Showing posts with label Exclusive. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Exclusive. Show all posts

Saturday, May 30, 2015

Chapter 2: The Succubus, The Witch and The Vampire

This work by no means should be duplicated, reused, reprinted or reposted in any way, shape or form. This is an unprotected proof. Opinions are welcome, piracy is not. 18& older only should this content.


Chapter 2

Meanwhile, that chaos was beginning to rein in the orphanage of Underlayes.

Blowing the doors off the hinges of what appeared to be a simple cottage, not caring that by doing so removed all form of glamour hiding it for what it truly was. An enormous Gothic Cathedral, built to house all sorts of beings and keep them hidden and protected, turrets reaching the darkened moonlit skies. Sentry Gargoyles that were once perched upon the rooftop crunched beneath the Queens booted feet, she hissed as she realized she was walking among the remains of long-time friends. Friends of who have now given their very lives protecting that which she tried her damndest to keep hidden from the world. Just the thought of the excruciating pain they must have endured being crushed while in their stone form sent chills up her spine. No more would they sail the skies, nor would they protect what lay behind these hollowed walls as vigilantly as only a Gargoyle could. What truly made her cringe was imaging what creature could have welded such power to do so, and the fact that the being now had Jelissa in their clutches. Just as the Queen began to enter, flaming with rage, quite literally, flames swirling around her irises she heard faint hiss off to her side. Turning and crouching slightly, Queen Tialanna let out a hiss of her own ready to attack at the slightest provocation. Focusing more closely on the rumble she caught a slight movement. 

“My…Queen”, the faint whisper came from the direction of the debris, “…please. Tia.”

As badly as she wanted to have hoped that hearing that voice meant there was at least one survivor amongst the carnage, she knew better. There was far too much rumble littering the ground for a whole body to be intact. And while this dimension may have many beings with the ability to regenerate a limb, a Gargoyle was not among that list. Stiffening her spine, Queen Tialanna begrudgingly made her way towards a voice she knew all too well. 

“Dear Goddess, why?” She seethed between her fangs. Walking slowly at first, Tia picked up her speed with the last few steps, knowing she could not avoid the inevitable. “Ebrahim, how could this have happened?” She asked more to herself than anyone else as she knelt down beside the Gargoyle whom had once stood sentry on her own childhood home.

“End. Me. Please..” He from lips that were part stone, part flesh. Peering more closely, Tialanna was coming to realize to her sheer horror that all of the Gargoyles had been destroyed mid shift. Severed arms and legs interspersed with wings and talons of stone, some still writhing in agony while most had mercifully moved on. In broken words he begged, “I cannot…shift. Too much pain. Nor…can I heal. Nor…move on.”

Knowing what was being asked of her, yet dreading it all the same, Tia knew this was not something she be able to do alone. “ELYSSIA!” She bellowed out to her sister, a sister whom she prayed to the Goddess could shed some as to what had happened, and how.


Flashing, molecules unforming then reforming at her sister’s side, trying and failing desperately to contain her very own rage, she could feel her ebony skin frosting over by the second. Princess Elyssia had been hiding who and what she was for the past twenty years, an elemental witch from the House of Sekhmet. Baby sister to the Queen, as well as Leader of the Royal Guard, her true elements being wind and water, though while her sister’s fire flamed when she became enraged, Elyssia frosted over with ice. Her dark ebony skin casting a pale blue luminescent tint, eyes turned to glaciers with swirling diamond flecks. Her smooth and gentle waters turned to an ice that she could wield as a weapon deadlier than any blade.  

Sent here to build this very orphanage so that she could aid the Queen in hiding their family’s biggest secret, and their greatest treasure. Doing away with her “seers” robes, she flashed into her war gear; black and metallic silver leather jumpsuit with an insignia of her sisters crest, a circles of flames, steel toed knee high combat boots with throwing stars strapped to the sides, arm sheathes carrying her athames and a belt hanging diagonally along her hip holding her leather barbed whip. Whipping her long blue hair into a high ponytail before kneeling beside her sister, she heard gasps coming from inside the orphanage and knew the other “seers” would soon be joining them. The time for hiding was far from over. A slight tug came to her lips as she pictured the alarmed and surprised looks of the caretakers and children when they saw her two cohorts as the vampires they truly were. The vampires were family members from Tia’s other side. Guess Elyssia and  Tia should have taken heed from dear old Mom that secrets can never remain hidden.

Despite the dire situation they were facing, and the gruesome scene before her, she couldn’t help but chuckle to herself at the thought of her Father turning over in his grave now that she was cavorting with the 'blood sucking cretins'.

“What would you have of me, Your Highness?” Knowing how much it irked Tia for her to address her as such, she couldn’t help the jab. Even though trying to lighten the mood was a futile, and more than a little immature attempt.

“Cut the bullshit Elyssa! They have her! What the fuck are we going to do?” Fire gleaming in the banks of her eyes, Tialanna did her best to rein in at least some of her anger as flames licked up her arms. “Ebrehim protected us for most of our lives, and how do we repay him? By allowing his family and friends to be slaughtered, a truly royal way to show gratitude. If whoever took her is capable of this type of destruction, what could they be doing to her right now? This is all my fault! She doesn’t even know who she is, nor any idea why she’s been taken. As far as stupid plans go, this one was epic.”

“What else could you have done? Seriously, Tia? Not a damned thing. She wouldn’t have stood a chance at surviving even this long had we not secreted her away. We’ll find her Tia.”

“Oh, yeah? Why don’t you enlighten me on exactly how we’re going to do that?”

“Where’s Grimm?” At the mere mention of her former mentor and one of her husbands, Tia turned away from her sister, unable to make eye contact. “Tia, please don’t tell me you still haven’t-”

“No, I haven’t! When Darvyn and I got him back it was a fragile thing, if we told him then it would have broken him. An alpha werewolf, who had not only been captured and tortured, but also couldn’t even protect his mate? We kept waiting for the right moment. Dear Goddess, how am I going to tell him now?”

“Twenty fucking years, Tia? You have GOT to be kidding me!”


Anya watched on as her two sisters faught back and forth with one another from the broken doorway of the orphanage. With her platinum blonde hair hanging just shy of her waistline, extremely pail skin and the fangs she had been born with that never completely retracted, it was no wonder their mother had kept Tialanna, and not her. Anya and Tialanna are twins, if it wasn't ovious enough from the description they're fraternal. Not only do their appearances differ, but so to do their powers. Both hybrids born from the descreet union between the original Queen of the Witches and King of the Vampires. One raised by the Queen since she could be passed along as no more than a witch, the other by the King due to the undeniable vampire traits in which she possessed. While Tialanna knew nothing of her twins' existence, Anya had known all along. Her pscychic powers never allowed for much to be hidden from her. Along with being able to call on the wind, another of her abilities was also that of tremendous instinct for when she should, and should not act upon what has been shown to her. Knowing always that even though you may know the outcome of something to be tragic, sometimes you must step back and let things run its course. Otherwise, the outcome could become catistrophical. Which lead to a very lonely life, that is until someone came along that saw her resistance of being close to anyone as a challenge. Kierra has stood by Anya side throughout every storm life has leashed upon them thus far, and has never once bristled at any of the decisions Anya has been forced to make, or to ignore.

Kierra could be described as a beautiful Amazon warrior; with her sleek muscles that by no means overtake her femininity, long, thick, corse black hair that she keeps in cornrows that she can easily pull back in battle, dark, unmarred ebony skin and lush deep red lips that beg to be kissed. Her weapon of choice is that of a battle axe, though no-one can figure out where she keeps it hidden when wearing her Royal Guard uniform that doesn't leave much to the imagination. Only her beautiful wife, Anya, and Tialanna know that it waits in the ether until she has need for it. A secret they keep from everyone as it would reveal what she truly is, its' one thing to flash clothes onto your body, something only the witches, and vampires' if they are powerful enough, have the power to do, but a weapon forged in the fires of Hel's domain? Not likely. Hidden among the vampires since birth, Kierra is truly a demon with an angel for a father. Its no wonder she and Anya are perfectly mated for one another; one with a gift that could possibly make even the kindest of souls hate them, the other with an ability anyone would kill for, able to turn her feelings on and off at will. So even if Anya is forced to let even an Apocalypse take place, Kierra could quite naturally sit back with her love in her lap and enjoy the show. There are only two types that a demon cannot turn off their feelings for; their true soul mate and their children. Even with them their feelings can be muted at times.

Anya began feeling her loins heating up, a sure sign her wife was near and had sex on the brain. A sure distraction that she truly didn't need right now, even though to say she wanted it would the Goddess' honest truth. Not bothering to say a word and not heed to the open door, Kierra pulled Anya back tightly against her front slipping her hands beneath the folds of her robes knowing she wore nothing underneath, making her fight desperately to hold in a gasp as she slowly guided one hand to cup her breast and with the other slipping two fingers into her tight, wet folds.

“Hungry”, Kierra rapse in her deep, gravelly voice just as she pierced Anya's neck with her fangs, both upper and lower, thrusting her long, callused fingers ever deeper into her wet heat.

Knowing on a soul deep level that her wife became ravenous for both blood and sex in times of stress, two things that helped to shut her feelings off, Anya let Kierra take her fill. Moving her body to the rythym her wife set, she thrust images of each and every way she planned to devour her once the situation was at least marginally under control.

Just as Kierra was licking her wounds closed, Anya had a vision of exactly where her niece was being held captive. And that it was not the time to find her, yet. 

Disentangling herself from Kierra and flashing out of her robe and into her own uniform of the Royal Guard, she took in the scene playing outside once again. Watching as among the rumble her brother, Bastien, and Tia's husband, Darvyn, flashed into existence before turning to her wife, “Let's go.”

Her mental to-do list growing by the millisecond; stop her sisters' from killing each other, help release  the Gargoyles from their torment, and keep the fact she knew where Jelissa was secret until the time came to help her niece.

Side by side they stepped into what just may be the beginnings of a brand new war.

Friday, May 15, 2015

Interview: Anna Faktorovich, Phd

Gender Bias in Mystery and Romance Novel Publishing
Mimicking Masculinity and Femininity 
by Anna Faktorovich, Phd
Published April 29, 2015

Synopsis - 

Examines gender bias from the perspective of readers, writers and publishers, with a focus on the top two best-selling genres in modern fiction. It is a linguistic, literary stylistic, and structurally formalist analysis of the male and female “sentences” in the genres that have the greatest gender divide: romances and mysteries. The analysis will search for the historical roots that solidified what many think of today as a “natural” division. Virginia Woolf called it the fabricated “feminine sentence,” and other linguists have also identified clear sex-preferential differences in Anglo-American, Swedish and French novels. Do female mystery writers adopt a masculine voice when they write mysteries? Are female-penned mysteries structurally or linguistically different from their male competitors’, and vice versa among male romance writers? The first part can be used as a textbook for gender stylistics, as it provides an in-depth review of prior research. The second part is an analysis of the results of a survey on readers’ perception of gender in passages from literature. The last part is a linguistic and structural analysis of actual statistical differences between the novels in the two genres, considering the impact of the author’s gender.


Interview
With Anna Faktorovich


1) What made you feel the need for such a topic?

I have been an avid reader for thirty years now. When I was in high school, I read widely in both popular and literary fiction. My favorite authors even in college were Alexander Dumas, George Sand and Anne Rice. But then, I read Harry Potter and a few of the other popular genre novels and they turned me off entirely from popular fiction. In parallel with this, I started my graduate studies in Comparative Literature and English Literature, with a focus on the 19th century. I started teaching college English, but I kept feeling a need to attempt to write and publish fiction in addition to my academic publications. But, there is an incredibly small market for literary fiction and an enormous one for popular fiction. I kept feeling an aversion for the latter that kept me from really pushing to compete in that market. Meanwhile, I published my first academic book with McFarland, Rebellion as Genre, and during this study I was surprised to find that there were repeating formulas even among my favorite literary 19th century writers like Sir Walter Scott, Charles Dickens and Robert Louis Stevenson. So, I started research into the intersections between classical literary genres and current popular genres and that became my second academic book with McFarland, Formulas of Popular Fiction. When I was writing this book I realized that the mystery novels were more engaging and denser than romance novels and that for some reason most of the mystery novelists were male. These questions gradually developed into the book before you now, Gender Bias. It was initially requested by Purdue UP, Columbia UP considered for several months and expressed interest before rejecting it, and McFarland kept reviewing it twice for a year in total before finally rejecting it. While I waited for them to get back to me, I published half-a-dozen novels, both popular and literary, and really saw a clear need for the book. So, when McFarland finally rejected the MS a week ago, I formatted and designed it myself and released it with my independent Anaphora Literary Press. I think this book is important reading material for writers and academics alike. 

2) Do you feel the same bias in Paranormal books as well?

There is a gender-split between science fiction and fantasy novels, with most science fiction writers being male and most fantasy writers being female. I have tried writing fantasy novels, like my The Great Love of Queen Margaret and Battle against the Olden books, but these have turned into satires or semi-literary projects because I just can’t naturally write with the softer “female” sentences necessary to pull off serious fantasies. I wish I could write science fiction for a major publisher, but in part because of gender bias, it’s unlikely that regardless of how many books I’ve published they’ll ever be interested in a science fiction novel from me.

3) If no to the previous, do you think Paranormal authors have more respect for women, or are just more in tuned to what their readers truly want?

I discuss the paranormal genre in my Formulas of Popular Fiction McFarland academic book. The Twilight series come to mind as I think about your question. I read the last book in this series closely as part of my research and it was pretty painful to read it. The only thing that got me through it was laughing at some of the absurdities when they pushed beyond the lines of logically necessary gore. If you remember the book, the heroine finally marries her vampire boyfriend, who has extremely violent and painful sex with her, and then she gives birth to a vampire baby that nearly kills her. If this is what women want today – a bit of rape and baby-killing-mother violence – I’m not a member of this demographic. I’ve included violence and sex in my own novels, but usually it pushes over the edge to be obviously meant to be a criticism of the heroine/hero-antagonist/protagonist – the main character might be even despite being at the center of the story, and their deeds are blatantly unacceptable. Since there is rape, violence, and many other ugly things in reality, we should not feel ashamed about seeing these in fiction, be it paranormal, romance, mysteries or science fiction. I just think that writers should go beyond basic formulas that require a certain amount of escalating violence to keep a reader’s interest. Fiction should be surprising and characters should be fully explained and explored by ethical writers. 

4) Have you always seen yourself as a writer?

Yes, I started writing a journal and poems when I learned the alphabet in preschool, and I haven’t stopped writing daily since that point. I can’t imagine how a writer would start writing and seeing themselves as a writer any later than this point. A mind is formed by 14, so anybody that still hasn’t started seriously writing before 14 is probably not going to succeed in this field.

5) What do you hope to accomplish with this book?

I hope that my studies into formulaic fiction will help other writers to improve their craft, and will help readers to choose fiction that is more than a repeating surface formula.

6) Do you feel as though this bias has been getting better or worst over the years?

I explain in the study that most women today perceive a lack of bias against them. In reality, whenever I have received a job across my life, I’ve always been paid less for the same work in comparison to men with less education and experience than me. Women are still paid less overall than men. It’s harder for women to find jobs in the fields that lead to the top positions, and it’s near-to-impossible for a woman who is anything other than 10 times better than her male competitors from breaking into working as a director or a manager of a major company, unless she founds that company herself. Women are frequently sexually harassed in the workplace and fired if they refuse to comply with their boss’s demands, but they have few legal venues to pursue when this happens. Because they perceive due to popular misconception that there is no longer any gender bias in the workplace, they fail to respond with the necessary indignation when they are paid less, or when they are harassed at work. The US is near the bottom of international lists that rank women’s rights, so much so that I’m considering moving to the United Arab Emirates for a job, for which I’m now a finalist, next year, and I expect that I will have more rights as a woman and will be paid more on the dollar there vs. if I found a similar Assistant Professor job in the US. So, according to my research, there has not been any improvement in gender equality in the US since women in the US have given up this fight three decades ago.

7) What type of books do you personally enjoy reading?

I work from the time I wake up until I go to sleep, seven days per week, all-the-year-round. I read books when I write interview questions for interviewees for my Pennsylvania Literary Journal. I also read and edit books when I prepare them for publication with my Anaphora Literary Press; since I’ve released over 120 books with Anaphora so far, I review these pretty quickly. I receive around 100 emails daily, and at least a dozen of these are new book submissions from writers that want to publish with Anaphora, which I have to review/ read quickly to decide if they are right for a publication. This past year I wrote around a dozen books, and for each of these I read at least a dozen books as part of my research. I also finished a fellowship with the Kentucky Historical Society, and wrote an essay based on my research, reading around 50 books as part of this project. Out of all the books that I read this year, I guess the most enjoyable were history and biography books, which helped me to write honest and researched fiction and non-fiction, but no particular book stands out as outstanding out of this enormous pile of books. I hope that answers your question.

8) How do you feel about writers that write just to sell, as opposed to writing on subjects, or genres, they are truly passionate about?

Earlier today I received an email from somebody that wants to pay me L5,000 to ghostwrite a book for her. If she hires me, these funds would keep me going and writing my fun literary and academic projects for a couple of months. I’ve made only around $150 for each of the books I released with McFarland, so I’d have to write 33 academic books for McFarland to match this offer. Writing an academic book takes me around 3 months. I can finish the generic ghostwriting book in a month. If you do the math, it’s easy to see how writers fall into the trap of writing for money, instead of doing it for art. There are five giant publishers left in the world, and they need to sell 100,000+ of each of the books they release. They’ve calculated that they sell more copies if the writing style is less literary, less dense and more formulaic, so that’s what they hire writers to do. I personally have an addiction for writing literary and academic books, so I keep writing them in addition to my commercial ventures because of this drive. I guess I think it’s important for writers to do both make money and write about something they’re passionate about, regardless if these ventures intersect or take them on two different simultaneous paths.

9) How do you feel about any negative feedback upon writing this title? 

When I started writing this book, I received great positive responses from the head of the British Green Party, and various feminist academics, who participated in my survey. I have received one adoption request from a college in New York after I released the book, and a few review requests, so it’s too soon to say if I’ll get negative feedback. I do feel a bit bitter about the extremely long and harassing review process that happened between the time I finished this book 1-2 years ago, and the present. Publishers like Columbia UP, Purdue UP and McFarland should respect an effort to speak up about the gender bias in publishing and should not have been impediments that slowed this book’s release by almost 2 years. When they finally rejected this project, they said that it just wasn’t right for their list, but as would be clear to any reader, it was obviously because there is more negative truths about publishing in this book than they could tolerate going into print.

10) Have you had more positive or negative feedback upon publication? And do you feel as though it may have been different if you were a male author?

I’ve previously published a book under an assumed name, and it went up to 700 on Amazon’s bestseller ranking, while books I’ve published under my Russian-sounding name haven’t broken past 4000 or so. There have been several studies, including my own, that prove that there is bias about perception of a writer based on their name, be it male or female, foreign or domestic. I have received mixed reviews on most of my previous books. I guess at this point, I’ve published so many books and have had so many successes both as a writer and as a publisher that I can’t complain about this problem on my own behalf. I’m really complaining on behalf of myself a decade ago, and for other young female writers who are currently trying to break through the glass ceiling. 


About the Author:

Anna Faktorovich is the Director and Founder of the Anaphora Literary Press. She taught college English for three years before focusing entirely on publishing. She has a PhD in English Literature. She published two scholarly books: "Rebellion as Genre in the Novels of Scott, Dickens and Stevenson" (McFarland, 2013) and "The Formulas of Popular Fiction: Elements of Fantasy, Science Fiction, Romance, Religious and Mystery Novels" (McFarland, 2014). She completed two other scholarly books: "Gender Bias in Mystery and Romance Novel Publishing: Mimicking Masculinity and Femininity" and "Wendell Berry’s New Agrarianism and Beyond," for which she received a Kentucky Historical Society fellowship. She also published two poetry collections "Improvisational Arguments" (Fomite Press, 2011) and "Battle for Athens" (Anaphora, 2012). (Goodreads)

Monday, March 16, 2015

Virtual Blog Tour: The Second Lie


The Second Lie (The Immortal Vikings #2)
by Anna Richland

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:


A woman desperate to achieve her dreams.

To reassure wealthy clients, Christina Alvarez Mancini invented a jet-setting British owner for her Napa Valley wine collection service. Success has brought her close to buying her own winery, when irregularities at a London wine auction threaten her business.

A man in love with a good plan.

Stig, an immortal Viking thief, knows he’s found the perfect role. The California woman who created his character won’t discover what he’s up to in England until after he’s pocketed the money he needs. Then Christina walks into the auction preview, ready to ruin his plans, and he knows his boredom has ended.

Secrets that turn deadly.

By the end of the night, these two rivals must cooperate to escape kidnappers, British authorities, media and a pair of mysterious watchers. That’s when a game Stig’s played for a thousand years puts Christina’s life at risk.

Can two people whose identities are based on lies trust each other enough to survive?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

EXCERPTS (Exclusive Excerpt):

Hiding from kidnappers and the authorities, Christina finds more than she bargained for in Stig’s secret room.

He knew when she recognized the bottles stored on their sides on the crisscrossed lattice, because she gasped the way most women responded to sapphires.

“A 1947 Chateau Perlus? Is this real?” Her hands hovered in dust motes like a baker in a cloud of flour. She didn’t turn toward him when she spoke, as if afraid to look away from the wine but afraid to touch it at the same time.

“Would I serve a fake?” The smoothness of the high-quality cotton was heaven after the rough denim-blend overalls, and he savored the slide of it across his skin as he changed clothes. It wasn’t a replacement for her hands, but it would have to be enough. For now.

The sound that came out of her lips wouldn’t have been out of place at a football match. “I suspect you’d serve fortified grape juice to the Queen of England and call it Gamay Beaujolais, so yes, you would.”

“Let me rephrase that for my cynical audience.” Doing nothing more than talking with a woman hadn’t felt this exhilarating in years. “Would I bother to store a fake here?”

“If it helped one of your plans, I bet you’d store it in your pants.” She still hadn’t touched the bottles or looked away.

“That worthy vintage is not part of this morning’s plans—” a pity, “—but we can bring a bottle of the ’47 Perlus with us.”

Her breath caught, before she continued in the higher-pitched register of hope. “With us?”

“We’re catching a train to France.” Only three ways off this rock: plane, ship or train. Airport security deployed too much face recognition software, and when she wasn’t dazed with tiredness, Christina might call his bluff and walk away in the midst of an airport. The Dover ferry was for men who trusted that metal floated; he knew better, so process of elimination left the train tunnel under the English Channel. “The Met is searching for us, ergo, we leave London.”

As if she hadn’t heard, she lifted the bottle with two hands, almost like an infant. “I’ve wanted to taste the ’47 my entire life.”

“That’s a lot of procrastination.” He removed his lock picks and passports from one pocket of his discarded trousers and his wallet from the other. His Walther PPK pistol and his watch were gone.


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Anna lives with her quietly funny Canadian husband and two less quiet children in a century-old house in Seattle. The perpetual drizzle is a good excuse to drink more coffee. She’s a former US Army officer who now writes The Immortal Vikings series from Carina Press and also the author of His Road Home, a novella which Publishers Weekly called “Tantalizing … a raw, emotional story” and the website SmartB*tchesTrashyBooks gave an A rating.

She donates a portion of her book proceeds to two charities: the Fisher House Foundation, which provides housing for families of wounded soldiers in the US and Great Britain, and Doctors Without Borders, which delivers emergency medical care in more than sixty crisis zones world-wide. 

To sign up for Anna's newsletter, find out more about her books, and read longer excerpts, please visit her website at www.annarichland.com, her Facebook page at AnnaRichlandAuthor, or her Goodreads page at [.

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Tuesday, July 15, 2014

Guest Post and Excerpt by Author Lisa Beth Darling

Guest Post by Lisa Beth Darling

Author of the Of War Series


Why the Greeks?

It often surprises people when I tell them that Ares and Aphrodite aren't just characters in my books they are my Heavenly Mother and Father. Quite literally, for you astrologists out there, I am a Libra with Ares Rising so one could call it fate that they are my Patrons and Characters in My Head.  Yes, you could call it that, all I really know is that I feel as close to them as I do to any living creature—probably even a bit more so.  That can present some very interesting challenges when writing about them as characters. Especially the way I do it. Yes, sometimes I do worry about getting a lightning bolt or fireball in an unpleasant place but, all in all, we just consider it good fun.

Let me explain a bit further so you can understand what would make a little Scots/English/Irish girl like yours truly write about the ancient Greek Gods. Why she would adopt such odd and old pagan ways.
I grew up Roman Catholic and Baptist. (Yes, you read that right.) Up until my senior year of school I was only vague aware that there were any other Gods outside the Holy Trinity. I'd heard of ancient Egyptian 'gods' and old Norse 'gods' they were always treated in an off-handed manner. No respect.  So I never gave them much thought. It was in the 12th grade that my English teacher, Mr. DePeter, totally blew my mind when he gave us the Greek plays and tragedies as assigned reading. 

I truly felt as though I'd 'come home' in a spiritual manner. It was as though some big piece of me that I didn't even know was missing was suddenly filled in for me. My life began to 'click' and to make sense to me. I found the ancient Greek Gods completely fascinating and intriguing. I couldn't get enough.  I read all I could and in the course of that rediscovered other pantheons in books that respected them and didn't treat them as sort of Second Class Citizens. 

Yes the Celtic one did call to me and I do write about it often. I use a lot of the old Celtic ways on my spiritual path it is a rich and very eclectic.  It's my path and it makes me happy it makes me strong, confident, and peaceful. I write about them to honor them, to keep them 'alive' in some small way, to keep the connection between us vibrant so that my soul stays fulfilled.



Author Bio:  


Lisa lives in her hometown of New London, CT with her husband of 28 years, Roy. Together the two have raised two adult daughters and, as of this writing, are anxiously awaiting the arrival of their first grandchild.




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Kingdoms of War by Lisa Beth Darling
Of War Finale
July 15, 2014

Synopsis -

With nearly four billion souls lost to the ravages of anarchy and the dreaded disease Major Falls, Ares and Raven journey the Mortal World vainly reaching for a sliver of what was only to discover what will be. Unleashed by Apollo, Major Falls—a weaponized version of the flu and rabies-- has wiped out every person of watery Mortal Blood. 

From the fiery wreckage a new world is slowly arising one where the descendants of Olympians, Celts, Dark Fae, and all manner of Magickal Being will rule. For the last millennium the Dark Kingdom has sent small legions of its Daughters in search of its Lost Queen. Among their number is Lenora, a sharp tongued Dark Fae who joins up with ARES hoping to get close to its leader, Raven. And she does.

The Wolf inside the God of War contracts Major Falls. As Ares and Athena wander the world hoping to curtail further damage by obliterating weapons of mass destruction he slowly succumbs to the sickness taking over his fevered rabid mind. Ares may not live to see the glory of Olympus restored nor fight to keep his Wife. If he does, how high will be the price for Ares' life? How long will Alena have to keep paying Apollo?

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Excerpt (For Adult Eyes Only)-

Ares' hips moved upward in a meaningful stroke, he pierced through her body penetrating deep into her snug walls slick with waiting, making her flinch, making her cringe and shudder. She shrank away from him a moment. The hand cupping her bottom went to her jaw to hold it firmly, "You fear me?  Your Lover?"

There was no flinching or hesitation, "Never."

As she slumped against him, sliding further down on him, Ares dark eyes rolled back in his head until only the whites showed below his fluttering lids. For a second his knees threatened to give out he began sinking to floor.  Letting go of her wrists pinned above her head he expected her arms to fall limp at her sides but they didn't they wrapped around him filling him with a new strength as they raked across his back and called to his wild nature.  Feeling the fire explode to a full grown inferno, Ares stood up again planting his hand on her ass, the palm encircling her jaw eased over her chin, caressed her neck, just before it clamped around her throat as his lips closed down over hers, he felt it work hard as his tongue invaded her mouth, cutting off her air.  The legs around his waist squeezed, the wet walls suckling his cock swelled, and instead of fighting for precious air she kept her legs locked tight, using her thighs to pump up and down on him, to grind against him and welcome him home.

For what seemed forever, lost in the velvet embrace of pleasure, Ares forgot himself.  It was easy given her enthusiastic reception.  He bent deeply at the knees, surging upward time and again with a quickening pace that she did not deny but encouraged with rocking grinding hips and her talented tongue.  With the intoxicating scents of musk, honeysuckle, and the deep green of the forest filling the air, he reached down to plant his forearm under her for her ass to rest upon.  He found the soft flesh slick with the oil of their lovemaking, so he gripped the cold rock for better purchase. 

Liking her new perch, Alena kept going, she kept grinding and writhing, taking all of him inside as she moaned with the bliss of passion.  The sweet sound echoing in his head making it even lighter, until he thought he'd float away with rest of the world and all of its cares.



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Saturday, July 5, 2014

Q&A With D. B. Reynolds

Q&A With D. B. Reynolds

Author of the Vampires in America Series'

Where is it that your vampires originate? Fallen angels, or were they simply spawned from hell? 
It’s unclear in my universe who the very first vampire was, or where he came from, but it definitely wasn’t heaven or hell. My vampires carry a virus-like symbiote in their blood which changes them physically. There’s magic, too, because all of my vampires, but especially the vampire lords, have skills/talents that can’t be explained by currently known science. 

What do you think of authors who have no love for the genre, yet try to just throw in a couple sets of fangs and call it a paranormal? 
One of the great things about writing in the paranormal genre is that you can write pretty much anything you want. As a reader, however, I like my paranormal characters to observe the well-established traditions of paranormal creatures. Some modification is great, like what J. R. Ward did with her vampires/Black Dagger Brothers. And my vampires, for example, aren’t risen from the dead. But it takes more than a set of fangs to make a vampire, and I prefer books/authors who understand that. 

When you write, do you feel yourself being pulled into the world you create?
Oh, definitely. When I emerge from hours of writing, it can take a while to adjust back to the real world.  

Do you have a set schedule for when and where you write? Or just whenever the words come to you? Or when your characters are screaming in your head to get out? 
I write pretty much every night, and I usually start at the same time and stay up very, very late. Like all night long. As for my characters screaming at me, if I go too long without writing, my brain starts to itch until I get back to it again.

Is there anyone, someone you knew personally or otherwise, that inspired you to become a writer? 
I was fortunate enough to have the encouragement of several wonderful people, both friends and family. But there’s no one person who inspired me.

Did you always picture yourself as a writer, or did you have another fantasy career?
I ended up in a career that had nothing to do with my university major, and it was a job I really enjoyed. But the only career I ever dreamed of was being a writer. 

If you could be any one of your characters, who would you be? Who would you be with? 
I’d want to be Cyn, which means I’d have to be with Raphael. It’s a tough job, but someone’s gotta do it.

Would you like to see your books on screen? Or do you think they'd screw up too badly? Like they usually do.  Lol
I’d love to see my stories on–screen, but, yeah, I’d worry about what they would do to them. One needn’t look too far to see the distortion of a wonderful series (cough, True Blood, cough.)

What do you think of television today? Has it gone to hell in a hand basket with all the supposed reality TV? 
I don’t watch any reality TV at all. On the other hand, there are many excellent programs still on TV.  Supernatural and Grimm are just two examples of great paranormal stories currently on TV. Black List and Justified are two non-paranormal series with brilliant writing. 

How do you feel about authors taking history as we know it and intertwining Vampires; Abraham Lincoln Vampire Slayer, the Last Confession of the Vampire Judas Iscariot, the DarKyn series? 
As long as they’re well-written, I think it’s great and innovative. As a history buff, I thought Seth Grahame-Smith’s Abraham Lincoln Vampire Hunter was creative and fun, and I love Lynn Viehl’s DarKyn stories.

Website   Goodreads   Facebook   Twitter



Raphael Book 1  (Click here for Review)

Malibu, California-home to rock-and-roll gods and movie stars, the beautiful, the rich . . . and vampires.

Powerful and charismatic, Raphael is a Vampire Lord, one of the few who hold the power of life and death over every vampire in existence. Thousands call him Master and have pledged absolute loyalty on their very lives. But when, in a brazen and deadly daylight attack, a gang of human killers kidnaps the one female vampire he'd give his life for, Raphael turns to a human investigator to find his enemies before it's too late.

Cynthia Leighton is smart, tough and sexy, a private investigator and former cop who's tired of spying on cheating spouses and digging out old bank accounts. When Raphael asks for her help in tracking down the kidnappers, Cyn's happy to accept. But she soon realizes her greatest danger comes not from the humans, but from Raphael himself.

Battling Russian mobsters and treacherous vampires, and betrayed by those they trusted, Cyn and Raphael find themselves fighting for their lives while caught up in a passion of blood and violence that is destined to destroy them both.  (Goodreads)

Jabril Book 2 (Click here for Review)

Houston, Texas-Cowboy boots, baseball and journeys to the stars . . . right? Wrong. Because Houston is also home to Jabril Karim, one of the eight powerful Vampire Lords who control all of North America. And as Private Investigator Cynthia Leighton will soon discover, not all Vampire Lords are created equal. For Jabril is the face of evil in the new world, a vampire who values no life but his own, who enslaves those he desires, steals whatever he covets and destroys anyone who stands in his way. 

Running from L.A. and its seductive Vampire Lord, Raphael, Cyn sees the Houston job as a welcome refuge, a place to get away and heal her broken heart. But Texas will be no vacation. For in Jabril Karim, Cyn will confront a true enemy, one who will go to any lengths to satisfy his lusts, enrich his coffers and expand his power. Fighting for the lives of two young sisters, Cyn's journey will take her through the streets of Houston and back to L.A., where the human police are determined to bring Raphael down for the murder of one of their own. 

But the danger doesn't end there. For Jabril has set his sights on Cyn, and he will stop at nothing to have her.  (Goodreads)

Book 3 (Click here for Review)

RAJMUND GREGOR is a vampire . . . and the undisputed Master of New York City. He bows to no one but his Sire, Krystof, who is the Vampire Lord for the entire Northeastern U.S. Based in Buffalo, NY, Krystof is an old vampire—-too old, it would seem, because he’s slowly losing his mind. Summoned back to Buffalo by his Sire, Rajmund finds his master out of touch and rapidly weakening. He knows the territory will crumble if something isn’t done, and he’s the only one of Krystof’s children strong enough to seize power. But there’s also the matter of some missing women and a rogue vampire who seems to be moving in for the kill.

SARAH STRATTON has a secret, one she’s never shared with anyone–—at least not anyone who knows her now, not even her good friend Cyn. It’s a secret that could destroy her carefully constructed life, but it’s one she may have to share with a vampire, if she’s going to save the lives of the missing women.  (Goodreads)

Vampires in America





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