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Monday, February 19, 2018

Excerpt: Touch of Ice (Dawn of Dragons Book 1) by Mary Auclair + giveaway

by Mary Auclair
January 18, 2018
Genre: Paranormal Romance, Science Fiction Romance
Publisher: Eclipse Press
He is as cold as ice. She is the salvation that will melt his heart.

When Endora is faced with her daughter’s terminal illness, she takes the only chance she’s got. She braves the potential risks and signs a mating contract with the Delradon Draekon Lords, intent on using the payment to buy the aliens’ cure to save her daughter’s life.

Lord Aldric Darragon rules over his land with an iron fist until one day the only woman who is genetically compatible with him agrees to his offer of mating. As his all-consuming passion for Endora explodes, an ancient threat looms heavy over humans and Delradons alike. With the lives of everyone he cares about hanging in the balance, Aldric has to fight the demons of his past if he wants to defeat the enemies of the present.

"A spectacularly entertaining read! I highly recommend this read to anyone looking to get away for a few hours of adventure, romance, intrigue, steamy sex and did I mention the dragons."
- Paranormal Romance Lovers

"Really glad I took a risk on this new author. This is a beautiful love story, the relationship dynamics will draw you in immediately, the story line and imagery makes it a page turner. "
- Kindle customer

Book Excerpt
Snow fell with an unrelenting fury, blanketing the early evening with the smell of things cold and pure. Aldric watched as the air filled with the large snowflakes, lost in his thoughts.

Under his palm, Rhyl’s scales shivered with withheld excitement. The beast wanted to take to the skies at least as much as Aldric did. Soaring in the middle of a snowstorm was the only luxury Aldric awarded himself, the only time he allowed his own personal pleasure to come before his responsibilities as High Lord of Katanie. As long as the flight lasted, there was only the sky, him, Rhyl, and the connection between man and dragon that ran deeper than a cellular level.

Only he always had to come back.

The sound of a door opening made him turn and he stifled a growl of annoyance at the sight of Dalgo. His old friend’s face was set in familiar grim lines, and he walked briskly toward Rhyl and himself. Aldric was tempted to ignore his friend’s presence and fly away on his dragon, but as his gaze locked with Dalgo’s silver eyes, eyes he shared with every Draekon, something in them made him stay. It looked like it could be important enough to postpone his flight.

“Don’t tell me we had another disturbance on the northern border? I thought those thieves had been properly scared away.”

“What I have to tell you has nothing to do with some low-life human thieves.” Dalgo stopped walking and stared straight at Aldric. He never bothered with the proper greetings when they were alone. “But before I tell you, you have to promise to listen to everything I have to say before you make your decision.”

“What is it, then?” Aldric turned to face the large opening in the mountainside that was the dragon’s landing and departing strip. The open sky called to him, and his mood worsened at the knowledge he wouldn’t get to enjoy the freedom of the flight. When Dalgo didn’t answer, he turned back to stare at his friend. Dalgo’s eyes were determined but his mouth was closed. He seemed to be at a loss for words, something that never happened to Aldric’s usually loquacious captain of the guards.

Dalgo took a deep breath, then squared his shoulders.

“She came forward this afternoon at the Human Liaison Office in Helbon.”

“Who?” Aldric frowned, not bothering to hide his irritation. What woman could be worth wasting a perfect snowstorm like this?

“Her. Your match.”

Comprehension dawned and Aldric suddenly wished there were chairs to sit on near the landing strips. A flash of a young woman, laughing and flipping long, dark hair came to his mind. He was surprised at how vivid his memory was, how well he remembered her face. Those large, dark velvet brown eyes, those full lips stretched in an easy smile, that luscious body with a woman’s full curves. He remembered everything about her.

“Endora.” Aldric tasted her name on his lips. He hadn’t allowed himself to speak that name in a decade. “She accepted the offer?”

About the Author:
Mary grew up in the quiet peace of a small rural village in the heart of Quebec, Canada.

She spent her childhood chasing butterflies and catching frogs, playing in the mud and generally being as unladylike as she could. Her love of science led her to complete a mechanical engineering degree at the Ecole Polytechnique of Montreal, where she met the love of her life.

Years later, as she enjoyed the role of full time mom to her two wonderful children, she decided to pursue her dream of becoming a writer.

She now write as much as her busy schedule allows to bring to life her inner world, filled with exotic planets, mysterious creatures and off course, hot, alpha heroes and the women who melt their hearts.

When she's not writing, she can be found in the garden, walking her dogs or playing with fire in her kitchen as a part time hit-or-miss chef.

She loves to hear from her readers, so don't be shy and drop her a line!

Prizes up for grabs:
$15 Amazon Gift Card + Touch of Ice (eBook)
Contest runs from February 16 - 22, 2018.

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W.I.P. it real good: William Blackwell shares his next project + giveaway

Deadly Parasomnias, William Blackwell’s work in progress

For over a month, I’ve been researching and writing blog posts on lucid dreaming and sleep disorders. I’ve covered nightmares, night terrors, sleep paralysis, sleep talking, sleep walking, even sexsomnia, a condition in which a person actually has sex in their sleep and wakes up with absolutely no recollection of it.

I‘ve uncovered some fascinating, factual and terrifying stuff.

Take, for example, the case of a Vancouver man who, after passing out at a party, was charged with sexual assault. He was later acquitted after the defense proved that he was a sexsomniac and therefore not responsible for his actions.

Then there’s the infamous case of the Toronto man Kenneth Parks who was charged with murder after police discovered his mother-in-law bludgeoned and stabbed to death in her home. There was no question Parks had committed the murder. But was he cognizant and therefore responsible for his actions? The defense was able to prove beyond reasonable doubt that Parks was sleep walking at the time. The result. Acquittal. Not guilty, by reason of sleep walking.

These true stories are shocking in their own right.

But perhaps what intrigued me the most was sleep paralysis, a condition that occurs during that transitional stage between waking and falling asleep whereby a person becomes completely immobilized. During these episodes, people may hear, feel, or see things that are absolutely terrifying and panic-inducing. They might be awake and aware of their surroundings, but otherwise completely frozen, leaving many to wonder if they’re actually dying, or even traveling out of their bodies.

Some have reported soaring through visually stunning colors and passing through a time warp and into another dimension. Many see the infamous Hat Man, a darkly cloaked shadow man with a wide-brimmed hat. Widely documented, some believe he is a powerful evil force who actually exists in another dimension.

Enter Noah Jansen, the troubled lead protagonist in Deadly Parasomnias, the working title for my new work in progress. Noah is plagued by a terrifying sleep paralysis that often invokes horrific images of the feared Hat Man. To his horror, he learns he also suffers from night terrors, sleep walking, sleep talking and even the dangerous and little-known condition called sexsomnia.

One morning he wakes up in his pickup truck in the middle of a grassy meadow with no idea of how he got there and no memory of the night before. It isn’t long before he learns two sexual assault charges have been filed against him and one of his enemies has been found brutally murdered. As the noose tightens around him, his life begins to unravel. He’s thrust into a battle to prove his innocence, preserve his precarious relationship with girlfriend, and confront the shadow man he believes is responsible for all the carnage—the elusive, mysterious and potentially evil Hat Man.

While everyone around him becomes convinced he’s losing his mind, Noah believes the Hat Man is not only real, but actually exists in a dangerous and deadly other dimension—one the Hat Man affectionately calls “the dead zone.”

Deadly Parasomnias will be released sometime this summer or early fall. And I’m really thrilled with its possibilities. 

Here’s a tantalizing teaser for your reading pleasure:
The muffled scream echoing eerily from the hallway leading to Noah’s bedroom wasn’t enough to stir Barbara Jansen from her couch-potato, channel-surfing position. With one hand, she reached into the glass bowl cradled on her lap and shoveled a mouthful of potato chips into her mouth, unaware of a few chips that spilled down her gray sweatshirt, one lodging in the crotch of her sweat pants, a few others spilling onto the couch. She grabbed the remote, adjusted her bulk, and turned up the volume. The crotch-trapped chip crunched into powder. Oblivious, she flicked the channel quickly six or seven times and finally stopped at Bride of the Monster, a 1955 B-grade cult horror film. She leaned back and grinned, exposing crooked, decaying and nicotine-stained teeth.

“Mooommmmy… heeeeeelp me!”

I expect Deadly Parasomnias to be a fact-based, “fun-filled” thriller. While you wait with baited breath, feel free to subscribe to news updates and receive a FREE copy of horror novel Resurrection Point, a gritty and macabre tale of resurrection and death.

Here’s the link:

Thanks for stopping by. I’ll see you in the tenth dimension. Don’t worry. It’ll be a riot.

Freaky Franky
by William Blackwell
December 3, 2017
Genre: Horror
Publisher: Telemachus Press
ISBN: ISBN-10: 1945330945
ISBN-13: 978-1945330940
ASIN: B077X41V9J
Number of pages: 326
Word Count: 66323
Cover Artist: Johnny Breeze
Santa Muerte followers discover the horrifying consequences of worshipping with evil intentions.

When an enigmatic town doctor saves the life of Anisa Worthington’s dying son, she abandons Christianity in favor of devotion to the cult of Santa Muerte or Saint Death. Some believe the mysterious skeleton saint will protect your loved ones; help in matters of the heart; provide abundant happiness, health, wealth and justice. But others, including the Catholic Church, call it blasphemous, evil and satanic.

Anisa introduces Saint Death to troubled Catholic friend Helen Randon and strange things begin happening. One of Helen’s enemies is brutally murdered and residents of Montague, a peaceful little town in Prince Edward Island, begin plotting to rid the Bible belt of apostates.

Anisa suspects Helen is perverting the good tenets of Santa Muerte but, before she can act, a terrible nightmare propels her to the Dominican Republic in search of Freaky Franky, her long-lost and unstable brother, who mysteriously disappeared without a trace twenty years ago.

To her horror, Anisa learns Freaky Franky is also worshiping Santa Muerte with evil intentions. As a fanatical and hell-bent lynch mob tightens the noose, mysterious murders begin occurring all around Anisa. Unsure about who’s an enemy and who’s an ally, she’s thrust into a violent battle to save her life as well as the lives of her unpredictable friends and brother.

I’m sick of being poor. Estella Mendoza peered out the misshapen window of her ramshackle home on the outskirts of the small city of Nacozari in Sonora, Mexico. All she saw was a barren and scorched landscape, the sun setting in the distant, bleak horizon. Her stomach was knotted by more than just hunger pangs. A sense of frustration and hopelessness was giving birth to desperation. A fly buzzed around her head and landed on her cheek, which was leathered, lined, and pock-marked by the cruelty of Mother Nature. Time had not been kind to her.

She smacked her face hard, squashing the pesky fly and smearing its blood and guts across her face and hand.

“Got you, you son of a bitch,” she said in Spanish, wiping her palm on the knee of her dirt-stained, torn jeans. She ignored the fly remains on her cheek, moving away from the screenless and paneless window and rummaging through dusty cupboards for a morsel of food. Nothing. A grease-stained, dented fridge door hung open, a small bowl of rice the only thing resembling nourishment on the otherwise empty shelves. Flies circled the rice, at times dive-bombing in for a small stale snack. Bending down, she reached inside, waved the flies away, and picked up the small bowl. Looking around the cluttered kitchen counter, she found a dirty spoon, wiped it on her tattered white t-shirt and, sidestepping debris littering the dirt floor, walked over to a green plastic lawn chair, weathered by the elements and cracking in various spots.

As she sat down, a brittle leg snapped, catapulting her headfirst into a wooden wall. The rice bowl flew out of her hands, shattering against the wall and showering her head with rice and shards of glazed earthenware. She hit the ground ass-first and groaned. “You son of a bitch.” Dazed, she rubbed a small goose egg beginning to sprout on her forehead. Realizing she still clutched the spoon, she flushed and flung it against the door. With a metallic clang, it bounced off the door and skipped along the floor, stopping a few inches from her outstretched feet. Her face tightened and she reached for it, with the intention of throwing it clear out the window.

A knock on the door stopped the arc of her arm. “Who is it?”

From the other side, she heard a female voice say in Spanish, “It’s me. Are you busy?”

Estella recognized the voice. Alejandra Rivera, her friend for over twenty years. Alejandra lived a few blocks away and in Estella’s view, she had everything. A middle-class home, a wonderful working husband, and a ten-year-old devoted and well-behaved son. Where Estella had famine, poverty, and despair, Alexandra had an abundant food supply, an income stream, love, and hope. Poison tentacles of jealousy and resentment coursed through Estella’s dazed mind. “What do you want?”

“I brought you refried beans. And rice.”

Estella got to her feet. “Come in.”

The door opened and Alexandra entered. “What happened?” she asked, concern furrowing her brow as she examined Estella and the accident scene.

Estella pointed to the shattered remains of the plastic chair leg. “It broke and sent me flying.”

“I’m sorry,” Alexandra said, putting the white bowl of beans and rice on a cluttered kitchen table and rushing to her friend’s aid. She escorted Estella to a nearby wooden chair, which looked slightly less dangerous than the offending plastic one, and sat her down. The chair creaked and groaned, but held.

Alexandra produced a plastic spoon from a blue apron attached to her white dress and handed it to Estella. “Eat. It’ll do you good.”

Estella peeled the plastic wrap from the spoon, tossed it on the floor apathetically, and stabbed the spoon into the food. A wave of dizziness swept over her and she waited a moment for her head to clear before digging in. She quickly shoveled three spoonfuls into her mouth and swallowed them, hardly chewing.

Alexandra looked at the bump on Estella’s head and searched her friend’s eyes concernedly. “Are you okay?”

Between mouthfuls, Estella said, “Yeah, just a little bump.”

“Well, be careful.”

As Estella ate, Alexandra approached the kitchen counter and began cleaning up, throwing food wrappings into a nearby wastebasket and neatly piling dirty dishes next to the sink. It wasn’t the first time she’d helped her starving friend by bringing her food and cleaning her humble abode.

“You don’t have to do that.”

Alexandra spun around and looked at Estella cheerily. “It’s not a problem. And look at you, you’re in no shape to do it right now.” She resumed cleaning, turning her back to Estella.

A blind rage—a dark and hateful energy—seethed through Estella’s veins. My chance. Now’s my chance. Before she even realized what she was doing, she leapt from the chair with a vitality and vigor she never knew she possessed, grabbed a hatchet, and rushed toward Alexandra. As Estella swung the hatchet, Alexandra turned around. Her jaw dropped in shock and horror as she looked at Estella with fear-filled brown eyes.

The hatchet sliced into Alexandra’s throat, blood spraying Estella’s face and body. Two more swings and she’d chopped Alexandra’s head clean off. The decapitated head dropped to the floor, rolled into the front door, and stopped. Almost as if she were pursuing her head, Alexandra’s headless body convulsed and, spewing blood like a lawn sprinkler, staggered to the door. She crashed into it and slumped to the ground, outstretched hands frantically reaching for her head for a second or two before growing still.

Estella put the hatchet on the kitchen counter and wiped her bloody face with a soiled dishrag. She sat down at the kitchen table and continued eating. She glanced at the lifeless head and body of her one-time friend. “By the way, thanks for the food.”

Two hours later, when night had blanketed the day, Estella clutched Alexandra’s head in both hands. She danced around a small skeleton statue, sprinkling blood on and around the shrine. Satisfied with her efforts, she put the head next to the statue, lit a candle, and placed it next to the skeleton. She knelt down and began praying for abundance. In the suffused candlelight, the skeleton saint’s hollow eye sockets glittered and glowed. Its grin seemed to mock her efforts and she realized there was more work to be done.

In the month that followed, Estella beheaded two ten-year-old boys, one of them her grandson, and sacrificed their blood to the skeleton saint. At the end of that month, she was convinced she had finally won the favor of her Goddess. On that day the police raided her home and discovered the bodies of all three victims buried beneath her dirt floor. She was sentenced to life imprisonment, showed no remorse for the killings, and authorities labelled her a serial killer. 

About the Author:
William Blackwell studied journalism at Calgary’s Mount Royal University and English literature at Vancouver’s University of British Columbia. He worked as a print journalist for many years before becoming an author. He has written over seventeen novels, mainly in the horror genre. Currently living on an acreage in Prince Edward Island, Blackwell loves to travel and write dark fiction.

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Sunday, February 18, 2018

Pre Order: Billionaire Bad Boys: A Collection of Contemporary & Paranormal Bad Boys

Billionaire Bad Boys: A Collection of Contemporary & Paranormal Bad Boys
Wealthy, rule-breaking alpha males…
paranormal, romance, contemporary, cover, anthology, kindle
Releases: March 13, 2018

From NY Times and USA Today bestselling authors
Calinda B, S.E. Babin, and LaVerne Thompson

Featuring Amazon Bestselling authors
Sharon Coady, Jude Ouvrard, Phoenix Daniels, and Reana Malori

After Glows Publishing

This sizzling collection of SIX stories of billionaire bad boys from USA Today and Amazon Bestselling and Award-Winning Authors will heat up those long winter nights. These intense contemporary, new adult, paranormal and romantic suspense tales are a must read.

These hot alpha men make their own rules in and out of the bedroom. So ready or not here they come.
Don’t miss out on this LIMITED TIME boxed set. Only 99 cents.
Amazon | Nook | iBooks | Kobo | Google Books

Saturday, February 17, 2018

Book Review: Romanov by Samaire Provost

by Samaire Provost
January 24th 2018
388 pages

Genres: New Adult, Urban Fantasy
In an abandoned warehouse in Manhattan, two enemies battle to the death, while outside, a malevolent entity watches and waits and plots, eager for blood. On an island in the heart of Seattle, an immortal princess struggles to lead a normal life just as a flood of terrifying creatures starts to pour in through a portal that should not be there. A young man meets a classmate while walking home from the college library, and embarks on the most dangerous adventure he’s ever known – will he survive? A deranged madman hunts the girl he’s lusted after for a century, in a relentless pursuit for vengeance. A prehistoric, mythical beast jealously guards a primeval land, which is leaking into present-day Seattle. A sweet, forbidden passion blossoms between two lovers who steal moments whenever they can, while unbeknownst to them, they’re hunted by a deadly creature.

A royal family threatened at its weakest – yet lethal in its own right – is stalked by an ancient evil that will not rest until they are utterly destroyed: a nightmare incarnate that has waited millions of years for revenge threatens the very existence of the young lovers and their family.

Will they prevail?

I was truly excited to read this book; the premise entirely intriguing. The Romanovs, Russia’s last dynastic rulers, reside in current day Seattle having lived the past hundred years as immensely powerful vampires. History’s Romanov family is steeped in legend having assumed mythological status. Throw in the mystic Rasputin, a larger than life entity that reportedly refused to die, and you have an excellent foundation for an urban fantasy meets historical fiction tale. I eagerly brushed up on my Romanov history in anticipation of what was sure to be a riveting read.

Romanov’s strength lay in its basic premise and creativity. The historic tale fits almost perfectly as vampiric reinvention. The book borrows from several genres, increasing its marketability. Provost’s writing is best when evoking elements of horror. Suspense and eerily staged scares run throughout the book and in these moments the story is quite captivating.

Ultimately, however, the book wasn’t for me. There are many plot inconsistencies I simply couldn’t reconcile. There are threads throughout the book that are abandoned or developed to no end. For me, a simplistic storyline well told trumps an overambitious plot that misses the mark. The dialogue is a strange combination of antiquated and colloquial; even with Eric, a completely modern college student. At times during my reading, I thought maybe the tale would make a great series; that the story might find its footing as a series. By story’s end, however, the reader is assured Romanov is standalone in a conclusion that left me disappointed and more than a little confused. I’ll assume some responsibility for my own disappointment. Perhaps this history/fantasy buff had set her expectations a bit too high.

2 ½ Sheep

Bianca Greenwood

About the Author:

Samaire Provost lives in California with her husband and son.
Her love of paranormal stories, odd plots, and unique tales as well as the works of Neil Gaiman, Terry Pratchett, Susan Cooper, Madeleine L’Engle and Stephen King has deeply influenced her writing.



Friday, February 16, 2018

Sheep Movie Review: Black Panther (2018)

Black Panther (2018)
February 16, 2018
Director: Ryan Coogler
Writers: Ryan Coogler, Joe Robert Cole
Stars: Chadwick Boseman, Michael B. Jordan, Lupita Nyong'o
Rating: PG-13
Runtime: 2h 14min
Genre: Action, Adventure, Sci-Fi
16 February 2018 (USA)
T'Challa, after the death of his father, the King of Wakanda, returns home to the isolated, technologically advanced African nation to succeed to the throne and take his rightful place as king.

Where to even start! Great plot, fantastic characters, and the actors that play them, action-packed, tackles serious social issues without preaching, well-placed levity. A must see for any Marvel fan or action-movie lover.

Love Chadwick Boseman as T'Challa/Black Panther. He can pull off bad a$$ in one scene and charm with that brilliant smile in the next. Don't get me started on his voice/accent. It is meant to be whispered in your ear. :swoon:

But the best thing about T'Challa was the women he was surrounded with. My favorite characters in the movie were his sister, Shuri (Letitia Wright), T'Challa's general, Okoye (Danai Gurira), and the love of his life, Nakia (Lupita Nyong'o). Strong women characters you want your young daughter to see.

I also want to mention the villain, Erik Killmonger (Michael B. Jordan) What a great character. A classical arch-nemesis. He was a psycho monster, no doubt, but a sympathetic one. Created by the very ideals T'Challa tries to defend.

Like all Marvel movies, there is well-timed humor to keep things from getting too dark.

This one is best seen on the big screen.

My 16-year-old daughter and I give it 5 "Vegetarian" Sheep