Tuesday, March 24, 2015

It's release day for Witch's Moonstone Locket: A Coon Hollow Coven Tale, a #PNR by Marsha A. Moore

The day has finally come for me to share this new series! I've been writing this one in my mind for several years. It's set in southern Indiana, south of Bloomington, where I spent my favorite childhood years surrounded by the love of a big family. The book is rich with a warm Hoosier down-home feel.
Genre: New adult Paranormal romance
Twenty-three-year-old Jancie Sadler was out of the room when her mother died, and her heart still longs for their lost goodbye. Aching to ease her sorrow, Aunt Starla gives Jancie a diary that changes her entire life. In entries from the 1930s, her great grandmother revealed how she coped with her own painful loss by seeking out a witch from nearby Coon Hollow Coven. The witch wore the griever’s moonstone locket, which allowed whoever could unlock its enchantment to talk with the dead. 
Determined to find that locket, Jancie goes to the coven’s annual carnival held in her small southern Indiana town of Bentbone. This opposes her father’s strict rule: stay away from witches. But she’s an adult now and can make her own decisions. She meets Rowe McCoy, the kind and handsome witch who wears the moonstone. He agrees to let her try to open the locket, but they’re opposed by High Priestess Adara and her jealous desire to possess him. Desperate for closure with her mother, Jancie persists and cannot turn away from a perilous path filled with magic, romance, and danger.  

Here's the Goodreads link for you to add the book to your TBR list. https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/24807853-witch-s-moonstone-locket

For special book contests and news about my upcoming releases, sign up for my newsletter using this link: http://bit.ly/MarshaAMooreNewsletter

from Chapter One: Great Aunt Starla’s Cornbread

Warm rain mixed with Jancie’s tears, and she rose to stand beside her mother’s grave. She bent at the waist and her fingers followed the arc of her mother’s name—Faye Sadler—in the headstone. From numerous visits, she knew the unyielding shape well. The word goodbye stuck in her throat. She’d said it aloud many times since her mother died six months ago, only to have the cemetery’s vast silence swallow her farewells. Rain beaded on the polished granite. Her hand, bearing her mother’s silver ring, slid down the stone and fell to her side.

If only she could’ve said goodbye to her mother before she died. After years of caring for her mom while she suffered with cancer, Jancie had missed the final parting moment while getting a quick bite of dinner. The pain still cut like a knife in her gut.

On foot, she retraced the too-familiar path toward her work at the Federal Bank. Although she’d landed a job as manager at the largest of the three banks in the small town of Bentbone, the position was a dead end. Within the first six months, she’d mastered all the necessary skills. Now, after a year, only the paycheck kept her there.

Jancie turned onto Maple Street. As usual, wind swept up the corridor, between old shade trees protecting houses, and met her at the top of the tall hill. September rain pelted her face and battled the Indian summer noontime temperatures. She zipped the rain parka to keep her dress dry, pulled on the strings of the hood, and corralled strands of ginger-colored hair that whipped into her eyes. She gazed farther into the valley, where the view spanned almost a mile out to the edge of town. Usually, farmers moved tractors across the road or boys raced skateboards and bikes down Maple Street’s long slope.

Today, on the deserted acreage just east of Bentbone, people moving in and out through a gate of the tall wooden fence breathed life into the rundown carnival. Surprised, Jancie crossed the street for a better view. She’d lost track of life around her since Mom passed. The coming Labor Day weekend in Bentbone meant the valley coven’s yearly carnival. She and her girlfriends always looked forward to the cute guys, fair food, and amazing magical rides and decorations, even if her father didn’t approve of witches or magic. The residents of the sleepy town awoke to welcome a host of tourists wanting to see the spectacle created by the witches of Coon Hollow Coven.

Somehow, Jancie had forgotten the big event this year. Last year, she didn’t go since Mom was so sick and couldn’t be left. Jancie sighed and turned onto the main street toward the bank. She’d lost so much since her mother passed. Really, since the diagnosis of cancer.

At that time, four years ago, Jancie withdrew as a sophomore from Hanover College, a select, private school in southern Indiana near the Kentucky border—too far away. Instead, she returned to stay with her mother and commuted to Indiana University. Balancing hours with the home health care nurse, Jancie had few choices of career paths. Not that it mattered, since her remarried father expected her to find a job in Bentbone and continue taking care of her mother. Despite the sacrifices, Jancie loved her mother, who’d always managed money for a few special things for Jancie—a new bike, birthday parties, prom dresses—even though their income was tight. Mom had paid for her tuition and listened to every new and exciting college experience.

Jancie smiled at the memory of Mom’s twinkling brown eyes, that mirrored her own, when she asked about what happened during the day’s classes: if Jancie liked the professor; if she’d made new friends.

When she rounded the last corner, she returned to her work day. At the bleak, limestone bank building, reality hit. Jancie pulled against the heavy glass door, and a gust swept her inside. She peeled off the drenched jacket and hung it on the coat rack of her small, plain office.

Through the afternoon’s doldrums, punctuated by only a handful of customers, her mind wandered to the carnival. She’d gone dozens of times before and loved it. But since Mom passed, nothing seemed fun anymore, like she couldn’t connect with herself and had forgotten how to have a good time. She organized a stack of notes, anything to put the concern out of her mind.

After work, Jancie drove her old blue Camry the five miles to the other end of town where she lived in her mother’s white frame house, the home where she grew up, now hers. Glad to own her own place, unlike her friends who rented, she’d made a few easy changes. In the living room, a new brown leather couch with a matching chair and ottoman. She replaced the bedroom furniture with a new oak suite for herself in what used to be her mother’s room. With pay saved from the bank, Jancie could remodel or build on, but she didn’t know what she wanted yet. Her great aunt Starla had told her to just wait and hold onto her money; she’d know soon enough.

Pouring rain soaked the hem of her dress as she darted between the garage shed and back stoop of the small ranch house.

Glad she’d chosen to get her run in this morning before work, she changed into cozy sweats, pulled the long part of her tapered hair into a ponytail, and headed for the kitchen.

Her phone alerted her of a text, and she read the message from her friend Rachelle, always the social director of their group: R we going to the carnival?

Jancie typed a response. I guess. R Lizbeth and Willow going?

Yep whole gang. What day?

Don’t know yet. Get back to u. Jancie worried she’d spoil their fun. Even though they’d all been her best friends since high school and would understand her moodiness, she didn’t want to ruin one of the best times of the year for them. Since Mom passed, they’d taken her out to movies and shopping in Bloomington, but this was different. Could it ever match up to the fun of all the times before? “I don’t know if I’m up to that,” she said into open door of the old Kenmore refrigerator while rummaging for leftovers of fried chicken and corn.

The meal satisfied and made her thankful she’d learned how to cook during those years with Mom. Not enough dishes to bother with the dishwasher, one of the modern upgrades to the original kitchen, Jancie washed the dishes by hand and then called Starla. When she answered, Jancie asked, “Can I come over tonight? There’s something I’m needing your opinion on.”

“Why sure, Jancie. C’mon over,” the eighty-five-year-old replied with her usual warm drawl. “Are you wantin’ dinner? I made me some soup beans with a big hambone just butchered from Bob’s hog. My neighbor Ellie came over and had some. She said they were the best she’s eaten.”

Jancie glanced at the soggy rain parka and opted for an umbrella instead. “No, I just ate. Be right over.” Keys and purse in hand, she hung up and darted for the shed.

Five minutes later, she turned onto the drive of the eldercare apartments and parked under the steel awning where Starla gave her a whole arm wave from her picture window. Jancie made her way to number twelve on the first floor.

The door opened, and Starla engulfed Jancie in a bear hug, pulling her into the pillow of a large, sagging bosom. Starla smelled of her signature scent—rosewater and liniment.

Jancie had loved her great aunt’s hugs as long as she could remember. Stress and worry melted away, and she hugged back. Her arm grazed Starla’s white curls along the collar of her blue knit top embroidered with white stars—her great aunt’s favorite emblem.

“It’s so good to see you. Come sit a spell, while I get us some iced tea.” Starla pulled away and gestured to the microsuede couch decorated with three crocheted afghans in a rainbow of colors. “I thought we were done with this hot weather, but not quite yet. That rain today’s been a gully washer but didn’t cool things off much.” The large-boned woman scuffed her pink-house-slippered feet toward the kitchen. “Would you rather have pound cake from the IGA or homemade cornbread?”

Jancie laughed and followed her into the kitchen. She wouldn’t get through the visit without eating. “You’re just fishin’ for a compliment. You know your homemade cornbread is better.”

Starla arranged plates with thick slices of warm cornbread and big pats of butter on top, while Jancie transferred the refreshments to the aluminum dinette table.

“With your hair pulled back like that, you’re a dead ringer for your Ma. So pretty with that same sweetheart-shaped face.” Starla folded herself onto a chair beside Jancie. “You look to be getting on well…considering what all you’ve been through.”

“I’m doing okay,” Jancie said through a mouthful of the moist cornbread. She washed it down with a swallow of brisk tea that tasted fresh-brewed. “But sometimes, lots of times, I feel lost, like I can’t move on.” She ran a hand across her forehead. “I didn’t get to say goodbye. I spent time with her through all those years, and it shouldn’t matter, but it does every time I visit her grave and most every night in my dreams.”

“Oh, honey. I know it hurts.” Starla smoothed Jancie’s ponytail down the middle of her back and spoke with a voice so slow and warm, it felt like a handmade quilt wrapping around her.  “You spent all that time and gave so much. Just like when I cared for my husband some twenty years back. I know. I never got the chance to tell Harry goodbye either. Time will heal all hurts.”

Jancie looked down at the marbleized tabletop to hide her teary eyes. “I don’t think I’m ever going to heal, Aunt Starla. I don’t know if I can ever move on.”

“There is one thing you can try. I’d have done it, if I’d have known before decades softened my aching heart. Way back, I was desperate like you.”

Jancie looked into Starla’s blue-gray eyes, set deep inside wrinkled lids.

Her aunt leaned closer. “Not many know about this,” she whispered as if someone outside the apartment door might hear. “There’s an old story about how a member of the Coon Hollow Coven, one who’s recently lost a loved one, is made the teller of the moonstone tale.”

Jancie rolled her eyes. “That’s just a silly story, one of lots that Mom and Dad told to scare me when I was little, so I’d stay away from the coven. When the moonstone locket opens at the end of the tale, you’ll get your wish but also be cursed.”

“Oh no.” Starla shook her head and pushed away from the table. “Let me get Aunt Maggie’s old diary. I got this in a box of old family things when Cousin Dorothy passed.” She lumbered to her spare bedroom and returned with a worn, black-leather volume only a little larger than her wide palm. Once seated, she thumbed through the yellowed pages. “Here.” She pointed a finger and placed the book between them.
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy and fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous, epic fantasy romance. Or enjoy a magical realism tale of a haunted yoga studio with SHADOWS OF SERENITY. For a FREE ebook sample of her writing, read her historic fantasy short story, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

Sex and the Single Witch ~guest post by Genevieve Jack, author of Mother May I *contest

I'm pleased to bring my readers a visit with guest author Genevieve Jack. She's sharing about her recent New Adult Paranormal Romance release, Mother May I. Be sure to check out her book and also her great contest at the bottom of this post.


Hi everyone! I’m Genevieve Jack. *waves*  Happy to be visiting Marsha today as part of the Mother May I book tour, Knight Games book 4. For my guest post, I’m going there… I’m talkin’ about sex, baby. Yes, I am!

Sex and the Single Witch

“Your books are HOT!”
“Damn, I love your books but they are RACY.”
“Why does there have to be so much SEX?”
“Never, EVER take out the sex. It’s great!”

I get asked about the sexual content in the Knight Games series on a regular basis. Readers tend to either love or hate the explicit nature of the books, and I get plenty of email expressing peoples’ opinions both ways. The Knight Games books have an element of humor and are sometimes purposely campy, but that doesn’t mean serious thought didn’t go into their creation. So I’d like to pull back the curtain just a tad and explain what drove me to include the sexual scenes in the novels and why the story needs all the boom-boom.

First, a primer for those who haven’t read the books. In The Ghost and the Graveyard, a young woman discovers she is a reincarnated witch. In order to take back her complete witchy power, she must make love to her caretaker, a man who holds an immortal piece of her soul between lifetimes. Readers come to learn that a previous incarnation of the witch sacrificed her own immortality to make the caretaker what he is, in order to bind the two together for eternity.

Paranormal literature is filled with themes about sex and death. Milton’s Paradise Lostportrays sex as the death of innocent love, an act of separation from God that tosses Adam and Eve from the Garden of Eden. Sex brings death.Victorian society even called sex the “little death. InBram Stoker’s Dracula, Dracula is imbued with sexual power. Don’t look him in the eye; he’ll draw you in! Those who give into Dracula’s allureare cursed with vampirism—poor Lucy.In this context, the woman is the preyed upon victim of sex and giving into her desires was a travesty. But then, in the past, sex was often linked with reproduction and death was often portrayed as the price of procreation. One cannot both be immortal and reproduce.

When I set out to write the Knight Games, I wanted to explore the other side of sex in a paranormal romance. Unlike the Victorians, modern society recognizes an element of magic with regard tosex. It isn’t always a bad thing and is as much about life as it is about death. In fact, the right coupling can enhance vitality, healing, and intimacy among the parties. Women can  even initiate and enjoy sex. In my fictional world, Grateful sacrifices her immortality in order for her human caretaker to live forever.Love spans lifetimes, heals wounds, and brings power to the participants through sex. It’s a twist on the sex/death theme. She dies to make him immortal. He’s immortal so that she can live again.

Grateful’s previous sexual experiences have ended in disaster, and when we meet Grateful in book 1, she’s down on herself over the failure of her past relationships. All sex isn’t good or healing in this fictional world, and Grateful has a lot to learn about herself before she can be a full-fledged, sword wielding. ass-kicker. She’s a flawed character, who has made poor choices in the past (and makes a few more as the story progresses). Luckily, Grateful’s relationship with Rick is different. From the very beginning, their meeting kicks off a period of growth and self-acceptance that comes to a climax (ßsee what I did there) in Mother May I, the final installment.  The story isn’t about sex per se, but sex , as a representation of intimacy and connection, plays an inextricable role in their relationship and her personal growth. Sex brings life. Sex brings connection. Sex heals.

In this paranormal romance, Grateful’s experiences are exaggerated and she doesn’t take herself too seriously. But I think mostadult women can relate to this fictional world in the same way they might relate to Sex in the City or Buffy the Vampire Slayer. For others, it’s simply a fast and fun beach read. Either way, I hope this post gives the slightest bit of insight into the reason for those steamy, blush-inducing pages.

That’s all for now! Happy Reading!

Mother May I
Knight Games
Book 4
Genevieve Jack

Genre: New Adult Paranormal Romance, Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Carpe Luna Publishing
Date of Publication: March 16, 2015
ISBN: 978-1-940675-17-6
Number of pages: 300
Word Count: 65,000
Cover Artist: Steven Novak

Book Description:

Love will launch the mother of all battles.

Grateful Knight is one stressed out witch. Not only has she failed to restore her caretaker, Rick, from an evil witch’s mind-control spell, but the loss he endured extends well beyond his memory. To make matters worse, compensating for his absence could cost her the job she loves and the strength she needs.

When a new supernatural threat leaves Grateful for dead, a vampire ally saves her life but at a price. Her assailant's calling card makes it clear she’s marked for death, possibly by her goddess mother. With the help of her half-sister Polina, can Grateful gain the power she needs to win Rick back and beat the goddess at her own game?

Available at Amazon   iBooks   Kobo  Smashwords

Power is a pain in the ass. People think they want it, they’ll kill themselves to get it, but in the end, it’s nothing but trouble. Take Tabetha’s power; I was ringing with it. As I patrolled the street in Salem I’d seen in the mirror, the geraniums in the window boxes overhead stretched their necks in my direction. Don’t get me started on the roses in my living room. I’d become the freaking Jolly Green Giant of witchdom. The summer night veritably buzzed around me as the elements of wind and wood tuned in to my presence.
So much power and so much responsibility. I hadn’t asked for it, and I sure as hell didn’t want it. But here I was.
“What exactly are we looking for?” Poe, my raven familiar, asked from my shoulder.
“Not sure. I couldn’t tell from the mirror.”
“What do you mean you couldn’t tell? And, more importantly, why on earth are we here if you don’t know what we are looking for?”
“There’s an evil presence here. We saw a woman die. She fell twitching to the street. I couldn’t see the perpetrator for some reason. Maybe she was poisoned, or it’s some sort of poltergeist or invisible demon. All I know for sure is a supernatural being means to do a human harm, and it’s our job to stop them.” Again I wondered if the deficiency of vision was due to Rick’s presence. I shook my head, not wanting it to be true. For all I knew, the enchanted mirror might be on the fritz.
“Mmm. It’s not the mirror, and I doubt it’s Rick,” Poe said, doing that intuitive thing he did that made me feel like he was in my head. “If you ask me, without Rick’s blood and, er, affections, your magic is weakening.”
“Don’t be ridiculous. I’m more powerful than ever. I can feel every blade of grass from here to Vermont.”
“Yes, you have more power, but a more sizable engine requires a more sizable battery. You, Witcherella, are running on empty. The mirror knows and is answering in kind.”
“Hmph.” I hadn’t considered this possibility, but Poe was probably right. It wasn’t Rick’s presence making the mirror go wonky; it was his absence. Three weeks had passed since I last enjoyed Rick’s blood and as far as physical contact, that enjoyment ended at handholding. Every time I tried to get close to him, it was the fishing pole all over again. A distraction. An evasion. “I want Rick to come around on his terms. This is all new to him. He doesn’t remember anything, especially not me. I was there, not so long ago, when I first met Rick and I didn’t remember who I was. I need to be gentle with him.”
“Sex can be gentle. Have I mentioned you’re weakening?”
I groaned at his lack of subtlety. “It’s not just about blood and sex,” I murmured. “He either can’t or won’t shift or do magic of any kind. The answer is to jog his memory. I bought him a laptop today and showed him some cat videos.”
“Cat videos?” Poe forced a gag.
I spread my hands. “I want him to learn about the modern world. LOL cats are the gateway drug. Oh, and that panda that sneezes. I love that one.”
“Is he still hunting?”
“And fishing. Sometimes he stares blankly out the window,” I said honestly. “Have you ever seen squirrel stew, Poe? It ain’t pretty.”
“Sounds delicious.” Poe smacked his beak.
“I try to be charming, but it feels forced.” I pressed a finger into my chin. “It is forced. We are two strangers, and I’m trying to force him to fall in love with me like a creeper. He probably wishes the entire thing was a bad dream. Plus, I think he might be depressed.”
“Ya think? He falls asleep in 1698 and wakes up in 2015, having witnessed his fiancé burned at the stake and his entire community, including his parents, struck down by the cursed spellbook used to bind her. Of all the things Rick could be, depressed is the most logical.”
“I don’t know how to help him remember. I need him, Poe. If you’re right about the mirror and my magic is waning, things are going to go downhill fast.”
“Perhaps if you dressed a bit more comely?”
I looked down at my black T-shirt, jeans, and boots. My outfit was enchanted to remain comfortable in any weather and to bend and stretch to the demands of my job. I loved it. “What’s wrong with this?”
“You have a skull and crossbones on your chest.”
“It’s fun. It says dangerous, yet fashionably casual.”
“It says weird goth girlwith emotional problems.”
“You’d have emotional problems too if your fiancé left you at the altar and then forgot who you were. This is who I am.” I stretched my arms to the sides. “Grateful Knight. Love me or leave me.”
Poe cleared his throat. “Only problem is, if Rick doesn’t love you and leaves you, it could mean your death. This is serious. If you can’t bring back Rick’s memories, at least try to make him want you. Tell him you need blood and sex, pronto. Love can happen at its own pace.”
Love. I hoped it could happen at all. Sometimes Rick treated me like his captor, like he didn’t quite trust me. I still loved him, even after he left me at the altar and ended up drugged in Tabetha’s bed. Those are hard things to forgive, but I’d let them go. I loved Rick from a deep, forever place in my soul. A place that couldn’t be reached by all the nastiness Tabetha had doled out before I tore her apart.
I rolled my eyes. Poe’s concern for my well-being had as much to do with his existence being tied to mine as for my safety. I got it. I did. I couldn’t go on much longer without Rick. But I also couldn’t lose him. If I pushed him too hard, I might drive him away.
“What was that?” I said, perking my ears.
“You didn’t hear that? It was a twanging sound. Very faint. Like a guitar string being strung.”
“Crap, Grateful. Move!”

About the Author:

Genevieve Jack is a former registered nurse turned author of weird, witty, and wicked-hot paranormal romance. She grew up in a suburb of Chicago and attended a high school rumored to be haunted. There she developed a love for old cemeteries and ghost tours. Today, she specializes in original, cross-genre stories with surprising twists. She lives in Illinois with her husband, two children, and a Brittany spaniel named Riptide, who holds down her feet while she writes.

Tour giveaway:

1prize pack consisting of:

Genevieve Jack Book Bag
Signed set of paperbacks, Books 1-3 only
It’s Good to be the Queen T-shirt (choice of medium or large only)
$25 iTunes or Amazon gift card (Winner’s Choice)

Open to US Shipping
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy and fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous, epic fantasy romance. Or enjoy a magical realism tale of a haunted yoga studio with SHADOWS OF SERENITY. For a FREE ebook sample of her writing, read her historic fantasy short story, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

The Power of Positivity ~guest post by Christine Sutton, author of urban paranormal fantasy Let Me In

I'm very happy to have author Christine Sutton as my guest today. She's sharing about the power of positive interactions between authors, readers, and reviewers. I agree that simple respect and courtesy go a long way not only in these relationships but in all facets of life. Be sure to check out Christine wise advice and don't miss her new release, Let Me In, Burkheart Witch Saga Book 2.

The Power of Positivity
by Christine Sutton

It seems that everywhere you turn on the internet these days, there is an independent author making total and complete asses out of themselves. I have seen more hissy fits, posturing and downright embarrassing behavior online than most kindergarten teachers see in a year. The biggest problem with that is the fact that many readers are unable or unwilling to distinguish between these authors and the rest of us that are simply trying to do what we love. When the average reader sees this behavior, they are loaded with images of radical fruit loops writing stories that are poorly edited, and barely cohesive. They see the dollars that they work hard for, being potentially wasted on drivel. These mental images are only perpetuated by the bad behavior of some writers. A little positivity goes a long way.

The truth is, as an author, artist, actor, singer, or whatever; you are putting yourself in the public eye and asking people to please like you or what you have done.

Here is a news flash: Not everyone will. If they do not like you, it is not because they are jealous, or because they have no taste, or they are out to get you. It is because the product that you have produced is not to their liking. Simple as that.

So, what is an author to do?

Take it. Throwing a fit, hurling insults, and telling everyone about your thousands of Twitter followers, or your hundreds of Facebook friends that all said they loved your book, does absolutely nothing to change that fact. If you receive a "bad" review, the best thing to do is read it. If there is something written in the review that you feel might be valid, and may improve your craft, take it. If the review bashes your skills and refers to you as an amateurish high school level writer, take it.

Then quietly let it go.

If you are at a stage play, and someone boos the performance, the actors do not stop what they are doing to tell the person that they "are jealous" or are "out to get them". They simply do their best to continue entertaining the rest of the patrons. Not once in my lifetime have I ever heard of an artist threatening to take his or her toys and go home because someone was being a big mean doodie-head.
By getting your panties in a bunch, you only make yourself look stupid and childish. Stomping your feet, and listing your credentials will definitely not help your cause. Ranting and raving for the whole world to see is the last thing that you want to do. Trust me.

Some may see a bad review or a criticism as a personal attack, an injustice that must be righted through blog posts or web forums. In 99.999% of cases, this is simply not true. Most often, it is simply an opinion. It may or may not be right, but that person is still entitled to it. If you don't like it…oh well. Suck it up, buttercup. That is after all only your opinion.

Now, for readers and reviewers:
Please keep in mind that what you are reading is not just a doodle that someone threw down on paper in an afternoon and then posted online in between dinner and bedtime. It is something they really worked hard on, usually.

When you read something, please take the time to leave a review. That is the nicest thing you can do for an author after buying their book. Really. Good or bad, leave a review.

If you choose to leave a bad review, please let the author and other readers know what you didn’t like. When you say something like, “This book sucked” or “It was not my kind of book” that is the equivalent of saying “meh”. It conveys your dislike or indifference, but no one knows why. Do your fellow readers a favor.

As far as the author goes, the best way for them to improve is through critique. Help them tell a better story and let them know why it wasn’t your cup of tea.

If an author descends into the ridiculous and inexcusable behavior above, just walk away. Do not engage because that author obviously has ego and personality issues and it will quickly turn into a sucking whirlpool of despair and childishness.

In the words of the famous internet sensation, Sweet Brown:
“Ain’t nobody got time for that!”


Let Me In

Burkheart Witch Saga
Book 2
Christine Sutton

Genre: Urban paranormal fantasy

Publisher: DevilDog Press, LLC
Date of Publication: November 15, 2014
Number of pages: 138

Book Description:

Kayla has returned home to find that the fairy tale continues. She finds out some facts about her family history that may be her ultimate undoing.

With the help of a coven of witches, Kayla is tasked with defeating vampires, werewolves and evil witches that threaten to destroy her happiness and her very life!

Will she get her happily ever after, or will she fall victim to the evil that courses through her veins?

This novella will take you through a whirlwind as you join Kayla on another fairy tale adventure. Previously published as Kayla Enchanted.

Available at   Amazon   BN   iTunes   Smashword


He laughed, watching the little pigs scramble to clean up the message he had left. He didn't really believe in playing with his food, but this was so much fun!
He could tell that the bitch was terrified, and he loved it. Pigs tasted so much better when they were afraid.
While the bitch pig, the pussy pig, and the little pig in a blanket slept in their bed, he had ripped that rabbit's head off with his bare hands. As he smeared the blood all over the sidewalk to leave them a message, he hadn't been able to stop himself from taking a long drink from its mutilated little body. It tasted so good that he had almost marched into the house and ate all three of them right then.
Self-control had won out. He had simply left the message, knocked over the sad little straw hut and sat in the bushes to watch them scamper around. They had rushed in when they found the message and locked up the house as if that would do any damn good at all.
He had to admit that he had not liked the look on the woman's face. As she had walked into the house, there was a look that appeared to be defiance as she scanned the yard for danger.
He would rip that smug look off along with her lips, nose and eyes. He hadn't realized that the whole time watching them, he had been digging his now extended claws into his own thigh. The blood had partially soaked through his denim jeans and began to drip onto the well-manicured grass. He released the grip on his leg and wiped his hands on the dry part of his jeans.
He knew it would heal completely before nightfall. The mixture that his blood contained was great for self-healing, and even better for speed and strength. There would be no stopping him this time. Even that little witch's magic wouldn't do the trick. He had a few 'tricks' of his own to show her. Wouldn't that little pig be surprised? 

About the Author:

Christine Sutton is the author of more than fifteen short stories, novellas and novels. While she tends to cross genres within horror, she is always passionate about scaring the hell out of you.

Her passion would have to be serial killer fiction, but she also loves ghosts, ghouls, demons and monsters of all types. Christine's work ranges from modern day fairy tales to demonic soul eaters to ghostly children that just want to play. Her writing has been called passionate, realistic, gritty, fun, enthralling and tons of other cool adjectives.

You, too can pick up some of Christine's work and come up with some cool adjectives of your own. It won't be hard. I promise.

Twitter: @csuttonauthor

Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy and fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous, epic fantasy romance. Or enjoy a magical realism tale of a haunted yoga studio with SHADOWS OF SERENITY. For a FREE ebook sample of her writing, read her historic fantasy short story, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Tea Leaf Tales: Bye Bye Birdie

One recent late winter morning I entered the kitchen and found the sink window cracked open. I closed it and scrubbed my hands along my upper arms, my breath forming tiny clouds of white mist before my face. Beginning my work-day routine, I started the coffee pot and took the bird food off the shelf. I turned to the cage and dropped the container. It hit with a smack on the cold tile and skittered in all directions.

In the cage, instead of my parakeet Murphy, I found these letters where he would normally be flitting and singing in the sun shining through the window.

I scanned the room, but today, no singing and no bird. I circled behind the cage and found pictures on the backs of the four cards; a flock of white pelicans in flight; a tropical beach lined with coconut palms; a close-up of one palm with parakeets and parrots roosting in the branches; the words “Bye bye.”

I sighed and realized I hadn’t heard Murphy singing for at least a week, and, come to think of it, hadn’t seen the sun in even longer. I gazed out of the window wishing he’d taken me along.

Tea Leaf Tales is a series of original ten-sentence short stories by Marsha A. Moore, relating to photos/scenes that resonate with her. 
Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy and fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous, epic fantasy romance. Or enjoy a magical realism tale of a haunted yoga studio with SHADOWS OF SERENITY. For a FREE ebook sample of her writing, read her historic fantasy short story, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

A Dorian Lake Playlist, of sorts…guest post by J.P. Sloan, author of The Curse Servant #contest

I'm pleased to have author J.P. Sloan return as my guest. He's sharing the playlist he used when writing his new urban fantasy release, The Curse Servant. Be sure to check out his new book and also the great contest at the end of this post.

A Dorian Lake Playlist, of sorts…

Greetings readers, writers, and whichever NSA intern was assigned to monitor my online communications (sorry about that bit with the socks-and-sandals fetish site). My name is J.P. Sloan, author of the Dark Choir series of Urban Fantasy books.

Urban Fantasy strikes a strong mood in the minds of readers. It's a genre replete with familiar settings and unfamiliar monsters. It's gritty, dark, moody at times, vicious at times. In a nutshell, it's my bag baby!

Tons of authors cobble together playlists for their main characters, entire novels, etc. I run into a smidgen of difficulty attempting to lace together a playlist the average public would find interesting or relatable. It seems my breadth of music appreciation is a narrow as a gnat's knuckle. Still, I use music to write by, as it helps to set the mood and to block out extraneous attention-sapping noises elsewhere in the house.

First off… my writing music. I tend to fire up Pandora and my station based on dark ambient pioneer Brian Williams under his recording name of Lustmord. It's a perfect blend of nail-scrapingly off-putting atonality blanketed with a heavy slathering of doom.

Speaking of atonal instrumentals… one track I consider to be basically an ongoing score for Dorian Lake and his occult dealings comes from Rob Zombie's Educated Horses albums. I have the track "100 Ways" on repeat in my head as I tap through most of Dorian's more procedural scenes.
Now for a proper playlist, borrowing largely from the handful of bands I actually listen to.

Loser - 3 Doors Down
Our Solemn Hour - Within Temptation
Vollmond - In Extremo
Slow, Love, Slow - Nightwish
Elegy - Leaves' Eyes
Death of it All - Rob Zombie
Ash - Lustmord
Never Leave - Hecq

Some fairly obscure stuff there, I'll admit. Perhaps it offers a bit of insight into my personal taste in music, which tends toward European orchestral metal and dark ambient.

Well, there you have it! If the tone of a slow, inexorable press of doom appeals to you, jog on off to snatch up The Curse Merchant and its sequel, The Curse Servant, and fire up your Spotify with a few of these tracks. Cheers!


The Curse Servant
The Dark Choir
Book 2
J.P. Sloan

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Date of Publication:  February 26, 2015
ISBN (eBook): 9781620078228
ISBN (Paperback): 9781620078235
ISBN (Hardcover): 9781620078242
ISBN (Smashwords): 9781620078259
Number of pages:  346
Word Count:  99,400
Cover Artist:  Conzpiracy Digital Arts

Book Description: 

The one person standing between Hell… and an innocent girl… is a man without a soul.

A regular life isn’t in the cards for Dorian Lake, but with his charm-crafting business invigorated, and the prospect of a serious relationship within his grasp, life is closer to normal than Dorian could ever expect. In the heat of the Baltimore mayoral campaign, Dorian has managed to balance his arrangements with Deputy Mayor Julian Bright with his search to find his lost soul. Dorian soon learns of a Netherworker, the head of a dangerous West Coast cabal, who might be able to find and return his soul. The price? Just one curse.

Sounds easy… but nothing ever is for Dorian. A dark presence arrives in the city, hell-bent on finding Dorian’s soul first. Innocents are caught in the crossfire, and Dorian finds it harder to keep his commitments to Bright. When the fight gets personal, and the entity hits too close to home, Dorian must rely on those he trusts the least to save the ones he loves. As he tests the limits of his hermetic skills to defeat this new enemy, will Dorian lose his one chance to avoid damnation?

Available at Amazon

I knew this wasn't going to be the typical meeting with Julian Bright when, instead of the usual political organ-grinders at the campaign headquarters, I found a soccer mom duct taped to a chair, foaming at the mouth. Her grunting and growling echoed off the bare sheetrock walls of Julian's office, vacant except for the three of us.
I peeked through the blinds covering the locked storefront to make sure none of volunteers were back from the morning rounds. Satisfied we were alone, I turned to Julian.
He waved his arm at the woman in a lazy circle. "So, this is why I called."
"Who is she?"
"Her name is Amy Mancuso. You know her?"
I shook my head.
"She's a volunteer. Her team was working Cold Spring by Loyola when she started swearing and spitting at the residents. By the time her team captain called me, she'd kicked someone's dog. Terrier, I think. Or one of those purse dogs."
I winced. "Remind me not to hand out yard signs for you. Jesus."
"It's not like we do background checks on volunteers. I figured she probably missed some meds or something."
"But you called me instead of the paramedics."
"Why?" I asked as I took a step toward her.
Amy's grunting halted as she straightened in her chair. Her head swiveled slowly in my direction, and her eyes sent the creeping chills up my neck.
With a nerve-rattling tone she growled, "Is that Dorian Lake I smell?"
I'd never enjoyed the sound of my own name less.
Julian turned a shoulder to me and whispered, "That's why."
I slowly approached Amy, pulling my pendulum from my jacket pocket in a slow, non-threatening motion. Last thing I needed at that moment was to send a crazy person into a panic. I assumed she was crazy. My pendulum would determine whether she was unnaturally energized or the usual cat-shaving flavor of lunatic.
Her eyes were dilated; her mouth twisted into the most unsettling smile one could imagine on the face of an otherwise average woman.
"Have we met?"
"Poor little Dorian lost his soul."
Okay, this was probably a legitimate problem.
I dangled the pendulum in front of Amy. The little nugget of copper spun from the end of its chain in a perfectly Newtonian fashion. Nothing pulled it contrary to the laws of Nature. I couldn't even feel a tug on the chain.
She continued, "Lost his soul, he lost his soul. Dropped it down a rabbit hole."
"I suppose you think you're being clever?"
"Is he doomed or is he dead? Will he damn your soul instead?"
This conversation had lost all of its charm.
"Who am I talking to?"
She sucked in a huge gulp of air and craned her neck at a painful angle toward the ceiling. A sick squealing noise leaked from her lips as her arms trembled. When she finally released her breath and sank back down into her chair, she simply chuckled.
"We're going to find it, you know. And when we do, we're going to eat it."
I leaned in as close as I dared and whispered, "If you think I'm afraid of you, then you need to know something. I'm not impressed."
"It won't be long now."
"Did someone send you, or is this just a courtesy call?"
She smirked. "We're going to enjoy this."
I was knitting together a clever response when a loud rip of tape crackled through the room. Her hand slammed up underneath my jaw, fingers clamping around my throat. My head filled with blood, and I tried to cough through the gag reflex. The harder I beat on her hand to let go, the wider that creepy smile got.

About the Author:

J.P. Sloan is a speculative fiction author ... primarily of urban fantasy, horror and several shades between. His writing explores the strangeness in that which is familiar, at times stretching the limits of the human experience, or only hinting at the monsters lurking under your bed.

A Louisiana native, Sloan relocated to the vineyards and cow pastures of Central Maryland after Hurricane Katrina, where he lives with his wife and son. During the day he commutes to the city of Baltimore, a setting which inspires much of his writing.

In his spare time, Sloan enjoys wine-making and homebrewing, and is a certified beer judge.

Web page: www.jp-sloan.com
Twitter: @J_P_Sloan

Tour giveaway 

5 Digital copies of The Curse Merchant, Book 1 of the Dark Choir series

Marsha A. Moore is a writer of fantasy and fantasy romance. The magic of art and nature spark life into her writing. Read her ENCHANTED BOOKSTORE LEGENDS for adventurous, epic fantasy romance. Or enjoy a magical realism tale of a haunted yoga studio with SHADOWS OF SERENITY. For a FREE ebook sample of her writing, read her historic fantasy short story, LE CIRQUE DE MAGIE, available at Amazon and Smashwords.