Archive for October, 2014

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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

Amazon     Barnes & Noble

 

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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Halloween Flash Fiction Event: Brynn Myers

Posted October 30, 2014 By Jennifer

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Thank you for joining us for this Halloween Flash Fiction Event story from Brynn Myers. The story Brynn tells here is an especially “heebie-jeebies-inducing” one for me, as it touches on a couple of my personal fears. 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…

Trapped

by Brynn Myers

***

Copyright 2014 by Brynn Myers

All rights reserved

 

The tips of Megan’s fingers were raw and bloody from her latest round of digging, but there was no time to agonize over the pain. She had to break away more of the weathered stone and mortar and she had to work quickly. The sun was going down and soon she’d lose the small amount of light that filtered in from the bar covered window.

The sound of footsteps sent Megan scurrying to the corner, away from her project. The last thing she needed was for her captor to find out what she’d been doing. Once she created a space big enough to crawl through, the glass would easily be broken, but those rusty bars were so damn stubborn. She’d been down here, working on her escape every day for weeks, but with constant interruptions, she was starting to lose hope.

As the footsteps above moved closer, Megan’s anxiety increased. Her grand plan to escape tonight was looking grim, and she feared soon she’d be buried amidst the darkness of this dank cellar forever. Shadows passed back and forth on the other side of the door, the sound of heels clicking loudly against the hard oak confirmed it was her captor. When the door opened, incandescent light spilled into the room, obscuring their face as they bent down to leave a tray of food––not food really, more like a bowl of cold soup, stale bread and tepid water in a plastic cup. As soon as the tray clattered, the door shut. Megan banged her head against the cobweb covered wall and began to sob, but tears were useless; they would not free her. Only action could save her now.

30112012237_by_balenaucigasa-d823oewMegan stood and moved closer to the opening, hoping the last glimmer of moonlight would be enough to allow her to dig some more. Unfortunately, it not nearly enough to help her cause. She slid down the wall till her hands touched the floor. Why would someone do this to her? What was she to do now? Questions continued to flood her mind until she eventually snapped. She crawled over and pulled off one of the boards at the foot of the staircase, her hands aching as she clutched the wood. Megan screamed and whacked violently at the glass until nothing but shards surrounded the edges. She ripped away the chicken wire and gripped the bars, rocking them back and forth. Nothing. No movement.

Hope sparked when headlights came into view. She waved her hands wildly, praying they’d see her. In the next instant, the car swerved and slammed headlong into the wall and Megan was thrust back into the cellar, the scent of dust and gasoline filling the air. By the time, she realized what happened, it was too late. Blood dripped from her mouth and a sharp pain struck her in the gut. As she looked down at her stomach, she saw the piece of wood she’d used from the stairs impaled deep within her.

The door slammed opened and a woman screamed as the room went red with a fiery explosion. From this night forward she’d be eternally trapped in this hell, forever bound to this now scorched earth. As her soul began to climb out of her battered body, Megan forced herself to stay. She would not go quietly into the night, no, she’d have the last word. There were only two things Megan could think of as her final heartbeat sounded–Hell hath no fury and karma was going to be a bitch.

 

About The Author

Brynn Myers is an urban fantasy/paranormal romance author. After considering writing a hobby for years, she finally turned her passion and talent into a career. She came into the paranormal genre later than most but has always loved fairy-tales and all things magical. Using that love, she creates charmed worlds by writing stories involving passionate, strong willed characters with something to discover.

Brynn lives with her family in the Brevard County, Florida area.

 

Also…

You can meet & greet with Brynn  in February, as she is one of the Featured Authors at Coastal Magic, an urban fantasy and paranormal romance convention in Daytona Beach, FL.

 

About The Artist

Image: 30112012237

Artist Page: balenaucigasa  http://www.deviantart.com/art/30112012237-487260248

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Halloween Flash Fiction Event: Elliott James

Posted October 30, 2014 By Jennifer

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Thank you for joining us for this Halloween Flash Fiction Event story from Elliott James. Elliott brings us a prime example of why Mr. Weasley was right when he said, “Never trust anything that can think for itself if you can’t see where it keeps its brain.” (Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets) 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 No-Hope Chest

By Elliott James

 

The chest wanted open.

It wasn’t words that skittered over Adam’s mind like dry leaves on a tin roof.   It was an urge. He stared at the chest and told himself he was being crazy, but the feeling lingered, coiled around his spine like a python, squeezing him. The chest wanted open.

And Adam didn’t want to open it.

It was an old chest, large and ornate and creepy looking. Adam had always stayed away from it as a kid. A row of engraved H’s formed a line that looked like stiches across the chest’s bottom, and a snake-like design crawled across its top. It was the tiny key hole that had freaked little Adam out though. That dark puncture wound of a mouth was too small for such a large body, and Adam always thought the chest was hungrily sucking in sips of air while it squatted there, forcing itself to breathe slowly so that no one would know it was alive.

“Eat me.” Adam whispered hoarsely in the moonlit room. Then the absurdity of the words– hell, the mean weirdness of being homeless in his own home, of having to break into his own house – snapped Adam out of it. He needed to find something small that he could turn around and sell for a lot of money quickly. If his old man still had any valuables stashed that Adam hadn’t found out about, they would be in here.

I’ve got nothing, Adam thought as he placed his fingers on the seam of the chest’s lid. No one. No home. chest_7_by_mrscats-d81u0dx

The chest was unlocked, which surprised Adam, but not as much as what was inside of it did. His father’s neck was obviously broken, and there was a huge dent in the old man’s forehead. Those rolled up eyes looked like white poached eggs.

Adam jerked back with a jolt, dropping the heavy lid. The chest snapped hungrily at Adam’s fingers but missed and slammed shut, and he stood there breathing harshly. He was scared, scared of what he’d seen, but even more scared of the vicious undercurrent of dark satisfaction that had washed through him immediately afterward. Adam’s entire life, his whole sense of who he was, suddenly seemed fragile. Like the universe was made of glass and shadowy things were looking at him from some other side, waiting to break through.

Then Adam heard the angry voice he’d heard so many other late nights when his father came lurching home drunk.   His father? Waking up. Shouting.

Trembling, mesmerized, Adam lifted the lid again, slowly. The body was no longer there. Adam slowly reached down into the chest’s open maw, groping, and took the only item he found – a baseball bat – into his hands.

Adam’s father flung open the door to the storage room. No one. No home. Adam thought again, already sliding his grip down the haft of the bat. He was his father’s next of kin.

And the chest wanted to be filled.

 

About The Author

Hello, my name is Elliott James (well, it’s a pen name) and I’m writing a series called the Pax Arcana. The protagonist of my series is one John Charming.  You know those guys in all the Prince Charming stories who are always slaying some monster or chasing some woman or getting turned into some creature, or wandering around forests maimed and confused after getting jacked up or cursed by some foul beastie?  Those are John Charming’s ancestors, and he has continued to uphold the proud – if not particularly bright – family tradition of messing with things that really shouldn’t be messed with to the extent that somewhere along the way he picked up a mild case of werewolf.

Also:

You can meet & greet with Elliott  in February, as he is one of the Featured Authors at Coastal Magic, an urban fantasy and paranormal romance convention in Daytona Beach, FL.

 

About The Artist

Image: Chest 7

Artist Page: mrscats http://mrscats.deviantart.com/art/Chest-7-486809205

 

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Halloween Flash Fiction Event: Olivia Hardin

Posted October 29, 2014 By Jennifer

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Thank you for joining us for this Halloween Flash Fiction Event story from Olivia Hardin. Olivia’s story manages to be sweet AND creepy, and that’s an interesting accomplishment! Be sure to check out the giveaway from Olivia after her story. 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…

 

Mrs. Grady’s Globes
by Olivia Hardin

Even though she’s always getting us into mischief, I love her. She’s my big sister. We’re always together. Even though I’m three years younger, she never minded me always being there. Always the girls, always a team. And I always go with her.

Some temptations are just too great to deny, especially for Sissy. If the cookie jar was in reach and momma said only one, she would sneak a second. Certain channels on television were off limits, so those were the ones she went to when the adults left the room. The basement was locked, but when daddy left his key ring out she would sneak down just because she could.

Mrs. Grady was a crazy old woman. We’d watch her from the tree line as she tossed handfuls of feed to imaginary chickens. She’d cluck and talk to them, her eyes moving as if she could really see them even though nothing was there. After a while she’d go back into the house and the crows would come to eat up all of the leavings. Every once in a while she would catch them taking the food from her make-believe chicks and when that happened she’d come out of the house with a tennis racket, swinging.

She found us watching her the week before she died. I can still remember the way her blue eyes squinted at the woods, the skin crinkling up on her face as she frowned and strained to see us. I tugged on Sissy’s sleeve and begged her to go home, but she just shook her head and stood defiant.

“Get over here, you little sneaks. C’mon now. Come into the sun so I can see you.”

Sissy stepped right forward, her chin up and her golden hair catching the light and glistening. She was so pretty that day. I liked the blue checked shirt she wore and couldn’t wait until I was big enough to get it as a hand-me-down.

“You aren’t thinkin’ of stealing my chicks, are you?”

“No, ma’am,” I answered immediately, rushing to stand beside my sister and taking her hand. “We were just watching.”

“Humph,” she stared at us a few minutes and then glanced over her shoulder. I didn’t realize until that moment that Sissy hadn’t been looking at her, but instead at something on Mrs. Grady’s window sill. “You steal my chickens and you’ll get in big trouble with your folks.”

“What is that?” Sissy inquired, her eyes still locked at the spot over Mrs. Grady’s shoulder.

water_ball3_by_mrscats-d65y6xdWhen Mrs. Grady stepped closer I tiptoed around Sissy’s body so that I could see what she was looking at. There on the window sill was a fishbowl with water. But there were no fish inside. Instead there were two crystal globes. One big, one small. It was hard not to look at the globes. Their pretty gleam sparkled and coaxed me to gaze deep.

“I don’t want anybody around my chickens,” Mrs. Grady spoke again and her words were more of a shriek.

“We’ll stay away from your chickens,” Sissy told her with a coy smile, “But can we have those?”

Mrs. Grady huffed and looked back at the fish bowl. After a minute she stomped to the window and grabbed it, sloshing water over the sides as she delivered it to us. Sissy greedily grabbed the rim, but Mrs. Grady didn’t let go of it. “Never, ever look directly into the gazing balls. Admire them only through the water.”

I remember I began to shiver when I heard her words. I stared at her, watching the way her eyes went dark as she spoke. Sissy snatched the fish bowl and started immediately back to our house.

“What happens if we look at them?” I quivered.

“If you look at them they’ll steal your soul.”

I recoiled. The wind picked up and I wrapped my arms around my belly before turning and hurrying to catch up with my sister.

After that I never, ever left Sissy’s side. I knew that if given the chance she would take the balls from the water and look at them.   For days she only left our room to eat and go to school. The fishbowl was placed directly beside her bed and she stared at it in a trance. I was afraid to sleep at night for fear she’d give in to her temptation.   But as long as I was near she never made a move to touch the balls. She never tried to remove them from the water.

Then it happened one weekend. Momma came screaming into the house, calling for daddy. Sissy was cross-legged on her bed, watching the bowl and humming low to herself, a timid smile on her face. I listened, cocking my head to hear what momma was saying.

“Call 9-1-1, Martin. It’s Mrs. Grady. They found her in the yard and they think she might be dead.”

I gasped and ran out into the hallway, eyes wide as my father grabbed the cordless phone and dialed the number. I’m not sure how long I stayed that way, listening him give instructions to the emergency services people. But after a few moments I remembered Sissy and panic welled up from my belly, making me sick.

When I got back to our room she was standing in front of the nightstand. I stepped closer to her and when I was just behind her I realized we were standing in water. I looked down at my socked feet, a growing puddle on the hardwood floor.

“Sissy, what did you do?”

She shook her head, her golden waves brushing the tops of her shoulders. “It broke. There was a pop and it broke. Look at the them, Bea. Look at how pretty they are now.”

When she stepped closer to the nightstand I could see the broken fishbowl, the water almost gone. I clamped my eyes shut and then mashed my fisted hands into my eye sockets to keep from looking at the balls. “Don’t look, Sissy. Don’t look!”

Finally I reached out my hands to her, feeling desperately, but finding only empty space. I didn’t dare open my eyes, so I stepped forward, palms out, still searching.

And then my fingers came upon the cold, wet balls. I clutched them both, then reared my hands back to throw them. The sound of Sissy’s pleading stopped me.

“Don’t let me go alone, Bea… please…” and her words faded to nothing.

The globes warmed in my hands and when I opened my eyes the room was empty. I wasn’t brave enough to look at the globes. I placed them carefully on the bed, not sparing even a single glance at them. I took Sissy’s pillow and removed the case, then dropped the globes inside.

That was thirteen years ago. Now I carry those crystal gazing balls with me every day.

She always goes with me.   She’s my big sister. We’re always together. Always the girls, always …

 

About The Author

When Olivia Hardin started having movie-like dreams in her teens, she had no choice but to begin putting them to paper. Before long, the writing bug had bitten her, and she knew she wanted to be a published author. Several rejections plus a little bit of life later, she was temporarily “cured” of the urge to write. That is, until she met a group of talented and fabulous writers who gave her the direction and encouragement she needed to get lost in the words again.

Olivia has attended three different universities over the years and toyed with majors in Computer Technology, English, History and Geology. Then one day she heard the term “road scholar,”’ and she knew that was what she wanted to be. Now she “studies” anything and everything just for the joy of learning. She’s also an insatiable crafter who only completes about 1 out of 5 projects, a jogger who hates to run, and she’s sometimes accused of being artistic.

A native Texas girl, Olivia lives in the beautiful Lone Star state with her husband, Danny and their puppy, Bonnie.

Connect with Olivia and Get information about releases, contests, news and more here:

Website: http://olivia-hardin.com/

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/m13aj

Facebook Fan Page: http://www.facebook.com/oliviahardin

Twitter: http://twitter.com/oliviaH_writer

 

About The Artist

Image: Water Ball 3

Artist Page: mrscats   http://www.deviantart.com/art/water-ball3-372790417
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One commenter (US/CAN) will win a signed paperback copy of TROLLING FOR TROUBLE (The Lynlee Lincoln Series, Book One) and miscellaneous swag from Olivia! Just let us know what you thought of the story, and you’ll be entered to win. Contest starts now, and will end November 2nd. Winner will be chosen on November 3rd. Good luck!!

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Halloween Flash Fiction Event: Gini Koch

Posted October 29, 2014 By Jennifer

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Thank you for joining us for this Halloween Flash Fiction Event story from Gini Koch. Does this sound like a blessing… or a curse?? 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…

 

Moonlight Becomes You

By Gini Koch

The story that says we can’t help changing when the moon is full is a lie. All werewolves can control when they change. But when the moon is full…we don’t want to.

Werewolves aren’t helpless – we’re hedonists. We like being lupine, being free. For us, it isn’t a curse, it’s a blessing.

For ones not so blessed? Well, for those designated as food or fun, it’s probably a curse. But for youHowlingBeautyQuiet-BlissDeviantart

You could join us. You could learn to run free, to dance in the moonlight, to do what you want, when you want, with nothing able to stop you. Silver bullets are a lie, too. The only thing that stops a werewolf is time. We don’t live longer than humans, we just live better, faster and freer. So it seems longer, but shorter, too.

You could join us. If you wanted to. Live by night, sleep by day, love who you want, eat who you hate. Sing and dance in the moonlight.

Come meet me by the old tree on the high hill when the moon is full. I’ll be waiting for you, to see if you will become part of the moonlight with me.

After all, everyone joins the moonlight. Sooner or later.

 

About The Author

Gini Koch writes the fast, fresh and funny Alien/Katherine “Kitty” Katt series for DAW Books, the Necropolis Enforcement Files series, and the Martian Alliance Chronicles series for Musa Publishing. Alien in the House, Book 7 in her long-running Alien series, won the RT Book Reviews Reviewer’s Choice Award as the Best Futuristic Romance of 2013. Book 10/Universal Alien is coming this December.

NB_Cover_Final300dpiAs G.J. Koch she writes the Alexander Outland series and she’s made the most of multiple personality disorder by writing under a variety of other pen names as well, including Anita Ensal, Jemma Chase, A.E. Stanton, and J.C. Koch. Currently, Gini has stories featured in the Unidentified Funny Objects 3, Clockwork Universe: Steampunk vs. Aliens, and Two Hundred and Twenty-One Baker Streets anthologies, and, writing as J.C. Koch, in Kaiju Rising: Age of Monsters, The Madness of Cthulhu, Vol. 1, and A Darke Phantastique anthologies. She will also have a story in the first book in an X-Files anthology series coming out in 2015.

Last but in no way least, Gini will be a part of the SENSATIONAL SIX: Action and Adventure in Sci Fi, Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance boxed set, releasing Nov. 17, 2014. It will include her full length novel, The Night Beat, as well as an excerpt from the next book in the Necropolis Enforcement Files series, Night Music. For information on this and other upcoming releases, contact Gini via her website: www.ginikoch.com

 

About The Artist

Image: Howling Beauty

Artist Page: Quiet-bliss http://www.deviantart.com/art/howling-beauty-485124603

 

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