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Well, hello there, my lovelies!! Things have been a bit crazy for me here in book blog land. I’ve just done a major host move and things are still a bit wonky, so please pardon the bits of dust and a few missing pieces.

I’ve been rushing to get the site all prettied up because TODAY we get to see the brand new cover for the trade paperback version of a book from one of my very favorite people!!!! SERVANTS OF THE STORM was the YA debut from Delilah S Dawson. Not only did she write a kickass, creepy, insanely unique YA paranormal, but the cover “powers-that-be” at Simon & Schuster gave it an appropriately creepy hardback cover. Regina Flath is the designer that took on the project. First, we’ll take a reminder peek at the hardcover, then chat just a bit with Regina and Delilah about the covers… then… at the end… the big reveal of the just-as-awesome trade paperback cover!!

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Q & A with cover designer Regina Flath:
As a member of the S&S design team, are you able to choose projects, or are you assigned a book cover to work?
What’s great about my team is that we all respect each other’s preferences for types of books we like to work on. Usually when a list is presented to us by editorial, the designers will all take a look through a quick synopsis of the books and then decide what we like to work on best. After we’ve picked our preferences, everything else is assigned based on work load: if I have less titles, I’ll take the stragglers from the list, that kind of thing.

In either case, what were your first impressions of SERVANTS OF THE STORM?
When the book was presented and I heard the words demons, secrets, and missed medication, I KNEW this was my kind of book! I loved the dark tone and rich atmosphere of the world. I also loved how respectfully the author treated the main character’s mental illness in the book; it’s such a huge part of the story (and I won’t spoil it for you!) and I thought that was really well done. Plus, demons, I mean, you can’t go wrong!

Did your initial design ideas make it through to the final cover? If not, what were the major changes that were made?
With SERVANTS OF THE STORM, it was a little bit different as far as process. I actually found the cover image when searching for imagery for an entirely different book! When culling images for that other book, the editor expressed that image could work for SERVANTS. The next season, when the book came across my desk, I pulled the image back up after reading the book and realized that yes, this would be a great image for this cover. I did additional photo research but none of that ended up being used. We knew from jump that that image was perfect. There were some changes to the image, color shifts to make things a little more dramatic, but this was one of the rare projects where the first idea went to final.

How was the decision made to create a different cover for the paperback release? What was the goal in giving the cover a new look?
Often times paperbacks are an opportunity to give a book a new readership that it didn’t have in hardcover. For SERVANTS, we all LOVE the original cover, so there was a lot of back and forth about whether changing the cover for paperback would even happen. It was decided that we wanted to give this book a more atmospheric look in paperback, to showcase the incredibly dark and interesting world that the author built. There are some great scenes at a fair ground (again, no spoilers!) and the Southern Gothic feeling was what the team wanted to emphasize. I did a pretty exhaustive image search to find images that evoked the feeling the book gave me. I settled on the creepy signage because it reminded me of the gothic Savannah setting, almost welcoming the reader into this strange and perilous world. I put the title in the sign in an off kilter way because I wanted it to feel almost like graffiti; as if the residents of this story were simultaneously warning you about what’s to come and inviting you to look closer. The original photograph didn’t include the lightning; I added that to give a sense of foreboding and emphasize the STORM in the SERVANTS OF THE STORM. The ferris wheel is another thing I added, again to reference the creepy fair ground scenes. My hope is that it all comes together to give you a creepy-cool image that makes you want to pick up the book!

What’s your favorite book cover that you did NOT design? If you could design a new cover for any book, what book would it be, and what would you like to do?
My current wish-I-designed-it cover is by S&S’s own Lucy Cummin’s “We All Looked Up” by Tommy Wallach. It’s GORGEOUS, simple, and so striking. I don’t know that I have any books that’d I’d want to re-cover. Maybe a few of my own that I did early in my career (which shall remain title-less, haha). Often, I find myself wanting to cover adult books in a way that would position them for YA audiences. I’m not sure what I would do and it’s also hard to describe a concept in words (I’m much better at the images part!).

 

Thoughts from author Delilah S Dawson:
We know most authors don’t get a lot of input in their cover design. BUT, did you share your ideas about what you would *like* to see on the cover of SERVANTS OF THE STORM?
Nope– both times, it arrived like magic in my inbox to thoroughly delight me. But I have complete trust in Regina and am always amazed by her work. My entire editorial team is magnificent, and they really get my books and care fiercely about them and me.

How well did the final cover fit your original idea? How well did it capture the overall feel of the book.?
As my first YA, I had no idea what would make a good cover for Servants of the Storm. The closest Southern Gothic-y comp title I know is Beautiful Creatures, and that one’s all typeography. My only concern was that I didn’t want a white girl in a prom dress or anyone in a black bustier. To be quite honest, it feels like a tough concept to represent, and I love both the hardcover and paperback takes on it. Both covers capture the off-kilter creep factor without being too overt about the secrets revealed as the story unfolds.

What do you think about changing the design for the trade paperback release?
I think it’s fantastic! I’m not precious about my books, so I love trying new things and seeing if maybe we can hook some new readers. Plus, it’s just a really amazing cover. I’m going to need a framed print on my wall…

Anything else you’d like to share??
Well, if you haven’t picked up Servants of the Storm, I hope you’ll give it a shot. Southern Gothic Horror demons in a storm-ravaged Savannah, complete with a mixed race heroine, spooky cemeteries, an abandoned amusement park, and a demon Basset hound. What’s not to love? We also recently revealed the cover for my April 2015 YA, HIT, which is about reluctant teen assassins in a bank-owned America. (http://fashion-by-the-book.tumblr.com/post/100746321166/here-is-the-cover-of-delilah-s-dawsons-newest) This masterpiece is also Regina’s handiwork, and I think you can begin to see why I consider her a goddess.

Thanks so much for letting me SQUEE about this new cover! <3

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And… since you transitioned us so nicely… I’m happy to present the NEW cover (for the trade paperback, available in June 2015) for SERVANTS OF THE STORM…

 

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So… I LOVE it… what do you think???

   

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Today’s feature is spotlighting one of the funniest and most talented people I know. Debra Anastasia doesn’t hold ANYTHING back… whether is be in social media, or her incredible stories. Somehow she manages to balance sexy, sweet, snark, and genuine truth in each book. Debra is the author of two popular series, The Seraphim series (paranormal romance), and The Poughkeepsie Brotherhood series (contemporary romance). Today, we’re getting a little more info about the Brotherhood series, and book 3, SAVING POUGHKEEPSIE, due out November 22nd.

 

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10 Things About The Poughkeepsie Brotherhood Series:

1. Jennifer and I have known each other a long time!

2. Poughkeepsie (book 1) was originally fanfic.

3. Poughkeepsie has more vowels than any other word in the world. (Not really but it feels like it when I’m writing it out! And my name is Debra Anastasia. It’s like I have a vowel fetish.)

4. The computer containing the Poughkeepsie manuscript was one of the things I grabbed out of the wreckage of my house before it was demolished in the wake of Hurricane Irene.

5. The dog in Poughkeepsie, Peanut, is named after my cocker spaniel.

6. In Return to Poughkeepsie, Beckett adopts his dog Gandhi from an animal shelter because that something that matters to me. (I have 4 rescue pets!)

7. The Poughkeepsie Brotherhood Series has more creative curses than someone can shake their dick at.

8. I grew up in New York, and Poughkeepsie was where I went to the mall on occasion.

9. The Hudson Valley is gorgeous, as is the Poughkeepsie Train station, where the book starts.

10. Saving Poughkeepsie will be released 11.22.14, and is the end of an era!

Thanks Jennifer for letting me take over your list!

XO

Book 1 Poughkeepsie
Book 2 Return to Poughkeepsie
Book 3 Saving Poughkeepsie (Drops on 11.22.14)
You can find Debra online at her website, and on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Tumblr, and GoodReads.

****Adding my own “11th Thing” to the list… (it’s my list, so I can totally do that, lol)****
The first book in the series can be “experienced”. Through some seriously amazing technical mojo, and a tiny bit of magic, the publisher created an enhanced version of POUGHKEEPSIE that includes the soundtrack, image gallery, author/editor notes, and other cool stuff. So, if you’re like me, and you look for all the “extras” that go along with the stories you love… it doesn’t get better than this!
Check out the Enhanced POUGHKEEPSIE!
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Between Series Spotlight & Giveaway

Posted November 6, 2014 By Jennifer

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Thank you all for stopping by our series spotlight today. We’ve got two books in Kerry Schafer’s Between series available to rave about, and a third on the way.

Between_CV-Final3-185x300Vivian Maylor can’t sleep. Maybe it’s because she just broke up with her boyfriend and moved to a new town, or it could be the stress of her new job at the hospital. But perhaps it’s because her dreams have started to bleed through into her waking hours.

All of her life Vivian has rejected her mother’s insane ramblings about Dreamworlds for concrete science and fact, until an emergency room patient ranting about dragons spontaneously combusts before her eyes–forcing Viv to consider the idea that her visions of mythical beasts might be real.

And when a chance encounter leads her to a man she knows only from her dreams, Vivian finds herself falling into a world that seems strange and familiar all at once–a world where the line between dream and reality is hard to determine, and hard to control…

Here are a few things people have said about Kerry’s debut novel, BETWEEN.

“I never expect a series to sweep me off my feet in the first book, which makes it all the sweeter when it happens. . .I can’t wait to read what Schafer comes up with next.”—AllThingsUrbanFantasy.com

“A smart, resilient heroine, a scarred hero, dragons that are all too real and much too close, and myriad doorways that lead from a modern ER into dreams and waking and everything in Between make for a sparkling debut novel. Most enjoyable.” – Carol Berg, author

18281996Vivian Maylor is trying to hold it together. But her attempts to build a life with the man she loves seem doomed by the dragon inside her yearning to break free. Vivian is a dreamshifter, the last line of defense between reality and the dreamworld, and the only one of her kind.

Weston Jennings also believes he is the only one of his kind. He fears his powers as a dreamshifter, and resists learning to control them. After suffering a tragic loss, Weston heads deep into the woods of the Pacific Northwest to embrace a safe life of solitude. But when a terrible mistake leads to an innocent’s death, his guilt drives him to his former home, where he encounters what he never thought he would find: another shifter.

Now Vivian and Weston must work together to defeat a new threat to the dreamworld.

Some reader thoughts about book 2, WAKEWORLD…

Vivian is so much stronger and really comes into her own in Wakeworld. It was clear that she’s come to terms with the fact that life is going to be crazy now and that she is the one that needs to deal with it, go Vivian! – Anya, On Starships & Dragonwings

“Rising star Schafer continues to advance an elaborate mythology that places her heroine at the intersection of worlds. Schafer proves densely plotted and emotionally charged storytelling is definitely her forte!” – RT Magazine

Wakeworld is a fine adventure. Kerry Schafer gives us heroes we can root for and a world that twists and turns like an Escher print so that nothing is quite what it seems.” – Anne Bishop, author

“Schafer brings a unique voice to urban fantasy, and her writing has a dreamlike, magical quality. A captivating read, a real page-turner!” – Yasmine Galenorn, author

So… that leads us to book 3!! Kerry just unveiled the cover for THE NOTHING…

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Vivian has one chance to save the worlds, and it could cost her everything.

In The Nothing, the third and final book of the Between Trilogy, a mysterious illness is killing healthy people in their sleep. While doctors and world leaders scramble to determine the source of the mysterious epidemic, Vivian Maylor travels through an increasingly unstable Between on a quest to stop it. She already knows the source of the disaster: Aidan the dragon queen has poisoned the dreamworlds. Every time a dreamworld dies, any dreamer caught up in that dream dies too. Much as Vivian despises the dark magic of the Sorcieri, they hold the secrets she needs to be able to pursue Aidan through the locked gates into the Forever. She has one chance to save the worlds—if she can persuade the Sorcieri to share their secrets, and if she is willing to sacrifice everything she loves…

A message from Kerry about THE NOTHING…

A Chance to be Part of the Story…

An unfinished series is a very sad thing. As a reader I am devastated when I finish a book and there isn’t another one and the story hasn’t yet ended. It reminds me of the time I bought a book and for some reason the last page was missing. There I sat, holding that book in my hands and screaming inside, “But I don’t know what happened!!!”

When I started writing a trilogy I made a promise to my readers that I would finish what I started. And I intend to do that. Ace Books has opted not to pick up The Nothing so I’m going to publish it independently. However, I would like for the quality of the last book to be at the same level as the first two and good editors don’t come cheap.

For all of these reasons, I’m running a Kickstarter to help give The Nothing a chance to find its way to more readers. If you would like to be part of this—either by backing the project or spreading the word—you can read all about it at https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/574989945/the-nothing-is-comingdream-if-you-dare

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Right now, there is a GoodReads.com giveaway for BETWEEN!!! To enter to win a copy, check out the contest here, before November 13th.

You can also win a copy (either print, or ebook) by clicking on the rafflecopter link below. This Series Spotlight contest ends on November 11th.

CLICK HERE TO ENTER THE SERIES SPOTLIGHT GIVEAWAY

GOOD LUCK!!

 

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Cover Reveal: HEARTSICK by Caitlin Sinead

Posted November 5, 2014 By Jennifer

We’re SO EXCITED to reveal the cover of HEARTSICK by Caitlin Sinead today! HEARTSICK releases from Carina Press in February 2015 and we can’t wait for everyone to get their hands on this fantastic book! In the meantime, check out the awesome cover below!

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About HEARTSICK

Quinn is looking forward to her senior year. She has big plans to hang out with her best friend Mandy, flirt with cute boy-genius Rashid, party at her favorite dive bar, and figure out what she’s going to do after graduation with her not-so-useful art major degree. But that is before she meets Luke, a hot townie who moves back home to help take care of his dying sister. And it is before the weird epidemic that starts sweeping campus in which people’s eyes mysteriously turn purple. Is it an odd side effect from a new party drug? Is it a rogue bacteria that was developed in a campus lab? Whatever it is, tensions are heating up as the town starts blaming the university, and the student religious group is convinced that it’s the mark of the devil. Quinn and Luke are caught in the middle, especially when Quinn learns that Luke isn’t just a happy-go-lucky, redneck boy-next-door—he is a detective—a fact that triggers Quinn’s phobia of guns and memories of her deceased uncle. In spite of herself and her desire to remain unattached and independent, Quinn finds herself falling for him. But when town and gown relations heat up even further, and Quinn’s friend Danny mysteriously falls to his death, Quinn vows to discover the truth behind the epidemic. As she searches for the people responsible, she realizes that sometimes to gain your independence, you have to be willing to give a little bit of it up.

Add it to Goodreads HERE!

Preorder it now for just $3.79 – Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo

Excerpt from HEARTSICK

“Did you go to college?”

His jaw is tight. “Yes.”

“Do you think I could guess your major?” I ask.

“Probably not,” he says.

I don’t like that I don’t even get a hint at what he did before or what he studied. I shrug, start on my second hotdog and then lean back, really aiming for a glint in my eye, if that’s possible to control. I’ll make this a game. “Well, do you think you can guess mine?”

He smiles. “Do I get something if I guess right?”

I hop up onto a stool and let the tip of my toe brush against his knee. When I make contact, he starts, before leaning in. “What do you want?”

“I want a lot of things…” He stares at me. “But for now, I’d settle for a second date.”

“Okay, if you can guess my major, on the first try—” I emphasize that bit with a pointed finger, “—then I’ll reluctantly agree to go out with you again.”

“I don’t like the reluctant part, but I’ll take what I can get. Now, let’s see…” He rubs his chin as though he’s an old-timey detective. He’s ready to pace back and forth across the room with a pipe and a deerstalker hat. “You like photography.”

Shit, he does know that. I start to hum the Jeopardy! theme song. Maybe if time is running out he’ll be more likely to guess quickly and get it wrong? Do I want him to get it wrong?

“Okay, I got it.” He rubs his hands together. “You’re an art major.” His cheeks swell with the weight of his smile.

“You got that just because I take pictures?” I rub my forehead.

“I know more than that.”

“Someone told you,” I say. “If this bet was rigged, it doesn’t count.”

He jerks back and shakes his head, frowning. “No, I wouldn’t do that,” he says. “I noticed you had some pottery on your coffee table, with initials on it, a Q. B.?”

I nod. He’s talking about the bowl I made last year. Initials usually go on the bottom, but I painted them big and proud in the middle. And the bowl is empty. Mandy and I haven’t decided what to put in it. We narrowed it down to fake fruit (lame), M&M’S (which we would devour) or Micro Machines. Clearly, we’re leaning toward Micro Machines.

Luke takes my hand. I think he’s trying to convey his earnestness, his respectability and seriousness of not tricking me into a bet. The pads of my fingers brush against his rough palms and I suppress a sigh. His thumb runs along my pointer finger, sliding to the fingernail. “You also have paint under your nails.” His victorious, smug smile is in full bloom.

I pull my hand away, embarrassed. “Yeah, it’s hard to get all the paint off.”

“I’m sure,” he says.

About Caitlin Sinead

Caitlin Sinead SocialCaitlin Sinead is represented by Andrea Somberg at Harvey Klinger, Inc. and her debut novel, Heartsick, will be published by Carina Press in 2015. Her writing has earned accolades from Alfred Hitchcock’s Mystery Magazine, Glimmer Train, and Writers & Artists, and her stories have appeared in multiple publications, including The Alarmist, The Binnacle, Crunchable, Jersey Devil Press, and Northern Virginia Magazine. She earned a master’s degree in writing from Johns Hopkins University.

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Blog Tour: HALLOWEEN IN ATLANTIS by Alyssa Day

Posted October 31, 2014 By Jennifer

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NYT Bestselling Author Alyssa Day has a Halloween “treat” for fans of her The Warriors of Poseidon series. HALLOWEEN IN ATLANTIS, a novelette addition to the series!

HalloweenInAtlantis_AlyssaDay_finalNow that Atlantis has finally risen to take its place on the world stage, the Atlantean warriors are having to face some new and interesting dangers — like Halloween parties.

Arrogant warrior Liam doesn’t understand the beautiful, bubbly human whose entire function in life appears to be to plan parties, but he can’t seem to keep away from her, either. Jamie, who considers herself to be completely unflappable–the hallmark of a great event planner–doesn’t understand why the far-too-serious Atlantean manages to get under her skin with every single encounter. Even if he is the sexiest man she has ever seen.

When the two of them are thrown together to solve a mystery surrounding the queen’s missing jewels, sparks fly, secrets are revealed, and Halloween has never been hotter.

This novelette (longer than a short story, shorter than a novella) is perfect for reading on a coffee break – or in between handing out candy to trick-or treaters.

Check your favorite online retailer for HALLOWEEN IN ATLANTIS, releasing October 29th.

Alyssa Day is the pen name (and dark and tortured alter ego) of RITA award-winning author Alesia Holliday. As Alyssa, she writes the New York Times and USA Today best-selling Warriors of Poseidon, League of the Black Swan, and Cardinal Witches series, and won RT BookClub’s Reviewers’ Choice award for Best Paranormal Romance of 2012. She graduated summa cum laude from Capital University Law School and practiced as a trial lawyer in multi-million dollar litigation for several years before coming to her senses and letting the voices in her head loose on paper. Please visit Alyssa at www.AlyssaDay.com.

****Due to a processing error, there has been a delay in the October 29th release date for HALLOWEEN IN ATLANTIS. Please keep your eyes peeled for the new day (very soon!!), and, in the mean time… head over to GoodReads.com to add the book to your “Want To Read” shelf! All other tour and contest details remain the same. Thank you all for your patience!!****

 

Release Blog Tour Dates & Contests

Each blog on the release tour for HALLOWEEN IN ATLANTIS, has treats for it’s readers! Check out each stop for promotional info, guest posts, interviews, excerpts, and chances to win a $5 online giftcard and a copy of Alyssa’s ALEJANDRO’S SORCERESS. (Contests open INT) To enter here… leave a comment below to tell me if you’re caught up with the Warriors of Poseidon series, or if you’re adding it to your TBR list after this introduction. Contest runs through November 2nd. Winner will be selected on November 3rd. Good Luck!!

Wednesday, October 29th

Thursday, October 30th

Friday, October 31st

 

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Cover Reveal: ANGEL BAIT by Tricia Skinner

Posted October 31, 2014 By Jennifer

Today is the big day! The prequel installment in Tricia Skinner’s ANGEL ASSASSINS series is being re-released into the wild, and will be available on Kindle at the discounted price of $0.99 for a limited time (exclusive to Amazon for 90 days). Please note that if you own the old ebook, you can upgrade for free!

And now, without further ado, feast your eyes on ANGEL BAIT:

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Author’s Website | Amazon | GoodReads

He’s not that kind of angel.

Jarrid is a “Bound One”: half angel, half human, trained from childhood to enforce Heaven’s laws on earth. An assassin with no remorse. And no choice. When he discovers an ancient ritual called Ascension, which might give him a shot at freedom, he can’t resist his lifelong dream. He only needs to find one last Renegade angel and take him down…using a certain woman to flush the angel out of hiding.

She’s not what he’s expecting.

News reporter Ionie Gifford has no clue an outlaw angel wants her dead, much less why, but she does know one thing: the enigmatic Jarrid, with his penetrating silver eyes and his worship-worthy body, is her ticket to the city’s supernatural underworld, where she might finally be able to locate her mother’s killer. For that kind of information, she’s willing to risk everything…

They can’t be together — but can’t keep apart…

Blindsided by Ionie’s beauty and tenacity, Jarrid finds the millennia-old glacier around his heart melting. But when he’s faced with a choice, will he sacrifice Ionie for freedom from his brutal servitude—or agree to be bound for eternity, to protect the life of the woman he’s falling in love with?

From novelist Tricia Skinner comes a story that will have fans of action-packed love stories applauding. Seamlessly combining elements of paranormal romance and gritty urban fantasy, the Angel Assassins series is a heart-pounding spin on angel mythology.

 

Angel Assassins Series
Angel Bait Angel Kin Angel Lover
Fall 2014

 

Author Bio

Tricia SkinnerI’m Tricia Skinner and I write Romantic Urban Fantasy. I’m a former journalist who discovered my inspiration to write fiction as an escape from “real life.” My reading tastes are all over the place, but I’m mainly drawn to fantasy (and its subgenres), paranormal, sci-fi, and history.

When I’m not writing, I’m a newbie “green” practitioner, strength training fan, and a technology geek. I’m a mother and a wife. My family includes two Great Danes. I’m also a gamer. I enjoy interacting with my fellow geeks and helping other writers. I’m represented by Laurie McLean of Fuse Literary. *Photo by Kauwuane Burton.

TriciaSkinner.com | Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads | Amazon | Google+ | Pinterest | Blog

 

Giveaway 

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Tour Hosts
Angel’s Guilty Pleasures Romancing The Dark Side
Coffee and Characters Delighted Reader
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Book Lovin’ Mamas GothicMoms Reviews
RhiReading Diaries of 2 Thick Chick
The Bookaholic Cat Mad Hatter Reads
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Just Talking Books Ramblings From A Chaotic Mind
Sapphyria’s Book Reviews Literaria
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Halloween Flash Fiction Event: Charlie Cochet

Posted October 31, 2014 By Jennifer

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Thank you for joining us for this Halloween Flash Fiction Event story from Charlie Cochet. Fans of Charlie’s THIRDS series will be excited to see a fun Halloween “outtake” with some of their favorite guys! The image is a stock photo from a DeviantART artist who specifically allows it to be used on outside websites, with credit and links posted. Big thanks, to both the author and the artist, for sharing. Now… on to the story…
“I don’t like it here.”

Sloane turned to find his partner and lover standing in the doorway, his pouty lips forming a deep frown. How long had Dex been lingering there instead of stepping inside?

“Why?”

Why?” Dex stared at him like he was nuts. He waved an arm around the room. “Because this place is creepy as hell, that’s why. Seriously, dude, look around you!” His voice took on a hoarse whisper. “I sense an evil presence here.”

“Yeah?” Ash called out from across the room. “I sense an idiotic presence, and I’m looking right at it.”

Dex folded his arms over his chest but didn’t budge from the safety of the doorframe. “Screw you, Ash.”

Sloane hadn’t really stopped to admire the décor. On Dex’s suggestion, he inspected the room, seeing only a crime scene. Destructive Delta had been on their way back to HQ after a long shift when they’d been called in to stop by the crime scene in case the perpetrator was still around, but when they arrived, Hudson had declared there wasn’t one. The old Therian had died of heart complications. The body had been taken away over a half an hour ago. They were just waiting for Cael and Rosa to finish up with the CSAs.

Now that Sloane took in the old-fashioned living room around him, he had to admit it was kind of creepy. Thick cobwebs hung from every corner of the room. The faded furniture and most surfaces held blankets of dust. The only light came from the yellowed lampshades of several table lamps. It also smelled of mothballs in here. According to the neighbors, the Therian had been a bit of a recluse.

“There’s nothing here but a bunch of dusty old trinkets.” Sloane walked across the faded brown carpet to an antique chair sitting next to a small wooden door which was most likely a closet. On the chair were three large marionette puppets, their white faces smudged with dirt and in some spots the paint was chipped away. Okay, that’s kind of creepy.

“What’s the matter, McClane?” Ash teased. “You afraid of ghosts?”

With a scoff, Dex sauntered into the room. “I ain’t afraid of no ghosts.” He stepped up beside Sloane and gave a start. “Jesus! What the hell is that?”

“I think they’re puppets,” Sloane replied.

“Of course. Because this place wasn’t nearly disturbing enough. Who would keep something like that?” I took a step to his left then his right. “I swear their eyes are following me.”

“Hey, Rookie.” Ash held out a zipped up document pouch that looked about as old and beat up as the rest of the room. “Make yourself useful and put this back in that closet.”

creepy_puppets_3_by_fuguestock-d4h2x6uWith a grumble, Dex swiped the pouch and swung open the closet door. He let out a high pitched shriek, slammed the closet door shut, and bolted from the room like it was on fire. The document pouch sat on the floor where he’d been standing only seconds ago.

“What the hell?” Sloane opened the door, wondering what could have caused his partner to let out the sort of high pitched sound only dogs could hear. Inside the closet were floor to ceiling shelves stuffed with an army of creepy dolls, some of them broken while others in a state of decomposition. Tiny black spiders crawled over the dolls and into some of the empty eye sockets. With a slew of curses, Sloane slammed the door shut. Behind him, Ash laughed his ass off.

He turned to his best friend who was looking down at his phone. “You knew those were in there.”

“Yep.” Ash grinned brightly and waved his smartphone at Sloane. “And I got it all on video.” He pressed play and Sloane heard Dex’s shriek. “I think I’m gonna make it my ringtone.”

“You’re such an ass.” Sloane rolled his eyes, swiped the pouch from the floor, and tossed it at his friend. “Thanks. Now I have to deal with this.”

“Don’t care,” Ash said cheerfully as he walked off.

Sloane found Dex sitting inside the Bearcat, a rifle in his hand.

“Easy there, gunslinger. They were just dolls.”

Dex narrowed his eyes. “That’s what they said about Chucky.”

Sloane settled onto the bench beside his partner with a chuckle. “You watch too many movies.”

“Maybe. But at least if some dude in a hockey mask or nails pinned to his head comes after me, I’ll know what not to do. I mean, seriously. If you see or hear creepy shit, you don’t go to check it out, you get gone. You run, damn it, and don’t trip over the first twig you come across.”

With the doors to the BearCat closed and his team still inside, Sloane pulled Dex close. “Aw, is the big badass Defense agent in need of a hug?”

Dex put down the rifle and pouted. “Yes.”

“All right.” He pulled Dex into his embrace and smiled when his partner snuggled up to him.

“I think I might need a kiss, too. You know. So the bogeyman doesn’t get me.”

Sloane pulled back and arched an eyebrow at him. “How will a kiss stop the bogeyman?”

“Because kisses give you cooties and the bogeyman doesn’t like cooties.”

“Who told you that?” Sloane held back a smile at his partner’s goofy grin.

“I just know.” Dex wriggled his eyebrows. “It’s how I got Billy James to kiss me in the art room back in fourth grade.”

Sloane laughed. “That’s sneaky.”

Dex shrugged. “It worked. So, you gonna give me your cooties? I’m also in need of a lot of comforting. Might need to sleep in your bed tonight.”

Sloane chuckled and pulled Dex in for a heated kiss. As soon as they got home, Sloane was going to give Dex a whole lot more than comforting. He’d have to remember to thank Ash. Sloane had never been much a fan of Halloween, but this year, he might just look forward to things going bump in the night. Especially if it meant his partner ended up in his arms. Happy Halloween indeed.

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About The Author

Charlie Cochet is an author by day and artist by night. Always quick to succumb to the whispers of her wayward muse, no star is out of reach when following her passion. From Historical to Fantasy, Contemporary to Science Fiction, there’s bound to be plenty of mischief for her heroes to find themselves in, and plenty of romance, too!

Currently residing in South Florida, Charlie looks forward to migrating to a land where the weather includes seasons other than hot, hotter, and boy, it’s hot! When she isn’t writing, she can usually be found reading, drawing, or watching movies. She runs on coffee, thrives on music, and loves to hear from readers.

Website: http://www.charliecochet.com Blog: http://www.charliecochet.com/blog Email: charlie@charliecochet.com Facebookhttp://www.facebook.com/charliecochet Twitter: @charliecochet | http://www.twitter.com/charliecochet Newsletter: http://www.charliecochet.com/newsletter THIRDS website: http://thirdshq.com

 

About The Artist

Image: Creepy Puppets 3

Artist Page: Fuguestock  http://www.deviantart.com/art/Creepy-Puppets-3-270554502

 

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Halloween Flash Fiction Event: Candace Havens

Posted October 31, 2014 By Jennifer

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Thank you for joining us for this Halloween Flash Fiction Event story from Candace Havens. This story is a precautionary tale… for readers, and for the characters… about taking things for granted! The image is a stock photo from a DeviantART artist who specifically allows it to be used on outside websites, with credit and links posted. Big thanks, to both the author and the artist, for sharing. Now… on to the story…


The Narrow Walk

By Candace Havens

 

The quiet surrounding her on the darkened path sent a chill down Clara’s back. The sense someone watched her from the shadows was something she could no longer ignore. Her heels clicked along the stone echoing loudly.

I should have taken a cab.

After the loud noise and stale air from the club, she enjoyed walking through the park. During the day, it was filled with too many people and children screeching. But at night, she was normally alone and it had sort of an ethereal magic in the middle of the big city. The trees looming above, the scent of earth, these things calmed her. Made her forget about the guy on the dance floor with the too-touchy hands, or that her ex was there with the blonde from the coffee shop. The same one she’d caught him with in—

Stay focused.

“I don’t know who you are, but I know you’re there,” she said. Her voice soft but carrying through the stillness on the path. The high stone wall to her right was the perfect hiding place for those who might want to do harm. She fisted and then stretched her fingers.

So not in the mood for this right now.

She paused, cocking her head to the right. A twig snapped just ahead. He waited patiently.

Any sane person would run for the entrance to the park.

But I’m not always sane.

premade_bg_night_in_the_forest_by_e_dina-d42dimfAs she passed the bend, she hunched her shoulders and then released the tension.

A hand reached out and pulled her from the path, the other hand covering her mouth to keep her from screaming.

As if she would.

She smiled.

He had a good six inches on her, and he was wider than a door.

Curving over, she reached her hands back and pulled his giant head over her shoulder, his body following.

“Ooomph,” he said as his body hit the ground. Her knee was on his chest before he could move, pinning him to the ground.

His arms flailed when he saw her face.

His nose had been broken five too many times and there were scars around his eyes, as if he’d had wounds that had never been stitched. A fighter. Another angry, out of control beast who took his temper out on women.

“Wrong night. Wrong park. And really wrong woman,” she said just before she sank her teeth into the flesh of his neck.

 

About The Author

Bestselling author Candace Havens has written multiple novels for Berkley, Entangled and Harlequin. Her books have received nominations for the RITA’s, Holt Medallion and Write Touch Reader Awards. She is the author of the biography Joss Whedon: The Genius Behind Buffy and a contributor to several anthologies. She is also one of the nation’s leading entertainment journalists and has interviewed countless celebrities including Tom Hanks, Nicolas Cage, Tom Cruise, George Clooney and many more. Her entertainment columns can be read in more than 600 newspapers across the country. And she is the Editorial Director for the Covet, Edge and Select lines at Entangled Publishing. Candace also runs a free online writing workshop for more than 2200 writers, and teaches comprehensive writing class. She does film reviews with the Hawkeye & Dorsey on 96.3, and is a former President of the Television Critics Association.

About The Artist

Image: Night In The Forest

Artist Page: E-DinaPhotoArt  http://www.deviantart.com/art/Premade-BG-Night-in-the-Forest-245854599

 

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Halloween Flash Fiction Event: James R Tuck

Posted October 31, 2014 By Jennifer

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Thank you for joining us for this Halloween Flash Fiction Event story from James R Tuck. Our flash fiction story from James illustrates his love for all things dark and super creepy.  The image is a stock photo from a DeviantART artist who specifically allows it to be used on outside websites, with credit and links posted. Big thanks, to both the author and the artist, for sharing. Now… on to the story…

The Kitty and the Dead Man

by James R Tuck

This fucking cat is going to kill me.

I am. I really. really am.

The way she looks at me, those big yellow eyes that narrow anytime my throat is exposed. I can tell. I know her nature. like I can read her tiny, evil, little mind.

It flutters so tempting, a mouse under paw.

Goddam cat.

Catdamned human.

I didn’t want the thing. I hate the cotton candy feel of her fur, the sandpaper skritch of her tongue, the needle stick of her claws.

You did want me.

I’d kill her first if I could.

Wimp.

But I can’t.

Pussy.

The sound of her purr pulls at the nerves that run across my scalp, tugging the strings of them, unraveling the fabric of my sanity.

Heh. Ball of twine.

I should open the door.

You already did that.

I should throw you out. Throw you into traffic.

You were the one who captured me. You brought me here and put me in this vessel.black_cat_____by_masyon-d3j7o0h

It was a mistake.

It was arrogance.

I didn’t know.

You didn’t care.

I would kill you quick.

I won’t return the favor.

If I do it, what will happen?

I’ll be loosed into the world. I will hunt and kill and enjoy the feel of meat between my teeth and the salty slide of blood down my throat. I’ll roam the earth, to and fro, seeking whom I may devour. I’ll stalk every person you ever loved and chase them so their fear spices their flesh. One by one they will be morsels at my feasting board.

Dear God, no.

Leave Him out of this. It’s too late for you to look that direction.

If I keep you, you will kill me.

Free me.

I can’t.

I’ll save you for last.

 

About The Author

I am born and bred a Southern boy. I was raised on “yes, Ma’am” and “Hell Yeah”. I like good food and good music. I still live in Georgia with my lovely wife, my cool son, and my crackhead dogs. (My daughter is off to college and I am mighty proud of her.) I’ve been a professional Tattoo Artist for the last 16 years and I own FAMILY TRADITION TATTOO in Marietta, Ga.

Life is about so much more than money for me. Give me the ability to spend time with my family and friends, the right to shoot my guns, and the freedom to go to whatever church I want and I will say: Life is good.

About The Artist

Image: Black Cat

Artist Page: masyon  : This picture appears to have been removed between the time it was sent out, and this post went live. I will continue to check, and if the image is reposted, I will update the link for it.

 

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10ThingsThursday1

 

Hello all! One of my newest reading joys is paranormal mystery. I like the lighthearted storylines and fun paranormal aspects. I’m in the process of reading the first book in Rose Pressey’s Halloween LaVeau Series, FOREVER CHARMED. Rose is stopping by today to share a bit about the main character of her new series, Ripley “Rip” Van Raden.

 

Thanks for inviting me to your blog today. I thought I’d share ten things about Ripley Van Raden. She’s the main character in my new Haunted Tour Guide mystery series.

THESE HAUNTS ARE MADE FOR WALKING

These-Haunts-are-Made-for-Walking-Rose-PresseyIf ever a whole town could be haunted, Devil’s Moon, Kentucky would be that town. Ripley Van Raden, or Rip as her friends call her, has come back to her hometown to start her own ghost tour business. That’s not her only career path though. Librarian by day, and ghost tour guide by night, Rip is ready to take on the ghosts following her around and the mysterious residents who show up for more than the tour in the Devil’s Moon Cemetery.

Her first day on the job as librarian, Ripley finds a dead body and a ghost who can only communicate through electronics. Who knew ghosts could send text messages? To make things even more complicated, Ripley meets a hot cop who happens to also be a ghost hunter. She doesn’t know if Brannon Landon is interested in helping her or just around for the paranormal activity.

When Rip discovers threatening notes between the pages of a novel, she must solve the library patron’s mysterious death before she unwillingly joins the other side of her haunted tour.

 

Ten Things About Ripley:

1. Ripley likes spooky. That’s why she’s a guide for a haunted tour, but she can’t help watching Christmas movies year round, which are the exact opposite of spooky.

2. Ripley’s favorite book is Pride and Prejudice by Jane Austen. Coincidentally, the library where she works has a resident cat named Jane Austen.

3. Ripley likes to escape to the graveyard and read. It’s peaceful there.

4. Her favorite food is the grilled cheese from the diner in her hometown of Devil’s Moon.

5. Ripley is an 80s music fan.

6. Ripley still has a stuffed bunny that she got when she was seven. She puts it on her bed.

7. Ripley loves to collect paranormal books.

8. Ripley says she’ll never date again, but may change her mind since recently meeting a certain someone.

9. Ripley can’t cook well, but loves to bake.

10. Ripley has always had problems with electronics devices, but recently it has been worse than ever.

Buy THESE HAUNTS ARE MADE FOR WALKING

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About the author:

Rose Pressey is a USA TODAY bestselling author. She enjoys writing quirky and fun novels with a paranormal twist. The paranormal has always captured her interest. The thought of finding answers to the unexplained fascinates her.

When she’s not writing about werewolves, vampires and every other supernatural creature, she loves eating cupcakes with sprinkles, reading, spending time with family, and listening to oldies from the fifties.

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