Tuesday, August 30, 2022
Friday, August 26, 2022
So lucky to have author Kristina Streva with us here today. Welcome !Tell me a little bit about your main character of this book, Kristina.
KS: My novel follows three sisters, Yuri, Britt, and Tanis. They were born with long black tentacles instead of beautiful mermaid tails and because of their deformity, they are banned from entering Atlantis. They share a similar backstory and deep sisterly bond because their mother passed away. However, they all have unique personalities.
Yuri is the eldest and was left in charge to care for her two younger sisters. She is deeply protective as she had to take on a mothering role at a very young age. Britt is the middle sister and the troublemaker of the group. She didn’t take her mother’s passing very well and found ways to lash out for attention. Then there is Tanis, who is the youngest and a bit silly and naïve. She is the peacekeeper of the group and is often caught between Yuri and Britt’s bickering.
No spoilers, but Britt gets them in a bit of trouble…
SC: Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?
KS: Yes, several actually! I’m a huge believer in the paranormal and I think we are closest to the spirit realm when we are children.
SC: We think so too. Please, go on...
KS: When I was in high school, I had an old television in my room that would turn on by itself in the middle of the night to static. It reminded me of the movie Poltergeist! Things only got increasingly weirder from that point. At the time my mother was waking me up for school and would open the door to my bedroom to awaken me. One day, I see the door open and a shadow standing by the entrance. I immediately assumed it was my mother and began my morning routine. However, when I looked at the clock, I noticed it was only three in the morning. So, I went to ask my mother why she woke me up, but she was fast asleep. I am still not sure what woke me that morning. I believe it to be a shadow person.
In another instance, I was sitting on a chair in my bedroom, tying my shoes so that I could head to the gym. A lava lamp that was resting on the back of my dresser came flying up and almost hit me on the head. It fell next to my feet and startled me. I don’t think the ghost in my house was friendly like Casper.
Once I went away to college my hauntings seemed to stop completely. My mother no longer owns that place, but I hope whoever lives there can make peace with the spirits in my bedroom.
SC: That must have been scary, thanks for sharing. What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?
KS: I’m working on the second book in The Inked series! It’s been hard to fit everything in with my busy schedule. I’m still trying to market my first book while balancing work and taking some classes on the side too!
I’m very excited to continue this tale and I hope those who read The Inked become invested in my characters and look forward to the second book!
SC: We can't wait! Let's take a look at this novel now.
Kaleb, the son of King Oasis, sat on his red and gold chariot. Large black seahorses adorned with golden paint pulled it forward as his army followed behind, saddled on their seahorse steeds. With each command from the King’s son, they drummed their fists on their armor made from reinforced turtle shells, all stunningly painted and garnished in sequins and gold.
A few days ago, King Oasis had proudly declared that there would be a competition between him and his twin brother, Neo. A beast had been terrorizing Atlantis, and whoever brought him the head of this creature would take the throne and the enormous bounty that came with it.
“Forward! We can’t afford to lose the trail of this beast!” Kaleb shouted as he lifted a long golden horn to his lips and blew.
His army moved forward in unison. He trailed behind them in his chariot, gripping his long-pronged golden trident in one hand and horn in the other. Kaleb was on the hunt, much like the monster who had hunted the occupants of Atlantis. Just last week, two more children had gone missing, and now that his troop had moved forward, he could search the area for survivors.
His eyes carefully scanned side to side, above, and then finally to the bottom of the seabed. To his left, he spotted a damaged boat flipped upside down with a large, jagged hole in one side. He tightened his grip on the trident, swimming down toward the dilapidated rowboat. Silver strands of hair stuck out of the damage in the boat’s side, looking like kelp waving in the current.
“Hello?” His body crept forward hesitantly as he cleared his throat. “By order of the King Oasis, reveal yourself!” Kaleb’s voice bellowed through the water.
The rowboat stirred as the head of a young girl tentatively made its way out of the hole. Her pale body followed, embellished in a purple laced corset that ended where her long black tentacles protruded.
Kaleb’s mouth dropped open. Now, Yuri swayed before him. His wide eyes traced her body up and down.
What…what is this girl doing here? Oh!
“Do you mean to harm me?” Yuri asked, cutting through the silence, her tone sharp as a blade.
Kaleb’s mouth curved into an amused smile. She’s bold. He had not seen her kind very often—they stayed hidden. This was new to him.
It was for a fair reason they hid away since his people hated hers, after all. Despised them with great passion. He ran his hands through his light-brown hair and then down to his chiseled jawline.
What if my father had found her? He shook his head, refocusing mossy green eyes on Yuri as he studied her.
Her hair was beautiful, and much like that of the mermaids he had grown up with, it was long and flowed behind her in the water as she moved. Yuri’s eyes met his, and he held her gaze, staring at the stunning icy-blue that looked back at him. He traced her pale complexion from her face down to her skinny arms, now held bent and stiff against her hips.
“Do you not know who I am?” He wore a cocky smile that hollowed into dimples at his cheeks.
Yuri’s brows furrowed. Her sharp glare stabbed at his ego, causing his dimpled smirk to retreat from his face like a wounded soldier. “Honestly, I don’t care who you are. Answer the question.
Are your intentions to harm me?” Her eyes darted to his pronged trident.
Kaleb’s grip loosened on his weapon as he stooped toward the seabed, his eyes remaining focused on Yuri’s icy-blue scowl. He opened his palms, letting the trident roll out of his hands and onto the sandy seafloor.
Inching back, he straightened his arms, outstretching his hands high over his head. “No, I don’t wish to harm you. Do you wish to harm me?” He wiggled the fingers of his empty hands.
Yuri crossed her arms over her puffed-out chest.
“That entirely depends on you,” she sneered. Her nostrils flared.
The once-retreated smirk returned to Kaleb’s face. How could such a small and petite girl have so much attitude? This girl is feisty! As his heavy trident sank deeper into the ocean floor, he lowered his hands and tapped awkwardly at his sides. His armor clung to his broad, muscular chest as he gestured in a proper bow. I might as well introduce myself properly.
“I’m Kaleb. My father is King Oasis of Atlantis. My troops and I came out here to hunt the beast that terrorizes these waters.” Kaleb paused for a response that didn’t come. He waited.
His stomach knotted at Yuri’s silence. It twisted like the ends of a fishing net. Her deep-blue eyes stared off to the rowboat in which she had emerged. “And you are…”
Excerpt - Intro:Spooky stories and terrifying tales lurk in dark rural corners and on historic main streets throughout Genesee and Lapeer counties. Hospitals, cemeteries, and historic homes have numerous ghosts attached to them.The secrets of the dead can be buried in history, but we like to dig into the archives and coax the stories back to life, if only for a fleeting moment with words on the page.Several chapters in this book feature locations where history, true crime, and the paranormal intersect. These sinister tales of murder have led to locations full of paranormal activity. A Clio man’s spirit is thought to still reside in the junkyard office where he was murdered. The incident was billed as the internet’s first murder case and made nationwide headlines as the Instant Message Murder.For almost two centuries the Flushing area has been fascinated by tales of the wealthy Brent family whose land is connected to numerous tales of murder, mystery, and ghosts. The land may also have ties to the brutal 1928 murder of 5 year old Dorothy Schneider.The Lapeer State Home has ties to unethical medical practices, eugenics, and murder. The land and remaining buildings that once belonged to the home are considered to be extremely haunted.We dive into the history and uncover the dark truths that have lead to such haunting tales. We hope you enjoy this tour of Genesee and Lapeer counties’ most haunted locations.
As the executive director of Flint Public Art Project, he has curated an outdoor mural gallery in the City of Flint, with over 200 murals from artist all around the world. He also serves as the one of Flint’s Historic District Commissioners and loves learning about the history of old buildings. In 2019 he co-authored Haunted Flint with Roxanne Rhoads.
Wednesday, August 24, 2022
Supernatural Central Short and Quick Interview with Violette L. Meier
SC: We have author Violette L. Meier chatting with us today. Welcome, Violette. Tell us a little bit about your main character of this book.
VLM: The main character of my book Oracles is a one hundred- and one-year old spiritually intuitive woman named Lily (affectionately called Ma Lily by her family). She is a woman who has enjoyed her life immensely, but with old age, she is getting tired and is ready to move on to the next realm. Ma Lily is a wise, free spirited, humorous, openminded, open-hearted griot who has experienced the unbelievable. The centenarian has witnessed everything from manic lovers to mermaids to heartbreak to hoodoo to groundbreaking success to ghosts. She has seen all aspects of life -the earthly and the ethereal.
SC: We should all live so long and so lively. Do you believe in the paranormal and if so, do you have an experience you can share?
VLM: I absolutely do! I have seen a few things in my life that has solidified my belief that the world is a lot more complex than it seems.
My first paranormal experience happened when I was eight years old in my great grandmother’s house. She had these huge heating vents in her floors. I used to love to stand over them and let the warm air blow my nightgown up (Marylin Monroe style…lol).
One morning, I was standing over a heater in the hallway and looked into the living room and I saw a small boy standing before me smiling. He had Asian features with dark golden skin and thick curly dark hair. He was wearing a yarmulke and an intricately trimmed tunic with matching pants.
Growing up in a black neighborhood in the city of Atlanta, I had never seen anyone who looked like him before. I was befuddled.
We stared at each other, the smile not leaving his face. I was not afraid, just curious and maybe a bit confused about what I was seeing. I closed and opened my eyes. He was still there. I leaned backwards so I could not see into the living room then looked back into the living room. He still stood smiling, unmoving, then he was gone. To this day, I can still see his smiling face clearly in my mind.
SC: Thanks for sharing that with us. What titles are you working on now that you can tell us about?
VLM:Since my newest novel Oracles was just released in June, I am taking a short writing break to focus on other projects like maybe doing an audiobook, a screenplay, or learning more about herbalism.
I do not have any new titles that I am working on at the moment, but I am brainstorming a couple of books and considering finishing one of many incomplete books I have collecting dust in my computer. Whatever I decided, I know that I will have a new title ready to read next year.
SC: Let's take a look at your novel now. Thanks for stopping by.
It’s February 12th and I’ve made my one hundred and first circle around the sun. I was hoping, when I opened my eyes this morning, to be in the bosom of Abraham or to be trying to possess the body of a newborn baby, or at least be sunbathing in a flowery field in another dimension; but I’m still here on earth celebrating another birthday. Don’t get me wrong, I’m grateful. I am able-bodied and in my right mind. I can still dance when I hear a song that takes me back to times when the winding of my hips could hypnotize any onlooker into a helpless trance. Now the winding of my hips sounds like a twentieth-century watch being wound. My lined face is but a shadow of the woman I used to be. The mirror lies; showing me crow’s feet and laugh lines as deep as canyons; muddy eyes and a turkey neck. When I close my eyes, I see taut skin, gypsy eyes, voluptuous lips, and a neck like a swan’s. I am still that woman inside.
My health is good. Well, most of the time anyway. My blood pressure gets a bit high when I eat too many potato chips or take a week off from walking. My knee gets a little stiff at times and occasionally low energy levels force my bedtime to start with the evening news.
I could do the average old lady thing and offer a list of my ailments, but I won’t because for the most part, I’m healthy and happy. I’m surrounded by my family, who loves me. I live in a cozy home that I share with my eldest granddaughter, Saige, and her family. Saige and her husband Kevin have been good to me. Life is pleasant.
Sadness creeps upon me from time to time because my heart still yearns for my husband. It has been ten years since Josiah transitioned. According to him, he’s probably in a new body trying to learn the lessons he missed his last lifetime. I never believed much in reincarnation, but he did, and I am sure that he lives on somewhere in the world. Josiah had a knack for being right or so he claimed. My luck, he’s right about reincarnation and I’ll have to come back to this godforsaken planet. Not that I do not love living, but I have been on this earth a long time and I am ready to be gathered to my people. The ancestors are calling me. Their beckoning plays in my ears like a song stuck on repeat, fluttering in the distance but growing louder each day. I can hear them calling my name; a melodic whisper that never stops humming day or night.
“Ma Lily!” my ten-year-old great grandchild yells from the other side of the door.
Violet is a loud one. Her voiceis deep and full sounding like a chorus harmonizing every note. It would be perfect for the voice of God in a movie.
“Ma Lily, can I come in?” she asks as she taps the door like her finger is vibrating. I see the shadow of her toes dancing underneath the door.
I tell her to come in and Violet pushes open the door like she is trying to test her strength; causing it to fly open like a tornado is spinning in the hallway. Every time I see her, which is every single day, I laugh inside. She brings me delight in the richest form. Violet looks the most like me out of all my great grandchildren, light brown with freckles. A cloud of thick black hair sits on the top of her head like a beach ball which is held in place by a giant purple ribbon tied into a perfect bow with its ends framing the sides of her face. She has the most intoxicating smile on this side of the world. She is radical, nonconforming, fearless and ostentatious like a ten-year-old should be.
“Whatchadoin’?” Violet asks plopping down in my rocking chair as I push myself up into a sitting position. I pull the covers off my legs and toss my legs off the side of the bed. I look down at my ashy feet as my toenails scrape the floor. My toenails look like talons. One day, I will take the time to clip them. Maybe I was turning into a wild thing like a creature in one of Violet’s story books. I voice activate the lamp and instruct Violet to open the curtains by pushing a button on the nightstand.
Sunlight changes the entire energy of the room. It instantly renews every cell in my body. Suddenly, a new birthday didn’t seem so annoying.
“Just waking up,” I answer looking at the digital holographic clock hovering over my nightstand. It was 7:59 a.m. “Why are you up so early?” I ask her as she rocks back and forth swinging her legs like she is on a playground swing. The chair groans like an old man. “It’s Wednesday. Why aren’t you in school?”
“Because it’s your birthday!” Violet exclaims. “Mama says that turning one hundred and one is a big deal. Aunt Cleo once told me that one hundred and one was the angel number for happiness and prosperity. Do you believe that?”
“Could be. Anything is possible,” I reply with a yawn.
“She also said that today we’re gonna party like it’s 1999!” Violet says scratching her head confused about what that meant. That song is nearly a century old. I am surprised her mother knew the lyrics, but then again, Prince is and will always be my favorite musical artist of all time. My children grew up on his music and when my grandchildren and great grandchildren visit me, they too became familiar with his ear-piercing falsetto and his sacrosanct sexuality. I love everything about that little musical mastermind. If I had any musical ability, Prince is who I would channel. For a moment, I consider placing my music microchip into my ear and playing Prince’s greatest hits, but I’m sure Violet will not let me listen in peace. Per her request, I would have to blast it loud through the ceiling speakers and frankly, it is way too early in the morning for that kind of noise. Way too early for any type.
“What does your mama have planned?” I ask, a little anxious about Saige’s plans.
Saige always went over and beyond what was humanly necessary to do. She is a perfectionist in the worst way and habitually slunk away from gratification like it was the plague. Watching her frown and fret over every single detail was torture. Saige could make a person feel guilty about having a birthday because of all the trouble that celebrating it would cause her. I’m glad I won’t be around to see her plans for my funeral.
When I turned one hundred, she made a movie about my life consisting of old videos and photographs. It was a nice sentiment until she rented out a local theater to show it and invited everyone in town. I had to wait in line for thirty minutes to see my own movie and she stressed herself out over cold popcorn and incorrect digital tickets until she fainted and had to be fanned back to consciousness.
“I can’t tell you,” Violet says as she hops off the rocking chair onto my bed.
The bounce nearly catapults me across the room. I grip the mattress to balance myself and exhale.
“Can I do your hair?” she asksas she twists my silver dreadlocks into loops and pin them to the top of my head. I lift myself so she can pullthe ones free that I am sitting on, and I sit back on the bed.
“Looks like you’re already doing it,” I retort while yawning. I sit as still as I can as my great granddaughter styles my hair. My dreadlocks are floor length. It amazes me how she effortlessly gathers my big blue-gray ropes of hair and turns them into flower petals. She pulls the last bobby pin from her pocket and places it in my hair.
“Done!” she exclaims and bolts back over to the rocking chair.
I stand up and walk over to the cherry wood vanity that sits in the corner of my room, pull the emerald cushioned seat out and sit down. I look in the mirror and smile. Violet does exquisite hair just like her grandmother, my daughter, Chloe.
“Thank you, baby,” I reply as I put on a thin coat of pink lip gloss and give myself an air kiss in the mirror. I swear the lip gloss and hairstyle takes twenty years off my face. I don’t look a day over eighty.
“You’re welcome Ma Lily,” Violet replies as she rocks like a mad woman in the chair.
“Bring me my owls,” I instruct while admiring my hair in the mirror.
Violet hops off the chair and crosses the room and opens the top drawer of my jewelry armoire. She pulls out two sterling silver necklaces, both with large owls hanging from them, and a matching pair of earrings. After she hands them to me, I put on both necklaces, one owl hanging lower than the other and put on the dangling earrings.
I look at myself once again in the mirror and smile, extremely pleased with Violet’s handy work. I feel beautiful.
A shadow moves on the opposite side of the room, its dark reflection appearing like a man made of smoke. My chest constricts as I gasp aloud. I spin around. Nothing is there.
The room falls silent. The screeching rocker squeals no more. Violet sits in the rocking chair as if time has stopped; her small face flushes red and her back is as stiff as a board.
“You okay baby?” I ask her as a shiny tear makes its way down her cheek.
“Did you see it?” she whimpers.
“I saw it,” I confess. I want to deny it, but it is no use. Violet and I both were born with a veil; born with two crowns on our heads like the ancestors used to say. It was one of the things that helped us forge such an intimate relationship. Her mother cannot see, but her grandmother Chloe can and so can Violet’s older brother Uriah.
“It’s coming to get you Ma Lily. I saw it,” Violet whines. “I don’t want you to go.”
I stand up and walk over to my great grandchild. I instruct her to stand up so I can sit down. My knee is hurting a little. Rain must be coming. Violet sits on my good knee. She feels heavier than she did yesterday.
“There is a season for everything under heaven,” I reply. “A time to laugh and a time to cry. A time to live and a time to die.”
Saturday, August 13, 2022