GtPGKogPYT4p61R1biicqBXsUzo" /> Google+ I Smell Sheep: December 2019

Tuesday, December 31, 2019

Annual Critters Readers' Poll 2019

Annual Critters Readers' Poll voting has begun. If you've enjoyed I Smell Sheep this year then give us a vote for Best Review Site of 2019!

How to enter:
1. click the link and scroll down to the poll
2. You will have to enter your name and email
3. You will be sent an email to confirm. You must click to make your vote count.

There are lots of other categories to vote in too!

Sunday, December 29, 2019

Cover Reveal + Pre-order: The Dragon of Sedona (The Treasure of Paragon Book 4) by Genevieve Jack

The Dragon of Sedona by Genevieve Jack is coming March 24th!
The Dragon of Sedona, Genevieve Jack, paranormal romance, dragon shifters
The Dragon of Sedona (The Treasure of Paragon Book 4) 
by Genevieve Jack
March 24, 2020
The Dragon of Sedona (The Treasure of Paragon), an all-new standalone shifter romance by USA Today Bestselling Author Genevieve Jack is coming March 24th!

Darkness he can't forget.
Exiled dragon prince Alexander never fully recovered from the murder of his mate Maiara. Every day, every waking breath is a painful reminder of what he lost three centuries ago, compounded by the constant presence of her immortal red-tailed hawk that refuses to leave his side.

Light he’s afraid to remember.
When three of his siblings arrive with news he may be in grave danger, he secretly welcomes the possibility of a violent end to his torment. But as the four reminisce about how they came to know Maiara in the New World, they begin to see her life and death in a new light.

Magic that could change everything.
For the first time, the source of Maiara’s indigenous healing power is revealed and it rekindles a new but precarious hope. There may be a way for Alexander to be with her again after all, but his second chance for a happily ever after is risky at best, and at worst, could cost him the only thing he has left.

About the Author:
Genevieve Jack is a former registered nurse turned author of weird, witty, and wicked-hot paranormal romance. She grew up in a suburb of Chicago and attended a high school rumored to be haunted. There she developed a love for old cemeteries and ghost tours. Today, she specializes in original, cross-genre stories with surprising twists. She lives in Illinois with her husband, two children, and a Brittany spaniel named Riptide, who holds down her feet while she writes.

#dragonshifters #genevievejack #comingsoon #coverreveal #thedragonofsedona #preorder #paranormalromance #urbanfantasy

Saturday, December 28, 2019

Q & A with YA Horror Author Howard Odentz + giveaway

Why do I write?
Writing is part of me. It’s in my blood. I’ve been writing ever since I could hold a crayon. Sometimes I write to sort out my emotions. Other times I write because I can’t find anything good on TV.

I knew from an early age that I wanted to write for a living. I took a long, windy road to get there, but I ended up as a director of communications in a large company where I was afforded the opportunity to stretch my creative skills while honing my craft.

Now, I’m deep into writing psychological and supernatural thrillers for older teens and adults.

Where do my ideas come from?
My ideas come from everyday life. I have a slightly wry sense of humor, so I sometimes find inappropriate things amusing. I’m definitely not one who will laugh at a funeral, but you can bet I’ll be writing about the person who does.

In addition, I’m a total wuss—which means I’m basically scared of everything.

I’m scared of the woods. I’m scared of the ocean. Basements freak me out and barns are the absolute creepiest thing I can imagine, especially when they have sharp tools hanging from the rafters.

I find scary ideas everywhere. Oranges are just fruit until you peel back the skin and see something staring back at you. Pencils are just writing implements until one of your characters murders another with one.

AND don’t get me started on kids. Sometimes the younger set can be so cringe-worthy, I even wrote a book about them. Check out ‘Little Killers A to Z’ when you get a chance. It’s filled with twenty-six short stories about kids who kill.

Yeah – nothing scary about them at all.

What motivates me when the going gets tough?


Sometimes Chinese food, but lately, Kung Pow chicken makes me blow up like the blueberry girl in the Willy Wonka stories, but with sodium instead of blueberry juice.

In the end, almost anything can motivate me to write even when I don’t want to put words down on the page. However, when the going gets really rough, self-imposed deadlines do the job.

I often give myself a minimum word count of 1000 words a day then mentally berate myself if I don’t get them written.

There’s something sort of creepy about a voice inside your head that won’t let you rest until you paint a page with words.

What's the most discouraging part of writing? How do I overcome it?
You don’t need me to tell you that the writing industry has changed. When I was a kid growing up in a suburb of Springfield, Massachusetts, one of my neighbors was a rather well known author.

I remember him telling my dad what his advance was for his first book. The number hovered around figures that I couldn’t even comprehend.

Now, many decades later, with the advent of self-publishing, on-line publishing, the disappearance of brick and mortar book stores, and our brains being pulled in a million different directions because of technology, it seems like authors no longer see sustainable incomes from their writing.

That makes me sad. It also makes me more motivated than ever to succeed.

I write for the passion of writing and the positive reviews from people I don’t know who encourage me to keep producing more. I write for the possibility that I can make a difference to someone out there because of my writing.

I write because I have to.

What's one piece of advice I want to give to writers just starting out?
I have a million bits of advice to give new writers, but it all boils down to a few important things: Be true to yourself in your writing. Never write for others—write for yourself.

Never compromise what you think is a good piece of work because others say it’s not saleable.

Never, ever, ever give up. Rome wasn’t built in a day and neither is a portfolio of writing. Be in it for the long haul even if, at the end of the day, your mother is the only person who ever reads your stuff.

When you are old and gray, you want a shelf in your house filled with your writing so you can say, “I did that. I was here and I created all of that.”

You won’t have that if you quit.

Never quit.

Why do I write exclusively about New England?
I like writing about this part of the world. There are so many interesting and mysterious things that go on here that it’s a goldmine of opportunity for someone who writes in my genre. Of course, I change the names of people and places to protect the innocent.


What are my characters generally like?
When I write I am very inclusive. I use straight characters, LBGTQ characters, and those of all races and ethnicities. Our world is very diverse. I feel the people who populate my fiction should be, too. I also mostly use kids and teens as protagonists. They tend to handle horror in interesting and unique ways, whereas adult characters are often more rigid.

Why horror?
I blame my mother. When I was in grade school, she would bring home Stephen King, Dean Koontz, Peter Straub and more from the library. While my friends were reading Dick and Jane, I was reading about Danny Torrance from THE SHINING with his creepy finger, Tony.

What horror stories scare me the most?
I think LORD OF THE FLIES is the freakiest thing I've ever read. It scared me as a child and it still scares me, especially because of what happened to Piggy. Of course, JAWS scarred me for life so I can never put my big toe in the ocean again. Also, I grew up during the time when the real Amityville Horror took place, so when the book and the movie came out they just plain freaked me out. There is something about a little girl who talks to an invisible, demonic pig that gives me the chills.

What about movies?
The original ALIEN with Sigourney Weaver gave me nightmares for weeks, mostly because watching it back when I was a kid was like being on a rollercoaster that wouldn’t stop. The adrenaline in that movie is crazy.

These days, I’ve watched enough horror that I can almost tell what’s going to happen next by the camera angles. Still, I’m an avid WALKING DEAD fan, as well as AMERICAN HORROR STORY. Of course, I love BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER, too. I still like giggles with my scares.

When I write do I ever scare myself?
Absolutely! I only write during the day, and I can’t write in my basement or with my back to a door. You never know what’s going to sneak up behind you.

What is the one thing you wish everyone knew about you?
This question made me laugh. I know I’m considered a horror author, but that’s only my daytime persona. I don’t live in a scary mansion or own a black cat. I don’t pray to the horned-footed god or lick toads when no one is looking.

Sure, I wear black a lot, but that’s only because black is slimming and trendy and I can use all the help I can get.

In short, I’m not creepy.

I’m not creepy.

I’m not.

Okay, my writing fingers are creepy. That’s all.
by Howard Odentz 
October 29, 2019
Genre: YA Horror, Thriller, Suspense
Publisher: Bell Bridge Books
A beer bottle thrown carelessly at the windshield of a passing car sends the vehicle careening off the road, and the lives of high school seniors Denny Ford, his foster sister Jen McKnatt, and her sometimes boyfriend Brody Erwin, spinning out of control.

Over the next several days as the three experience increasingly bizarre, frightening, and seemingly unrelated events, they are forced to examine the ramifications of their actions and how their lives have been irrevocably altered.

What they've done can never be undone.

After all, it only takes one bottle toss to turn their world cockeyed forever.

Praise for Howard Odentz
“A simmering psychological thriller bolstered by a dynamic narrative voice and a few unexpected twists.” —Kirkus Reviews on What We Kill

“This author has a real knack for the weird and the wonderful.” —

About the Author:

Author and playwright Howard Odentz is a lifelong resident of the gray area between Western Massachusetts and North Central Connecticut. His love of the region is evident in his writing as he often incorporates the foothills of the Berkshires and the small towns of the Bay and Nutmeg states into his work.

In addition to The Dead (A Lot) Series, he has written the horror novel Bloody Bloody Apple, the short story collection Little Killers A to Z, and a couple of horror-themed, musical comedies produced for the stage.


Amazon gift card 
Follow the tour HERE for special content and a giveaway!

Friday, December 27, 2019

Visionary Paranormal Erotic Horror Author Gori Suture: Challenge Accepted! + giveaway

I Smell Sheep: If you can dream it up, we will post it! We love all 31 flavors of crazy. 
Gori Suture: Challenge accepted!

Since your webpage has a sheep theme, I’d like to talk about the significance of the anti-Christian sentiment expressed in my work, since Christians are often referred to as the flock and the pastor as the shepherd.

While I was doing the new edits on Asphyxia, I was actually horrified by how blasphemous this book is. However, then I saw the episode “Cult of Torture” from the Netflix series Haunted, and it triggered this flood of memories and emotions, and I recalled what it was truly like growing up in that environment. I was 18 when I started writing Asphyxia and all that misery and repression was fresh in my mind. The book had to be written so I could purge it. It was how I broke free of those chains.

Though I am not gay or transgender, I am bisexual and polyamorous. I relate to LGBT people the most because I was molested at a young age (not by my family) and introduced to sexuality while living in an intensely religious home where all sexual thoughts were considered wrong and demonic, so I identify with these painful emotions of being considered a “sexual deviant.” Thus, many of my characters are LGBT.

Now, I give you my Top Five Ways to Survive Forced Christianity:
5.) Smile and nod. Pretend to be Christian. Maybe they’ll buy it.

4.) Do not wear black all the time. They will know you are a witch.

3.) Hide your Black Sabbath albums on thumb drives inside your teddy bears so your mom won’t destroy them. (true story, but with cassette tapes)
2.) Read the Bible. Learn it better than them so you can throw verses back in their faces.
1.) Remember, it’s easier to get forgiveness than permission.

And finally, here is a silly old toon I did back in 2002 that is relevant to both this theme and this webpage. Yeah, I know ewes are lady sheep. I probably didn’t know that at the time I drew it. I guess they are trans sheep?

by Gori Suture
October 30, 2019
Genre: visionary paranormal erotic horror
Publisher: Inside Henry’s Head
ISBN: Paperback 9780359916146,
ISBN: epub 9780359941834
Number of pages: 420
Word Count: 81,920
Cover Artist: Apothekari, Gori Suture,
& B.H. Young
Nathaniel, teenage occultist, is in love with Jithinia, a nihilistic sexpot. All is well, until they meet Eldridge. A shape-shifting creature from another dimension, he is quite mad. He still feels the ghostly remnants of his amputated wings. He can smell them rotting, feel the squirming maggots eating them. The only thing that eases his suffering is devouring souls. Cursed with this hunger, he knows that he is a monster, which only feeds his lunacy. He is moments away from killing Nathaniel when he discovers something so astounding, he cannot continue. As he falls in love with Nathaniel, he learns that true horror lies not in his monstrosity, but in his growing humanity.

Danielle was abducted and physically mutilated in the name of God for years. Her vile keeper, Preacher, tortures his broken dolls until they pray, to help them find God. One day, Danielle does. She reunites with her lost love Jithinia, whose world is now spinning out of control.

What follows is a magnum opus of magick and the true nature of God as the characters make their way through the sordid underbelly of modern Christian America.

Expand the mind, expand the soul! The Paradox Chronicles are a series of metaphysical allegories which use extreme imagery and scenarios to jolt the psyche as a catalyst for spiritual growth. Mind expansion doesn’t mean to simply elevate one’s thoughts in the highest direction; one must also debase one’s thoughts in the lowest direction. Only then is the mind truly expanding in a balanced and veracious fashion.

This book series attempts to rouse people from their hypnotic waking sleep.

The Paradox Chronicles utilizes shock and horror juxtaposed with higher spiritual thinking to catapult the ego past its blockades, allowing for a deeper understanding of the veiled essence of divinity. Asphyxia illustrates the power of perception and will, of enlightenment sought through debauchery, of awakening through titillation.

Falling somewhere between the genres of visionary fiction and paranormal erotic horror, Asphyxia is a unique blend of depravity and insight.

A dreary dirge, thick like molasses, wept from a single organ as Jithinia gave her grandmother one last kiss goodbye. She took a seat on the pew next to Nathaniel. Despite the bitter cold outside, the funeral chapel felt like July in the Deep South. She pulled a hand fan from the hymnbook rack and cooled herself. On one side, there was a picture of white Jesus, and on the back, there was the twenty-third Psalm. She read, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil:” 

The hymn ended, and the pastor began his hollow bit — ashes to ashes and dust to dust, the bitch is dead; don’t make a fuss.

Jithinia heard the flapping of wings and a woeful coo. She looked up and saw four doves trapped in the heating vent above her. Two of them were dead; their stiff little feet hung down through the shit-caked metal grid. She elbowed Nathaniel. “Look up,” she whispered.

When he saw the birds, he remembered the dove from his dream, flailing its wings and screeching as its chest split open, and a feeling of foreboding washed over him.

The heat came on. The birds squawked and hopped about. The clicking of their feet sounded like Sammy Davis Jr. doing a tap dance. Feathers rained down upon Jithinia and Nathaniel. The hot air spilled over the carrions and filled the room with the rancid stench of decay. 

Jithinia felt caged, too, like she could do so much more with her life, be anything, even fly, if the Fates would only release her from their trap. 

Just then, the vent fell open. The dead birds landed at Jithinia’s feet with a fleshy thud, and she felt dizzy and hollow as she began to hyperventilate. 

The two live birds flew around the chapel in a panic. The acoustics of the room caused the flapping of their wings to amplify and echo. One dove flew to the skylight and began thrashing against the glass. The other flew back and forth from the pulpit to the doors, finally lighting on a rafter above the pastor.

A thick, white glob fell from the bird’s ass, landed on the pastor’s right eye, and then slowly slid down his cheek.

Murmurs filled the room as everyone shuffled in their seats and looked at other things. Jithinia’s mother turned a fan over and over in her hands. Her uncle looked down at his watch. Those with no other distractions scrutinized the hardwood floor. 

The pastor paused his sermon. He cleared his throat, wiped his eye with his sleeve, and began again as if nothing had happened. However, he hadn’t gotten it all. He had snow-white bird shit smeared across his face.  He looked like he’d been making out with a mime.

Jithinia didn’t mean to laugh aloud. What began as a stifled giggle became an unreserved guffaw. Everyone stared at her, but she couldn’t stop laughing. She felt vacuous; her chest ached, and her limbs felt numb. Her skin flushed red as she became enraged. “What’s wrong with you people?” she cried out. “Can’t you see how funny this is? Don’t sit there and pretend like none of this is happening! This is hysterical!”

Loving arms wrapped around her. “It’s okay. It’s okay,” Nathaniel said. “Calm down. Come on.” He led her outside.

She fell into his embrace and wept uncontrollably in his arms. “What the fuck’s wrong with me? I ruined my grandmother’s funeral.”

“No, the chapel ruined your grandmother’s funeral. You just laughed at it. No big deal.”

“I’m so embarrassed!”

“Why? ‘Cause you had the balls to face what everyone else chose to ignore? Fuck them!”

“You don’t understand!”

He pulled back from her and looked at her in disbelief. “I don’t understand? Come on, now.  Who are you talking to?” He lit two cigarettes and handed one to her.

She took a deep drag. “Let’s just go home.”

About the Author:
The Color of Paradox

Hailing from the outskirts of Mayberry, North Carolina, Gori Suture has been writing fiction since she could hold a crayon. In addition to penning Grand Guignol style horror stories and audiobooks, she is also the creator of a hybrid genre of literature that melds metaphysical and visionary fiction with erotic horror for the purpose of spiritual advancement. Presented in a series of seven novels called The Paradox Chronicles (formerly The Smut Sagas), these books are allegorical, chronicling man’s pursuit of understanding God and the god within, juxtaposing eroticism and horror with metaphysical introspection for the sake of jarring the reader into an altered mental state. Additionally, as an occult theorist, Gori Suture is the mother of modern Paradoxism, her interpretation of the mind-bending nature of God as Paradox, expounded upon on her blog The Color of Paradox (and soon to be in print), where she presents radical elucidations on color theory, Kabbalah, the dimensions, and the gods. As an artist, Gori illustrates her own blogs, short stories, and audiobooks, and she co-creates the covers of her novels. For fun, Gori enjoys tabletop role-playing, Arkham Horror board games, and video games.

Tour Giveaway 
2 paperback copies of Asphyxia 
5 epub copies of Asphyxia

Tuesday, December 24, 2019

Excerpt: Stealing The Throne (Chronicles of the Throne book 1) by Quirah Casey + giveaway

Stealing The Throne (Chronicles of the Throne book 1)
by Quirah Casey
December 20th 2019
Genres: Reverse Harem, Urban Fantasy
The people who burned down my old life will regret walking through the ashes.

As far as the citizens of Caelumine are concerned, Princess Amelia Deightyn died with the rest of her family in the burning of the Deightyn Kingdom. Roxanna Delamontee couldn’t agree more. The day her family was betrayed by the people they trusted most, her innocence went up in flames, and her identity as Amelia burned with it. She rose from the ashes as Roxanna, and she’s going to show the people who killed her family how it feels to burn. She’s spent years plotting her revenge, and no one can stop her. Or so she believes until she meets four of her enemies, men who are determined to steal her heart while she’s stealing the throne.

“I’m here to compete, obviously.” My words may have come out sounding strong and confident, even a little snarky, but on the inside I’m panicking. My heart is pounding, my stomach is twisting, and I feel like I’m about to break out in beads of sweat.

Calm your fucking self down.

All the years of preparation and hard work, and yet my nerves still won’t settle, even though I know I went over little every requirement and know I’m allowed to be here. Shit, I thought being a woman would bring a lot of attention in an all men’s event, but I know the rule book like the back of my hand.

I can be here. Not even Prince Elyjah can change that, so there’s no reason to worry. If I start to panic and anyone notices, they’ll pick me out to be a weak person, and I’m anything but that, especially when it comes to fighting. I had the best trainers who could kick anyone’s ass no matter the realm, and they taught me all they know. One of them trained with the Valkyries for goodness sake, which in and of itself lets me know that I can make it here.

My heartbeat starts to slow down and I hope none of the royals pick up on it with their sensitive hearing.

I find myself meeting Prince Elyjah’s eyes with arrogance.

The prince’s lips turn down, but amusement appears in his eyes for a brief moment before disappearing. “This is no place for a pretty girl like yourself.” He turns to look at the royal guards standing by the entrance with their hands on their swords and I tense up. “Escort the lady out, I’m afraid she’s in the wrong place.”

Like hell I am.

“I deserve to be here, and I can be here, there is nothing in the rule books that says otherwise”

The prince lets out what must be the most pretentious snort I’ve ever heard in my life, holding a hand out to instruct the approaching guards to stop walking. “I am sure the rules forbid a woman from competing in The Calling, and plus, you are without a doubt underage. What are you? Sixteen?” His words are clipped and reek of sarcasm.

It lights a fire under my ass.

About the Author:
Quirah is still a new author, but not new to writing. She has been writing since the first grade, and has been winning awards since kindergarten, when she told her teacher about her trip to Chicago. Her teacher wrote down the story for her and she won the young authors contest at 5 years old! Quirah plans on working hard in the next couple of years to publish as many books as possible from her chöąts world.

Blitz-wide giveaway (INT
$10 Amazon gift card

Have a monstrous Christmas!

You better watch out
You better not cry
You better not pout
I'm telling you why
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town.
He's making a list,
Checking it twice;
Gonna find out who's naughty or nice.
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town
Santa Claus is coming to town.
He sees you when you're sleeping
He knows when you're awake
He knows if you've been bad or good
So be good for goodness sake.

This gif gives a whole different meaning to this song...

Have a monstrous Christmas! 

Monday, December 23, 2019

Arts & Crafts with Authors: Cross-stitching with UF author Allison Pang + giveaway

My craft of choice is cross-stitch! I’ve been doing it since my mother taught me (circa 1986) and I’ve been hooked on it ever since. Although basic counted cross stitch is not too hard, it can look difficult as there is no pattern on the cloth (aida/linen/evenweave). You’re basically transferring it via a printed pattern by counting the holes on the cloth to determine where the stitches need to go. 
There are simple patterns that are made up of only a few colors and are small in size and there are enormous patterns with more complicated color blends, special types of threads and additional stitch types (Back stitching, beading, half stitches, and the like.) You can buy patterns or kits or you can make your own. (I have the software to create them, but I simply don’t have the time to spend. I buy most of mine from etsy these days – there are some terrific designers there and you can find patterns for everything you could possibly think of.)
The nice thing about it for me is that working on a project is calming, with the added bonus of having something to show for it at the end. In addition, when I start getting into a solid rhythm I often will brainstorm ideas for a new book or story.

I tend to work on one or two larger projects at a time, but I often take breaks and make smaller ones, either as gifts or simply because I’m stressed. I often make rude projects as well – they’re amusing and can be great conversation starters. 
I’ve gotten to the point now where I have more patterns than I could ever possibly make in a lifetime, but just like readers who can’t stop buying books, I’m always on the lookout for a new pattern and a new project. I just wish I had more time to work on them!

If you’re interested in seeing what I’m working on, I tend to put finished and WIPs on Instagram (along with a whole bunch of other random stuff…)

A Symphony of Starlight (Abby Sinclair Book Four)
by Allison Pang
Genre: Urban Fantasy
ISBN: 978-0-9985343-4-3
Number of pages: 304
Word Count: 97k
Cover Artist: Ravven
Sometimes you have to go to Hell to give the Devil His due…

The road to Hell is paved with good intentions . . . and sometimes unicorn puke.

In the span of a few months, mortal TouchStone Abby Sinclair has been trapped in a painting, had her memories stolen, and been Tithed to Hell, killed, and brought back to life by the OtherFolk. Now she’s pregnant and torn between her incubus lover, Brystion, and her elven king of a husband, Talivar. Otherworldly love triangles notwithstanding, she’s more than content to set the political drama of magic and mayhem aside and quietly settle into motherhood. But nothing is ever that easy . . .

Years ago, Abby’s best friend, Melanie St. James, virtuoso violinist and DoorMaker to the CrossRoads, lost her soul to the Devil in return for an enchanted violin. Now the magic of her violin is fading, and the Devil is calling in her debt to serve Him as His TouchStone. In an effort to escape the terms of this reckless bargain, she flees to the CrossRoads with her lover, Nobu.

But reneging on a deal with the Devil isn’t the wisest of moves, especially when He knows Abby is the only one who can bring Him what He wants. And when tragedy strikes, it’s up to Abby and her friends to find a way to stop the violin from consuming Melanie’s soul before it’s too late, even if the journey takes them straight into Hell itself.

eBook On Sale for $.99 

“Well, I’m running out of ideas. What about the thread?” I asked Kitsune. “You gave me a spool of red thread once to help me find Talivar or my destiny or something like that.”

Ion and Talivar blinked at me. “Destiny, is it?” Talivar said wryly.

“It led me to the tent with your horses,” I explained. “I’m not sure it worked the way it was supposed to, but you did show up afterward, so who knows?”

Kitsune brightened. “Ah yes. The red thread of Fate. A useful spell at times, though I don’t know if it will work for us here. Depends on how entwined you and Melanie are. It might not even lead you through the Gate at all.”

She paced, her fur seeming to shimmer slightly, and then one of her tails somehow plucked a spool from the air and deposited it at my feet. I picked it up, Brystion craning to see it curiously.

“And what is that all about?” His eyes narrowed. “I don’t like the way it feels.”

Kitsune cackled. “Mortals are bound by Fate more so than OtherFolk. It’s often wrapped so tightly around them they don’t even notice it. You were never one for such things, aye?”

He grunted at her and rolled his eyes. For a heartbeat, I could see his natural form, the dark skin, the antlers, the hooves . . . the bells braided in his hair with red thread. My mouth quirked, but I said nothing. Perhaps the incubus was bound more by Fate than he liked.

I rolled the spool in my hands, taking one end of the thread. It shivered between my fingers, almost like touching a live wire, jolts of power zipping beneath my skin.

“Focus,” Kitsune snapped. “What is it you really want? Where do you want to go?”

I shut my eyes. Melanie, I thought. I need to find her. I need to fix this. I need to save her.

The thoughts repeated over and over in my head, and as before, the spool jumped from my hand and rolled across the ground toward the Gate. Talivar skirted out of the way as it hurtled toward him, swearing softly.

The Gate lit up in an instant, the spool shunting through and disappearing in a splash of silver and gold, the red thread trailing like a tail behind it.

The fox limped over to the Gate, sniffing at the corner. The corruption on her side grew more pronounced, but her three tails lashed wildly, coating her fur with a silver light. “Abby! Let’s go! Before it closes!”

She shifted slightly, her paws becoming humanoid, and she snatched at the hand holding the thread and pulled me hard, the pair of us tumbling through the Gate. “Wait!” We swept through the entrance, but my voice was enveloped in some sort of film, a quiet I couldn’t seem to break through.

I reached for the others, but it was as though I was looking through water, a barrier stretched between us that I couldn’t quite reach.

The thread. I clenched my fist. I was still holding the goddamned thread. What happens when the thread keeping the Gate open goes through, Abby? What?

“It fucking closes,” I said. “That’s what.”

I struggled against Kitsune’s clawed grip. “We have to go back . . . The others . . .”

“There is no time.” Her voice was hollow and empty as she staggered beside me. Her tails dragged limply across the ground, the dark magic beginning to move along her fur again. “Must make it . . . Inari.”

And then she was tumbling forward, the track we were on abruptly disintegrating beneath our feet. I snatched at her, and the two of us fell, fell, fell, the red thread wrapping around us.
About the Author:
Allison is the author of the Urban Fantasy Abby Sinclair series, the IronHeart Chronicles and the writer for the webcomic Fox and Willow. She likes LEGOS, elves, LEGO elves…and bacon.
She spends her days in Northern Virginia working as a cube grunt and her nights waiting on her kids, cat, and an obnoxious northern breed dog, punctuated by the occasional husbandly serenade. Sometimes she even manages to write. Mostly she just makes it up as she goes.

Tour Giveaway 

2 print copies, open internationally 
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, December 22, 2019

Dark Humor Author Christopher D. Schmitz: Comicon Weirdness + giveaway

I attend a lot of comic conventions; it's where I sell the bulk of my books and I'm pretty well known up in my area as a Sci-fi and Fantasy author. I usually do the whole shtick with costumes and take as many photos as I do sell books. I'm also known as a funny guy, though i hadn't written any humor novels (though I've done well with my SFF themed comic short stories and some real dark humor ones, too.) I thought it'd be hilarious to write something that feels like Brooklyn 99 solves a murder at Comic-con since I was so familiar with it. I read Bimbos of the Death Sun, a book with similar themes, but it was written in the 1980s and so it feels very dated and the comic convention scene has come into its own since then so it was something of an updated homage.

Weird things happen at comic conventions, usually, they are super fun and innocent, though I'm not saying all the fun is good and clean--but I tend to stay away from the dark alleys at cons (though my wife and I think we may have gotten roofied at a con in North Dakota... maybe that would be a topic for a sequel. Also, Fargo has a way higher than average per capita number of furries. People watching is a blast at conventions.) Probably the weirdest thing, though, happened at an elevator. I typically do a Wolverine costume and I'm kind of known as the Minnesota Wolverine. A much older woman kept staring at my muscles (I actually do the same workout Jackman did to get ripped for the movies) and I jokingly told her, "They're real. you can touch them to make sure." She got real close, kissed my bicep, and then ran away down the hallway like she'd just ding-dong-ditched someone.

50 Shades of Worf 
by Christopher D. Schmitz
Genre: Humor, Satire
November 15, 2019
Publisher: TreeShaker Books
A back-alley brawl between the furries and the bronies.
Deadpool cosplayer keeps stealing all the erotic pegasus artwork.
Someone used a necronomicon to open a tentacle portal in the men’s room.
Two cops must go undercover at a local comicbook convention to stop Wil Wheaton’s murder.
Is this a buddy cop story or a crime-comedy? Neither. 

This is comic con... er, comicomedy?

**Only .99 cents until Dec 6th!!**


“Do you think anyone would want to hurt you or scare you?”

Wil Wheaton looked at the big detective with a serious face. “Michael Dorn.”

Diego furrowed his brow but Farnsworth’s jaw dropped. “Not Michael Dorn!”

“Afraid so. There’s been something of a feud happening at any convention we’ve both been guests at. I mean, two years ago at a dinner party his cat, Gowron, knocked up my Princess McMittens at a Star Trek reunion event and he’s flat out refused pay kitten support. Then, we got involved in this DDR arcade challenge and I spilled a whole bunch of soda on the machine…”

“And it shorted out before he could beat your high score?” interjected Farnsworth.

“No. He totally destroyed me. But then he slipped on the dance pad and hit his head. And then it shorted out and zapped him pretty good… it burned a hole right through the cheeks of his pants.” He tilted his head back and laughed. “It was amazing. But yeah, I’ve been on his bad side ever since.”

Diego’s phone buzzed with a text from Quast.

“Do you think I’m in danger?” Wheaton asked.

“No. We think it was just someone trying to prank you,” Diego said and then indicated to Farnsworth that he needed to make a quick call. He turned and spoke in hushed tones, several paces away.

“So…” Farnsworth tried to stall. “You’re a big Knights of the Illuvian Age fan?”

“Of course.”

“Do they have a screenplay yet? Have you seen it?”

A mischievous glimmer twinkled in Wheaton’s eye. “You’re wondering how they plan to handle the unicorn sex scene?”

Farnsworth blushed and shrugged.

“I haven’t seen the full script yet. But I’ve been told ye old pokey horse is a significant part of the special effects budget.”

Diego was still on the phone and couldn’t help the new detective. “I had your action figure when I was a kid,” he blurted out.

Wheaton raised an eyebrow. “You ever make me do anything weird?”

“Of course…”

“Well now it’s my turn.”


“Turn about’s fair play. Now you have to do what I tell you—it’s only fair. Stand on one leg.”

Farnsworth inexplicably obeyed.

Wheaton took a jar of peanuts from the cupboard. “Are you allergic to peanuts?”

Farnsworth shook his head.

Wheaton grimaced and put them back, instead turning to the mini-fridge. “Okay. Well I think I have some questionable bologna in here I can make you eat.”

Diego hung up and rescued Farnsworth. “We’ve got to go. Thank you, Mister Wheaton, for your time.”

About the Author:
Christopher D. Schmitz is an author of fiction and nonfiction books. Before throwing himself into book writing he had published short fiction in more than twenty outlets. In addition to a day-job working with teenagers, he also writes for a local newspaper, speaks/sells books at comic-cons and other festivals, runs a blog for authors, and makes an insanely tiny amount of money playing the bagpipes.

He grew up as a product of the 1980s and thinks Stranger Things is "basically my biography." He lives in rural Minnesota where he drinks unsafe amounts of coffee with his family and three rambunctious dogs. The caffeine shakes keeps the cold from killing him.

$20 Amazon – 1 winner, Choice of audiobook from author's books – 5 winners 
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