Sunday, December 28, 2014

Encore by Jamie Salisbury & Guest Post

Title: Encore!
Author: Jamie Salisbury
Series: A Tudor Saga (Book #1)
Genre: Contemporary Romance
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: June 29 2014
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Mary Stuart and Daniel Kennedy have not seen each other since attending a prestigious performing arts school.
Now a world renowned violinist, and married to his career, Daniel stumbles across Mary through her images at a London gallery. He is in need of a photographer with vision - she is a photographer in need of clients.
Mary has all but given up the stage - or has she? Her photographs pay the bills far more than her fancy musical education. But Mary has secrets. . .secrets she dare not share with even the roguish Mr. Kennedy.
A roving paparazzi lens changes all that for them. . .

Can Daniel forgive Mary for hiding her past - and her present? Will their relationship break like a violin string - or will their love endure the chaos?

So here I am - going over images from a photo shoot the day before when I hear the front door bell chime. Looking up I see the most perfect man, hell the most beautiful man I had laid eyes on in - oh hell I don't know - years perhaps. Oh h-e-l-l! It was him!
"Mary Stuart?" He asked as the door shut behind him. The sunlight caught his light brown hair as he stepped inside. His hair was long, though pulled up in some sort of knot in the back. The rest was pulled away from his face, showing off just how handsome he really was. He had the most expressive brown eyes I think I'd ever seen on a man, and that smile would melt your heart.
"That'd be me," I cockily replied. "Mary Stuart at your service. And you would be?"
"Daniel. Daniel Kennedy." His brown eyes bore through me, but somehow didn't make me uncomfortable. "Forgive me for staring, but you look familiar."
"I was just about to say the same thing. Why don't you tell me what I can do for you and perhaps it'll come to one of us." Yeah I could think of a few things I'd like to do with this man and none of it had to do with taking his picture either.
"I saw some of your work at a gallery and thought you do amazing work. I'm looking for someone to shoot new images for me, and I think you may be that person."
His voice was soft. The cadence in the manner in which he spoke entranced me. He had a hint of an underlying accent, which I'd always found sexy. His voice, his mannerisms...
"Could I get you something to drink, Daniel? A coffee or some tea? I even have water if you'd like. We can sit down and you can tell me exactly what you're looking for." I pointed to a small floral sofa and chair in a corner of the studio.
"Water would be fine."
"I'll be right back. Feel free to look around."
I turned and walked towards the back room where we kept the refrigerator. I opened the door and pulled out two waters and returned to the gallery. Suck it up! He has no idea it was you he's seen at the clubs. Just act as though you're both trying to figure out where you know each other from.
Daniel, mister tall, dark and definitely handsome, not to mention trouble, was standing in front of a grouping of photos I had taken of an elderly duchess on her eightieth birthday. Hearing my footsteps, he turned and proceeded towards the sofa.
I paused in front of him and handed him the bottle of cold water before proceeding to the sofa where I sat across from him. "Tell me something about yourself Daniel. What you do for a living, that sort of thing." I lied.
As I waited for his reply I couldn't help but make note of the heavy silver rings he wore. I instantly recognized one as a skull. He certainly didn't look the part of a Goth. He was dressed nicely enough in a pair of form fitting black jeans, some sort of graphic t-shirt underneath a dark grey pin stripe jacket. He popped the cap off the bottle and took a long swig before closing it again and setting the bottle on the floor.
"I am a violinist…" he began.

Saturday, December 27, 2014

A Boy & His Corpse by: Richard B. Knight (Interview)

Title: A Boy & His Corpse
Author: Richard B Knight
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: YA Horror Comedy
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: Sept 24 2014
Edition/Format Available In: eBook & Print
Like any fifteen-year-old, Alan Chandler has to deal with the horrors of adolescence—social awkwardness, joblessness, and a father who drives him nuts. But there are some not-so-typical horrors too: His father’s job is to resurrect people as anti-terrorist soldiers. Even though his father keeps warning him that the day will come when he’ll need to take over the family business, Alan is more interested in starting an Undead Wrestling Federation—if only he could keep a corpse on its feet for more than a minute at a time.

Meanwhile, troubles are brewing in the Middle East. A mad dictator threatens to start World War III, and Alan knows that if his father leaves for war, he won’t be coming back. Not alive anyway. With the future at stake, Alan must choose between his adolescent dreams and becoming the leader his father needs him to be. He needs to find himself and understand how his powers work...before it’s too late.

“We didn’t want to have to resort to this, Herbert,” Agent Heinzelman said.
            “But you pushed us to it,” Agent Convington concluded.
            “Gentlemen, please,” Rosewater said as he got back up. “I want to resolve this peacefully.”
            As the two agents neared Herbert, Alan held his stomach. It was happening all over again. The fear, the claustrophobia, the madness.
            His living room turned green before his eyes.
            Everything that happened next was a blur. Mort moved with uncanny speed across the room. He got behind Agent Covington and grabbed him by the Adam’s apple. In one sharp maneuver, he pulled back and snapped the man’s neck as if it were made out of clay. The agent collapsed forward dead on his feet.
Alan watched a fleeting look of terror wash over Agent Heinzelman’s face as Mort punched a hole through the man’s chest and pulled out his heart. The man made a single gasp before he grabbed at the gaping hole and fell to the carpet. The blood ran out of him like water from a hole in a bucket.
            “No. More. Fire!!” Alan screamed, but his voice, which was unearthly and deep, didn’t come out of his mouth. It came out of Mort’s.
            Alan pointed at the President and Mort raised his arm in turn.
            “Get out,” Mort said in his horrible, throaty voice. “Get out! Get out! GET OUT!”
            President Rosewater didn’t have to be told twice. He stumbled over the corpses of his bodyguards and sprinted out the house.
            Alan shook his head and fell to his knees. The green shade left his eyes, and the room began to spin. James rushed into the house and gasped as he looked down at the two dead agents on the ground.
            “What the hell did you do?” he asked with bulging eyes.
            Alan couldn’t form the words to answer him before he passed out on the floor.

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Saturday, December 20, 2014

Transition: by K.A. Salidas Spotlight

Title:  Transition
 Author:  K.A. Salidas
Series:  Chronicles of the Uprising (#4)
Genre: Paranormal/Dystopian
Publisher:  Rising Sign Books LLC
Release Date:   Dec 15

Peace is just a breath between battles for Mira. Hardened by slavery and war, she longs for the simpler life, knowing that it might never be hers to enjoy. There is always another battle waiting to be fought, another foe on the horizon. Peace between humans and otherkin may be nothing more than a dream, but Mira holds out hope.
It is during this brief respite that Mira is gifted one of her greatest weapons. Though it brings with it memories of a time when she was not so jaded it also comes with a reminder of terrible pain and loss. Awakening deeply hidden emotions within her, If Mira can use this to her advantage, she’ll have a new ally in the next battle to come.

“Oh princess, you are cute… but leave the fighting and defense to the real warriors.” Justine said.
“I can fight.”
I’d barely seen her get up before my world turned sideways and I was sent crashing to the ground. She’d kicked the chair out from underneath me and before I could recover, she’d snapped the leg in two, pressed her knee down on my chest and cocked her arm back, ready to stab me with the shattered wood.
“Woah! What the hell!” I screamed. Neither Theo nor Marcel had gotten up to my aid. Were they really going to let her kill me?
“You can fight, right.” Justine glared at me.
Fight? I could hardly move, she was like a boulder on my chest and my ears rang so loudly from the fall. Head throbbing, I couldn’t even think of how to try and squirm away. “okay… point made.”
“You want to die? Fight me. Kill or be killed because I won’t hesitate to do it.”
She punctuated her words with a quick slash of the fragmented wood across my face. The sting of it snapped me out of fear and straight into rage. I tried to slam against her body with my arms and wriggle out from under her knee holding me to the ground but she would not budge. She tried to swipe me again and I reached up and grabbed hold of it. In the struggle to control the weapon, I gained enough leverage to slide out from under her weight. I rolled away as fast as I could but not before she sliced the back of my neck.
When I turned to face her, she threw a cocky grin at me. “You’d be dead if I wanted it.”
Point taken. “So teach me how to not be dead.”
“First lesson, do whatever it takes. You could have used a crotch shot, but you didn’t. You could have bit my leg, but you didn’t. You wiggled around and gave up. That’s going to get you killed. Be willing to fight dirty to stay alive.”

Friday, December 12, 2014

Interview Fury From Hell by Rochelle Campbell

Title: Fury from Hell
Author: Rochelle Campbell
Series: From Hell Series (Book 1)
Genre: Paranormal/Cop Thriller (with dashes of Horror & Suspense)
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: Sept 9 2014
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook
Fury From Hell is a paranormal thriller about good vs. evil.  Here, the good is in the form of Detective Jennifer Holden, a homicide cop that is haunted by her own personal demons of a murder she committed when she was just a teenager.  The trauma she suffered at the hands of social agency after agency hardened Jennifer into a staunch atheist making her gun and her bank account the only things she truly believes in.
We meet Detective Holden, shortly before she begins working on her first solo murder case.  The victim is Kyma Barnes who was brutally raped and killed. As Kyma’s soul leaves her body, a demon being called by a coven of dark witches at nearby Prospect Park, is drawn to the dying woman by her death throes.  Fury Abatu offers to avenge Kyma’s death. The price?  The dying woman’s soul.  Kyma gives it gladly to ensure the man who killed her pays dearly.
At the crime scene, Jennifer becomes possessed by Fury Abatu.  Hosts usually die a violent death within weeks of the initial possession. Detective Holden does not know she is possessed…
With her own demise on the line, Jennifer must fight for her life and her very soul – something she’s not sure she even believes in – to rid herself of the dark force surrounding her and her friends.
Can Jennifer be saved from the demon?  Will she be able to find the faith to believe in something greater than herself and her material things?

Saturday, December 6, 2014

What Lies Within Us & Interview with Kiki Howell

Title: What Lies Within Us
Author: Kiki Howell
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Gothic/Paranormal/Romance/Contemporary/
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: Nov 1 2014
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print

After receiving a letter from an aunt she never knew existed, Kyna Hughes travels to Ireland only to find out that her whole life has been a series of well-orchestrated lies. Suddenly, this poor girl from the foothills of the Alleghany Mountains is thrust into a life of not only the wealthy and affluent, but of dark magic and secret societies. As Kyna learns of the magic hidden inside her, purposefully stunted as she grew up for her protection, she must now battle mystical hauntings which are the result of curses while getting a crash course in utilizing her powers. Kidnappings and satanic weddings become her daily events as she struggles not to lose her heart to one of two men—a former Navy SEAL hired to protect her or a wizard hired to train her. Soon she will realize just how true it is that “What lies behind us and what lies before us are tiny matters compared to what lies within us.”

She nodded as he pulled her door shut. Then, she turned to see her bed illuminated in another round of lightening. The sensation of having caught a ball of it settled over her hands. Turning them until her palms faced up, the way they shook wasn’t exactly fear, or flight, but all fight. She curled her fingers in, let her nails bite into her palms. Angry, she made a few stiff and heavy strides back to bed. Not only did everyone here baffle or betray her, as did her ominous surroundings, but her own body took cues from the vivid imaginings of those she’d encountered today.
As her eyes closed again, she swore the power in her body build with each bolt outside her window. Her skin crackled with some sort of electricity of its own, frying what was left of her brain that she tried to force into a fitful sleep.
The sudden awareness of being watched courted with the sensation of having her life energy pulled from her body. As she opened her eyes, weak and dizzy, a streak of lightening backlit a black form at the edge of her bed. Kyna scrambled until her back hit the wooden backboard with a breath-stopping thump. Her muscles ached in earnest almost as if small cramps had taken over her body. Small figments of light, burning silver threads, extended from herself to the shadowy person.
Fear, the kind that freezes time, makes every bone in a body cold, gave way to anger, red-hot and resilient. In a cold sweat, she sprang from the covers. Her arms extended with her palms out in front of her as if signaling stop. Pushing against the dark energy that seemed to suck her very life from her, she sliced, in her mind, the cords. Imaginary or not, nightmare or pure horror, the glowing threads broke and fell. Tiny shards of light hung in the air a second before they disappeared.
Finally, a scream ripped from her lungs. The shriek was outrage laced with angst. The shadow at the end of her bed fell to black smoke, which seeped into the wooden floor. Running to her door and throwing it open like it weighed nothing, she ran smack into Aedan in the hall.
Suddenly, though still shaking, she became aware of her soft breasts throbbing having hit the solid muscle of his chest. His arms strong around her, his fingers pressed firmly into her back, and her eyes closed, the shadow image reappeared in her mind’s eye.
“I got you,” he whispered as her body went through some mini fear-induced seizure for a second.
Her breath released, hot and fast. Kyna panted herself past calm into aroused. However, the house wouldn’t allow her attention to be diverted. Thunder rocked the walls. Once her eyes opened, shadows formed and unformed around her.
“Can you see them?” she whispered to Aedan.
“See who?”
“I’m going crazy,” she growled.
“No, your aunt warned me of this type of magic. The group after you, they use dark magic that forms some sort of mystical hauntings. Nothing should hurt you, though they may give the appearance of it. Your aunt can explain it better in the morning. For now, let’s get you back to bed.”
“It took from me. It took something from me with these bright cords. Don’t leave me,” she begged and then winced.
Uncharacteristically weak, she wondered if her courage all these years came so easy due to nothing real eventful having happened in her life. No. No way. She promised herself to be brave, to make her mother proud, no matter what they threw her way.
“I won’t leave you this time,” Aedan promised. “I’ll sit in the chair and watch you sleep. I’ve probably gotten more than you already at this point. There’re only a few hours left now until morning. But, he or it took what?”
“It felt like the shadowy image was draining my life from me, not blood, just energy or something. A life force maybe. It felt so real, like my heart slowed and my mind became fuzzy. I got so weak.”
“I’m sure it is all part of the haunting, some magical images and feelings projected onto you to scare you.”
She bought the explanation, had to in an attempt to get any sleep at all with the shadows that still lingered. Pretend. You’re just pretend, she challenged them with her thoughts as she stood at the foot of the bed.
“Silly,” she scoffed.
“What? Because I see nothing silly about being afraid of something you don’t even understand. Sometimes fear is good, that is if you let it fuel you rather than make you quit,” Aedan advised.
“I meant it was silly that I was trying to threaten them with my mind, as if because they are shadows they can hear my thoughts. Seen too many ghost movies I think.”
“You’re not silly at all. Most women would have run from this place screaming, demanding to be driven to the airport in her beautiful, white nightgown,” he soothed, voice deep and gravely. “Now, off to bed with you my brave woman.”
Comforted by his praise, she obeyed. Yet, Aedan in the same room also made sleep not come easily, just for a whole other set of reasons entirely.

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Beyond New Eden by H.S. Stone & Guest Post

Title: Beyond New Eden
Author: H.S. Stone
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: YA Post-Apocalyptic
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date:  Mar 8 2013
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print

Eve 142 has lived her entire life in the domed city of New Eden, home to the only surviving humans after the War. Like all of the inhabitants of New Eden, Eve 142 is a clone. Together with the other clones, dubbed the Adams and the Eves, she leads a safe, predictable existence. However, Eve’s life changes when she causes a tragic accident to befall one of the Adams. As retribution, she and her counterpart, Adam 142, are banished from New Eden. At first, Eve 142 considers their punishment a death sentence because she grew up believing the world outside the dome was uninhabitable. She is wrong. Forced to live in the Wastelands, Eve and Adam discover many new truths about the outside world and, more importantly, the truths about themselves.

As soon as we stepped outside the cave, I noticed a difference in our surroundings. Instead of the clear skies I’d seen every day so far, dark clouds blotted out the sun. Half of the sky was consumed by the thick gray overcast. The clouds also cast a blanket of shadow upon the land at the bottom of the mountain.
Wind whipped through my hair, tinged with a peculiar odor. Higher up, these winds must have moved even faster because I could see the clouds advancing rapidly in our direction.
“Rain’s coming,” Adam said.
The menacing curtain of darkness inspired both fear and awe. Naturally, I’d never experienced real rain before. I didn’t even know much about it since most of the pictures I’d seen from before the War weren’t taken in the rain.
Uncertain of the answer I wanted to hear, I asked, “Should we still explore the mountain today?”
Adam examined the approaching clouds. “We’d better play it safe and stay inside the cave until the rain passes.”
I returned inside, but I stayed near the entrance to watch the storm clouds. The wind died down at the mouth of the cave, but I still smelled the same peculiar scent where I stood. It wasn’t strong, but the air possessed a distinct odor I was unfamiliar with. Did rain have a smell?
In the distance, the sky flashed brilliantly. A few seconds later, I heard a rumbling boom. Lightning and thunder. I grew excited at the prospect of being in a rainstorm for the first time. We were the first humans to experience a rainstorm in a hundred and sixty years.
Leaving the sanctuary of the cave, I stepped out onto the rocky path. It didn’t take long for the first drops to hit my face. The rain quickly built in intensity. I stood looking up at the sky, letting the rain wash over me. I opened my mouth and let the drops collect inside before spitting them out.
Despite the wind, I didn’t feel cold. I felt wonderful. It was like taking a shower but the water was everywhere. I couldn’t escape it and I didn’t want to.
“Eve!” Adam called out. I turned around to find him staring at me from the mouth of the cave. “What are you doing out there?”
I smiled. “Enjoying the rain. Come on out and join me!”
Adam shook his head and went back inside. Too bad, his loss, I thought.

Places to find: Beyond New Eden

Sunday, November 23, 2014

Decent of the Gods & Interview with Mark G. Cosman

Title: Descent of the Gods
Author: Mark G. Cosman
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Fiction/Adventure
Publisher: Black Rose Writing
Release Date: Oct 2 2014
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
In their self-indulgent realm, the gods know no suffering until the end of their days. Compassion is the only portal through which they can escape the self and its eventual demise, but without suffering, compassion cannot be recognized. So, they go in search of compassion in the human domain where happiness and sorrow abound. There, they genetically engineer a superior humanoid race and are soon distracted by the delight they find in the daughters of men. The gods are the extraterrestrial visitors of our collective memory.
Tormented by envy, the Asuras are warlike demigods that follow the gods into the human domain. They become the demons who initiate our concept of evil.
Quay is the son of Om, the father of the gods. Quay’s childhood adventures with Daya, his female humanoid companion, take place on the Isle of the Gods, which closely parallels the legendary Atlantis. On coming of age, Quay and Daya become inseparable lovers. Quay is challenged to separate passion from compassion.
In the human domain, the gods were simply gardeners. When the god Talmund left his garden across the Salt Sea and returned to the Island of the Gods, he left his humanoid workers behind. Eventually, two civilizations evolved from his workers, the sedentary Taltecs in the south and the nomadic Tulacans in the north. The civilizations resemble the pre-Columbian cultures described in the Book of Mormon.
Fearful that these autonomous humanoids were exceeding limits the gods set for them, Om sends Quay across the Salt Sea to observe. Before undertaking his mission, Quay interviews the first humanoid, Ahn, and the god, Elo, to whom Ahn was given. The meeting occurs in Eden where Elo kept an expansive garden. The interview is essentially a discussion with the Biblical Adam, which sets the tone for the human condition and their relationship with the gods.
Quay’s mission abruptly separates him from Daya. Ri, an Asura driven by hatred of the gods and an erotic desire for Daya, pursues Quay. Quay’s adventures among the Taltecs and Tulacans are interrupted when the two civilizations collide in an epic conflict that spans a continent.
Meanwhile, a geologic cataclysm destroys the island of the gods. Daya is rescued by an Asura ship, is assaulted and subsequently escapes into the forests of the Eastern Isle that survived the deluge. There, she becomes the legendary huntress of the forest, similar to Artemis, twin sister of Apollo.
In the Land North, on a field of flowers, during the final battle of the great war between the Taltecs and Tulacans, Ri finally comes upon Quay and attacks, but he is shot through by an arrow from the bow of a nomad who had befriended Quay. Quay assists Ri through his dying experience. By his outreach to his mortal enemy, Quay discovers the compassion for which the gods had entered the human domain.
Quay ventures back across the Salt Sea to find the Isle of the Gods has vanished. He sails on to the Eastern Isle where he is reunited with his kind. Scarred and embittered, Daya courageously defies the authority of the gods. It is the darkest of nights when Quay watches from a distance as Daya releases a virus from an urn that the gods had prepared in secret to cull the humans. Her act is reminiscent of the legendary Pandora. The freeing of the virus results in Daya’s death and that of all humanoids on the Eastern Isle. In effect, she impedes the grand experiment of the gods and alters human evolution forever.

In his 977th year, Quay began to die. His dying experience is detailed using the Tibetan Book of the Dead as a guide. Quay was the last of the gods that walked among us.

“Everyone knows.” He whimpered remorsefully and embraced his knees. “You see, it has all gone wrong. My consequences are like infectious demons, blighting the generations that stem from me. There is no escaping them. The fault is mine, eternally mine! My seed is bad.” He began rocking rhythmically.
Ahn’s demons are concoctions of his mind, Quay thought. They seem to appear to humanoids when life’s balance is distorted. Guilt is an indicator.
It occurred to Quay that the humanoid mind acts much like a judge. Once the cause of guilt is discovered, its harsh reasoning carries out the sentence. Neither gods nor humanoids can help him. The humanoid mind is a stern taskmaster. It will unlock Ahn from guilt’s yoke only when his imagined demons are satisfied and life’s balance is restored.

 Places to find: Decent of the Gods

Saturday, November 22, 2014

Voodoo Vows & Interview with Diana Marie Dubois

Title: Voodoo Vows
Author: Diana Marie DuBois
Series: Voodoo Vows (Book 1)
Genre: Paranormal
Publisher   Three Danes Publishing LLC
Release Date: Oct 31
Rosie Delacroix returns to New Orleans after her mother’s disappearance, is pulled into an unimagined world and gets more than she bargained for.
Ensconced in the life of magic and voodoo, she’s surrounded by unlikely allies.
 Julian Quibodeaux, an old flame, re-enters her life and their love is once again reignited like dry tinder to a flame. However, he’s been cursed and unaware he holds a terrible secret…One that could destroy their relationship.

She’ll be tested in many ways, to save the man she loves. Will her friends, and an unusual new-found gift, be enough for her to survive her journey?

In an almost magical movement, Julian swept me off the sofa, and his muscular arms hoisted me up. Instantaneously, my legs wrapped around him, my feet locked together to hold me. The entire walk to the counter, his lips and his tongue were like fire on mine. The moment my bottom hit the cold stone, a wicked grin flashed on his face. “Cher, how would you like to christen the counter?” 
“I would love nothing more,” I breathed out, and my breasts heaved.
With his arms still around me, he pulled me to the edge of the counter, then bent down and slipped off my shoes. The softness of his lips started at one of my ankles and continued up my leg. He grazed a finger lightly on the bottom of my foot as his lips whispered back down and moved to the other leg. When finished with that leg, he moved up to my thigh and pushed my skirt up to reveal the crisscrossed skin. Julian’s hair fell down around my legs, and his soft kisses on my scars sent an explosion through my body. My hand brushed through his long, wavy, dark hair. “Oh damn, Julian, that feels great,” I moaned out.

Places to find: Voodoo Vows

Friday, November 21, 2014

The Dreamer of Downing Street & Interview with Roberta L.Smith

Title: The Dreamer of Downing Street
Author: Roberta L. Smith
Series: The Mickey McCoy Series (Prequel)
Genre: Paranormal/Mystery/Romance/Historical
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: Aug 23 2014
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print

In 1944 Denver, twenty-six year-old Franklin Powell is doing what he does best, helping clients with his psychic gift. Then his brother causes the past to come crashing into the present and a memory Frank has kept buried since the age of six surfaces. Now his life is in an uproar. He must prove that what he remembers is true or his mother may spend the rest of her life in prison. But even if he succeeds, it appears there is a powerful someone behind the scenes who could care less if she is innocent. Why? Because of a seething hatred for Frank. To make matters worse, the woman he loves needs his help with a serious problem of her own—a problem that could get him killed. Frank can’t let that stop him. He dives right in and while his psychic gift doesn’t seem to be doing him any favors, it’s a good thing that a couple of newly-acquired ghosts appear to be on his side.

Leadville, Colorado - 1924

I COULD FEEL Mother’s anxiety the moment she took my hand to pull me out of the canvas top touring car. I landed with a squishy sound as my boots hit the sloshy ground and I righted myself. The sight before me was forlorn to say the least: a couple of cabins―shacks really―a privy, shed and the hoist frame of a mine shaft no longer in use, all dusted with snow. It was spring, but just barely. And it was cold.
“You’ll be all right with the boy,” our driver called to my mother from his seat inside the car, arm outside the window, finger pointed. “Just remember what I told you. Call her Mrs. Tabor. She don’t like when people address her as Baby Doe. Show her respect. If she opens the door with a shotgun in her hand, just talk real nice. She guards the Matchless like a rabid dog and don’t trust people much. I ain’t sayin’ I blame her, just that’s how she be.”
Mother nodded and started toward one of the cabins, my hand in hers. I nearly cried out that she was hurting me, her grip was that tight. But I thought better of it. A tongue lashing would most likely result and that would be more painful. I stuck my free hand in the right-hand pocket of my coat and grabbed hold of one of the toy cars I kept there.
My heart beat rapidly. I was anxious, too. Not because of where we were or who we were about to meet. I was concerned for Mother because I’d never seen her in such a state. She paused for a moment and took several deep breaths as she stared at the small, one-room shack ahead of us. It cast a friendless feel out here on the hill amid the other wooden structures that were all part of the derelict mine. Constructed of planks that had weathered many winters, it wasn’t exactly ramshackle, but it was close. Not that I would have thought of that word at the time. I was six.
After a few more steps, my anxiety left me and the happiness I felt at being on a trip with Mother—just me, not my older brother Bobby nor my older sister Jane, just me—took hold. My siblings got most of Mother’s attention at home. With only me in tow, I would be foremost in her mind.
I looked at the front door of the cabin and “knowings” hopped into my head. Back then, that’s what I called the psychic thoughts that came to me. I knew we were about to meet an old woman who had been beautiful at one time. So beautiful that other people had been jealous. I knew that she was hated and that she lived alone.
I will just have a talk with that woman. So what if she’s peculiar, if they say she’s lost her marbles . . .
I glanced up at Mother. “Here, Mama,” I said, offering her a fistful of aggies and cat’s-eyes I kept stashed in my pocket along with the cars.
“What?” Her brows knit together as she looked at the contents of my hand.
“You said she lost her marbles. She can have these.”
Immediately my mother’s face turned to granite. I’d responded to something I thought she’d said aloud. “Why do you like to torment me?” There was a frantic undercurrent to her tone and the lines around her mouth deepened.
My heart seemed to freeze as it always did when I said something wrong and she glared at me with disapproval. La-la-la-laa. La. La . . . I sang in my head to block any more of her self-talk.
Mother took another step and the front door creaked open a few inches.
“Stop!” a sharp, clear voice rang out. “What do you want? Who’s that boy with you?”
Mother stalled. The word “ostracized” came to me. My brain changed the word to “ostrich-size” which made me think the woman we were about to meet was big like an ostrich.
Mother’s voice cracked when she spoke. “This is my son, Franklin.”
The door opened farther and my jaw dropped. We were in the presence of the old woman I had seen last night amid one of the strangest experiences that had ever happened to me.

Where to find: The Dreamer of Downing Street

Saturday, November 15, 2014

Shadows on Snow Excerpt and Interview w/ Starla Huchton

Title: Shadows on Snow
Author: Starla Huchton
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Fantasy /YA
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: Nov 3 2014
Edition/Formats: eBook & Print
Once upon a time, a dark evil crept into my kingdom, stealing my loved ones and the happy life I knew. The world turned against me, and I swore to become stronger, to keep myself safe.
Once upon a time, there was a handsome prince, hair dark as ebony, skin as pure as the freshly driven snow, and I became the only one who stood between him and death.

Once upon a time, our stories intertwined, and now, healing my heart may be the only way to save us all from the evil that threatens to destroy what little we have left.

I slept so soundly, so thoroughly warm, that it took a cacophony of birds to wake me. But as conscious thought returned, immediate panic overtook me.
“Good morning,” his voice rumbled in his chest, vibrating against my cheek.
A surge of fear gripped my heart, and I jerked, attempting to pull away, but his arm wrapped around me, his strength pinning me to his side.
“I believe there are a few more details you’ve neglected to share with me.”
I swallowed, attempting to control my trembling. How the devil I ended up snuggled in beside him left me baffled. Was I so tired that I had no recollection of moving into this position? “Sire?”
“For example, how it is that your hair brushes my face when I can see plainly that it rests against your head, undisturbed. Or perhaps how it is that what my eyes tell me your shape is, my other senses find quite the opposite.”
I squirmed, attempting to pull away again, but he held me fast.
“Who are you, Rae?” he asked, his voice low and edgy.
In a last effort, I relaxed my entire body before pushing myself down and away from him. I was nearly to my feet before he grabbed my arm and jerked me back to the ground, pinning me by the shoulders as he hovered over me.
“I will not be lied to. What trickery is this? Show me who you are or I’ll not release you.”
I pinched my eyes shut, willing past events to stay buried, to not invade this moment, but the more I struggled against them, the more terrified I became. That horrible night, every second of the assault on my body, exploded in my head, overlaying the present with its ghost. I needed a new face to give him, but my mind was jumbled. Images flashed by me faster than I could grab hold of them, and my grip on my magic crumbled. When his breath caught, I knew my glamour was gone.
“You…” he whispered.
The prince’s iron hold loosened a little, and I took the advantage. Displacing his center of balance, I kicked him from me and rolled away, snatching up my bow. I nocked an arrow and aimed it directly at him.
Slowly, he raised his hands, palms facing me in surrender. “I won’t hurt you.”
My chest heaved as I tried to take in enough air to calm myself. “Do not touch me again.”
“I would not think to,” he said, “but I prefer to know the truth about whom I travel with. It’s a matter of trust.”
“I saved your life, Highness,” I said, my words laced with anger. “I hardly see how my face, true or otherwise, factors into your opinion of me.”
“I would’ve better understood your hesitation over our sleeping arrangements, for starters.”
“I don’t ask for special consideration because of my gender.”
“But I would give it all the same.”
I gritted my teeth. “Precisely why I chose another form.”
We stared at each other in silence for a moment, him calm against the force of my glare. As the rush of defending myself ebbed away, my hands trembled, and I lowered my weapon. In a hurry to be away from him, hopefully to rein in my terror from reliving past tortures, I turned.
“Build a fire,” I said over my shoulder as I walked away.
“Where are you going?”
Not giving him an answer, I slipped out of our shelter.
With half a mile between us, I sank to the ground behind a large tree. My shoulders shook with silent sobs. This enduring feeling of helplessness, of revulsion at my own weaknesses and failures, consumed me for a good quarter hour before I could catch my breath. I was exhausted after living with this so long. Was there no respite? Was there no way to keep from reliving that night every time someone came too close? Would it ever fade to match the pale scar that man left on my side with his blade, or would the memory remain, raw and angry as a festering wound?
     Shaky, I got to my feet once more. The road ahead was a long one, and we needed breakfast to keep us moving.

Places to find: Shadows on Snow

Deamhan by Isaiyan Morrison & Interview

Title: Deamhan
Author: Isaiyan Morrison
Series: Deamhan Chronicles (#1)
Genre: Adult/Paranormal/Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Rainstorm Press
Release Date: Aug 12 2013
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Deamhan have survived by remaining hidden in the shadows. Ramanga, Lamia, Metusba, and Lugat have been overshadowed by what humans know as the modern vampire. But what if vampires aren’t the real threat?
One woman’s search for her mother who disappeared without a trace on the streets of Minneapolis takes her into the precarious world of Deamhan, psychic vampires who rule the underground nightlife in the city’s most darkest corners.

She gains the trust of the only other human familiar with the Deamhan lifestyle. With his help she finds not only can the Deamhan not be trusted but it’s her own father, president of a ruthless organization of researchers, who has diabolically maintained that distrust.

Places to find: Deamhan

Veronica nodded, and the waitress disappeared into the crowd. Veronica held her breath to calm her rapid breathing in hopes the adrenaline coursing through her body would dissipate. The pulsating bass emanating from the speakers grew louder and more intense, causing her to rub her temples. The dancer from the bathroom had returned to the stage, now even more scantily clad in a short skirt with white electrical tape X’ed over her nipples, dancing in gymnastic gyrations.
The crowd’s movement grew violent, with patrons pushing and shoving. The throng morphed into a mosh pit, and Veronica wondered how long it would take before someone was crushed. Fog machines released a steady stream of mist from above the crowded dance floor, giving the huge room an ethereal atmosphere. The lights dimmed, and Veronica could hardly make out the waitress as she returned, carrying a shot of whiskey.
            “Here ya go.” She handed Veronica the drink.
Veronica gulped her drink and wiped her mouth with the back of her hand, this time thankful for the sensation of the amber liquid searing her throat. She preferred vodka, but at this moment, any liquid running down her gullet was good enough.
            “You want another one?” she asked. Veronica nodded, and the waitress left. Veronica dropped her face to her hands, trying to readjust. Damn, this is harder than I thought it’d be. Her mind raced: hide your thoughts, don’t show fear, stick to the plan.
She felt a tingling sensation deep in her forehead. In seconds, it had increased to the extent of a migraine. She looked up squinting, the pain becoming more intense with each passing moment, and she knew.
            Someone is reading my thoughts.
The waitress returned with two drinks. She placed them in front of Veronica.
            “Uh, thanks?” Veronica couldn’t recall ordering two whiskeys, but she pulled out a ten.
“It’s already paid for.” The waitress pointed to a man sitting at the opposite end of the bar, his long brown hair slicked back in a ponytail. He wore black jeans and a long black see-through shirt, revealing pierced nipples and a six-pack. Beautiful.
He stared at Veronica with deep brown eyes and smiled, his pale skin resembling a Deamhan at its finest. She felt the pain in her forehead ebb and flow, subsiding a bit each time. Veronica turned to the waitress, but she’d again disappeared.
Muddled, she downed the whiskey and slammed the empty glass on the table in front of her. She shut her eyes and concentrated on emptying her mind. The pain diffused into a mild tingling.
Veronica snapped her eyes open when a male voice told her to not be afraid. She whipped around, but no one was near.
The voice came from within her head.
“It’s okay,” the voice said.
She looked at the man, who still fixed her in his stare, and he slid from his seat and headed her way.
She dropped her head and stared at the counter. She fought the urge to fling her glass at him and run. Leaving Dark Sepulcher wouldn’t answer the questions about her mother’s disappearance. Don’t think of Mom. She quickly visualized the brick wall.
“Your thoughts stick out,” the man said, taking the empty stool next to her.
His penetrating stare caused Veronica’s head to tingle again, but the tingle stopped as quickly as it started. She’d clouded his attempt to rummage through her mind.
Veronica cupped the whiskey glass and stared into its glowing liquid.
“Beautiful women like you shouldn’t drink whiskey.”
            What a line. His respectful approach did nothing to impress Veronica. The Deamhan were naturally devious.
Veronica remained quiet. The stranger smiled and reached for the glass, grasping it from the rim and placing it front of him.
            “I’m trying to start a conversation,” he prompted.
From the corner of her eye, Veronica saw him examine her. His eyes roved her short, formal straight brunette hair, her face, and finally her hands. Even over the din of music, she could hear him inhale her virginal scent. She tried hard to block her thoughts from him, but the tingle told her she was failing.
“You should know it turns me on when you do that,” he said.
            She glanced at him, making eye contact for a second and then quickly looked away. He mumbled something, but his voice was too low for her to hear over the blaring speakers.
Veronica’s thoughts caught his attention again, and he leaned back on the stool, studying her.
Veronica understood now how a woman could fall for a man like that. Most of the men in Dark Sepulcher were attractive, but this man was hot. She stole a covert glance from under her eyelashes. Tall, medium build, long, glossy hair—stop it. Stay off that bandwagon.
            His full lips broke into a smile. “Sorry I intruded on your thoughts. But I gotta admit, I like what I see in there.”
            Veronica felt heat rise in her chest, neck and face. Busted. He offered his hand, another trick she wouldn’t fall for.
            “I’m Remy and you are?”
Remy. The name sounded too familiar. Veronica recalled the name listed somewhere on the documents she’d stolen from The Brotherhood. His name was just one of the many that stuck out to her but at the moment she couldn’t remember why.
She fixed her thoughts on her napkin, staring at the condensation ring left by the wet glass. Still her mind wouldn’t quiet. What Deamhan type is he? Until she knew which, she couldn’t be sure of his level of threat. She couldn’t get too close.
            Despite herself, she stole a quick look in his direction.
He flashed a ready smile.
            Teeth aren’t sharp and pointy. He’s not a Ramanga. She stared again at her drink, wiping the droplets of water from the side of her glass.
“Am I scaring you?” Remy’s voice interrupted Veronica’s thoughts. She shook her head and remained silent.
“Do you talk?”
“Not to strangers.” She immediately regretted her gutsy remark, knowing it would intrigue him further.
“Maybe you should.” He traced the rim of the glass with a slender, pale finger. “You’re new here.”
Veronica wanted to check him out but knew she should avoid his eye. She looked over her shoulder and then at the ceiling. She glanced at the sticky floor and studied the woodwork on the bar.
He’d read her like an open book. She felt a tiny tingle as he tried again to read her thoughts.
“Your thoughts. They come to me kinda like a movie: sometimes clear, other times fuzzy.” He chuckled. “Right now, they’re crystal. Do you really find the bar’s wood grain that intriguing?”
Veronica couldn’t help but grin.
“Do you smell that?” His voice dropped to a loud whisper. “I smell a vampire.” 

Friday, October 31, 2014

His Ph.D. is in Hypocrisy: by Tayo Oredein

Title: His Ph.D. is in Hypocrisy … and other Poems about my Crappy Ex-Boyfriend
Author: Tayo Oredein
Series: Stand Alone (Collection of Poems)
Genre: Poetry, Memoir, Romance, Humor
Publisher: Gynarchy
Release Date: Mar 2014
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
Everyone comes into your life for a reason. And even though they may stay just long enough to break your heart, their ultimate purpose can last a lifetime.
They say everything happens for a reason, but try telling that to a young woman with a newly broken heart.

His PhD is in Hypocrisy…And Other Poems about My Crappy Ex-Boyfriend is a memoir of sorts; a collection of poems chronicling the ups and downs, differences and the dissolution of one of my key relationships. Despite our interracial backgrounds (I'm black, he's white & Palestinian) and inter-religious upbringings (he is Muslim to my Christian), I thought we could and would end up together. But that didn't happen. The assorted poems (some short, some funny, some angry) talk about the love, frustration, and heartbreak, and the whole reflection culminated in an unexpected life lesson that surfaced on 9/11.


A Rite of Passage         March ‘00
How could he share himself with so many?
His number rising exponentially
in college when he cheated on his ex
Using it as a scapegoat to deal with his feelings
and as a means to hurt her,
while pleasing himself for the moment
Perhaps there was more to his promiscuity
Maybe the notches in his belt
made up for an insecurity
by filling as many holes as he could,
somehow he was filling the one in his soul
How else could you engage in the physical act of love
with someone you hate so much
that you cringe when they speak?
That you book it out of there
the very moment after you peaked?
But maybe his intent there
was to hurt and humiliate,
To take something precious from them
and after, why not sleep with her roommate?
Being with him doesn’t mean you’re special
It doesn’t mean he likes or cares for you either
It’s not a privilege, more like a rite of passage
Making me wonder, are things really different with me
or is it just my turn to be his piece of ass

Where to find: His Ph.D is in Hypocrisy

Tayo Oredein is a model, actress and writer. Tayo (pronounced Ty~yo, and which means "Joy" in Yoruba) is from Jamaica Queens, NY though and is of African-American and Nigerian descent (her father is Nigerian). She went to Wellesley College in Wellesley, MA and returned to New York after graduation. She later received a graduate degree from Hunter College, and will soon receive another from Rutgers University
After years of flirting with it, she officially started modeling in 2011 when she was handpicked to be a model for Monica Holder’s “Beauty of the Month” project. Since then she has been featured in online promotional materials, shorts and music videos, greeting card lines, coffee-table books, fashion shows, and other projects.
As for her writing, she has long since had a collection of unpublished work, but recently published her first book, "His PhD is in Hypocrisy and Other Poems about My Crappy Ex-Boyfriend", a collection of poems about love, and love lost. It is available on (where it's also available for Kindle),, and other online retailers.

Where to find: Tayo Oredein

Sunday, October 26, 2014

Paper Souls: excerpt and Interview with Allie Burke

Title: Paper Souls
Author: Allie Burke
Series: Stand Alone
Genre: Dark Literary Fiction
Publisher: Booktrope
Release Date: Sept 9 2014
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
From the author of the bestselling genre-defining Enchanters series, comes a new literary tour de force about Emily, a young woman balancing two worlds between her fingertips: the one that is real to her and the one that is real to everyone else…
The question is: which one will she choose?
Never romanticizing what it means to be a twenty-something schizophrenic in a world broken by normalcy and half-baked fairytales, Allie Burke’s latest novel unites Emily and her world at large spanning from the streets of Russia, to the sheets of her bed, to the idiosyncratic comfort she gets from worlds that don’t exist at all.

Woven with angst and darkness, bursting with heartache, Paper Souls tells of the irreparably damaged and broken, and how they survive.

In that moment that she gazed down at him, taking in his soft features, Emily truly believed she would never see Brendan again. That their years of a practically silent friendship would be for naught, because he loved her, but the universe wouldn’t let her have him. Because the universe didn’t grant beautiful things like Brendan Tanner. Not to girls like Emily. Over time, she forgot that she ever had this thought. And once, in the many years that followed, when she remembered, she wished more than anything that she had kept it in mind. That Emily Colt wasn’t good enough for Brendan Tanner and never would be.
You’re never going to forgive me for this, she said. I’m sorry.
She kissed him. His lips were warm. His mouth on fire.
Emily was on fire.
His hand was on her neck, choking her. She had never been choked in a sexual situation, or in any situation, before. She invited the pain. Any feeling was better than the absence of it, and every day she craved the kind of physical connection laced with the chemistry that currently passed between them. This physical feeling was the best that Emily had ever had.
He rose from the ground and, with his other hand, he squeezed her hip. Emily screamed. He was on top of her; the center console dug into her spine. She unconsciously arched her back, rising to his stiffness. He groaned, tightening his grip and biting her bottom lip hard.
He pulled away and took her by the hands and pulled her out of the car. He wrapped her in his arms. Over his shoulder, the moon was full.
Beautiful night, Emily whispered.
You’re beautiful, he replied.
That was the last and only time Brendan ever told Emily she was beautiful.

Places to find: Paper Souls

When did you first realize you wanted be a writer?
I didn’t, really. I actually wrote my first book, Violet Midnight, based on my disappointment with genres and individuality within them; I hopped from paranormal to YA to general fiction, never finding an Allie-book. So I wrote one I could read. It turned into a series, so I had to finish it, which was two more books, and Paper Souls was written in an effort to express my trapped thoughts regarding a very tough time in my life that I thought was a tragedy, but actually turned out being a very valuable learning lesson about life. So I didn’t start writing because I wanted to be a writer, but, having produced these self-fulfilling projects, people have told me I’m kind of good at the writing thing, so it’s a thing I do now, not necessarily a thing I am.
What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
I work a 9 to 5, so I’m without a writing schedule, but thankfully that works for me. I’ve continued writing to have a creative outlet that will balance out my conservative, corporate job (which I also love), so I basically write whenever I have time/want to/have something to say/am pissed off and take the opportunity to pass ranting off as writing.
What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I don’t know if I have one? I’ve been so shocked reading some others’ quirks when they are getting prepared for writing, like they have to have music or coffee or only one shoe on or something, but I don’t have to have anything to write. Like, it’s not a ritual to me, not to say I don’t respect all styles and processes of writing, because I do. Differences in opinions, I guess. But if I had to pick one: sometimes I speak out loud to myself in my characters’ voices to confirm that my dialogue sounds natural.
Where do you get your information or ideas for your books?
I honestly don’t know. I can tell you where I get them: my car. But I don’t know where these ideas come from; it has been my experience that they manifest in my own head when music is playing, for some reason. All I know is that I’ve had this vivid imagination my entire life. I have always made up these scenarios and people in my head; I just didn’t know what to do with them until I was in my early-twenties and started reading on a regular (my parents never gave me books or introduced me to them). I learned not to share those ideas with people after I shared one of them with my ex-husband once and he looked at me like I was crazy (no, that’s not why we got divorced—that’d be an awesome story, though, maybe I should use that), but yeah, to answer your question, I have no idea—I have no idea where they come from.
What do you like to do when you’re not writing?
I like to research things. Not for books I’m writing, but I’m really into holistic and natural healing, organic foods, energy work, meditation—stuff like that. My friends call me Dr. Google. I’m a homebody, or anti-social, I guess, as well as I pretend to be social when I’m forced into it, so I enjoy reading, drawing, making jewelry, binge-watching paranormal/science-fiction shows, you know, stuff I can do with my cat.
What does your family think of your writing?
They think it’s cool, I guess? My family, as a whole, are not very supportive when it comes to my writing, but there are a few that are really there for me. My dad finally bought them because he went to a signing three years after they were published, my mother has no idea what my books are called, and the rest of the family’s general response is “yeah, hey, she writes books” kind of thing. Anyway, my grandfather did read the books the second they came out, hence the dedication to “My grandfather Bud” in Violet Midnight. My oldest brother reads all the books, and my younger brother shares what he gets wind of on his social media accounts, so, no more or no less than any other writer/author.
What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your books?
That creating lifts a weight that I carry around. I’m not the best verbal communicator in that I struggle to communicate what I mean to say; 9 times out of 10 what I’m trying to say comes out the wrong way and 10 times out of 10 people I know are pissed off at me. It’s different when I write, though. I guess I have more pages in a book to show what I mean than I do in life.
What do you thinks makes a good story?
About: Allie Burke
An American novelist, book critic, and magazine editor from Burbank, California, Allie Burke writes books she can’t find in the bookstore. Having been recognized as writing a “kickass book that defies the genre it’s in”, Allie writes with a prose that has been labeled poetic and ethereal.

Her life is a beautiful disaster, flowered with the harrowing existence of inherited eccentricity, a murderous family history, a faithful literature addiction, and the intricate darkness of true love. These are the enchanting experiences that inspire Allie’s fairytales.

From some coffee shop in Los Angeles, she is working on her next novel.

Where to find: Allie Burke