Showing posts with label Guest Blog. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Guest Blog. Show all posts

Friday, April 8, 2016

Guest Blog: The Part That Doesn't Burn


The Part That Doesn’t Burn
Goetia Series
Book One
Sam Poling

Genre: Dark Fantasy

Publisher: Tirgearr Publishing

Date of Publication: March 23rd, 2016

ISBN: 9781310401916
ASIN: B01BW0Q2Y4

Number of pages: 319
Word Count: 97,000

Cover Artist: Cora Graphics

Book Description:

In an overpopulated city-state where technology and magic are forbidden by the corrupt church, young witch, Mirabel Fairfax, plots the creation of a deadly plague to cull the burdensome rabble.

That is, until she falls in love with the very alchemist she has been deceiving.

Now, with soul-hungry geists flooding the city, the church scrambling for their prey, and her own mind at war with itself, Mirabel must decide what she's fighting for before she loses everything to the evils of Autumnfall.



Excerpt:

Mirabel waited in the darkness.  Each passing second made it exponentially less likely the power would return.
“Mirabel? Did we lose power?” Felix’s voice quivered in the darkness.
“It should return momentarily.”
They waited. Mirabel could practically feel Felix’s demeanor evaporating.
“M-Mirabel?”
“Unbelievable, the singular time I am protecting company on the geistlines, a train dies. We are not coal powered. We are coming to a stop. Perhaps your pessimism rang true. Sour fortune must have followed you from Haugen. We need to leave.”
“L-leave? As in, leave the train, and go out there?”
“Felix, without power the only thing stopping a geist from swooping in here and taking your face off is nothing. One hundred percent nothing. Essentially, we already have the cons of being outside, along with the narrow space of being inside. Not a survivable combination.”
Without hesitation Felix took to gathering his tools, and corralling them into his bags.
“No time for that.”
She tugged him out of their room and through the train car. One side of the car featured the cabins. Asleep and unaware, no one else left their rooms. Windows with their blinds drawn and a faint cyan shimmering through adorned the other side.
“They’re lining both sides of the tracks. How long do we have?” said Felix.
“Geist behavior is a constant mystery, even to me, but eventually some will strike. Even those with eternity run out of patience.”
They reached the door to the next car and Mirabel mashed on the panel. Nothing. No power, no doors. She tried the manual handle, but it wouldn’t budge. If only Miss Perfect-Priestess were here, then the door wouldn’t be able to fly open fast enough.
“Oh bother,” she said.
“Door haunted too?”
“Handle denies me. Seems rusted, and I wonder if they automatically power lock.”
She could barely make out Felix’s nervous wince. “I wouldn’t expect that, Mirabel. Emergency situations would turn fatalities.”
“That is not happening with us.” She put her weight on the lever. It didn’t amount to much, and the lever knew it.
“Let me try.”
Felix consisted of average build and height, if not a tad lanky. Certainly not the strong type. Petite Mirabel stood quite small, a whole head shorter, also not the strong type, but she expected she could generate more strength. The alchemist didn’t have the mind for it.
“Felix, darling, put your hands here.” She directed his hands next to hers. “Press down on three, yes?”
Violet light washed over the handle they gripped before she got to “one.” She didn’t have to turn around to know its source. It traveled up her arms and across the door. If another passenger had opened a blind, the light source wouldn’t be nearing them.
“Three-three-three,” she shouted.
Felix threw down on the handle alongside her. Perhaps he did have the mind for it when terrified. With a shriek the lever punched into the open position, and the partners threw their hands into the crevice at the door’s left.
“Get the blasted thing open. Pull, Felix, do not look back.”
She made a mistake. Everyone looks back when instructed not to. He turned his neck and got an eyeful of something that forced a spate foul language. Such words didn’t suit him. Pulling with whatever force her slender arms could muster, she joined his blunder and looked over her shoulder.
A geist, two-thirds down the corridor, drifted closer. Its face partially lifted from its head, hanging a few inches from where it belonged. The glowing wisp mimicked the body it used to have, but poorly. The translucent skin melted and slid ever downward. She knew the face would contort any moment: the precursor to assault. And it had the gut-wrenching violet hue. Of all the geists to enter first, it had to be a damned giftgeist. She had no hope of generating enough magic to destroy it before it reached them.
The broken door started to grind open. She fit her thin body part way into the opening. Her heels dug into the carpet and her back braced against the door’s narrow edge, with her hands pressing against the wall. “Felix, pull.”
The geist twisted into a monster far fiercer than before; its face warped into elongated grief and its jaw stretched to the side to give a dry, raspy howl. Passengers meandering into the hall heard it. They slung their own screams and ran the opposite way. The worst decision during a geistline incident: running toward the rear of the train. They wouldn’t live long.
She reached above her head and flicked her fingers. “You want electricity, you fromping door? H-have some.” More white flashes fluttered between her fingers with each flick. “Come on, I had this spell mastered yesterday.”
“Mirabel? Mirabel,” yelped Felix. “It’s-it’s coming.”
“Simmer. I am focusing.”
“Focus faster!”
With a final flick, current rushed from the witch’s fingertips up into the door mechanisms. She had no idea what it accomplished, but the lights around the immediate vicinity flashed, including the door panel. Her left hand dropped and swatted it. The door grinded opened halfway before its lights died again. Halfway gave them more than enough space. The partners darted through into the next car. Glancing back, Mirabel saw the geist stop and turn to its side. Another passenger had peeked out of their cabin an arm’s length from the specter. It shot from Mirabel’s view before the rattled cries of a man and woman reached her ears.
Felix stopped as abruptly as the geist had. “It’s attacking someone.”
“Keep moving.”
“Mirabel, you’ve got to do something, there are three cars full of people back there.”

“And we are the only valuable ones.”



"Would you ever give up writing, even if you never made any sales?"

Sam Poling – THE PART THAT DOESN’T BURN

Every writer has something different to tell when they are asked about their motivations. Some do it to advance the art of writing itself, some are compelled by the stories and characters circling around in their head, and others want the career of creative writing to save them from their tedious day jobs. In most cases it’s a mixture of those reasons, and others. But do we give up writing altogether if we don’t make the sales?

No, we don’t give up. I never carried a checklist around with me and asked the question of all the writers across the globe, but I am confident the vast majority of our breed would not stop writing. We simply would not be able to, myself included. The characters don’t stop nagging, the ideas don’t stop coming, and the urge to create doesn’t dissipate because we aren’t being handed money. Art is a human drive, a need. Each of us have that need within us, and it must be expressed. In my case, it is expressed in creative writing.

However, part of the need to create art is the need to share it. It is expression, after all. It is social, and we are social creatures. We evolved to be. For myself, as I expect it is for many writers, sales are more important to us because they show we’ve done this. We’ve shared our experience and made a small change in the world. Deep down, even if just one person reads the novel it feels as though it was worth it.

Failure in sales can be punishing. It can make one feel dejected, to be sure. But that is only because we strive to become better, as all artists do. We want to see that translation, that reflection of the effort we put into our work. And sometimes we don’t always get that. And it doesn’t matter. It’s more room to grow, more avenues to explore. It’s painful, but thick skin and fortitude are what define the writer, if not the artist.

The day job does get in the way. It is important: it pays the bills and brings value to your life as you do your part for society. The day job is honorable, noble, and fulfilling if you take pride in your work. But it still gets in the way when you need to create that next masterpiece. Because of this, sales do take on another meaning. If they grow high enough, they could be the ticket to a life where your most beloved hobby is your career. But that treasure has to be hard fought and earned. And it requires a massive amount of luck.


The link between monetary compensation and art of any kind has always been seeded in this frank, honest relationship. Sales are not an excuse to fail and forfeit; they are fuel to help you grow. They do help, they do encourage, but in the end our human desire to create, teach, and learn supersedes it.

About the Author:

Sam Poling has been writing fantasy and science fiction for the thrill of it his entire life, from short stories to screenplays. His love for each of the subgenres led to dedication to writing genre-skirting fiction with all the elements that make up the human condition. He holds a strong enthusiasm for medical studies and currently works as a medical assistant in a large clinic while taking classing for nursing. He also serves on a health and safety committee, including disaster preparedness and infection control. His interest in epidemiology and medical science tends to spill over into his writing endeavors.

Author’s site: www.samuelpoling.com


Twitter: @SamuelPoling


Monday, July 13, 2015

Guest Blog by Carmen Stefanescu


Shadows of the Past
Carmen Stefanescu

Publisher: Wild Child Publishing

Genre: paranormal/light romance/light historical/light horror.

Blurb

Anne's relationship with her boyfriend Neil has disintegrated. After a two-year separation, they pack for a week vacation in hopes of reconciling. But fate has other plans for them. 

The discovery of a bejeweled cross and ancient human bones opens a door to a new and frightening world--one where the ghost of a medieval nun named Genevieve will not let Anne rest. This new world threatens not only to ruin Anne and Neil's vacation but to end all hopes of reconciliation as Anne feels compelled to help free Genevieve's soul from its torment. 

Can Anne save her relationship and help Genevieve find her eternal rest? 

A touching, compelling story of tragedy, loss and the power of endless love and good magic.

The twists and turns in this paranormal tale keep the reader guessing up to the end and weave themselves together into a quest to rekindle love. 



 
Guest Blog by Carmen Stefanescu

I thank Gothic Mom for suggesting the topic of this post -
What does it mean to live among the shadows of a legend, in Dracula's country?

            I won't bore you with economical, social and political details. I'll leave these for another place and another time.

            By the way, have you ever thought that the blood of someone famous, whose name inspires even nowadays, a feeling of admiration or unease or dread may be flowing through your veins? No? I must admit that I haven’t either, till I wrote the novel Dracula's Mistress and, come to think of it, Dracula’s blood may flow through my veins, too, as I am a native of his country.

            If you go outside in the street, in the States, and ask at random, ordinary people passing by "Have you heard about Romania ", you’ll be, most often, met by frowned eyebrows, confused looks or shrugging. Or even answers like: "Well, I don't know... is it South America... or maybe Africa...."

Ask the same people "Have you heard about Dracula's country?" A large grin will lighten the face of your interlocutor. "Oh, Dracula. Yes, yes, I heard about it. Somewhere in Europe. Transylvania.  Vampires."

So, I’m glad to live in a country known to everyone, be it only because it’s linked to a name bearing negative connotations: creatures of the night, fangs, sucking the blood of maidens, crimes and horrors. Dracula is said to have drunk his victims’ blood, terrified his enemies and turned into a bat at will. The border between legend or history and figments of people's imagination is difficult to perceive in his case.

Strong connections between the British Royal Family and Vlad the Impaler, the 15th century nobleman whose deeds inspired the vampire legend, are exploited now for advertising reasons. Books, movies, restaurants, T-shirts, fan clubs, toys, posters, wine.... So many products with this name Dracula. It's a powerful brand and a source of inspiration for generations to come.

There are many people in Romania bothered by this analogy, Romania - Dracula's country. I’m not. I’m proud to be one of his country people. And I chose to think about Dracula as a symbolic personality, a hero, a true leader, who used harsh yet fair methods to reclaim the country from the corrupt and rich boyars. I wish there lived another man like him in his present-day country!

            Anyway, words are never enough to describe the place. Beautiful landscapes with gorgeous mountains and mysterious ancient forests, clear rills coming down grassy slopes to meet the Danube.

            Well, not to mention that there are enough elements in the Romanian mythology - ghosts, zombies, vampires - to be a real attraction for visitors. We have our paranormal, haunted places, too. If you want to know more about them, I invite you to visit my blog and the posts under the title: Mysterious Romania.

My best advice to you - come and visit Romania and you'll see for yourselves how Dracula's country really looks like. And to prevent getting bored while crossing the ocean, get a copy of Shadows of the Past and read it. Otherwise you don't know what you are missing! (The other novel I mentioned at the beginning of the post will be released by the end of 2015, I hope)

            Thank you, Tiffany, for hosting me today!

Author bio: 

Carmen Stefanescu resides in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula, but where, for about 50 years of communist dictatorship, just speaking about God, faith, reincarnation or paranormal phenomena could have led someone to great trouble - the psychiatric hospital if not to prison.

Teacher of English and German in her native country and mother of two daughters, Carmen Stefanescu survived the grim years of oppression, by escaping in a parallel world, that of the books. 

Carmen Stefanescu's Links:


Thursday, July 2, 2015

Guest Blog by T.W. Mordrake


Succubus: Shadows of the Beast
T.W. Mordrake

Genre:  Paranormal and Urban Fantasy

Publisher:  Nocturnal Trinity

Date of Publication: May 16th, 2015

ASIN: B00WV6L28A

Number of pages: 475 pages
Word Count: 138,000 words

Cover Artist: Ravenborn

Book Description:  

Entering the real world after college often educates one to the true horrors of the harsh obstacles life has to offer. For Kailey Yates the discoveries are far more terrifying and dangerous. Two days before she graduated with a degree in investigative journalism, her brother Vincent is found dead in his swimming pool with a syringe stuck in his arm. His death is ruled as a suicide, but Kailey doesn't buy it.

She suspects Vincent's new wife Cassie is the one who actually killed him. Her suspicions are drawn from his rapid health deterioration during his short six month marriage. During one of her last Skype conversations she had with Vincent, Kailey's roommate Raven witnesses their conversation and immediately senses that Vincent is being soul-drained by a succubus. Since Raven is a witch, Kailey has no doubt about her friend's perception and concludes that Cassie must be the demon responsible.

Kailey leaves Boston and flies to Seattle for her brother's funeral. While there she investigates the circumstance surrounding his death. She uncovers dark information that leads her to Nocturnal Trinity, a nightclub in the heart of Seattle. And worse, the underground club is run by a powerful alliance of vampires, demons, and witches that wish to protect Cassie at all costs, which includes killing Kailey or anyone else if necessary.

Warning: Adults 18+ due to adult theme/scene.

Available at Amazon


Excerpt: Chapter One

Kailey Yates knew that her brother Vincent would never have killed himself had it not been for his new wife, Cassie.  And yet, Kailey stood at Vincent’s graveside while the workers prepared to lower her brother’s casket into the cold ground, his final resting place.

The gray overcast Seattle sky with its chilly swirling mists set the mood for the burial and the gloom that also possessed her broken heart.  The towering leafless oaks in the cemetery were sinister skeletons forewarning that the dangerous kiss of winter’s death would soon settle over them, harsher than ever before.

One never escaped death, but sometimes death came too early with an unfairness that made Kailey want to scream at the heavens from her inner rage and loss.  After all, her brother had been a successful attorney in his early thirties and destined to become the first in their family that had graduated from college to live a prosperous lifestyle.  He was never a man who entertained suicidal thoughts.

The workers and his ritzy friends from the Langston Law Firm had come out in great number.  She estimated no less than one hundred people had arrived.  Never had she seen so many expensive suits and vehicles.  Coming from a modest middleclass family, she never imagined she or her brother would rub elbows with the upper class of society, but he had been adamant that they would be wealthy and worked painstakingly to get them there.

While the priest gave the eulogy, the men and women stood stoically silent, their eyes staring at Vincent’s casket.  The priest finished speaking and led the audience in a proper prayer, praying that Vincent’s soul found forgiveness and mercy for leaving this world by suicide.

How fitting, Kailey thought, wringing her hands.  Blame the innocent for what the murderer did.

While the others respectfully closed their eyes, she gazed around, trying to see Cassie, but the two men standing in front of her sister-in-law blocked Kailey’s view.  Moments after the priest finished his lengthy ill-placed prayer, the wealthy people mingled to hug, shake hands, and chat.

The slight breeze swirled Kailey’s long reddish-brown curls, forcing her to pull her hair back and letting it fall onto her back and shoulders.  Her jaw suddenly tightened, hiding the wrinkles that deepened into cute dimples whenever she smiled.  Her hazel eyes suddenly blazed with anger and vengeance.

Across the grave Cassie stood dressed in a form-fitting black skirt that accentuated her perfect curves and perhaps distastefully revealed more leg than what was suitable at a funeral for one’s husband.  Her tight long-sleeved jacket cut off at her midriff, revealing her well-defined abs.  She wore black-netted hose and velvety black high heels.  Hell, streetwalkers wore more clothes in this cold weather.

Cassie hid her pale face behind a white handkerchief and sobbed.  Kailey understood how a man might be immediately drawn to Cassie’s exquisite beauty.  Her slender oval face with high cheekbones gave her a regal presence even at this dismal funeral.  She carried herself with the utmost grace, in spite of her poor choice of attire, but she also had a seductively dark energy radiating from her.

When Cassie’s dark eyes met Kailey’s, Cassie lowered her hands and meekly folded the handkerchief.  Her tearless eyes weren’t even slightly tinged red.  A bit of amusement curled Cassie’s pouty lips.  An odd flicker of recognition blazed in her eyes and hinted slight detestation, even though they had never met in person.  Kailey felt the resentment and didn’t understand why, unless Cassie had somehow figured out that Kailey suspected her of murdering Vincent, which Kailey did.  Perhaps Cassie read it in her eyes.  Or worse, perhaps this she-devil could read Kailey’s thoughts.

Moments later, Cassie broke their connection and returned to her fake sobs, wiping at her eyes with the cloth in a way that demanded pity from the solemn onlookers.

One of Vincent’s former attorney friends wore a gray pinstriped suit and overcoat.  He approached Cassie to console her.  He was trim with brown hair, a firm jaw, and offered a tender smile as he spoke to the widow.  She buried her face against the man’s chest.  Obviously surprised by her approach, he gently patted her back from an awkward distance, but Cassie aggressively wrapped her arms around him.  To lessen his discomfort in the situation, he finally leaned in closer and embraced her.

She nuzzled against his chest, reached beneath his jacket, and clung to him.  Her body shook with what people nearby might consider being violent heaving sobs.  He rested his chin atop her head and whispered.  His hands gently rubbed her back, and she seemed to calm at his touch and gentle words.  She stopped sobbing and became less broken.

Don’t you see that those tears aren’t real?  A slight breeze rustled Kailey’s long flowing brown hair.  Instead of remorse for her brother’s death, she felt a growing resentment toward his widow.  A bitter taste came to the back of her throat, and she fought the rising gag reflex from seeing this woman’s blatant slutty behavior and utter disrespect for her husband.  What did Vincent ever see in you?

Kailey also battled the growing urge to march across the cemetery and rattle the woman with several jabs to Cassie’s face and swift punches to her stomach.

Another place.  Another time.

Kailey’s sister-in-law, even now, wore little makeup.  Her lipstick was a bright red hue, which made her pale reflection appear even lighter.  Her raven hair was neatly styled with silver pins and sprigs of Lady’s Breath.  Her pretend tears had not smudged the dark mascara around her eyes, and with her ashen complexion she resembled a corpse better than her brother probably had at his viewing.  To others, even the hundred or more attending the funeral, she appeared stately, reserved, and the perfect widow.

Well played, Kailey thought.  You’ve fooled them, but not me.

Cassie was a cold parasite that had preyed upon Vincent, seduced him into marrying her, and then taken his life to possess his wealth and million-dollar estate.  Kailey couldn’t act on her suspicions alone.  She needed proof.  The coroner had ruled her brother’s death as a suicide, but she believed it was not.  Relevant details had never been disclosed to her, and she wanted answers.

Vincent had been murdered.  Cassie had killed him, made it look like a suicide, and Kailey was determined to prove it.

Soundtrack for Succubus: Shadows of the Beast
by T.W. Mordrake


While writing I do a LOT of research about cities, myths, legends, and so forth.  But I love writing to music and happened upon a group I had not heard of until I was working on the Succubus novel

The group is HIM and the album is “Dark Light.”  Since there are vampires in my novel, I found this album to be great musical inspiration while I wrote.  The song list is below.  Out of all the songs, “Rip Out the Wings of a Butterfly” is my favorite.

The song title sounds violent, but when you get the songwriter’s meaning behind the song, it makes a lot more sense.  “In this song, Ville  valo is basically saying that it comes from a Greek mythology that they belived that if you ripped the wings out of a butterfly then they would live forever. Would you be able to destroy something buetiful to live forever and  are you willing to take a chance to ruin something beautiful (a butterfly. But in this case, he's using a metaphor. Ie butterfly = life) To take a risk (ripping the wings off = a relationship) in order to gain something greater (eternal life from ripping the wings off = Love).” (HIM blogspot Lyrics, http://himlyricss.blogspot.com/2011/02/him-lyrics-wings-of-butterfly-meaning.html )


1. "Vampire Heart"   4:46
2. "Rip Out the Wings of a Butterfly"  
3:30
3. "Under the Rose"   4:50
4. "Killing Loneliness"  
4:29
5. "Dark Light"   4:31
6. "Behind the Crimson Door"   4:37
7. "The Face of God"   4:36
8. "Drunk on Shadows"   3:49
9. "Play Dead"   4:36
10. "In the Nightside of Eden"   5:40
Total length: 45:44


Another album that I’ve listened to for years is Nox Arcana’s Transylvania.  I bought this album in 2007.  The dark mood music is great as background while writing.  According to my iTunes player I’ve listened to the album more than 100 times.  Yeah, it’s that good!

Check these out, and perhaps you’ll understand why I found them so inspirational while I wrote Succubus: Shadows of the Beast.

T.W. Mordrake



About the Author:

T.W. Mordrake writes Urban Fantasy, Paranormal Romance, and Fantasy.  A lover of all things mystical, T.W. explores the strange, unusual, and haunted places in the U.S., which lends to the underlying charm for writing about the paranormal creatures that lurk in the dark shadows of night.


@TWMordrake




Tour giveaway 

3 ebook copies of Succubus: Shadows of the Beast




a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Guest Blog: Alina Popescu


The Breaking of Bonds Tour Banner
Title: The Breaking of Bonds
Series: Bad Blood, Book Two
Author: Alina Popescu
Genre: paranormal, supernatural, paranormal romance, vampire
Length: Novel

Synopsis

A human sacrifice throws vampires of two worlds, trueborn and baseborn, into an escalating conflict. One side pushes for revenge, the other for freedom. The trueborns stubbornly hunt for Anthony and Louis, pushed by Hesrah’s desire to avenge her human best friend, Alexa. The baseborns are divided between rallying with those challenging the rule of Ankhsis and obeying the trueborns.
breakingbonds_promo
What emerges from the portal between Earth and Ankhsis in the middle of the turmoil rocking both worlds is more dead than alive. Neither human, nor baseborn, and certainly not trueborn. This new being will either damn them all or be their race’s most powerful weapon. Will they trust it not to destroy them, or will Ankhsis decide putting it down is the only solution?
In the end, who is guilty? Who will pay? Will anyone survive its wrath?

Book Trailer


Buy Links:

Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00Y4P5C5U
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00Y4P5C5U
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00Y4P5C5U
Amazon DE: http://www.amazon.de/dp/B00Y4P5C5U
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-breaking-of-bonds-alina-popescu/1122051367?ean=2940151945226
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-thebreakingofbonds-1814960-140.html
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/546554
2
Make sure you read book one of the series before enjoying book two!

The Edge of Hope – Bad Blood Trilogy, Book 1

badblood cover blog promoEveryone she loved betrayed her. She felt lost and broken. Getting away from the pain and embracing a new path, Alexa decided to leave her old life behind and chase a long forgotten dream in Malta. There she met a gorgeous man, bearing the scent of fresh love. He led her to a new city to explore, Amsterdam. Is the tall, dark, and delicious man a dream come true or just a risky gamble?

Alexa chose hope and new beginnings over fear and warning signs only to be brutally dragged into a world she never really thought existed. Vampires, their feuds, and her future held tightly in their hands.

Trapped in a mysterious world, Alexa gives love chance after chance. Following her quest of self-discovery in a blood bound world, will she survive the journey?

Take advantage of the sale for The Edge of Hope – $0.99 everywhere
Amazon US: http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00JEBJXDQ
Amazon UK: http://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B00JEBJXDQ
Amazon AU: http://www.amazon.com.au/dp/B00JEBJXDQ
B&N: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-edge-of-hope-alina-popescu/1119064391?ean=9781497436305
ARe: https://www.allromanceebooks.com/product-theedgeofhope-1472664-143.html
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/424918

Excerpt

I shook my head, trying to focus on Seth. “Don’t move,” I said in what I imagined was a stern voice, but to be honest, it shook a little. “Not a muscle.”

“What are you doing,” Seth asked. He did not seem scared either, but he certainly did not trust me around him. 

“Just shut up and do as I say!”

I got closer to him and it all became harder to bear. The smell of his blood, the sight of it, the sound of it running through his veins, the scent of his sweat, it all made my vision blurry. My head was pounding and my stomach hurt worse than ever before. I reached out and put one hand on his shoulder, right next to the bite. I took a few deep breaths, but I tried to get used to the feeling of his skin under my touch and all that closeness to… well, my favorite dish. When it seemed to become something I could take without sucking him dry, I pushed his head toward his right shoulder. He resisted the move but finally moved it. 

The closer my lips got to the bite, the harder it was to keep in mind what I was supposed to do. I was breathing heavily and moaning, I think. There were some sounds coming out of my throat, but I was unsure what it all was. I licked tentatively and stopped when my brain registered the taste of his blood. I had vivid images about bleeding him dry distracting me, but I pushed through and continue to lick the fang marks a little longer, till I was sure I had covered it all in my saliva. 

All I wanted was to be far from him, fast. And the moment the thought formed in my mind, I started running backwards. I bumped into the furthermost wall and stopped. Seth and Magnus seemed to react very slowly, as if they were moving in slow motion. I could see their startled expressions at the sudden move but only long seconds after I had touched the wall. 

“All right, it seems you also have speed. Almost full feral powers on Ankhsis. That will certainly be a problem,” Magnus said in a surprisingly steady voice. In my experience, people tended to panic a little when they discovered a problem. Oh, shit was one of my go-to phrases. 

After making it through the earlier challenge, I started to trust my abilities of self-control more. So I walked back to the bed and sat on the very same chair that Seth had been sitting on when I had woken up.

“Are you OK?” My shaky voice made me cringe a little.

“Yeah, fantastic,” Seth mumbled, arching a brow and staring right at me. It did not take a genius to figure out he was being sarcastic; even Sheldon Cooper would have picked up on it that one time. 

“I’m really sorry.” I winced at the thought of what could have happened and averted my eyes. 

“I’m sorry, that was harsh,” he said, taking me by surprise. I hadn’t expected him to let it go so quickly. I sure as hell wouldn’t have gotten over someone trying to suck the life out of me so quickly. “We’re both new to this, I guess. I am not used to be someone’s prey; you don’t know how to control your urges. My ego is what you have bruised the most.’

“I truly am sorry, Seth! It really is unlike me to behave like that.”

“You mean bleed strange men dry after trying to sexually take advantage of them?” He smirked but his smugness was not funny in the least.

“I don’t remember you resisting that second part much.” I sneered and clenched my fists, starting to feel less guilty for having attacked him. 

“Now, now, kids! Don’t fight,” Magnus said, getting closer to us, probably imagining they could have done a better job at stopping me together. 

The anger was so thick I could have cut it with a knife… if it took a material form. Oh, damn it, who cared, I felt it seething and my stomach coiled with the need to cause some damage and fill up on blood in the process.

“Oh, no, Alexa, I wouldn’t dare say I wouldn’t have… encouraged you to have your way with me,” Seth continued on the same half-amused, half-mocking tone. “But see, I was not the one calling some idiot’s name when I finally emerged from the portal.”

I couldn’t say if I ever had a chance to even think I should try to control my rage. I just threw Magnus across the room, grabbed Seth by the neck and jumped on top of him, on the bed. I could have just squeezed his neck a little and there would be no more mocking me. 

The skin on my inner thighs was touching his abs. A perfect six pack, I could feel it without looking. The raw sexual desire slowly overpowered the anger and the hunger. He was smiling, I eventually noticed. His hands were suddenly moving and I shivered at his soft but steady touch. He caressed me from my ankles upward over my knees and finally settled around my waist. I could smell his arousal and it only made my physical reaction worse. 

“Want to forget about him for a while?” Seth asked and I realized I had stopped holding him by his neck and I was tracing his upper arm muscles instead. I ran across the room once more. I heard him laugh, so I just ran out of the room and out the door. I kept running down the stony alley and into the woods.


Guest Post by Alina Popescu
Sometimes things don’t go according to plan

I’ve spoken about my writing process at length. I start to write the script in my head, I see the characters interacting as their journey comes to life, and when every piece of the puzzle is worked into the thread, I start writing. By the time I start typing it all out on my computer, I know where I’m going. But sometimes characters are nothing but menaces that just won’t go along with my initial plan. 

With the Bad Blood trilogy, that happened twice so far. The first time was easy. I was planning out The Edge of Hope and Louis came out of nowhere, demanding his place in my story. He wouldn’t shut up about it, so I included him in Alexa’s story line early on. It turned out she needed Louis, in more ways than I could have guessed. 

The second time… well, this happened during my planning phase for book two, The Breaking of Bonds. I was used to it by now, but then it happened again while I was writing the story. Seth refused to be a good little supporting character. His relationship with the female lead was supposed to be a sexually charged one, but never move past an initial distraction. Seth was not supposed to play a more significant role in the story. 

Boy, was I wrong! I was dead wrong about him and his importance, or so he kept claiming. I went along with it because I now know better than to fight it. I suppose it’s up to the readers to decide if it was the right call. 

The bottom line is things don’t always follow the path you’ve imagined they would. Characters are loud mouths that refuse to let you shut them up. Stories change, and sometimes the shift is so shattering, you can’t help freaking out a bit. Okay, a lot. The right thing to do? Breathe, relax, and trust the story you’ve imagined and the characters you’ve created. For all intents and purposes, they are not real. But they are the voices of your instincts, telling you where you should go. 

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About the author

Writer, traveler, and coffee addict, Alina Popescu has been in love with books all her life. She started writing when she was ten and even won awards in local competitions. She has always been drawn to sci-fi, fantasy, and the supernatural realm, which explains her deep love for vampires and is also to blame for this trilogy.

Social Links
Site & Blog: http://alina-popescu.com
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Monday, May 25, 2015

Guest Blog: The End? Really? by Marcia Colette

Stricken
Alexa York 
Book 2
Marcia Colette

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Purple Sword Publications

Date of Publication: 5/6/2015

ISBN: 
ASIN: 

Number of pages: 167
Word Count: 66,020

Cover Artist: Traci Markou

Book Description:

Personal tragedy convinces half-werewolf Alexa York to get away to the town of McCormick, Pennsylvania where she's charged with protecting Dr. Aiden Joss, physician to the supernatural community. Not only does she need the money, she needs the distraction. Unfortunately, she gets it in spades when Joss's personal issues and a myriad of dangerously sick patients make her new job nearly impossible. 

A mysterious disease is running its way through the New York Order of the Amazons and leaving bodies in its wake. The same warrior who had chosen her clan over Joss has asked for him help. Even though the disease is real, Alexa has reason to believe his ex's sincerity is not.

Given the other numerous problems she has to deal with that are outside of her job description, Dr. Joss might be the biggest threat to his own safety. But, protecting him comes first. That’s difficult to do when his efforts to find an antidote put everyone in his remote clinic in danger, including Alexa. 

Available at Purple Sword

Excerpt: Chapter One

Present day. 

I stood on the porch of Dr. Aiden Joss’s luxurious home irate as hell. Someone was supposed to meet me at the airport in Philadelphia. I ended up having to take a cab because all of the rentals were booked from the only airport about twenty-five miles from the small town of McCormick, Pennsylvania. The taxi driver must have mistaken me for an oil baron with the fare he charged. He ended up having to leave me at the front gate because the intercom was busted. Thankfully, being a human hybrid had its advantages. After tossing my duffle over the ten-foot wall, I followed by leaping over. Some security. 

The downpour turned my black, wavy hair into thick tresses snaking down my neck and upper back. Sadly, my duffle bag was just as pitiful as I looked, since it wasn’t waterproof. I’d exercised more care when picking out my purse and laptop bag. 

The front door opened. A tall, bulky man who looked like he missed his calling as an NFL linebacker stood against the golden glow of the interior. His face was criminal-hard, though something in his dark eyes said otherwise. He wore a white shirt and jeans with a brace around his left knee. He blinked. 

“Oh, boy.” He hurried to unlock the storm door and let me inside. “You must be Ms. Alexa York.” 

I struggled getting past him with my wet duffle, carry-on and my drenched clothes clinging to my cold body. “I am. I take it the phones don’t work around here.” 

He took my stuff and set it aside. “The power has been flickering all night. They just got the lights back on about three minutes ago. The phone is Internet, so when the power goes out, everything goes out.” 

I unzipped my sodden jacket. “I get it. No phone, no phone calls. Which is why I was stuck at the airport.” 

He sighed. “Again, my apologies, ma’am. With so much going on, I only had a chance to worry about one thing at a time.” 

I glanced at him before answering. So much going on? The house was quiet and not a soul in sight. What could’ve possibly had him too busy to pick me up when he knew I was coming? Heck, I was here to be his replacement while he was on the mend. If he didn’t want me here, forgetting me at the airport or not sending a car to pick me up worked in his favor. 

He offered his hand to me. “My name’s Sammy. I’m Dr. Joss’s med tech and assistant.” 

“Med tech?” I looked him up and down. “But I thought you were his—” 

He chuckled. “I’m really his assistant. I’m only his bodyguard when I have to be. And given the kind of world that lies beyond those gates, I find myself playing the latter more often.” 

I closed my eyes and sighed. “I’m sorry if I sounded a little crotchety, but—” 

Sammy waved a large hand. “No need to apologize. I’d be a lot more than pissed had I been in your shoes. Speaking of which, let me show you to your room so you can get some dry clothes on.” 

Snorting, I glanced at the puddle forming around my duffle. “Dry clothes, huh. That would be nice.” 

“No worries, Ms. York. I’ll find you something.” 

“It’s Alexa, by the way.” Those close to me called me Lex. We weren’t there yet. 

“Alexa, then.” 

My room was upstairs on the second floor along with five other bedrooms. Every piece of furniture was stained pine and sitting against light blue walls. Thankfully, I had my own private bathroom. When I looked out the bathroom window, light was coming from the woods somewhere behind the trees where it shouldn’t be. 

I sure hoped Dane had told me everything I needed to know about this so-called mission. I would hate to learn something the hard—painful—way. Though that would never be his intention, I also knew his idea of what information was important to know was different from mine. 

Had it not been for Wesley Dane, a full-blooded werewolf friend of my family, I wouldn’t be here to play bodyguard for one of his closest friends. It wasn’t the thousand dollars a day, tax-free money for my services that had brought me here. I needed the distraction more than anything. 

“So, how much do you know about me?” After snuggling into a thick, warm robe I found hanging on a hook, I dried off my hair with a towel and opened the bathroom door. 

Sammy was still there, though keeping his distance by waiting in the hall. I thought it was weird, but whatever, seeing as this was more his house than mine. “Enough,” he replied. “You’re half-werewolf, which is extremely rare. You’re also married, which means either your husband, who’s a full-blood, or Dane is going to tear Dr. Joss apart if anything bad happens to you. Although, that sort of defeats the purpose of you being the doctor’s bodyguard.” He half-smiled. 

“Are you expecting me to be torn apart?” 

“No.” He chuckled. “But I expect you’ll be put through the wringer.” 

Guest Blog:
The End? Really?

Many authors look forward to typing those words "The End" at the end of their manuscript. The story is over, all loose ends (for the most part) are resolved, and the hero and/or heroine are happy for now. I've always imagined my favorite authors sitting back with a huge smile on their faces and thankful that Fate is on their side, as they've met their ferocious deadline. 

The end has never been "The End" for me. That doesn't mean I don't so things like celebrate my accomplishments in some minor way. I always treat myself to a few days of rest before I start that next story or I have that dessert I normally don't eat. After slaving over a book that has most likely taken me from an emotional high to an emotional low and back to that high again, I deserve something to regain my sanity, right?

For me, even though "The End" has come, it doesn't mean I stop thinking about a story. Thousands of questions bombard me. Do I want a sequel? Do I want to make this a series? Do I want to leave it at one book and explore a spin-off world? Stricken, though you might think it’s a first book, is actually a second book in my Alexa York world. Stripped was published by a different publisher back in 2009 (I think), so this second book is a long-time in the making. That wasn't planned—I swear. And if you're really curious, there was another book that featured Alexa York that was released back in 2006, which was my very first contracted book. That one is in the process of being rewritten for submission to my publisher for a re-release (fingers crossed my editor likes it). Let's face it. I'm Alexa York's biggest fan girl. If all goes well, there will be a fourth book, too. In fact, I'm in the process of writing a story for Alexa's sister Genevieve that will also be an urban fantasy with romantic elements. And thanks to Stricken, I'm toying with the idea of a spin-off series. 

You see? There's really no true "The End", as I suspect is true with other writers, too. Ideas are always churning and molding in our brains until we finally have a chance to put fingers to the keyboard. Series like Women of the Otherworld by Kelley Armstrong took thirteen books. Charlaine Harris's Sookie Stackhouse series is another one. Kim Harrison is still forging ahead with The Hollows, thank goodness, though I'm a few books behind and desperately need to catch up. How long has Harry Dresden been around? Woohoo!

Sure, there comes a time when an author has to put "The End" on a series. But as long as readers keep reading, it'll be a while before we authors truly stamp "The End" on our books. As a reader, too, I’m extremely grateful for that. 

Thanks for indulging me!



About the Author:

Author Marcia Colette didn’t discover her love for reading until her late teens when she started reading John Saul and progressed to works by Bentley Little, Stephen King and Laurell K. Hamilton. Her reading tastes convinced her to write paranormals where curses cause people to shift into spiders, psychotic and telekinetic mothers are locked away in attics, and murderous doppelgangers are on a rampage. Let's not forget about the hunky werecheetah coalitions who live throughout North Carolina. As long as she can make it believable, that's all that matters.

Born and raised in upstate New York, Marcia now lives in North Carolina with her mom and beautiful daughter. They’re not raising zombies in the backyard. There aren’t any hellhounds living in the den, only a rabbit and a cockatiel. So where she gets her ideas is as much a mystery to her as anyone else.

The best place to find her--when she's not stirring up trouble--is on her blog where she loves connecting with readers.

www.marciacolette.com

http://marciacolette.wordpress.com/

http://twitter.com/MarciaColette

https://www.facebook.com/marciacolette

http://www.goodreads.com/marcia_colette



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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Guest Post and Spotlight: 2 Worlds 2 Men


BLURB:

Jocelyn and Neely are having a perfectly pleasant dinner at the Sheep Heid Inn when it happens: Jocelyn suddenly finds herself sitting across the table, not from Neely, but a strange man dressed in medieval garb. This man is no apparition. His eyes, the deepest brown, clearly look on her in intimacy; his touch causes her pulse to rise.  Jocelyn realizes two things: from his clothes, he is clearly an aristocrat, and that she, Jocelyn Stewart, seems to be in some sort of romantic relationship with him! Minutes later Jocelyn returns to Neely, in the present day, weak and terrified. Together they begin to unravel the forgotten past and find themselves facing the reality of medieval Scotland. A strange world steeped in folklore and superstition; where life begins and often ends with the sword. 

As Jocelyn travels back to medieval times she learns that the man she keeps seeing is no other than Sir Colin Campbell of the powerful Campbell Clan. When Jocelyn is with Colin, she wants never to leave his side; then she returns to the present and cannot imagine herself with anyone but Neely. Jocelyn struggles with a choice. 

Which man will gain her heart when both offer such different love? She is in love with two different men in two different worlds.


Excerpt:

Jocelyn looked around for the driver who was supposed to be waiting for her arrival with a sign. She had hired someone to pick her up because, as an American and first-time visitor to Scotland, she had figured it would be less stressful.

She didn’t see the driver anywhere; then, just as she started feeling nervous, she saw a man holding a sign with her name on it. And what a man he was! He was broad shouldered, strong and had dark brown hair with reddish tints. He exuded masculinity like some cologne, and even across the airport, she thought she could smell it. Smoothing her unruly hair, she started to walk over to him.

The man, seeing her approach him, took a step toward her. “Are you, Jocelyn?”

When he spoke her name, she found herself frozen in place unable to respond. She’d heard this voice before; she knew this voice. This man spoke her name exactly like the dream she had had all those years ago! She had been stirred awake in bed by a voice of a man, who spoke her name with a Scottish accent. His voice was gentle and low; as if he wanted to gain her attention, but not cause her alarm. Jocelyn had clutched the sheets to her chest and stared out into the darkness of her bedroom almost feeling his intimate presence beside her. She lifted her hand up to her ear having sworn his warm breath had brushed her skin. Jocelyn remembered she had turned her head, anxiously, toward the pillow next to her and almost thought she would be looking into the eyes of a stranger; yet she had not been frightened. This man, his voice, somehow comforted her.

Now, she stood in the airport and caught her breath as she faced the man before her. Her eyes searched his face for something; though what it was she wasn’t sure. Jocelyn felt her heart beating so fast she was certain the man could hear it as memories flooded her mind of that night so long ago when he or someone spoke her name in the darkness. Was that the reason for her vacation to Scotland? Was she unconsciously trying to find the man?


“Have you always been a fan of Paranormal?” 
By Joy Frawley

As a kid I remember being inspired by Paranormal stories, such as C. S. Lewis’s The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe. I was totally smitten with the idea of walking into a wardrobe that led to another world filled with strange creatures and adventure. What child wouldn’t want a talking lion as a friend and protector? However, I had no idea that one day I would write my own Paranormal adventure with Two Worlds Two Men. 

For me, the attraction with Paranormal stories is that we can be transported into a completely different realm. There are no limits or boundaries to imagination. When we read a standard modern day story we can somewhat predict what kind of lifestyle the characters live such as housing, foods, and the workplace. We often have those same habits or features in our own lives. When reading Paranormal the reader breaks free of probabilities or the ability to necessarily know what is going to happen next. In Two Worlds Two Men the reader goes back and forth between modern day Edinburgh and medieval Scotland. Most of us, myself included, do not have firsthand experience in the lifestyle of a woman in the medieval Highlands so that aspect alone leaves the reader somewhat uncertain what features he/she will read next. I find that exciting. Paranormal is fun on both sides, both as a reader and a writer, because our imagination is one of the most unique aspects of humanity. Having an outlet like Paranormal books gives us all an opportunity to stretch that imagination to whatever limits we allow ourselves. What do you feel like today? A bit of futuristic space travel or maybe a trip back to King Arthur’s court? Whatever your poison may be you can rest assured you will find that passion quenched in a Paranormal book. 


AUTHOR Bio and Links:

Joy Frawley is an author and writer of the upcoming romance novella; Two Worlds, Two Men due to release on October 2014 by Resplendence Publishing. Joy lives in beautiful Traverse City, Michigan relishing in living the life of the classic “townie” with her two dogs Piggs and Diggs. 



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