Guest Post: Fractured Truth Blog Tour

 

It’s finally here!

Fractured Truth, the final novel in the paranormal, YA Fractured Light trilogy, was just released! Follow the blog tour to find out more about Fractured Truth and enter below for a chance to a signed copy or a $25 Amazon gift card!


Llona is determined to end the fight with the Vykens once and for all. All she needs is to find and destroy the Shadow—the ultimate source of dark power. But when she makes a startling discovery about someone she loves, Llona has to fight the toughest battle yet in this exciting conclusion to the Fractured Light series.
 
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Click the pictures below to find out more about Fractured Light and Fractured Soul, book one and book two. 

 

Click here to sign up for the Giveaway!

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http://www.amazon.com/Fractured-Soul-Rachel-McClellan/dp/1462111807/ref=la_B005RFFM9M_1_3?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1396458040&sr=1-3

Special Guest: Yasmin Shiraz

On today’s blog, we have a special guest: Yasmin Shiraz! Her newest book, Accused, is the sequel to Retaliation, which is a gritty young adult novel. Here is a little bit about the novel:

 

Accused-CoverAn easier and more peaceful life seemed to be destined for Ahmed and Tashera when they left Washington, DC and entered Georgia Atlantic University. But when Ahmed is accused of a crime that he didn’t commit and begins to be tried in the media, his popularity plummets, his self-esteem suffers, and his dreams of playing college basketball disappear.

Meanwhile, there is a serial rapist on campus who has been attacking freshman girls at record numbers and forcing them to keep silent. As Tashera learns about the girls, she begins to close in on the rapist. But is the attacker too crafty to be caught? Will the state prosecutor ignore key evidence to instead focus on the fame that comes with convicting a high profile basketball star?

Tashera is beyond stressed as she divides her time between trying to find enough evidence to clear Ahmed while at the same time stopping the rapist who roams the campus of Georgia Atlantic. Ahmed and Tashera’s journey into a new life away from home is more challenging than they ever thought that it would be.

 

I quested Yasmin with explaining what her main character, Taresha, would choose in her Apocalypse Survival Arsenal. Here’s what she said:

 

Bottled Water – an unlimited supply that has been stashed someone safe like under a house.

Dried Fruit – especially dried apple and bananas. She wants to maintain her regularity and get some potassium.

An All – Weather Jacket & Pants – Tashera hates being cold.

Flashlight – Never know when there will be no lights. Plus Tashera may way to find other people who need her help.

Tent – Just in case all the houses have been destroyed, she’ll like to sleep in a tent.

Astronaut Food – Tashera is totally up for trying new food. She’s as tough as any astronaut.

Matches – She’s a total girl scout and could rub two pieces of wood together, but she doesn’t want to show off and would also like to use matches.

Hiking Boots – She likes protecting her feet.

Wool Socks – Keep your feet warm and dry.

Sleeping Bag – In case she sleeps outside, she wants to be warm.

Sunscreen – She wants to protect her great skin.

Sat Phone – She wants to be able to call people or be called in case she is needed.

Hat with a Brim and a string – Wants to protect her head from bugs, or protect her skin from the sun.

Bottle of aspirin – Just in case she has an ache.

A swiss army knife – She used to carry a switchblade as a tool for self-defense, she prefers the swiss army knife now for survival.

Lip balm – She doesn’t like chafed, chapped lips.

Pink Nail polish – She wants to remember what it was like to be a carefree girl every now and then.

The Bible – Since it’s the apocalypse, I guess Tashera will need to pray! She wants to learn about the miracles just in case one happens during the apocalypse.

 

YasHBD2013

 

Yasmin Shiraz is the author of The Blueprint for My Girls as well as The Blueprint for My Girls in Love. She is an empowerment speaker and program developer who has delivered programs and keynotes based on her books.

She is the author of the ALA’s Top Ten Quick Pick for Reluctant Readers selection, Retaliation. She has spoken at over 100 colleges nationwide on topics such as empowerment, black history and hip hop culture.

She is an award winning film director as her film, Can She Be Saved? won 4 film awards including Best New film.

When not writing books, she produces documentaries for her company, Still Eye Rise Films.

Author Links:  Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads  | Google +

 

Accused-Banner

 

Resources from Write the Dream

I had the greatest time speaking at the Write the Dream conference today! My topics were about Cover Art and Layout & Design. The attendees had some awesome questions, and it was wonderful to meet everyone. As I mentioned to everyone, I have compiled a huge list of resources for both of the topics I spoke about. You can find the pages they are on linked below. If you attended the conference and gave me your email address, I will also send it to your personal email. And finally, if you have any questions regarding anything we discussed in the session, (or any other topic) please feel free to contact me through the contact page!

 

Cover Art Resources

 

Layout & Design Resources

 

I hope to see you all publishing in the near future! Good luck!

 

 

March 8, 2014

Write the Dream Conference

Coming up in March, the Write the Dream conference is happening in Kansas City. If you have always wanted to write a book or you are interested in getting your book in the hands of readers, then this conference is perfect for you. I’ll be there talking about covers and formatting, but there are tons of other authors who will be there to share their wealth of information. There is still time to register, so don’t miss this awesome event.

Write the Dream

Next Project Hints

undineAtSeaSo, I’ve been sending links to images that hint at the subject of my next young adult novel project. It will be a stand alone novel, which I know is a risk. As I work on it, I’ve been inspired by two of my favorite artists: Arthur Rackham and John William Waterhouse.

undineCrystalVaultThe first piece of inspiration is the story and art of Undine, illustrated by Arthur Rackham. He is a well-known artist who illustrated books like Undine and Alice’s Adventure in Wonderland. He is also known for fantastical and whimsical illustrations of the fae folk as well as fairy tales. His artwork reminds me of the ocean, and it is magical. This particular story, Undine, is about a water nymph who is taken in by a fisherman and his wife. She wishes to gain a soul, but in order to do so, she must marry a human. It’s considered a romantic fairy tale of sorts.

 

waterhouseMermaid

After Arthur Rackham, I am also drawing inspiration from John William Waterhouse. I enjoy his artwork so much that I even tried to replicate this particular painting during an art assignment in school. We were supposed to emulate a master painter’s work, and this mermaid was the painting I chose. I wish I could find the old painting, but it has been lost in my recent move. If I find it, though, I get a picture posted. At any rate, Waterhouse is so inspirational because he paints a lot of beautiful, flowing women and water.  (Can you sense a theme?) I love his mermaid, and the way he treats water is just so pretty. These are a couple of my favorites, but I do love Lady of Shalott and The Siren.

waterhouseMiranda

 

Another hint, and this one is really sad, but I never realized that The Prince and the Pauper was not actually a fairy tale, nor did I realize that it was written by Mark Twain. Please don’t think any less of me. I just never put two and two together. So embarrassing!

 

 

So, there are my hints and inspirations. Can you guess the subject of my next YA book yet?

 

Guest Post: Cover Reveal for Eating Sarah

Eating Sarah CoverEver since Sarah was young, all she could dream about was participating in The Hunt — a monthly event in which her people sneak into the nearby cities and villages to gather food. And in Sarah’s world, the food they feast on most is human flesh.

In the deep forests of the Rocky Mountains, Sarah lives in a community of man-eaters. With Fall ending and hunger running rampant, Sarah and her cannibalistic community are forced to change the rules of their Hunt. And with these changes come new risks. When her first Hunt ends in catastrophe, and one of her only friends is lost, Sarah is sentenced to work in the slaughter shack.

Among the dead and dying, Sarah is introduced to Troy: a man she knows she will be forced to kill. As her life crumbles around her, her feelings for Troy grow, along with the knowledge that, if anyone discovers her secret, she will find herself in his place.

With nowhere to turn, and Troy’s time running out, Sarah becomes set on leaving. But, in accordance with their laws, to leave would be to dishonor the family name and, in turn, cause their deaths. As suspicions of mutiny within the colony rise, everyone is watched and every move Sarah makes could be her last.

And then there are the bodies–the ones that are unmistakably their own, complete with missing limbs and markings that oddly look like bite marks.

Boundaries are pushed, allegiances broken, and the very question of what it means to be human is called into play.

SIGN UP FOR RELEASE NOTIFICATION for your chance to win a FREE copy at the novel’s release or to snag a copy at $0.99 during the New Release Sale!

Now Available: Becoming the Night

I know I’ve been MIA since shortly after Halloween, but it’s because I was working really hard to get this novella out into the world before December. Well, I was successful! It ended up having a Thanksgiving release date, but I messed up. Right after I published, the holiday happened, my five-year wedding anniversary happened, and then work slammed me with two fourteen-hour shifts a week. Insanity is my middle name, though. (Actually, it’s Rhiannon… but who’s keeping track?)

The point I’m trying to make, though, is that my efforts paid off, and Becoming the Night is now ready. It really turned out well, and I’m just so proud of it. Kit is my Eponine, and it feels great to tell her story. So, without further ado, Becoming the Night!

Becoming the Night
Becoming the Night
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With exceptional strength and the ability to heal ten times faster than an average person, Kit Cartwright has never felt like a normal teenage girl. Despite her best efforts to fit in and the constant prodding into social activities from her best friend Sky, Kit keeps witnessing weird phenomena wherever she goes, which doesn’t help her feel any more normal.

One night, she and Sky are awoken to the world going to hell with monsters that fall from the sky and ravage their city. Kit must journey through the chaos to reach her father’s fortified laboratory and evade a demonic hunter who wants her to embrace her dark side and join him.

This novella is part of the Dark Ascension series and features Kit, the tragic and feisty half-demon. It spans from before the demon apocalypse to the events that took place in Land of No Mortals.

 

Now Available: Nine Levels

Nine Levels is the story that I had planned originally for a Halloween blog post. Instead, I posted a short, unedited excerpt. The story just became too big for flash fiction. It was something pretty dark that I had been inspired to write based on some fond memories I had of my teenage years during October. The short story is now available at all major retailers, so please enjoy!

Nine Levels by N.R. Wick

Nine Levels
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Kelsey and her friends are spending Halloween night at the Haunted House on Main Street, their town’s biggest spooky attraction. They visit every year, but Kelsey never seems to find the thrill that she wants. This time, she convinces the others to attempt the Nine Levels of Hell, which is rumored to be so terrifying that no one has ever made it all the way through. When one of her friends is kidnapped and another is found dead, Kelsey and her remaining comrades must escape before they are caught by a crazed chainsaw man.

**Nine Levels is a young adult short story of approximately 3,700 words or 13 pages.**

 

YA Week of Creep Giveaway Winner!

tombstones

I hope everyone had a safe and fun Halloween/Samhain on Thursday! I spent the evening teaching and gave my students a themed writing prompt. The posts were really fun to read! Because I live in an apartment, we really don’t get trick or treaters or anything like that, but it was a nice evening to watch some horror movies and relax with my Husband.

I realized that I didn’t post the winner of the Week of Creep giveaway, even though I did contact her. So, without further ado, the winner is…

Natalie E.K.

Her prizes have been sent and shipped! I want to thank everyone who participated, though! I hope you all had fun, and I’m thinking that next year, I may have a super huge giveaway with an epic grand prize… like an actual Kindle, or something. So, I hope you all will join in next year!

On a completely different note, while I wait for my editor to return the Nine Levels manuscript to me with mass amounts of corrections, I’ve been participating in NaNoWriMo. If you don’t know what NaNoWriMo is, it’s basically a contest where writers try to complete a 50,000-word novel in one month. I’ve tried to “win” off and on for quite a long time, but never seem to reach the goal. Usually, I found excuses to stop half way through, or I’d get behind right off the bat and just ignore it the rest of the month. Terrible, really. This time, though, I’ve been keeping it somewhat to myself and just plugging along with my word goals. It’s only been two days, but I’ve reached my goals and then some. On top of that, I’ve been fairly motivated and consistent, which is probably because I’m working on a project that I know I will eventually publish. This is the first year I truly feel motivated and that I might succeed.

Let me know if you are joining NaNoWriMo and if you want to be buddies on the site!

Nine Levels Excerpt and Cover Reveal

Hi everyone! So, for this special day of Samhain (more commonly known as Halloween) I wanted to write a story based on a yearly tradition I had as a high schooler. Every year, my group of best girl friends used to go to this haunted house attraction during October called Frightmare on Market Street. Of course, this story is much more demented than what usually happened, but it was oh so fun to write even though I disturbed myself a few times. I’ve included the blurb and book cover below, and after that I thought I’d give you all a preview of the first second draft, which is currently with the editor right now. Also, don’t forget that today is the final day to enter the YA Week of Creep giveaway; the submission for it is at the bottom of this post or just click that link in front of the semicolon.

Nine Levels by N.R. Wick

 

Kelsey and her friends are spending Halloween night at the Haunted House on Main Street, their town’s biggest spooky attraction. Every year, they visit, but Kelsey never seems to find the thrill she wants. This time, she convinces the others to attempt the Nine Levels of Hell, which is rumored to be so terrifying that no one has ever made it all the way through. When one of her friends is kidnapped and another found dead, Kelsey and her remaining comrades must escape the haunted house before being caught by the chainsaw man.

 

 

 

Nine Levels (DRAFT Excerpt)

Kelsey huddled closer to her best friend, Sierra, and shivered in the limb-biting, cold night. Pale, orange light beamed down on them from the street lamp, but it didn’t provide any warmth. It was only the end of October, but the nights were already freezing. Beneath her wool-lined jacket, Kelsey’s cellphone vibrated and chirped.

“That better be them,” Sierra said through chattering teeth. “We’re almost to the front of the line.”

Kelsey glanced to her left where another three or four groups of people stood. Most of them were college girls looking for a thrill, but there was one group of guys who looked like they were a grade lower than her and Sierra. The bluish glow from her phone alerted her to a new text message from Kara that read, “C the line b there in 2.”

She texted back, “K hurry we’re @ the front.” Once it sent, she locked the screen and shoved it back into her pocket. The line moved forward, but Kelsey lingered.

“They’re close. Kara said she saw the line.”

Sierra had moved several feet forward. “Wanna meet them? I’ll hold our spot.”

“Yeah, I’ll be back.” She stepped off the curb to maneuver around the crowded sidewalk lined with people yammering about the haunted house. The Main Street haunted house was the biggest, most frightening Halloween activity in town. Even though it was advertised as a haunted “house,” it was really more like an abandoned, underground warehouse made up to look like a haunted house.

Kelsey and her friends went every year, but while her friends were screaming and running as though their life depended on it, nothing ever surprised her. One time, she faked a scream when the chainsaw guy loomed over her with his noisy prop, but in the end, she walked away with a shrug. This year was special, though. They were attempting the Nine Levels of Hell, an off-shoot of the main house that was so scary an entire varsity football team couldn’t get past level three. That was the rumor, anyway.

“Kels!” Kara called. Jeff and Cory followed behind her, as always. They followed her everywhere as if doing so would make her sleep with them. It was a well-known fact that Kara was the hottest girl in school, despite what the “popular” girls wished, with her long, slender legs and perfectly obedient hair. Not like Kelsey’s auburn curled hair that would rather puff around her head than form controlled spirals.

“Sierra’s holding our place. We’re probably next by now,” she said as she and Kara hugged.

“S’up,” Cory said. He hugged her as well, but Jeff just grunted and nodded his head.

Kelsey led the others up the line until they met Sierra, who was waiting next to a guy dressed in a black cloak. He had white and black paint on his face to make it look like a skull. In one hand, he held a plastic scythe, and the other hand rested on the thick, red cord that blocked off the entrance to the haunted house.

“See, I told you they were coming,” Sierra said to him.

“Yeah, yeah. You’re lucky it didn’t hold up the line.” He continued on with his spiel about the rules, which they had heard a million times before. At the end, he said, “If you want to try the Nine Levels of Hell, then you’ll take the right tunnel instead of the left tunnel.”

“Is it true you give us each fifty bucks if we make it all the way through the nine levels?” Cory asked from behind Kelsey, Kara, and Sierra.

The fake grim reaper rolled his eyes. “I wish people would stop spreading that rumor. No, we don’t pay you.” He unhooked the cord to allow them access to the Haunted House. Sierra grabbed Kelsey’s hand and they entered through the first door.

Just on the inside, light from the street illuminated only the front foyer. Beyond it, darkness hid the hallway. A small, neon glow of paint from somewhere within the black painted walls indicated the path that they would take. Kelsey imagined they would need to move in closer before they could see the trail more accurately.

“I think the guys should go first,” Sierra said. Her hand was already trembling in Kelsey’s.

“Agreed,” Kelsey said.

Corey stepped slightly behind Jeff’s bulking form. “What? No way.”

“I think that’s the smartest idea. The guys are way stronger than us and could totally protect us from anything scary,” Kara said in her most pouty voice. As if to solidify this fact, someone screamed from somewhere in the house. Corey didn’t look like he had changed his mind, but when Jeff grunted and pushed past the girls, he couldn’t refuse.

“Fine, but if the chainsaw guy shows up, you’re on your own,” he said.

Kara walked a step behind them with Kelsey and Sierra bringing up the rear. It wasn’t the ideal place to be, Kelsey thought, but it wasn’t as bad as being in the front. Sometimes, people in the back of the group could miss jump scares, but there was also the risk of something creeping up behind them. A roll of thunder rumbled through the darkness. Of course, it wasn’t real thunder, but the surround sound was impressive, nonetheless.

LED lights lined the edge of the floor, and Kelsey kept her eyes focused on them as they walked. They weren’t even in the main house, yet, and her body was already buzzing with adrenaline. Glow in the dark paint decorated the wall at the end of the entrance room leading to two separate paths, which Kelsey had only looked up to see when Corey asked which side they were supposed to take.

“Wasn’t it the left?” he said.

“No, dumbass. He said the right,” Sierra said.

“Are you sure?” Kara asked.

“He definitely said right,” Kelsey agreed.

“Right it is then,” Corey grumbled. He and Jeff led them through the right doorway and into a spinning corridor. It might have been just the walls spinning around them, but between being painted in black and white spirals and rhythmic flash of the strobe light, Kelsey wasn’t sure whether or not the ground was actually moving. Either way, the room made her stomach lurch.

Her friends held out their arms to maintain their balance as they crossed the corridor. A low groan echoed from behind them. Kelsey wanted to look over her shoulder to check if they were being followed, but she could barely look away from the ground in fear of seeing something too scary. The guys hopped down two stairs and disappeared around a black corner. Kara bounced on the balls of her feet toward the next room, clearly trying to be graceful as she stumbled to level herself out. While Sierra took her time transitioning from the spinning corridor to solid ground, Kelsey gratefully obliged and lingered with her.

“The scares haven’t even started and I already want to barf,” Sierra said.

After a moment, Kelsey asked, “Ready? I don’t want to be too far behind. Remember, they love to really scare people who linger.”

“Yeah.” They maneuvered around the darkened corner until they couldn’t see anything in front of them. The walls felt cool and bumpy beneath Kelsey’s fingertips. She felt around until she found another corner, which led into the next room.

The others stood a few feet inside the dimly lit room and crowded around a roped off corner. A flicker of light briefly illuminated the room to reveal ghastly corpses adorned with white gauze and bloody paint. Thunder crashed above their heads. The girls screamed, which made the guys laugh.

“This is the first level of Hell?” Corey said with a scoff. “It’ll be a piece of cake. If they’re all like this.”

“They get scary each level,” Kelsey said. She looked around the room to get a better idea of the potential scares.

The center of the room was clear while all corners had been roped off. The left corner next to her and her friends had the ghouls, some of which were clawing their way out from graves. Others leaned against the wall or headstones. One in particular reached out to them, its skeletal face was frozen in agony. It looked much more detailed than Kelsey had seen in previous years.

The group moved to the back of the room where a doorway led to the next section. In the corners on either side, more of the white billowed around the walls. There didn’t seem to be any ghouls in either of them. Kelsey stared at the left side, hoping to find something no one else had. Lightning flashed again. For a moment, she thought there had been a shadow behind the gauze. When a second flicker of light lit the room, though, Kelsey saw nothing.

Kara backed away toward the door. “Let’s go before—” She shrieked as a pair of arms grabbed her from within the darkness of the doorway. The ghoulish arms wrapped around her chest and waist and pulled her into the black emptiness. Kelsey and the others screamed, but she had disappeared before they could react.

 

Want to read more? Look for the eBook coming soon!

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Five PG-13 Movies on Netflix to Watch for Halloween

If you are like me and don’t have cable (I know, right?), then you might be left trying to find decent, pg-13 rated movies to watch on Halloween. Well, the choices are not as numerous as the rated R counterparts, but there are a few really great one that are appropriate for the teen, young adult, and even adult crowd. So you don’t have to track them down yourself, I thought I’d list the better ones… or at least my favorites.

 

The PossessionThe Possession – This is a pretty cool movie. A bit different than most horror movies where there is Jewish lore involved rather than Christian or Pagan lore. Basically, the guy who plays John Winchester in Supernatural is the main character and is kind of distant and an almost-loser with his family. His wife is irritating and his oldest daughter is a snot, but his younger girl starts becoming possessed by this entity that had been trapped in a Pandora’s box of sorts. Pretty creeptastic and pretty cool to watch despite the awkward and somewhat dysfunctional family.

 

House at the End of the StreetHouse at the End of the Street – I know this movie catches a lot of grief, and I wonder if it’s because many people went into it thinking it was one thing, only to discover it was something else. Remove all preconceived notions about this movie and watch it. It’s actually a pretty great movie, and it has Jennifer Lawrence, who is seriously a goddess. I can’t talk too much about this without giving something away, but basically it’s pretty twisted in the end. Less supernatural and more psychological in a way. Really a good one to see.

 

The Fourth KindThe Fourth Kind – This movie is not paranormal, but it involves aliens and my girl-crush, Milla Jovovich. Usually, I’m not too into aliens (except for Falling Skies, which is a trillion times better than the Walking Dead), but this one has some psychological aspects that I really love about the supernatural. (Aliens are sort of supernatural, right?) And having grown up on X-files, this movie just sits well with me.

 

The HoleThe Hole – Okay, so The Hole is one of those almost cheesy-pie movies. If you see Keira Knightly in the movie, shut it off immediately. LOL, these may have the same name, but I assure you, the one with Keira Knightly is NOT appropriate for 13 year olds. Any way, in the correct movie, some kids find this mysterious hole in their garage, which had been practically shackled closed. The hole is never ending and begins to mess with their greatest fears. This movie is a good one but shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

 

The LangoliersThe Langoliers – This is a long one and based on the story by Stephen King. It’s also kind of old. The Langoliers is probably one of my favorite Stephen King stories and the movie is pretty good. A group of people find themselves alone on a plane and have to figure out what happened to everyone else on the plane, as well as on the ground. The premise itself is pretty cool and the impending crackle of the Langoliers and the antagonistic Mr. Toomy make for some great conflict.

 

 

Do you have any recommendations for PG-13 Halloween-type movies on Netflix?

 

Also, if you haven’t already entered to win some great prizes, do so before the end of October!

 

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YA Week of Creep Giveaway

Since I’m in the giving mood this week, I thought I’d follow suite with my adult horror pen name, Cole Knightly, and host a Week of Creep giveaway, but YA style. Samhain/Halloween is coming up and I always get overzealous with the giveaways and promos. Why? Because it’s probably my favorite holiday (next to Thanksgiving, of course). I did have another promo going on over at The 31 Days of Haloweenpalooza, but the prizes went so fast that I thought it would be good to have another one. If you missed the guest post I wrote about the most frightened I’ve ever been, you should head over to the Halloweenpalooza blog and check it out. I don’t usually share this sort of thing, but it’s something that really stayed with me. Also, I have a flash fiction post coming up on the 31st that I hope everyone will love!

Without further ado, let’s get on with the giveaway!

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Witchy eBooks Giveaway

Witchy eBooksOne of my favorite types of books have witches in them. I love to write about them and read about them. There are just so many different types: energy-based, magic-based, Wiccan, Pagan, fantasy or real. The opportunities are endless when it comes to witches. The Dark Ascension series is all about one witch and her quest to help save the people she loves, and also the world. But there are so many other great authors out there who also write about witches, evil and good. So, in honor of my favorite topic, and in honor of one of my favorite holidays, we’re holding a HUGE giveaway filled with witchy ebooks and prizes, like Amazon gift cards. Of course, “we” means me and a bunch of other awesome authors who love witches. If you would like a chance to win, I’ve posted a means to enter below. If you would like to see a complete list of witchy books, please visit the Witchy eBooks Facebook page. There are tons of great reads there! Prices range from free to under $5, so that’s a pretty good deal.

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October 20, 2013

Cover Reveal – The Impending Demise of the Girl With Brown Eyes

The Impending Demise of the Girl With Brown Eyes
by Tracy Jorgensen

Even in a world without names, where neighborhoods are built on giant pillars and magic lurks in dark corners of humanity, usual people meet in typical ways—at work or by hiring a matchmaker. Boys do not meet girls sitting on their own headstones, or while running from giant cougar-like creatures. However, the Girl with Brown Eyes is not a usual girl. And the Boy, still with no title, is about to find that out for himself.

The Boy has no idea why mutant beasts keep attacking him. It’s possible he spends too much time strolling through cemeteries. But, maybe these attacks aren’t random at all. Perhaps they are attempted murder, though nobody believes his claims. Yet. That all changes when the Boy plummets off his home pillar while being pursued by a flying monstrosity. The Girl with Brown Eyes is there – if not to save his life, then to at least verify his tale.

Now, unsure if she’s trustworthy or even where she came from, the Boy must make his way back up the pillars and discover who his assailant is . . . lest they learn the dangerous secret of the impending demise of the Girl with Brown Eyes.

Fortune Teller Blog Hop

I’m participating in the Fortune Teller Blog Hop today, which means you get 16 free short stories. The idea was for everyone to write a story where one of our characters met a fortune teller of some sort. Well, the story I wrote takes place in the Dark Ascension world (Before the Ascension) and features two of the characters from the series. It was so much fun writing this short, and I hope everyone has fun reading it, as well as the other stories on the blog hop.

 

Mallory: The Smallest Witch

Bryce brushed his shaggy hair out of his eyes and stared at the decrepit house before him. He had almost missed the handmade sign that leaned against one of the weatherworn posts framing the front porch. The sign read, “Psychic,” but he wasn’t convinced anyone actually lived there. He wiped his sweating palms on dingy, ripped jeans and sighed. The need to find out if his plan was on the right track outweighed the uneasiness radiating from the boarded up house. With hesitant steps, Bryce ascended the steps toward the front door.

In his peripheral vision, he saw the curtains shift behind the grimy window next to him. Before his knuckles reached the door, it swung open. A scrawny young woman with wild, short hair and flushed cheeks stood before him. She had dark shadows under her eyes and wore tiny cutoffs and a spaghetti strapped top that didn’t fit her right. Bryce hesitated. This was not what he had expected the psychic to look like.

“Are you Jimmy?” she asked. Her voice drawled apathetically.

“No, I’m here for Mallory.” When the woman only stared past him, he added, “Are you the psychic?”

Her head perked up. “Oh, right. Mallory. Yeah, she’s here.”

They stared at each other in awkward silence until the woman walked away into the house. Bryce followed behind her and shut the door.

“I didn’t get your name,” he said as he studied the rotting wall next to the staircase.

“I know,” she answered and disappeared around the corner out of the foyer.

Unsure if he should follow, Bryce stopped at the bottom of the stairs before the entry way. He was half-tempted to leave, but his gut insisted he stay. After a few minutes, the woman led a small child by the shoulders. The girl couldn’t have been older than ten or so, and she was dressed with an over-sized sun hat wrapped in purple gauze and wore several layers of clothes made to looked like a robe. Her distant, blue eyes penetrated Bryce, but at the same time, they seemed to look past him.

“Mallory?”

The girl blinked slowly at him. “Yes.”

He addressed the older woman. “She’s the psychic?”

“Best one you’ll ever meet. Fifty bucks for a sitting.”

“Whatever, lady,” he huffed and turned to leave.

Behind him, the woman snapped at Mallory. “Go on. Give him a sample.”

“If Fiona knew what you were trying to do, she wouldn’t be very happy,” the child said.

Bryce paused in mid-stride. “What did you say?”

“Fifty bucks,” the woman demanded.

With a huff, he pushed two twenties and a ten into her hand. After she shuffled through it to count them, the woman led Mallory through an entry way to the left of the foyer. The room was bare except for a few plastic crates and a coffee table in the center. Even if the child was really a psychic, Bryce thought the building seemed more like a drug house than an actual home. The woman sat Mallory down on one of the crates and motioned for him to sit opposite of her.

“You’ve got twenty minutes,” she said.

Bryce looked directly into Mallory’s eyes. “How do you know about my wife?”

“I’m not sure. I just know things.” She rarely blinked.

“Do you know why I’m here, then?”

“Yes,” she said. “You want to know about your special plan.”

“Will it work?”

Mallory hesitated. “Doesn’t it bother you that Fiona wouldn’t want you to go through with it?”

Bryce pulled his stare away from her. He had already known his wife wouldn’t be happy about it, but thought she would warm up to the idea if she knew it would work.

“Listen, I just want to know if it will work,” he said.

“That kind of power is dangerous.”

He slammed his hand on the table. “Just tell me if it’s going to work!”

Mallory paused for a very long time. If it wasn’t for her hollow eyes and wise demeanor, Bryce might have thought she was about to lie. In that moment, he almost felt sorry for her. The woman caring for her was whoring her ability out to strangers, and who knows what else she was allowing.

“The summoning will be a success,” Mallory finally said.

“It’ll cure me?”

“I can’t see that,” she said.

“But the summoning works?”

“Yes.”

“Then I’m sure I’ll be cured.”

Mallory didn’t respond.

“Is there anything else you can tell me?”

“Don’t keep it from Fiona.”

“Why? She’d try to stop me.” Bryce stood up.

“If you say so.”

“Thanks.” When he left and passed the gaunt woman, who stood at the entrance of the foyer, he said, “Best fifty bucks I’ve ever spent.”

“They all say that,” she said with a lopsided smirk.

Once Bryce left the woman shuffled to Mallory and sat down. “Why did you lie to him?”

“I didn’t.”

“Fine, why did you conveniently avoid the most important part?”

“He didn’t ask me if his summoning spell would end the world.”

“I wish you’d never told me about that,” the woman said.

“You’ll forget about it when Jimmy brings your ‘medicine.’” Mallory couldn’t see her mother, but she imagined a look of reverie on her sunken face.

 

*****

Fortune Teller Blog Hop

 

If you would like to read all of the stories in this blog hop, please check them out in the links below!

Also, I’d like to thank everyone for reading and have fun.

Happy reading!

Kayla Curry (Host) Alyssa Auch S. M. Boyce
N.R. Wick Steve Vernon A. F. Stewart
Linda Taylor Tami Von Zalez Quanie Miller
Ellen Harger Deborah Nam-Krane Erin Cawood
Danielle-Claude Ngontang Mba Wendy Ely Laure Reminick
Jen McConnel

BBF Giveaway Winner!

Hi everyone!

It’s time to announce the winner of the Blogger Book Fair giveaway hosted on the N.R. Wick blog during the BBF.

Are you ready for it?

Is the excitement killing you?

Krystina Balogh!

Congratulations Krystina!

Thank you to everyone who participated. I hope you had great fun meeting new authors and learning about their awesome books.

July 28, 2013

Blogger Book Fair Guest: Nathan Squiers

Crimson Shadow: Noir


The darkness seemed to stretch on forever. It encased and bled into Xander, making him blind even to his own thoughts. As he tried to focus, he became aware of a distant sound, followed by another, and then again by another—each time becoming louder. Ahead of him the darkness rippled as a figure emerged, and the red fabric of Depok’s robe became visible as he stepped into an invisible source of clarity. The darkness unveiled Depok’s smiling face and Xander couldn’t help but return the smile as he hurried towards him; the clan leader’s arms opened to him.

He continued forth, beginning to feel at last like he belonged, when suddenly a portion of Depok’s face peeled off and fluttered to his feet. Watching in shock, more bits of the still smiling—still waiting—vampire fell away, until Xander finally recognized the strips as paper; pages from the library’s dusty books! He looked up, horrified, at Depok moments before he suddenly burst in flames.

Startled, Xander fell back and watched as the clan leader’s face—still wearing the same caring, welcoming smile—melted away and exposed a grinning, chattering skull. His arms were still held open in an invitation as more and more sheets of burning paper fell. Xander rose to his feet to flee, and, before turning away, caught sight of the vampire elder’s dwindling arms as they snapped and fell from his body.

As he hurried away from the all-consuming fire, Xander could suddenly hear the blood chilling screams.

The darkness went on forever! No matter how far he ran there was nothing but infinite blackness surrounding him. And the screams followed! They closed in on him no matter how fast he ran, until finally they caught up to him, knocking him off his feet and drowning him in a thick, red noise that turned sticky and warm and seeped into him.

He tossed and shook, trying to free his body from the weight of the tragedy that was creeping into him. When he saw there was no salvation from the cries he looked up at the source—into the void above him—and saw them.

His clan!

His grandmother!

And there, in the abyss, Xander saw his mother.

All of them were crying; weeping bloody tears that fell onto his face and dripped into his open, horrified mouth.

And then he felt the hunger.

It was agonizing! He’d never felt so empty; so devoid of nutrition. Desperately he began thrashing within the suffocating darkness. There had to be a way out, had to be some way to find something—someone—to eat.

Xander? The voice in his head seemed distantly familiar.

Something skittered and made a noise by his ear.

Noise.

Meaningless noise.

He ignored it.

He had to eat! Had to find a way out! A way to escape the haunting nightmare! Damn it, he could still hear their screams!

His searching hands found something in the darkness; something long and smooth. He was about to throw it until he smelled the sweetness. Such sweetness. He pulled the prize to his nostrils and inhaled. The sweetness was contained within it; inside the cylinder. Blindly examining with his fingers he found a lid on one side and eagerly twisted it off and poured the contents into his mouth.

The taste of blood was not foreign to him.

Whether it was an innocent drop on his tongue after prying a loose tooth free or something more violent, he was more than used to the sickening, metallic taste. But this time was different. This time it was more than just the taste. His entire body seized as he emptied the contents of the cylinder into his mouth. Invigorated, he swallowed the small mouthful, the blood traveling down his throat and pushing a groan from his esophagus. As the rich substance sank into him, a jolt of life flooded over him.
…If you would like to read more, visit http://www.nathansquiers.com

Crimson Shadow: Noir
Xander Stryker wants to die.

Ever since witnessing his mother’s murder at the hands of his abusive stepfather when he was a boy, he has spent every day trying to reach that goal. But every night he’s denied the death he craves.

As his eighteenth birthday approaches, a chance for change is offered when his life is plunged into a supernatural world of vampires and other creatures of darkness. Caught in the depths of this new reality, mysteries of his vampiric lineage begin to unravel and he’s offered the ultimate choice: Continue on with his wretched human life or begin a new one as the vampire prodigy he was always meant to be.

Unfortunately, the supernatural world can be just as unforgiving and brutal as any other and Xander’s choice is met with disastrous consequences. Now, with a little support and even less hope, the chaos of his new world collides with his torturous past and threatens to crush him once and for all.

Will Xander be able to use his new strength to conquer his fears, or will he succumb to his own darkness. . .

. . . and allow it to finally destroy him.

Nathan Squiers (The Literary Dark Emperor and the author formally known as “Prince”) is a resident of Upstate New York. Living with his loving fiancé/fellow author, Megan J. Parker, and two incredibly demanding and out-of-control demon-cats, Nathan lives day-by-day on a steady diet of potentially lethal doses of caffeine. When he isn’t immersed in his writing, he often escapes reality through horror and/or action movie marathons, comic books & graphic novels, Japanese anime & manga, and gnarly tunes. While out-and-about, The Literary Dark Emperor can be found in the chair of a piercing studio/tattoo parlor or simply loving life with friends & loved ones.

Find Nathan’s work on Amazon HERE and on SmashWords HERE.
Follow Nathan on Twitter: @LitDark_Emperor

July 26, 2013

Blogger Book Fair Guest: Peter Dawes


… An Excerpt from Eyes of the Seer, Ch. 3

A pensive silence settled between us, with me already set to the thrill of stalking and Timothy following suit. We paused by a small grouping of humans and watched as a single female departed from the rest of her friends, walking for a narrower side street.


Timothy leaned close and whispered in my ear, “I think that’s your cue.”


That same need which had afflicted me when I beheld my first victim overwhelmed me again. A slow nod preceded my first cautious steps forward, a small gust of wind blowing through the short locks of brown atop my head. The winter wind failed to produce a shiver, and while the short, slender woman I trailed pulled her coat closed against her body, I allowed mine to sail open, wearing my apathy like an accessory of the hunt. She failed to hear me approach, which only pleased me further. My would-be victim wouldn’t know I was there until she felt my breath tickle at her neck.


We passed by the entrance to an alley.


“Now!” a harsh whisper commanded, from somewhere close behind.


I leaped forward, grabbing the human girl and pushing her into the alley until her back hit the unforgiving force of concrete. She yelped out the beginnings of a scream, but I cupped her mouth with my hand, my fangs descending and piercing her skin while she wriggled and clawed at me. I could smell her fear and tasted it in quantity while mouthful after mouthful of her blood cascaded down my throat.


Within minutes, her lifeless corpse fell to the ground at my feet.


“Brilliant!” Timothy said with a clap, walking forward and crouching down to regard my victim. Lost in the afterglow of such ecstasy, I beheld him in a dreamlike state, the decline back to my senses a slow, but steady one. He glanced up at me and smirked, macabre delight dancing in his eyes. “Why don’t we dispose of this and be on our way?”


A final shudder of pleasure rattled my psyche as I nodded and bent to help. Soon little more than remains inside a dumpster, the woman had been completely forgotten by the time we made it out toward the street. Mental clarity returned just in time for Timothy to open his mouth to speak.


“The Mistress tells me you’ve still been having trouble remembering things,” he said, reaching into his coat pocket to light another cigarette.


I nodded, glancing away. “I probably wouldn’t even know my name was Peter if you all hadn’t told me.”


“You had a wallet on you. It was hard not to know.” Timothy held the cigarette to his lips, drawing deep enough to cause the orange embers at the end to flair. He paused to exhale first before speaking again. “Memories are superfluous anyway. You know the important things. How to button a shirt. How to speak English. That you write with your right hand.”


The cavalier way he stated that startled me. “You pay close attention to details.”


“I always have. You could say I’ve been the Mistress’s eyes ever since my turning.” He offered me a wink, settling comfortably into the silence that followed until we made it to the coven. The downstairs was still bustling when we entered and I felt the urge to slink away from the activity. Michael was mercifully absent, but I felt it best not to tempt fate. “I should settle in a little. You guys gave me so much stuff. I have yet to sort through it all.”


“Just helping you get comfortable.” He nodded and allowed me to ascend the stairs. Midway up, he spoke my name, prompting me to pause and glance back at him. “Don’t be too troubled about it,” he said. “The memory loss, that is. It’ll come back. You just need time.”


“That’s what I was hoping.” I flashed an amiable grin, reflecting on the events of that evening. My smile broadened. “I’m having too much fun to be worried about it anyway.”


“That’s the spirit.”


My gaze evaluated the trappings of my new life again. Rebirth surrounded me, making me an empty canvas waiting to be covered with bloody brushstrokes. Still, when my gaze returned to Timothy, I could not help but to notice the wolfish grin return to his face. I perked an eyebrow. “Are you always like this with new vampires? You’ve been so helpful.”


“You’re special,” he said, “And the Mistress favors you.” He nodded once before turning his back on me. “Have a good night, Peter.”


“You, too.” Watching him until he disappeared into the common area, I remained standing there for moments afterward, weighing those words while not sure what his comment meant. The riddle continued to haunt me while I undressed in my room and even when I settled into sleep for the day. It took shutting my eyes in surrender to fatigue for the question to stop rattling around in my mind.


Deep inside the lull of sleep, however, the cadence of a persistent whisper encroached upon me from some distant corner of my subconscious. I heard a voice speak, bearing the tone of an unwelcome visitor from the grave, summoning me toward lucidity after only a few hours’ rest.

Lydia.


Something other than the memory of her dropping dead at my feet rushed through my newborn vampire haze, bringing me face to face with a creature that looked strangely familiar. I saw the person she beckoned staring at me from across an expanse, a tall man who once bore sympathetic blue eyes and a kind demeanor. Shooting to a seated position, I blinked against the darkness while attempting to settle my shaky nerves.


And still her words echoed.


I love you, Dr. Dawes.’


Dr. Peter Dawes. That had been me.



Interested in reading more? Eyes of the Seer is available for purchase from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and the iTunes store.

***

Peter Dawes is the author of The Vampire Flynn Series, published by the micro-press Crimson Melodies. His serial story“A Maker and His Child” appears on the BloodTideZine website and short “Lost Highway” has been featured in the Nocturnal Embers anthology, also by Crimson Melodies. While primarily a novelist, he has also written stories for the anthology Red Phone Box, featuring the work of fellow authors Warren Ellis, Dan Wickline, and more. Always working on something new, Peter leaves it up to the reader to decide if it’s by sunlight or candlelight.


The third book of The Vampire Flynn Series – Fate of the Seer – will be released late this August, through Crimson Melodies Publishing. Peter is also currently working on a medieval fantasy novel, The Unquiet Dead, which will be released sometime in early 2014.


You can find Peter on Twitter, Facebook, or at his blog, The Man Behind the Curtain.

July 25, 2013

Book Blogger Fair Guest: Noree Cosper

Five Demons You Don’t Want to Be Alone With

A Prescription for Delirium focuses on Gabby, a demon hunter, and her fight against evil in the world along with the descendants of Van Helsing. I’m not a hunter, however, and have a healthy fear of evil. Here are five demons that I wouldn’t want to meet in a dark alley.

AsmodeusThe demon of lust, jealousy, and revenge, his primary goals are to prevent sex between husband and wife and to force men to commit adultery. He is also one of the chief demons involved in possession. He is said to have three heads: an ogre, a ram, and a bull. His feet are that of a cock and he has wings and a serpent’s tail. When Solomon binds him and commands him to speak of himself Asmodeus says, “I am the renowned Asmodeus; I cause the wickedness of men to spread throughout the world. I am always hatching plots against newlyweds; I mar the beauty of virgins and cause their hearts to grow cold. . . I spread madness about women through the stars and I have often committed a rash of murders.”

Belial: One of the most evil demons he appears deceptively beautiful speak softly. He is devoted in creating wickedness in humankind especially through lust, and sexual perversion. He was the second angel, created after Lucifer, and is said to have been evil from the start. Belial was the first to revolt against God and became the personification of lies and evil after he fell.

Lamastu: She was originally an Assyrian goddess who was evil for evil’s sake. She has the head of a lion, teeth of a donkey, and hairy body and bloodstained hands with long fingernails. She travels in about along the river in the underworld. She spreads disease in all humans but takes a particular interest in harming children.

Moloch: He is known as the Devourer of Children. To the Ammonites, he was a son god who they sacrificed to for protection. Soon he demanded children for his sacrifice and they were burned on large idols of him. The Greeks likened him to Chronos, who ate his own children to prevent them from ruling.

Murder: Ok, this is the only name he’s given. This is a headless demon that sees through his breasts and speaks in the voices he’s take from his victims. He was summoned by King Solomon and said that he has no head of his own. He takes the heads from his victims but they eventually are consumed from the fire that burns within him. Murder causes fever and inflames limbs, inflicts feet, and creates festering sores.

Don’t worry, you have Gabby to fight and kill these demons for you.

A Prescription for Delirium

Ninety years ago, Gabriella di Luca promised to protect the family of her dying lover. She failed to keep that promise.  She was too far away to stop the devil that murdered the eldest Van Helsing son. Years later, Gabby learns the devil has resurfaced. She arrives in Hampton, TX, determined to stop the devil before it can lay a bloody hand on the remaining three brothers.

However, madness is spreading through Hampton. She suspects the devil is using this madness to test a drug which has a side effect of demonic possession.  Gabby rushes to end the source of the madness only to fall victim to it. For a woman cursed with eternal life, dying is no threat. However, Gabby must stop the devil’s plot or risk losing her most precious possession: her mind.



A Prescription for Delirium is free during the
Blogger Book Fair, July 22nd-26th!


Get Yours Now:


About Noree Cosper

Noree Cosper loves writing about magic in the modern world. While growing up in Texas she constantly searched for mystical elements in the mundane. She buried her nose in both fiction and books about Wicca, Religion, and Mythology. Everyday became an adventure as she joined a group of role-players, acting out her fantasies of vampires, demons, and monsters living in the world.

She embraced her nerdom wholeheartedly.

Noree grew, but never left her love for fantasy and horror. Her dreams pushed her and her hand itched to write the visions she saw. So, with her fingers on the keys, she did what her heart had been telling her to do since childhood. She wrote.

Connect with Noree

July 24, 2013

Blogger Book Fair Guest: Penelope Reece

So, I had the pleasure of reading Phantasma by Penelope Reece. It’s a great book, and I’ll get to the review after we see the lovely book cover and learn a bit about it.

Good school, nice friends, and a loving family. Alphie Brewster’s life seems perfect except for one growing problem. She’s plagued with vivid nightmares, and is haunted by a forgotten past. And it’s only getting worse.

The day she finds a mysterious necklace, Alphie wakes to see a ghostly figure leaning over her bed. Now she’s got an even greater problem. A six foot four inch tall eccentric spook, named Noer, who has to possess her in order to stay in this world. He fills her with fire while slowly draining her energy as if she were a Duracell Battery.

Now her problems only seem to be escalating. The more she learns about Noer, the more she starts to remember her childhood. One that should have stayed buried and could very well tear her apart.

Just as a point of reference, the second cover is the old one. I adore it so much and wanted to share it. At any rate, let’s start with the review.

One of the fascinating things about this book is that the main character, Alphie, suffers from what is thought to be narcolepsy. I’ve never read a book with such a character before, which made for an interesting change. Her sleeping issues were also used as a plot device and had her falling asleep at the most inopportune times.

As for the romance aspect of the story, which is obviously important in a paranormal romance, I enjoyed it. This is coming from someone who doesn’t enjoy overly gushy and fake romance stories. Phantasma didn’t have this problem, and sometimes it even seemed like the romance was one sided, no matter who it involved. I like that Alphie was indecisive for real reasons rather than just because there was a love triangle, and it’s hard to pick from two hot guys. Noer was also a really interesting character because it was difficult to identify his motives. Also, I’m a sucker for great hair.

One thing I want to share is my favorite scene. When Noer first appeared, I couldn’t help but visualize the painting by Henry Fuseli called The Nightmare. This painting is often associated with night terrors and sleep paralysis, so it fits perfectly. I loved that scene enough that I even bookmarked it, which is something I never do.

Overall, I highly recommend Phantasma to anyone who likes paranormal romance and is looking for an interesting main character. If you would like to buy a copy of Phantasma for $0.99, Penelope is offering a Smashwords coupon.  Use the coupon code: WT44L

Also, don’t forget to enter the giveaway for a chance to win a copy of Phantasma and all of the other books featured during the Blogger Book Fair, as well as a $15 gift card to Amazon.

Penelope Reece is a young adult/new adult romance author living in Southern Indiana with her husband and Pomeranian. She’s been writing ever since her nerdy high school days where her joys were limited it marching band and daydreaming.

Her blog:
http://penelopereece.blogspot.com

Twitter:
@PenelopeReece

Links:
+Sing for Me
+Sing for Me (Smashwords)

+Phantasma (Amazon)
+Phantasma (Smashwords)

+Goodreads

July 23, 2013