Tag Archives: supernatural

A Banner Day for me

I knew company was coming this weekend and really wanted to get some things done before they arrived. They’re here now, but I made the most of this morning.

I have dual points of view in this story. Obviously, Lizzie is getting the bulk of screen time, but there is a detective, Joe Yoder, who is chasing what he thinks is a murderer. He’s kind of cool, because he communicates with his dead wife during the story. Neither Joe, nor his wife, have any paranormal abilities.

The day started out with Lizzie staking out the monster, but did not work out according to plan. As the victims pile up, she and my cop wound up on the same lonely street.

It wound up not being a great moment for him, but he’s chasing something he cannot understand. This is clearly Lizzie’s territory. She’s kind of soft hearted and doesn’t want him to get killed while trying to do his job. This led to a conflict that involved some of the hat’s special powers.

What I liked is that Joe also has a supernatural father. I’ve known this since before I started drafting this one. Joe plays a prominent role in this story, but he started off in my imagination as the herald to the next story which will heavily feature his father.

I used this section to discuss the secret between Joe and his dead wife. That way, readers get a clue, but Lizzie and the hat do not. The next book is going to dive deeper into the witchcraft community, and Joe’s dad will be a big part of that.

Joe got a lot of depth from this, because he blames his father for letting his wife die. He’s wrong, and I’ll have to weave in some kind of minimal reconciliation.

The trick is going to be keeping these as stand-alone stories in the series. Right now, I don’t think readers have to read Lunar Boogie in order to understand Good Liniment. My critique partners will help me on this point.

It was a banner day for me. I didn’t hit 5000 words, but I broke 4900 before I ran out of gas. I’m pretty happy with what I produced.

The weekend is for enjoying my company. I might get another writing day on Monday.

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My Annual Assessment, 2020

Well, here we are. We all know what this year was about. Political strife, a global pandemic, and seeing humanity at its worst, with glimpses of us at our best.

With the Christmas holiday, I kind of checked out. We went to our son’s and spent time with the grandkids. Our daughter was here for Christmas dinner, and we’ve been watching movies. I enjoyed myself, despite the restrictions we all face.

This is supposed to be about my annual assessment, so I’d better get on with it. Some of you are probably expecting some doom and gloom, and nobody will blame you, but that’s not how I see my year.

It all started out with such promise. 2020 was the Year of the Rat. I was born on the Year of the Rat. My first publication came out on Chinese New Year, and it features a couple of rats and the parade in San Francisco. It seemed like the table was all set.

Grinders did okay. It has some great reviews, but could use some more. Reviews seem to be harder to come by these days. I think it’s some of my best work and would like to get it to a few more readers.

Performance and reviews are kind of going to be the subject for a few paragraphs. I had an ambitious schedule and succeeded in publishing three books. The next two were continuations of series, which is something new to me.

HMS Lanternfish is book two of a trilogy. It sets up some things that will happen in the final volume, which I’m writing currently. I don’t know what it means, but HMS Lanternfish has less than half the number of reviews than Voyage of the Lanternfish.

I know Voyage has been available for a year longer, so that makes some sense. I also know that it’s a small dataset. Hard to draw conclusions with those kind of numbers.

Rumor has it that with trilogies sometimes the sales pick up after the whole trilogy is available. Some readers have been burned by authors who never finished the job. I understand that, but am working on the concluding tale.

Then there is the Ballad of Mrs. Molony. This is the third entry into the world of Lizzie and the hat. These have all been well received, but nowhere near as popular as the original volume. This is my open ended series, and I intend to keep it going for a few more years. I’m also currently working on volume four of this series.

It’s important to remember that reviews aren’t the same thing as sales. Most books sell more than what they garner in reviews and mine are no exception.

I also took most of the summer off. Three publications per year, for two consecutive years, got kind of draining.

I wanted to post at Entertaining Stories somewhere between two and three times per week. The year started off that way, but in the last month or so I’m lucky to get one weekend post put up.

I will blame some of this on Covid. My blog includes a slice of life along with the antics of Lisa Burton, or my word metrics updates. With Covid, there hasn’t been much of a life at all, let alone a slice worth sharing with the world.

Another excuse is also blog tour fatigue. When promoting three publications, there are a lot of blog tour posts. They fatigue me, and my readers. I keep every post unique, so they’re worth reading, and that is a bit draining.

The Story Empire blog is another pet project. I kept my end of the bargain and covered all my assigned days. I write this every year, but I’m wondering how much more I have to offer over there. I love helping others, and will keep chipping away at it. There comes a point where I have to rewrite and repackage some of my content. New writers are always showing up, so it kind of works. I already have my first January post written and scheduled.

To wrap all this up, I think 2020 was successful. There was a lot to overcome, and we’re all still dealing with it. However, I published three books, interacted with many of you, and met all my goals. In a different year, I might whine a little about low success, but in 2020 I’ll take it.

Once 2021 arrives, I’ll trot out a business plan and we can all converse about that.

Talk to me. How did your business year play out?

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The Ballad of Mrs. Molony #paranormal

Harmony Kent is a dear friend, and one of my partners over at Story Empire. She’s graciously offered to host me on this tour, and the topic is recurring location in my new series.

Make sure you look around Harmony’s site. I’m not the only one who writes Halloween stories and really enjoyed The Glade. You might enjoy her stories, too.

***

Hi everyone. Today, it gives me great pleasure to host fellow author and friend, Craig Boyack to showcase his latest book in the fab and funny The Hat Series. I’ve enjoyed both The Hat and Viral Blues and look forward to feasting my eyes on The Ballad of Mrs Maloney. If you’re a fan of magic and mayhem and humour, then you’ll love Lizzie and The Hat in all their incarnations.

Take it away, Craig >>>

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Welcome Marcia Meara with The Emissary #Series

Welcome Marcia Meara to Entertaining Stories. Marcia is one of my partners over at Story Empire. She’s hosted my book tours, and it’s time to repay the favor. She’s here to tell us about her Emissary Series, specifically book three of the series. Make her feel welcome, and please use those sharing buttons on your way out today.

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Thanks so much for having me here today, Craig. I can’t tell you how happy I am to be visiting you and sharing a bit about my newest release, The Emissary 3: Love Hurts. This is the final novella in the trilogy, and I hope your friends and followers will enjoy the excerpt I’m going to share. I know this one will make the post a wee bit longer than I’ve kept them on this tour, but as the final stop, I wanted to introduce folks to Azrael in a more personal way. The scene takes place in a hospital room where Jake has just broken one of Azrael’s most important rules. He used his emissarial power to convince an ill-tempered nurse not to throw them out of the room where they’ve been keeping watch over someone of importance to his adopted son, Dodger. He fully expected the archangel to be angry, but he’s still caught off guard when the Boss shows up—unannounced, as usual. Hope you’ll enjoy the interplay between the three main characters in this series. Here goes:

A Sleeping Patient, Two Scared Emissaries,

And a Ginormous, White-Winged Archangel,

Crowded into One Tension-Filled Hospital Room.

JAKE SCRAMBLED TO his feet, but it was Dodger whose urgent whisper addressed the scowling angel.

“Azrael, please don’t be upset! He was only tryin’ to help me.”

The angel’s expression didn’t change. “I am aware of what he was trying to do, young emissary. What I fail to comprehend is why he used his power on the nurse instead of on you.” His fierce gaze swung to Jake. “Did you not even consider that option?”

“Not for a single second. Play mind games with my son? Only if his life were in danger would I ever consider something like that.”

Azrael’s eyes glowed brighter and his frown grew deeper, but Jake plowed ahead. “It wouldn’t have solved the problem, anyway. Maybe Dodger would have calmed down, but we’d still have been forced to leave this young lady alone, and neither of us was prepared to do that.”

For a moment, the angel said nothing, then to Jake’s surprise, he nodded. “Yes. I can see that would not have worked for either of you. But what you did was unacceptable. Such a thing is against every precept of the emissary program. You have been granted powers no human has ever had before, but you must never forget that with them comes great responsibility. You may not nudge people simply because you would like your wishes accommodated. I am sure you see the wisdom of enforcing this rule, do you not?”

Jake’s heart sank. “Enforcing? So I’m to be punished for this infraction.”

Dodger’s anger level skyrocketed at least ten degrees. “Not fair, man! Jake’s a great emissary. He never messes up, and you need to cut him some slack this time.”

Azrael’s eyebrows shot up. “I beg to differ. I do not need to do any such thing. I have a job before me, just as you do, and rule enforcement is part of it. Let us not forget that I am, as you both like to remind me, the Boss. Enforcing the rules is not only my job, it is my sacred responsibility. Are we quite clear on that?”

Jake’s shoulders slumped and even Dodger nodded, finally cowed by the nearly visible emanations of power radiating from the archangel.

“What was that? I am sorry. I do not believe I heard an actual response from either of you.”

“Yes, Azrael,” they said in near unison.

“We understand,” Jake added. “And I’m sorry I upset you. I accept whatever punishment you think suitable, and whatever advice you’d like to add.”

The angel looked back and forth between them a moment longer, then nodded. “That is more like it. I shall commence with your punishment.”

Jake took an involuntary step back, remembering the huge sword the angel had wielded when they first met.

Instead of an instrument useful for all manner of smiting, Azrael reached inside his robe and withdrew a book bound in white leather. He opened the cover, flipping through a few pagesuntil he found what he was looking for.

“Ah-ha. Here we are.” He pulled a long, white quill out of the air, made a notation inside the book, then snapped the covers shut. “Done.”

For a moment, Jake was too surprised to speak. The same was not true of Dodger.

“Wait.” The boy cocked his head to the side. “That’s it?”

“Do not be cavalier young emissary. Each one of you has a book like this, wherein a permanent record, both good and bad, is detailed for all time. This is Jake’s, and I assure you, it is no small matter for him to acquire a black mark beside his name. Henceforth, I would highly recommend you both follow the rules you have been given. The day will come when a tally will be made.”

Though the archangel had drawn himself up to his full and imposing height to deliver this proclamation, his glowy eyes no longer gleamed in righteous indignation. A corner of the angel’s mouth lifted slightly as he slid the white book back inside his robes, and Jake knew he’d gotten off lucky.

Buy Link for TE3

Buy The Emissary 3: Love Hurts HERE

Blurb:

The archangel created his emissaries to help mortals avoid choices that would doom them for eternity. He hadn’t planned on the youngest member of his team falling in love with one.

~~~

Azrael’s emissarial program was growing daily, but it still met with stubborn opposition from many on the Council of Angels. Dodger’s request to be allowed to experience what falling in love was all about didn’t help matters, but Azrael thought the boy was onto something. He agreed emissaries who’d shared a loving relationship during their mortal lives would have a deeper understanding of human emotions and motivations, thus enhancing the skills they needed to do their jobs.

With that in mind, Azrael gave Dodger one chance to search for true love. He then laid down a daunting set of stringent rules and guidelines that could not be broken under any circumstances lest dire happenings occur. But while the angel sincerely hoped Dodger would find a way to make this endeavor work, he feared an avalanche of unintended consequences could be in store for his youngest emissary.

Sometimes even angels hate to be right.

~~~

Will Azrael ever tire of popping up behind Jake just to see his first emissary fall out of his chair in shock? Will sharp-eyed motel owners ever notice a big red and white semi mysteriously appearing and disappearing from their parking lots overnight? And will Dodger be able to track down the mystery girl who caught his eye two weeks earlier to see if she’s really The One?

To find the answers to these and other angelic or emissarial questions, come along on one last adventure with Jake, Dodger, and that ginormous, glowy-eyed archangel, Azrael. They’re waiting for you!

Bio:

Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years and four big, spoiled cats.

When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. She enjoys nature. Really, really enjoys it. All of it! Well, almost all of it, anyway. From birds, to furry critters, to her very favorites, snakes. The exception would be spiders, which she truly loathes, convinced that anything with eight hairy legs is surely up to no good. She does not, however, kill spiders anymore, since she knows they have their place in the world. Besides, her husband now handles her Arachnid Catch and Release Program, and she’s good with that.

Spiders aside, the one thing Marcia would like to tell each of her readers is that it’s never too late to make your dreams come true. If, at the age of 69, she could write and publish her first book (and thus fulfill 64 years of longing to do that very thing), you can make your own dreams a reality, too. Go for it! What have you got to lose?

Contact & Buy Links

CONTACT MARCIA HERE

marciameara16@gmail.com

The Write Stuff

Pinterest

Twitter: @marciameara

Find Marcia’s Books Here:

MARCIA’S AMAZON AUTHOR PAGE

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October

October is my favorite month of the year. I’ve made no secret about it. The temperatures suit me just fine, I like the Autumn colors, and seeing pumpkins everywhere. It’s the month of my birth, so maybe that’s part of the attraction. I think you can see how some of that influences my writing choices.

I’m about to go back on the road with a new book. I always try to have something for the Halloween season. It’s been a good month for me, year in and year out.

Somewhere along the way, I’ll give Entertaining Stories a facelift. Some kind of creepy background and an updated banner to help with my new story. By the time this goes live, I may have already done it. No firm commitment, but it’s happening.

All of my regulars have read at least some of my work, but there are new people surfing through all the time. Today’s post is to give you some samples, but sticking to the October theme.

Let’s start off with FREE. I appeared in an anthology along with some other great authors called Macabre Sanctuary. These are all dedicated to Halloween themed scary stories. You can’t really argue with free, and there are some great tales inside these covers.

There is another anthology with a science fiction bent called Quantum Wanderlust. As you might guess, this one is about time travel. It’s also FREE. Most of the speculative genres have found a home during Halloween, and I’ve had any number of robots and even a couple of Dr. Whos trick-or-treating at my house. In my story, the hero winds up exploring King Tut’s tomb, so you might see the tie.

Now we come to the 99¢ price point. I have several collections of my own at this price. Two of them are called The Experimental Notebook of C. S. Boyack. (One and two.) If you might be interested in the nefarious things magpies do, or ever wondered about the Soup Ladle of Destiny, this might be the collection for you. There’s even a nuclear murder in one book.

What I like about collections and anthologies is the ability to read an entire story while waiting at the DMV, or during lunch. The anthologies are a great way to find new authors you might enjoy.

Now we come to the novels. I price my novels at $2.99. I have several that fit the Halloween theme. Maybe you want to chase a demon through the jungles of Panama, or help Patty Hall solve the mystery of the Will O’ the Wisp before it kills her. You might prefer a more urban setting with a secret society out to stop a possessed businessman before he brain washes the nation’s children. If so, then The Playground is for you.

There are other titles, and if your imagination stretches to fantasy as a possible Halloween genre, I have some things you might consider. This post is already link heavy, so I won’t include individual titles.

I also have a series of short novels that fits the theme perfectly. These are short enough that you can read the whole story in an afternoon. I like the length, because sometimes we don’t have three days to read a longer piece. I’ve also worked pretty hard to keep you from having to read them in order. It’s possible to pick up any of them and not feel lost. I admit, I’m one of those who has to read in order, but you really won’t lose much if you don’t.

This is The Hat series. It’s about a hard working, twenty-something girl named Lizzie St. Laurent. She comes into possession of her grandfather’s old hat, but it’s not what you might expect. The hat is actually a being from another dimension who’s been trapped here by witchcraft. Together, they form a symbiotic relationship and take up monster hunting. It’s full of snark, dark humor, and a few scary moments along the way.

Book one, creatively titled The Hat, is the origin story. Lizzie and the hat take up a new case in Viral Blues, and it involves a team-up similar to some of the recent super-hero movies you all bought millions of tickets for.

I’m about to take my show on the road to promote The Ballad of Mrs. Molony. I’ve priced it at 99¢ to get it a good launch. It’s respectful of your time and your wallet for a while. You might even have a sinister laugh along the way.

Halloween 2020 is likely to be a shadow of its former self. Festivals, parties, and even trick-or-treating will be drastically stepped down. You can still curl up with a good book and have a good time. I hope you’ll consider some of my work when you do.

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Check out Guns of Perdition

Let’s welcome Jessica Bakkers this morning. She’s released a new novel, and it sounds like a fun one. I have this one on my list, and might even be reading it by the time this goes live. Here is that all important PURCHASE LINK

– IT TAKES GRACE TO HUNT WHEN IT’S DARKSOME

Jessie expects he’ll be forever cleaning up after the cowpokes of the Bad Hoss Saloon. That’s until the day a drifter strides through the doors, and blows away a blood-sucking demon, along with Jessie’s belief in an everyday world. Jessie is captivated by the enigmatic Grace with her pearl-handled revolvers and wolf companion. He throws in his normal life and follows her across the Wild West, as she hunts down and slays the evil creatures that roam the frontier.

Along the way, they seek the aid of a Native American warrior, cross paths with a Cajun Queen, and encounter a small-town tycoon with a deadly hunger for gold. Animosity and distrust plague Grace and Jessie, and their strange group of allies, but they must put their differences behind them if they’re to have any hope of finding and defeating the frontier’s true evil, the Darksome Gunman.

The Armageddon Showdown is a dark-fantasy, weird western series of epic proportions, focusing on the age-old battle between good and evil, though in the Wild West, it’s not always clear just who is good and who is evil.

Join the Grace Dyer and her band of miscreants as they battle demons and demi-gods, in the frontier’s deadliest conflict…the Armageddon Showdown.

EXCERPT:

The shots from Grace’s equalizers jolted Jessie from his fugue state, and he swung up into the saddle as the horde seethed down the road. They ran in an ungainly, down-on-all-fours fashion that lent them speed and agility. The one in the lead was only a few steps behind Grace when it let loose an inhuman roar. Its legs bunched and it leaped through the air. Grace dropped and rolled to the side. As she came out of her somersault, she swung the cavalry saber and sheared the thing’s head from its neck. The head bounced down the road toward Jessie, its tongue flicking in and out of its mouth like a rattler’s. The move had saved Grace’s life, but now she’d lost all momentum and Crowbait was still four strides away.

A savage roar caught Jessie’s attention, and he spun in time to see Kaga leap into the fray. His snapping teeth and powerful body took out three of the creatures in one fell swoop. Grace lunged and skewered another on the end of her saber. Jessie saw long golden plaits attached to this one’s scalp, and his stomach turned as he finally realized these ghoulish monstrosities were the unfortunate townsfolk of Sandycrag Creek. The Colt, which had been on its way to aim and fire, now hung heavy in his hand. It was one thing to fire on something inhuman like the chupacabras, but it was something entirely different to fire on people.

Paul danced to the side and Jessie forgot his battle with morality as he tried to keep the horse under control. Two of the swarm broke off and jerked toward him, attracted by Paul’s movements. Paul reared and kicked one of them. The ghoul’s skull cracked, and it flew backward. Jessie hugged Paul’s neck as Paul bucked and kicked. The second ghoul hissed at the nag and darted around the deadly hooves. It lunged at Jessie, who jerked sideways to avoid being clawed. The ghoul hissed again and tensed. Jessie screamed and raised the Colt. The butt slipped from his sweaty palm and flew away. Paul reared and Jessie lost his grip. He slammed hard onto the ground. The air whooshed out of him as he lay stunned, staring up at the darkening sky, his ears filled with snarls and screams. Searing pain banded around his chest as he struggled to breathe. The ghoul’s decaying face appeared, and Jessie stared up in horror as its white eyes fixed on him and its trembling lips parted.

WHO IS JESSICA BAKKERS?

I am a creative writer with over twenty years of writing experience. I am a speculative fiction writer, and have written in the genres of fantasy-romance and paranormal-romance, however my genre of choice when it comes to writing for myself is dark fantasy where I can allow myself to fully explore the anti-hero characters that pepper my stories. I dabble at poetry and have written professionally for clients locally and internationally.

My debut novel, Guns of Perdition, The Armageddon Showdown Book 1, is a dark fantasy, weird western adventure through a twisted Wild West.

My major love affair is with the written word, specifically creative writing. I allow myself to indulge and rendezvous with this secret lover whenever time allows…and then we make beautiful poetry together!

Guns of Perdition – The Armageddon Showdown Book 1 is now available for purchase.

FOLLOW ME ON SOCIAL MEDIA

Amazon – Author Page

Goodreads – Author page

Website – JessicaBakkers.com

Facebook – The Written Word

Twitter – @JessicaBakkers

 

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Please consider sharing Jessica’s post far and wide across your social media. It really helps an author out. Make her feel welcome in the comments section, too.

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Tattoos & Portents

Hey, everyone, we have a visitor today. Judi Lynn is here to tell us all about her new book, Tattoos & Portents.

Judi is an author friend of mine, and we would both appreciate you checking out her wares, maybe visiting her blog, and using a selection of those sharing buttons. Such activity really helps an author make a splash with a new release.

Here’s Judi to tell us all about it:

Hi, Craig! And thank you for sharing your blog with me today. I’ve come to promote my new book, TATTOOS & PORTENTS. It’s a supernatural mystery. I love mysteries and urban fantasy, so tried to combine the two genres for the Muddy River series.

You’d think writing about witches, shifters, and demons, I wouldn’t do any research, but I ended up doing more than I expected. For one thing, I wanted more than the usual supernaturals to settle in Muddy River. Hester and her coven find the remote area first, and I needed a reason for them to travel to southwest Indiana and choose a location near the Ohio River that’s inconvenient to most mortals. The idea that came to mind was that they were fleeing the witch trials that obsessed most of Europe, Great Britain, Canada, and eventually Salem. They’d learned that mortals fear anything unknown to them, and when mortals were afraid enough, they became dangerous. Most of the supernaturals who run to hide have lost family members. They want to stay as far from mortals as possible. To the point that the witches cast wards to keep enemies from passing their borders, and the Fae cast an illusion spell so that mortals can’t even see Muddy River.

Witches weren’t the only ones persecuted, though. Every supernatural was in danger, so werewolves, demons, sirens, and vampires find Muddy River, too, and they all join together and get along. They have to, because they appoint Raven, a fire demon, as the area’s enforcer. Anyone who steps out of line is banished or turned to ashes. I did a little research on demons and found their origin started with Lillith, Adam’s first wife in the Garden of Eden, who eventually left him. Druids settle close enough to the town that they’re friendly neighbors. I knew a little about Druids but not much. I ended up researching their sacred trees, healing wells, and background. I never realized how learned Druid priests were. They could often speak several languages and were asked to preside as judges over difficult cases for kings and rulers of other areas. They didn’t write about their religion, though, passing its truth down from one person to another, so I could only include the things I found in articles. Neighbors farther to the south, across the Ohio River, are women who belong to a voodoo community. I only included the basics about voodoo in my stories because their magic, though Nature based like the witches’, feels so foreign to Hester.

But enough about research. In TATTOOS & PORTENTS, it’s nearing the end of December. And while most mortals in the area celebrate Christmas, the witches celebrate Yule. Unfortunately, this year, Hester and Raven learn that a voodoo priest is capturing witches, and they have to interrupt their festivities to find the witches and rescue them, and eventually battle the priest and the army of undead he’s creating.

https://amzn.to/3bfv20F

Blurb: Why are people returning to Muddy River with Celt tattoos on their arms and non-stop dreams? When Hester uses her magic to help a sleepless friend, she discovers that the dreams are pleas for help from witches who’ve been captured by armies of undead. A voodoo priest has created them, but for what purpose? And how can she and Raven find him to stop him?

Thanks so much for hosting me, Craig! I appreciate it.

Bio for Judith Post

Judi Lynn lives in Indiana with her husband, a bossy gray cat, a noisy Chihuahua, and a parakeet. She loves to cook and owns more cookbooks than any mortal woman would ever need. That’s why so much food sneaks into her stories. She also loves her flower beds, but is a haphazard gardener, at best. She writes cozy mysteries for Lyrical Press and paranormal mysteries on Amazon.

My blog & webpage: http://writingmusings.com/

My author Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/JudiLynnwrites/

Twitter: @judypost

On BookBub at Judi Lynn with a link to Judith Post (for my urban fantasies): https://www.bookbub.com/authors/judi-lynn

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Eventide, from the Hode’s Hill Series

Mae Clair is one of my favorite people. She’s a partner over at Story Empire and one hell of an author. She’s here today to tell us about Eventide, which wraps up her Hode’s Hill Series.

I would appreciate it, and I know Mae would, if you would use those sharing buttons at the end of her guest post.

Hi, Craig. Thanks for hosting me today with my new supernatural suspense/mystery release. Eventide is the last book in my Hode’s Hill mystery series. As in the first two novels, Cusp of Night and End of Day, I’ve chosen to use dual timelines with dual mysteries that converge at the end. 

It’s challenging writing a book with more than one timeline. In essence, the author has to plot two separate stories, balancing two separate sets of characters, then find a way for everything to gel at the conclusion. This is even harder when you’re a panster.

 

In the past, I never had a problem pantsing my novels, but Eventide was an exception. It’s common for me to panic whenever I reach the third quarter point and realize I have to tie up numerous plot threads—without a plan. Somehow it always works out smoothly, despite anxiety flareups. Eventide, however, challenged me on a level I hadn’t encountered before. My panic turned into PANIC! Made even worse because I was up against a publisher’s deadline. I swore up and down I’d become a plotter after surviving Eventide, and for the most part, my groundwork is much stronger than before. I’m still pantsing, but at least now I have a safety net for backup.

 

Something that did help with Eventide was working with established characters. The leads in the present day portion of the story will be familiar to anyone who read End of Day. Jillian Cley and Dante DeLuca are back, joined by Jillian’s sister Madison, who made an appearance in End of Day. This is really Madison’s story as she starts life over, after spending three years in a care facility without speaking. She’s strong and determined, her husband’s murder behind her. But the house she purchases is isolated and rumored to be haunted. And when she discovers an old cistern in the basement, it’s just the start of unraveling a mystery that spans centuries.

 

In this short excerpt, Madison’s boyfriend, Roth, has been working to remove the lid from the cistern:

 

“Hey, come here. I think I’ve got it.”

 

Drying her hands on a tea towel, she picked her way down the steps. Roth had hooked a cage light to an overhead beam for more illumination and had a variety of tools strewn around the cistern. He’d managed to remove all eight bolts. Looking at the long ends scattered by the lid, Madison was surprised by how deeply they’d been threaded into the floor.

 

“Did you hear anything while you were working?” she asked.

 

“Nothing.” Roth sat back on his haunches. He’d drudged up a sweat again, the knees of his jeans grimy with dirt, black muck freckling his hands. The least she could do was offer him a place to shower when he was through.

 

“Ready?” He indicated the lid with a grin.

 

In many ways, it felt like opening a treasure chest. A long time ago someone had taken extra effort to secure the lid in place. Maybe it was nothing more than she thought. An old cistern, decades or centuries out of use. And yet—

 

She nodded.

 

With effort, Roth shoved the heavy cover aside, back and shoulder muscles bunching with the exertion.

 

“What the—” His face contorted. Gagging, he recoiled.

 

A noxious cloud of sulfur and decay engulfed Madison.

 

“Oh, that’s awful!” She pressed the tea towel to her nose and mouth. “It smells like something died.”

 

“Not even close. It smells a hell of a lot worse.” Roth snatched a flashlight from the floor. With one hand cupped over his nose, he angled the beam into the hole. “I can’t tell if anything’s down there. It looks about ten feet deep, maybe more.”

 

“Is there water?” Despite the stench, Madison inched closer.

 

“Not that I can see. If there is, it’s a long way down.”

 

A blast of cold air hit them in the face, strong enough to make Madison backpedal. The bare bulbs dangling from the rafters flickered then died. Roth’s flashlight sputtered, failing altogether.

 

Chilled, Madison hugged her arms to her chest. “What was that?”

 

I hope you’re curious enough to find out. Eventide is now available from all online book sellers, so if the story sounds like something that interests you, please consider ordering. You’ll make this author very happy. Thank you in advance for your consideration! J

 

Universal Purchase Link

 

BLURB:

 

The darkness is coming . . .  

The old house near Hode’s Hill, Pennsylvania is a place for Madison Hewitt to start over—to put the trauma of her husband’s murder, and her subsequent breakdown, behind her. She isn’t bothered by a burial plot on the property, or the mysterious, sealed cistern in the basement. Not at first. Even the presence of cold spots and strange odors could be fabrications of her still troubled mind. But how to explain her slashed tires, or the ominous messages that grow ever more threatening?
 
Convinced the answer lies in the past, Madison delves into the history of the home’s original owners, only to discover the origin of a powerful evil. An entity that may be connected to a series of gruesome attacks that have left police baffled. No matter where she turns—past or present—terror lingers just a step away, spurred on by a twisted obsession that can only be satisfied through death…

 

 

Order Eventide HERE

Connect with Mae Clair at BOOKBUB and the following haunts:

Amazon| BookBub| Newsletter Sign-Up 
Website | Blog| Twitter| Goodreads| All Social Media

 

 

 

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Viral Blues, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Hey, everyone. Welcome to a special Friday the 13th, late night edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and while we’re awaiting the full moon to rise in conjunction with this day, I have something special for you.

Craig thought this wonderful event would be a perfect time to release his latest paranormal story, Viral Blues. He told me to note that it’s also his 13th publication. You have to admit, it seems kind of Karmic somehow.

If you’re familiar with these shows, you know I always have a guest, but I’m the guest today. I’ll explain how that all happened.

Craig wanted to write a sequel to The Hat. One evening, he was commuting home from work when he was joined by his Muse. Lorelei told him he has a lot of characters who could all be living in the same world. He called me at the writing cabin, and set me to work immediately.

I went down to the Character Union Hall, and all these people were just hanging around, looking for new stories to appear in. I interviewed them, one by one, and chose some to appear in the new story with Lizzie and The Hat.

The next weekend, Craig came out to the writing cabin to look over the list, then get started. He said it needed something extra. I was afraid of letting him down, but he was only teasing me. He said what the story needed was a robot girl to round out the cast.

I have to admit, I cried a little. I like being helpful, but I’ve been asking for another story for years. Then to find out I get to be in a story with some of his most popular characters. It was kind of overwhelming.

Superhero team-ups are all the rage right now. Why not in book form too? This is the group of heroic characters in the story:

  • Me (obviously)
  • Lizzie St. Laurent
  • The Hat
  • Dr. Gina Greybill
  • Mohan Gupta
  • Clovis
  • Jason Fogg
  • Clovis’s girlfriend, Justine

This story also has a bunch of Easter Eggs inside for those who have read Craig’s previous work. I won’t go into those, so as not to spoil it for you.

The deal is that Dr. Greybill and, and her helper Gupta, called this group together under her Host Program. There is someone or something tampering with the nation’s vaccine supply. That’s where the story starts.

If you’ve been following along with the teasers, my posters and the music will start to make sense now. The posters all have something to do with the book.

The Hat is Craig’s most popular book, and they are going to be getting even more stories in the future. Just this one time, we all thought it was fun to get together for one huge adventure.

I want to point out that just because this is a sequel, well, for a bunch of us, really, there is no prerequisite reading here. If this is where you start, it will all be perfectly readable.

The story is set up to be a Hat story all the way, so the format is like that book. There are some fun graphics inside, and a lot of dark humor, too.

Also, be sure to check out the secret last chapter at the very end of the book. It’s beyond the author material, kind of like those scenes after the credits in movies.

I had a lot of fun, and I’ll bet you will, too. Check out this awesome cover, and I’ll include a purchase link. This thing just went live about 30 minutes ago.

http://a-fwd.com/asin-com=B07XVTSYYV

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Son of the Serpent, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Welcome all you demonologists, and exorcists. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you the characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and have I got a seasonal treat for you today. “Welcome to the show, Dracúl.”

“I’m not sure how to take that welcome Lisa but I am pleased to be here.”

“So many times, characters get a bad rap, an underserved reputation if you like. There is good and bad in everyone. Give our listeners an idea about your childhood.”

“I do not agree that there is good and bad in everyone. Some creatures are just bad. As far as my childhood – I did not have one. I woke up in a forest one night as a child with no recollection of who or what I was or what I was doing there. All my memories were gone. I soon figured out that my appearance was not a pleasing one. I had red skin, horns, spiky black wings and the lower body of a snake. I did not know what sort of creature I was but somehow I knew all would revile me. I grew up in solitude, thinking I deserved to be alone and unloved for being so revolting.

“Later, my memories returned in clusters. I recalled my father and what he looked like in his angel form. I wished more than anything to look like him. I figured if I looked like him I would live a normal life and others would love me and want to spend time with me. Eventually, I learned by accident that I could transform into human form. The day I learned this was one of the happiest days of my life. I was a beautiful young man and I believed that this meant I would be accepted.”

“Sounds pretty rough. Still, it must have made you happy to be able to fit in around others.”

“I don’t think a creature such as you could possibly imagine the life of a child growing up in solitude . . . the loneliness, the fear. I yearned for companionship, family, love . . . I longed for my mother. That is until my memories revealed that she tried to kill me, her own child, and left me for dead in the forest for the animals to tear me apart.”

“That’s horrible. How did you manage to escape?”

“My father, Satan and his ally Samael found me and gave me of their powerful blood which gave me new life.”

“Wait a minute. Satan? The actual Satan?”

“Yes. Satan was my father and he did love me. But although he was capable of love he was also capable of great evil. In the end, he was defeated by holy angels and taken away in chains to the netherworld by an enormous scaly beast.

“I sometimes wondered why a fiend such as I was ever given the capacity for love, for I have loved greatly on numerous occasions only to have those I loved taken from me. Some would call that evil too.

“For a long time I was convinced that I did not have a soul. Although it did not please me to do evil deeds, I thought I was a loathsome, evil creature who was unworthy of love but instead merited loneliness and suffering. After all, I was born of evil, therefore I must be evil.”

“I don’t think that’s absolutely true in all cases. You have a lot to do with how things work out here.”

“I have always wanted to do the right thing, be a good being but I never quite understood what that meant it always seemed like there was an impossible choice I had to make. In order to save the babe Moses I had to kill many Egyptian soldiers but was not saving God’s chosen prophet the right thing to do? I need to ingest lifeblood to survive but it is wrong to kill and it hurts me to take a life whether it be a rabbit or lion. Why is my life worth more than that of another being? Yet my will to survive is strong.”

“Well, there is that. Still, it isn’t something you have control over.”

“I was born and this is what I am. I had no say in it. My mother, Lilith is a great plague on this world. She was the reason God once destroyed the world of man with a great flood and why He destroyed the twin cities Sodom and Gomorrah. Aside from the great hatred I feel for her I believe that finding and destroying her would save mankind from God’s wrath.

“I could then dedicate myself to fighting evil. I could be a soldier for God. I have done some good despite my evil nature. I saved Lot’s daughter, Plitith from the Lilituens who tried to kill her and then aided in getting Lot and his family out of Sodom before it was burned to cinders. But I know that as long as Lilith lives there would be great evil in the world, so I will continue to travel far and wide to find her.”

“I understand where you’re coming from, in a way. Chasing someone for millennia, just so you can take your revenge seems off in a way too.”

“I do not expect you to understand, for you perceive time as humans do but time is different for me and others like me. I have lived many human lifetimes and I look no older than a twenty year old man. Do not undermine the significance of revenge for God too is vengeful.”

“You know my listeners are going to want a bit more here. What’s the master plan?”

“My plan is to find my mother. So far she has always been one step ahead of me. She’s an elusive creature never long in one place but I will catch up to her. My friend Gadreel has given me an idea that at first I rejected, for its level of revulsion and horror but I know now that it is the only way to get close enough to my mother. I want to confront Lilith and reveal myself as her son. I want to ask her why she did not love me? Why she tried to kill me? Then, when I’ve gotten my answers I will drain her dry, cut off her head, burn her and scatter her ashes in the forest where she left me for dead.”

“You know, Drac, I kind of want to wish you luck here, but I kind of don’t want to see you go down this path either. Any closing remarks for our listeners today?”

“Evil deeds do not please me but sometimes only evil can combat evil. Lilith needs to die in order for mankind to thrive. Ridding the world of her has become my highest purpose. Perhaps it is my sole purpose in life. And if I perish in the process––so be it––the world would be rid of two demons.”

“You can read all about Dracúl and Lilith in the book Son of the Serpent, by Vashti Quiroz Vega. I’ll post all the links and such on the website after we go off the air. You can reserve your copy for 99¢ today. The price goes up once the book is actually released.

“This is the second book in a series, and I’ll post some data for the first one on the site too. For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.”

***

In Son of the Serpent, award-winning author Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts another fascinating glimpse into the dark, compelling world of fallen angels and demons, revealing more about their untold stories.

The war in heaven might be over, but the ambitions of the fallen angel Lilith reach far across the roots of history. Will there be a being powerful enough to stop her evil influence before the destruction of mankind?

Dracúl knows he is the son of Satan, but the rest of his memory has been taken from him. Alone and frightened, he awakens in a forest, beginning a quest to piece together who he is. The world he encounters is cruel, but he yearns to belong and find companionship. With each step he takes, another missing piece of his memory falls into place, revealing a truth that is ever more troubling . . .

A truth that will turn his quest for meaning into one fueled by the hot-blooded thirst for revenge. A truth that leads him to Lilith, the most wicked and ruthless of fallen angels and one he soon will have every reason to hate. His quest will consume him, perhaps ruin his life, but somehow Dracúl is determined to find both belonging and vengeance—to be good, in spite of his evil nature and the dark secrets that haunt him every step of the way.

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07HS4C3B7/

Vashti Quiroz-Vega is a writer of Fantasy, Horror, and Thriller. Since she was a kid she’s always had a passion for writing and telling stories. It has always been easier for her to express her thoughts on paper.

She enjoys reading almost as much as she loves to write. Some of her favorite authors are Stephen King, Michael Crichton, Anne Rice, J.R.R. Tolkien, J.K. Rowling and George R. R. Martin.

She enjoys making people feel an array of emotions with her writing. She likes her audience to laugh one moment, cry the next and clench their jaws after that.

When she isn’t building extraordinary worlds and fleshing out fascinating characters, she enjoys spending time with her husband JC and her Pomeranian Scribbles who is also her writing buddy.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7122693.Vashti_Quiroz_Vega

Twitter: http://twitter.com/VashtiQV

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Vashti-Q-Author-Page-396515670465852/

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/s?i=digital-text&rh=p_27%3AVashti+Quiroz-Vega&s=relevancerank&text=Vashti+Quiroz-Vega&ref=dp_byline_sr_ebooks_1

In The Fall of Lilith, Vashti Quiroz-Vega crafts an irresistible new take on heaven and hell that boldly lays bare the passionate, conflicted natures of God’s first creations: the resplendent celestial beings known as angels.

If you think you know their story, think again.

Endowed with every gift of mind, body, and spirit, the angels reside in a paradise bounded by divine laws, chief of which are obedience to God, and celibacy. In all other things, the angels possess free will, that they may add in their own unique ways to God’s unfolding plan.

Lilith, most exquisite of angels, finds the rules arbitrary and stifling. She yearns to follow no plan but her own: a plan that leads to the throne now occupied by God himself. With clever words and forbidden caresses, Lilith sows discontent among the angels. Soon the virus of rebellion has spread to the greatest of them all: Lucifer.

Now, as angel is pitted against angel, old loyalties are betrayed and friendships broken. Lust, envy, pride, and ambition arise to shake the foundations of heaven . . . and beyond. For what begins as a war in paradise invades God’s newest creation, a planet known as Earth. It is there, in the garden called Eden, that Lilith, Lucifer, and the other rebel angels will seek a final desperate victory—or a venomous revenge.

Amazon Buy Link: https://www.amazon.com/Fall-Lilith-Fantasy-Angels-ebook/dp/B074CPKLHH/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1539717863&sr=8-1&keywords=the+fall+of+lilith

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