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Friday, January 31, 2020

Double Book Review: Dead Ringer (Gaslamp Gothic Book 5) by Kat Ross

Dead Ringer (Gaslamp Gothic Book 5)
by Kat Ross
December 13, 2019
256 pages
A poisonous secret.

A terrifying curse.

And a client she’d just as soon see dead in a ditch….

Summer 1889. Harrison Fearing Pell hoped for adventure when she signed on with the Society for Psychical Research as an occult investigator. Slogging through New York’s sewers in pursuit of a “mud man” wasn’t exactly what she had in mind. But the reeking monster terrorizing the dance halls of the Tenderloin leads her to an even more peculiar mystery — and the last man on earth Harry wishes to become entangled with.

James Moran is a prodigy in music, mathematics . . . and crime. Harry’s older sister, the famed detective Myrtle Fearing Pell, has vowed to put him behind bars. But Harry owes Moran a personal debt, so when he demands her aid she can hardly refuse. It turns out that the brilliant black sheep of New York Society is part of a secret club at Columbia College whose members have started dying in bizarre ways that may not be accidents.

Thus begins one of the strangest cases of Harry’s career, a tale of murder, cold-blooded revenge and fairytale bogeymen to make the Brothers Grimm shudder. As the bodies pile up, each preceded by sightings of the victim’s doppelgänger, Harry and her stalwart friend John Weston must race against time to save a man who arguably deserves his macabre fate.

Bianca Greenwood
5 Sheep
Kat Ross’s Gaslamp Gothic is an outstanding series not to be missed. If you haven’t read previous installments, by all means, drop everything and commence reading. Dead Ringer is the outstanding fifth installment, but to start here would be doing yourself a grave disservice.

The series follows a cast of inquisitive female main characters looking to reconcile reality and the supernatural. Harrison “Harry” Fearing Pell resumes the spotlight in Dead Ringer along with her faithful friend and sleuthing partner John Weston. Harry and John have been asked to locate and dispatch a mysterious “mud man” lurking in sewers of New York City terrorizing citizens and tourists alike. The pair soon discover their fabled foe is part of a larger, more sinister, web. 

In book five, readers finally get a deeper dive into the enigmatic James Moran. Moran has been an unsettling, albeit intriguing, feature in previous books. And while I’m not sure I know him better having read Dead Ringer, I’m definitely more invested in his character and the sphere of Harrison Fearing Pell. I’m also certain of one thing: I want more Moran. 

I’ve said it before, particularly in my 2019 “best discoveries” post; Ross is a formidable storyteller. I’ve savoured every word of every book in this series. Gaslamp Gothic is witty, smart, and a little sexy. Dead Ringer is an excellent addition to this collection.
Jeanie G
Getting 4 “mirrored” sheep
I am not sure how I have totally missed this author’s works. New for me but now added as a go-to for further publishings if this writing is any indication of her other books.

Starting with the 5th installment of her Gaslight Gothic series might have put me at a slight disadvantage in the beginning but it didn’t take me long to enjoy the main characters’ (Harry and John) relationship and the “villain” Mr. Moran. I didn’t feel overwhelmed with the setting of early 1900s in the brogue or “stereotypes”. Most of the time I forgot the time period all together.

The mixture of mystery, paranormal, danger, and underlying attraction fit well in this tale. I did have to backtrack a couple times to make sure I had the storyline correct but I didn’t have a problem with making sure I read thru to the last page! I thought the doppelgänger an interesting mystery plot.

I know I will be going back to pick up the first 4 books to find out a little more background on Harry.

About the Author:

Kat Ross worked as a journalist at the United Nations for ten years before happily falling back into what she likes best: making stuff up. She’s the author of the Fourth Element and Fourth Talisman fantasy series, the Gaslamp Gothic paranormal mysteries, and the dystopian thriller Some Fine Day. She loves myths, monsters and doomsday scenarios. Check out Kat’s Pinterest page for the people, places and things that inspire her books.

Tour-wide giveaway (INTL)
$20 Amazon gift card
5x ebook copies of A Bad Breed

Thursday, January 30, 2020

Cover Grabby-hands Syndrome: These Marvelous Beasts: The Complete Frost & Filigree Series by Natania Barron

Sometimes you run into a cover or series of covers that make you stop, bow down to the awesome, and maybe drool and develop grabby-hands.

Today, I give you
 These Marvelous Beasts: The Complete Frost & Filigree Series by Natania Barron

Lots of things about this cover appeal to me...I love the overall aesthetic, the color pallet, the soft use of the macabre images set off by the stark black background, even the font tickles my fancy.

They have earned my Grabby-hands stamp of approval
Image result for grabby hands gif

These Marvelous Beasts: The Complete Frost & Filigree Series
by Natania Barron
January 30, 2020
440 pages
Publisher: Falstaff Books
After centuries of adventures, arguments, and unrequited love, Nerissa Waldemar, a lamia, finds herself retiring to Tarrytown, New York with the very object of her affection, the deadly and beautiful sylph, Vivienne du Lac. She's hoping for some time alone to share her dark hearts' innermost thoughts; but of course, even lamia's plans often fall astray. Before Nerissa is able to tell Vivienne just how much she loves her--no small feat for a cold-blooded snake--they are both tapped to help solve the mystery hounding the Circle of Iapetus, a strange society of mortals concerned with the doings of supernatural beings.

To make matters worse, Worth Goodwin, Vivienne's old paramour, reappears to the sylph's absolute shock and dismay (to be fair, Nerissa and he did fake his death about a hundred years ago). And on his arm is the young, sweet, radiant, and altogether too-smart-for-her-own-good Christabel Crane, which of course sends Vivienne into a jealous downward spiral. Nerissa finds her own baser nature rising up to meet her, threatening to undo years of work in order to live among humans peacefully, but not before a horrific monster, preying on other supernatural beings, rises to destroy them. The team must work together to save both Tarrytown--and themselves--before it's too late.

But when Vivienne is captured, well... all bets are off.

What ensues are a series adventures around the globe, from the sandy streets of Cairo to the foggy alleyways of London, as Waldemar, Goodwin, and Crane seek to find Vivienne and uncover the strange machinations leading up to her abduction... not to mention a series of bizarre murders, sightings, and disappearances. With a kitsune named Kit, a dwarf named Alma, a dandy Vampire named Micheaux, and a whole ramshackle group of supporting gods, monsters, and allies, they just might have a chance.

About the Author:

Natania Barron believes in monsters and hopes you do, too. She’s the author of dozens of short stories, a fistful of novellas, and a few novels. All of these works contain monsters of one variety of another, but not all of them wear monstrous skins.

When not traveling through imagined worlds, she lives in North Carolina with her family, where she traipses through the forest on a regular basis, bakes incessantly, drinks an inordinate amount of tea, and dreams of someday owning a haunted house of her own.

Her work has appeared in Weird Tales, EscapePod, Steampunk Tales, Crossed Genres, Bull Spec, and various anthologies. Her longer works run the gamut from Edwardian urban fantasy to tales of the rock and roll world. She is also the founder of The Outer Alliance, a group dedicated to queer advocacy in speculative fiction. She’s also an outspoken advocate for mental health rights, particularly pertaining to her son Liam, who has autism.

Natania holds a BA in English/Writing from Loyola University Maryland and an MA in English with a concentration in medieval literature from the University of North Carolina at Greensboro. During the day she works as a Global Marketing Director in clinical research. This amazing job allows her to do her other favorite thing: travel!

As a mental health activist, especially regarding adolescent care, Natania has drawn nationwide attention for her writing, including mainstream news and television appearances. Inspired by her son Liam’s struggle through the school system as a child with high functioning autism and a variety of other challenges, she is an outspoken advocate. You can read more about her story at Medium.

Excerpt: To Seduce a Fae (Winter’s Thorn #1) by Mila Young + giveaway

Review coming soon

To Seduce a Fae (Winter’s Thorn #1)
by Mila Young
January 28th 2020
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal, Romance
Luther is the most beautiful of my captors. Still I hate him more than the others. I hate him so much that the darkness inside me comes alive.

When I started university and moved out of my foster parents’ home, I hoped everything would change. That the nightmares, the visions, the voices would stop, but they got worse.

Then three of the most dangerously stunning fae crashed into my life.

Intoxicating eyes.

Devilish lips.

Dangerous intentions.

They insist I belong with them in the Wandering Realm. A place where love is lost, where war is brewing between two realms, and where the once powerful royals are being hunted down and slaughtered.

I’m their savior they say, but there are no saviors amid monsters. These princes who are tasked to keep me safe are keeping secrets of their own. Secrets that will kill me.

So, how am I meant to rid the realm of evil when I feel the dark spreading through my veins?

I shake so hard, my hands curling into balls. “They could have killed you.”

“I told you to stay in the room,” he reprimands me.

“Right. And if I had obeyed your stupid command, you’d be dead. Then what?”

“You coming out here could have gotten you killed,” he roars, his cheeks flushing with anger. Fingers squeeze my arms tight as he holds me so close, so damn hard. “I want to spank your ass for pulling that shit out there.”

We stare each other down, and that burning fire in my chest explodes. All I see are those full lips, the look in his eyes drowning in need. “Let me go!” I yell.

Instead, he angles closer, and my body responds instantly. Our mouths clash and our kiss is primal and chaotic. Teeth and lips and hands everywhere. I rake through his hair, fisting it, wrenching him closer. I bite down on his lip, and sweet, metallic blood lingers on my tongue. My hands seize his collar, and I’m hauling him against me. I’ve been dreaming of kissing him since seeing him in the bar, and now this is actually happening.

I may hate him so much, but I want him even more.

Strong hands grasp my hips and he has me in his arms and off my feet so fast, it takes me off guard. I clasp my legs around his hips and he pins me to the side of the car, kissing me with the hunger of a wolf.

About the Author:

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Bestselling Author, Mila Young tackles everything with the zeal and bravado of the fairytale heroes she grew up reading about. She slays monsters, real and imaginary, like there's no tomorrow. By day she rocks a keyboard as a marketing extraordinaire. At night she battles with her might pen-sword, creating fairytale retellings, and sexy ever after tales. In her spare time, she loves pretending she's a mighty warrior, cuddling up with her cats, and devouring every fantasy tale she can get a hold of.

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Wednesday, January 29, 2020

Spotlight: Wolf of Baskervilles (Adventures of Marisol Holmes, #3) by Majanka Verstraete + giveaway

Wolf of Baskervilles
(Adventures of Marisol Holmes, #3)
by Majanka Verstraete
January 21st 2020
Published by: Firefly Hill Press
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult
Who is Marisol Holmes?

She’s a teenager.


Jaguar shifter.

And don’t forget, she’s also the descendant of the great Sherlock Holmes.

Our heroine had been in some pretty tight spots before, but now? She’s about to face her biggest challenge yet: a powerful shifter with a taste for blood. No one has faced down the deadly wolf of the Baskervilles and lived to tell the tale.

Even so, Marisol Holmes plans to do just that.

About the Author: 
Author Majanka Verstraete has written more than twenty unique works of fiction. A native of Belgium, Majanka’s novels explore the true nature of monsters: the good, the bad, and just about every species in between. Her young adult books include the acclaimed Mirrorland (YA Dark Fantasy) and Angel of Death (YA Paranormal) series of novels. At MHB, Majanka is currently developing a new YA shifter series with a fresh take on fierce female detectives called THE ADVENTURES OF MARISOL HOLMES.

When she’s not writing, Majanka is probably playing World of Warcraft or catching up with the dozens of TV series she’s addicted to.

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Tuesday, January 28, 2020

Book Review: When You See Me: A Novel (Detective D.D. Warren Book 11) by Lisa Gardner

When You See Me: A Novel (Detective D.D. Warren Book 11)
by Lisa Gardner
January 28, 2020
397 pages

Publisher: Dutton

#1 New York Times bestselling author Lisa Gardner unites three of her most beloved characters—Detective D. D. Warren, Flora Dane, and Kimberly Quincy—in a twisty new thriller, as they investigate a mysterious murder from the past...which points to a dangerous and chilling present-day crime.

FBI Special Agent Kimberly Quincy and Sergeant Detective D. D. Warren have built a task force to follow the digital bread crumbs left behind by deceased serial kidnapper Jacob Ness. When a disturbing piece of evidence is discovered in the hills of Georgia, they bring Flora Dane and true-crime savant Keith Edgar to a small town where something seems to be deeply wrong. What at first looks like a Gothic eeriness soon hardens into something much more sinister...and they discover that for all the evil Jacob committed while alive, his worst secret is still to be revealed. Quincy and DD must summon their considerable skills and experience to crack the most disturbing case of their careers—and Flora must face her own past directly in the hope of saving others.

Another hit for Lisa Gardner. I love her DD Warren series and this is extra special because it incorporates Flora Dane and Kimberly Quincy. What’s not to love about a female team working together to solve a horrible atrocity.

The prologue about a 5 year old child that observes the abuse and murder of her mother was a great hook but a little confusing about how it applied to the story. Never fear, it eventually works it’s way into the plot and becomes a heart wrenching essential ingredient. I Don’t want to spoil it for any readers but this book shines light on the human trafficking problem in a “hand wringing” page turner.

I was compelled to keep reading because there was so much to capture your attention. There is a reason Lisa is one of the top rated “thriller” writers. She just never disappoints!

Getting 4.5 “holding my breath” sheep

Jeanie G

About the Author:
New York Times #1 bestselling crime novelist Lisa Gardner began her career in food service, but after catching her hair on fire numerous times, she took the hint and focused on writing instead. A self-described research junkie, she has parlayed her interest in police procedure, criminal minds and twisted plots into a streak of bestselling suspense novels. Her 2010 novel, THE NEIGHBOR, won Best Thriller from the International Thriller Writers. Most recently, she was honored with the Silver Bullet Award for her work with at-risk kids and homeless animals. Lisa loves to hike, travel the world, and yes, read, read, read!

Readers are invited to enter the annual "Kill a Friend, Maim a Buddy" Sweepstakes, where they can nominate the person of their choice to die in Lisa's latest novel. People have nominated themselves, spouses, bosses. It's cheaper than therapy and twice as much fun! For more details, visit Lisa's website.

Lisa's latest novel (January 2020) is WHEN YOU SEE ME. A cold case quickly turns red hot when Boston Detective D.D. Warren, victim-turned-vigilante Flora Dane, and SSA Kimberly Quincy join forces to investigate what may be the remains of one of Jacob Ness's first victim, or evidence of something far worse.

Book Review: Vendetta Road (Torpedo Ink Book 3) by Christine Feehan

Vendetta Road (Torpedo Ink Book 3)
by Christine Feehan
January 28, 2020
464 pages
Publisher: Berkley
#1 New York Times bestselling author Christine Feehan pushes the limits in her next novel in the Torpedo Ink series.
Isaak “Ice” Koval is on a club mission when he sees a woman who stops him dead in his tracks. Soleil is a sweet, sexy, girl-next-door type. She’s an innocent who should be nowhere near the rough-and-ready world of the Torpedo Ink motorcycle club. But Ice knows Soleil belongs with him—and he’ll do whatever it takes to keep her.

After a life of drifting from one thing to the next, Soleil Brodeur is determined to take control of her life. When her breakup with her manipulative fiancé turns ugly, Soleil searches out the stranger who offered her a lifeline and ends up in a Las Vegas biker bar where she meets a gorgeous, dangerous man straight out of her most secret fantasies.

High on adrenaline, she finds herself falling faster than she thought possible. But Soleil knows little about the territory she’s stumbled into, and even less about what it really means to be Ice’s woman.…

Ice is a member of Torpedo Ink, a biker gang that seeks out pedophiles so they can save the kids and kill the pedophiles. All the members of Torpedo Ink are messed up mentally because of how they were raised. This is the first book of this series that I've read and I was a little lost as to what happened to them to make them the way they are until we get a glimpse at Ice's memories or what he and the others endured as children. Let's just say that it was worse than bad.

Soliel got mixed up with Winston who only wanted to marry her for her money. When Soleil overhears Winston's plan to kill her after they're married, she runs right into the arms of Ice. When he finds out what happened to her, he vows to keep her safe but after just a few hours together they end up a lot closer than either of them imagined would happen. I kinda thought the quick way they end up together and push things so fast was completely unbelievable. She's jumps out of a bad relationship and right into one with someone she doesn't even know which I thought was dumb.

Ice and his team go after the pedophiles and when they look into Winston and the people who he works for, they find a correlation between him and the people they are already after. I found this to be another instance where it was such a big coincidence that was too much to be believable.

The guys of Torpedo Ink are rough, rude, crude and dangerous. I would say this is definitely a dark romance. If you're looking for a nice guy, well-mannered men, or guys who will melt your won't find that here. Yes, Ice falls madly and
 deeply for Soliel but I had some problems with the way he treated her and problems with the fact that she let him or rather that she didn't mind. He likes it when his friends watch him have sex with her and while she didn't seem to mind, I had a problem with it and it happened frequently. I don't think this is the series for me because there's so much rape, abuse, torture, and murder. I usually really like this author's books but this one just didn't do it for me. I love the writing style, the story flowed effortlessly, the danger was exciting and the story was an engaging one but there was too much murder for me to really enjoy this book. But while I had some problems with parts of this book, I did enjoy the overall story and read it in one day because I wanted to see how this story would end. I think if you like this type of story then you would probably like this series. 

I give this book 3 out of 5 sheep.

Mary Kirkland
Dark Thoughts Blog

Chapter 2
Soleil ran through the lobby, uncaring of turning heads. One didn’t run in a very swank hotel. She wanted to grab security, but Winston had a way of talking that made her look hysterical or childish and him look totally controlled, the adult having to put up with tantrums. She wasn’t about to take chances, not when she knew they planned to kill her.

Who would believe her? Her own fiancé? A lawyer? A policeman? All conspiring to kill her? She would look crazy and Winston would explain she’d lost Bennet, the only one she had as family. He would get sympathy and understanding, and they would all look to him to take care of her. He’d probably sedate her. Did he have a doctor involved too? It was possible. She’d met one through him, one he considered important.

She burst out onto the street, her lungs hurting. Clearly, she needed more exercise if she was going to have to run for her life. Her thoughts were wild and a little hysterical. She couldn’t have that. It would only play into Winston’s hand. She raced to the crosswalk, and fortunately the light changed and there were few people in her way. She was able to cross quickly and get into the relative shelter of the hotel-casino on the next street.

Noise erupted all around her. The concentrated smoke from cigarettes threatened to choke her. For a moment, she paused, a little disoriented. The whiskey she’d drunk was making her feel a lot better. Clearer. She knew exactly what to do. She made her way through the casino with more dignity, not wanting to draw attention to herself.

The casino floor was set up so that the exits were difficult to get to. Every little turn put her in front of card tables, the roulette wheel, craps, or, when she managed to find her way through the maze, machines. A sea of them. They didn’t matter. The drinks had finally steadied her, and she was feeling as if she was in control and could do this.

Still, it was a good distance to the exits and it took her a few minutes to make her way to the other side of the room. The casino was enormous, so much so that she knew she’d probably covered a block at least. She had to have. But she walked with more confidence and less panic. Every now and then, just to be certain, she glanced over her shoulder, or paused at a machine to see if Winston was behind her. So far, her plan had worked. Most likely, he’d gone out onto the strip and worried she’d hailed a cab or taken one of the hotel’s private limos. She was afraid to do that. He could trace a cab and he’d talk any driver into coming back for him.

She thought about getting another drink, but she hadn’t eaten. Already she was much clearer in what she had to do. She felt very courageous. It only took a couple of times going in a small circle before she mastered the maze of machines and was able to push open the door that let her out onto the street. The lights were much dimmer, but still illuminated the sidewalk.

She looked left and right. She was right in the middle of the block. Across the street, neon blue signs flashed, and the sound of music was loud. Each of the bars seemed to be playing a different song, but she loved to dance and the one on the end at the right blared the best music. She headed in that direction and then changed her mind, a little shiver going through her. She knew Winston. He would hire men to find her. He would call the police and report her missing, saying she had a mental disorder and he was worried for her safety. This street was still too close.

She hurried down the block to the next line of bars. The streets seemed darker, and as she came around the corner, a few men standing on the sidewalk in front of a bar looked up, nudging one another. Alarms went off and she paused to get oriented. Just in front of her was another bar blaring dancing music and in front of it were motorcycles, instantly reminding her of Lana. Her heart jumped. Lana. She hurried toward that one without hesitation. If Lana was there, she would know what to do. She was that kind of woman.

About the Author:
I write every day and have done so since I was old enough to pick up a pen. (I spent a lot of time getting in trouble at school for writing instead of doing the things I was supposed to do.) Once I create my characters, I try very hard to have them react to situations as they really would. Sometimes I have preconceived ideas of what I would like them to do, but they don't mind me, because it would be out of character for them. They take on a life of their own. Sometimes when I throw difficult situations at them in the hopes I'll get a certain reaction and they don't do what I want, I complain bitterly to my husband and he laughs at me. Still, it is important to me to have them be real, not perfect people, so they make mistakes we lesser mortals might make.

Monday, January 27, 2020

Excerpt: Blood Bound: A Lowrance Vampires Novel by R.J. Blain + giveaway

Blood Bound: A Lowrance Vampires Novel
by R.J. Blain
January 28th 2020
Genres: Adult, Paranormal, Romance
After waking in a shallow grave and clawing her way to freedom, Penelope Francis hunts for the rogue who stole her life and transformed her into a vampire. Despite being corrupted into a feared preternatural, she clings to her humanity and refuses to prey on innocents, instead slaking her thirst on other miscreant vampires.

In exchange for a chance at revenge, she joins forces with the charismatic master of the Lowrance brood, a choice that may spell the salvation—or destruction—of humanity as she knows it.

Another night, another vampire, another double-dead end. If I didn’t get lucky soon, I’d run out of miscreants to drain, stake, decapitate, and decorate with holy wafers. In reality, I only needed to stake the toothy bastards, but I figured if I was going to kill every damned unclaimed vampire in New York City, I’d do so with style and get a free meal out of the deal at the same time.

In life, I’d done well for myself; I’d become my father’s perfect daughter, dedicating every waking moment to my budding career as a corporate lawyer on a mission to protect his business interests. In death, or undeath as it was, I’d become a big nothing. I couldn’t even claim I’d become a big fat nothing, as I kept losing weight instead of gaining it, no matter how many of my kind I tagged, bagged, drained, and tossed out with the trash.

Penelope Francis was dead and gone to everyone who mattered, even me.

My stomach reminded me of my neglect with a displeased gurgle. Grunting my dismay over having completely drained another vampire without slaking my hunger, I checked his pockets for cash and found nothing but lint, not even a wallet, ID, or pocket change.

If he’d had food hidden in his pockets, I might’ve been tempted to try my luck. If I ever ditched the relentless hunger, I’d never take food for granted again. I resented my maker’s decision to abandon me in a shallow grave, forcing me to fend for myself. The bastard could’ve left a damned note with a few clues, especially in the feeding department. A manual about life as a vampire would’ve been appreciated. I still wasn’t sure what I could eat. Shortly after I’d risen, I’d tried a slice of pizza once and only once. It hadn’t ended well. I dodged food, afraid I’d throw it up along with my literal guts.

Just to be sure, I rechecked my victim’s body to confirm his lack of cash, ID, or food.

Nothing. Color me not surprised.

I hated killing those as destitute as I, but I refused to harbor guilt over ridding the world of a vampire who hunted homeless teens struggling to survive New York’s harshest streets. While I hoped the kids would survive, I had my doubts.

Miscreants—unclaimed, rogues, or whatever society called the illegal vampires lurking on the streets—couldn’t afford to let their prey live to tell the tale. When found, humans and preternatural alike hunted us to ensure we never bothered anyone again.

Living on borrowed time sucked, as did homelessness. When I found the vampire who’d turned me, I’d take my time draining him. I’d enjoy every swallow. I’d turn his last moments into a masterpiece of brutality.

All I knew was that my maker had been a man, and he’d left some dark mark on me, something that tainted my soul. I could still feel his corrupting influence deep within, a pressure on my heart.

Until I breathed my last for the second time, I’d spend every night seeking him out so I could end his miserable existence. I still wasn’t sure why I’d been targeted or how I’d survived the transition from human to vampire without help. My desire for revenge confirmed one unassailable truth: I was no better than the filth I hunted.

About the Author:

RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency to pun without warning.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until satisfied.

Blitz-wide giveaway (INT)
$25 Amazon Gift Card and a mystery box of autographed RJ Blain books 

Sunday, January 26, 2020

Spotlight: Bitchcraft A Supernatural & Paranormal Anthology + giveaway

Bitchcraft A Supernatural & Paranormal Anthology
by J.A. Cummings, S.B. Rhodes, Lindy S. Hudis,
Katie Jaarsveld, J.M. Goodrich
December 31, 2019
125 pages
A young girl accused of witchcraft in the late 1500s, a grandmother’s dying request, three girls who get more than they bargained for while seeking revenge, college students who play with forces they do not understand, and a woman’s search for her ancestor’s legacy. Take a look inside to learn more about the witches of Bitchcraft.

J. A. Cummings was born in Flint, Michigan and was raised in a nearby town called Clio. Appropriately enough for someone growing up in a place named for the Muse of history, she developed a passion for reading and the past that continues to this day. Her love of poetry and storytelling quickly followed.

S.B. Rhodes
I am a writer and editor. I have known that I wanted to be a writer since I was eight years old, and I am thrilled to be able to make that dream a reality. I am working on a novel, which I hope to publish sometime in the near future. I also write articles and do some freelancing. I mostly do ghostwriting, and I have recently begun to branch out and do more of my own work as well. 

Lindy S. Hudis
Lindy S. Hudis is a graduate of New York University, where she studied drama at Tisch School of the Arts. She also performed in a number of Off-Off-Broadway theater productions while living in New York City.

She is the author of several titles, including her romance suspense novel, Weekends, her "Hollywood" story City of Toys, and her crime novel, Crashers. Her latest release, "L.A. Foxx: Hollywood Underworld" is the first installment of a crime, mystery series.

She is also the author of several erotic short stories, including "The S&M Club", "The Backstage Pass", "Guitar God", "The Guitarist", and "The Mile High Club". Her short film "The Lesson", which she wrote, produced and directed, was screened at the Seattle Underground Film Festival and Cine-Nights in 2000.

She is also a former actress, having appeared in the television daytime drama "Sunset Beach", also "Married with Children" , "Beverly Hills 90210" and the feature film "Indecent Proposal" . She and her husband, Hollywood stuntman Stephen Hudis, have formed their own production company called Impact Motion Pictures, and have several projects and screenplays in development. She lives in California with her husband and two children. 

Katie Jaarsveld
Katie Jaarsveld was born in America. She had an imagination and though she was continually writing something, she was not published until later in life.

Having the support of family members as well as her husband, she finished stories she had written years earlier and brought them to life.

Being encouraged by fellow authors gave her the courage to chase her dreams and become one of the published. 

Jeaniene Goodrich
Jeanine Goodrich (Mason) is a newly self-published author, originally from Sault Ste Marie, MI. Her debut novel, Celestial Souls, was published last November and is available on Amazon in paperback, e-book, and is free in Kindle Unlimited, under her pen name J.M. Goodrich. Jeanine currently resides in Gwinn, MI with her husband, two sons, and their cat. In her spare time, she enjoys reading, spending time with her family, and continues to write fantasy novels.

$20 Amazon
Samhain Secrets ebook
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Saturday, January 25, 2020

The Story Behind the Story: Hollow Men by Fantasy Author Todd Sullivan + giveaway

I have had many muses over my lifetime, and the price for their words have often been high. Recently, I moved to Taipei, Taiwan, to start a new job at an English academy. Teaching young people can uplift you; helping the next generation reach greater heights is a noble calling.

Unfortunately, I have the misfortune for working for a terrible office manager. Almost a cliché in her petty cruelty, and in my first five weeks, five teachers—disgruntled, disgusted, abruptly, and without warning—quit.

The horror! The horror!

Yet as I approach my third month at this academy, I see narrative potential, a muse demanding her payment for the story she’ll reveal. If only I listen. And observe, for a story crafted from the toxic environment of a Machiavellian supervisor is a universal story. From Taiwan to America to South Africa to Saudi Arabia, it’s a narrative that readers will relate to, and so has the capability to transcend.

Write what you know.

This is how I compose fiction. My fantasy novella, HOLLOW MEN, also demanded its pound of flesh, but I am proud of the result, and I am sure readers will enjoy it. And empathize as they forget how their day began and wake up in a dream, walking down a road towards Naganeupseong Fortress to slay the ak-ma, devourer of souls.

There are dead everywhere. You count them as the oaken doors of the police station shut behind you. One body, slumped against the doorway, silver badge splattered with blood.

Another splayed on the tabletop, face partially consumed.

A third, hanging from the rafters, rivulets of blood snaking down his torso to collect in a puddle on the red floor.

A fourth and fifth, clinging together in death. The one on the left, headless; the one on the right staring with lifeless eyes, mouth opened wide in a silent scream.

You draw your gun from its holster and try to remember how your day began. This all seems familiar somehow, yet belonging to a different reality, a nightmare you woke up into.

You walk across the broken tiles, your steps echoing in the silence. You don’t know what you’re looking for, or what pushes you forward, but you know you can’t turn back. You keep your finger on the trigger, tense, ready to fire at a moment’s notice. What killed these people? And where has it fled?

Your gut tells you it hasn’t gone far. Somewhere in this tomb of winding stairs, long hallways, and corners shrouded in shadow, evil gnaws on darkness, waiting for a fresh victim.

Will it be you?

Hollow Men
by Todd Sullivan
December 9, 2019
115 pages
Men from South Hanguk undertake quests to gain social standing, to stand above their peers, to make names for themselves. To become heroes. Few ever return. Ha Jun, sixteen years old, possesses a glyph sword crafted in foreign lands. Alongside a soldier, a knight, and a monk, he travels across the country to destroy a demon lurking beyond the running trees of Naganeupseong Fortress.

Accompanying them is the dark elf, Windshine, who emigrated to South Hanguk from her own war-torn country centuries ago.Distrusted by the people of South Hanguk, Windshine has the Emperor’s protection and is tasked with recording the valiant acts of quest groups battling creatures born from nightmares. Ha Jun becomes drawn to Windshine as they near Naganeupseong Fortress, but when he discovers the blood connection between the demon and the dark elf, he will either succumb to his fear, or rise up and become a hero.

About the Author:
Todd Sullivan attended his first serious writing class in 1995 at Stanford University. Between 1997 and 2002, he participated in the National Book Foundation's 10 day summer writing retreats. In 2006, he graduated with a Bachelors in English with Concentrations in Creative Writing from Georgia State University. He moved to New York that same year, and received a Masters of Fine Arts from Queens College in Flushing, New York in 2009. Todd moved to Jeju, South Korea, where he taught English in the public school system for five years. He currently lives in Seoul, and is studying the Korean language at Yonsei University. He is also working on a speculative fiction/urban horror novel that takes place in Korea.

Print copy of Hollow Men and this fan and mask from Taiwan!

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