CMCon17 Halloween Flash Fiction with Kathleen Collins

Posted October 26, 2016 By Jennifer

Welcome to day two of our annual flash fiction event! Today we host a “new to Coastal Magic” author, Kathleen Collins. I can’t wait to meet her in February, and I really enjoyed her short story for this week!


Don’t forget to comment below her story with a question or comment for her (or for us), to be entered to win a prize pack of books & swag from many of our authors this week! (And be sure to check back on our “kickoff post” for the full schedule of participating authors. So many great stories, and each day you can enter to win!)

Here’s the image that inspired her story…


by AshenSorrow


Deep in the forgotten forests of Pynilyre sat a grand castle. In the center of that castle a stone throne rose in front of a wall of colored glass. A small table had been sat up on the floor in front of the throne. A petite figure dressed in red reclined in one of the chairs, sipping burgundy wine and running her eyes over the stained glass, watching the figures move on the surface.

The Wall, as it was known, wasn’t a decorative piece. It was a living history of their people. The origins had been lost to time but the prevailing rumor was that when the castle was built it had simply grown into place overnight. Anytime a major event happened, it was recorded on The Wall for all to see. Right now, Queen Neecole was watching a battle take place in shards of colored glass. Days ago, she had sent her armies and her best general south to defend their borders from the goblin horde.

“Your majesty?” a voice called from the doorway.

Neecole raised her hand to signal the visitor to approach as she recognized the voice of her favorite advisor. “What is it, Minok?” she asked when he stood beside her.

“You’ve been in here since the armies left.” His fingers tapped nervously on his thighs. “Don’t you think you should give the vigil a rest, or perhaps at least take audiences with some of the people waiting to see you?”

She pursed her lips and looked away from the images long enough to glance up at Minok briefly. “And why should I?”

He cleared his throat. “This constant diligence gives the impression that you question whether our forces will be victorious.”

“I don’t question whether or not our army will defeat the horde. Of course they will. I merely want to know who will return to us when it’s over.” Unfortunately for the queen, her best general also happened to be her husband, the king. She leaned back in her chair and laid a hand on her swollen belly. “He must return to us, Minok. I could not stand for it to be any other way.”

Minok watched her for a moment then took the empty seat on the other side of the table. “I’ll have dinner brought to us.”


Sometime in the middle of the night a heavy hand fell on the queen’s shoulder. She groaned at the intrusion into her slumber. The hand shook her gently. “My queen?”

She blinked open bleary eyes as Minok’s voice penetrated. “What is it?”

“They’ve stopped,” he said, his voice low.

Neecole sat up, slowly and rubbed at her shoulders. Sleeping hunched over a table had not done her pregnant back any good. She blinked at The Wall but couldn’t make out the entirety of the new picture. Hoisting herself up, she made her way up the stairs to look at the new images that had taken shape. There the horde was fleeing the battle field, here were her armies standing triumphant and in the middle was a crown resting on a pool of blood.

The queen’s heart stopped beating for a moment as she took in the implications of what this meant. Her beloved husband had fallen on the field. She cried out and fell to her knees, arms wrapped around her stomach as if trying to protect her unborn child from the truth. At some point she felt hands lifting her to her feet and she was led to her bed.

For days she stayed cocooned in her covers crying and screaming prayers to every ancestor she could think of, begging for The Wall to be wrong though it never had been before. On the evening of the third day, Minok appeared with her robe and coaxed her to come with him. “There is something you need to see,” was all he would tell her.

So, broken heart and all, she let him help her to her feet and wrap the robe around her shoulders. He led her to the throne room where she kept her eyes turned from the wall of glass. He turned her to face it with two hands on her shoulders. Squeezing her shoulders in support he said, “Just look.”

Neecole turned to look at all the horrible shards of glass again. There was the goblin horde fleeing the battlefield. Here was her army standing triumphant. And in the middle was a pool of blood with no crown resting upon it. She gasped and her hand flew to her mouth. How could this be? “When did this change?”

“I don’t know. I came to get you as soon as I noticed. “

The heavy door at the far end of the throne room creaked open and they both turned toward the sound.

“Neecole?” a worn, haggard voice called. The king had returned.

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It’s that time of year, again, ladies and gents!!

We’re back with another collection of flash fictions with a Halloween theme from some of the Coastal Magic Convention Featured Authors!! It’s a fun week of stories and a chance to win a super cool prize pack from our authors. (The prize pack includes print books, ebooks, swag, & giftcards… you WANT this prize, y’all!!)

If you’ve missed our previous years… here’s what you can expect this week:

  1. Each of our participating authors was able to choose from a collection of images from artists. Permission has been given by the owners for images to be used, with credit, on non-commercial websites. That permission also requires a link back to the page it was used on, which I will do after each post.
  2. Each flash fiction is 500-1500(ish) words, and was written for this event. Some are original stories, not connected to any other series. Some are extensions or outtakes from existing books or series. All are related to/inspired by the image the author chose from the images I sent them.
  3. A new story will be posted each day, from today (Oct 25th) through Halloween (some days will have TWO!) After you’ve read each post, be sure to leave a question or comment, in order to enter to win a prize pack of books and swag from our participation Coastal Magic Convention Featured Authors. Our winner will be chosen and notified on November 1st.

So… that’s the general idea for the week. I can’t wait for all of you to read the awesome flash fictions our authors have written for you. Some are a bit creepy, some are fun & festive, some are romantic & sexy, some are downright scary. I’m looking forward to hearing which ones are your favorites!!

Here’s the posting schedule for this week — be sure to check in each day (posts go live at 9am, eastern) to read the new stories and enter to win the prize pack. I’ll update this post with new links as the week goes on. You can also follow or subscribe to this blog to make sure you don’t miss any of the posts!



October 25th – Tawdra Kandle

October 26th – Kathleen Collins

October 27th – Dee Davis

October 28th – A E Via

October 29th – Alethea Kontis  /  Kiernan Kelly

October 30th – B A Tortuga  /  Terry Spear

October 31st – Amy Lane / Deborah Blake  /  Lucienne Diver

And don’t forget… these authors, and many, many more will be waiting to hang out with you at Coastal Magic Convention, in February!! We’d love for you to join us for a fun weekend of bookish shenanigans and the chance to make some amazing memories. 


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CMCon17 Halloween Flash Fiction with Tawdra Kandle

Posted October 25, 2016 By Jennifer


Today’s first flash fiction is from an author staple of Coastal Magic, Tawdra Kandle. We love having her back with us in Daytona every year, and participating in this blog event.

Don’t forget to comment below her story with a question or comment for her (or for us), to be entered to win a prize pack of books & swag from many of our authors this week! (And be sure to check back on our “kickoff post” for the full schedule of participating authors. So many great stories, and each day you can enter to win!)

Here’s the image that inspired her story…

Fall For An Eternity by kkart

Fall For An Eternity by kkart


Dried leaves skittered across the stone steps of the mausoleum. The sky was cloudy tonight, but as Nell and I approached the edge of the cemetery, there was just enough moonlight to read the name chiseled over the two heavy doors with their brass pulls. Dead vines teased the top of the word, but I could see enough to make it out.

Next to me, Nell shivered. It was much cooler up here than what we were used to in Florida. I draped one arm around her shoulders and drew her closer to my side.

“Hover.” She murmured the name, squinting in the darkness. “That’s the one, then?”

I nodded. “I think so. I don’t see any other bone mansions around here with that name.”

“We’re a long way from San Francisco.” Her pale blue eyes roamed over the overgrown grass of the old burial yard. “How did the talisman end up in Virginia?”

“After those five men tried to open the dimensional door for the aliens—who turned out to be demons—they all had mental breaks. Our guy was brought back here to his hometown. As far as we know, they put the necklace in his coffin when he died.”

“Lovely.” Nell shrugged. “Well, let’s get started. The sooner we get this, the sooner we can get out of here.” She glanced over her shoulder. “There’s . . . unrest here.”

“No shit,” I muttered under my breath. Nell didn’t pay attention to me; she’d already closed her eyes and lifted her hands. I knew the hands were more for her own focus than anything else, as all the power came from her mind.

At first, nothing happened beyond the wind picking up a little. And then there was a low groaning, and ever so slowly, the huge doors began to scrape and creak open. As soon as they did, the odor of decay poured out, making me gag.

Nell wasn’t affected at all. She dropped her hands back to her sides and climbed the steps, leaving me to follow behind her.

“Rafe, do you have your flashlight? I don’t think it’s likely that there’ll be electric lighting in here.”

“Got it.” I clicked on the button and pointed the light into the pitch black of the burial chamber. Shelves lined both sides, and caskets had been slid onto each one. I hesitated, not sure which would be the most likely to be the one we needed, but Nell moved unerringly to the top coffin on the right.

“This one? You sure?”

She cast me a wry look. “We’ve got to start somewhere, and I think it’s most likely to be one of the more recent ones, which means a top shelf. If you let me climb on your shoulders, I should be able to open it up and see inside.”

I obliged, kneeling so that she could toss one jean-covered leg over my neck. Rising, I grasped her thighs, eliciting a soft hiss from Nell when my fingers strayed too far off course. Well, who could blame a guy for taking advantage of his hot girlfriend in this position?

“Almost got it open.” She sounded strained and breathless, and I was just opening my mouth to tease her about that when a small noise behind us made me freeze. An icy-cold hand closed around my arm, and a low voice growled near my ear, sending a chill of dread down my spine.

“What the hell do you think you’re doing with my coffin?”

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Mistletoe Madness Blog Event Wrap Up :-)

Posted December 21, 2015 By Jennifer

Hello all!!

It’s been a fun two weeks, with holiday inspired guest posts from some great authors. Today, we’re wrapping things up with a bit of a recap… some handy links to check out anything you may have missed, and a NEW giveaway for this week!

I want to thank each of the authors who participated, and Jen (from That’s What I’m Talking About) for inviting myself, and Liza (from Blogging by Liza) to play along this year. I’ve had a blast, and I hope you all have, too.

So… here are ALL the posts from the Mistletoe Madness Blog Event. Some have giveaways associated with them, but all share something interesting, funny, or useful for the holiday.


Books Make Me Happy Blogging By Liza That’s What I’m
Talking About
Paige Tyler Kelsey Browning Alexandra Ivy
Deborah Blake Jennifer Estep Piper Drake
Clay & Susan Griffith Kimberly Lang Christine Allen-Riley
Aria Kane Carly Phillips Lauren Smith
Hildie McQueen Silver James Cat Johnson
Sara Humphreys Sorcha Mowbray
Terry Spear Shannon Stacey Suzanne Johnson
Eric R Asher Tigris Eden Samantha Kane
A C Arthur Erika Wilde Jessica Jarman
Mandie Stevens Marquita Valentine Stephanie Julian
Molly Harper Tracy March Katie Reus
Lia Davis

And that NEW giveaway I mentioned?? The lovely, talented, and always fabulous Dakota Cassidy wasn’t able to squeeze a post for us into her deadline schedule, but she’s graciously offered books 1-3 of her Paris, Texas Romance series (ebooks) to one of our readers! So, for a chance to win, share one (or more) of the posts linked above on any of your social media platforms. Leave me a comment below letting me know what you though of the post, and a link to where you shared it.


That’s it! Easy peasy! This giveaway, along with all of the others posted here during Mistletoe Madness (check dates on giveaways from the other two blogsites), runs through midnight on December 24th. Winners will be chosen for all giveaways, and notified via email, on December 28th.

Again, thank you all for following along, and I hope everyone who is celebrating has a wonderful holiday.

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Mistletoe Madness Blog Event featuring Molly Harper

Posted December 18, 2015 By Jennifer

Welcome to the Mistletoe Madness Blog Event!! I’ve teamed up with That’s What I’m Talking About and Blogging By Liza to bring you some fun holiday posts from a whole slew of awesome authors.


It’s is a two week event where authors with 2015 winter releases (November 2015 — January 2016) will take over our blogs with guest posts written from one of their character’s POV with a holiday theme (Christmas, Hanukkah, Festivus, New Years, etc.). There will be exclusive bonus scenes, recipes, top 10 lists… all manor of shenanigan is possible. Some authors are including giveaways, too, so be sure to check out each days’ posts! You can check out the full schedule on the Kickoff Post.

Today’s author has a history of giving us awesome books to read for the holidays! Molly Harper‘s FANGS FOR THE MEMORIES was released a few weeks ago (November 2nd). And today, she’s reviving a recipe first shared in last year’s holiday release, I’M DREAMING OF AN UNDEAD CHRISTMAS!



Aunt Linda’s “Un-Vegetable” Green Beans

  • 1 stick butter
  • 1 tbsp garlic powder
  • Six strips of thick-cut bacon
  • 1 cup light brown sugar
  • 1 gallon canned cut green beans

Because if you left nutritional value in the vegetable, it wouldn’t be southern!

This is a great holiday side because you can fix it early in the day and let it simmer for several hours while you cook other dishes. The original recipe came from the McCracken County Schools Food Services Department, and then went through several experimental tweakings by various family members before we arrived at this version.

Chop bacon in to inch-long sections. In a large stainless steel pot, brown the bacon, leave the bacon and grease in the pot. Add green beans, garlic powder, butter and brown sugar. Bring mixture to a boil, then reduce heat to low simmer and cover. Simmer for two to three hours. The longer it simmers, the more the flavors soak into the beans.

The green beans will in no way resemble a vegetable by the time they’re served. But they are DELICIOUS.

More of Molly’s recipes can be found on her web site at


                                                     9781476784540-193x300   Fangs-for-the-Memories-2-193x300

Here’s a wee snippet of the new Half Moon Hollow novella, FANGS FOR THE MEMORIES

Thanks to Molly for sharing her recipe. Now… how many of YOU have fun, a bit out of the normal fare, holiday recipes? What do you get asked to bring at all the holiday gatherings? 

After you’ve share a bit… be sure to head over for the last day of posts from the other Mistletoe Madness blogs…

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