, her eyes taking in the scene before her. Hank's mangled body, her son covered in Hank's blood. "He didn't deserve you...he wanted to take you away from me." Tears flooded his eyes as he reached out for his mother, an act he’d done so many times before. But her arms recoiled, her eyes only conveyed disgust. "Mother?" "No. Don’t say that. You're not my son. You're not my Lucas!" She backed away as he moved closer, her eyes wide as she choked on tears. He shook his head, unable to process what she was saying. How could she say something so hurtful? He had saved her. This must be a mistake. “Get her, Lucas!” Lucas had obeyed the voice, ran after his mother through the dark field. He screamed for her but she refused to look back, her legs running as fast as they could go. It wasn't fast enough. She was halfway to their house when the distance between them closed. When he reached for her arm, both of them tumbled to the ground. Her hands beat against his chest as she screamed. Pinned to the ground, she was helpless as his hands closed around her throat. "I knew you were thinking about it, Lucas." The satisfied smugness in Ripper’s voice grated him. He cringed, almost able to taste the blood in his mouth again as his mind mulled over that night. He looked up as the bus came to a stop, relief sweeping over him as his apartment building came into view. Lucas stepped from the bus and hastily made his way to his building. Lucas had a history of blacking out after Ripper was done with him. All he wanted was to make it to his apartment before it hit him. As his vision went black, his body fell forward. He’d only made it to the front step.
Author Interview with Hubert de La Bouillerie What inspired you to become an author?
want readers to grasp?
Born with the drive. I’ve been writing my whole life in some form or the other. Mainly film scripts.
That the world can do better, all we have to do is get-KNCTD!
Do you have a specific writing style?
Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true-life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life?
I would say, if anything, I’m a visualist, (I’m not sure the word actually exist, but you know what I mean.) with a great sense of pace.
Some historical characters.
Do you write in different genres?
Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet?
Yes. I like mixing styles. It’s challenging and when it works it’s unique.
I am continuing the trilogy of OF LOVE AND EVIL: book two and three.
If yes which is your favorite genre to write?
Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why?
Dramatic love stories with a tragic end. (Keep the heart forever wanting.) How did you come up with the title for your latest book? Originally I had a different title. It had religious and political repercussions that I decided were too sensitive for our time. The new title is a reflection of the first. Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?
Brooke Mirande, my protagonist in OF LOVE AND EVIL THE BIRTH. I love women. I find them much more interesting then most men. If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share? Yes, a trilogy. OF LOVE AND EVIL THE BIRTH- part one
As the writing blackens the pages the title comes to me.
OF LOVE AND EVIL THE PACT- part two - where the main character must find a way to regain her soul and begin the battle with her new born child to beat the devil.
Is there a message in your novel that you
OF LOVE AND EVIL THE FINAL BATTLE
- part three - Can the world, with the help of all the characters, build a new Camelot and begin a reign of true connectivity through acceptance of our differences and keep evil from destroying us. Love will reign and we will prosper and reach new heights. What book are you reading now? “The Singularity Is Near” by Ray Kurzweil What books/authors have influenced your life? Many, from Victor Hugo, Antoine de Saint-Exupery, Gore Vidal, Mario Puzo, Umberto Eco, Oriana Falaci and many more. If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor? I’m guessing if you put a gun to my head I would have to say Umberto Eco. I love his mathematical thinking. About the Author Hubert de La Bouillerie is a highly respected Hollywood film director, writer and film editor with over thirty features, including such favorites as The Witches of Eastwick, Other People’s Money and Tango and Cash. His debut novel, Of Love and Evil The Birth is currently being adapted as a film, graphic novel and game. This epic love story, that began over 400 years ago with a pact made with the Devil in the name of love, is played out against the backdrop of today's world of high technology and social media. Brooke Mirande, a beautiful young heiress, has just inherited full control of a multi-media empire. She rapidly finds herself torn between a love affair, with the gorgeous dot-com entrepreneur Robert Redman, and the strange, dark legacy of her mother. Brooke begins a desperate search for the truth of her heritage. A truth that reveals a conspiracy that could even include the love of her life, Robert Redman. Amazon Kindle Amazon Print
Sky Purington’s Paranormal Investigations Over the past six weeks, I’ve been chatting about the inspiration behind my Calum’s Curse Trilogy as I’ve traveled along my Bewitching Book Tour. So what was my source of inspiration? None other than my very own haunted Victorian. Instead of sharing more of the numerous paranormal events I’ve witnessed since moving in eleven years ago, I’m going to tell you about some of the results I’ve had upon investigating. You see, I not only write about ghost hunters but I’ve done a bit of hunting myself. After all, they say you should write what you know. By investigating, I’ve learned firsthand what it feels like to get an actual response from an unseen entity. So far I’ve had several responses during multiple investigations. But I’m not all that surprised considering how active this house has been in the past. Before I continue allow me to share with you what equipment I used when I made contact. My weapon of choice was an EMF detector. This device is commonly used by electricians but has also become a very popular tool for paranormal investigations. Why? Because most in the field believe that spirits not only have a magnetic field but can use it to communicate with the living. My particular device reads on a scale of 0-10 Milligauss at 50/60 Hz. The way in which paranormal investigators use this device is by first establishing the magnetic field readings of the location. Once the magnetic fluctuations of a particular building are mapped out, the investigator can then narrow down the best areas to investigate. In point, those free of pre-existing magnetic activity. Examples of potentially higher magnetic readings in a home might include light fixtures, wiring, etc.. Once ready to use an EMF detector, only yes or no questions should be asked. A spike in the meter insinuates a ‘yes’. No spike in the meter insinuates a ‘no’. On to the spooky stuff! My first time attempting to contact ‘the other side’ was in early September, 2011. While you might’ve expected me to choose nighttime, I opted to try it at 3 O’clock in the afternoon. Why then? It was one of those rare times that I was home alone. With baited breath and EMF detector in hand, I stood in the hall-
way on the second floor. Silly as it might sound, I began by introducing myself in a clear, concise voice. I suppose a few of you are thinking, “Um, isn’t it safe to assume the ghost already knows who you are?” Yes, probably. But it seemed like the best way to do it. To my mind, those in the afterlife should be treated as politely and with as much respect as I’d treat any living person I’d just met. I explained what the EMF detector was and how I believed it might be a tool in with which they could communicate. I even explained how I thought they might be able to manipulate it using energy. I tried not to overthink the fact that I was asking something supernatural to get so close to me. Five minutes went by. No response. Honestly, even though I knew the house was haunted, I didn’t think I’d receive a response my first time. In the middle of the afternoon, no less. But I did. I’ll never forget the moment I watched the motionless needle first leap in response to a question. I gripped the detector with two hands and forced myself not to shake. Deep, even breathes were the key to remaining calm. So what question invoked an answer? Pretty basic. I asked, “Are you the man who built this house?” The meter spiked to five then dropped back to zero. Naturally, I assumed it might be my husband’s great-grandfather who built the house for his wife in 1901. So I asked, “Is this Richard?” (leaving off the last name for the sake of the family’s privacy). No response. I asked several more times. Still no response. Again I asked, “Is this the man who built this house?” This time the meter shot up to seven then dropped to zero. Suddenly it occurred to me, Richard had not built the house himself… he’d hired workers! I have to admit I became pretty excited at that point. The previous year I’d awoken to a transparent man standing over my bed. Dressed in early twentieth century clothing, I’d approximated his age to be late twenties, perhaps even early 30’s. Could that man be the very same that I was communicating with now? So I asked him, “Are you the man I saw standing over my bed last year? The meter spiked to six, held for a second, and then dropped to zero. Though I didn’t shiver, the fine hairs on my arms stood. Still, I remained calm. In another blog post I told of how my tenants had experienced something being thrown at them. I asked, “Did you throw something at the people next door?” The meter spiked to four then fell. I asked, “Were you upset with them?” The meter remained motionless. I asked again if it’d thrown something at the tenants. The meter spiked to four. I then left the topic alone, figuring that its reasons were its own and at least there had been no anger involved.
Because I’d also awoken on another night to what appeared to be a little boy around four year’s old standing over my bed, I asked, “Are you the only spirit in this house?” The meter remained motionless as I asked this question several more times. Okay. He/it wasn’t alone. So I asked, “Is there a child here as well?” This is when it got intense. The meter spiked to eight and held for a few seconds before dropping. Did I shake at that point? Yes! I am only human. But I needed to make sure so I asked, “You’re absolutely positive that there’s a child in this house?” This time the meter hit ten to the point that the device seemed to vibrate. This lasted about five seconds then dropped back to zero. Instead of calling it quits like any sane person would I became more curious and asked if there was a third spirit in the house. The meter hit five and dropped. Three! Did I dare ask about a fourth? You know it. So I did. The meter remained motionless though I asked a few more times. Regrettably, despite my questioning about the third spirit, I was unable to divulge much save it preferred to keep its distance. I continued the investigation by asking simple questions such as, “Were you alive in 1920?” Sadly enough, the meter remained motionless after the year 1910 so I can only assume he/it passed away before that. All and all, it was a very exciting fifteen minutes that ended with the spirit responding that it would be willing to answer questions when my husband was home later. I really wanted him to witness what I had. Better yet, I wish I’d set up a video camera! Unfortunately when we tried later, my cat joined us and behaved very oddly. Walking back and forth between my husband and me, she wouldn’t stop meowing. And it wasn’t a friendly sort of sound. She wasn’t happy. And as you might have suspected, the spirit did not respond. All I could think at that time was what history tells us of cats being the guardians to the afterlife (or underworld). Could it be that myth and legend have place in non-fiction? I suppose we’ll never know. Do I intend to research the history of my property in more detail? You bet. Wishing everyone a super scary Halloween! Best Regards, Sky
Flint Fang Fest Schedule of Events Flint Horror Con Saturday, October 20, 2012 Downtown Flint at the Masonic Temple on Saginaw Street doors open at 12PM and close at 10PM Tickets $10 at the door Schulers Books in Lansing Wednesday October 24 Multi Author Paranormal, Horror and Urban Fantasy Book Signing 7pm- Free to Attend Genesee District Library- Davison Branch Thursday October 25 Multi Author Paranormal, Horror and Urban Fantasy Book Signing 6:30 PM- Free to Attend The Fischer Bodies Monster Mash Up Burlesque Show Friday Oct 26 8pm Saturday Oct 27 8pm The Good Beans Cafe 328 North Grand Traverse Flint, MI 48504 $10 a person The Vampire Ball and Vertigo's Vampire Emporium Saturday October 27 Emporium 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. $5 at the door all ages welcome The Ball is for ages 21 and over Tickets $25 at the door Downtown Flint at the Masonic Temple Doors open for the ball at 7pm Visit www.flintfangfest.blogspot.com for full details
The Awakening Short Fiction by Emma Mead Sabrina stirred in her sleep. She was lost in a dream of another girl, young and beautiful, surrounded by family in her bedroom at their large country estate. A black carriage drawn by dark horses pulled up before the house, and a gentleman sporting a luxurious cape and top hat emerged. The girl’s face was flushed with fever as she lay in her oversized bed, and her worried parents fussed over her. Black curls, slick with sweat lay matted to her forehead. Sabrina shifted in her sleep. She didn’t like this dream. The sick girl watched the handsome man enter the room and remove his hat. She listened to her parents saying “thank you Doctor” over and over before leaving him alone with the patient. He knelt over the ill girl and whispered softly, “I will save you and sickness will never again touch you.” His beauty was almost unearthly, and Sabrina felt drawn to him. Did she know this man? Her train of thought stopped. What next? Blood, something to do with blood. A transfusion? White and sharp…. The dream lost its focus and Sabrina willed it to return. The girl seemed revived, if a little tired. She touched the side of her neck and studied fingers smeared with blood drops. Her eyes shut. The doctor slumped at the side of the bed, drained and pasty-white. The family returned to find their sleeping beauty, and understood it was an eternal slumber. The doctor, full of remorse slipped away quietly. The girl lay watching her family through half closed eyelids and wished to reach out, to tell them she could hear them. Her exhausted mind shut down and her father covered her face with the bed clothes. Lilies. Sabrina smelled the sweet musk, just as the girl in her dream did. Through half open eyes she saw the flowers everywhere, in everyone’s hands as they stood in turn over her, whispering quietly, some even weeping. The organ music began and the girl became frightened, tried to speak, to cry out. It was all wrong. “Goodbye my sweet Sabrina,” spoke the girl’s father. I am Sabrina, Sabrina thought in her dream. That girl is not. That is her funeral, not mine. She sleeps. She is not dead. “I am not dead,” Sabrina spoke aloud, and her voice bounced around her. Consciousness loomed nearby. Where am I? Before she could figure it out, she was sucked back into her dream. The smell of white lilies subsided and darkness shrouded her. The voices disappeared and she felt herself shuffled around and then settle. I am in bed asleep, the girl told herself, and Sabrina watched the confused and fearful girl fall into a deep slumber with relief. When the girl came to, she saw the striking, pale doctor through veiled eyes and longed to reach out to him, but he too believed she slept and was unaware of his presence. He stroked her hair lovingly. “I tried to save you,” he told her. “I gave too much, now all you do is sleep.” He bowed his head. The girl knew she was lying on a hard bed, wooden with high sides. Something familiar
about the shape, but she forced the thought away. His voice nearby was comforting. “I’ll come every day and stay here at your side. You may awake someday, some age from now. At night I must leave you, for I must -” and here he paused, “sustain myself.” Sounds now, louder. Sabrina stirred. She wanted them to go away, to see how the dream ended, for she felt she already knew this girl, that life somehow. Night after night he left her, to return as promised every day. And the girl grew to love him, as did Sabrina in her dream. He would whisper lovingly to her about her long, dark locks and the white dress ‘they’ had put her in forever. Bang. Thud. The noise was horrendous and Sabrina felt herself jerked upwards towards consciousness. She fought hard. The dream brought her peace. The man gave her serenity, until that day he failed to come. Something had become of him and now she was all alone, lying in that helpless state of paralysis. A crashing sound resonated all around. Sabrina awoke fully. Walls bulged and broke, but all she saw was darkness. Where am I? She reached her palms outwards only to touch wood. Her bed? Her hands moved above her, more wood and then stretching her feet downwards, she found the same. Enclosed, trapped. Oh my God, she thought wildly, and froze. Voices. Male. “Careful boys.” Sabrina felt herself sway from side to side, then land with a loud thump. “Shit, we broke it. Must be hundreds of years old.” Another voice followed. “I can see a bit inside.” A thin ray of light reached Sabrina’s eyes. She remained silent, and terrified. “No harm if we have a look - Jesus Christ.” Sabrina’s brown eyes locked on those of the two shocked men, dressed in ridiculously bright orange jackets and hard hats. “You woke me,” she whispered hoarsely. “We’re going to help you miss,” the older one said and gulped. “That thing was locked a long time ago Frank. How’d she get in there? Look at her clothes.” Sabrina screamed suddenly. The men screeched right along with her. She tried to stand up and fell from the half upright coffin onto the dirty floor of the crypt. Blood spattered from the fresh cut on her forehead, landing on her yellowing dress. She stood shakily. “Where am I?” The men glanced from her to the coffin and back again. Sabrina followed their gazes and saw the old casket, decaying with age. Her eyes widened. She fainted. The men rushed forward and lifted her limp body. Sabrina lay unmoving in the caring arms of two strangers. They crossed the threshold into the early morning sunshine and for a brief, wonderful moment she felt glorious heat on her old skin, and then there was nothing. The men looked in wonder at their empty hands, where only a moment ago a beautiful girl had lain. She was gone now; all that remained of her was a thin layer of ash at the entrance to the crypt. There would be no more dark loneliness for her. The sunlight had cured her eternal sleep. The working men removed their hats and bowed their heads, and said a silent prayer for someone who had been lost and mourned many years before.
Salem VI Rebecca’s Rising now available in print http://salemwitchtrilogy.com/ Hardcover http://www.amazon.com/Salem-VIRebeccas-Jack-Heath/dp/0985793716/ Paperback http://www.amazon.com/Salem-VIRebeccas-Jack-Heath/dp/0985793775/ Kindle : http://www.amazon.com/Salem-VIRebeccas-Rising-ebook/dp/B008M2E4IW/ “This story’s plot twisted and turned many times, often surprising me, and that is pretty tough to do with all I read. The author rewrites history, changes it, adds to it, and twists it into something much more sinister, more evil by far, than what we know of the Salem Witch Hunts.” Kiki Howell author of Hidden Salem Salem VI: Rebecca's Rising Book One in the Salem VI trilogy By Jack Heath and John Thompson Genre: Fiction/historical/paranormal Publisher: Pressque Publishing July 19, 2012 (eBook) September 28, 2012 (hardcover) ISBN-10: 0985793708 ISBN-13: 978-0-9857937-0-8 ISBN-10: 0985793716 ISBN-13: 978-0-9857937-1-5 Number of pages: 275 Word Count: 77,084 Short Synopsis Former primetime television reporter John Andrews thought he’d lost everything when his wife died but as timeless bloodlines, first crafted during the Salem witch trials, are redrawn he realizes he has more at stake. Salem, Mass isn’t what it used to be—or is it? Extended Synopsis
Having stepped off the fast track of primetime network television news, John Andrews has chosen a quieter life as editor of Salem News, a small paper in a quiet New England town. Life is perfect until Andrews’ wife is killed in a tragic accident. After several years of trying to numb the pain with alcohol, Andrews is visited by the spirit of a long dead ancestor who opens a door to a shocking family history. After he experiences a surreal glimpse into the past, Andrews must confront the question of whether he is losing his mind or whether for several hundred years his ancestors have been engaged in a secret battle with a coven that worships Satan. Fueled by the need to understand whether his wife's death was really an accident or something far more sinister, Andrews, along with his beautiful assistant editor, risk everything to discover a truth so horrifying it threatens to destroy everything and everyone he knows and loves. About the Authors Jack Heath Jack Heath is the host of NH Today, New Hampshire’s only live afternoon radio talk show, and cohost of Sport Legends of New England with Bob Lobel, which can be seen throughout New England on Comcast Spotlight. A direct descendant of Rebecca Nurse, the last person to be tried and hanged during the Salem Witch Trials, and Ann R. Putnam, one of her accusers, his first novel, Salem VI, is an altogether modern take on Arthur Miller’s The Crucible. John Thompson John Thompson spent twenty-five years as an investment banker in New York before retiring to write full time. He is the author of the Brent Lucas trilogy, The Girl from Felony Bay, and coauthor of Salem VI. He lives with his wife and daughter and divides his time between Charleston, South Carolina and Hawley, Pennsylvania. Author web links: http://www.salemwitchtrilogy.com http://twitter.com/salemvibook http://www.facebook.com/SalemWitchTrilogy http://www.jackheathradio.com http://www.booksbyjohnthompson.com/
Evil Night by Jill James Trolls and specters haunt this witches night. Rising moon the color of blood beware the awesome sight. Gruesome and evil, too terrible to tell. The Devil is coming! Have you a soul to sell? Unborn child of a mother unwed. Of this the carrion will tonight be well-fed. Angels of mercy have no place here. For their pristine souls they had best beware. For this eve is the night that evil rules the land. All will tremble in fear of Satan's wrathful hand.
© Brigid Ashwood & Ash Evans brigidashwood.com ashevans.com
Interview with Jill James What inspired you to become an author? I’ve written stuff since I was a little girl. Poetry, short stories, and plays. By the time I hit my thirties I knew I wanted to get serious about my writing. My biggest inspiration was my fifth grade teacher, Mrs. Whitaker, who said, “Not everyone can write, don’t throw your gift away.” Do you have a specific writing style? I’m a linear writer. Very much a plotter. I start at Chapter 1 and continue until The End. Sometimes an idea will hit me and I’ll verve off from the plot but I still am writing with The End in mind. Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete? I always start with a title and a couple of characters. Without a title I just can’t get started.
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? No matter the subgenre I always write my stories with one thought in mind; love and romance are waiting...just around the corner. I want to give hope to those who haven’t found Mr. or Ms. Right yet. They are out there. You just haven’t found them yet. Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet? Yes, Historical Romance. I just need to gear myself up to do the research to write a historical. I would love to write one set in WWII. Such sacrifices were made in that war; abroad and at home. Soldiers didn’t get leave in those days to come home so the letters back and forth were so sweet, treasured, and romantic. Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why? Actually my favorite character is in a future project. She had a small part in Tempting Adam, my debut novel. Nikki Fernandez is everything I would like to be. She is a smartass, takes no crap from anyone, and she is one hot chica. What book are you reading now? Cure by Robin Cook. He is one of my all-time favorites and I get all his books in hardcover. What books/authors have influenced your life? Skye O’Malley by Bertrice Small. It was the first book I read with a kickass heroine. It was amazing to realize you could write a heroine who wasn’t a damsel in distress waiting in the tower for Prince Charming to save her. Can you share a little of your current work with us? My current work, Defend My Love, will be out this autumn. Megan Kirby was falsely accused of embezzlement and lost four years with her family; husband, Daniel and her daughter, Daisy, born the day she was sentenced and sent to prison.
“We the jury, in the case of The State of California vs. Megan Marie Kirby, on the count of Embezzlement, do find the defendant -- guilty.” Megan gasped as tears rolled down her face and pains roiled across her nine-months- pregnant stomach. How could they have found her guilty? She hadn’t taken the money from her job. She was innocent. All thoughts of guilt or innocence fled her mind as the pain increased to a crescendo of ringing in her ears. Her blood pulsed in her veins in time with the judge’s gravel pounding for order. Something deep inside ripped, fluid gushed down her legs, and the world went black.
* * * The drive to the hospital was a nightmare with a deputy sitting in the ambulance with her and her husband, Daniel. She squeezed his hand as another contraction rolled over her. Screams erupted from her throat as the deputy just glared at her. At the hospital the doors to the ambulance ripped open and sun painted the vehicle in brightness. Megan squinted into the light, amazed that such a beautiful day could bring her happiness and sadness at the same time. The doctors took charge as she writhed on the gurney, the pain surrounding her. She’d spent part of her pregnancy in jail, with no Lamaze classes to help the waves rolling her under. At twentytwo years old she felt like a child, just wanting her mother to come and take away the pain like the time she fell and skinned her knees. In the labor room the deputy stepped forward to slap cuffs on her hand and the bedrail. Daniel growled and pushed him away. She tried to scream at her husband to stop. He couldn’t be here for her if he was in jail next. The nurse stepped between them. She spoke calmly to Daniel and he moved back to her side. She barked at the deputy. “Don’t be stupid. She isn’t going anywhere for hours.” Pains ripped across her stomach. She stared as the skin roiled from inside. The doctor moved between her legs. “I think we’ll check your progress.” The nurses moved her feet into the stirrups. Pain pierced her as the doctor checked. He grunted and looked at her. “We are moving along nicely.” It didn’t feel nice, not at all. She just wanted to have the baby and go home. Hot tears rolled down her face. Even the agony of childbirth for days was better than the reality of going to prison once this was done. Time passed in spurts. Pain rolled over her and time stood still. She feel back against the sweatwet pillow and the second hand on the clock across from her bed flew around the dial. A nurse moved to her right side and Daniel came to her left. They grasped her hands and helped her to sit forward. “It’s time to push,” the nurse instructed. “You can do this, Megan. You can do anything,” Daniel urged her on. Two hours later, drenched in sweat but as happy as she’d ever been, Megan gazed down into her daughter’s tiny, scrunched up face. The puffy pink blanket surrounded her red face. Her husband stood beside the bed, his hand shaking as it slid over the baby’s head.
“What do you want to call her?” Megan stared at the pale yellow curls and the bright black eyes of her daughter. “Her name is Daisy.” Do you have any advice for other writers? Write every day. Even if it is 100 words. Write every day.
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Interview Kelbian Noel What inspired you to become an author? When I was little, I read all the time. The books were historical romances by authors like Janette Oke and L.M. Montgomery. The thing was, in all the books I read, I never encountered anyone who looked like me. While I loved the stories, I felt they were missing that very important element. So I started writing historical romances about characters who looked like me. I was eleven at the time. The stories were written on loose leaf and still have them! Can you share a little of your current work with us? Elemental is about a young girl, living in a tiny Utah town, who is very different from her peers. She’s biracial (Black and Navajo) and her parents are Wiccan. She soon finds out that, though she’s shunned her parents’ beliefs for years, there’s a lot of truth to them. Even bigger realities then her parents were aware of. If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share? I’m currently working on book 2 of The Elementals, which is set to be released in February. This book focuses on Skye, a different girl with the same destiny as Baltimore. Each book in the series is based on a different girl. Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life? Baltimore’s (the main character) life is loosely based on my own. I grew up in small rural town, have a deeply religious parents, who are South American immigrants. For many years we were the only black family in town. It was awkward. And I learned a lot form those experiences. Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Yes. At first there wasn’t. It was a light, quirky story that grew into something more serious. It’s still fun, but a little dark at times. The main message is seeking, finding and accepting one’s identity. Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet? I started writing a horror novel last year. I keep trying and giving up. I definitely want to finish it,
but it’s difficult to write something so dark. At least for me. It’s also based in South America, where I’ve only been once. What books/authors have influenced your life? Octavia E. Butler is my number one influence. She took a genre (science fiction) that was previously owned by white men and turned it on it’s ear. Not to mention, she did it very well in a time when writers like her didn’t exist. She opened the door for women and people of color in that genre. She taught me that it’s okay to take certain people and put them in unlikely situations. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? It’s difficult to write dark fiction, at times. Contemporary comes so easily, but to write something dark when you haven’t been there, is challenging. To do so, I call on my worst memories. It usually helps. Who designed the cover of your latest book? I did. It took weeks to come up with the art, but next time I think I’ll go the professional route and just stick to writing! Do you have any advice for other writers? Find a crit partner or a group to help with editing. It can make a world of difference and really help enhance your skills. It also toughens up that skin :) About the Author: From a very young age, Kelbian loved to read. She found herself engulfed in novels by Janette Oke and L.M. Montgomery, but never seemed to find herself in the pages. At the age of 11 she declared she would write stories that had to do with her own experience, and be the youngest author in history. But life was full of baseball, homework, best friends and boys. Decades later, having studied writing in college and pursued it as a career, Kelbian decided it was time to get back to her dream. She started writing again, joined a critique group and wrote two novels. Then in March 2011, along came Elemental. This time life's distractions couldn't shake the feeling that the world needed to hear Baltimore's story. At least those who would listen! A year later, Kelbian is excited to introduce Elemental to the world with hopes someone will love the story as much as she does. Kelbian lives in Toronto, Ontario, Canada with her two children.
Elemental The Elementals, Book 1 Kelbian Noel Genre: Young Adult Urban Fantasy ASIN: B008MZ59Q0 Number of pages: 364 Word Count: 71279 Cover Artist: Kelbian Noel Book Description: Baltimore Land is a typical teenager whose parents embarrass her completely. She wants nothing to do with her family's beliefs and is convinced their silly rituals only exist to make her life miserable. All she wants is to be normal, but the fact that her parents are witches seriously messes with her social life. She's doing alright, with a boyfriend who seems to like her just the way she is and an awesome best friend who is fascinated by her lifestyle, but she's not the most popular girl in her small Utah town. In fact, she's kind of the town freak. When her boyfriend's ex tries to win him back, Baltimore's emotions get the best of her and she soon realizes her parents' beliefs aren't so silly after all--they're just the beginning. Amazon http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008MZ59Q0 http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6446157.Kelbian_Noel http://www.facebook.com/pages/Kelbian-Noel/472945699390013 http://twitter.com/Kelbian_noel http://www.kelbian.com
Sinister Seductions A Crushing Hearts Black Butterfly Anthology Edited by Roxanne Rhoads Delightfully dark tales of paranormal desires and sinister seductions grace the pages of this CHBB anthology filled with short stories and poetry from: Raven Corinn Carluk, Amanda Browning, Ann Gimpel, Roxanne Rhoads, Adam Clark, Lisa Goldman , Nathan Squiers, Selena D. Jenkins, DJ Shaw, Livia Olteano, Joseph J. Langan, and S.J. Thomas Werewolves, vampires, demons and more will take you on a journey of forbidden seduction luring you into lairs of devilish delights and sinister depravity. Indulge yourself in darkness. Table of Contents: A Sinister Seduction Intro Poem By Amanda Browning Dragonâ€™s Den by Raven Corinn Carluk Wolf Bytes By Ann Gimpel, Ph.D. Underneath the Fangs By Roxanne Rhoads Drain the Blood A Poem By Adam Clark Detonating the Bomb By Lisa Goldman A Howl at the Moon By Nathan Squiers
A Magikal Match By Selena D. Jenkins Devilish Delights and Rancid Offerings By DJ Shaw Drained A Poem By Roxanne Rhoads Mistress by Livia Olteano Sin With Me By Amanda Browning Persephone By Joseph J. Langan Forbidden Taste By S.J. Thomas
Midnight Mistress A Poem By Roxanne Rhoads
We are now accepting submissions for the November and December issues of Bewitching Book Tours Magazine November we will be focusing on Fall and Thanksgiving themes. Do you have any family stories, surviving the holidays advice or great Thanksgiving recipes to share? We would love to print them. We would love to see some paranormal/holiday themed short stories and poetry along with the normal articles, interviews and book reviews. December will be the holiday issue and we would love to feature articles and stories featuring any of the winter holidays: Yule (or the solstice), Kwanza, Hanukah and Christmas. If you have holiday or paranormal artwork you would like to display we are open to featuring that as well. For every issue we are acceptTrue tales of paranormal encounters Articles (around 500-1200 words on writing, books, reading, and/or paranormal themes) Book reviews Poetry Recipes (preferably with images) Flash fiction (around 1200 words) Ad space rates are: Featured excerpts (around 1000-1200 words) Author interviews $40 full page ad Please send your submission to Roxanne with Bewitching Magazine in $20 half page ad the subject line $10 quarter page ad RoxanneRhoads@bewitchingbooktours.com
Bewitching Book Tours Magazine October Edition