March 2013

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Bewitching Book Tours Magazine Issue 9 March 2013 Bewitching Book Tours Magazine is a publication of Bewitching Book Tours and Bewitching Books. Editor: Roxanne Rhoads Design Editor and Layout: Lisa McGeen Contributors include Bewitching Book Tours Authors and Tour Hosts learn more at Submission details- for every issue we are accept: Articles- topics include writing, research, paranormal, vampires, advice for authors, publishing advice, and more Flash Fiction- paranormal and urban fantasy (for other genres please query) True tales of paranormal encounters Recipes Poetry Book reviews Please send submissions to place “Bewitching Magazine Submission” in subject line Ad space rates are:

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Contents Auntie Ann’s Homespun Advice Banish the Anxiety—Focus on the Fun Green Living Tips The Exemeus—Interview Breathe Wicked Lies Excerpt Annette Gisby—Interview DiSemblance Excerpt 10 Easy Ways to Save Money on your Wedding The Chosen Feature Vanilla On Top Review Rattleman Excerpt—Monthly Feature Tarot In Fiction Snake Skin Charity Santiago–Interview Excuse My Fairy—Excerpt Alex Gulczynski—Interview How I came to write the Magic Season Series My Body—Excerpt and Interview The Naughty Nook Skhye Moncrief—Interview and Excerpt

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What an interesting batch of letters since last month. It was hard to choose two. Keep those letters coming, folks. Dear Auntie Ann, I haven’t run across this problem elsewhere and I’m afraid if I bring it up with my publisher they won’t take any more of my books. There’s been a move afoot of late to make covers even more suggestive, which would be fine except I write pretty mainstream romance. I’ve gotten a whole bunch of crummy reviews from readers who felt cheated. They were attracted to the cover and expected a steamy story. I know you write too. Do you have any suggestions for me? WT

Dear WT, That’s a tough one. From your publisher’s point of view, sales are everything. So if your books are selling, they’ll probably continue to slap spicy covers on them. I can see your point that you’re

afraid you’ll lose readers. You may lose some of your new readers, but your core readership probably won’t budge. There are a lot of pieces I’d need to know to give you worthwhile advice. How

much published work do you have available? Does it sell well? When you say bad reviews, are the good ones still rolling in along with them? Have you considered other publishers? There are lots of them out there.

The bad review issue has come up in this column before. So long as your books are selling, I wouldn’t worry about them. If they bother you a whole lot, I wouldn’t even read them. Tastes vary. The bottom line is most readers don’t post reviews. Tantalizing covers are part of attracting a reader. And the cover has to work in thumbnail size, so bright colors and not much clutter are important .

Dear Auntie Ann, I feel like a wuss whining about this, but my husband and I both work full time. We have two kids, aged 3 and 5. When we get home, he sits down in front of the computer and plays games while I do housework, make dinner, and interact with the kids. I’ve complained until I can’t talk anymore, but I haven’t been able to change him. Help. EL Dear EL

You’re not a wuss. One of the things that may be long overdue is a conversation about how both of

you see men’s and women’s roles. If he grew up with a mother who waited on him and his father, he may simply take your labor for granted. What I’m going to recommend is a bit over the top, but it may well get hubby’s attention. Stop doing his laundry. Simply sort it out of the stack near the washing machine. Tell him they’re his

clothes and it’s his responsibility. Ditto if you’re doing any ironing for him. Make dinner for yourself at the kids. If he wants to eat, he’s on his own. Stop picking up after him.

Be sure to tell him up front that things are about to change. Explain you’re tired too at the end of the day and taking care of him as if he were a third child isn’t working for you anymore. Be sure to let him know you’d welcome a fair division of household chores, but so long as he chooses not to help, you’re done waiting on him.

One last thought here, EL. You don’t mention outside chores or things like fixing the cars. Does he do those sorts of things, or do you live in an apartment where yard maintenance isn’t an issue? If he spends most of his weekend time taking care of “guy” chores like mowing the lawn and changing

the oil in the cars, you may need to rethink things a bit, but not totally. You still need his help on week nights.

Please write me back and tell me how things go.

Banish the Anxiety — Focus on the Fun! Banish the Anxiety — Focus on the Fun!

I help them, or they help me, or we just share space, it's all good!

Savoring the Human Connections As soon as I felt again the human connection behind all these hours at the computer, everything felt good again. How do we stay in the flow when we’re in the middle The dream of the shelter is back, clear and strong. The of advertising, promoting, and otherwise selling our difference is that now I just KNOW it's going to hapcreative darlings? How can we banish anxiety over the pen, and I don't think about the picky details, like monbarrage of numbers: views, sales, tweets, friends, foley and land and legalities. When they become relevant, lows, et al!? The solution applies a lot further than pubthey'll resolve, maybe through my diligent inspired aclishing. In fact it can help all of us keep having fun, no tion, maybe through a different agency. matter the circumstances. By Carole Remy

Paying too Much Attention to the Numbers I've bumped up against exactly this problem in the last few days, and it took me awhile to feel my way through. What happened was that I started focusing on how many people retweeted my tweets, how many people visited my blog, etc. I wanted tangible results in exactly the form I wanted them to come in. Arggg! Even though the numbers were generally good, I started to get anxious.

Since working all this through, my energy has stayed consistently high. I can look at the numbers now, laugh a little, get excited when they're really good, and laugh some more when they go down. I've remembered that the numbers don't matter, that every connection is precious, and that makes everything fun again. How to Recognize Inspired Action It can be hard to know whether something you want to do is truly inspired action, or whether perhaps you want it because of prior conditioning. I’ve followed a lot of ‘dreams’ that turned out to be me living out someone else’s (generally my Mother’s) dreams. Even here in Mexico, the vision of a dog shelter is evolving by fits and starts.

Before, it had felt wonderful visualizing opening a shelter for puppies and old dogs, the main reason I’d like to sell a bunch of books. I imagined the yard, and the cute doggie beds, and all the volunteers. All of it felt fantastic, and in my heart I know it's all just around the corner. Lately, with too much focus on HOW to get there, ie the numbers, the dream started to feel more anxious One way to recognize inspired action may be by looking at how hard you are willing to work for the dream, too. and by whether that work feels like a chore toward an end, or whether the work itself is truly joyous. PromotGetting Back to Having Fun ing my books is so fun and absorbing, I’d do it even if What brought me out was when I realized that it's there were never a penny to be made. names that matter, and not numbers. Each retweet was the action of a person, someone real and alive that was connecting with me! How amazing is that! The whole Another Example purpose of all of everything, for me, is connection, con- A non-publishing example, brought up by a young necting with people and connecting with dogs. Whether friend, is a decision whether to incur university debt.

The student wants to keep going. The parents are saying, 'No!' The friends are saying, 'You're crazy!' We all know university debt can become crushing, and I certainly understand parental fears. I have one daughter who loves studying – loves it! She’s finishing a masters degree and moving on to a PhD. Who knows if she’ll ever recoup the money, but she’s doing what she loves most in life. Every course excites her. And she works her butt off! To me, the deciding factor is the joy. If the dream that gives you greatest joy is to buy your own home, maybe you need to give some thought to working and avoiding debt. If what gives you greatest joy is learning, and you could care less about your accommodations, keep studying! That's not to say you can't have both the house and the degrees. Of course, you can. But if one is a passion and one is a should, you need to be clear in your heart about which is which. When you know and follow your true joy, emphasis on Your. True. Joy., the Universe will align with you. And, rather than an elusive target, staying in the flow will be a given. Book Description: $120,000 + Expenses: Rich man wants companion for 12 nights. Attractive normal female. Never married. No children. Over 30 years old. No prostitutes. Reply to box 74716. Angela and Aggie are stunning identical twins, one a call girl and the other a librarian. If only Aggie will do the sweet-and-innocent interview, Angela is sure she can earn the fortune between the sheets. Jimmy is a lonely, horny half-billionaire and Richard is his hard nosed lawyer, and before long, the two friends are convinced they’re in lust with the same maddeningly hot woman! Stir in a brilliant autistic younger brother, a nerdish doesn't-know-he's-ex-boyfriend, a well-meaning but alcoholic father, and a prostitute with the proverbial heart of gold. Then bring to a boil over a sizzling Twelve Nights! This rollicking, bawdy coast to coast serving of sex and mayhem will make you laugh out loud even as you moan with delight. Author Carole Remy tickles, fascinates, and arouses in another inventive tale for those who love a hot story filled with unforgettable characters and lots of Sexy Fun! About the Author: Carole Remy lives in Mexico with her beloved dog Gemma. When she isn’t writing and touring her novels, you can find her rescuing dogs, learning wood sculpture, and salsa dancing! blog:

10 Crafty Things to Do With Old T-Shirts By Wenona Napolitano We all have them- those t-shirts we just can’t let go of. Even if they are worn out, faded or no longer fit, we can’t seem to let go because of the fond memories they hold. It could be a concert t-shirt from your favorite band, or a college shirt that remind you of the good ol’ days, or maybe it’s one of your child’s tiny tees that they’ve grown out of. They are filled with memories so you can’t let go, but they are taking up space in a drawer or box collecting dust. But they don’t have to. If you have some craft and sewing skills you can turn your old t-shirts into upcycled, repurposed and memorable items. Like a pillow. It’s easy to cut an old t-shirt into a square and stuff it with stuffing or make it the right size for a pillow form. There are instructions all over if you need them and Savvy Seams has a nice tutorial to turn a t-shirt into a zip off pillow cover to put over a form. Maiden Jane has a fancier tutorial for creating a pillow with the t-shirt and other fabric. If you have quite a few t-shirts you’d like to save, consider turning them into a quilt. I am considering collecting some of my kids old t-shirts and creating a quilt for each child. This

would be a great graduation gift or a great way for me to always have my babies close even once they’re all grown up. Goosetracks offers free DIY t-shirt quilt instructions and if you’re a non-sewer they offer quilt making services as well. If you are sew challenged a couple other places offer t-shirt quilts made to order too- and The Quilt Loft both offer reasonable quilt making services. You send in your shirts and they make you a quilt. If you want a great quilt pattern MaidenJane has one for sale on Etsy. QuiltBug has some fabulous free tips to help make your t-shirt quilt a success. I found this idea at, a memory scarf made from tshirts. That’s a great concept. If you’re looking for something with a little less sewing involved you could turn your old shirts into fun wall art. FaveCrafts has instructions. I think I would alter the instructions a bit and not use Styrofoam instead put the shirt over a wood frame, maybe over a wood and canvas frame. Another option would be to place the screen print square or rectangle of the shirt in a simple frame. Or stretch the fabric over a wooden frame, just like canvas is stretched over a wood frame. Another sew-less craft is to save an old shirt in a shadow box frame, maybe combine it with some other memorabilia. If it was a concert t-shirt and you still have the ticket stubs that would be a great combo. If it’s a child’s t-shirt you could combine the shirt with some photos or trinkets that fit the theme. Perhaps if it was a summer camp shirt place a few small crafts, a bracelet or anything they made at camp in with the t-shirt. You could also use a t-shirt to cover a scrap book then fill the book with memories. What crafty way have you saved an old t-shirt or made it into something memorable to use or display?

What inspired you to write your first book? Folami: I first had an idea during an exit interview about a book that recorded all of a person’s thoughts during life. After that little flashes of the story kept coming to me, until I knew I had to write it. How did you come up with the title? Folami: The title was a weird fusion of two words/phrases, exit and deus ex machina. Both of those words were floating through my head and, in a weird game of letter scramble, I came up with the word Exemeus. Strange, I know. What books have most influenced your life most? Abeni: The Secret, it has helped me to stay positive and focused. I have an amazing outlook on life and I believe I’m capable of anything. Folami: For me it was Harry Potter. It gave me the freedom to read whatever I wanted and to not feel like someone was judging me. It made ya and mg books for everyone. Is there anything you find particularly challenging in your writing? Folami: Keeping the character personalities straight. Making sure that through character growth, the characters’ personalities don’t stray from what people would expect. What are your current projects? Abeni: We are currently working on writing the next book. We are trying to make it even more action packed than The Exemeus. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work? Abeni: I like Jane Heller. I love her creativity, humor and the touch of romance she uses in her books. Folami: I wouldn’t say I have one favorite, but recently I have fallen in love with A & E Kirk. Their writing is so original and filled with such humor. I love it. Hopefully, after everyone reads and buys The Exemeus they can buy their book, Demons at Deadnight. If you were stranded on a desert island what 3 things would you want with you? Abeni: my hair care products, my music, and a good book.

Folami: I guess I’m a purist, because I would like an abundance of food, water and preferably a small airplane. What is your favorite Quote? Abeni: I would have to quote my son’s t-shirt. “People say I live in my own world, but its ok, they know me here.” Folami: My favorite quote changes by the minute, so I can’t just pick one. I’m going to do a little selfpromotion and say a quote from the Exemeus. Here it is. “May I sit here?” he asked. “We have a strict no-loser policy at our table,” Virginia said vehemently. David glanced at one of the Allergy Club boys, blowing snot bubbles through his nose. Virginia followed his gaze and grunted. “And, as you can see, we have exceeded our quota,” she added defiantly. What do you do in your free time? Folami: Free time? What is that? Seriously, I rarely get free time. If I am free I do gymnastics, read a book, or watch a movie. Abeni: I spend time with my sons, doing whatever they like to do. Do you have anything specific that you want to say to your readers? We want to thank the readers who have read it and logged onto goodreads to post their comments. We appreciate your support and hope you continue to love the story. Book Description: Haylee Smith is dead, she just doesn’t know it yet. Her short life was devoted to love and to hate. Love of the man who stole her heart, hate for the man who stole the world. Murdered by the government she swore to destroy, fate has given her another chance to make it right. But to save the planet, she needs the help of the most powerful mystic the world has ever seen—unfortunately he hasn’t been born yet. In a world where fear is the only currency, Dephon has committed the ultimate crime: inspiring hope. His only goal is to make it safely through ninth grade, but on a postapocalyptic Earth run by the Treptonian government, it isn’t that simple. Heir to a legendary power, Dephon Johnson is the only threat to the government’s rule. And on Trepton, all threats must be eliminated. When hundreds of assassins are dispatched to neutralize him, Dephon is forced to fight back. His only chance of survival is to enlist the aid of the greatest warrior the world has ever known. The only problem is, she's been dead for 13 years.

Breathe Melissa Stevens I breathe in, I breathe out You tell me that you’re being deployed I try not to cry as I ask when you leave. We smile to you as we wave good bye Hoping you don’t see the tears in our eyes. I breathe in, I breathe out I wake up alone, your pillow cold next to mine And I wonder if you slept last night. I fold the laundry, and pack lunches I send the kids off to school I breathe in, I breathe out, I shovel the snow from our drive, And worry if you’re warm enough. I write the checks and pay the bills, I clean the house and fix the drain I breathe in, I breathe out, I feed the cat and walk the dog I wonder just where you’re at. I lay down in our lonely bed, And pray I’ll get to see you again I breathe in, I breathe out, You’re my first thought as I wake, And the last before I sleep I take out the trash, And repair kid’s bikes I breathe in, I breathe out I pack a box to ship to you, Pictures, letters and bits of our life.

I plan the parties and things you’ll miss And wonder when you’ll come home to us. I breathe in, I breathe out. I keep the TV on all night, But I can’t stand to watch the news I can’t stop myself from worrying That’s you may never come home I breathe in, I breathe out, The seasons change, the days go by The kids get older, without you here Swimming lessons, little league, soccer practice The things you sacrifice to protect our freedom I breathe in, I breathe out The flight is scheduled we have date and time, We make the trip. We’re standing there when you land. I hold my breath and wait impatiently I can’t believe it’s true til I see you with my eyes I breathe in, I breathe out There you are, dressed in your uniform This time I can’t keep the tears off my face I wait my turn as you hug and hold the kids Then I hold you tight and thank God you’re home I breathe in, I breathe out, I take a deep breath and try not to cry I swear to make the most of every day I know this will happen again, I never know if you won’t return.

The DARK MISSION series so far‌. The streets of New Seattle have become a battleground between the Holy Order's agents and the witches persecuted in the name of "keeping of the peace". Battle-lines are shifting, good and evil not nearly so clear-cut as witches and rogue hunters have banded together in an uncertain alliance with rebels determined to peel back layers of conspiracy that go back decades before the cataclysm that changed the world forever. The Order has made its move, overthrowing the city government in a bloody coup, and present-viewer Jessie, ex-hunter Silas, newly minted witch Naomi, the felon Phin Clarke, seer Caleb and genetically enhanced witch Juliet are suddenly thrown together with the displaced Mission Director Parker Adams and Simon, a double-agent whose witch genes are slowly killing him. The rebels need to gain some ground, get back their imprisoned people, or this will be the shortest rebellion in history. Wicked Lies A Dark Mission Novella Karina Cooper Genre: Paranormal Romance (Avon’s first male-male romance) Publisher: Avon Impulse Date of Publication: 3/5/2013

ISBN: 9780062126733 ASIN: B0092QPCXS Number of pages: 112 Word Count: 29,159 Formats available: e-book

Book Description: Jonas Stone has been given his first independent operation: rescue the insurrection leader’s imprisoned grandson from the Mission. Getting the job done means more than getting Danny Granger out-it means staying with him while he heals. Staying too close, for way too long. Danny is everything Jonas isn’t: confident, optimistic, honest--a man to be reckoned with. If only it didn’t mean going against everything Jonas has planned. He’s kept his secrets for years, hid behind a mask no one could see through...until now. Danny isn’t the kind of man Jonas deserves. But he might be exactly the man he needs... Excerpt Dedication: For my Uncle Stephen. You were the first man in my life who bravely came out to me, and who paved the way for me to be myself. I loved you so much before, and I love you just as much now. You are my inspiration. And for every gay, lesbian, bi-, trans-, queer, and questioning youth out there. Life can be hard, sometimes it can get mean. There will be days when you feel like it’s impossible, but I want you to know that there are people like me out here who support you. I promise : it gets better. Chapter 1

A blue-white light flickered in the dark. Sparks glinted off the tool racks bolted to the wall across the shadowed room, reflected from the metal braces left leaning against the desk. As silence—mind-numbingly loud, thick as water, and twice as hard to breathe—filled the narrow room, that blue-white light caught in the circular lenses of a pair of glasses and threw a glare across the screen. Jonas Stone stirred. “It has to be now,” he said, his voice too loud in the oppressive weight of the shadows behind him. He couldn’t look away from the feed spilling its incandescent glow over his desk, his keyboard. His conscience. Because the man framed in that digital feed—the kid strapped to the chair dead center of the surveillance footage—wasn’t the first suspected heretic to sit there. To sweat there. To bleed. “Be sure, Jonas. We get one shot at this.” His brain wanted to look at the comm unit beside his left hand. His body refused to obey, every cell focused on the prisoner’s dark, drooping head. Scarred fingers twitched, knuckles whitening, and Jonas frowned as he realized his right hand had closed into a painful fist. It had to be now. The kid wouldn’t last much longer. “There’s no alternative,” he replied. “We’re not going to get another opening soon enough to .” He hesitated. The voice over the comm link didn’t waver. Not even a fracture. “Soon enough to save him.” Only through recent experience did Jonas know that the raspy, lifetime-pack-a-day voice coming out of the secure line belonged to a woman named May. Leader of a rebellion that had saved Jonas’s life, and the perpetrator behind a string of hacking jobs that left Jonas seriously reconsidering a career shift before the

Church had made that choice for him. The fact that she was very, very good was all that kept him from throwing in the towel now. But he’d never met her in person. Hell, he’d never met the prisoner now struggling to raise his head in Jonas’s feed, either. Instead, all he had was a picture in a box, a hacked security feed, and too many hours spent staring at the incandescent screen until his eyeballs throbbed and the vicious curl of helplessness inside him turned to a spiraling ache. That boy didn’t belong in that kind of interrogation room. A single light, faded blue, gleamed over shoulders broader than Jonas’s, but not by much. The prisoner was athletically lean where Jonas was simply skinny. The narrowly defined muscles of his chest were outlined by the stained remains of a thin, long-sleeve shirt. Blood and sweat had turned it nearly brown. His slumped shoulders strained against the restraints confining him to the hard metal chair, a position not just awkward but painful as hell. Jonas hadn’t seen his face for over an hour. He didn’t have to. He knew what he’d see when—if—the kid raised his chin again. Blood caked into a ridged scab across the fine slash of his upper lip, under his broad nose and over a determinedly sculpted chin. He’d see the blackened stains of it dried into the man’s ears, blending into his dark brown hair. Even now, that greasy fringe flopped over his forehead, long since sweating off the gel that had held it into its fashionable spikes. The longest of the textured strands would slide into one swollen eye, if it ever opened again. The prisoner had eyes the color of the computer-lit confines of the places Jonas preferred to inhabit. Almost black, even without pain stripping them to an endless void. When open, those eyes all but crackled with an intensity that could take a lesser man’s objectivity away in a single glance. Like a hungry kid or a kicked puppy. Or a man on the edge of desperation. Jonas’s chest kicked. “Let me know when your people are ready.” He didn’t bother hiding the raw regret in his voice. He’d felt a lot of it, lately. After all, he used to be the man who helped put people into rooms just like that. “Fine.” May’s voice cracked. Flattened. “I’m trusting you, Jonas.” “I know.” They always did. “Let me try. I’m positive I can get him out. They won’t expect it this soon.” About the Author: Born from the genetic mash-up of lesser royalty, storytellers, wanderers and dreamers, KARINA COOPER was destined to be a creative genius. As a child, she moved all over the country like some kind of waifish blonde gypsy and thrived in the new cultures her family settled in. When she (finally) grew up, she skipped the whole genius part and fell in love with writing because, really, who doesn’t love making things up for a living? One part romance fanatic, one part total dork, and all imagination, she writes dark and sexy paranormal romance and urban fantasy. When she isn’t writing, Karina is an airship captain’s wife and Steampunk fashionista. She lives in the beautiful and rainy Pacific Northwest with a husband, four cats, two rabbits, the fantasy of a dog, and a passel of adopted gamer geeks. Twitter: @karinacooper

Do you write in different genres? I do. I read in lots of different genres so I tend to write in different ones as well. But no matter what genre the book may have started off as, there is usually some sort of romance in there as well. I’ve written thrillers, horror, suspense, sci-fi, fantasy. If yes which is your favorite genre to write? I think it’s probably fantasy at the moment, but that might change. I write the story the characters want to tell, no matter what setting. Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet? So far I’ve only written a short story in the historical genre and I think I might like to tackle a longer tale, either a novel or novella for that one. Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why? I think that has to be Prince Severin from my M/M fantasy romance, The Chosen. He was just so honourable and also wanting to do the right thing, even it meant unhappiness for him. There’s something very noble about him, and not just because he’s a prince, it’s his character

and I think I fell a little bit in love with him as I was writing the book. What book are you reading now? I’m reading The Lewis Man by Peter May, about the discovery of a mummified body in peat on the Isle of Lewis in the Outer Hebrides islands in Scotland and the body is much younger than anyone expects, so it becomes a murder enquiry. It’s the second in the Lewis trilogy, the third one isn’t out yet. Can you share a little of your current work with us? Drowning Rapunzel is a romantic suspense novel with a little bit of gothic thrown in, as most of the story takes place in an old mansion, Holly Lodge, complete with a bell tower. The heroine, Beth Gregory has always suffered from psychic visions and her brother, a doctor, thought she was mad and got her put into an asylum. When she gets out, she takes a job as a live-in secretary to the reclusive painter, Josh Warrington. Josh only ever paints fairy-tales and with Beth’s long red hair, he wants her to be a model for his painting of Rapunzel, but Beth is

a bit wary at first, unsure whether she’d want to do such a thing. There is a killer on the loose targeting longhaired women, one of them actually dies during Beth’s birthday party at Holly Lodge and before it happened, Beth had visions of the victim. The police don’t believe her and when another skeleton is found in the lake at Holly Lodge, she becomes one of the main suspects in the investigation. Beth’s visions don’t let up and then she has the disturbing vision of all: that she will be the next victim. When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures? I love to travel, despite getting very travel sick. It’s so interesting seeing new places and different cultures. I also play computer games like The Sims or Dragon Quest, but I’m not a fan of the shoot-em-up type game, that’s not for me. At the moment I quite enjoy Japanese Anime and Manga. One of my favourites is

Black Butler. My guilty pleasure is fanfic, but I think as a professional writer you’re not supposed to enjoy that. I adore it though, both reading and writing it and I’ve read some really good stories that way. What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress? I have a few different M/M stories on the back burner at the moment, I’ve started five and I’m not sure which one will be finished first. I tend to flit from one project to the other but I know if I don’t get any of them finished, then no one is going to be able to read them. I’ve just recently released an anniversary edition of my short story and novella collection of Shadows of the Rose. It has a new cover and two of my newest short stories in it as well, which weren’t in the original version. Short story collections don’t seem to sell as well as the single short stories I had out.

About the Author: Annette Gisby grew up in a small town in Northern Ireland, moving to London when she was seventeen. She writes in multiple genres and styles, anything from romance to thriller or erotica to horror, even both at the same time. When not writing, she enjoys reading, cinema, theatre and travelling the world despite getting travel sick on most forms of transport., even a bicycle. Sometimes you might find her playing Dragon Quest or The Sims computer games and watching Japanese Anime. She lives in Hampshire with her husband, a collection of porcelain dolls, cuddly toys and enough books to fill a library. It's diminishing gradually since the advent of ebooks, but still has a long way to go.

The lines between reality and virtual reality are about to blur—and the result is murder. Lloyd Tanner is a former MIT computer physics genius turned private sector visionary: he has created a hologram machine that can create digital immortality. This revolutionary technology is both a blessing and a curse. There are many who would steal the technology, and Lloyd’s family has had to live secluded from the world. But no matter how careful you are, there is no such thing as a well-kept secret, and there are those who will stop at nothing to get their hands on Lloyd’s. Detective Bruce Durante has been handed the case of the Comfort Killer, a serial killer so named because he abducts terminally ill patients and returns their corpses to their families in refrigerated coffins. Picking up the trail, Durante finds it leading straight to the home of Lloyd Tanner. When Jason Tanner’s father is murdered and framed as the Comfort Killer, Jason destroys all of the evidence in an attempt to save his father’s name. Trouble is, now Jason is in the crosshairs to become the fall guy. Having spent much of his youth living in the virtual world his father created, he must now go on the run for real if he is going to save himself, his brother, and the beautiful girl next door. But the secrets of his father’s invention run deep and Jason, his brother Isaac, Boston, the Comfort Killer, and Detective Durante hurtle towards one another on a deadly collision course that leaves everyone’s life hanging in the balance. DiSemblance Shanae Branham Genre: Techno-thriller ( Subgenres: Sci-fi, suspense, mystery, paranormal ISBN: ISBN-10: 1477527761 ISBN-13: 978-1477527764 Number of pages: 272 pages Word Count: 55, 894

Book Description: Jason Tanner lives between two worlds. Problem is, only one is real. As a computer prodigy, Jason has spent his life with limited social contact due to his father’s secretive work on a hologram machine that can create digital immortality. When his father is murdered and framed as the Comfort Killer, Jason is targeted as the killer’s new fall guy. Having spent much of his youth living in the virtual world his father created, he must now go on the run if he is going to save himself, his brother, and the beautiful girl next door. An exciting, action-packed ride to a future happening today, Shanae Branham's modern techno thriller is the perfect exhilarating adrenaline rush for a technosavvy generation. Expertly weaving cutting-edge technology with almost unbearable suspense, she crafts a wild, whiteknuckled thriller that pushes the boundaries of science. Full of intensity and extraordinary vision, DiSemblance attacks the senses as it challenges the mind and imagination. “Branham does a brilliant job creating suspense….She ramps up the tension by keeping readers guessing over the identities of Jason’s foes and about how Jason’s situation ties in with the hunt for the killer.” “Jason’s love for his father and his motivation to find out what happened to him are particularly refreshing.” “The characters of Jason and Isaac are … cool enough to rise to the occasion … making readers feel like they are rooting for real young men.”~ Jill Allen, Clarion Review (4 Stars) Amazon About the Author: I am a professional writer with a bachelor's degree in creative writing and a minor in grammar. I have also attended several years of classes and workshops in screenplay writing at the Los Angeles Screenplay writer's Expo. I love suspense thrillers and am a master at plot and character development. I enjoy stories with happy endings. I promise all my readers that when they put one of my books down or walk away from one of my movies, they will be enthused with excitement and joy. This does not mean there will not be some sad parts, because you have to feel the bitter in order to understand the sweet.

10 Easy Ways to Save Money on Your Wedding By Wenona Napolitano The economy is in a slump but weddings aren’t getting any cheaper. You can’t just cancel your wedding or decide to postpone it indefinitely until the economy picks back up again. So what do you do?

for less flowers. The popular bridal bouquet styles right now are one large flower or a small hand tied bouquet. Simple is the idea. Another way to save with your wedding florals is to skip having floral centerpieces and opt for something cheaper like candles.

Here are ten easy ways to save money without sacrificing what you really want for your wedding.

First of all set a budget and stick to it. Figure out exactly how much money you have to spend on your wedding so you do not go over budget. Once you have a budget in mind, call around to price services out. This way you have both an idea of how much you have to spend and how much things cost.

Have the bartenders serve cheaper alcohol. You don’t have to use Dom to toast or serve the most expensive vodkas. You don’t even have to serve a full bar. These people are supposed to come to your wedding to share your special day. You are already feeding them, who says you have to get them all drunk on your dime? If it’s really an issue of having alcohol and being able to afford it, have a cash bar. If guests want to get toasted they can pay for it themselves.

Now is the hard part. Decide on what you really want and need and cut out the rest. Do you really need to rent a limo? Probably not. Do you really need to have doves released? No way. Do you want a gorgeous wedding gown? Most definitely but you probably don’t have to have that pricey designer label attached to it. An easy way to do this is to make a list with your top three priorities and your bottom three. Ditch the bottom three things.

Cut the guest list. Seriously do you need your third cousin twice removed that you haven’t seen in 15 years at your wedding? No. And that guy that works in the corner office at work that you never talk to…he doesn’t need to be invited either. According to cutting ten guests can shave as much as $1000 from your expenses. The smaller the guest list the cheaper your wedding. Keep it to the people you really want to share your big day with.

Keep it simple. Pass on all the upgrades and fancy extras that vendors will try to sell you. No, you do not need three shades of ink on your invitations since that costs three times as much and you don’t need silk ribbons or ultra fancy bows on anything since that costs more as well. Don’t get sucked into spending more. Stick to your budget and the basics.

Opt for a smaller cake. Two tiered cakes are currently en vogue. If you don’t think that’ll be enough cake to serve your guests have a sheet cake or two stashed in the kitchen, after you cut the fancy bridal cake your servers can add the sheet cake into the mix to pass out to guests. As long as they are the same flavor and have similar frosting no one will know the difference.

Choose seasonal flowers. Fancy, exotic flowers that are flown in from far away countries go for premium prices. Pick flowers in season in your area for a huge cost savings. Also opt

Serve less food. You don’t need twelve different appetizers and four main course selections. Two main courses to choose from is fine, chicken or beef or even beef or a vegetarian dish. Make sure to have enough sides and a salad but skip the extras. And since you are already serving cake you really don’t need an extra dessert option.

Get creative with the photography. Have friends and family brings digital cameras so they can get good candid shots. Set up a Shutterfly account so everyone can share photos and you can create memory books and order prints. A fun thing to do is to set up a photo booth to get fun shots of all your guests. Get a few trustworthy friends and family members to take turns manning the booth to shoot photos of people when they are ready ( if you do not have a professional photographer to do this). A good way to get everyone to the booth in an organized manner is to have the MC, DJ or Wedding Planner herd people over to the booth a table at a time. Keep decorations to a minimum. You don’t need tons of streams and ridiculously expensive decorations to have a fab wedding. Beg, borrow and steal (ok, don’t actually steal but you get the idea) anything that can be used for décor including glass bowls, vases, arbors, arches, trellises, benches, tables and anything else you might need. This will save on buying or rental fees. Another way to keep decoration expenses to a minimum is by renting a venue that is beautiful without need of décor (a garden, museum, art gallery, etc) or an already decorated chapel and/or reception hall. When my husband and I were married our wedding was in an already decorated chapel and a semi decorated hall (attached to the chapel) this saved us a fortune.

“So how are you planning on getting me out of here? They’ve got a price on my head. And you ain’t a judge and now you’re stuck here in the pokey same as me.” Remington Jackson’s eyes sparkled with a mix of mischief and determination. “You didn’t think I’d walk in here without an alternative exit plan, did you?” he pulled the right side of his jacket back to reveal not just a holstered revolver and gun belt filled with silvery bullets, but also a couple of glass vials of clear liquid topped with cork stoppers. China snorted. “It’s gonna take a lot more than that little bit of water if you want to get through those adobe walls.” He gave her an arch look. “It would, if it were water.” He picked up one vial, and glanced at her. “But considering it’s nitro glycerin, I’m assuming it’ll be much more effective. Toss that mattress up on its side and hunker down behind it for cover.” She didn’t question, just did as he said.

Remington crouched down behind the mattress with her in the corner of the cell, their backs to the bars as he threw the glass vial as hard as he could at the outer adobe wall, then ducked. The explosion rocked the jail, sending down a shower of dust and chunks of brick. Miss McGee coughed, then frowned. “Blowing up the jail? That’s your solution?” He shrugged. He really didn’t care what she thought of his methods. “It works.” His life wasn’t a black or white proposition. It was more like a smorgasbord. He took what he needed, when he needed it, to get the job done. Being a Hunter, even part time, meant he didn’t always have the luxury of doing things by the book. Judging by the narrow-eyed look and pinched mouth on Miss McGee’s pretty face, he’d been right to bring the iron bracelet along as a precaution. Colt said she could change in-

to many things, including a mountain lion, and he had no plans of getting shredded to pieces on the way back to Tombstone. Remington didn’t waste any time. He hustled Miss McGee out of the jail as quickly as possible, helping her cross the rubble, aware that the sheriff and half the town would likely be on their heels at any moment. They dashed around the outer edge of the jail, and waited for everyone to disappear inside. He grabbed hold of her hand. “Let’s go.” He rushed to his horse, who was spooked by the explosion, and pulled the reigns from the hitching post. China’s mouth dropped open. “How are we gonna get out of here quick on that? Don’t you have a mechanical horse like Colt?” “No. Hate the damn thing. Now are you coming or not?” China snapped her mouth closed and nodded. Remington mounted in one smooth swift motion, then hauled the Darkin up to sit in front of him. Well, really, given the confines of the saddle she sat more in his lap than in front of him. She was far softer than he’d anticipated. Somehow Miss McGee’s prickly exterior didn’t change how very feminine she felt. “Hold on to the pommel.” She gripped it hard and he grasped the reins in each hand. “Is this really necessary?” she growled as he kicked the horse into motion. “Until I have clear access to Diego Mendoza’s information, absolutely.” That was a half truth. He could have just taken whatever she’d gotten from the safety deposit box and left her there, but his gut had told him that wasn’t the safest path. And if there was one thing Remington did, it was always listen to his gut. Besides everything Colt had him meticulously research indicated a Darkin was needed to access the hiding place of the missing pieces of the Book. No, he didn’t intend on letting Miss McGee out of his sights any time soon.

He wheeled the horse around and sped up the hill, making quick tracks out of Bisbee before anyone figured out what had happened and where they’d gone. He didn’t stop or slow until Bisbee was out of sight over the rim of the hills. “I can just give you the page. That’s all there was. No map. Not a decent one anyway. Just a bunch of squiggly lines. No place names. No directions.” With her right hand she reached beneath the edge of her leather jacket and pulled a folded page of yellowed paper from the breast pocket of her faded pale blue chambray shirt. “Here. Take it. Then you can just drop me off at the next town. Deal?” Remington smiled. She was just as anxious to get away from him as she was to get back at Colt. He could tell by the nervous way she fidgeted. “No deal. How do I know that paper will lead me anywhere?” She shrugged, the movement causing her back and the curve of her shoulders to rub up against his chest. Remington grit his teeth. He was a Hunter, not a monk, after all. And despite the taint of being Darkin, she was a beautiful creature. “You don’t. But I don’t have anything else, so it doesn’t matter.” “Oh, I think you have a bit more than that. You were working with Colt to help find the lost piece of the Book Diego knew about, weren’t you?” She heaved a sigh. “I don’t know anything.” “That’s not what Colt said.” A fine tremor worked its way through her body. Remington wasn’t sure if it was anger or desire. There was an exceedingly fine dividing line between hate and love and it didn’t take a whole hell of a lot to push some folks from one to the other. “Colt knows everything I do.” “Yes, but he’s bent on finding Cadel’s piece of the Book my father hid. That means

I’m collecting you so you can help him find the piece Diego is rumored to have uncovered.” She twisted in his lap. The leather stretched across her finely curved ass was not nearly enough of a barrier between them. Remington grunted. China gazed up at him. “You’re trying to put the Book of Legend back together, aren’t you?” They started down the rugged hills surrounding Bisbee and Remington weighed the option of telling her the truth vs. telling her only what he wanted her to know. His gut told him to trust her when every bit of Hunter training told him he was a fool to do so. “Yes.” Something changed in her eyes. A flash of silver, like lightning streaking across a stormy, cloud-covered sky. It was a breathtaking sight. “I’ll help you on one condition.” Remington was tempted to tell her she wasn’t exactly in a position to bargain, but his The Chosen The Legend Chronicles series, book three Theresa Meyers Book Description: The Chosen: a prophecy older than dirt and more dangerous than death. Even as they perfected steam-powered gadgetry and rounded up varmints from Hell, the Jackson brothers didn't believe in it. But when the chips are down, three brothers named for weapons aren't going out without a fight...

curiosity got the better of him. In the courts sometimes what people told you when trying bargain, revealed far more about their intentions than they realized. “And what’s that?” “If you do find all the pieces, I want to be there when you put it together.” Remington frowned. “Why?” “’Cause if what the Darkin legends say is true, it’s gonna be one hell of a show.” In Remington’s opinion deals were made to be remade. He didn’t see the harm in agreeing to it if it could get the information Colt needed out of her. “Sounds like you have a personal stake in the matter. Is that true, Miss McGee?” She shifted uneasily. “You’ve got your secrets, Hunter. I’ve got mine. Do we have a deal, or don’t we?”

A Walk On The Wild Side Attorney by day, demon-hunter by night, Remington Jackson is used to being on the sunny side of the law, even in the Wild West. But it's showdown time, and Remy and his brothers are getting desperate. They don't have the relic they need to slam the door shut on evil—so Remy is going to have to find and steal part of it. Enter China McGee, shapeshifter, thief, beauty, and current prisoner. When Remy offers her freedom in exchange for a little lightfingered help, she's pretty sure she's going to end the association with a good old-fashioned seductive double cross. But there's something about fighting through a jungle full of Aztec ruins that makes you want to settle down together. China could change. Remy might be special. But none of that matters if the devil takes them all...

What is Steampunk Anyway? By Theresa Meyers One of the greatest joys for any writer is to introduce a reader to something new. Something they’ll love, only they don’t know it yet. That’s where steampunk comes in. I often get asked, what is steampunk anyway? The term steampunk was coined by author K.W. Jeter in 1987 in a letter he wrote responding to Locus magazine in trying to describe the type of fiction he, James Blaylock and Tim Powers were writing at the time. “Personally, I think Victorian fantasies are going to be the next big thing, as long as we can come up with a fitting collective term for Powers, Blaylock and myself. Something based on the appropriate technology of the era; like ‘steampunks’, perhaps...”

blue nettle flowers. That’s not even close to being scientifically possible, therefore it’s fantasy and it works beautifully for the story.” In addition to what Perschon calls this “techno fantasy” element, he’s identified two more core elements to steampunk fiction. “The core of steampunk stories features a neo-Victorian setting that evokes a glimmer of the 19th century. 1850 to pre-World War I seems to be the hot point. I say neo-Victorian because it doesn’t have to be in London geographically or even in the 19th century, so long as it has the feel or sense that it could be,” he said. “The next core element is Retro futuristism. It’s us imagining how the past saw the future. What actual Victorians were worried about were suffragettes getting the vote, or dying of disease and infection. They weren’t worried about powering rayguns. It’s not a recreation of history. It’s not alternate history. It’s less about recreating history than doing something playful and creative with it. For example, the insertion of 21st century values in a 19th century world in terms of a heroine is retro-futuristic. They are rebels in this world precisely because they act the way we feel women should act in the 21st century.”

Jeter’s term quickly took on a culture and life of its own. So what is steampunk? “The quick version is that steampunk is Victorian age science fiction. That works for complete outsiders who will never really want to inquire further,” explains Diana Vick, illustrator, writer, costumer and co-founder/vice-chair of Steamcon, one of the largest steampunk conventions on the west coast. “The longer version is that steampunk is a genre of science or speculative fiction written by current day authors, using the benefit of hindsight to envision the future as it The wonderful thing about steampunk is that it might have been dreamt up by people in the can take so many different twists. Since it inpast, in this case the Victorians.” volves the Victorian era, but can be in virtual any setting (yes, not just England), in my brand Think Jules Verne’s 20,000 Leagues Under the of steampunk, I blend paranormal elements Sea or H.G. Well’s book The Time Machine, with the Wild Weird West and add a liberal and you’ll have Victorian science fiction. But splash of romance. The first of the Legend according to Mike Perschon, English Professor Chronicles, titled The Hunter, features Colt, the at Grant MacEwan University in Edmonton, youngest of the three Jackson brothers. All Canada, who’s been studying steampunk since three are named after their father’s favorite 2008 and is well known for his blog http:// guns – Colt, Remington and Winchester., steampunk is not so They’re all Hunters, men trained to track down much Victorian science fiction as it is Victorian and kills supernatural Darkin, such as vamscience fantasy. pires, shapeshifters, demons, ghosts and the like. (That’s where the paranormal comes into “Most steampunk has technology that would play). The problem is each of them needs a sunever ever work under any circumstances un- pernatural to help them in their quest to reuless you went to a world that had different nited the missing pieces of the Book of Legend laws of physics than ours,” Perschon said. if they are to save the world. (And that’s “There’s a playful whimsy to steampunk that where the romance comes in.) makes it more fantasy than science, and there are many within the steampunk online forums Steampunk offers you the best of so many and community itself who get angry because genres. Adventure, suspense, mystery, historithey look at the technology and assume it’s cal, fantasy, and romance. Now that you have science. In The Last Ride of the Glory an inkling of what steampunk is, if you haveGirls there’s a story with a weapon powered n’t ever read one, really there’s no better time by extracting the little bits of lightning from to try something new.

Vanilla on Top – A Walk on the Wildside – Book Review By C. J. Ellisson Genre: Contemporary Erotic Romance First Line: The bartender approaches us, carrying our drinks, a lopsided grin on his aging face. Heather, thirty and lovely with a brilliant mind, but lacks confidence after a couple of serious relations go south. Tony, a corporate lion and all around playboy, works hard to eat up small companies and enjoys his detached female relationships. Then, the two meet at a dating club and fireworks ensue on the spot, but will it ever come to anything deeper – walk softly dear Heather for the lion stalks near. Ms. Ellisson comes through again and this is anything but vanilla *smiles* She pens the most sensual love scenes and knows how to pace tension to perfection. The story-stars, Heather and Tony, wear opposite personas and WOW what an electrifying blending, like a serious tsunami. The story takes off and actually carried me off. I became totally invested in Heather and Tony, cheering them on, so much so I could not stop reading. Love, love, loved the end – most excellent to leave a satisfied smile on my face for days. Highly recommended. Kay Dee Royal

Rattleman Chapter 1 Iron Mountain West Virginia March Everywhere the Sheriff looked there was water. Water dripping, water gurgling, water trickling down the hillsides. It melted from the snow-covered rocks and ice covered trees, from power lines and rooftops creating fissures beneath packed snow. It gouged ruts through the muddy roads, feeding brooks and creeks that formed gravity pow-

He tossed the microphone on the dash and massaged his feet with cold hands. He sneezed on the sleeve of

ered streams, plunging off the mountain to Silver River near- his jacket and rummaged through the glove box for a bottle ly four thousand feet below. The Sheriff sat in his Jeep, defroster on high, blow-

of aspirin, shook a few into his hand and chewed them dry. Kettle Hollow had once been a summer hunting

ing warm breath into numb hands, ears prickling like they

camp for the Cherokee Indians. Then fur trappers supplying

were stuck with a thousand pins. He tugged wet socks from

London with America’s first great commodity. When the bea-

his feet and laid them over the vents on the dash. The win-

vers were all decimated, the loggers came for timber and

dows had fogged and he wiped them with his elbow, watch-

when the timber was all felled they bored holes into the

ing the road behind in the side mirror.

earth to plunder coal. When the coal was all gone the survi-

Spring had come early to Kettle Hollow.

vors were left to farm the piteous soil so they grew corn and

The radio crackled.

potatoes and made moonshine for a living. They had be-

“331… are you there?”

come, by majority, a community of de facto outlaws.

He reached for the microphone and keyed it, interrupting the static. “331 go. Where’s the crime lab, Sam?” “…accident … Dilley’s … noon….Douglas… to raise you.”

Winters were especially hard in Kettle Hollow, snows cutting the mountain off from civilization for weeks at time. If someone died in the interim, they were packed on a rooftop to keep the animals from getting to them. Which was proba-

“I copy the crime lab for noon? Tell Chief Douglas I’ll bly what Buc Thompson was thinking when he brought the call him tonight.”

lady’s head down from Lake Nawakwa.

Martin Wayne looked into the cloud of exhaust rising cahontas County. She was also the daughter of Superior from his rear view mirror. The thermometer was rising fast

Court Judge Adam Berkley who presided over Superior

and a thick ground fog was forming over the warming snow. Court in Marion West Virginia. On a hillside he could see the top half of a cow, the bottom shrouded by mist. An old woman walked by the Jeep carry-

She unfastened her shoulder harness and let it snap away. “So what have you got here anyhow?”

ing a bundle of wood, a man wearing a sack for a hat stopped to peek through the passenger side window. Peo-

Jane Doe,” Marty said, pointing to the top of a building. “At least the head part of her.”

ple stood in open doorways scratching fleas and puffing on

Kirsten rolled her eyes. “That girl is just every-

cigarettes. Then there was movement in the mirror and a

where,” she made a smiley face at her partner and bobbed

vehicle appeared, a dark Chevrolet Suburban with a light

her head back and forth Valley-Girl-style. “And now she’s

bar on the roof. He pulled the damp socks from the dash

lost her head.”

and began to stretch them over his feet. The driver was a pretty brunette named Kirsten Berkley, a state police corporal and senior forensic techni-

She opened the door. “Why don’t you introduce us?” He led them to a woodshed behind an old smoke-

cian. She’d opened the window and was banging a radio

house. All traces of wood had long since been removed and

microphone against the side of the vehicle. “How in the hell

the small enclosure was covered with snow, trampled by

do you talk to anyone up here? Isn’t this still part of Ameri-

muddy boots and large paw prints. Marty nodded toward a


ladder that looked less sturdy than the wall. Marty jerked his head toward the shanties. “Go ask

someone who the President is.” She tossed the mike on the seat, nodding at the

“I left her like I found her, Kirsten.” The trooper wrinkled her nose and stepped across a pile of dog shit, climbed the ladder to the roof and bent

man sitting next to her. “Marty, this is Jeff Wittis. Jeff’s a

over until the upper half of her body was out of sight. “How

Bluefield boy, former Jug-head like you.”

long has she been up here?”

She rolled her eyes. “Or was that jar-head? I get confused.” She leaned back in her seat. “Jeff, this is Sheriff Wayne.” Marty leaned over to look at the young man. He

“About nine hours,” Marty said. “Looks like something from Creature Feature.” She put her hand behind her back and wiggled it. “Jeff, grab the bag with the yellow tag out of the truck.”

wore a blue jumpsuit with the insignia of the West Virginia

The young man took off for the Suburban.

State Police. “No such thing as a former,” he smiled, reach-

“Farmer got pulled under the wheel of his tractor

ing past Kirsten to shake the man’s hand.

down in Dilley’s Mill,” she said. “The family was all in the

She was wearing perfume, something familiar and

field by the time we arrived. Cousins and little kiddies stand-

nice. It was impossible to avoid the open second button on

ing knee high in the snow, dead body under the tire, parents

her blouse.

letting them hang out like they were at a circus. Why do

The rookie smiled back.

they do that?”

“Hoo-ugh,” Kirsten said dryly.

Marty shrugged.

Kirsten Berkley was assigned to K Troop out of Po-

“So the boy that found her. Sam said he was ice

fishing?” “Yep,” Marty said. “Saw her head caught in the flow

and put her flashlight on the mouth. “Cuts around the lips and gums, nice set of teeth. They’ll be dental records if

along the shoreline. He had to break the ice away to remove she’s ever ID’d.” it from the lake. Brought her here and put her on the roof so the dogs wouldn’t get to her.”

Kirsten straightened up and played the flashlight down on Marty’s face.

She looked over the edge at a pile of dog shit then

“So when were you planning on calling me?”

went back to what she was doing. “Pretty smart, I’d say.

Marty put a hand up, squinting to block the light.

She’s in relatively good shape. You were up there yourself?” “Did I say I was going to call you?” “About two hours ago,” he nodded. “I staked the

“Last month.”

hole where he found her and shot a dozen pictures around the shoreline. If my shoe size is sufficiently calibrated for

“Refresh my memory,” he said, eyes straying to the back of her jumpsuit. Kirsten was all woman uniform or no.

your reports, you won’t have to slog a mile with your measuring tape.”

“Almost Heaven, end of the bar, around midnight. I think there was at least a dozen witnesses.”

Kirsten lifted a boot. “These little piggy’s are just fine

“Drunksies don’t count, Kirs and besides, you’re still

with the size of your little piggy’s. In fact, you can’t imagine

married.” His eyes went to her wedding ring and he nodded

how thankful they are.” She looked down to make sure her

toward it.

partner hadn’t returned. “You know we should get them together some time.”

“Oh, Marty. It comes off like everything else.” She used her free hand to unzip her jacket.

Marty rolled his eyes.

“See?” She zipped it back up. “Besides, how will I

“He never saw the rest of her body?”

know if I want to leave my husband if I don’t sleep with you

“Nope,” Marty said, “but she could easily have been


under there. Ice is a foot thick and piling up along the shore. Slabs as big as a refrigerator door.”

He laughed. “You’ve been sniffing too much formaldehyde Kirs.”

Kirsten nodded and leaned close until her face was almost touching the woman’s. “Ice expands with literal tons

The rookie Wittis returned just then, gingerly climbing the ladder until he could reach her hand to transfer the

of pressure. Easy to separate a head from the body if it gets bag. wedged in between.” She tugged out a pair of surgical gloves and snapped them over her wrists. “If she was caught in the ice she had to have been in the lake before the water froze. Sometime early December I would think.” Marty nodded and sneezed.

She removed a camera from it and strapped it over her neck. Then she took another and twisted off the lens cap. “Marty’s father,” she called down to the rookie, was a cross between a cowboy and the last of the Mohicans. He could travel at night dead reckoning, no moon, no stars, no

“God bless you,” she said. “I can tell you she’s not a compass.” local,” Kirsten lifted the ear lobes with her finger, “five pierc-

She blew warm breath into her hands to limber up

ings in each and hair color came out of a bottle. Mall cut too, the fingers. short and spiky on the top.” She turned the head sideways

“Ever hear of Calvin Wynn Wayne?”

The rookie shook his head.

over at Marty and said, “You don’t mind if I share your fami-

“Only the most famous lawman east of the Missis-

ly history, do you? Mine’s not nearly as interesting.”

sippi.” She put the lens cap between her teeth and fired off

She started down the ladder carefully with the head

a volley of still shots. “All the sports magazines featured him in both hands, not waiting for his reply. in the sixties and seventies,” she said out of the side of her

“Anyhow, Calvin Wayne’s best friend was a full-

mouth, lens cap still clenched between her teeth. “Shot and

blooded Cherokee.” “Toby’s still living up on Emmett’s Fork

killed a fugitive here in 1967.” She switched cameras, lifted

by you. Ain’t that right, Marty?”

it over the top of the head and took a few pictures straight

Marty sighed.

down at the head. “Just up the road past the general store,

She set foot on the ground and lay the head be-

isn’t that right, Marty? Of course, there wasn’t a real road

tween the men on the plastic sheet. “So you see he was

back then. Calvin had to come up on horseback, shoot the

raised half cowboy and half Indian. Best of both worlds,

guy and then lash him to the saddle to take him back down.


It took him all night, but the next morning he walked his

Marty looked apologetically at the rookie.”

horse up Main Street in Marion while the churches were

Kirsten was crouched over the woman’s head. “So

letting out Easter morning. Can you picture all those little

she’s obviously been preserved by the cold.” She pressed a

darlings in their white gloves and bonnets?” She spit the

finger against the woman’s neck and skin moved under her

lens cap back into her hand. “Reigns in one hand, dead

glove. “Eyelids are torn here. See those cuts on the lips I

man over the saddle, big black hole in his back where the

been talking about? One, two… third one here.”

bullet came out.” She shuddered, faking an orgasm. “Now that’s when cops had balls.” Wittis raised an eyebrow at Marty, who only shrugged. “Reporters just happened to be in town to write a

“Fish?” Marty noticed that the rookie Wittis was trying to busy himself with the equipment instead of looking at the head. Kirsten shrugged. “I don’t think so. Lines look too clean to be bites.” She leaned close to the face again and

piece on the hundredth anniversary of the coal mine massa- shook her head. “Once again, I’m going with sharp ice. Jeff, cres.” She lowered both cameras and the bag to Wittis.

how about bagging her up for me.” She came to her feet

“Wait for me at the bottom,” she told him, pointing to where

and peeled off the gloves.

she wanted him to stand. Wittis backed down the last two rungs while she finished taking pictures. Then she tucked the smaller cam-

The rookie gathered the cameras and headed back for the Suburban. Marty thought the young man was looking less well by the minute.

era into a thigh pocket and picked up the woman’s head in

“Shall we call it undetermined?” Marty asked.

her gloved hands.

Kirsten nodded, reaching into her jumpsuit for a

“A cameraman snapped a shot of Calvin tying his

notebook. “Yeah, I’ll get her under some lights tonight and

horse to a parking meter. It made the cover of Time Maga-

we’ll send her off to the lab in Charleston. Are you coming


over for the second half of my show?” “Put a sheet of plastic down there, Jeff.” She nod-

ded toward a spot that the dogs hadn’t stepped on, looked

Marty shook his head. “Have to catch the rerun, Kirs. I’m in court with your father in the morning.”

“Then how about tomorrow night?”

come back and you don’t want anything to spoil it in case

“Tomorrow night?”

she does. You’re living in a dream world Marty you know

“When you buy me a beer for all the fine work I did.” that?” Marty smiled tiredly. “Kirsten, you really need to remember the last time we had a beer.” She tried to look innocent, which was wholly ridiculous on Kirsten. “What?”

Kirsten began to walk away. “You’re not even close, Kirsten,” Marty yelled. “Bullshit,” she turned and snorted. “You think Sarah will get tired of the big city and come crawling back and

“We made damn fools of ourselves, is what.”

you’ll both live happily ever after. Well, I got news for you.

“Oh, Marty. No one cares what we were doing.”

Sarah isn’t interested in small pond fish anymore. Sarah’s

The rookie came back wearing heavy rubber gloves. landed a much bigger trophy than you.” He was carrying a seven-foot body bag.

She turned and strutted toward the Suburban, stop-

“This?” he asked doubtfully.

ping halfway to look over her shoulder, her voice suddenly

Kirsten nodded.

silky. “I’m on evenings next week. Call me. I’ll slip out early.”

He looked at both of them, then put the head in the

“Jesus,” he said pounding his fist on the cab. “Just

bag and rolled up the remaining ends. Afterward he headed

what in the hell is that supposed to mean?” He took a few

back to the Suburban.

steps toward her, not caring that her partner was staring at

“And they were just jealous,” Kirsten said. “If you hadn’t been so sappy over Sarah, you might have gotten lucky in the parking lot,” she ran her tongue over her lips. Marty laughed and started for the Jeep, but Kirsten ran to catch up with him. By the time he reached the running

them wide-eyed from the Suburban. “Just what I said,” she turned to face him. “I’ll meet you after work at your place.” “About Sarah,” he shouted. Kirsten groaned and turned to look at him. “I saw

board, she was at his shoulder and this time the smell of her her at the Holiday Inn last week at Vickie Patterson’s wedperfume made him sad. “Of course, we could skip the beers and just go straight to your place, Marty.” Marty put his back to the door and sighed. “Kirsten,

ding. I was taking pictures.” “Sarah,” he said skeptically. “Here in Marion?” “She was with State Representative Stanton.” Kirsten put her hands on her hips. “You know, he’s a real

we are not going to go anywhere together. Not as long as

handsome guy in person. Didn’t she intern with him in after

you’re married. Got it?”

grad school?”

“Seriously, Marty,” she put her hands together. “Things haven’t been that great between Mark and I. We’ve been having problems.” “I’m sorry to hear that,” he said earnestly. “Really I

Marty looked at her, unable to speak. “Give me a call, Marty. It’ll be fun,” she winked and turned for the car. He stood there in the snow, staring at her as she got

am, but the answer is still no. Not in this town,” he lifted her

in the Suburban, managed a U-turn and started back down

hand, “and not while this is on your finger.”

the mountain. He tried to recall any conversations he had

“Your problem isn’t that I’m married,” she drew her hand away. “Your problem is Sarah. You’re hoping she’ll

had with Sarah about her internship at the state capital, but nothing came to mind. Not that it would, Marty was a lot like

his father in that way, blind to the details going on around

exciting enough. They want to pit themselves against na-

him in life. So blind he’d come home one evening to find his ture. Act like them survivalists on television.” engagement ring on the kitchen counter and all of Sarah’s things gone from the closets. Marty spun and kicked a chunk of ice that struck

Marty looked at her, wondering what television she was talking about. There wasn’t a television within ten miles of Kettle Hollow.

high on the wall of the woodshed, sending a cat yowling into

“What people, Mattie?” he made a face.

the eaves. Then he started up the sidewalk, taking deep

“You know. Survivalist people. They go out in the

breaths and thinking it might be a good night for a beer after middle of nowhere and see who can outlast the other.” all.

Marty squinted at her. The door to the general store was swollen shut and

Marty considered the possibility of someone hiking

he had to shoulder it open. Smoke was seeping from the

to the lake and drowning. There were thousands of people

seams of a blistering woodstove and it burned his eyes

on the Appalachian Trail each year and it was easy enough

when he entered.

for them to see the Iron’s summit looming to their west, con-

“Got any chewing gum, Mattie,” he pulled off his gloves, stamping his boots on a pile of flattened cardboard.

ceivable that someone might leave the well-marked trails if they were curious enough to climb it.

An old woman was stocking shelves behind the counter. “I’ve got Teaberry and Juicyfruit,” she said. “Which will it be?” “Juicyfruit,” he fished out a dollar bill and sat on a crude wooden bench. “They’re not old,” she said, “just brittle from the cold.”

Iron Mountain was not named for any mineral deposits, but for its physical resemblance to a flat iron. The western face a sheer wall of stone that climbed to 4700 feet. The north, which was quite jagged, dropped vertically to the Silver River gorge. To the south the mountain was a virtual boulder field that descended to the Monongahela National Forest.

He grunted.

If someone did approach on foot they would most

“So how was your climb to the lake?”

likely come out of the east. That’s where the summit sloped

“Wet,” he told her, unwrapping a stick of gum that

to Lake Nawakwa and it would be one of the first things they

he pushed into his mouth. “What do you think about the

would see. Who would dare swim in the lake he couldn’t

head that Buc found?”

imagine. Nawakwa was frigid mid summer and the shallow

“Not exactly friendly country up there,” she nodded in the direction of the mountaintop. “Not for city people anyhow.”

waters were covered with dead trees. It was not a lake for recreation as anyone could see. “Gaudineer Mountain is just up range too,” Mattie

“Who said she was from the city?” “I saw the girl’s hair,” she said. “Everyone did.”

was saying as if reading his thoughts. “They get tourists up there by the busload to see

“You think it was an accident?”

the leaves turn each fall. Come to see the Virgin Spruce.

“She wouldn’t be the first or last to get lost in the

Buy them I SLEPT WITH THE VIRGINS T-shirts from the

Appalachians. I say a prayer every time one of them hikers

locals. You know they take in more money on them T-shirts

goes by. They don’t like to follow the trails anymore. Not

than the state gives them in preservation funding each


lake froze over.” Mattie split a box down its spine with a “Mattie, no offense, but where do you get all this

buck knife and clucked with her tongue.


“But you haven’t seen any strangers up here?” “I read,” she shrugged. “You know I read.” He shook his head, rolling the pack of gum back

“Everyone’s a stranger,” she folded the box and dropped it on the floor.

and forth in the palms of his hands. An image of Sarah and

Just then his mind wondered to something that hap-

Representative Stanton crept into his thoughts... Sarah in-

pened last year, about a month after he’d taken the job as

terned with him the summer she graduated.

Sheriff. A woman went jogging near Durbin West Virginia

“Gaudineer is one hell of hike from here, Mattie.”

and was never seen again.

Mattie shrugged. “Well if she wasn’t a hiker she must have come from a city and got into a bad situation and someone brought her up here and dumped her body in the lake. Would have had to have happened last fall before the

Rattleman George D Shuman Available from Kindle - here From George D. Shuman who served twenty years with the Metropolitan Police Department, Washington DC, and whose international bestseller, '18 Seconds', is currently in production as a major Hollywood motion picture. Better still, 'Rattleman' is George D. Shuman's most gripping crime thriller yet. The Rattleman knows every crevice, every creek, every cave, every ravine, every inch of his remote hunting grounds in the Appalachian Mountains. He is a determined serial killer, always waiting for his next victim to cross his path. When Park Ranger Jane Cameron literally stumbles across the remains of two of his victims, she discovers that she too has been caught in his trap. And when the 'Rattleman's prey is at his mercy, she’s dead.

What inspired you to become an author? You know, I remember in my early twenties finding myself living in a DC rooming house without a TV and I poured through stacks of paperback novels every night. And became aware of how powerfully entertaining they could be. And with volume came distinction, I was becoming a discerning reader and by then I was in awe of several writers. Le Carre always comes out of my mouth when I speak on this subject. I was blown away by his italent to dispense words so precisely, so economically and yet draw you into his world where you can touch the dust on the bannister and feel the hairs rise on the back of your neck because you opened the closet door and saw a pair of shoes out of place. Le Carre hits bull’s-eyes with every word. AND THEN, I picked up a book by an author I do not remember. And thought it was just awful. And for the first time in my life, I realized it wasn’t my job to like the writing. It wasn’t my fault when I couldn’t get through a book. That Publishers’ did indeed print garbage! And an idea germinated in my head. What if I could do better than what I’d just read?

to slam my readers over the head with a shovel. I want them to think and I give them credit to grasp my meanings. I know I appreciate that when I’m the reader. Also I like getting to the point. I don’t like meandering all over the place. You might not see it at first, but everything in my novels is heading in one direction. It’s like getting on a single thrill ride, rather than spending at day in the Amusement Park. Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete?

My first book title RATTLEMAN is selfevident to any reader—centering around a disturbed youth turned mountain man and then serial killer who captures and sells snakes for their skins and meat. My second novel 18 SECONDS was originally called Recurrence. The novel is about a series of strange disappearances along the Atlantic seaboard that are eerily similar to a case that went cold twenty-five years before. My protagonist (now a serial protagonistJ) is a lovely blind woman with an amazing ability (biologically based not paranormal) to see images of a deceased person’s Short Term Memory—about 18 Seconds worth of Do you have a specific writing style? memory for the average human being. I’ve managed to retain my own Titles for all the I would call it Playing by Ear. It feels to me other books I’ve written, all but the last one like I’m writing music, but without a music which is now in the final stages of edits. education. That has to sound confusing, but Here I am for once at a loss, having to leave it’s as true and honest as I can come to de- it to my Editor in South Africa, Publicist in scribing my own process. I imagine somethe UK or Publisher in San Francisco to figthing and then try to find the perfect words ure it out. Huh???? I feel like the bad parthat make it pleasing to the ear. Like tapent. ping notes on the piano I test words until I find the right ones to convey my meaning. Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on And I have never forgotten the lessons I learned from Le Carre. More is never better. a true-life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life? I am frugal with descriptions, sometimes driving my editors to despair. I don’t want

I would have stated unequivocally no to all, but decades after writing RATTLEMAN and being asked the question so many times, I pondered two childhood events and would now admit they must have seeded that first attempt at a novel. This is, if I may, is the foreword to RATTLEMAN (my first written, but now fifth published novel) I was born in the Appalachian extension of the Allegheny Mountains in Southern Pennsylvania. My parents had a weekend cabin on the Pleasantville Mountain and I remember meeting, as a teenager, a local walking through the woods wearing an old revolver on his hip and carrying a gunnysack. He told me he was picking Ginseng.

and get us up close to all the action. My father considered it for a while, but then said no. I think it was my mother that pulled the plug. Hollenbaugh would eventually shoot and kill an FBI agent, then break into a summer cabin and shoot and wound a Sheriff’s Deputy named Sharpe. It was the very same summer cabin I had hoped we would be staying in. Hollenbaugh forced the gunshot Deputy to drive him and his hostage Peggy Anne out of the property, but there was a gate at the entrance of the lane to the cabin, and when Sharpe got out to open it, he bolted and alerted nearby troopers that Hollenbaugh and Peggy Anne Bradnick were in the vehicle. Hollengbaugh grabbed the girl and escaped to yet another farm on foot and it In 1964 a young girl, Peggy Anne Bradnick, was there that he was fatally shot by a Pennwas kidnapped near Shady Gap, Pennsylva- sylvania State Trooper. Undoubtedly these nia, two counties east of us, by a man who childhood memories and stories were infludragged her away from her siblings while ential when more than two decades later I she was walking home from a school bus stop undertook to and pulled her into the woods. The man who write ‘Rattleman’. kidnapped Peggy Anne Bradnick turned out Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that to be William Diller Hollenbaugh, AKA ‘Bicycle Pete’ or ‘Mountain Man’, as he was you haven’t tackled yet? known in this rural mountainous area of southwest Pennsylvania. Hollenbaugh had Historical Fiction, circa 1500. I’m fascinated been sentenced to twenty years for burglary by the Witch-hunts that were enormously in 1939 and served his time between prison profitable to some bureaucrats and clergy. and mental institutions. Upon release he Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is committed local burglaries and shot and wounded two farmers in the days leading up your favorite and why? to the kidnapping. For the next seven days Hollenbaugh would chain Peggy to a tree Jeremy Smyles from 18 SECONDS. Wow and hide her in a cave in the mountains. The that came to me easy!!! Jeremy is the most story of Bicycle Pete and Peggy Anne unlikely minor hero in any of my novels. Bradnick became a national affair, even by Survivor of a school bus accident in his high the news standard of 1964. My father had a school youth, oxygen deprived while underbusiness partner and good family friend who water and brain damaged he plods through owned a summer cabin at the foot of the life working for the Sanitation Department mountains near Shade Gap. I begged my fa- picking up trash, a gentle soul, slow of ther to let me take time out of school so we thought and apparently unaware he used to could go there (as we had many times before) be a heartthrob quarterback. But Jeremy

has his moment…for when the stakes could- man that comes down out of the wilderness n’t be higher something long buried emerg- to kill. Now that would be one dangerous es… son of bitch.” \What book are you reading now? A History of the Inquisition actually—Yes I KNOW!!!!!! It’s a little dark to say the leastJ Just re-read Henry VIII by Alison Weir (she writes history like Anne Rule writes true crime!) Before that the bio of Eleanor Roosevelt, Vince Lombardi, Tony Dungy—I’ve been going through a lot of non-fiction lately if you haven’t noticed. I did zip through Daniel Silva’s wonderful Gabriel Alon series though and have his latest FALLEN ANGEL on my Kindle. What books/authors have influenced your life? Well again John Le Carre would be number one. Graham Greene, Frederick Forsyth, Lawrence Sanders, Larry McMurtry all were enormous influences in my youth…and then of course Stephen King took the Mystery OUT of writing. He made it okay to leave the Thesaurus at home… Can you share a little of your current work with us?

Who designed the cover of your latest book? Babs Morton from the UK. All previous the Art Departments of Simon Schuster. Do you have any advice for other writers? Listen to your head. Use your own very unique imagination. If you force any of this stuff it won’t work. If you think you have a formula or a gimmick your wrong. And no you cannot replicate someone’s style through thirty chapters. What resonates with a reader is an author’s ability to articulate some universal truths. What captivates a reader more than truth? More than a character or phrase or image of something they can honestly identify with? You can’t write someone else’s truth. Not unless you’re Anne Rule. At least not in my opinion. You see words are curious things, so completely inanimate and a pile of them is just a pile of them. They are nothing more or less than objects like bricks or apples or twigs. Arrange them in specific order however and a message can begin to emerge. Most people can do that well. But in concert with the imagination (and yes some personal experience) it is possible to give them life. To arrange them in such a way that they will quicken your heartbeat and send shivers down your spine. Who couldn’t enjoy the magic and power of words?

(RATTLEMAN …A woman’s head surfaces from a frozen mountain lake, a cyclist goes missing from a national park, a young girl is snatched from the fields where she tends her goats. Bodies are found in West Virginia, Kentucky, Georgia, Tennessee… slit open, shorn of their hair, fillings removed from their teeth. The police and FBI are setting up checkpoints and roadblocks throughout What would your readers be surprised to learn the Appalachian’s. But Sheriff Wayne thinks about you? they’re looking in all the wrong places. Sheriff Wayne said it best and he was no That I’m terribly shy…nearly catatonic in stranger to the mountains. “Consider the front of people. I like crowds and television

cameras as much as Superman liked Kryp- tertain and disturb. Hopefully to be rememtonite. One of my favorite annual events used bered past its ending. to be joining some ladies at the Country Club near where I lived in Pennsylvania. Ar- About George D. Shuman nold Palmer’s Country Club next to Arnie’s George Shuman is local airport tp be sure.J But I’m drifting… the international the ladies had come to learn that two Bloody bestselling author of Mary’s were necessary for me to ease my the Sherry Moore way into our noon book discussions. In many series about a blind forums as I toured I made my audience rearwoman who can see range the chairs in a circle so I was one of 18 seconds from a them. People who’ve met me will tell you dead person's life, that sounds ridiculous, that I can be funny using her innate and witty (I think so anyhow) but I’m telling ability to track you different. My comfort zone is in my down their killers. books. What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress? My next work is a continuation of the Sherry Moore series—it will be the Seventh novel, Sixth of the series—and should see publication by August. Untitled still, its location moves between Miami and the State of Maine. As always it has a theme that is based on reality. As always I will research actual cases. And as always it is a dark story and is meant to give the reader pause. To both en-

George's first four Sherry Moore books are published by Simon & Schuster. '!8 Seconds' is currently in production for a major Hollywood motion picture. 'Rattleman' is the first of George's books to be published by Taylor Street. It too will be a major Hollywood motion picture.

The Tarot's Hanged Man: More than Meets the Eye by Alayna Williams I use Tarot cards a good deal in my writing, to give me ideas about creating characters and develop plot points. Sometimes, I pick cards on purpose that catch my eye, but more often, I deal them out at random. I let my imagination roam over the pictures to generate situations and connections. It's a fun way to work...sometimes the images touch upon an archetype that I can pull into my work. One of the cards that captures my imagination is the Hanged Man. This card usually depicts a man hanging by a gallows or tree from his foot. He holds his hands behind his back and wears a serene expression. I've heard various explanations of this over the years, from the idea that the pose was intentional to a misprint or artist's mistake with a reversed printing plate. In our modern decks, he looks back at us, often haloed, seemingly at ease with his suspension. The traditional meaning of this card has to do with sacrifice, spiritual transformation, suspension, and a calm before the storm. By dangling from his foot, we can see that the man could easily reach up and free himself from the one rope holding a foot, but he chooses not to. He chooses to stay in this uncomfortable position in the pursuit of enlightenment or a new perspective. From his vantage point, he sees things that we can't. He is literally suspended, in limbo, and seeing things as we do not.

The Hanged Man has its roots in an old myth about the Norse god Odin. Odin brought knowledge of the magic of rune divination to the world, but he sacrificed a great deal in order to do so. He stabbed himself with his own spear and hung himself from the world tree Yggdrasil, in order to absorb the gallow's tree's power. He hung for nine days and nights, in a twilight state between life and death, his blood nourishing the tree. He drew into himself the power of the underworld, through the tree's roots, and the power of the heavens, scraped by the tree's branches. The knowledge of the runes seeped into him and he fell to the ground on the ninth day, stunned by what he had learned. The underlying message of the card is that progress and knowledge require sacrifice and a surrender of control. In a Tarot reading, this can be a very uncomfortable place to be in. In transition. Becoming. But it can be worth it.

Snake Skin By Carole Remy Oddly, it begins in the fingertips, the compulsion to fit thousands of tiny pieces into jigsaw puzzles, to place jacks on queens, to masturbate everything toward something. When the fingers are raw it moves up the arms like a year-long heart attack and only when it reaches the valves do you recognize it and weep. The molting continues toward genital experiment, organic stupidity, coitus more painful than guilt, stripping layer by layer, a scalpel that peels to the amoral bone. And at last, the feet move, step from the old skin, naked on glass, tread one step. And the spine straightens and the arms swing and the hands tingle and the head throws back and hopes maybe the old you will become just a memory handbag, a tote that with luck will be left to the Salvation Army in a couple of years.

~Carole Remy, writer of erotic romance, is also known as Mary Carol Moran, poet. Her poems have appeared in dozens of national and international magazines and anthologies, and are collected in two books, Clear Soul and Equivocal Blessings, which won Poetry Book of the Year in Alabama in 2009. You can read more of Mary Carol Moran’s poems at This poem first appeared in the Limestone Dust Poetry Festival Anthology, and was later anthologized in the Best of the Austin Poetry Festival Anthology. It appears in Equivocal Blessings, Mary Carol Moran’s latest book of poems.

1. Do you write in different genres? I do. I’ve written books in the genres of young adult, fantasy and romance. I’m also dabbling in the horror genre, which I have to say is more fun than I expected.

or a bear, and one of the main characters also happens to be a vampire. Some of my friends’ suggestions for a book title included, “You’ll Never Guess What Happened on the Way to my Coffin” and “My Girlfriend Needs to Shave.” In the end, I chose “Return” for my novel be2. If yes which is your favorite genre to write? cause I wanted something simple, elegant and I enjoy writing fantasy first and foremost. Fan- easy to remember. I didn’t feel like this particutasy feels like the genre that comes most natu- lar book needed a gimmicky title. rally to me. I love that you can create your own world with classic fantasy, and break all the rules that would be virtually unbreakable in a 4. Is the book, characters, or any scenes based modern-day urban setting. on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life? In the first draft of “Return,” the heroine, Ash3. How did you come up with the title for your lyn Li, was incredibly clumsy. There was a scelatest book? ne where she walked into a tavern, accidentally Titling books is my least favorite part of writ- rolled her ankle and fell against the bar. That ing, that’s for sure! I usually open the floor for actually happened to me once. I walked into a title suggestions from my friends, and they classroom and promptly tripped and fell never fail to make me laugh with their ideas. against the teacher’s desk. After editing, Ash“Return” features a magic that transforms its lyn’s character underwent major revisions and wielder into various animals, such as a panther her clumsiness disappeared, which I was a bit

disappointed about because I truly loved her spastic little quirks. What did make it into the final draft of “Return” were the characters of Drake and Vargo, Ashlyn’s two love interests. Both characters have traits derived from my husband’s personality. Sometimes he can be just as infuriatingly cold as Drake, and other times he’s even more playful than Vargo. Some readers who are friends with my husband have actually caught that. Last year my husband’s boss came up to me and said, “I think I know where you got your inspiration for Vargo!” 5. Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet? I mentioned before that I’ve been dabbling in horror, but I haven’t published anything in that genre yet, and I definitely want to. I’d like to write a horror novel that is scary without a lot of gore- a sort of psychological, Hitchcockstyle thriller.

readers can dive right in without waiting! 7. What book are you reading now? I am currently reading “Hearts of Ishira” by Bethany Aan and “River’s Recruit” by Charlotte Abel. I read and enjoyed the first book in Charlotte Abel’s Channie series, so I’m expecting to love “River’s Recruit.” A friend loaned “Hearts of Ishira” to me after I told her I was looking for some steamy romance. It took me a while to get into the book, but now that I’m past the first few chapters I’m really enjoying it.

7. Who designed the cover of your latest book? I did! I used to pay a professional cover designer, but her prices just kept climbing, and I thought, “Well, it can’t be that hard to make a cover, right?” Haha! Yeah. Right. But I enjoy being able to choose exactly how I want my book covers to look. It’s so much easier to ensure that your covers fit the themes of the stories if you design them yourself. 6. If this book is part of a series…what is the 9. When you’re not writing what do you do? next book? Any details you can share? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures? “Return” is the first book in the Lady of Toryn With college, writing, and kids, I don’t have a trilogy. The second and third books are titled lot of free time these days, but I do relish every “Regret” and “Redemption,” and they are also spare moment I get. Last summer I watched the available for Amazon Kindle right now, so Tom Hanks movie “Larry Crowne,” and I im-

mediately knew that I had to have a scooter of my own. I bought a 2012 Genuine Buddy 150CC scooter, but it’s too cold to take it out in the winter months. I’m so excited that the weather is warming up so I can start riding again! 10. What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress? Right now I am working on a paranormal romance called “Blood Lust,” about a North Da-

kota werewolf pack that becomes embroiled in a territory dispute with a vampire coven. A newly-turned werewolf named Eve finds herself in the midst of the conflict, struggling with her feelings towards a vampire named Jericho, and her role within the pack. “Blood Lust” is coming out for Amazon Kindle on April 12, 2013.

Book Description: For the last three years, eighteen-yearold Ashlyn Li has been running from her destiny. A free-spirited ninja, Ashlyn would rather loot an abandoned city or challenge a fiend to battle than assume leadership of Toryn, her father's kingdom. However, when a series of attacks reunites Ashlyn with the friends who helped her save the sun three years ago, she discovers that her kingdom is at war and her father has presumed her dead. Suddenly Ashlyn is faced with not only fulfilling her birthright, but also making sense of her feelings towards two very different men- Drake Lockhart, the enigmatic vampire who captured her heart three years ago, and Vargo, the charismatic assassin who was once Ashlyn's sworn enemy. Will Ashlyn ascend the pagoda and become Lady of Toryn? Book Trailer:

Excuse My Fairy Excerpt: A scream echoed down the hallway and reached Barrett at his desk. He knew they didn’t have a banshee in the vicinity, which always required extra precautions, but his eardrums had never met a sound more sinister than the bellow ringing in his ears. Captain Syd stormed into the station room, his gaze locked on Barrett. “Your fairy is driving everyone mad.” Yep, Barrett had guessed right. His mate was causing a scene. Looked like Barrett would be forced to deal with the consequences. The rest of the men and women at their desks studied his confrontation with the captain. They weren’t missing any details. They all knew the fairy was Barrett’s problem, which would reasonably lead anyone to believe the two of them were involved in a relationship. Barrett’s place in the hierarchy among the men just dropped. He was probably going to lose his job. Barrett pushed back from his desk. “I’ll go talk to her.” Damage control time. Maybe it wasn’t all over. Captain Syd’s hot breath smacked him in the face. “You better not just talk to her. You better silence her!” Barrett rarely heard the captain yell. This situation wasn’t going to be easy on anyone. Super.

With a scowl, Barrett headed for Dray. The woman had a sharp hook sunk into his chest. No matter how hard he tried to wiggle free of the catch, the hold buried deeper. She was his problem now. The captain had made the truth public. Barrett strode toward the prisoner cells. The moment he entered the room, the fairy stopped screaming. He walked right up and glared at her. “What the hell do you think you’re doing?” “Thank the heavens.” The hag two cells down stopped rubbing her temples. Barrett chose to ignore the older woman. Dray blinked at him, as wide-eyed and innocent as a doe. Barrett knew well enough not to be fooled. “Do you have any idea what you’ve done?” Barrett’s own anger mounted. “Tell me.” Dray threw the words out as though she didn’t have a care in the world. “Everyone knows you’re my responsibility now.” His heart thudded at the admission. The statement wouldn’t go over well with his mate. Dray’s eyes flared. “Embarrassed?” That wasn’t even close to what Barrett felt. He had no idea how to put the chaos inside his chest into words. “You’re not making it easy to like you.”

“Ha! Feeling’s mutual.” He should have known she would throw the sentiment back in his face. “I’m not your biggest fan, either, sugar.” Dray snorted. “You couldn’t possibly dislike me as much as I dislike you.” Now it was personal. “Listen, Beth—” Her eyes bugged at the nickname. He’d seen her full name on her record. He smirked. “If you think you can come into my station and run that sassy mouth like the Second Ending is coming and the world will parish without hearing your wisdom, you’re sadly mistaken. I should lock you up for the simple reason that someone thought it was a nice idea to match your surly little temper with those soft and sexy curves.” Her mouth dropped open. Using his index finger, he brushed his calloused skin against her soft chin and pushed up so her lips pressed together again. And in that insane moment, he wanted to kiss her. She smacked his hand. Pain sizzled along his nerves. “If you ever touch me again, I’ll castrate you with my fingernails.” He looked down at her short, efficient nails, and then back up at her. “You’re welcome to try.” Her eyes flared, her power shifting behind her gaze. It had been a long time since he’d seen someone this riled. The little firecracker in front of him was set to burst. “You’re just like every man I’ve ever met.” Dray turned her back on him. Barrett couldn’t stop the spike of jealousy. How many men had there been? “You’re nothing like every woman I’ve met.” No one else drove him to this level of ball-busted crazy. Dray’s shoulders hunched, and he couldn’t get a read on her. She refused to continue their conversation, and that was fine with him. He worried about what he might snap at her in his current mood. His mobile buzzed, a welcomed distraction, and he quickly read the message. “Jiva’s here to bail you out.” He had no idea how Jiva had known where her friend was. He hadn’t known how to get a hold of the succubus. Dray continued to stare at the back wall. Barrett couldn’t see any part of her face. A moment of helpless-

ness overwhelmed him. What was he supposed to do with this fairy? He had no idea how to proceed. “Be careful.” He couldn’t prevent himself from warning her. “Don’t go anywhere alone. The soulsucker is still out there.” He’d never forgive himself if something happened to her, even if his temper peaked at his max. She didn’t glance back or acknowledge him. “Please, be careful.” His words scratched from a dry throat. A long silence stretched. “I don’t need you to protect me.” Her words struck him in the gut. Air puffed out of him. Rejection raged through him, uncontained. Wasn’t that the point? The little fairy didn’t need him at all. He chose to walk away then. She’d made it clear she wanted nothing to do with him. Maybe he would make it easy on her and just walk away for good. He turned his back. No matter how much he wanted to give up on their torrid relationship, that wouldn’t be possible. It looked like they would both have to see this through to the end, whether that end included happiness or death. Kinley Baker has a terminally tender heart and an inconvenient sense of humor. She loves puppies and cries at celebrity weddings. Kinley believes that romance novels are the keys to world peace, because if you're holding a book, you can't be holding a gun. Kinley supports all supernatural lifestyles and believes "happy ever after" isn't only for the normal. Her books Ruined, Denied and Freed are available now from Crescent Moon Press. Excuse My Fairy is available now from Etopia Press. Look for more in the Misbehaving Magics series and the final book in the Shadowed Love trilogy in 2013.

How did you come up with the title for your latest book?

very fluid and interesting changes happen as you do it.

The title of my book is the name of the main character in my book. I settled on it early in writing it. I imagined each book in the series being named after a different character and telling the story from their perspective. But like a lot of things in writing when I actually got to the next book and started writing it, the writing gods had different ideas. I realized I wanted to stick with Eustice and tell the whole thing from her side. In hindsight I wish I had named the book something easier to understand than some obscure name I thought up in the shower.

Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life? Yes. It is based on my own experience dieing as a teenage girl and being trapped in Purgatory and fighting off angry Demons and selfrighteous Angels. Wait. I think that experience was just a bad dream after eating three week old pho. There are probably some scenes inspired by real life experiences, but for the most part it is simply a work of imagination.

Do you title the book first or wait until after it’s complete? Is there a genre(s) that you’d like to write that you haven’t tackled yet? I usually get a title in my head as I'm writing, but it usually changes a lot. Sometimes because I would like to write something outside of the the story you set out to write usually doesn't fantasy realm. Something more real and based end up being the story you do write. Writing is on my own experiences in high school. I have a

stutter and while overall my experience was good, I would like to write a story to share what trials and difficulties stuttering impose. I think it is difficult for nonstutters to understand and I also think other people who stutter need more positive characters and role models.

about you? My hope is that readers would be surprised to find out I'm a guy. I challenged myself to try and look at things from the young female perspective and then to write it so well people would think I was a girl. I don't really know if I succeed, but that was my goal. Plus speaking Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who as a former teenage male the inner world of is your favorite and why? teenage girls is as mysterious, magical, and deadly as any fantasy world I could come up Alastor is the most fun to write. There is some- with. thing quite enjoyable about writing a suave, snarky, mysterious demon. Though, Eustice is When you’re not writing what do you do? Do also witty and fun to write. Especially when you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures? she is playing off Alastor or Thayer. I think having so much fun writing in her voice is one I don't really like the term guilty pleasure. If it reason I kept her the main focus of the series. gives you pleasure than you shouldn't care what others think and feel guilty. That is unless If this book is part of a series…what is the next your pleasure is trapping stray animals and tatbook? Any details you can share? tooing obscene words onto their faces. You should probably feel guilty about that. The next book continues Eustice's adventure That said I do enjoy cooking. I cook for my and story. I don't want to spoil much so it's dif- wife and for friends when we can I can. I also ficult to talk too much about the next part with- enjoy watching cooking reality shows. Cupout ruining the first part. Suffice to say that cake Wars? Bring it on. Eustice has to travel to Hell to tie up some lose ends and she finds more than she bargained for. What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress? Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book? I'm nearly done with the next book in the series. My goal is to have it out in a month. This is a little obscure but Tool has a song Though, I have a two month at home and writcalled Right in Two. As with all Tool songs the ing is more difficult because hve needs conmeaning of the song is open to debate and obstant attention. But be on the look out for part scure itself. But I always imagined the lyrics telling the story of angels being jealous of the two. It is coming soon. treatment of mortals and angry at the stupid Eustice is Alex Gulczynski's debut novchoices many mortals make. That fits nicely el. He is currently living in Seattle and into the world of Eustice. If you haven't heard teaching science to elementary students. the song before look it up and pop the headHe and his wife had their first child in December. He is using these sleepless phones on. Even without the symbolism the nights to work on the next book to furmelody is haunting and moving. ther the story of Eustice and Thayer. He hopes to have it out by March 2013.

What would your readers be surprised to learn

How I came to write the Magic Seasons series Jacqueline Paige I’d love to say the series was planned and plotted, but in truth it wasn’t. At the time I typed that first letter, I hadn’t even written anything other than the odd poem for about ten years. The actual idea to sit down and write a book started as me trying to get the last word in on a friend. My close friend and I both worked from home in 2006 when From Beltane Magic was written and at that time we spent nearly every day together, whether online or short road trips, even working together. In the fall she decided she was going on a trip to see family in the states and was going to be gone more than a month. I was devastated and had no idea what I was going to do with myself while she was away. When I asked her that question her reply was ‘write a book’ … so I did. A month later when she returned I was on the second book and the story was just flying onto the pages. My friend read the first story, and I’m sure she expected a joke in some way and it was my surprised when she was honestly shocked that I had an actual story, with plot—and a good one at that. The rest they say is history.

various pagan festivals and met some rather fantastic people along the way. While I didn’t base my characters on any one person I met at this time, it clear that each character is a mix of many from that time. I really wanted to share all the knowledge I had obtained in this time and even though I didn’t have the thrill of seeing some of the fabulous things my characters can do, the underlying pagan beliefs are there weaved in the story. Of course I was as shocked when my sweet paranormal romance turned into something entirely different and the first murder victims were discovered on that damp morning of the Beltane gathering. *** The characters from The Magic Seasons series I fell in love with each and every one of them. For almost two years while I was writing this series they were with me all the time, whether I was working, trying to fall asleep or making dinner. I didn’t want to let them go and deep down inside I haven’t, there will be more to the series later, much later.

Where did I get the idea for the plot? At first I didn’t really have a plot, just ideas and experiences to put onto paper. The series really started to While each character is in all of the series, with form when I began to figure out the characters. news being added in later on, I tried to focus on I had just spend two years traveling around to a couple in each book so we could really get to

know them. I didn’t plot their pasts, I sat down can be, he has vowed to never put himself into and found their names and general personality the position, or allow anyone else that could open and then let them come to life and share with me up the world he has carefully sealed shut forever what they were all about. This is why I fell in love with all of them: In From Beltane Magic:

In The Solstice Heat:

Kasey makes me tired just watching her fly across the pages. She also makes me laugh and that’s Leena is so calm and serene at times writing her never a bad thing. Kassandra (Kasey) is a woman scenes and just typing her dialogue made me feel that exudes energy and brightness; she is as a peace, it was quite amazing to experience. equally passionate when angry as she is when Aileena (Leena) is a woman that is gentle in eve- she’s happy. The energy she carries from life rything, her personality and moods. She always comes through in all her magical workings with feels maternal with her closest friends and would spells and stones, giving them great magical go out of their way to look after any one of them. strength. She is a dreamer and often wishes she Her ability of controlling the elements and could re-write her own story so that she was knowledge of plants make her magic abilities charming and sophisticated enough to be with a strong and unbreakable. She is a leader at work certain wealthy male lawyer she wants more than and in life, always working hard to keep those anything else. around her close, but never allowing anyone to get too close. Chris has a dark, powerful magnetism that he keeps carefully under wraps. I enjoyed unravelOwen is the strong, silent type of male. He reing his secrets and finding out what made him minded me of a giant teddy bear when I was that way. Christopher is a force of strength and writing his parts. Who doesn’t love a teddy bear? experience that is carefully hidden behind the Owen is a man that reflects humor and cavalier easy mannerism he has adapted so carefully. vibrations to others, he is gentle and caring as is There is nothing he cannot do where magic is his ability to draw negative and heal others. If concerned and he has tried all manner of things, you didn’t know him, you would never realize he whether right or wrong. His fortune has left him came from violence. Knowing how the real world wanting for nothing else in life, except the one

thing money can’t buy him, the woman he feels too unclean to approach. In Harvest Dreams: Rachel with her careless and recklessness I find myself just a little envious but love her just the same. Rachel is a woman that lives carefree with a buoyant recklessness. She loves being a flirt and has spent many years indulging that side of her personality. Her energy draws other; her character is to protect all those that cannot protect themselves. When she’s not riding on life, she is helping children less fortunate then herself. Steven, at first I thought he was the comedian in the group, but I was shocked to find out there was so much more under the surface. Steven (Doc) is man that gives more than his energy usually allows. He is a highly respected pediatrician that always goes that extra step to ensure all in his care are receiving his utmost attention. He often sacrifices sleep to spend time with his friends, and he can’t seem to help affably chasing the skirt of the one woman that breaks his easy going charm and makes him forget he’s supposed to be the jovial. He hides his strength in body and magic, never letting others know that he is more than the carefree man with everything he needs.

of satisfaction. He is the first to lend a hand, the last to stay and help and the one everyone calls when something goes wrong. Even though his own generous nature fills his life, he still manages to find time enough to get himself into a mess at every turn and spends most of the time imploring forgiveness from the one sexy voodoo witch he can’t seem to ever get close to. In Winter Mist:

Rhonda, I could never survive as she has, her strength and determination amazes me. Rhonda is a woman that becomes a victim to the vicious attack of a killer. Even though she survives, she will have to learn to live with the scars for the rest of her life. In hiding she has to rebuild the strength to get through it. She is forced to spend her days and nights in the company of a detective, that seems to have no other plan in life than to constantly aggravate her and get in her way. Patrick is the hero in my Magic Seasons world, he came out of nowhere and it took me a long time to find out what makes him tick. Patrick is a man that has lived a rough life undercover in all the wrong places, for too long. His light Irish charm carefully keeps others from seeing the dangerous man that lies inside. He is the first for justice and In Autumn Dance: will go out of his way to keep the innocent safe. He finds himself Cora is so graceful and forgiving there is no way I falling for the couldn’t find myself drawn to her. Coralee is a woman that was a woman that represents grace and simplicity. She victim of a sick and has the skill of being able to feel emotion, aura vile person and is and see beyond the now. The pain sometimes associated with this gift has forced her to live her caught between life from a distance. She decided early in life keeping her out of what she wanted, and returned from her years harm’s way and away at school set to obtain her biggest dream. completing the job Unfortunately she has found the past few years he needs to finish. lacking just that as she waits for the man she She shows no fear wants to stop and look at her instead of every of him and slowly female that throws themselves in his path. tears away the Dade despite nothing ever turning out quite like walls that surround he wanted it to, I loved the way he tried to help him everyone. Dade is a man that follows life simply, yet his charitable personality brings him a wealth

“You need to learn respect, signorina,” he said, furrowing his brow and taking another sip of his coffee. “Respect is earned. You can’t beat it into someone.” I wiped my mouth and smoothed the napkin back over my lap. “How wrong you are on that account.” “Fear and respect are not the same thing. You can beat fear into me but not respect … never respect. Respect would come from seeing you as a good man, a good person. Someone who is worthy of respect would never need to demand it from others, would never need to beat it into them.” “I can see we will have a lot to discuss once you belong to me, but today is my day. As it should be, your safe word holds sway here. Just keep in mind that the words might get you out of some obligation today, but you will never truly be done with me. ” “I’m doing this for Luke, so he will forgive me. That is the only reason I’m here.” “Jane, you and I know better than that. After today you will see.” He rose and sauntered over. After pulling out my chair for me, he took my hand. I cursed my body as his energy permeated me. I couldn’t make sense of the intensity of his mere touch. Maybe my anger fueled it. I needed some explanation for what I felt. Just get through it Jane, I thought. You’re a mere day away from being back home. Enjoy it if you must but get through it. He led me to his bedroom, which seemed twice the size of Janice’s. I was struck by its warm, masculine feel. A black leather king-size bed dominated the space. No woman’s touch was in evidence on the black dresser or armoire that stood against the brown walls. Looking around at the

artistic photographs and paintings of nude women, I found it interesting that none included bondage or whipping. I wondered if Luke had taken any of the photos but didn’t ask. I felt young and self-conscious standing next to him. I paused, avoiding eye contact, totally unprepared for what happened next. Reaching out, he put his hand on my arm and gently twirled me around to face him. Reverently, as though determined to savor the moment, he lifted the top half of the robe off my shoulders. I felt so small next to him. He lowered his mouth and kissed my shoulder, working his way up the right side of my neck, nibbling, kissing, licking and biting. Unlike Luke’s clean shaven face, Marcello’s mustache tickled and felt unfamiliar but not unpleasant. Stopping just short of my ear, he said, “So sweet you are,” then began to kiss and suckle the other side of my neck. “Ohhhhh,” I said. I felt dazed and light-headed, but still tried to hold myself rigid. With each touch of his lips my guard slipped a bit more. He drew back for a moment and gazed intently into my eyes. I was unable to look away. He lowered his head and kissed my mouth for the first time. The rest of my defenses melted away. The kiss seemed to have a life of its own. It transported me away from all my torment, bringing me closer to my real self even though I didn’t yet know her completely. I couldn’t understand how two such different men could excite me so much with their kisses. Did my body no longer have any discrimination or did Marcello’s energy speak to me in a way I needed?

My Body-His (Marcello) My Body Series, Book 2 Blakely Bennett Genre: Erotic Suspense Publisher: Fanny Press ISBN: 978-1-60381-525-3 Number of pages: 264 Word Count: 76,000 Cover Artist: Sabrina Sun Amazon


Book Description: Jane Stiles has embarked on an intense odyssey into the world of domination and submission. She no longer recognizes herself. She has quit her job, surrendered her possessions and agreed to a wedding where she is the only one naked, all for the sake of the elusive Luke—a man so compelling, she can deny him nothing. Now there is no going back. Her new life will revolve around Luke, his friends and clients. Hovering in the background is Luke’s best friend Marcello, whose ego is as towering as his stature. Marcello has set his sights on Jane. She is drawn to his power, his masculinity, and the challenge he represents,

even though she fears and dislikes him. After Luke discovers that Jane has breached one of his many “rules,” he sends her to Marcello for punishment and lessons in Dom/sub culture. What happens there will change her forever. Jane and Luke reconcile, and even find a rhythm that includes not only bondage and punishment but genuine love-making. Just when Jane is convinced that the happiness and devotion she has always craved is within reach, Luke pushes her beyond endurance, and she rebels in a way her harsh husband cannot forgive. From there, her life spins out of control. But Jane has a strong spirit, and she will prevail. My Body-His (Marcello) is Book 2 in the My Body Trilogy.

What inspired you to become an author? I was the born with a strong imagination and the first two words I must have spoken were “What if?” I have always been an avid reader and found the process of writing stories to be timeless. The journeys I have experienced through reading fiction such as Herman Hesse’s Siddhartha, Ken Grimwood’s Replay, Audrey Niffenegger Time Traveler’s Wife and Nicci French’s Killing Me Softly inspired me to try my hand at telling a narrative that would prompt people to feel. My ability to put myself in someone else’s skin and empathize with their experience also pushed me to follow my dream of becoming a published author of fiction.

Do you have a specific writing style? I prefer to write in first person and craft the story in such a way that the reader feels the journey. I like to incorporate all the senses.

Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp? Yes. Don’t ever give yourself away for love or change yourself to suit another. If someone truly loves you, then they will love the real you.

Is the book, characters, or any scenes based on a true life experience, someone you know, or events in your own life? The story is completely fictional and not based on anyone I know or events that happened to me.

Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why? Jane is definitely my favorite character. The My Body Trilogy is told from her perspective and I have lived with her inside me, poking me to tell her story, for a long time. I know her intimately and will miss her once the trilogy is complete.

Do you have any advice for other writers? Connect with a story you can feel and then write the tale in such a way that other people can feel it via your words. I have also found that setting a writing goal is very helpful. When I wrote My Body-His, the first novel in the My Body Trilogy, I committed to writing at least twenty-five pages a week, so five pages a day Monday-Friday.

Taking time away when needed helps you be fresh to continue.

Do you have a song or playlist (book soundtrack) that you think represents this book? I primarily listened to the Alex Clare playlist on Pandora and just love it. Here are some of the bands I enjoy from the list: Alex Clare (of course!) Florence and the Machine Foster the People MGMT Phoenix Regina Spektor Blue Foundation Adele Kings of Leon La Roux Passion Pit The Verve Plain White T’s Feist Sia Flux Pavilion Kate Nash

What would your readers be surprised to learn about you? I would guess because my characters struggle so much with relationship and love they would be surprise to know I’m in a very happy and loving marriage.

When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures? Exercise, lie in the sun, spend time with family and friends, explore new places and try new restaurants. I’m also an avid movie watcher and I typically consume books but I have a hard time reading when I’m working on a story. Chocolate is definitely a guilty pleasure and cheesy romance novels.

What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress? My Body-His, book one of the My Body Trilogy was released on November 15, 2012. My Body-His (Marcello), book two, will be out March 15, 2013. My Body-Mine, the finale of the series will be out July 15, 2013. I am still currently writing MBM and plan to have it completed no later than April 1st. I have finished with the first draft and am currently reviewing and editing.


Improve Your Love Life with Feng Shui Roxanne Rhoads

as your love life lost its luster? Maybe your boring bedroom is to blame. You can revamp your room into a romantic retreat by using the ancient art of feng shui (pronounced fung shway). You are probably wondering how moving your furniture around can improve your sex life, right? Feng shui is so much more

(male) energy should be kept to a minimum in the bedroom. Excite the chi (lifeforce/energy) in the room by creating a romantic and passionate atmosphere. Feng shui is all about enhancing the environment around you to create a positive flow of energy. By taking into account colors, compass directions, natural elements and proper placement of furniture and other items in a room, feng shui techniques can alter what occurs in the rest of your life. There are some simple things you can do to incorporate feng shui into your bedroom and enhance the flow of sexual energy to invigorate a stagnant love life. One simple suggestion by feng shui expert Ellen Whitehurst is to hang 2 intertwining 27 inch red cords on the inside your bedroom on the doorknob to bind love energies to you.

You can start out by creating a love shrine than how furniture is arranged. It is coop- in the right hand corner of the bedroom eration between person and place. Feng (from the entrance). This area should be Shui uses the connectedness of all things. dedicated to symbols that remind you of The building blocks of feng shui are the yin romance and passion. These symbols will -yang (female-male) balance and chi activate the energy of love. You could use (energy), and that’s what sex is about - fe- erotic art, a sculpture of two lovers, a heart male, male and energy. shaped object, two hearts intertwined, crystal prisms or a mobile. Place items With feng shui, romance begins in the yin there that would be meaningful to both (feminine) vibration of your room. Yang partners in the relationship.

make sure everything in your room is neat The next thing you should do is arrange and in good working order. Broken doors your bed. In feng shui the location of the and windows, peeling paint, drawers that bed is a very big deal. You should be able don’t open – all these cause negative enerto see the door from the bed but not be di- gy to loom in the room. Make sure your rectly in front of it. Your head should not door opens all the way and that the lock be towards the door. The headboard works. should be firmly against a wall not a window. There should be nothing under your Do: Arrange everything in pairs to symbed so chi can flow freely around it. You bolize a union- two candles, two paintings, should not be able to view your bathroom or two sculptures. If you are in a relationfrom your bed. If you bed is on the same ship have photos of you and your lover wall as a door this can cause disagreearound the room. If you are married a ments between a couple. wedding photo of just the two of you would be perfect. Other great photos would be of Another simple thing to do is add some the two of you on vacation or any photo of visual stimulation to the room. There is no the two of you that depicts your happiness place more perfect for sensual art than in as a couple. the bedroom. Nothing is more suggestive than piece of attractive erotic art hung over Don’t: Do not have just one of something. the bed. Erotic paintings and sculptures One item is lonely; two represents the hapcan be put throughout the bedroom to su- py union of a couple. Avoid anything that percharge sexual energy. represents loneliness. Make sure to have two night stands, and display photos and Here are some more simple dos and don’ts paintings in pairs, two vases, etc. Also that can help turn your bedroom into a ro- avoid having photos of children, friends mantic and erotic retreat. and family in the bedroom. The bedroom should be a romantic retreat for a couple, it Do: Feng shui expert Nancilee Wydra sug- is a private space. Keep everyone else out gests starting seduction at the door with a of the room. sensual scent. A spicy scent like cinnamon apple is sexy and uplifting. My personal fa- Do: Invoke the passionate fire element by vorite is a custom blend of apple cinnamon using candles, oil lamps or a roaring fire if and vanilla. you are lucky enough to have a fireplace in your bedroom. Don’t: According to feng shui guidelines, clutter is the biggest no-no, no matter what Don’t: Do not have water elements in the room you are in. Clutter blocks the flow of bedroom, it is prohibited. Get rid of founchi and does not allow positive energy to tains, fish tanks and anything depicting flow freely. Get rid of everything that rewater scenes. That means you need to keep minds you of old lovers; photos, letters, photos, paintings and anything associated gifts, even sheets and mattresses. Your bed with water out of the room. Water clashes should belong to you and your current lov- with the fire element, the element of paser alone. It should be a shrine and testasion that should take precedence in the ment of your love for each other. Also bedroom. Water in the bedroom can lead

to financial loss and loss in your relationship. Do: Have furniture and objects in your room with soft feminine curves. Avoid pointy male objects. Think of round pillows, hearts, and an oval ottoman - anything with natural curves instead of harsh lines. Don’t: Do not have too many objects in your bedroom that give off male energy. Get rid of “work” objects, objects that produce yang (male) energy like televisions, computers, exercise equipment, etc. If you have to keep a TV or computer in your room keep those in a cabinet that has doors you can close at night. Do: Enhance the passionate energy in your room with objects and paintings in shades of red, pink and garnet. Feng shui principles suggest placing a red object on the woman’s nightstand to increase eroticism in the female partner, and for the male partner a piece of copper should be placed on his night stand. Copper represents the male essence and enhances male eroticism. You could use a tiny jar of copper scraps or any object made of copper. To preserve sexual receptivity in both partners place a ruby or garnet on each nightstand. These stones are very powerful

in attracting the opposite sex. Don’t: Blues and greens are a big no-no in the bedroom. While cool colors represent calm and relaxation to some people, feng shui guidelines suggest that you stay away from cool colors like blues, whites, grays, and black. White walls are especially bad. The Chinese associate the color white with death; talk about a major mood killer! Do: Incorporate natural materials in your room such as fur, leather and wool. For your bedding you should use natural cotton or silk. Avoid synthetics like polyester. Also try to keep the room gender neutral. Flowery prints, lacey curtains, stuffed animals everywhere- they are not romantic, they are too frilly. Rich comfortable fabrics, warm colors and neutral designs are best for a libido lifting room. Don’t: Do not keep plants in the room. Remove all plants and flowers, whether living, dead or artificial- they need to go. Plants can overpower the yin energy in the room and if they are dead, they give off dead energy. By incorporating the elements of feng shui into your bedroom you not only alter the way your room looks, but you can also alter the experiences you have there. By following the principles of feng shui you can change the energy that flows around you and stimulate sensual and sexual arousal in both yourself and your partner.

Do you have a specific writing style?

ers, I’ll just say cross-genre. I write paranormal, futuristic (sci-fi), fantasy, and time-travel roYes. I get in trouble with it often—as seen in mance. If you mix those up, you get the gist of my reviews. But my publisher started it back what I write. Sometimes, the story worlds are when my editor had me turn the italics off the fantasy + time travel with scientists who study 1st Person present tense internal thoughts of my magic and use it regularly. Other times, the stocharacters. Long story…But I had issues with ry worlds are werewolves verses vampires in a that, worked with it, and write in what appears space opera. to be multiple 1st Person POVS. Readers either love it or hate it. I’ve always been told I have a If yes which is your favorite genre to write? strong voice. Well, I think my characters do now! My favorite genre is anything where I can develop my own planet and mythology backed by Do you write in different genres? science even though there’s certain to be magic lurking somewhere. (I know. That explains abYes. Or you can say I write cross-genre. I’ve solutely nothing!) been told I write mainstream by a reviewer who has been around for years. I like her explanaHow did you come up with the title for your lattion so I stick with it. But for the sake of read- est book?

SLIPSTREAM started as a story idea with the heroine’s brain being attacked through wormholes because she journeyed multiple times through the wormholes. And I thought “Wouldn’t it be cool if there were multiple meanings for slipstream—like those memories flashing before your eyes at death, memories in general, daydreams, dreams, etc.?” So that’s where SLIPSTREAM came from. The Cyber Ops series title was part of that initial story idea because I wanted to create a military cyborg culture (cyborg being defined as any body modification to the human body to allow for normal or above average lifestyle for the person with the modification, i.e. immunizations or eyeglasses) with implants to help with travel through the wormholes that I could evolve through the series of three books. So, I thought “Cyber Ops is cool.” Of all the characters you’ve ever written, who is your favorite and why? Jackal in WERESCAPE: COUGAR. I love his eyes. I tell the same thing to everyone. I watched that crazy American military officer in REIGN OF FIRE over and over because McConaughey’s eyes were so expressive. I decided to write a character like that. I still am far too partial to Jackal! If this book is part of a series…what is the next book? Any details you can share? Cyber Ops #2 CHOSEN deals with what happens with the ex-cons working with the Snarians. There will be Snarians. *hint* *hint* What books are in your to read pile? Oh lordy. Who knows? I think I have 2000+ books in my e-TBR pile. I don’t even know what’s in there! That’s the only bad thing about e-books! I can promise those books are about

magic, shifters, the future, and cyborgs! I also have a fair share of steampunk. That’s a genre calling my name… What would your readers be surprised to learn about you? I’m shy. I seem to have gotten comfortable over at Facebook though. So, those Facebook friends of mine would just laugh and say I’m not shy… When you’re not writing what do you do? Do you have any hobbies or guilty pleasures? I have been known to sift chocolate chips out of boxes of cookie mix when having a chocolate craving. Otherwise, you can find me with a tub of dark chocolate frosting or Nutella and a spoon on my coffee break. Note, I’m not supposed to ingest ANY caffeine. So, I sneak chocolate. Oh, and there’s candy corn! What is next for you? Do you have any scheduled upcoming releases or works in progress? I’m working on two re-releases. The first of my FERAL series is being overhauled. I’m also overhauling the 5th book in my TIME GUARDIAN series. Re-releases mean bargain prices!!!

Book Description: Congratulations, Dr. Charlotte Barley! You won a one-way ticket to Diablo's Shithole! Yes, Dr. Barley, you saved earth from humanity's extinction brought on by overpopulation, discovered wormholes, and gave humanity a new lease on life. But, you're being hunted by someone using a wormhole device you can't fathom, plagued by a type of sleepwalking that involves reliving your alien sexual experiences gleaned from wormhole journeys, and, yes, we see that you can't deal with your murdered bodyguards--mercenary Space Marines forced to anchor your body to a bed at night by acting out the sex memories haunting your REM cycle. Get over it already because there's nowhere left to hide except Diablo's Shithole...And the shit is about to hit Diablo's fan more than you could ever imagine...Because, deep down inside, you know you're into all that kinky sex. So, who will the next victim be? Is tall, long, and corded astrophysicist Major Fitzroy capable of dancing with death to save your ass, or are you willing to sacrifice hotter-than-sin musclebound explosives fanatic Corporal Laurel? Just don't let their nuts rub together. And you know your alien-infested sexual dreams are a huge turn on for you. Just face the music, honey. Can your bodyguards fulfill the sexual fantasy of the king of all alien kings and his troop of humping brothers until the truth is exposed to save your ass? So, Dr. Barley, you slut, ready for another slide down a slippery wormhole to Diablo's Shithole? It looks like a lot of fun. And more than those feet are going to get wet in the SLIPSTREAM. Warning: Reader should be prepared for a heroine who curses like a sailor and knows she's a slut, Space Marines with sex on the brain, a Corporal with a clit fetish, aliens who bite and harvest things best left hush hush, as well as a little human m/f/m, even more alien m/f/m/m/m/m, and a plenty m/f in a plot heavily laden with reproduction and sexual gratification. Finally, this story proves one universal constant: it never hurts to drop the soap. Excerpt: Laurel continued to study his cards. Like he tried to avoid showing any emotion about what he held in his hand. Certainly his hand was better than my useless unrelated two, five, nine, jack, and king. Absolutely utterly useless. What can I do with these pathetic cards? It's just time to head back to work. Or something equally conducive to saving my neck. More so because Laurel's enormous don't-fuck-with-me form is certainly giving me ideas. Maybe it's the fact he's wearing just a black tank top stretched to the damned max with dark hairs curling over the hem near his heart? Maybe it's the fascinating linear vein on his bulging bicep that keeps drawing my attention? Or, rather, it's the suggestive items he's using for chips on the table‌ Laurel's gaze slid up to monitor the central pile of pre-packaged instant coffee, chocolate mints, Space Marine beer vouchers, and one long somewhat-flat golden rectangular heat-sealed wrapper. As if he could read my mind about his body, leading to‌What he'd tossed onto the pot. Some things were outright necessities like instant coffee and blood. You just never know when you'll find

yourself shit out of luck, especially serving a joy of a sentence on an uninhabited forested rock in the middle of nowhere deep space like me now, without coffee. But Laurel was preoccupied with an item that was outright useless on Diablo's Shithole. An Omega Tickler condom. Black Cherry Fire. The table's bleeding. Not good. My favorite flavor on one heck of a scary-looking black rubber to the uninitiated. Toss in the big heat factor that's just enough to keep a man and woman warm when shifting positions‌ With all the damned ticklers on the tip and rubbery spikes protruding along the shaft. Talk about subtle unavoidable friction that will feel like pure ecstasy when riding a fully-engorged cock. One monster cock owned by the Corps' prized beast across the table. My heart swan-dived to the lowest pit of my core and left me feeling like magma oozed between my legs. Dear. God. His gaze snapped up to anchor upon mine. As if he's toying with me by dangling a carrot, or he can sense my reaction to his poker chip. Rather his poker! Either way, Laurel wasn't the type to play games. His type dives for the jugular with the Cherry-Fire-Tickler option. Cold. Ruthless. Who in her right mind would say no to that? Right mind. Right mind. I should have one. But I haven't slept in two days. Let me see if I can find some right mind around here. I slid my gaze across the boring tabletop to Fitzroy. The major leaned on an elbow planted atop the metal table. Shooting me an indefinable expression. Why? Does he know I've been contemplating sex with that condom? One that is advertised by the twenty-first century's horrible marketing tactic geared toward safe sex with Space service: keep your cool on the dark side when popping cherries. On the other hand, if Fitzroy is in the mood for cherries, I don't mind. But he hasn't said a thing about sex. Nor has he bothered to hint he's willing. No, he's no Laurel with a coy yet blatant slap-it-on-the-table attitude. Like throw me down and use that condom on me. Someone. Oh. No. A chill fingered along my arms. Just enough to cause the fireworks of an epiphany--at the moment the point that either big marine could throw me down. I won't mind. It's not like I'm going to live long enough to fret over the bad reputation certainly nurtured from my needs. Needs demanding big muscled man between my thighs. "I'm sick of waiting," Fitzroy said. Breaking my train of ridiculous thought with an equally ridiculous one. He's sick of waiting? "Can anyone beat a full house?" Fitzroy placed his fan of cards on the table with great care like they were highly explosive. Seriously, toss a grenade into the pot too. I could use a quick blast out of this madness. Maybe I'd land on a big cock? Speared. God. I hope I'm not groaning like a desperate prisoner resigned to the fact anything I want beyond roaches and rat for dinner is wishful thinking. But that's reality in a nutshell. Laurel and Denton sighed and tossed their cards face down. Like they skewered a rat on a spit for my pleasure. I hate a subconscious that does nothing but make me horny. I dropped my horrible hand. Fitzroy sighed a contented sound and reached for the loot.

Bewitching Book Tours Magazine Now accepting submissions for the following upcoming issues: Steampunk May- featuring articles, fashion, jewelry, steampunk DIY, reviews, excerpts, featured steampunk fiction and more Werewolves June- featuring articles, poetry, reviews and book excerpts about werewolves and werewolf fiction Hot and Steamy Summer - July featuring hot summer reads Submission details- for every issue we are accept: Articles- topics include writing, research, paranormal, vampires, advice for authors, publishing advice, and more Flash Fiction- paranormal and urban fantasy (for other genres please query) True tales of paranormal encounters Recipes Poetry Book reviews Please send submissions to place “Bewitching Magazine Submission� in subject line Deadline is the first of every month.