Friday, 20 October 2017
Thursday, 19 October 2017
Evil's Unlikely Assassin
An Alexis Black Novel
Release: June 6, 2017
Genre : Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Muse It Up Publishing
Number of pages: 290
Word Count: 80K
Cover Artist: Erica Petlit Designs
Tagline: Sometimes it takes evil to kill evil
Vampire Alexis Black is on a mission - to rejoin the human race.
Coerced into signing an ironclad contract by an Angel-with-attitude, Alexis must hunt down and assassinate at least one vampire, werewolf, or creepy crawly every night for fifty years to become human again. Too bad the contract didn’t mention the badass vampire who now rides shotgun in her brain, insatiable bloodlust, or her new I-hate-everything-with-fangs sidekick. If she can fulfill her end of the bargain, her humanity is restored, if not she will be destroyed.
But when a revenge-seeking bloodsucker threatens her city, Alexis must risk everything to ensure there’s a humanity to return to. Since her vampire nature is her greatest weapon to defeat the monsters that threaten her friends and future, Alexis must choose to accept her inner beast or watch those she loves die.
"Evil's Unlikely Assassin is a promising urban fantasy debut that features all that's great about the genre--action, attitude, and ass-kicking." -Jaye Wells, USA Today bestselling author of The Sabina Kane and Prospero's War series
Armed guards pulled me from my cell, and dragged me over the blood splattered Astro-turf. They shackled me to the goal post at the end of a football field turned-execution-chamber, stripped me of my last remaining article of clothing and left me to die.
Ten guards stood in a circle around me, machine guns pointed at my head. They thought they were safe. Five television crews hurried around the arena preparing for tonight’s broadcast. They thought they were safe. A priest knelt in front of a vat of water, blessing it. He thought he was safe. I’m a vampire.
No one was safe.
The announcer grabbed my chin with his pudgy, gloved hand. His mouth spread into an ugly smile before he turned and blocked the crowds view. He cleared his throat and spit. The warm glob landed on my cheek and slid down before dropping to the ground. He would be the first to die.
For five days my human captors tortured me, punished me, abused me. I allowed it. Their acts bought me time to plan my escape. The bitter blood of a family of rats who shared my cell kept me alive, their donation helped remove the last trace of poison that coursed through my veins.
Humans. They thought they got lucky catching one of the Seven Sovereign leaders of the vampire race. It hadn’t been luck. I’d been set up. By the six vampires I trusted the most. Betrayed, martyred, and left for dead at the entrance of a Vampire Apprehension Station. Silver injected in my blood to keep me compliant, close to death, to ensure I didn’t slaughter the humans. Sacrificed because I didn’t agree with their vision of the future and refused to cower to a lesser race.
Betrayal was an ugly thing.
But so was revenge.
The stadium lights flickered on and flooded the field in a cold white light. I lowered my head and let my greasy hair shield my eyes from the glare. Soft footfalls approached, bringing the all-too-familiar smell of body odor and peppermint with them. For five nights the same pungent odor visited me to pray for my undead soul.
My gaze followed the priest’s movements. He dipped a chalice into a vat of water, and raised the cup in the air, drops of water sloshed over the sides and fell to the ground. He walked over to me, the beads of his crucifix clicking against the gold cross.
“Delano Melazi, I’ll ask you again. Shall I pray for your undead soul?”
I ignored him tonight as I’ve done the last five times he asked me this question. It wasn’t my soul he needed to pray for, and it wasn’t my body they would be burying this evening.
A moment of silence stretched between us. He huffed and gestured for the guards. Two hurried over. “Hold his head.” Warm fingers dug into my scalp and forced me to meet the priest’s eyes. The twinkle in his baby blues was more devil than saint.
“By the authority of the church, I mark you as one of the damned.” He dipped his index finger into the chalice. The water rippled. He pulled his finger out and pressed it to the center of my forehead. It sizzled against my skin and burned along the two lines the priest traced with his finger. My fangs sank into my tongue, holding back my agonized scream. I wouldn’t give them the satisfaction of enjoying my pain.
“In the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost,” he finished. The guards dropped their hold on my head and it fell back to my chest.
The holy water cross was meant to weaken me, to stop me from fighting when the executioner came out and the real damage was inflicted. On a less powerful vampire, a younger one, it was effective, but I was almost seven hundred years old. I possessed more power than anyone knew, even the vampires who sent me here.
The Sovereign leaders called my capture a small sacrifice, a peace offering to the human race. I called it a punishment, a crime, an injustice.
Static from the Jumbo-Tron played over the speakers. The announcer’s voice boomed through the stadium. The crowd cheered, excited to witness my demise. And they called the vampires monsters.
“This week, two brave VAU agents captured one of the Vampires’ leaders. Delano Melazi.” The crowd booed and hissed their hatred. “He alone is responsible for the Nightclub Massacre.”
I had nothing to do with it, but let them believe what they wanted. I had no quarrel with them, just like a wolf has no quarrel with a sheep.
Once the crowd quieted down the announcer continued. “A tragedy no human will ever forget. You’ve seen the pictures. Over one hundred and thirty humans captured, tortured, torn to pieces.” He paused and stepped closer. I felt the warmth of his flesh and heard the beating of his heart. “This monster locked those doors. This monster slaughtered your friends and family in cold blood. This monster deserves to pay.”
His words worked the already agitated crowd into frenzy. They raised their fists high in the air and yelled for my death.
Just a few moments more, that’s all I needed. Seconds until my power was restored.
The announcer’s fat fingers grabbed my hair, pulled my head back and forced me to look into the camera. “Tonight he will pay. He will suffer. He will die.” His words echoed around the stadium.
No one heard the handcuffs fall to the ground or saw me twist his head or heard his last breath. No one knew anything was wrong until his head slipped from my fingers and his body slid to the ground.
The crowd screamed.
The guards aimed their guns at my heart, pulled the triggers and let the bullets fly in a flurry of silver and speed, but I was swifter, stronger, superior.
Before the first bullet hit the metal pole that had bound me, I was in front of the final guard in line. Ten beating hearts at my feet. Ten gaping holes in their chest. Ten dead bodies on the earth.
I turned to the closest camera, the red lights still blinking, but unmanned. “I am Delano Melazi.” I raised my voice over the commotion. “And I will seek revenge against those who wronged me.”
The first blast of holy water hit me in the shoulder. It knocked me off balance. The second hit me in the face. The cross the priest had drawn on my head merely irritated me, but the onslaught of blessed liquid burned, weakened and crippled me. It ran down my arm, melted the flesh off the bone.
I had one chance to get out alive. With the last remaining bit of strength still hidden deep in my reserves, I vanished. Teleported, a handy trick only I knew I possessed, away from the stadium and the humans, but not the pain.
About the Author:
Jenn Windrow loves characters that have a pinch of spunk, a dash of attitude, and a large dollop of sex appeal. Top it all off with a huge heaping helping of snark, and you've got the ingredients for the kind of fast paced stories she loves to read and write. Home is a suburb of it's-so-hot-my-shoes-have-melted-to-the-pavement Phoenix. Where she lives with her husband, two daughters, and a slew of animals that seem to keep following her home, at least that's what she claims.
Jenn's Urban Fantasy, EVIL’S UNLIKELY ASSASSIN won the RWA Fantasy, Futuristic and Paranormal (FF&P), “On The Far Side” writing contest in July 2014, top 5 in the RWA Desert Rose, “Realizing the Dream” writing contest, and finaled in the Houston Writers Guild annual writing contest in April 2014. It was also selected as first runner up in Writers Type’s First Chapter Contest in April 2013.
Her Paranormal Romance, STRUCK BY EROS placed first in the RWA’s Golden Pen Contest, third in the Ruby Slippered Sisterhoods Make it Golden contest, and fourth in the West Coast Romance Writers Beacon contest.
Wednesday, 18 October 2017
It's Wednesday and time for a new My Favourite... post thanks to Maureen's Books and the theme of the week was "book I wish they made a movie off".
In my case, it's probably The Bear and the Nightingale by Katherine Arden. It was something about this book which I think would make a good movie, if done correctly of course.
Genre: YA Horror
Date of Publication: September 19, 2017
Number of pages: 307
Word Count: 76,573
Cover Artist: Danielle Fine
The dead are easy to talk to. Live people, not so much.
Charlie Sulliven thinks she knows all the secrets of the dead. Raised in a funeral home, she’s the reluctant “Ghoul Girl,” her reputation tied to a disastrous Halloween party. But navigating her life as a high school sophomore is an anxiety-inducing puzzle to her. She haunts the funeral home with her parents, emo older brother, Garth, their pistol-packing Gramma, and the glass-eyeball-devouring dachshund, Lothar.
Chewed human bodies are appearing in her parents’ morgue…and disappearing in the middle of the night. The bodies seem tied to a local legend, Catfish Bob, who has resurfaced in the muddy Milburn river near Charlie’s small town. When one of Charlie’s classmates, Amanda, awakens in the cooler as a flesh-eating ghoul, Charlie must protect her newfound friend and step up to unravel the mystery…and try to avoid becoming lunch meat for the dead.
I don’t know what else to say. My brain just shuts down.
She is wearing the sheet, wound around her like a toga. It trails behind her bare feet, sort of like a painting about Greek goddesses I’ve seen in art books. She’s leaning over another body stored in the cooler unit on a cart. Her back is to me, and I can only see her pale skin and her burgundy-black hair shuddering.
She turns at the sound of my voice, seeming only to hear me for the first time. Her face is covered in dark blood. In her hand, she’s holding a big chunk of purple flesh. Her eyes are half-closed. The autopsy incision on the elderly body below her has been ripped open, and I’m pretty sure that what she’s holding is a lung.
“So hungry…” she murmurs.
I retreat until my back presses against the cold door. A whimper escapes my lips, and I drop the laundry basket with a sharp crack of plastic on the tile floor. This has to be a dream. A screwed-up anxiety dream that I’ll wake up from any moment now…
Amanda’s black eyes snap open. She stares at the chunk of flesh in her hand. “I…Agh…What’s going on?”
Lothar waddles over to her and begins to beg. Bile rises in my throat. “That’s Mrs. Canner,” I manage to answer. “She’s seventy-two and died of surgery complications for varicose veins. Deep vein thrombosis, I think. I don’t remember.” I’m babbling, trying to keep the bile down.
Amanda drops the lung with a wet splat. The dog scrambles to it and begins scarfing it down. Her hands are trembling. She presses them to her temples. “I don’t understand. I don’t understand.”
I nudge the laundry basket closer to her with my foot. “I brought you some clothes. And, um. Food. You should get dressed.”
I think I should be afraid. I think I really ought to be. But Amanda seems genuinely confused. She reaches for the clothes I’ve brought her. To be polite, I know that I should really look away. But I can’t move. I am not turning my back on her. My heart pounds, and I struggle to take deep, uneven breaths.
Amanda unwinds the sheet and slips into my clothes. Though I avert my eyes, I see that her shoulder and side are still torn open. But my mother hasn’t begun the autopsy yet, so there is no Y-incision across her chest and abdomen.
“Do you remember what happened to you?” I manage to ask. I congratulate myself for having a rational thought. Woot.
Her voice is halting, and her brow wrinkles as she struggles to button my jeans. “I remember…something was chasing me. Jesus, it hurt…” Her hand comes up to her neck, and she seems to remember, fingering the edges of the wound. “Am I in a hospital?” she asks again.
I suck in a breath. “No. You’re at my house.” It’s not a lie. Not really.
She scans the room, as if registering the sight of the cadavers. “You’re the girl whose parents run the funeral home. The Ghoul Girl.”
“It’s gonna be okay,” I tell her.
“Why am I here?” Her breath makes ghosts in the cold air.
“The Sheriff found you, alongside the road.” That’s true also, even if not the whole truth. “I think we should get you upstairs, so you can talk to my parents…”
She shakes her head, and her dark hair slaps across her face. “No. I…Oh my god. I’m here because…somebody thought I was dead?”
I swallow hard. “Yeah.”
About the Author:
Laura Bickle grew up in rural Ohio, reading entirely too many comic books out loud to her favorite Wonder Woman doll. After graduating with an MA in Sociology – Criminology from Ohio State University and an MLIS in Library Science from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, she patrolled the stacks at the public library and worked with data systems in criminal justice. She now dreams up stories about the monsters under the stairs, also writing contemporary fantasy novels under the name Alayna Williams.
The latest details on her work are available at:
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Tuesday, 17 October 2017
It's Tuesday again, which means it's time for a new Top Ten Tuesday post thanks to The Broke and the Bookish. The theme of the week was yummy foods mentioned in books.
My list is;
Turkish Delight from The Lion, The Witch and the Wardrobe by C. S. Lewis
The obvious chocolate in Chocolat by Joanne Harris
Chocolate in The Sweetest Thing by Fiona Shaw
Oysters in Tipping the Velvet by Sarah Waters
Honey in The Secret Life of Bees by Sue Monk Kidd
Indian spices in The Mistress of Spices by Chitra Banerjee Divakaruni
Chocolate in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl
Morrocan cuisine mentioned in The Saffron Trail by Rosanna Ley
Waffles mentioned in The Twistose Key by Tone Almhjell (I really want to visit such a waffle café - those who have read the novel probably knows that I'm talking about)
All the yummy food at Hogwarts in Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone by J. K. Rowling
Monday, 16 October 2017
I Stole His Car
Love At First Crime #1
by Jessica Frances
Genre: Adult Romantic Suspense
She stole his car, so he stole her heart…
I saw something I never should have seen.
I took something they wanted back.
I was desperate.
So, I did something I never would have normally done.
I stole a car.
Not just any car.
Now I have no choice but to trust him.
Only he can help me get out of this mess.
Then, when we both become hunted,
And when feelings begin to complicate things,
Can I still count on his protection?
Can I trust what is happening between us to be real?
Because, as some people say: there is nothing quite like love at first … crime.
Jessica Frances is an Australian author who currently resides in South Australia. She is an avid reader and loves to write. She works full-time as a baker, so writing is her hobby done when she has the time. When she is not writing, you can find her reading, napping or watching excessive amounts of TV.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts and a giveaway!
The Blackmoore Legacy
Genre: Gothic horror/paranormal romance/
Publisher: Candiano Books
Date of Publication: 06/08/2017
Number of pages: 416
Word Count: 127,046
Cover Artist: Ransom Graphics
Tagline: The Devil shall come for his witches...
Welcome to South Hill, a neighborhood of wealth, secrets, gracious Victorians, and austere manor homes overlooking the port of Fairhaven and the dark waters of Bellingham Bay. Seventeen year old Trevor Blackmoore has lived here is entire life, shunned and feared, along with the rest of his clan, by the elitist and superstitious families that surround them and who regard the Blackmoores as the devil's concubines.
As a young clairvoyant dealing not only with the dark secrets of his family but also with his homosexuality-two things which have made him an outsider-he struggles to find normalcy. Trevor's life is made extremely difficult by his tormentors and former childhood friends Cheri Hannifin, Greg Sheer, and Christian Vasquez; the school gods of the prestigious Mariner High School. His only saving grace is Braxton Volaverunt, a captivating young man with secrets of his own.
A diabolical plan sets in motion a chain of events that will fulfill the doomed prophecy of the Blackmoore family. A centuries old curse comes to an end, releasing an ancient and bloodthirsty evil, set on wiping out the family, and Trevor learns that he is at the center of it. Realizing that he is all that stands between this darkness and his family's survival.
"2017 E-Festival of Words award winner for Best Literary Fiction"
The Best Halloween Songs You Need To Be Listening To This Holiday Season
Halloween, in my opinion, is one of the most magical times of the year. From the autumnal leaves in all of their wonderful colors just before they completely brown and dry, to the perfume of rotting apples, sickly sweet, and to the darkening sky so early in the day.
There are pumpkins carved with ghoulish grins on porches and in windows, and there is the feeling that at any turn, you may walk right into a ghost.
Parties are planned, decorations are bought and spider webs strung like the anti-garland of Christmas (which has it’s own horror roots), and the food is made.
There’s only one more thing needed, that one thing to set the mood, and it can often be the hardest to put together; the playlist. There are plenty of Halloween records out there, a Halloween station on Pandora, and they all contain familiars like ‘Monster Mash' and ‘Thriller', but there are so many other gems out there. So many unknown and not used. Treasures that have existed for as long as the record.
Below is a list of these relative unknowns and the one’s not thought about but are known by everyone. There are a couple of recognizable sonic faces on this list, but for the most part, these songs will be new friends and give you a unique touch to your Halloween romp.
I didn’t include all of my favorites, that would be too long, but I included those that I go back to again and again.
1. Robert Johnson-Cross Road Blues: This 1936 Delta Blues track is haunting. In it, Robert sings of going to the crossroads and selling his soul to the devil for the gift of guitar playing. It is more likely, that as with all early blues, there was a great Hoodoo influence and who he refers to as the devil, is actually Papa Legba; the deity ruler of the gates to the other realms.
2. Claudine Clark-Walkin' Through a Cemetery: This 1962 track is great with its early funk sound and her throaty voice.
3. Jack Rivers-Haunted House Boogie: Another fun Halloween hit with Blue Grass elements is a great 1951 hit.
4. Jack Teagarden-Putting Salt on the Devil's Tail: This 1941 big band has lingering elements of hoodoo found in early blues tracks.
5. Cris Kevin-Haunted House: 1959 Halloween Rockabilly that is just plain fun.
6. Louis Prima and his New Orleans Gang-Mr. Ghost Goes to Town: this 1936 Jazz hit tells a tale of a ghost looking for a good time. Considering Prima was from New Orleans, of course a ghost was walking around looking for a good time.
7. Bauhaus-Bela Lugosi's Dead: This iconic 1982 hit from Bauhaus is a must have for Halloween, and the opening sequence of the seminal Vampire film, The Hunger, is downright decadent in its darkness.
8. Judy Garland and the Scarecrow, Tinman, and the Cowardly Lion-The Jitter Bug: this song was cut from the 1939 film. In lost archival footage, they sing this song while in the haunted forest. It is a fun swing track that perhaps was cut because of how different from the rest of the songs are. Fits right in there with Jeepers Creepers.
9. Screaming Lord Sutch-Jack The Ripper-this 1963 rock song is a blast. Opening with a woman running and then screaming in terror.
10. Marilyn Manson-Sweet Dreams: this 1995 cover is dripping with nightmare. I find it to be a constant source of inspiration when I am writing a terribly dark scene.
11. Michael Jackson-Thriller: one of the most iconic Halloween songs of all time. This 1982, Release will get you moving in all the right ways. A love letter to horror films, my favorite lyric-the one I think is the most powerful and yet so often over looked is “I’ll save you from the terror on the Screen-I’ll make you see that this is Thriller-Thriller night.” It harkens to “keep telling yourself, it is only a movie.” Like most children, the John Landis directed music video film scared me to death.
12. Datura-Tori Amos: this almost psychedelic 1999 track celebrates the herb that was essential to a witch's ointment. This dangerous and psychotropic herb got into the pours and is believed may have been the reason witches felt as if they were flying.
13. Robert Johnson-Hellhound On My Trail- Johnson is back with another 1937 Delta Blues track with heavy Hoodoo influence.
14. Donovan-Season of the Witch: this 1966 track was a celebration of all of the mystical psychedelic occult revival of the hippie movement. It got a resurgence when it was featured in an episode of American Horror Story: Coven. Give this song a listen and let loose your inner Fiona Goode.
15. Henry Hall-Here Comes the Bogeyman: this 1932 classic taught young kids how to ward themselves from the bogeyman. It plays like a creepy lullaby and has seen a new life in video games and horror films such as Jeepers Creepers and Sinister 2. It’s haunting melody reaches out through time and has the ability to give anyone the wiggins.
16. The Four Modernaires-Jeepers Creepers: One of my childhood favorites. Like Here Comes the Bogeyman, this 1938 hit has found infamy in no small part to the film of the same name.
17. Ted Cassidy-The Lurch: this song (and the video, which I encourage you readers to watch) premiered October 30th, 1965 on the ABC music program Shindig! It is a great, poptastic number with an accompanying dance, and Ted Cassidy-the actor who portrayed Lurch in the Addams Family television show-appeared in costume on set and is featured in the song saying his signature “You rang?” and groaning and moaning in all his creepy and kooky glory.
There you have it! Grab these songs, add them to your party playlist, and have a scream!
About the Author:
“Some writers have great ideas, but fail with the delivery. That is not the case for our author. He has clearly developed his craft and whittled it to perfection”-Wesley Thomas, bestselling author of Nightmare Fuel
Marcus James is the author of five novels, including The Blackmoore Legacy series. He has contributed to a dozen anthologies from Alyson Books, has been a featured writer for the Seattle Gay News, is the host of Brews and Books at Ravenna Brewing Co. and is host of Queerly Spoken. When not writing he’s cooking, drinking champagne like water, and watching horror films with his husband and their Staffordshire terrier, Nikita. He is 32 years old and lives in Seattle.
Sunday, 15 October 2017
Death of the Kona Man
Aloha Lagoon Mysteries Book 9
by Catherine Bruns
Genre: Cozy Mystery
From USA Today bestselling author Catherine Bruns comes the next deadly delicious Carrie Jorgenson adventure in paradise...
Carrie Jorgenson is living the dream in Hawaii. She has a steady job as a waitress at the Loco Moco Café, a hot new love interest in her manager, and the curtain’s about to rise on her role in a local theater production. But when she's asked to deliver food to a guest at the Aloha Lagoon resort—who then drops dead!—her dreams quickly become the stuff of nightmares.
World renowned food critic Randolph Cremshaw has no shortage of enemies. He's rude, patronizing, and famous for his one-star reviews. After the coffee Carrie delivers is discovered to have been poisoned, she and the café quickly rise to the top of the suspects list. A jealous co-worker, thefts at the restaurant, and a performance that threatens to blow up in Carrie's face only make things worse. With an already full plate, Carrie is also forced into making a decision that may change everything for her. But this all pales in comparison when she comes face to face with Randolph's killer and what might be the final curtain call…of her life.
**Suggested to Read Death of the Big Kahuna first!**
**On sale from Oct 10th - 17th!**
About Aloha Lagoon:
**Books can be read in any order and they're from multiple authors!**
There's trouble in paradise...
Welcome to Aloha Lagoon, one of Hawaii's hidden treasures. A little bit of tropical paradise nestled along the coast of Kauai, this resort town boasts luxurious accommodation, friendly island atmosphere...and only a slightly higher than normal murder rate. While mysterious circumstances may be the norm on our corner of the island, we're certain that our staff and Lagoon natives will make your stay in Aloha Lagoon one you will never forget! visit us at www.alohalagoonmysteries.com
The Aloha Lagoon Mysteries:
Ukulele Murder (book #1)
Murder on the Aloha Express (book #2)
Deadly Wipeout (book #3)
Deadly Bubbles in the Wine (book #4)
Mele Kalikimaka Murder (book #5)
Death of the Big Kahuna (book #6)
Ukulele Deadly (book #7)
Bikinis & Bloodshed (book #8)
Death of the Kona Man (book #9)
Catherine is the USA Today best selling author of the Cookies & Chance mysteries. She lives in New York with her very patient husband, three sons, and assorted cats and dogs. Catherine has a B.A. in English and is a former newspaper reporter and press release writer. She also writes the Cindy York and the Aloha Lagoon (Carrie Jorgenson) mysteries. Her next Cookies & Chance mystery, Silenced by Sugar, releases in January 2018.
Follow the tour HERE for exclusive excerpts, guest posts and a giveaway!