Monday, October 15, 2018

ENCHANTING YULETILE: A MULTI-AUTHOR ANTHOLOGY




From Children of the Moon
By Jena Baxter

Moonlight shines within my soul
Musical notes splash color
Violin, piano, from worlds of old
Stirs new life with blossoming wonder
Seabirds call in the distant sky
Warm breath of forgotten lovers
My heart stands with awe and wonder
Lost in a web of finest silk
Notes spiral through twilight endless

In a fine-spun web of enchantment.




Enchanting Yuletide: A Multi-Author Anthology
Jena Baxter, Raven Williams, Ellie Lieberman, Barb Lieberman, Guy Donovan, CK Brewer

Genre: Holiday / Fantasy

Publisher: Pipe and Thimble

Date of Publication: November 15th, 2017

ASIN: B076LLT6JD

Number of pages: 184

Word Count:

Cover Artist: Raven Williams

Tagline: Tis the Season for Magic

Book Description:

Six stories of the holiday season, guaranteed to put you in a festive mood. So, grab your hot chocolate and snuggle up to experience the season as you've never done before. After all, tis the Season for Magic!






About the Author Raven Williams


A prolific writer, Raven began her career in 2010 with a blog and non-fiction, then moving to fiction in 2014, when she began Elven-Jumper, the first book in the Realm.

Jumper Chronicles. She now has 30 books to her name, spanning the Realm Jumper Chronicles, Raven’s Twisted Classics, and the Demon Stones Saga, as well as her non-fiction, with more planned.

When Raven is not writing, she is creating art in the form of abstract paintings, fractal designs, and jewelry pieces that tie into her stories. She is also a caregiver for a disabled family member and two cats. She physically resides in the Northwest Florida Panhandle, but spends most of her time mentally in her Mystic Realms.

Will you join her?

Sign-up for Raven’s Newsletter here: https://mysticrealmscurioshop.com/newsletter-sign-up


Raven’s Mystic Realms FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/mysticrealmscurioshop/







About the Author Jena Baxter

A prolific writer, Jena Baxter creates characters with depth and stories filled with action, emotion, and a little bit of romance. She loves building fantastical worlds and cultures.

Living in Northern California with her husband, Jena enjoys soapmaking, her pets, and writer's conferences. She also reads for a screenwriting contest on an annual basis.







Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Jena-Baxter/e/B00M4YF352



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Halloween Flash Fiction with SD SIMPER (The Sting of Victory)



Eri awoke when the candle at her window blew out. The light in her bedroom shifted, the warm glow replaced by translucent, silver wisps of moonlight.
Her bed creaked when Eri sat up, the wood groaning from age and use. All the world was silent beyond, and when Eri stood up and gazed out her window, she saw faint flickering lights shining from other homes in her village, offering the same respects.
She always kept her matches close at hand – as she ignited one, she recited a whispered chant to the Goddess: “The light shall burn away all your fears.”
There were terrors in the night, rumors of a monster decimating villages after dark. The Endless Night, they called it, but Eri did not fear, the comforting light of the candle illuminating her bedroom like an embrace from her beloved Goddess. Soft hues of orange cast deep shadows across the furniture. Eri gazed out across the sleepy elven village, the home she loved, but then a shadow blotted out the moon.
It passed, but not before Eri saw the eerie silhouette cast across the celestial light.
The candle, she realized, had been a warning.
She ran to her sister’s room. The girl slept peacefully, despite the first hints of screaming from beyond.
Eri gathered her courage and shook her sister awake. “Lirita, awaken. We have no time.”
Her sister blinked and rubbed her sleepy eyes, her precious pointed years just visible as they poked from the blankets. “Eri-”
“Put on your robe – we must go!”
Lirita obeyed, and thank the Goddess for that. Eri herself ran to throw on her shoes and grab a satchel of food – one set aside for this very purpose. When she looked back to the bedroom, Lirita approached. “Eri, is it-?”
Eri nodded as she stole the girl into her arms, the tiny thing barely half her height. Eri had raised Lirita for six months now, after their parents’ death, and she had vowed to do whatever it took to give her little sister a home – even if it meant abandoning it now.
Outside, the cold air bit her skin. Winter would soon be here, but that precluded they survived until then. Eri saw a great shadow moving in the distance, illuminated by the full moon – elongated limbs, far too thin. Flashing in the backdrop of darkness, Eri saw glowing eyes in the brightest blue, icy enough to freeze her blood
Screaming erupted from beyond. Eri heard shattering stone and wood. She ran away, to the great river beyond.
Lirita clung to Eri’s neck. “Where are we going?”
“As far as we can.” Already, her breath began to burn, the added weight of her sister more than she expected. They would escape, but so many others would fall. “Lirita, I want you to scream as loud as you can. We need to wake everyone up.”
The child obeyed, her shrill voice cutting through the false peace. Though deafened by the noise, Eri continued running, her boots stirring up dust beneath them. Through winding streets – their village was dense and older than most – Eri ran, knowing the path by heart, and watched as curious faces peeked beyond their windows. She realized she wasn’t alone, after a point – other feet echoed behind, the lucky few evacuating before the monster could come.
When the houses grew sparse and the road suddenly ended, they face a great river, wider across than the road. It rushed, dangerously so, but it brought the hope of escape. The Goddess would deliver them, and Eri offered a silent prayer of thanks. She glanced back and saw a small crowd running towards them, some carrying children, some with supplies.
The monster stepped out of the trees beyond, emerging from the shadows cast by the moon.
Eri saw it clearly now – its elongated limbs sickly and pale, impossibly thin, yet it balanced on all fours, great claws at the front. Its jaw hung slack as though broken, revealing rows of fangs and a maw of infinite darkness – as endless as its cursed name. Intelligent eyes, glowing brighter than the moon, surveyed the crowd, and Eri swore it smiled.
Here is stood, The Endless Night. It leapt across the river, and Eri screamed.
Prepared for death, Eri clutched her sister tight, then gasped when great claws flung her aside. The monster raked through the crowd of people, but though it tore through them like paper, Eri and her sister yet lived – thrown instead of gored.
With a pained yelp, they smacked against the wall of a building. Though bruised, Eri lived. She glanced at Lirita; the girl sobbed, but she remained unscathed.
Blood dripped from a gash across Eri’s crown, droplets of blood steadily staining her blouse. She ran back into the village, screams and her sister’s own sobs echoing through her head. From behind, she heard the monster’s booming voice, deep and yet shrill, two dissonant tones coming to speak words that grated against Eri’s ears. It recited a language not meant for this world – the dialect of the demons from beyond.
From the shadows emerged hazy figures, and Eri watched as one grabbed an unfortunate soul and pulled him back. They both disappeared into the darkness, his screams ceasing at once.
All around, more shadowed figures emerged. Eri had heard stories of demons seeking hosts, that to be stolen was to be eaten or possessed or worse, but they could not manifest alone. The monster summoned more of its kin, for what purpose Eri could not say.
Eri heard the monster laugh – a horrid, guttural, gleeful sound – and somehow it frightened her more than the demons or the monster itself.
Stragglers were stolen, those who ran with Eri. She saw fire ahead and wondered if it would save her. Goddess, burn away my fears, she prayed. Let Lirita see the sun again.
Fire blazed in the city square – started by the villagers themselves. A great pyre burned, and armed guards stood around it, some swinging at the shadowed figures. The shadows dissipated when struck, and if the flicking light touched them, they vanished with a whispered scream. “Stand in the light!” she heard a guard cry. Another bonfire erupted, fire quickly eating through the dried tinder. “The Endless Night is weak in the light. We need only survive until dawn!”
Or so they said, Eri knew.
From the great shadows cast by the fire, the monster emerged beyond the town square. It stood taller than the buildings, and when it balanced on two legs and bellowed a roar, Eri tucked Lirita to her chest and covered her fragile ears. Eri’s own pointed ears rang and lingered in pain.
Fire cast grotesque shadows across The Endless Night, highlighting its gaunt, unnatural face. Guards rushed as it approached the square, prepared with their swords and shields. With unnatural speed, the monster swept them aside. It grabbed the last and slowly tore him in half, visibly reveling in the man’s screams. Eri heard that perverse laugh as it dangled the halves before the crowd and threw them into the fire.
Eri ducked, then screamed when fire caught her skirt. Burning wood scattered across the earth as Eri dropped Lirita and rolled on the ground.
Its laughter sickened Eri to her core. On the ground, she beat the fire licking at her skirt while The Endless Night continued its rampage. Lirita joined her, the tiny girl braver than Eri had ever felt.
Eri would not die in flame today. Bells rang through the cursed night, deafening even amidst the cacophony of screams and demonic words. The cathedral stood as a beacon of hope, the great bell warning the village of its eminent demise.
Some drawing in Eri’s soul bid her to rise. Perhaps the Goddess would deliver her yet. Eri grabbed Lirita and a burning slab of wood – fire for protection – and ran for the cathedral doors.
It rose in white stone, the richest of all the buildings in town. She banged on the great wooden doors, appalled to find it was locked. With a prayer of apology, she ran instead to the side, and with her makeshift torch swung and shattered the stained-glass window. Rainbows hues scattered across the cathedral floor, reflecting the fire in opalescent shades.
With as much care as she could muster with one arm, Eri helped Lirita inside. The girl made it in without a scratch on her skin, but Eri was much less fortunate – as she fell inside, glass caught her leg, ripping a deep gash across her thigh.
Eri gasped and landed sprawled on the floor, driving the shattered shards deeper into her flesh. The torch licked at the stone floor as her own blood pooled around her. Within, the tentative peace was as fragile as the glass Eri had ruined. She withheld a scream, her pain steadily rising, and with how the blood spurted, she feared she could not walk for long.
Adrenaline spurred her forward, as well as screams from beyond. She grabbed her torch, illuminating the great church, and limped toward the altar.
A statue of the great Goddess smiled down at them, her eyes filled with the kindness of a mother gazing upon her child. Before her was a stone altar draped in fabric, and a chance breeze from the broken window rustled the fabric, revealing a hollow opening – one small enough for a child. “Lirita-”
She gasped as she stumbled and fell, slipping in her own spraying blood. The stone floor caught her, and the glass embedded in her leg cut fresh wounds within.
Tears welled in her eyes as Lirita tugged on her hand. “Hide underneath,” Eri said. “No matter what you hear, do not come out.”
Lirita shook her head and knelt beside her, uncaring of the blood staining her nightgown. “What about you?”
“The Goddess brought me this far. My life is hers.” Small arms wrapped around her head. With the last of her strength, she brought her own arm up to embrace her sister. “I love you. What you can do for me is live.”
“I love you, Eri.”
The enormous doors shattered, the monster’s claw sweeping clean through. Lirita’s touch disappeared, and Eri saw the fabric shift around the altar as The Endless Night approached.
It gazed around the cathedral with its horrid, glowing eyes, its gaping mouth pulling into a vicious, broken smile. Its stared landed on Eri, and she moved to stand on her feet – but collapsed.
Her head swam from blood loss. Despite the instinct to flee, she scooted herself away from the altar, toward the monster, unable to help the sob that tore from her throat.
She stared into the abyss, at the face of this monster from hell, and it stared back. “Goddess, deliver me,” she whispered, and it must have heard, for its cruel laughter met her ears.
It swiped out an enormous claw and ripped the statue of the Goddess from its pedestal. Eri drew a breath, tearing her gaze away from the monster and to the Goddess’ countenance—
The monster threw the statue down. Eri’s death was swift and clean.

* * *

In the aftermath of hell, the endless night did end. Dawn broke across the horizon, casting light onto the ruins of the once thriving village. Every inch of land lay covered in debris and carnage, and already the scent of death and stagnant blood began to rise.
But with the sun rose survivors, the lucky few who escaped the demons and The Endless Night. They gathered their own and formed a caravan, desperate to leave before nightfall – by nightfall, the dead would rise.

Lirita emerged with the living, the only child among the small throng. She did as she promised – she lived.



The Sting of Victory
Fallen Gods
Book One
S D Simper

Genre: Adult Dark Romantic Fantasy (LGBT)

Publisher: Endless Night Publications

Date of Publication:  September 14th 2018

ISBN: 978-1-7324611-1-6

Number of pages: 400
Word Count:  102K

Cover Artist: Jade Mere

Tagline: The cost of love is always high.

Book Description:

“When faced with monstrosity, become the greater monster. The sting of victory will fade with time.”

When Flowridia, a witch granted power by an unknown demon, deceives an alluring foreign diplomat, she is promoted to a position of power to conceal her falsehood. Thrust into a world of politics and murderous ambition, she has her gentle heart and her Familiar to guide her – as well as a drunk Celestial with a penchant for illusion.

Meanwhile, Lady Ayla Darkleaf, Grand Diplomat of Nox’Kartha, smiles with predatory charm and wields her blades with a dancer’s grace. Flowridia falls into a toxic love affair, one she knows will end in heartbreak. But as Ayla’s legacy as a vampiric creature unfolds, Flowridia begins to see the broken woman behind the monster.

When a foreign emperor dies at the hands of a mysterious interloper, one who seeks to collect the greatest sources of power in the realms, Flowridia’s kingdom is charged to stop him. But Flowridia’s devotion becomes torn between duty to her own and the woman whose claws grip her heart.

In the ensuing clash of Gods, Flowridia must choose her loyalties with care – the fate of kingdoms rest in her hands.








About the Author:


S D Simper has lived in both the hottest place on earth and the coldest, spans the employment spectrum from theater teacher to professional editor, and plays more instruments than can be counted on one hand. She and her wife share a home with their two cats and innumerable bookshelves.







Guest Blog : A WITCH'S JOURNEY by TENA STETLER



Speaking of Hauntings!

Did you know, most present day Halloween traditions are traceable to the ancient Celtic day of the dead? Halloween consists of mysterious customs, but each has a history, or at least a story behind it.

Take wearing costumes, and roaming from door to door demanding treats. This behavior can be traced to the Celtic period and the first few centuries of the Christian era, when it was thought that the souls of the dead were out and about, along with fairies, witches, and demons. Offerings of food and drink were left out to placate them. As the centuries wore on, people began dressing like these creatures, performing antics in exchange for food and drink. This is where the practice of trick-or-treating began. To this day, vampires, witches, ghosts, and skeletons are among the favorite costumes.

Our Halloween also retains activities from the original harvest holiday of Samhain, such as bobbing for apples and carving vegetables, (pumpkins) as well as the fruits, nuts, and spices for cider associated with the day. Although at my house, hot chocolate is pretty popular, since Halloween almost guarantees the first snow of the year.

Looking for a fun Halloween Read? A Witch's Journey is chocked full of meddling ghosts, shapeshifters, sexy witch, a ruggedly-handsome Navy SEAL. An exciting story of redemption, wildlife rescue and Halloween festivals. 

What more could you ask for? I love Halloween, don’t you?




A Witch’s Journey
A Witch’s Journey Series
Book One
Tena Stetler         

Genre: Paranormal Romance                        
Publisher: The Wild Rose Press

Date of Publication: 6/15/2016

ISBN: 978-1-5092-0820-3
ASIN: B01F0LRJ7U

Number of pages: 344
Word Count: 88,890

Cover Artist: Kristian Norris

Tagline: Former Navy Seal helps a powerful witch, achieve her life-long dream of a wild life rescue, but can they save the McKay magic and their love?

Book Description:

Pepper McKay comes from a long line of powerful witches. Unfortunately, magic brings her nothing but trouble. She learned the love of wildlife rescue and rehab from her Aunt Ashling. After graduating from college, Pepper works for Salem Wildlife Sanctuary and lives from paycheck to paycheck until she inherits the McKay property in Lobster Cove. With the family land and resources, she dares to dream of starting her own wildlife rescue and rehabilitation center.

Lathen Quartz, a former Navy SEAL turned handyman maintains the enchanted McKay property for the McKay estate. But someone is trying to steal the McKay magic. Lathen offers to help Pepper achieve her life-long dream of building a wildlife center. During the long hours spent together on the project, their mutual attraction can’t be denied. But each harbors a deep, dark secret. Will they overcome their demons and give love a chance?

Amazon       Amazon UK       Amazon AU

Amazon CA       Audible       Amazon Audio


The Wild Rose Press      Kobo      BN        iTunes



About the Author:



Tena Stetler is a best-selling author of award winning paranormal romance novels. She has an over-active imagination, which led to writing her first vampire romance as a tween to the chagrin of her mother and delight of her friends.



With the Rocky Mountains outside her window, she sits at her computer surrounded by a wide array of paranormal creatures, with a Navy SEAL or two mixed in telling their tales. Her books tell stories of magical kick-ass women and mystical alpha males that dare to love them. Travel, a bit of mystery, and adventure flourish in her books.














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Friday, October 12, 2018

INTERVIEW WITH SHYLA COLT (Bad Blood)


 
 
 
We're lucky today to have author Shyla Colt in the house to answer our fave three questions. Here we go!
SC:  Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.
Author SC:  Nakeeta Alva is a witch with a dark past. Kind, but guarded, and fiercely independent, she’s blindsided by the truth about her lineage, and the role she’ll play in saving the world. The thirty-something makes a living running a metaphysical shop where she reads fortunes, gives spiritual guidance, and sells metaphysical goods. The daughter of a witch from New Orleans, and a Native American Shaman, she has a colorful heritage and interesting traditions.
SC:  I think I want to visit her stop. Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?
Author SC:  I absolutely believe in the paranormal.
SC:  What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?
Author SC:  I’m working on the follow up to Bad Blood, Bad Moon.  Joss has spent most of her life with the White Creek pack, bound by duty, and forced to play a role she doesn’t believe in to keep her mother safe. When she discovers
SC: Thanks for stopping by today. Let's take a look at your novel now.

 

Bad Blood
Bad Duology 
Book One
Shyla Colt

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Date of Publication: 9/28

ASIN: B07G6TPBZ4

Number of pages: 230
Word Count: 53,317

Cover Artist: Dreams 2 Media

Tagline: He saved her life, and stole her Freedom

Book Description:

A reluctant knight

A magical descendent

A race against time

A freak accident thrusts Nakeeta Alva into a dangerous world of secrets, ancient spells, and a legacy she never wanted. The last in a magical line, she’s tasked with restoring the balance to a supernatural world poised for ruin.

Tasked with the care of their savior, Crewe’s main focus is survival. Used to giving orders, the knight isn’t prepared for the sassy witch’s mouth or her lure. The powerful woman reminded him of his humanity and challenged his beliefs.

Keeping her safe is his mission, but the real danger may be losing his heart.

Together, they will save the world … or die trying.

Amazon


Excerpt 1:
The crack of thunder, proceeded by a bright flash of lighting, drew her attention from the words that swam on the yellowed pages in front of her. Her skin prickled. Hairs begin to rise, and she shifted in her seat.  “This storm is wrong.” She whispered. There was power building up behind the weather or perhaps causing it.
 She stood and walked from the table, pressing her nose to the cold glass like a child. “Who knows we’re here?” Nervous energy added to her anxiety. Clouds raced over the sky, blocking out the full moon. A slash of lighting exploded, turning the clouds an eerie neon green. Swirling fog crept over the grounds.
“Wrong in what way?” Crewe joined her to watch the abnormal display.
“It’s unnatural? Can’t you feel it?” She opened their link, letting her emotions bleed into his.
He tensed. “Are we under attack?”
“I’m not sure.” The words felt like a lie. People didn’t work this kind of magic for shits and giggles.
“I’m not taking a chance. Let’s get to a more secure location.”
She smiled sadly. “There’s no place you can hide from magic. It’s specific like that. Standing your ground, and hoping you have enough magic to equal or overpower the other person is all you have. Focus. This is no novice.” Lighting struck the ground close to the castle. She twitched. It struck again closer, turning up the ground. A wind tunnel began to form. The base as dark as night.
“They’re calling me out.”
“Who?”
The evil feeling of black magic crawled up her spine. She knew the signature well.
“Genevieve. The Priestess.”
“Can you defeat her?”
“Before? No. Now.” She shrugged. “It’s hard to say. Why are you looking for me?”
“She must know who you truly are.”
“If she did. She never would’ve let me go.” She rubbed her arms to counter the chill setting in.
“How did you escape her the first time?”
She bowed her head. “I found a suitable replacement. I seduced a witch with latent powers, gave her a place to belong, and showed her all the pretty things that came along with the coven. Once, she was hooked, I was freed.” Her throat swelled. “I’m not proud of what I did—.”
“But we all do what we must to survive.”
Saline blurred her vision as she nodded. A boom went off directly above the house. The rumble seemed to shake the ground.
“She won’t stop.”
“You can’t mean to go out there.”
“I have to.” Her gut pulled her toward the front door. She turned, and the hem of her deep pink dress skimmed her toes. Better to remain barefoot, so she could tap into the earth's energy. Unlike tears before, she felt no fear. Calm descended over her as she made the long trek through the castle at a leisurely pace. Let her wait. She no longer owns you. The voice inside enhanced her confidence and helped snap the lingering chains that held her tight to the way things once were. Once you’d given your submission to a person, it was hard as hell to take it back completely.
Crewe trailed behind her, brooding and apprehensive. It wasn’t in his blood to remain on the sidelines. He wanted to be in the thick of it, defending her. Her heart swelled. They reached the front door, and she turned to face him. Placing her hands on his chest, she looked up. “I know you’ll want to help, but this fight is mine.”
“If you’re hurt—.”
“All I’m asking you to do is be backup. Not the front line.”
His jaw clenched, and he nodded. He brought his hand up to his wrist, sank his fangs in and brought it to her lips. “Drink.”
She latched on to the sweet nectar and sucked it down in greedy mouthfuls. His power charged her like a battery. The wound healed and she pulled back, licking her lips. Centering herself, she used her power to push the heavy door open and stepped into the howling winds, head held high. Her feet padded along the wet stone as she moved toward the grassy knoll where a figure stood in a black dress, shrouded by darkness. She knew all the intimidation tactics, so she dismissed them. Genevie might be using the same old tricks, but she had a new bag of them to unleash.
Shield lifted, she flinched at the lighting strikes raining down on either side of her. The ground shook under the onslaught. She stumbled as the earth rocked, but never fell. Using her newly gained speed, would be giving away her hand. For now, she’d play the role to gather as much information as possible. Genevie threw back her hood and scowled. Her slender oval-shaped face was every bit as flawless as she remembered. No wrinkle dare mare her forehead or around her deepest black eyes. Full lips painted black turned down. Her eyebrows drew together as she looked at her with disgust.
“What do you want Genevie? Our business was concluded long ago.”
“And yet, I hear you of all the beings on this planet are the key to a revolution. I knew I shouldn’t have let you go. Of course, once I have your blood, there’s nowhere you could hide that I wouldn’t find you.”
“Here I stand in plain sight.” Keeta held up her arms.
“Do you think your vampire will help you?”
She smirked. “I don’t need him.”
Genevie blinked. “Bold. Have you forgotten who I am?”
“No. I’ve discovered who I am.”
“This is our chance to rule. The vampires are unstable. Soon the wolves will turn on one another to determine pack hierarchy. It’s the opening we’ve been waiting for. Humans will be the ones to hide in the shadows.”
“And you think witches, who mostly strive to keep the balance will be on board for this? The darkness needs the light to exist. What do you suppose would happen if you removed one?”



About the Author:

Shyla Colt is the sassy USA Today Bestselling author of the popular series Kings of Chaos and Dueling Devils M.C. This genre-hoppers stories feature three of her favorite things: strong females, pop culture, and alternate routes to happy ever after. Listening to her Romani soul, she pens from the heart, allowing the dynamic characters, eccentric interests, and travels as a former flight attendant to take her down untraveled roads.

Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, this mid-west girl is proud of her roots. She used her hometown and the surrounding areas as a backdrop for a number of books. So, if you're a Buckeye, keep an eye out for familiar places.

As a full-time writer, stay at home mother, and wife, there's never a dull moment in her household.

She weaves her tales in spare moments and the evenings with a cup of coffee or tea at her side and the characters in her head for company.

You can interact with Shyla Colt online


Twitter: @shylacolt



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