Monday, August 31, 2020

INTERVIEW WITH BARB JONES (QUEEN'S ASCENTION-BLOOD PROPHECY 3)

 



Queen’s Ascension
Blood Prophecy
Book Three
Barb Jones

Genre: Paranormal
Publisher: World Castle
Date of Publication: August 17, 2020
ISBN:  9781953271013
ISBN:  9781953271020
ASIN: B08DKK66PM
Number of pages: 236 pages
Word Count: 86107 words
Cover Artist: Steven J. Catizone

Tagline: Bloodshed. Heartbreak. Revelation.

Book Description:

When the darkness was compelling and the heart knew no bounds, was there really a right choice? With Michael’s life hanging in the balance, Amber had a choice: save her star-fated love or keep on the crusade to unite the magical community.

For Amber, her fate was sealed even before her birth and it was her destiny to fight the great battle ahead of her. But, when it came to her heart -- her friends, her great love -- Amber’s torn. Not only was she the Queen, but she was a human in every sense of the word. She was vulnerable. And so the very people -- Chloe and Michael -- that gave her strength, quickly became her weakness. It wasn’t her fault she loved too much, was it?

Nevertheless, the Tall Dark Man had set a plan in motion that could threaten the very existence of the Blood Prophecy. Would he gather his dark forces and succeed in destroying Amber once and for all? Or, would she assemble her powerful friends and save the world?

Amazon     BN
Excerpt:

Malakai, Seattle, Present Day

With the betterment of both Michael and Rae, Malakai was glad that they were well and fine; nevertheless, he needed some time to decompress. All the magical commotions that had occurred were too overwhelming for him. He needed some sort of release.
He enjoyed the brisk jog in the park, as he cut through the sharp wind of the cold night. But this did nothing to lift his spirits. He was happy that Amber’s smile finally met her eyes. That was all he’d ever wanted for her: happiness, that’s it. There was nothing more he could ask for—she was his priority. Yet, in the back of his mind, as in his heart, he couldn’t help but believe the ancient legend that he’d heard so long ago was the certifiable truth, as it was written in Eschmun’s scroll.
…her fate is tied to the true alpha of the wolves. A blood drinker will stand formidable, but it is the nature of the child to call upon the true alpha and bring him to the queen’s inner heart.
Could this be the truth? he often wondered as he traveled the world collecting artifacts and evidence supporting this notion. Yes, he’d crafted a reliquary, quite accidentally, and people assumed it was to keep the magic insulated, away from the humans. But that wasn’t the case, at least not for him.  He so wanted to believe, just from the sheer fact that it was said in the scroll. But Malakai was a man of logic, driven by cold hard data. Although wanting to romanticize that his destiny was tied with Amber’s, he needed confirmation. He wanted validation for the strong emotions he was feeling. 

***

Zaraquel, Seattle, Present Day

Walking the cemetery grounds as she so often did without the knowledge of her parents, Zaraquel wandered at a leisurely pace. She whipped out her phone and checked the time, which read midnight. Her brow quirked in confusion, as she had expected Loquiel some time ago. With her long hair styled in two braids and her bright red coat to keep her warm, she sat down on a bench.
She was elated that her best friend, other than the one that was currently running late, was alive and breathing. Rae had given Zaraquel a terrible fright, for she had never known the death of someone close to her heart. She shook, not from the cold, but from remembering the tragic vision she had of Rae’s demise.
A throaty growl awoke her from her thoughts. She heard the fast footfalls of someone, something, running toward her, and she put her fight training to use. Zaraquel spun around, so much so that her wings unfurled. But that did not deter the undead man from attacking her. His decaying flesh was a sight she instantly wished she could unsee, but she had to fulfill her duty and protect the people, which meant ridding the world of this monster.
She punched him in the stomach as her father had taught her, but that did nothing to stop him from throwing his fists at her. She dodged his poor attempts at aiming for her and grabbed his arm, twisting him around so he fell to his knees. Her weight on his back caused the corpse to fall to the ground. It growled in anger, shaking its head savagely, as if it couldn’t wait to get back to its feet. Zaraquel, however, had plans of her own. She stood briefly to step on his neck to keep him from moving, and whispered a spell she’d learned from a book.
“Capite obtruncato intestinisque extractis.”
She heard the cracking of his bones, the stretching of his skin; with a pop! his head flew off, gore spattering in every direction. His body went limp, as it was before he had risen from the ground.
Zaraquel sighed in frustration as she walked off, disappointed from another unnecessary and unjustified kill. She continued to walk the grounds and felt a rush of warm wind, the kind she felt every time Loquiel was near. She turned and there he was, right behind her.




About the Author:

Barb Jones was born in Hawaii, a place rich with culture and storytellers. As a little girl, scary tales about vampires, werewolves, angels, demons, and witches were her favorite kind — much to her mother's dismay. Her love for the supernatural never went away, even after moving to Seattle, far from Hawaii's majestic beaches with unusual colors. Despite the unmatched beauty in Hawaii, Seattle stole Barb’s heart and it’s here where her stories took on a new form, in a book of her own: The Adventures of Little Arthur and Merlin the Magnificent. 

Then, the idea for The Blood Prophecy came while she was sleeping. In a dream, Barb saw a unique storyline involving all the races and an epic battle of good versus evil. It was a modern-day plot with a three-thousand-year-old prophecy, The Blood Prophecy. Barb finished the first book in 2014, The Queen's Destiny. Two years later, she released The Queen's Enemy, and the third book in the series, The Queen's Ascension, arrives on August 17, 2020. 

She is not only a paranormal thriller author but an IT professional and mother of two fantastic children.  Today, she resides in Florida but is still a Seattle girl at heart.









AFTER THE STARS APPEARED BY H.L. CHERRYHOLMES

 



After the Stars Appeared
A Lizard Queen Tale
H.L. Cherryholmes

Genre: Fantasy
Date of Publication: 8/10/20
ISBN: 8654919922
ASIN: B08D8KRBX5
Number of pages: 299
Word Count: 109,517

Cover Artist: Ryan Vale

Tagline: What if you knew the world surrounding you wasn’t the one you started out in?

Book Description:

Consumed by that question and feeling as though she’s lost part of herself, Uyazani despises this unfamiliar world. Glittering stars in the night sky are as abnormal to her as the pressing need to conceal her true origins.

Once a low-ranking soldier and now a special deputy for the Queen, she traverses the landscape in search of others who share her memory of a world past. When she locates one who seems to have discovered a possible way back, she grows fiercely determined to use his information to return to their world. But his mind is not what it once was, nor is Uyazani the only one who wants him to unlock the secret. She finds herself in a deadly tug of war with others who have darker intentions.

With time running out, she must either quickly unite his fractured memories to uncover the way home, or accept that the world she longs for will be forever out of reach.





Excerpt:

She pulled down the exaggerated point of her wimple to better shadow her face. Adding a veil had been an option, but doing so would indicate she belonged to a cryptic sect, and that would only bring about questions. She’d chosen a dark-brown, long jacket and tall black boots for the same reason she’d chosen not to attach a veil. Should she be noticed, she would look like any of the hundreds of proselytizers rampant here in the Lower. She’d counted on this when she’d first learned where he was, and so far, the disguise had worked. No one had given her a second glance. Not that anyone should, really, not this far south; but on the off chance someone here was from Queensperch in the Upper and had perhaps visited High Palace in any sort of capacity, it was best to remain inconspicuous. Although she planned to continue the ruse while speaking with the asylum holder, she was nevertheless prepared to reveal herself, should it come to that. It wouldn’t, though. The heavy purse thumping against her thigh, as she followed an asylum worker down the narrow corridor, would be enough of an introduction. She doubted she’d even need to make up a name for herself.
Left alone in the asylum holder’s cramped study, she took another look at the letter—not the one that had been sent to inform her of his presence here in the asylum, but the letter that he had sent to the palace librarian. Many of the words were smudged and had been long before she’d slipped it into her trouser pocket prior to leaving the Upper. Because of the smudges in the center crease she guessed the ink hadn’t quite dried when the page was folded and handed over to whomever would help to smuggle it out of a castle and into a palace. At the top of the parchment, however, one line stood out clearly:
When a world expands history swells
The rest of the sentence, as well as the rest of the letter, was impossible to see in the dimness, but she didn’t need to; she’d read it so many times that she was certain she could recite the missive from memory. This was the letter confirming the possibility—a very strong possibility—that she could return to where she belonged. She carefully refolded it and returned it to her pocket.
Gaslights flickering against the walls cast an unsettling glow that made it seem as if objects in the room moved ever so slightly when not looked at directly. She wondered if this was purposeful. The occupants of this place surely needed no help in being unsettled, so it had to be for visitors. Probably to get them to leave quickly. The asylum would need more than an onerous ambiance to deter her. She’d come a long way and had no intention of leaving without the one whom she’d come for. Sweat gathered at the bottom of her wimple.



About the Author:

H.L. Cherryholmes, author of The Lizard Queen series, A Slight Touch,  Come Back for Me, and The Reminisce was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico but has spent most of his life in California. He has a BFA from the University of New Mexico and a Master’s degree in Playwriting from the University of California, Los Angeles. Currently, he lives in Southern California with his husband, Ron Cogan.






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INTERVIEW WITH B. AUSTIN (The Witch with Nine Lives)



We're sending August off with mixed emotions. It's been a strange summer, n'est pas? Today we have author B. Austin stopping in for a quick little chat.

SC: Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book.

BA: When Medea was a wild teenager of 14, she did something to so anger her mother, that Dima cursed her, turning Medea into a cat as soon as the sun sets each night. Nineteen years have passed, and Medea is now a nicer person, though she is still a teenager. Age wise, she is just two years older than when Dima cursed her, even though 19 years have gone by and Medea should be 33 years old. The age discrepancy is because being half-cat, Medea has nine lives and she died once and came back to life. Every time Medea dies, no matter how many years have gone by since her last death, she only ages a year. Medea does have the wisdom of a 33-year-old. She can start fires with her mind, and unlock and open doors with her mind. She makes a living telling fortunes by reading cat scratches on people’s skin. She, also, conducts seances, and is a well-known medium. She dislikes her mother, and the two witches have some work cut out for them in their relationship. Dima, at least, treats Medea as an adult now and allows her the freedom she deserves. Medea has a tight bond with her younger, though 17-year-old sister, and really loves, Nikki. However, Medea is keeping two secrets from Nikki, and lives in dread of her sister discovering the truth.

Nikki, on the other hand, believes she has no magic and is jealous of her sister and mother. She, also, suffers from sibling rivalry because Medea has her own car, and has the freedoms of an adult. Nikki, on the other hand, travels back and forth to work on the bus and toils as a hotel maid. She has to give all of her money to Dima. However, Nikki is developing a magical gift, and doesn’t realize it. Instead, she’s terrified to what is happening to her. Most of The Witch with Nine Lives takes place in 1952. Nikki looks exactly like Marilyn Monroe and her beauty means everything to her. Nikki has her own secret regarding Medea, that she’s keeping from her sister.

SC: We can smell some sorcery there. Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?

BA: I definitely believe in the paranormal and have personal experience. I grew up in the Southwest, on stories about La Llorona, or the Crier. She is a witch who walks along the banks of rivers and ditches, searching for her drowned children.

My grandparents once attended an outdoor dance on a ranch when they were young. Some witches showed up, angry they were not invited to the party. My grandparents witnessed the witches rise in the air to a small canyon. The witches then spit and cussed at the partygoers.

My grandmother used to cut my brother’s hair and then burn the cuttings so no witches would get his hair and harm him using image magic.

As a child, my cousin and I used to spy on an old lady who we believed was a witch. She’d come out of her house and we’d run screaming.

We had a ditch behind our house, and I swear that one night at midnight when I was 13, I heard the witch, La Llorona, searching for her children, whom she had drowned centuries earlier. Our house was on an acre so the ditch was about ¼ acre away. It was a bone-chilling cry, and I was terrified to get out of bed and look out the window. The crying went on and on. The sound was so scary that for two months I couldn’t be by myself, even during the day.

New Mexico is a hotbed for witches. There is a town named Wagon Mound that I’ve heard is infested with witches. The newspaper mentioned one year that Albuquerque was the site for the annual witches' convention. Once, there was an article in the paper about a witch being killed by some other witches. I found out that there were a lot of witches at the company where I used to work as a Software Engineer. It was a big engineering company though, with around 13,000 employees. A good friend of mine confessed that she was a witch and she invited me to their witch’s sabbath at midnight on Halloween. I declined when she said that at midnight, they all got naked and got in the hot tub.

My mother died three days before Christmas when I was 16. The first time my teenage siblings and I went to the mortuary for a private viewing, I swear that my mother squeezed my hand to comfort me.

SC: Thanks for sharing your experiences. I'm sure your mother is watching out for you. What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?

BA: I have a fabulous narrator recording Undying Witch: Prequel and The Witch with Nine Lives. The audio books will be out in October. A Dysfunctional Family of Witches Series makes really fun audio books.

I’m currently writing Witch Daughter, the third book in the 7-part series. The book takes place from the period 1952 to 2001. Just when the Romanov family is no longer so dysfunctional, along comes a third sister, the witch Liliya, and then her daughter Astra, a third-generation witch. Dima, the matriarch, is still alive, due to her shapeshifting stone. She is 180 years old by the end of the book, though Dima still passes for 19, an act that drives two of her “older-looking” daughters crazy. Of course, Medea coming back to life just one-year older each time she dies, also, drives her sisters mad with envy.

I have the book on preorder for January, but I’m hoping to finish it sooner.

SC: Then we'd better let you get back to work. Let's take a look at your novel now.

The Witch with Nine Lives
A Dysfunctional Family of Witches
Book Two
B. Austin

Genre: Paranormal, Urban, YA, Horror
Publisher: Spellbound Books
Date of Publication: 8/27/2020
ASIN: B08BHSJ2RW
 Number of pages: 263
Word Count: 58,319

Cover Artist: B. Austin

Tagline: The Tie Between Two Powerful Sisters is Tested when Secrets, Lies and Magic is Revealed in a Dysfunctional Family of Witches.

Book Description:

Medea turns into a cat at night, due to her mother's curse. Her mother, Dima, has a shapeshifting stone. She is 130-years-old but appears to be 18, nearly the same age as her two daughters.

Nikki works as a maid, rather than in the family witchcraft business of fortune-telling, seances, and other witchery-for-hire. She was born a Marilyn-Monroe lookalike. Despite her beauty, jealousy eats away at Nikki because her mother and sister have magic. Nor is Nikki allowed near the books of spells, enchantments, and potions Dima stole from Russian monks.

Medea is tortured by a secret that can destroy the sisterly tie between her and Nikki.

Unknown to her family, Nikki, is developing a magical gift which she cannot control, a sorcery that will threaten Medea and pit two powerful sisters against each other.


The Witch with Nine Lives
A Dysfunctional Family of Witches Excerpt

PROLOGUE

Nikki held her dead sister in her arms, a cat named Medea. It was only because of her youngest daughter, well now her only daughter, that their mother attended this makeshift funeral. Dima should be working. Luke Air Force Base in Glendale was open. There was money to be made dancing with solders. Most paid good money for Dima to gaze into a crystal ball and tell the men their futures.
Bah, this is a waste of my time, having a funeral for Medea. Dima frowned at the dead Abyssinian cat. The different-colored eyes were glazed over in death and the tongue was hanging out. Dima turned her head away. She felt guilty for having cast a spell on her oldest daughter to begin with. It was for her own good. She may have been just a teenager, but the mafia wanted her dead.
Almost 24 hours passed since Nikki found Medea dead in the backyard. The girl had run into the house screaming, carrying her dead sister in her arms, the cat’s arms dangling and the head hanging. The eyes were open and still. Nikki had been hysterical until Dima slapped her.
Once more, Nikki cried over her furry sister. The girl seemed to like her sister more now that Medea was dead.
Dima yanked a shapeshifting stone from her pocket. She ordered the stone to shapeshift into a shovel. She then dug a small grave.
Nikki gently placed her sister in the small, shallow grave.
The emotional upset of seeing her eldest daughter lying dead with a pile of dirt beside the open grave, caused Dima to transform from a sexy, 18-year-old to her true self, a 130-year-old hag. Quick, she grabbed the shovel which then melted into her hands and reformed as the shapeshifting stone. She clutched the stone and spun until she was once more an 18-year-old beauty.
It was almost midnight at the small, private Russian Molokan Cemetery located at 75th and Maryland Avenue in Glendale, Arizona. There was a full moon, so there was plenty of light shining on the grave.
“Why couldn’t we have a coffin?” Nikki again asked.
“Your sister always liked the dirt. Remember how she would dig with her claws?” Dima said.
“Yes, but that was so she could use the bathroom outside,” Nikki pointed out.
“Well, you really shouldn’t cry over a sister who used her tongue as toilet paper,” Dima said. “Medea was inferior.”
Nikki glared at her. “Medea was a cat because of you.”
“Well, if Medea had not been an outdoor cat, but stayed indoors, she might have lived a few years longer, if not for you,” Dima said.
Now, it was Nikki’s turn to look guilty.
The moon moved directly above them, signaling that it was now midnight.
Dima screeched and pointed at the grave. Moonlight was shining on the cat, which had transformed from a brown Abyssinian cat into a black kitten.
“Medea’s come back to life!” Nikki clapped her hands with joy.
Dima, on the other hand, was so shocked that she dropped Pompeii, her shapeshifting stone. She again transformed from a young woman to an ancient one. Her boobs were sagging past her waist. Her hair was but a few sparse white hairs. Dima lifted her head so that she could see because her wrinkly eyelids blurred her vision, not to mention the cataracts; oh, the cataracts, and the arthritis in her gnarled hands. Her back was hunched over. Dima ached with more than a century and a quarter of living, and none of it as the granddaughter of Catherine the Great of Russia. Dima was born with signs that she would be a witch, which freaked out her royal family, so her bastard mother threw her away.
Well, enough of bad memories. Medea was reborn!
The kitten sat up and stretched, arching its back. She wasn’t exactly a newborn kitten. Medea appeared to be the size of a four-month-old kitten.
Dima stooped to pick up the shapeshifting stone.
The kitten was faster and jumped on the stone, sitting on the rock.
Dima jumped out of the way because the kitten scratched at her ankles.
Dima growled low in her throat. “I see dying hasn’t improved your bad manners, Medea. You are still headstrong though you must weigh all of three pounds. Move, or I’ll smack you with a newspaper.”
Seventeen cats, some old, some young, surrounded them, hissing at Dima. Of course, the cats attended Medea’s funeral. She was their leader.
Traitors, Dima thought. The older cats had once been loyal to her, but that was before she turned her daughter into a cat.
Dima took a step back. Medea may have been reborn as a black cat, but her eyes were still the same, one eye being amber in color and the other eye emerald-green. The two different colors were a sign of magic. Medea was still a witch and power still flowed in her kitty veins.
The kitten laughed. “Come now, mother,” Medea said in a kittenish, human voice. Medea apparently had the memories of her past life. “It won’t hurt you to stay your own age, for an hour or so. This is my wish for my birthday.”
“You don’t get a second birthday,” Dima snarled.
“Yes, she does,” Nikki protested. “Medea has now been born twice.”

About the Author:

Belinda has fun creating both researched and original magic in her books. She grew up in New Mexico, a Southwestern state known as the Land of Enchantment with a long history of Native American and Spanish witchcraft. Growing up, she heard spell-binding tales about magic and real witches, magic sometimes witnessed by family members. Belinda has a friend in Albuquerque who is a modern-day witch. Belinda is a former Software Engineer / Web Applications Developer. She has a degree in Applied Mathematics. She did not have to do research when it comes to dysfunctional families. Her father was a bigamist with two wives and two sets of children.

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Saturday, August 29, 2020

SUPERNATURAL SUNDAY: The One About UFO's and Cryptids with Shane Red

 In this episode, I sit down with Shane Redmond (@ShaneRed) to talk about UFO's and Cryptids.  Do me a favour and hit the subscribe button

 



Friday, August 28, 2020

INTERVIEW WITH ROXANNE RHOADS (Pumpkins and Party Themes)



Going a million miles a minute these days and almost missed this fun chat with Roxanne!

SC: Tell me a little bit about this book.

RR: A friend directed me to Skyhorse Publishing; she let me know that they wanted to publish a Halloween DIY book. The idea for Pumpkins and Party Themes just popped into my head like magic. I contacted them with my idea and they asked for a full outline of the book with sample chapters. I quickly put together a book proposal and they loved it.

SC: Well who doesn't love Halloween? We sure do around here. Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?

RR: Oh yes. I’ve had many strange experiences. My house has several unique spirits including 3 women and a man in a top hat. The female spirits are an old woman, a middle aged woman in business attire and a young woman maybe late teens early twenties. The middle aged woman in business attire just seems to be a residual imprint on a loop. She’s most often seen on Saturday mornings around 7am. She just walks through the living room. That’s it. The other two women are very active and sometimes interactive. The man in the top hat is just there. A watcher or guardian, perhaps. He only seems to be seen by children.

The final chapter in my book, Haunted Flint, delves into some of my experiences in my home. I also have also written some accounts of the spookiness on my site www.abewitchingguidetohalloween.com. Links to them can be found in the sidebar under the heading Haunted Places, Ghost Stories, & Urban Legends.

SC: Oooh! I would love to bring my gear to your house an investigate. What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?

RR: I have several non-fiction books that are in the research and develop phase and a couple that are in the proposal stage seeking a publisher. Ghosts, monsters, haunted places… whichever one finds a home first will be the next book to be published.

SC: Well, it's always a pleasure to have to stop by. Let's take a look at your novel now.

50 DIY Designs to Bring Your Halloween Extravaganza to Life

Paperback: 176 pages
Publisher: Skyhorse 
Release Date: August 4, 2020
ISBN-10: 1510751165
ISBN-13: 978-1510751163

Book Description:




Bring your Halloween party theme to life with these quick tips and tricks!

Pumpkins and Party Themes features ten unique party themes with five do-it-yourself pumpkin designs for each theme. The pumpkin projects have a variety of decorating ideas that include carving, painting, and mixed media craftiness and easy-to-follow steps on each creation. Author Roxanne Rhoads also includes quick ideas on how to bring the theme to life through d├ęcor, costumes, and activities. These fun party themes range from gothic elegance to Edgar Allan Poe, under the sea, let's get literary, and more!

With beautiful full-color images to illustrate the tools needed, steps to follow, and final products, this book makes for the perfect gift for Halloween enthusiasts and party hosts alike!


Amazon      IndieBound      BN      Kobo     Chapters     





About the Author:

Roxanne Rhoads is an author, book publicist, mixed media crafter, and lover of all things spooky.

Her books include the Amazon Bestseller Haunted Flint and Pumpkins and Party Themes : 50 DIY Designs to Bring Your Halloween Extravaganza to Life.

She is the owner of Bewitching Book Tours, a virtual book tour and social media marketing company. She operates a Halloween blog- A Bewitching Guide to Halloween and sells handcrafted jewelry, art, and home decor through her Etsy store- The Bewitching Cauldron.

When not reading or writing, Roxanne loves to craft, plan Halloween adventures, and search for unique vintage finds.

Amazon Author Page

A Bewitching Guide to Halloween


Author Website http://www.roxannerhoads.com  


Bewitching Book Tours www.bewitchingbooktours.com  










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