Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Ashley Hill

Guest Post and Excerpt by Ashley Hill

Favorite Horror Movies

I love horror movies and watching them with my best friend/boyfriend. So here’s a list of ones where I can watch over and over again, never getting tired of them

Scream series

Halloween series w/Jamie Lee Curtis

Friday the 13th series

A Nightmare on Elm Street (original, thank you)

The Frighteners

The Birds

Stay Alive

Dead Silence

House of Wax (2005 version)

House on Haunted Hill (both versions)

Ginger Snaps (love, love, love!)

Orphan (like, seriously I still can’t believe it. Chills!)

One missed call

Final Destination

Child’s Play series

I Know What You Did Last Summer

The Harvesters (Harvesting Series #1) 
By Ashley Hill

Publication Date: November 28th 2012
Genre: Young Adult/ New Adult Horror


When she finds her boyfriend shackled to a white metal table Ashley feared for the worse.

On a small trip of dropping off a package for Jason’s father, the young couple never thought they would be running for their lives. Running away from supposedly friends whom in turned to be a family of harvesters.

Human harvesters and they are looking for something specific. And Ashley just might be the perfect match for that something.


Purchase Links:


Barnes & Noble


Moving onto the metal shackles around his wrists I ask him, “Anything hurt? How’d they get you? Where are they? How many? I lost count,” in one big mumble. I am trying not to fumble over my words when the shackles start to tear at my fingertips, causing them to bleed.

Author Bio:

I'm a college student still trying to get a handle of the adult world. When I need to get away from it I lose myself in books, my own writing, and in spending time with my amazing boyfriend which he supports me to no end.

Finding my passion in books has led me to finding a passion in writing my own fictional stories back in 2009, I have turned this into a dream career and going one step further I would love to open up my own book store.

Social Media Links:

Ashley’s Blog: http://www.paranormalsisters.blogspot.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/PnormalSisters

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6604539.Ashley_Hill

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Paranormal-Sisters/327714850596230

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Monday, October 28, 2013

Mark D. Evans

Excerpt by Mark D. Evans and Review by Cloey

Beth breathed furiously. She was exhausted, but the air she breathed had a new scent to it. It stopped her short. Her insides jumped in excitement at the rusty metallic scent. Her jaw twitched and her body flinched. She spun her head around, toward the aroma. Oliver had felt his way back to the uneven wall and leant against it cradling his arm. He sobbed and whimpered, while looking aimlessly at it. Beth could see what he couldn’t: a jagged edge of bone poking out from his forearm. He was slightly sheltered under the broken floorboards above him, and the rain wasn’t washing away the blood that now oozed freely. Beth didn’t need to see everything. She could smell it.

Beautiful, delicious, unparalleled and unbeatable human blood.

Her head tipped forward. Her nose flared involuntarily and her lips snarled into a sadistic smile. She felt the four pointed canines being pushed out; unsheathed. The tip of her tongue curled under one of the two fangs that slid down. Her heart deafened the rain and the approaching bombers. Almost subconsciously, she lowered herself into a half-crouch, ready to pounce, and though her nails were trimmed short, her fingers curled into claws. She couldn’t even feel the hole in her palm any more. She felt nothing at all except raging bloodlust. Her brother leant there sobbing, oblivious to the bloodthirsty creature no more than a yard away that wanted nothing more than to cover everything with his precious life force. To swim in his blood.

Beth could almost taste it.

No Shelter From Darkness The Cruentus Saga
Book One
Mark D. Evans

Genre: Paranormal, Horror

Publisher: Booktrope

ISBN: 978-1620151396

Cover Artist: Greg Simanson

Amazon  BN  iTunes

Book Description:

“Her hands began to shake as she looked down wide-eyed at the blood-soaked cotton that covered her.”

London emerges from the Blitz, and every corner of the city bears the scars. In the East End—a corner fairing worse than most—thirteen year-old Beth Wade endures this new way of life with her adoptive family. She also suffers the prejudice against her appearance, an abiding loneliness and now the trials of adolescence. But with this new burden comes a persisting fatigue and an unquenchable thirst that ultimately steals her into unconsciousness...

What happens next is the start of something Beth will fear more than the war itself. She begins to change in ways that can’t be explained by her coming-of-age, none more frightening than her need to consume blood. The family who took her in and the former best friend who’s taken refuge in their house can never know. Aware of the danger she poses to everyone around her, Beth has never felt more alone. But someone else knows Beth’s secret. 

...someone who understands just how different she really is. He alone can decrypt her past and explain her future. But he’s been sworn to destroy her kind, and as Beth grows ever more dangerous, he’s forced to take sides.

Can Beth keep all of the secrets? Can she trust a man sworn to kill her? And can she stop the vampire within from taking her humanity?

About the Author:

MARK D. EVANS was born near London, England. He graduated university with a degree in something not even remotely connected with writing and went on to become a successful consultant. Then he threw it all away to chase his dream of being an author, via a considerable amount of travelling. Today, his life largely resembles that of a nomad, and he can currently be found typing away in a tiny flat in north London, sustained by coffee.

He is the author of two short stories, one of which made it into a Kindle Top Ten.

His latest work is his debut novel, No Shelter from Darkness, which is the first book in his series, The Cruentus Saga.

Visit Mark online:





Twitter: @TheMarkDEvan

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/markdevans

This is a very good story. It started out great then moved along slowly for me. I usually run from anything war related for my reading pleasure and needless to say, this story takes place in London during the Blitz. Even though I wanted to stop reading when about 20% into it - something happened. I was surprisingly eased into the life of Beth and found myself wanting to know more about what she and her family were going through. 

What I liked most was that Mr. Evans brought me, the reader, through the process of Beth's transformation into a vampire and showed me that she has a good side to her that balances her vampire side. She has one huge challenge because she is living with a human family while she is changing. The story world was well done and the secretive people and organizations kept me reading.  

No Shelter From Darkness tells us the story about Beth, her growing pains, and the changes in her body post puberty. She now knows what she is and I hope the next book in the series tells us who she is and why everyone is looking for her. This one is a good read and I recommend adding it to your reading list.

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Wednesday, October 23, 2013

Charles O'Keefe

Guest Post and Excerpt by Charles O'Keefe

Music is a big part of my life, I go to many concerts every year, I play piano, I listen to music whenever I’m driving and so when I wrote a book music had to be a big part of it. Aside from weaving songs into the text I also tried hard to have the song mean something to the scene it’s used in and to the character who hears it. So with all that in mind I give you the soundtrack to my second novel, Killer on the Road. If these songs mean something to you, let me know! I always enjoy hearing from like-minded people.

1. Medley: Aquarius/Leth the Sunshine in – The Fifth Dimension 

2. Bad Moon Rising – C.C.R. 
3. Uptown Girl – Billy Joel 
4. Beethoven’s Moonlight Sonata 
5. Richard Wagner’s The Ride of the Valkyries 
6. Imagine – John Lennon 
7. Eye in the Sky – The Allan Parsons Project 
8. Rooms On Fire – Stevie Knicks 
9. Real – William Shatner 
10. John Newton’s Amazing Grace 
11. The Times They Are A-Changin’ – Bob Dylan 
12. All Through The Night – Cyndi Lauper 
13. Riders of the Storm – The Doors 
14. Hey Jude – The Beatles 

This time I was lucky that every song I wanted to keep in the book stayed. Also you’ll note that this time I choose two pieces of classical music, they fit the scene in the book well and I thought it was a nice touch. With the classical pieces (and “Amazing Grace”) the reader has the freedom of listening to their own favourite singer/performer play them rather than ones I picked.

As for the other songs, “Riders of the Storm” is the theme for the main villain Donald (as he’s literally a “Killer on the road”). The final tune, “Hey Jude” is not only about Joseph’s sad feelings but also for Jude (a black cat) in the book who happens to be my pet in real life (and yes I do sing “Hey Jude” to him sometimes for fun).


My Bonny Lies Over the Ocean

Anne Bonny sat on the beach of Green Island, Hawaii, sipping a mai tai as she admired the view of the sunset. The sky began to turn crimson red, which helped dull the intense headache she suffered as a vampire up before dark.

She resided near what was thought to be an abandoned Coast Guard station, which secretly harbored her mansion underground and several paid servants and guards. Underneath a run-down airstrip lay a subterranean waterway where a submarine was docked. The submarine was used primarily for the human servants that needed to leave the island to fetch supplies or take vacations. The runway itself could still handle flight landings if a friend popped in for a visit.

Anne, like many vampires, was quite wealthy. Wise investments over enough time provided financial comfort that most well-to-do humans accumulated only through inheritance, corporate sharking, or a serendipitous blend of ideas, timing, and networking. The simple truth was, the duration of a human life was usually too short to build the financial stability to which most vampires were accustomed. Like most vampires, Anne chose not to flaunt her wealth. Going unnoticed made it easier to hide from humans. Peace and quiet was easy to obtain on a deserted island.

She had always loved tropical locations, and the Hawaiian Islands were so near the equator that the temperature almost never changed. She also loved sunsets so much that it was worth the suffering and slight risk of being out in the open before full dark. Green Island was primarily a bird sanctuary now, with the occasional monk seals that showed up on the beaches. Anne didn’t hate animals, but she killed a few birds that had the audacity to crap on her head one afternoon. At night, her vampire presence kept them away. In case something happened to her human servants, she could call out to a seal for assistance.

She sang to herself, “My bonny lies over the ocean; my bonny lies over the sea...” She liked that song, even though it wasn’t about her. As she sang and took another sip from her drink, she closed her eyes and grimaced in pain. This was a different kind of pain from that of a vampire out in the day. She knew that her estranged youngling John was in terrible danger and perhaps faced death. Despite the pain, she smiled and reclined easily on her lounger. “Serves the bastard right,” she whispered to herself. “He was my biggest regret in life. His charms fooled me, and I made him one of us. It’s time his life was brought to an end.”

Anne sighed, feeling better as the sun dipped near the horizon. She thought of that spring day in 1834 Newfoundland. John was a handsome man who exuded charisma and confidence. A hundred and thirty years didn’t seem so long ago. Time was relative when one was immortal. Still, she should have vetted John Snow and read his thoughts before turning him. But she was horny, hungry, and foolish. She not only bit him but kissed him afterwards with blood still on her lips. She didn’t see the harm in turning a wealthy fisherman. She realized too late that he was married, and she vowed not to cause the destruction of his marriage. When she saw him shot and dropped into the ocean, she thought that was the end of him, but she was wrong once more. Fish, it seemed, didn’t like the taste of vampires, and she learned that even a shot to the head and an injury to the brain would heal. Many years later, she heard of his rash actions, but didn’t want to admit to the Council that she had caused the mess. Best let them deal with it in their own way.

Newfoundland had seemed like a good place for a pirate to go – Peter Easton, Black Bart, and George Fielding all had frequented the area in years gone by. She enjoyed her life as a pirate. She loved to capture booty, but didn’t delight in slaughter.

Then she thought back to October, 1720, in Ocho Rios, Jamaica. She had been imprisoned there and convicted of piracy. Luckily she had dreamt of her own capture and had grown her belly in the two weeks prior, so as to appear pregnant. It was a simple matter then to ‘plead the belly,’ as it was known at the time, and receive a stay of execution. This stay gave her a chance to escape and resume her pirate career disguised as a man. By 1860, with Albert Hicks hung for piracy in the US, she knew it was time to stop. The world had changed, and she had to change with it. Riverboat gambling was easy money. She did enjoy being on the water and the attention men paid her.

Anne took another sip of her drink and concentrated. John was fortunate that the sun was about to set, and her powers were activated in time. A man in a white shirt and shorts came over to her. “Excuse me, mistress. May I get you another drink?”

Anne opened her eyes. “No, Charles, I’d like to be alone for a few minutes. Take away the glass and bring me my cell phone in a bit.”

The man nodded. “As you wish.” He took the glass and left.

Anne resumed her concentration, and John entered her mind fully. He thought to her, Anne. my dear, my own youngling Catherine and this motherfucker Joseph are about to kill me. If you ever cared for me, avenge my death. I am in Newfoundland, and I will give you my last images so you will know their faces.

Anne snorted and thought back, Go fuck yourself, John. I just wish you had died in 1834 instead of living this long. Anne received no reply, but did see through John’s eyes at his moment of death. She saw a statue of Peter Pan, animals at his feet, and a lot of blood. She saw a woman with beautiful long, red curly hair who looked terribly wounded in her chest, and man who seemed to have been shot as he stabbed John with a sharpened wooden stick.

Anne gasped as her own chest hurt terribly for a second. And then she received one final thought from John. They are watching us.

Anne waited for the pain to fade and rubbed her chest right above her heart. She snorted again and grumbled to herself, “Tell me something I don’t know.”

With the sun gone down, she sat up and smiled, absently admiring her slim, athletic figure in her gold bikini. She tossed back her fiery red hair, kept straight at shoulder length. “My dear John,” she said aloud, “your death, and these other vampires in Newfoundland, are enough to pique my interest.”

The last remnants of the sun disappeared below the horizon, and Anne felt her senses fully come to life. She heard Charles’ heartbeat and smelled the sweetness of his blood. As he approached, she stood and held out her hand for the phone. Charles said in his accustomed manner, “Are you hungry, mistress?” He passed her the phone and stretched his neck to one side.

Anne smiled. “Yes, Charles, you’ll have the next few days off, as I will drain you deeply. Remember, until you pass out, that I liked to be fondled. I’ll make certain Michael carries you to sickbay.”

Charles nodded. “Of course, mistress. Thank you for choosing me tonight.”

Anne took the phone and clipped in on the back of her bikini bottom. She took off Charles’ shirt and sunk her teeth into his neck. He tasted lovely, with not a hint of drugs or alcohol, and had a pleasant taste of cinnamon in his blood. She also enjoyed his ministrations, but she became more excited at the thought of sex with another vampire. It had been too long since she’d enjoyed the company of others of her kind. Any vampire capable of destroying John must be worth my interest.

She drained Charles until his heartbeat started to slow and he drifted into unconsciousness. Anne cared for her servants, the way a pet owner cared for her animals, and she laid him gently on the sand. She took the cell phone out and punched in the mansion number. She didn’t allow time for a greeting but simply stated, “Have a boat waiting on the southeastern end of Midway Island. I’ll whistle loudly. Also, prepare the sub and head off for Honolulu. I’ll be there in a few days. Make sure it has my weapons on board. Oh, and send Michael down to take Charles to sickbay. He’ll need a few days off.”

The reply came instantly. “Of course, mistress, right away.”

Anne tucked the cell phone into Charles’ right front pocket and, after a brief glance at the first stars that came into view, dived into the ocean. The water was warm against her cool skin. She could easily swim in the Arctic and break through ice if necessary, but this was much more pleasant. Fish, dolphins, sharks and the occasional whale all moved out of her way as she cut through the water like a knife. She had been an excellent swimmer as a human, and when she was turned, her swimming speed and skill reached legendary levels. She could easily swim thirty kilometers an hour at night and go for eight to ten hours with a belly full of blood. Like all vampires, she had an uncanny sense of direction and knew she was headed for Midway Island. She planned to reach it just before sunrise. Perhaps, when she got to Newfoundland, she would find a new companion or at least some friends. John had created Catherine, after all, and she did at least owe her an apology. She wondered if this Joseph had experienced a blood embrace. In any case, he had not done it with her.

It would take her weeks to get there this way, but she was in no rush. Anticipation was a wonderful thing, and time was certainly on her side.

The Newfoundland Vampire Book II: Killer on the Road
Charles O’Keefe

Genre: Horror / Paranormal / Romance / Vampire
Publisher: Penumbra Publishing
Date of Publication: August 31, 2013

ISBN-10: 1938758293
ISBN-13: 978-1938758294

Cover Artist: Nils Dannemann

Amazon Amazon Kindle
Amazon UK BN 

Book Description:

Joseph O’Reily is still adjusting to the lifestyle and the dangers that come with being a new vampire. He and Cassandra recently fought to the death with Cassandra’s estranged husband John Snow, and now Joseph has experienced his first ménage a trios, as only a vampire can. As if all of this was not complicated enough, he and Cassandra have been tasked with hunting down and killing a rogue vampire, Donald Rathmore.

Another of John Snow’s creations, Donald is an evil misogynistic killer in his own right. Donald has no interest in avenging his creator’s death, but killing Cassandra is at the top of his list.

While Donald continues his murderous spree, Joseph and Cassandra always seem to be one step behind him. The chase is further complicated as they encounter other vampires and learn more about the mysterious nature of the Vampire Council and the coming war between good and evil.

Joseph is only now beginning to trust Cassandra, and this trust will be shaken when he discovers she has even more secrets than he imagined. Her idea of justice and morality is at complete odds with his own. Despite all his powers and growing skill, Joseph is tested physically as a vampire and emotionally by Cassandra. This time the answers and challenges may be too much for the young vampire to handle.

About the Author:

Charles O’Keefe lives in the beautiful province of Newfoundland, Canada, with his wife and two feline ‘children,’ Jude and Esther.

He works in IT support and enjoys many hobbies and activities that include writing, reading, watching fantasy/science-fiction movies and television shows, gaming, poker, walking, Pilates, and of course fantasizing about vampires.

To find out more about Charles, go to Twitter and Facebook or visit his web site. http://www.charlesokeefe.com/

Blog: http://p45crok.wordpress.com

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/TheNLVampire

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=826155483

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6151429.Charles_O_Keefe

Amazon author page

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Jonathan Winn

Guest Post and Excerpt by Jonathan Winn

A Life Unknown

Paris is a city of ghosts.

You can feel them as you stroll her broad Avenues and wander her slender side streets. You can see them lingering just below the rolling surface of the Seine, the features of their faces lost in the white of her gentle waves. You can even hear them in the green pockets of quiet found in her parks and under the hum of the cars crawling their way up her quays.

This is why the immortal Martuk lives, breathes, sleeps and slaughters in the streets of modern day Paris.

He's a quiet man, Martuk. Too quiet for the surprising chaos of London and the not-at-all surprising insanity of New York. His memories of Italy are too wrapped in the violence of the early-Church, and the vast lands of Asia are, in a way, too vast.

He needs people. Not to feast or feed, because that's not what he does, but because, having been cut from the tree of humanity, he will be forever different. And though not one of them, these anonymous faces remind him of what he once was.

And so Paris is where he lays his head. Paris is where he stops to peer into bookstores, and sits in cafes to sip espressos. Paris is where he watches the seasons change and walks under wide, dark umbrellas when the inevitable rains come.

The teeming streets of modern Paris is where the occasional murder can go unsolved and soon be forgotten. Where a person can go missing, lost in a shuffle of paperwork, never to be found. Or a gruesome discovery can be made and the populace goes on about their lives, sipping coffee as if all is right with the world.

Those slender alleys grow dark at night. And those broad Avenues hold strangers, many strangers. And much can happen, unseen and unheard, in those pockets of green and blessed quiet dotting her neighborhoods, the rolling current of the river easily embracing and carrying away the bloody stains of Martuk's sins when he relents to the Darkness, forgetting for a moment that he is, like them, human.

She allows him to hide, this city. A monster in plain sight living A Life Unknown.

That's why Martuk the Holy stalks modern Paris.

What do you see?”
The sightless orbs blinked, the blood pooling to spill into the gashes on his cheeks, these gelatinous globes sharing the same victimhood as his flesh and his thick black hair.
What do you see?” the King asked again, his voice barely audible though I stood less than a foot from him, another blink leading to more crimson tears.
Something I’ve never seen before,” I responded, speaking the truth.
He smiled, the wounds lining his face opening anew in the afternoon light. Suddenly, his arm reached out. Having heard my voice, he now searched for me, swiftly grasping my shoulder and, his hand snaking around my neck, bringing me close.
I was terrified.
His nose found my hair, his lips tracing down my temple past my cheek to the flesh of my neck. He paused there, in the crook, his arm holding me tight, inhaling and then exhaling, his breath hot and putrid. The unmistakable smell of something dying inside. A sickening gust of fetid air which surrounded me, staining my nostrils to slide down my throat and settle in my stomach.
I swallowed. Then swallowed again.
Grasping his wrists, the flesh stuck to my fingers. Sweat, oils, ointment. Blood. The lingering stench of incense. All of it thick. All of it in need of fresh water. My palms now soiled with the stink.
This King, all scratches and fetid air, weeping flesh and bloodied sightless orbs, lifted his head and smiled.
And what is that?”
I’m sorry?” I asked, avoiding the red weeping from his eyes.
"And what is that? This something you’ve never seen before."
A soul in anguish.”
No,” he whispered, the smile disappearing. “I am a God. A God in anguish.”
Remembering the tangled limbs of the dead boy, I decided not to disagree.
It’s necessary,” he continued. “The God in me must break through my flesh. Rip my skin. The pain is necessary. And I welcome the struggle. The battle as Greatness destroys mortal mediocrity.”
His voiced trailed off as he became lost in thought.
The path to the Heavens is never easy,” he concluded.
Suddenly, he winced, doubling over, his hand clutching my shoulder as he pressed his face into my stomach.
I speak truth,” he gasped, as if answering silent doubts I didn't have.
He stood, calming himself, and returned his lips to the crook of my neck, that sweet, salty patch of flesh between shoulder and skull.
Sir, are you ...?” I began
There is more to tell, my little god,” he whispered, interrupting. "If you will listen, there is more to tell."
"I will listen," I said.
His breath on my neck, he nodded, his head remaining low, his chin tucked to his chest for a long moment before he raised his face, his cracked and peeling lips rough as they grazed my chin.
"Then we will talk about the blood."

Martuk ... the Holy
Book One
Jonathan Winn
Genre: Horror, Literary Horror

ISBN: 978-1480035690

Cover Artist: Timothy Burch

Amazon BN Smashwords

Book Description:

In a crowded Left Bank cafe, an immortal man sits, the phantoms crawling near, the heat of their whispers stinging his cheek ...

and Martuk ... The Holy begins.

One thousand years before the birth of Christ, a golden god damns Martuk with a kiss. In a land ruled by a wounded king, life everlasting steals his mortality from the bottom of a golden cup. Finally, generations later, a Messiah who has the power to heal breaks under the weight of Martuk's demons, stumbling to his death defeated by darkness.

From his home in modern Paris, he writes, his memories lush, his words evocative. Revisiting his impossible life, he vents his rage and shares his loneliness. From bloody battles with a demon he cannot escape to the ghost of a beauty who haunts him still, this is his story.

This is Martuk ... The Holy.

About the Author 

Screenwriter, playwright, actor, and now award-winning author, Jonathan Winn was born in Seattle, WA, and currently divides his time between the East and West coasts. Martuk ... The Holy is his first book.

Blog - http://martuktheholy.com

Twitter - http://twitter.com/Jonathan_Winn

Facebook - http://facebook.com/MartukTheHoly

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Monday, October 14, 2013

Susannah Scott

Excerpt by Susannah Scott

Lucy glared at the casino owner. She had researched him, of course, studying his athletic image in hundreds of Internet pictures. The man was good-looking, apparently brilliant, and ruthless in his business deals. Watching the mesmerized crowd lean toward the stage, she had to admit he had that something else too—the showmanship of a champion con man—a magnetism she knew could draw people like lemmings off a cliff.

The man was flat-out people-genic.

“As many of you know, this project has been years in the making.” Alec Gerald surveyed the courtyard, working the crowd with his voice and easy mannerisms. “Our gem exhibit opens in a few weeks and will be the largest private collection of gems in the world. Carat for carat, we will outweigh England’s crown jewels.”

Lucy’s eyes never left him. Though his voice was cultured and smooth, Gerald’s posture was wide-legged and slightly aggressive. Formidable. Her eyes traveled from his polished shoes up his body. The curve of quad muscle showed through his pants when he shifted to the side. His torso was taut and gave way to wide, burly shoulders. A bump on the bridge of his nose indicated he’d been in a fight or two.

That was not good for her. Not good at all.

Lucy pondered the man on the stage, not happy with the picture she was forming of her opponent. Gerald’s playful words, five o’clock shadow, and slightly long hair all seemed to suggest a man of desultory casualness. Indeed, the articles she had read on him went on, and on, about his genial public presence. A veritable man of the world, who’d been-there-done-it all, twice. A man who could offer the all-elusive it to anyone with a plane ticket to Vegas. A man so charming, he didn’t need to shave twice a day.

But her instincts told her this was wrong. Gerald was a serious man who only pretended to be lighthearted and casual.

She would have to watch her step.

Luck of the Dragon
Susannah Scott

Paranormal Romance

Release Date: June 2013

Published by:Covet

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Luciana de Luca has a PhD in sass and gemology—and a problem. Her twin brother’s gambling debts have gotten out of hand, and a mob enforcer is blackmailing her to rob the latest, greatest mega-casino on the Strip. Although Lucy has worked her whole life to get away from her family’s grifter past, to save her brother, she dons three-inch heels and a sluts-r-us dress and struts into Alec’s Gerald’s casino, determined to put her long-forgotten thieving ways to the test again.

Alec Gerald, a shape-shifting dragon, has built the Crown Jewel casino to provide sanctuary for his people amongst the flash and awe of Las Vegas. Unfortunately, the sexy little thief trying to rob his gem exhibit turns out to be his mate, and he must woo her before he loses his dragon form forever. With enemies in every corner, and the all-important mating ceremony looming, Alec and Lucy must learn to trust each other, before time runs out for Alec and the rest of the dragons.

About the Author:

SUSANNAH SCOTT lives in the Missouri Ozarks and is the lone female in a very loud household of males ranging in age from 4 to 40. While she jokes that the extreme levels of testosterone inspired her to write romance, it is really the love of creating an excellent story, and the occasional dreams of twenty-foot dragons, that wake her and send her to the laptop before the chaos of daily life ensues. Susannah loves to hear from her readers at the following social media locations:

Susannah Social Media links:

Luck of the Dragon--Chapter 1--sample

Susannah Scott Author website

Susannah Scott Facebook Author page

Susannah Scott Goodreads

Susannah Scott Twitter

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Friday, October 11, 2013

Dora Machado

Guest Post by Dora Machado

Top Ten Reasons Why I Love My Writing Gig

By: Dora Machado

People are always asking me why I write. The truest answer has something to do with the fact that I can't stop writing. But I love what I do, and just in case the benefits of my chosen profession aren't obvious to the rest of the world, here are the top ten reasons why I absolutely love my writing gig:

10. My daily commute entails a thirty-second shuffle from bed to desk.

9. It's nine p.m. to five a.m. and I like it that way.

8. My supervisor is a cat.

7. I can spend hours surfing the Internet, learning about ancient curses, medieval remedies, magical spells, curse givers and mythological goddesses, and nobody gives me grief about it.

6. The water cooler is out back. If I really need cooling, I swim in it.

5. I get to daydream and that's okay. My third grade teacher was so wrong about daydreaming!

4. Business casual = yoga pants. Casual Friday may occasionally involve flannel pajamas.

3. I have to read a lot to write a lot. Well, if someone must make the tough sacrifices….

2. During work hours, I live in my own world. Literally.

1. I get to share my work, life and passion with amazing readers like you.

The Curse Giver
Dora Machado

Genre: Fantasy, Epic Fantasy, Romantic Fantasy, Fantasy Romance, Dark Fantasy

Publisher: Twilight Times Books

ISBN: 978-1-60619-289-4

Cover Artist: Brad Fraunfelter

Book Trailer: 

Amazon BN All Romance eBooks


Lusielle's bleak but orderly life as a remedy mixer is shattered when her husband betrays her and she is sentenced to die for a crime she didn't commit. She's on the pyre, about to be burned, when a stranger breaks through the crowd and rescues her from the flames.

Brennus, Lord of Laonia is the last of his line. He is caught in the grip of a mysterious curse that has murdered his kin, doomed his people and embittered his life. To defeat the curse, he must hunt a birthmark and kill the woman who bears it in the foulest of ways. Lusielle bears such a mark.

Stalked by intrigue and confounded by the forbidden passion flaring between them, predator and prey must come together to defeat not only the vile curse, but also the curse giver who has already conjured their ends.

About the Author

Dora Machado is the award winning author of the epic fantasy Stonewiser series and her newest novel, The Curse Giver, available from Twilight Times Books July 2013. She grew up in the Dominican Republic, where she developed a fascination for writing and a taste for Merengue. After a lifetime of straddling such compelling but different worlds, fantasy is a natural fit to her stories. She lives in Florida with her husband and three very opinionated cats.

To learn more about Dora Machado and her novels, visit her website at www.doramachado.com

Subscribe to her blog at http://www.doramachado.com/blog/ , sign up for her newsletter at http://doramachado.com/newsletter.php and follow her on Facebook and Twitter.

For a free excerpt of The Curse Giver, visit http://twilighttimesbooks.com/TheCurseGiver_ch1.html

About Dora Machado's Novels:

Dora Machado is the award winning author of the Stonewiser trilogy and her newest novel, The Curse Giver. She is one of the few Latinas exploring her heritage and her world through the epic fantasy genre today. Her first novel, Stonewiser: The Heart of the Stone, won the 2009 Benjamin Franklin award for best debut novel. Her second novel, Stonewiser: The Call of the Stone, won the 2010 Independent Publishers Book Award's (IPPY) Gold Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy book of the year. Her third novel, Stonewiser: The Lament of the Stone, won the 2012 Independent Publishers Book Award's (IPPY) Silver Medal for Best Science Fiction/Fantasy book of the year. All three novels were finalists in ForeWord Magazine's Book of the Year Award in the Science Fiction and Fantasy Category. Her latest novel, The Curse Giver from Twilight Times Books is available July 2013.

Twitter: @DoraMachado or https://twitter.com/DoraMachado

Amazon Author Central: www.amazon.com/author/doramachado

Curse Giver Tour Giveaway Details

Subscribe to Dora Machado's blog and/or newsletter and enter for a chance to win:

1) One of three autographed books of Dora Machado's Stonewiser Series.


2) One of ten special edition bracelets commemorating The Curse Giver's EBook release.

This handcrafted, customized, limited-edition, 1/4 inch aluminum bracelet from Silver Statements is hammered and stamped with The Curse Giver's signature message—Knowledge, Reason and Awareness, and flanked by the stylized outline of butterfly wings. Inside, the bracelet is stamped with the word Strength. Aluminum is a great metal for jewelry. It won't turn your skin green, doesn't oxidize or tarnish, and its water safe. Plus it's so lightweight that you might even forget you're wearing it.

For a chance at one of The Curse Giver's limited edition bracelets subscribe now at:




Yes, you double your chances when you subscribe to both the blog and the newsletter!

Giveaway Terms and Condition:

New subscribers to the blog and/or newsletter will automatically qualify to participate. Names will be selected at random from the list of new subscribers on November 15, 2013. Subscribers will be notified via e-mail. Winners will be asked to provide a mailing address for delivery.

Friday, October 4, 2013

Julie N. Ford

Guest Post and Excerpt by Julie N. Ford

What Makes a Strong Female Character?

I think my idea of a strong female character is very different from most every other modern fiction writer. I don’t believe a women’s strength lays in kickin’-butt-and-takin’-names, screwing random hot men without a care and/or emotional connection. Or in being the no-nonsense, it’s-just-business/nothing-personal boss of the world. In my opinion, all of the aforementioned qualities equate said heroine to nothing more than a man in a woman’s body. So, what’s the point?

Likewise, on the other side of the coin, I also get tired of the same old female characters. Pretty and doesn’t know it, meets a man who finds her attractive but somehow she can’t fathom why . . . blah, blah and blah.

For me, a woman’s strength lies in her sensitivity, intuition, empathy and compassion. A woman shows her strength through her loyalty, and in her ability to look beyond the obvious to see the truth. She stands up for what’s right—moral—no matter what. She protects the people she loves at all costs.

In Replacing Gentry I did the unconscionable and wrote a female character who’s not pretty, but not unfortunate looking either, which quite frankly, Marlie couldn’t care less either way. She’s not concerned with living up to media images of perfection that couldn’t possibly exist in nature. She’s well aware of her own social awkwardness. And because she’s comfortable in her own skin, she rolls easily with her flaws, instead of beating herself up over her imperfections.

After all, Marlie couldn’t possibly have time for all that pettiness when there’s a walking cadaver issuing cryptic threats, not to mention a woman who looks like her husband’s deceased wife sneaking around. And don’t forget about the handsome Johnny Hutchinson who seems to show up at all the wrong times. And where has Marlie seen him before anyway?

I hope you’ll read Replacing Gentry and that you’ll enjoy, and relate to, my version of a strong female character.

Happy Reading

Replacing Gentry
Julie N. Ford

Genre: Women’s Fiction/Suspense

Publisher: WiDo Publishing

Date of Publication: April 2013

ISBN: 1937178315

Cover Artist: Steve Novak

Book Description:

When Marlie agrees to attend a cadaver ball at Vanderbilt Medical School, she did not expect to actually see any cadavers. Or, that a strange apparition would issue her a chilling message.

Despite the cadaver's warning, Marlie is married a year later to Tennessee State Senator, Daniel Cannon, and living in a plantation-style mansion with two step-sons. Add to the mix her growing suspicion that something is amiss with the death of Daniel’s first wife, Gentry, and newlywed Marlie is definitely in over her pretty Yankee head.

What begins as an innocent inquiry into her new husband’s clouded past ends with Marlie in the midst of a dangerous conspiracy.

A modern twist on the classic Gothic romance novels of Rebecca and Jane Eyre, Replacing Gentry follows Marlie’s precarious journey as she learns the truth about the man she married.

The loud clank of the door fastening shut behind me gave me a start. My steps skidded to a stop in the sudden darkness, and I pulled a breath deep into my chest. The air was heavy like icy needles probing my throat. I rubbed the chill bumps on my arms with the heat of my moist palms.

Where am I?

Squinting against the hazy glow of a single bulb, I scanned one way, then the other, unable to determine the end of the passageway in either direction. From the other side of the door, the steady drumming of the bass from the Cadaver Ball sounded miles away. The perceived distance was a welcome relief. I needed some time to think, to center, and to get a grip. What had just happened between Daniel and me? One minute he’d been leading me around the dance floor, the next I’d lost track of how many dances we’d shared and found myself kissing him. Sure, I’d considered the possibility, but fantasizing about kissing a total stranger and actually going through with it were two very different things. I’d only known one man before who’d been able to draw me in so quickly.


I’d also met Finn at a ritzy Nashville party I had attended with my best friend Anna-Beth. Only that had been years ago, back when she and I were still in college. Like Daniel, Finn had been handsome and wealthy. My time with him had ended in heartbreak and loss. Tonight, being back in Nashville, it was like I could feel him all around me—a cagey presence deft at staying just beyond my line of sight. And then I’d met Daniel.

Paul leaned forward to rest his elbows on the table. “Next question.” His eyes took a discerning turn around our fellow dinner guests as if he were about to say something profound. “Do you believe in love at first sight? And if so, if you met the man of your dreams and he asked you to marry him right then and there, would you say yes?”

As had been the case the entire night, my thoughts rushed to Finn, how I’d fallen for him the first time we’d met. And how two weeks later I had boarded a plane to Vegas where I’d become his wife.

Obviously, my true answer would be yes.
“I’d like to send the dilemma to the social worker,” Paul’s voice sailed

across the table, bringing everyone’s focus to me.
“Marlie is a therapist for the California Department of Corrections,”

Anna-Beth corrected.
Her reproach was polite, as always, with a touch of perkiness. She

slanted another salacious look to the dark-haired, fair-eyed plastic surgery intern she’d introduced earlier as Steven. A far cry from the teary-eyed socialite who had picked me up at the airport the day before after insisting twenty-four hours earlier that she couldn’t possibly go on living without the support of her “dearest friend.” Yesterday she’d been practically suicidal after the loss of her latest “future hus- band.” Tonight she’d evidently discovered that there was at least one more potential spouse left to explore.

“Psychiatric social worker,” I clarified. “And, my training and experience has taught me that a man willing to jump quickly into marriage is more than likely hiding some unfortunate character flaw, something he’s afraid he can’t keep hidden for long,” I answered, feigning a professional confidence.

I was looking into the black hole of my thirty-first birthday, doubting with every day that slithered by I’d ever again meet a man I could pledge my heart to. Besides, what woman, over thirty or otherwise, doesn’t secretly fantasize about a chance meeting with the man of her dreams?

Paul considered my answer with a shrewd stare. “I don’t believe you. I think you, like all women, would jump at the chance to be married,” he said, his drawl stained with a hint of headiness.

Despite the fact he was clearly wearing a platinum band on his left ring finger, Paul had been ogling me all evening, and I could sense a growing affinity. But I was one hundred percent sure I wanted no part of it. I inwardly groaned. This impromptu game of Scruples was get- ting on my last nerve. It ticked me off that Paul had accurately called my bluff, but I wouldn’t give him the satisfaction of yielding to the fact.

I fixed him with a cold stare. “I’m wondering why you bothered to ask me the question when you’d already made up your mind as to my answer?”

Paul’s smirk, downright creepy now, tugged at his lips again. “Fair enough,” he conceded. “Your boss congratulates you for a brilliant suggestion and hints at a promotion. One of your subordinates gave you the idea. Do you mention this to your boss?”

Clearing my throat, I offered up an answer. “Of course I would give my subordinate his or her due credit.”

Paul leaned forward. “Even if it meant you’d get passed up for the promotion?”

I squared my shoulders. “How could I feel good about a promotion I hadn’t earned?”

Shaking his head, Paul grunted out a snort. “I’m sorry, Marlie, but no one subscribes to such outdated, bogus ideals of integrity anymore.” He sent his gaze around the table for confirmation. “I say she’s bluffing.”

I rolled my eyes in return. “So, outdated stereotypes regarding women are perfectly alive and well but showing a little integrity ... that’s old fashioned?” I retorted, though an announcement had every- one shifting toward the front.

From the stage, the emcee was lamenting about a doctor—Dr. Peter Daschle—a pioneer in the field of reconstructive plastic surgery who’d been strides ahead of his time when he’d met with tragic death and how his expertise would be sorely missed ... Then, after a minute of silence, the emcee introduced the band and invited everyone to the dance floor. The buzz of attendees taking one last drink, or bite of dessert, before pushing back their chairs was quickly overpowered by the band’s version of Hip to My Heart as everyone paired up and filed out to the dance floor.

Glancing across the table, I could see Paul fighting the flow of bodies, cutting a path straight for me. A look of cool, self-assuredness seemed to be driving him against the fray. My gaze flitted quickly around the room as I considered my options. I had two choices: run for the safety of the service exit and spend the rest of the night hiding, or turn, face him, and let him know exactly what I thought of his presumptions. Given that I had a general dislike for cowardice, option number two was my obvious choice.

I’d just started in his direction when I heard a voice asking, “Would you like to dance?”

“No, not right now,” I said through tight lips. “I’ve got something I need to take care of first.”

The voice came back along with the light touch of fingertips on my elbow. “I think what you’re fixin’ to do can, and should, wait for a more appropriate settin’.”

I hesitated. It wasn’t like I was planning to make a scene, and who was this man that thought he knew what I had in my mind to do? Whirling around, I shot a bothered stare into the face behind the voice.

Gazing down at me, the hint of a smile on his lips, was a man Anna- Beth had introduced as her cousin, Daniel something-or-other. In his early forties, he had thick dark hair tapered neatly around his neck and ears but longer on the top and combed back. His nose was slightly crooked, his chin distinctive. A trace of gray at the temples gave him the look of striking maturity, a man accustomed to the finer things in life.

His dark blue eyes conveyed a subtle insistence as he stepped to the side and motioned to the dance floor. “After you,” he said with all the graciousness of a Southern-born gentleman.

Swallowing back a portion of my resolve, I found myself at a sud- den loss for words. Unnerving since I rarely, if ever, found myself with nothing whatsoever to say. After a final glance back at Paul—I would deal with him later—I adjusted my course and headed for the dance floor. Daniel pulled me in close and proceeded to lead in a smooth cowboy cha-cha. After a few silent turns around the parquet floor, I glanced up to see that his eyes, dark blue like a moonless night, were searching mine as if looking for a truth that eluded him.

“Back at the table ... your answers, were they sincere, or were you playin’ devil’s advocate?”

My head spun under the heat of his gaze. At the moment I couldn’t recall each and every response, there had been so many, but thinking back, I was fairly certain I’d meant them all.

“As hard as it may be to believe, they were all my true opinions.” Pulling me closer still, his mouth was just a kiss away as he whispered,

“Just so you know, I don’t think integrity is outdated.”

Why am I so inanely attracted to all the things I’m not? I mused as I began to pace the tight circle of light that fanned out into the darkness. Even

more puzzling, why had Daniel been attracted to me? I wasn’t particularly tall, and while my face and figure were not unfortunate, I tended to blend easily into a crowd. But then, he had said that I reminded him of a slightly older Emma Stone, which I modestly denied, while secretly I’d kind of thought so too.

And then there was always the possibility that because I was from out of town he’d considered me an easy mark for a torrid one-night- stand. Except from what I could see, he seemed to be a perfect gentle- man—not at all the womanizing type. I stopped pacing and started chewing my thumbnail while the toe of my sandal tapped the floor.

Why was I so cold?

I should go back in. Only now I felt like an idiot for running out the way I had. It was too frigid out here to spend any more time second- guessing my reaction. How should I play it when I see Daniel? Act casual? Ignore him? I was mentally pounding my head when another sound joined the echo of my tapping foot. Slamming my shoe to the floor, I held it still and listened to the darkness. I couldn’t hear a thing, not even the muffled drumming of the band.

Turning in a circle, my eyes searched the shadows, unable to see anything beyond the thick blanket of blackness surrounding my solitary swath of light. An unsettling feeling began a slow crawl up my spine. Was it the sudden quiet or the complete darkness that had me feeling on edge? I couldn’t be sure at first, but then there was noise, or maybe just a feeling as the presence of something unseen crept over me, and I realized I wasn’t alone.

“Hello,” I called, my voice echoing down the dark passageway. “Who’s there?”

The only reply was the hiss of my own breath, the rush of my blood as it beat against my ears. “I know you’re there,” I said. I thought I heard something—a sigh or a brush against the far wall.

“Hello?” I tried again. Nothing. Maybe my imagination was getting away from me? I mean, who wouldn’t be creeped out in a dark, frigid hallway? Nothing to worry about.

In case something feral was indeed lurking out there, I retraced my steps, one foot behind the other, my eyes sweeping the abyss in both directions until I bumped up against the steel of the door.

Reaching back, I pushed down on the handle and then pulled while keeping a close eye on a predator I wasn’t sure existed. The door didn’t budge. I turned to face the door, pushed down with both hands this time and pulled. Then I lifted and yanked again. The door stayed put.

I was locked out. The fear of being trapped squeezed my chest with a ruthless grip. Droplets of perspiration rolled from my temples and down to my neck, burning a steamy trail over my cold skin. The air grew more frigid. The darkness pressed closer. My heart began to race, my breath grew more shallow as panic pushed hard at my need to stay calm.

“I’m locked out here!” I pounded my fists on the door as the music started up again. “Can someone—anyone—hear me?” I yelled until my throat was raw, the shrieks shooting from my lips in puffs of white smoke.

Pressing my cheek against the door, I listened to the muffled sounds of a rousing party. The cool metal did little to relieve the heat of my exertion. There was no indication that anyone had heard my screams—at least no one on the other side of the door.

A thump, followed by a drag was the first undeniable conformation that someone—something—was there.

I slowly turned. “Who’s there?” my voice rasped out again. I heard no audible answer, just another thump and a drag. “Can you help me?” I asked. “The door seems to be stuck.”

I waited. The dragging grew closer, the darkness slowly consuming what little light was there in the dark hallway.

“Please, say something.” My voice crackled against the black walls, my eyes focused toward the sounds as the silhouette of a body materialized out of the haze.

At first, all I could make out the bareness of a man’s feet and legs against the grey floor, one foot taking feeble steps forward while the other dragged along in its wake. His flesh was white like a thin sheet of paper stretched over iridescent blue veins.

“Are you all right?” I called out, thinking maybe he wasn’t an attacker at all but someone in desperate need of help. “Do you need medical assistance?”

Another thump and a drag brought him closer. The dim light turned blinding as it reflected off the whiteness of his skin. He was completely naked. His shoulders were slumped over. His arms hung long and limp at the sides of his torso. A stitching in the shape of a Y marked across his chest. His hair was disheveled and receding from a long forehead above sunken cheeks and lifeless, gray-rimmed eyes. He looked like a walking corpse.

My hand flew to cover the scream that exploded from my chest. “Oh my gosh!” I pressed my back harder against the door, feebly edging

myself away. My ankles gave way beneath me.
The man took a few more steps and stopped.“Marlie Evans,” he said,

the words booming over stiff lips.
The breath solidified in my throat. Absolute silence filled the flickering shadows cast by the light of a dying bulb. A flash of steel running down to a wheeled box on the floor behind him caught my attention. Then the squeak of a pulley had my mind leaping back to the dark-

humored skits that had opened the medical school ball, but I was unable to recall this particular prop.

“Is this some sort of joke?” I called out through quivering lips.

“You don’t belong here,” he said, raising a shaking arm to point a crooked finger in my direction. “You should go back, go back to where you belong.”

I cranked the door handle down again. Again, the latch didn’t release. “Yeah, no kidding,” I said, forcing a weak chuckle. “I would go back in but like I said before, the door seems to be stuck.”

“Marlie Evans,” he repeated with more insistence.
I shrank farther back, my eyes darting about the space, waiting for

the prankster to reveal himself. “If this is meant to scare me for some twisted amusement you’ve done a good job . . . I’m officially freaked out!” I screamed then waited, my gaze unwittingly locked with the unfathomable site before me. “Enough is enough already!”

His face was like that of a ventriloquist’s dummy. “You are weak and will lose all that is precious to you, and still, you will not change what has already been decided.”

Each syllable pressed down on me like a heavy weight. I sucked in a ragged breath. Why was I trapped in the cold, the darkness, with death standing before me? Suddenly, this didn’t feel like a joke.

Supporting my weakening body against the exit, my nails bent and cracked as my fingers dug into the hard surface. “Change what?” I pled, tears blurring my focus. “I don’t understand.”

He blinked once, slowly. “The end has already been written,” he said with what sounded like considerable effort.

Terror pushed the blood hard through my veins. “What are you talking about?” I cried. “What end?”

A sneer pulled across his sullen face, his features contorting into a look so vile I felt as though something evil had reached inside me and taken hold of my soul.

“Your end.”

About the Author:

Julie N. Ford graduated from San Diego State University with a BA in Political Science and a minor in English Literature. In addition, she has a Masters in Social Work from the University of Alabama. Professionally, she has worked in teaching and as a Marriage & Family Counselor.

In addition to Replacing Gentry, she is the author of two women’s fiction novels, The Woman He Married and No Holly for Christmas, published in 2011. She also wrote a romance/chick-lit novel, Count Down to Love, published in 2011. Count Down to Love was a 2011 Whitney Award finalist.

Currently, she lives in Nashville, TN with her husband, two daughters and one baby hedgehog. For more information or see what Julie is working on now, you can visit her at JulieNFord.com.