Tuesday, September 19, 2017

Rise of the Nephilim A Blackmoore Prequel

 



Rise of the Nephilim
A Blackmoore Prequel
Marcus James

Genre: Erotic PNR/Gothic Horror

Publisher: Candiano Books

Date of Publication: 07/24/2017

ISBN:1545039895
ASIN: B073q4gb9w

Number of pages: 201

Word Count: 61,272

Cover Artist: Ransom Graphics

Tagline: Sex, witchcraft, and rock and roll on the Sunset Strip

Book Description:

LOS ANGELES, summer of 1987.

Kathryn Blackmoore, the 26 year old heir to Blackmoore World Corp. and the future matriarch of the Blackmoore dynasty of witches has fled the haunted old monied neighborhood of South Hill in Bellingham, Washington looking to trade in a century of rumors, superstition, and her own heartache  for the sun, sex, and music of the Sunset Strip.

Taking up residence in the famed and decaying Chateau Marmont hotel, Kathryn quickly finds herself in an erotic and thrilling journey into the world of Niiq, Arish, and Kuri; members of the band Nephilim, who seem to have the women of the Strip enthralled by their dark and sensuous sound. When bodies begin to turn up all over town and a mysterious and haunting figure fixates on Kathryn, she quickly learns that you can never escape your destiny.

RISE OF THE NEPHILIM is the first of a two part erotic paranormal romance/thriller revealing the beginnings of one of the most captivating characters in The Blackmoore Legacy series. It is a standalone prequel of eroticism, romance, and suspense.



Excerpt:

The library was quiet with the exception of the short and humming-to-herself library assistant stacking the books left out or returned through-out the day. The girl was a junior; she was sure of it. She had never talked to her; they had never orbited the same solar system in the day-to-day endless galaxy of Mariner High School, but that didn’t matter.
She could still reach inside the girl’s mind whenever she wanted to, and explore everything she kept hidden from the rest of the world. She could travel the fleshy terrain of the girl’s brain and see her hopes and dreams, her fears, her loves, and her longings.
She was able to pick out that her name was Tammy. She was a studious girl with dirty blonde curls that hung to her breasts, her skin milk-white and soft, her face delicate and scattered with a dusting of freckles across the bridge of her small nose. Her brown eyes were golden and looked over the spine of each book, scanning their titles and looking up to each aisle to see where they belonged.
Kathryn Blackmoore stood from the table where she had been discussing after graduation party plans with her best friend Lila Sifuentes and with her boyfriend Sheffield Burges, excited to finally walk and receive their diplomas and be done with this place forever.
She was tall – five feet and nine inches. Her lean body was dressed in a pink-and-white pin-striped collared shirt, the sleeves rolled up to her elbows, the collar popped and buttoned only to her full breasts.
A three-tiered pearl necklace glistened in the bright white fluorescents overhead, and her thick shoulder-length feathered mane was a rich auburn that seemed to glow around her like a halo.
She gathered her books and began to make her way to the doors to begin the walk through campus back to her home. Her long legs were encased in a khaki, knee-length Ralph Lauren skirt with a slit up the left thigh and a tasseled and thin brown leather belt was fastened loosely around her waist and rested on her hipbones. Kathryn looked at her watch; it was 9:00 p.m. They had been put in charge of the after-party by the entire student body – at least by the Golden Gods, as the popular kids were called – and it was their job to deliver.
Somehow by some cruel joke perpetrated by the universe, Kathryn had somehow become one of them. That was a first for her family, and it was no surprise to her that this ascension in the school’s hierarchy was achieved by her relationship with Sheffield. He was one of the kindest and most popular guys at their elitist school, and was a rock star on the Soccer field. It was the school’s claim to greatness and claim to fame. Other schools had football, but Mariner was known throughout the country for their school’s soccer team. In the eighteen years of its existence – as long she had been alive – Mariner was a crowning achievement and had only ever lost three games. Families from the country over, who dreamed of soccer field futures for their children chose Mariner – a public high school – over the best sports-driven private schools.
Mariner was a dynasty of Bellingham Washington, and the rite of passage for the exclusive children of South Hill, with their centuries-old Victorian, Tudor, Colonial, and Craftsman mansions that stood on large plots of land between treacherous and almost guard-like evergreens on every street, and sidewalks lined with monstrous oaks and maples. Homes filled with inhabitants of both the living and the dead.
Then there werethe Edgemoore kids. Nouveau riche. Most of them were native Californians whose parents moved here in a great rush for cheap land when California’s real estate began to climb higher and higher, and for the chance to get their kid on the Mariner soccer team.
Here, on the cliffs on the other side of Bellingham Bay, and staring back at the old genteel mansions, were the castle-like and gaudy estates of Edgemoore.
These kids had no respect for the history that still stood in the city, and the almost haunted charm of Fairhaven, that filled the space along the water between these two wealthy neighborhoods. Fairhaven was the last town to merge with the county of Whatcom in 1903, finally forming the greater city of Bellingham. For the city, and everyone in it, there was a difference between the South Hill neighborhood and the rest of Bellingham itself, as if it were still its own town.
Connecting the south to the north of Bellingham was the campus of Fairhaven University, which in the 1890s had been the Washington State Normal School. Fairhaven University was carved through the trees and made up of tall, red-orange brick buildings and concrete bridges overpaved pathways in between the green. The city was not unlike Bram Stoker’s description of Transylvania: a place wild and filled with spirits, and fiercer things that lived in the mouth of the Carpathian Mountains that surrounded it.
The city was surrounded by cliffs and an endless army of evergreens.
Interstate 5 snaked through all of this above the city, so that every exit dipped down into it. Kathryn had grown up here, had been born here, into South Hill’s superstition and paranoia and never-ending fears.
South Hill was filled with the descendants of the founding families, and the majority had worshiped at The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.
The white wood church with its gorgeous and detailed mammoth windows of stained glass was crowned with a single black-slated roof and spire.
The first time Kathryn had ever used her witchcraft against another was the priest who had tried to take advantage of her when she was twelve. It had felt invigorating to watch his body convulse and the blood begin to slip out of his mouth, eyes, and nose – even his ears.
When he had hit the floor, his brain fried, she had screamed and run out of the office as soon as one of the nuns and another priest – Father
Malady – opened the door, covering her tear-stained face.
It didn’t help anything when she told them what he had been attempting to do when the aneurism hit. She could hear the headmaster’s thoughts, as well as the two nuns and Father Malady, who had sat with his arms folded, his angular and almost rat-like face with his beady green eyes looking at her with a smug grin. They knew she had somehow caused it. She was a Blackmoore, after all; she was a witch and she had used her charms to seduce the priest. To bewitch him and befuddle him and make him lose all of his sense and self-control. She had made him weak on purpose so that she could kill him – to sacrifice him to Satan and make another hit in their diabolical war with the Church.
She had said nothing. She wanted to leave and go to Fairhaven Middle School. She was in her last year of junior high and she didn’t
want to be in this place any longer, with ruler hits and other obscene punishments. They were more than happy to get her out. Her father,
Trevor Mayland, had been the one to insist she go to Catholic School.
He feared the Blackmoore name as much as anyone else, regardless of the fact that he had married her mother, Annaline Blackmoore in 1961.
He had loved her so much that he had wanted to save Annaline from what he saw as the Blackmoore curse. He thought that she would be far from the devil’s reach if he could marry her and make an honest woman out of her. A God-fearing woman who would go to mass every
Sunday and keep far from her family’s other practice, aside from Blackmoore World Corp. – a multi-billion-dollar-a-year international company which handled almost all the shipments of goods, most legal and some more questionable, of the entire world – was running the Church of Light, the Spiritualist church that her great-grandmother Aria had started in 1898, where she would commune with the dead, read palm, tarot cards, and tea leaves.
It was a place where for a hefty sum, Aria could be hired to work her witchcraft for others, no matter the intention. The Church of Light was then run by Aria’s daughter Fiona, and now her daughter Mabel, her mother’s older sister. Annaline had been too adventurous for that anyways, and so Trevor’s plan meant nothing one way or the other, as Annaline was too much of a wild child, concerned with music festivals and poets and drinking while smoking pot and cigarettes.
This fact did not stop Trevor Mayland from worrying about “his girls,” as he called his wife and daughter, and sending Kathryn to boarding school, only a few blocks from her actual home, to only visit on the weekends, was extremely easy for him.
Yes, she had had enough at that point, and the death of the priest put a smile on her face – a smile she had to fight back when they almost hesitantly told her that she was finished and would be going back home.
They were witches; this was true, and Father Malady had known this. A man of forty-seven, straight from Ireland – in Kilcommon,County Mayo – where the Blackmoores had originated from, and where they still lived inside the great limestone citadel known as Blackmoore Hall on the shores of Broadhaven Bay.
Everyone in that part of Ireland knew of the Blackmoores. They believed them to be a family who grew into their wealth because of a pact with the devil, and those who knew them gained fortune or befell ruin simply for knowing them.
During the witch hunts her ancestors had fled the Black Moor and built a rustic cottage with a thatched roof along the cruel and wild sea, in hiding from both the evils of Christian men and the even greater and ancient evil that had tormented the clan of the Black Moor for centuries before finally escaping. He was a dark and bloodthirsty God who had tried to make slaves of the clan and had forced them to sacrifice the weak and the innocent to his altar.
They had finally escaped him, turning their back on him and refusing to write his name down or speak it from their lips. This went on for two hundred years, until all those who had known him had died, and he had grown weak from being forgotten. They left the moor in the year 1145 and journeyed northwest, as far from the wood and that deity as possible. They were secluded and far from wealthy, and then suddenly in 1845, they began to buy up nearly thirteen thousand acres of land and built a great, almost castle-like home. They were all certain that the family was finally reaping their rewards for the trade of their souls.
This had never been the case. The reason for the wealth was far more mundane; Katy Blackmoore of New Orleans – where the family
had moved to in the 1780s – denounced the family and the many evils that served the Dark God of the Wood who wished to wipe out the Blackmoores, and left for Spain. She returned almost a year later married to Spanish royalty, and bequeathed a fortune enough for a kingdom to her father Tristan, her brother Nicholas, and her grandparents Sarafeene and Malachey, in exchange for being left alone by them so that she could live a normal life.
She had lost her mother to her family and their Legacy – the name of their great curse – and she was certain that if she separated herself from her family and lived a good Christian life, never summoning her witchcraft, then she would not lose her husband, and her children would never suffer the loss of a parent, or the feeling of knowing who you were and what you were would end up killing the one you loved.
The Blackmoores had agreed and with that money, they made the family flourish. First in New Orleans and Ireland, and then later, the family moved west and north, and all points in between. Spreading out all across the United States, England, France, Italy, and Ireland, in vesting in industry and especially shipping; and acquiring and building fleets upon fleets of ships, until there was no one to rival them.
By the time the family had arrived in Fairhaven to begin building their empire in the “Gateway of Alaska,” as it had been known, the residents of the city were openly hostile – being fueled by the legends and superstitions of immigrant priests and servants who whispered about the dangerous and devilish Blackmoores of Kilcommon and their mission to take over the Christian world and hand it to the devil and his fallen angels, wrapped with a big bloodstained bow.
It was shit, but superstition is slow to die, and even in 1979, the people of South Hill still feared the Blackmoore name and what it meant if you talked to them. Kathryn had suffered that for so long, and for the longest time, Lila Sifuentes – the only Latina in the school –had been her only friend.
Her father had always loved Kathryn, but up until his death a week after the incident – due to the sudden brain tumor that claimed the lives of those who have unprotected sex with a Blackmoore – he had always been slightly wary of her, as if he could see the curse deep under her veins.
Unprotected sex with a Blackmoore always seemed to kill seven to twelve years later, and always of a severe seizure and hemorrhage caused by the tumor. Blood pooled from the nose, mouth, and other parts of the face, and the body would convulse. They would be biting their tongues so hard that often they bit the tip off completely. Every witch in her family always hoped and often believed that they would be the Blackmoore to survive the curse, that their lover would be strong enough to beat it back.
They always died, and her father had been no different.
Kathryn had been dangerously beautiful all her life, with a statuesque body and icy eyes – the palest of blues – and soft olive skin with an always-perfectly-feathered auburn mane lik ealion, and the latest fashions straight out of Vogueclothing her. She had a husky whiskey voice, much like the actress Kim Novak. She had loved Bell, Book, and Candle, so the comparison was flattering; besides, she thought Kim Novak was a magnificent and stunning creature.


About the Author:

Marcus James is the author of five novels and has contributed to several anthologies with Alyson Books and has been a contributing writer for Seattle Gay News. He lives in Seattle with his husband and Staffordshire terrier. He is 32 years old.





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Death: Awakening to Life by Christine Contini - Haunted Halloween Spooktacular



Death: Awakening to Life
Book 1
Christine Contini

Genre: Nonfiction/Spirituality

Publisher: Winterwolfpress.com

Date of Publication: October 31, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9885851-2-6 paperback

Number of pages: 196
Word Count: 80,849

Cover Artist:  Andreea Vraciu
and Laura C. Cantu

Tagline:  Peek through the veils to the other side.

Book Description:

What happens after we die' has been a question that has haunted humanity since the dawn of abstract thought. Many theories have been offered, but finding evidence has seemed impossible.

In Death: Awakening to Life, Christine Contini takes us on a journey through life, death, healing, and rebirth. At thirty-one years old, Christine was diagnosed with Relapsing Remitting Multiple Sclerosis.

A newfound spirituality gave her the power to overcome the habitual belief systems that had sanctioned her body to become so unwell. Through a daily practice of meditation, she began learning how to change her habits and thought patterns, but it wasn't until seven years later when she experienced a sudden cardiac death that the real changes began to occur.

The contact she had with the recently deceased led to her concept called 'energetics' - a system that could be used to bring balance and health to the living. Without her experiences in working alongside the deceased, her concept would not have been fully developed.

In Death: Awakening to Life, the journey Christine will lead you through is one you will never forget; hopefully, the accounts will inspire you to start asking questions about your own views of the world and your place in it. The proof we've all been seeking for what really exists after death is here in this book. Once it's realized, the possibilities for healing and living can also be fully grasped. Christine reminds us that we have a responsibility to live our lives to their fullest potentials, and she presents the wisdom that can help us do it.

This book is a gift that we've all been waiting for. Go on, don't wait any longer. Find yourself, find your health, and find your truth.






Stolen from Sleep, A True Story

That spring night in Las Vegas had only a slight chill and require a light cover to sleep. As my husband, Joseph, crawled into bed and woke me up in the middle of the night, I felt unusually hot. I shoved the covers off and pushed them into the middle of the bed so he could use them. It left me sleeping with no protection other than my slip of a nightgown.
I woke just enough to notice a thin layer of sweat misting my body and wondered if I was getting sick. My husband mumbled something I couldn’t understand, which would usually wake me completely because I am a light sleeper, but this nigh was different. My head felt heavy and groggy—like I had been drugged.
I felt the bed move.
Instead of opening my eyes, I indolently rolled to my stomach, falling immediately back to sleep.
Later, the bed moved again.
My head shifted, but this time the movement was so jarring that I easily woke. My pillow slid out from under my cheek. I assumed Joseph must have taken my pillow by mistake, so I reached to grab it back. I raised my head to see Joseph on his stomach sound asleep, his head facing the wall away from me.
Interesting.
I was just about to fall back to sleep when I realized it wasn’t the pillow moving at all. It was me! I was sliding towards the end of the bed. Someone had a hold of my left ankle and was pulling me!
Oh, this has to be a prank, I thought. Maybe one of my teenagers or their friends were trying to pull some kind of prank. I jerked my foot up to see who had a hold of me. It wasn’t a who at all. It was a what!
Gripping my ankle was an oversized hand. The fingers were twice as long as the fingers on a human hand. The very thin finger bones were joined together by enlarged, bulbous joints. In the dim light of night, the entire hand was covered with tightly pulled dark, green and black, charred skin. I struggled to get a better look at my attacker, but it jerked me, making it impossible to look over my shoulder. My legs rose off the bed, into the air.
My throat suddenly seized. I gasped for air, but it was impossible to inhale even a single breath.
Desperate, I panicked and fought against the strength of the creature, my attempts to call out for help reminding me of the useless calls I made in my most tragic, blood curdling dreams—the kind when I would scream with all my might, yet no sound would come out.
The creature continued to pull as I was being moved against my will. I reached for my sleeping husband, clawing at the sheets and frantic to wake him. When my hands passed over his legs, I couldn’t find my grasp. It was as if my fingers were forbidden to close around his form. I flailed my arms and kicked my legs, still attempting to scream or even take a breath. If I could just break free, I could wake Joseph, and he could help me. He was the brave one. He was the protector.
My panic had reached a state of being manic as my attacker held me by one ankle in the air over my bed. Its super human strength seemed impossible and added to my terror. Knowing I was being abducted, and there was nothing I could do to stop it, made me feel so frightened, I wondered if my heart might explode.
The creature suddenly lifted me through the roof of my house.
Yep, right out the roof.
I saw the attic as I passed through the insulation and the air ducts, and then the roofing tiles passed before I could comprehend I was out in the open air.
Wait, if I passed through the roof without feeling it . . . then I am okay. This is just an out of body experience. Aw, heck!
I had been out of my body many times before, so this realization put an immediate halt to my terror. There I was, dangling, arms flailing, my ankle in the grasp of this being, rising over the roof of my house and into the air.
Now able to relax and no longer afraid, I could actually enjoy the view. I was pleased to be gliding through the sky on a grand adventure.
The event took a sudden anti climactic turn when the being put me down on the ground. I was down the street about 15 houses from mine. I had to squint as the brightness of the morning sun proved to be too much of a sudden assault on my eyes.
The clarity I had experienced while first gliding in the air was gone and the heavy drugged feeling was back again. It seemed as time had passed, but I didn’t know how—pieces of my memory were missing. On top of that, I had no idea how to get back to my house. Eventually, I passed out and woke to my alarm which signaled it was time to get the kids ready for school.
Under some sort of fascination, I animatedly recounted the entire event for Joseph when he awoke. It was amazing to me that he was completely unaware of my entire experience having happened right next to him. The experience was so extreme and true to life, I checked his legs to make sure there weren’t any claw marks on them.
“Surprisingly, this was one of the better night’s sleeps I have had in a long time. How do you feel?” Joseph asked. “Any feelings of drugs left in your system?” Fortunately for me, it was never an issue whether he would believe me or not, thank God. He went on to share his own information about sleep paralysis and other paranormal things he had watched on television. He often stayed up after I went to sleep, and late night shows about the paranormal and the unusual were in abundance.
I was relieved that my entire tale had made sense to him.
That would have been the end of my story if I had felt safe. However, even though my experience had ended peacefully enough, it took me two days to shake my extreme fears of being kidnapped.
I found myself afraid to have the curtains open, certain that someone was watching me. I stayed in without running any errands. When out of the house, a feeling of unmanageable vulnerability overcame me, and drove me back indoors. My ability to concentrate was gone and I feared someone could, at any moment, take me against my will.
Loud sounds gave me flashbacks to unclear memories, which led to feelings of unexplainable fears. I had to consider that I had actually been abducted, held against my will.
I hadn’t had any reference to indicate how long I had been gone other than the rising sun that illuminated the sky when I had been released blocks from my home. That meant I hadn’t been set back down immediately. It had to have been hours later. The only way I was able to cope with these uneasy feelings was to ‘switched off’ emotionally. Every seeming predatory behavior by anyone around me evoked deep sensations of anger and injustice.
Just when I was finally starting to feel okay, I got an odd call from a friend named Alita. (Her name has been changed to protect her identity.)
She seemed excited and confused when she said, “Christine, I just heard you were taken from your bed the other night to face the ancestral council. They didn’t even return you to your bed!” She paused, “That’s not like them. Are you okay?”
Alita was not any ordinary friend; she claimed to be from a “special” and ancient bloodline. When she started speaking about her people, her ancestors, I had always left the conversation, not out of disinterest, but I intuitively felt the need to safeguard her privacy, and I didn’t want to go snooping around in something that wasn’t my business.
This time was different. I wanted to know everything, but couldn’t bring myself to ask a single question.
I stood with my mouth open, not knowing what to say. The only other person who knew about the incident and the trauma I experienced was Joseph, and he hadn’t shared my story with a single soul! How could Alita know all of this unless . . .
Alita spoke to fill the silence. “Look, I know it’s scary. I told them not to take you because you are intuitive and would know, but they didn’t listen. They just wanted to make sure you were genuine. They’re just trying to protect my brother and me from other humans. I am so sorry. I made them promise it would never happen again.”
I was frozen in disbelief. How could all of this be real?
But then again, how was she able to describe the creature’s hands to me as if she had seen them with her own eyes? She even knew that the grasp felt like dry ice on my body, something I hadn’t even told Joseph.

I had to make myself forget. I had to push this from my mind or I might never feel safe again. After all, I had been kidnapped, taken right out of my bed in the middle of the night.

About the Author:

Diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis age 30. – GONE!

Heart attack, age 37. No oxygen flowing through the body for 45 minutes. – DIED!

Revived, but professionals declared she would live in a vegetative state. NO WAY!

Christine Contini is a living miracle. After a massive heart attack left her without hope of recovery, the doctors informed her family that she would live the remainder of her life in a vegetative state.

The medical professionals are still baffled as to how Christine not only defied death, but came back to full consciousness and was able to work her own way back to her divine health. Through her own pursuit of studies, she also completely freed herself from multiple sclerosis.

Christine was raised Catholic and had no previous knowledge of the esoteric world. However, during the heart attack, Christine had a Near-Death Experience (NDE) which gave her access to the understanding of how energy works. The knowledge she received was unparalleled in her daily existence. As a result, her ability to assist others in healing both the energetic patterns and physical ailments that had often challenged them for years was first born.

Christine is a healer, a speaker, a teacher, and the author of Death – Awakening to Life (the first of three books) in which she shares her amazing story and the knowledge she received after returning from beyond the veil. She leads “The STUDY”– groups for people who want to take their understanding of how to heal themselves far beyond the book; and she offers 5-day, 2-week, and 30-day programs for people who want to go deeper in their own personal process to create real and lasting change.





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Monday, September 18, 2017

Halloween Flash Fiction with Aubrie Nixon - Secret of Souls Haunted Halloween Spooktacular




          The feeling the Iter gives me is unique. I have tried other drugs, of course, but the Iter is specific with its high. I see things that are unexplainable, things that any sane person would call disgusting. But since I am not sane, I continue to crave the dark and disturbing visions that the Iter gives me.
          Some of us don’t survive the Iter. You die flying on a cloud of pure bliss as you fade into oblivion. Those of us who survive our first encounter are treated like kings and queens. We are rich beyond measure and could have anything we could ever dream of. Riches, cars, clothes, mansions, fame–anything we want, it is ours. It is the least they can offer us. But, after having the Iter, we want nothing but to feel the release and music it brings. We are the Iter’s muses, and we need it as much as it needs us. We are one.
          I lie there with black leather pants and a dark lacy bra on. My hair is done in an elegant bun, and I have been painted with enough makeup that I might rival them for their beauty. I cannot feel anything from the neck down. All of the feeling in my body is gone. But for the time being, I can see things as they do. The world is brighter. The colors I can see are vast–more than any human brain can even begin to fathom. The first time I tried the Iter I wanted to cry at the beauty that surrounded me. But of course I couldn’t. I have no control of my body. I can do nothing but stare at the lovely room, and them.
          The room is a garden in a large greenhouse near campus. The grassy ground is the most lovely shade of pure emerald green. I can see dew drops on the flower petals that surround me. I lie on a bed of fresh, blood-red roses on a table in the middle of the garden. The trees are of varying heights and colors. Pinks and reds, shades that I dream about when I am not here. The night sky is a dark purple, and the stars shine brighter than even the sun.
          The mirror on the ceiling shows me the scars on my pale skin. They are of varying colors and age. The ones that mark my stomach are many sizes for different organs. I watch as they place plates and trays around my body, filled with bloodied meats and liquids. I am the main event tonight, the center of everyone’s attention. Therefore, my table is the most exquisite. I watch as the masked ones bring in the guests. They are the Elite, the powerful ones. They have paid more money than I could ever accumulate in a lifetime to be here. They are here to see me, to be able to be next to me. It is the highest honor to be the main event.
          The music starts as the Iter takes hold, and I become its puppet. I am surrounded by a dozen of them. They are dressed in finery and expensive jewels. They whisper excitedly as they take in the spread on of the table, and their eyes rake over me hungrily. The chef welcomes them and introduces me: Elana Arravey, 20, of Norse descent. Diet: Sparkling water, strawberries, pineapples, and low protein. The crowd applauds excitedly. The chef murmurs a few words in their language, and then she cuts into me. Blood trickles down my chest as she cuts open my skin. Servants catch my blood in champagne flutes, and pass it out to the ravenous crowd. I feel the chef’s hand inside of my chest, as she reaches inside me, through my sternum, and grabs my heart. I watch as she pulls it from my chest. It pulses with life, blood squirting from the valves, painting the chef’s pale, white hand like fondue. It’s beautiful. She places my heart in a bowl.
          The bidding starts at 1 million. I watch in the mirror as the heart is bid on by the room. The pulsing never stops, filling the bowl with my blood. The crowd grows frenzied as the bidding war continues. 2 million, 3, 4, 5 million. We are down to three guests left bidding. 6, 7, 8 million. Two guests. 9, 9.5, 10 million. Going once, twice, three times, sold!
          My heart, sold for 10 million dollars. A hush goes over the room. It is rare that a heart goes for 10 million dollars, but it is the first time this organ has been touched. It is a trophy to take someone’s heart for the first time. The one that gets to taste my heart comes to claim his prize. I wish I could see him. I hear the crowd murmur their excitement as the chef takes the bowl from the servers and places my heart on a silver platter. I can hear him lick his lips as he reaches for my heart. I smile as he licks it, the blood dripping from his mouth. Just a taste.
          It is over in mere seconds, as the chef whispers words in their language again and places my heart back into my chest. She positions her fingers over my wound, and my flesh magically closes. She motions for the servers to carry me away, into the kitchens. I want to cry out because I know my time on the Iter is coming to an end. My legs start to tingle as it wears off, and before I can ask for more, my world goes dark.
          I awake in my bedroom, the alarm blaring like a foghorn. I open my eyes, everything around me blurry from the sleep in my eyes. I sigh as I sit up slowly and place my feet on the cold floor. My body is numb except for the dull ache in my chest. I smile at the pain, and start the shower.




Secret of Souls
Age of Endings
Book 1
Aubrie Nixon

Genre: New Adult fantasy

Publisher: Winterwolf Press

Date of Publication: November 24, 2017

ISBN: 978-0988585157

Number of pages: 250
Word Count: 79,000

Cover Artist: Laura C. Cantu
and Andreea Vraciu

Book Description:

The Empire of Lucent has stood for centuries as a beacon of strength and light. But now an otherworldly realm has unleashed an army of nightmarish creatures upon the peaceful empire, spreading a lethal plague called The Decay which consumes its victims mercilessly from the inside out.

The king of the Empire of Lucent calls upon “Lady of Death” Zephera Travelle—an infamous assassin with a weakness for braided cinnamon bread and a striking aptitude for murder and mayhem. He sends her on an impossible quest to find the one person who can concoct a cure and save the realm from total annihilation.

Together with her best friend Zadkiel, mage extraordinaire Brenner, girly city-guard Oriana, and broody warrior Daegan, she embarks on a journey that will test her wits, will, and sanity. Along the way, she discovers that no one—and nothing—is as it seems, including herself.

About the Author:

Aubrie plays mom to the cutest demon topside. When she isn’t writing she is daydreaming about hot brooding anti-heroes and sassy heroines. She loves Dragon Age, Game of Thrones and reading all things fantasy. She runs a local YA/NA bookclub with 3 chapters, and over 200 members. If she could have dinner with anyone living or dead it would be Alan Rickman because his voice is the sexiest sound on earth. He could read the dictionary and she would be enthralled. Her current mission in life is to collect creepy taxidermy animals because she finds them cute and hilarious. She resides just outside of Washington DC.

Sunday, September 17, 2017

Kindle Freebie September 15-19 Bewitching Brews and Devilish Desserts



Bewitching Brews and Devilish Desserts 
A Collection of Cocktail and Dessert Recipes
Edited by Roxanne Rhoads

Paperback: 50 pages

Publisher: Bewitching Books

ISBN-10: 1502947013

ISBN-13: 978-1502947017
ASIN: B00PE0BNES

Book Description:

Stir up a little magic from our cauldron full of cocktails and desserts. 

The authors of Bewitching Book Tours conjured a collection of delicious potions inspired by their books and characters. 

Grab your wand (or spoon) and cast one of these spellbinding recipes today.

Free at Amazon

Includes recipes by Sharon Baylis , Ami Blackwelder , Cassandra Lawson , Susannah Sandlin, Cherrie Mack , Maggie Mundy , Suzanne Johnson , Katalina Leon , Kay Dee Royal ,
 Sophie Avett , Elizabeth Loraine , G.L. Ross  , T.W. Kirchner ,  Roxanne Rhoads  

Friday, September 15, 2017

Guest Blog - The Monster and the Thrilling Escape From Death




The Monster and the Thrilling Escape From Death 
by Mark W. Curran 

Thank you for having me as a guest blogger!

Whether we realize it or not, most if not all the stories we tell have some basis or origination in another story that came before it. It seems that, as humans, we relate to archetypal story forms which serve as symbols in helping us to understand ourselves and our relation to the world we live in. 

In Christopher Booker's great tome on the history and dynamics of storytelling, 'The Seven Basic Plots,' he devotes a whole chapter he what he calls 'The Monster and the Thrilling Escape From Death. ' 

It is to that chapter I devote this blog, for it is the basis of many effective horror stories.  

According to Booker, Overcoming the Monster is an underdog story where the hero sets out to destroy an evil of some kind. Generally, this evil is something larger or greater than the protagonist, and will take great courage and strength to defeat (the story would be over rather quickly otherwise).

There are five stages in an Overcoming the Monster plot.

1.Anticipation stage: Hints of the monster with a call to action and preparation.

2.Dream stage: Initial stage, brushing with the monster or agents. Dream-like success with seeming immunity to danger.

3.Frustration stage: Confrontation with the monster but failure to defeat it.

4.Nightmare stage: Final ordeal death match where only one can survive. It seems inevitable that the monster will win.

5.Miraculous escape: The monster is killed through the courage, skill and ingenuity of the hero.

Good horror is usually about overcoming the monster in one way, shape or form. Sometimes the monster is an external threat, as in Alien or Frankenstein, and sometime the monster is within. [Jekyll  and Hyde, The Exorcist]. 

The key for the author is to make the reader feel some sense of connection to the lead character or hero, so that the stakes are higher as the hero is placed in greater and yet still greater danger. The longer a writer has been at the game, the better the writer becomes in navigating the perils of dramatic and fiction writing. 

It always comes back to the monster. We all fight our own inner demons and are always searching for ways to come to terms with our innermost desires and drives. In seeing the hero face the monster we find within ourselves the strength to battle our own dragons and in the process become better human beings.     

Witches of Wildwood: Cape May Horror Stories and Other Scary Tales from the Jersey Shore 

A Collection of Contemporary Horror Fiction

Mark W. Curran 

Genre: Horror/Speculative Fiction

Publisher: NMD Books

Date of Publication: Sept 15, 2017

ISBN: 978-1-936828-51-7

Number of pages: 300
Word Count: 83,365

Cover Artist:  Robert Gonzales

Book Description:

Werewolves... vampires... swamp beasts... zombies... even a Jersey Devil... all of these chilling creatures and more await you in this haunting collection of 11 contemporary horror fiction stories by Mark Wesley Curran.

Uniquely set 'down the shore' in South Jersey's Cape May County, these scary tales are sure to terrify and entertain both adult readers as well as young adults.


Excerpt:

There was no doubt among the sisters that the murders were increasing their power. Each felt the surge of energy that coursed through them with each kill.
“I feel so alive!” Zoey exclaimed on the morning after they’d tied Harlan Clemmons to a chair and stabbed him multiple times through the heart, “like I’m 
plugged into some bitchin’ electrical source!” she marveled.

The other girls felt it too. Both Jaz and Ali would lay awake at night and feel it running through them - bringing them even more vitality and strength than even their young ages provided. 

About the Author:

Mark Wesley Curran is a writer of contemporary fiction, specializing in the horror and suspense genre. Born and raised in Suburban Philadelphia, he spent many summers living and working in Wildwood, New Jersey during its heyday. He now resides in Los Angeles where he enjoys creative pursuits as a writer, filmmaker and musician.