Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Circle of Dreams by Jane S. Morrissey



Circle of Dreams
Quytel Series
Book One
Jane S. Morrissey

Genre: Paranormal Romantic Fiction

Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing, New York

Date of Publication: 2017

ISBN: 978-1-68291-297-3

Number of pages: 350
Word Count: 100,959

Cover Artist: Melody Pond, Soul Mate Publishing

Tagline: Spheres of power usher a new and dangerous secret

Book Description:

Leader of an elite psychic team, Cole Courtland is a shape-shifting wolf with a deep connection to the power of the Earth. His investigation of a string of mysterious murders throws him into the dangerous world of the Quytel and leads him straight to Brianna Doherty’s door.

Bri is plagued by vicious nightmares of death and pain that leave her wondering about her own history. When her home is under siege, an enigmatic stranger appears out of nowhere to save her.

Thrown together in a tangle of desire and danger, they are pulled deeper into the secretive world of the Quytel, an ancient order charged with maintaining the balance of psychic and paranormal power on earth. Staying one step ahead of those who would destroy them, they struggle to unravel the truth of Bri’s past and her family legacy. As her relationship with Cole grows stronger, the reality of who Bri is threatens to tear them apart.


Excerpt:
Bri knew him. It had been his face in her nightmare. His presence had soothed and calmed her that night. He stood right in front of her now and had just ripped the door off a room no one should have been able to find.
Please don’t let him be my enemy, she whispered in her mind. Who else could he be?
Holding the gun more firmly locked on her target, Bri hoped it deterred him because she knew she would never be able to shoot this beautiful man.
“Are you going to shoot me?” His voice, strong and clear, didn’t sound too worried.
Bri shivered. A sharp stab of desire shot straight through her, and at first she didn’t really register his words.
“We don’t have much time,” he pressed.
A thud downstairs startled her. The man moved fast. She had no time to react before he snatched the 9-millimeter easily out of her hand. He tucked it into the waistband of his jeans and grabbed her other arm.
His touch was electric. When he took a step closer, he crowded her and she could almost feel the hard muscles of his broad chest. The loss of her gun left her completely vulnerable.
He placed a finger lightly against her trembling lips and her stomach did a slow roll. “Don’t move. Don’t yell.” He whispered the words softly into the shell of her ear. “I’m here to help you, Brianna. You have to trust me.”
She shivered. How did he know her name? She felt trapped, caught in an overpowering spell that heated her body. She was tall, but he was taller. And gorgeous, much better looking than she remembered from her nightmare. A part of her recognized she should be far more frightened of him than she was.
“There are men downstairs tearing your house apart right now. I have no idea why they’re searching for you. I can get you out of here, but we have to go now.” A quiet command. “I’m not here to hurt you. Trust me.”
Bri took a defensive step away. He didn’t let her go far, silver-gray eyes holding hers, willing her to believe him. The secret passageways inside the walls of the house would be too risky now that the room had been exposed.


About the Author:

Jane Morrissey is a paranormal romance writer who loves romance, magic, and writing. Her paranormal romantic mysteries will keep you reading late into the night. Jane spends her time writing, enjoying the glorious California Coast near her home and spending as much time as she can with family and friends.




Saturday, October 13, 2018

Halloween Fiction by Roxanne Rhoads

Each one of the books below is set during Halloween.

Hex and the Single Witch is a paranormal romance set in and urban fantasy world with erotic elements, so it could be classified as an erotic PNR/UF. 

The rest are erotica and erotic romance.


Vehicle City Vampires 
Book One
By Roxanne Rhoads

Anwyn Rose is descended from a long line of powerful witches yet she can barely cast spells young witchlings have mastered. She has one functioning witch gift, the power of knowing, which has enabled her to find a position as a Detective on Flint’s Preternatural Investigation Team.

It’s a new era in Vehicle City. After the auto factories shut down, the human residents left the city by the thousands making it the perfect new haunt for supernaturals of all sorts, especially vampires- who now ran the city.

Paranormal crime is on the rise. An old evil has slithered in along with a serial killer, who appears to be a vampire, and is draining young women in the city.

Anwyn is on the case with her sexy partner Detective Mike Malone. Complicating things is her relationship Galen, a vampire who looks more guilty than innocent, although Anwyn trusts her instincts even if her power is on the fritz.

Mysterious spells, compromising situations, and a possible demon on the loose make it hard to focus on the case, but Anwyn has to make things right before the human police execute the wrong vampire.

Hex and the Single Witch contains magick, a little bit of mystery, a lot of supernatural mayhem, and a sexy love triangle that will leave you wanting more.



Eternal Desire
Roxanne Rhoads

Publisher: Bewitching Books  


Release Date: April 14, 2015 (2 edition)


ASIN: B00VWIQGFM


Paranormal researcher Liz Beth's dreams are haunted by a sensual vampire.


She arrives in New Orleans the week of Halloween in search of her elusive dream lover, but instead finds a handsome stranger.


They begin a passionate affair. Soon she is torn between dreams and reality, lost somewhere in the middle trying to regain reason.


She aches to find the vampire of her dreams but can't seem to break free of the spell her sexy stranger has her tangled in.


Amazon   iTunes   Inktera   Kobo   Nook 


Haunting Desire
Desire Series
Book Two
Roxanne Rhoads

Book Description:

Welcome to the Inn of Amorous Apparitions where your every libidinous longing can be fulfilled by sensual spirits.

LizBeth has been hired to use her ghost whispering skills on the specters at the Castle Inn, but instead of banishing the seductive spooks Barbara, the Inn Keeper, wants them to "come out and play" with her special guests.

The Castle Inn is set to become the destination for the ghost sex fetish crowd. But first LizBeth has to convince the voluptuous visions that it is alright to participate in spectrophilia fun with the guests.

LizBeth has a special talent for seeing and communicating with ghosts but these enchanting ethereals are not cooperating with her, or her vampire boyfriend. Something odd is fueling the raunchy wraiths and they have to discover the power source or risk leaving a customer unsatisfied.


There’s more to this haunting than the average ghost. Will LizBeth be able uncover the mystery of this sexy haunted mansion?




Halloween Surprise 
Roxanne Rhoads 

Publisher: Bewitching Books 

Release Date: October 14, 2014

ASIN: B00ODDW58U

Genre: Short Halloween erotica

Book Description:

Alcina and Estra are ready to enjoy everything Halloween has to offer them – food, fun, and, most of all – the pleasures of the flesh. 

After enjoying each other’s bodies for hours they decide it’s time to find a man. Luckily for Michael he’s the one that happens to cross their path. After quickly deciding that he is exactly what they were looking for, they convince him to take them back to his place for a wild Halloween ménage ‘a trios. 

He ends up getting more than he bargained for with a sexy, but shocking, Halloween surprise...

Contains f/f and f/m/f sexual situations


 Amazon 



A Halloween to Remember

Publication Date: September 2, 2010

Publisher: Excessica Publishing

Book Description:

What says Halloween better than a wild party at an old Victorian mansion complete with its own cemetery?

Perhaps meeting the man of your dreams thanks to the magic of Halloween.

Adena can’t believe her eyes when she spots Dimitri in the library- he looks like something straight off the cover of a historical romance novel-the type of guy she’s always dreamed of. Too bad he disappears before she has the chance to introduce herself. When she finally spots him again later that night she decides she’s not letting him get away again.

Adena thinks she’s finally found the one. Until she wakes up alone the next morning- in the cemetery.

Halloween magic brought them together but will it be strong enough to keep them together?


Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Them! (1956) Guest Blog By Thomas S. Flowers


Them! (1956)
Guest Blog By Thomas S. Flowers

The most foreboding title among the horror and science fiction lexicon, besides perhaps IT or They (which is just a cheap knockoff of the more impressive film we're about to discuss), is the 1954 masterpiece known as Them! Among the many different creature features, be it swamp critters or critters from space or super mutant hybrids, bugs freak me out the most. As defined by the omnipotent Wikipedia, "Entomophobia (also known as insectophobia) is a specific phobia characterized by an excessive or unrealistic fear of one or more classes of insect and classified as a phobia by the DSM-5. More specific cases included apiphobia (fear of bees) and myrmecophobia (fear of ants)." Now, that being said...I think my "fear" can be measured by mass. The smaller the insect, the less I get "freaked out." Hence, small little pests like flies and mosquitoes are simply put...pests, easily swatted or shooed away. But on the other spectrum, the bigger they get, the more I'm opted to run away screaming. If someone were to make a monster movie with the intention of provoking the mass amount of fear from yours truly, Them! would be the quintessential experience of terror.

But it cannot be done in a silly way. If you want a serious reaction, the movie will need to have a serious undertone. Them! is a perfect example of this. As a fan of most dubbed "classics," basically timeless pieces of cinematic history, be it 1930s or 40s or 50s or 60s or even those in the Silent Era, I took double pleasure in the fact that this now 63-year-old movie can still capture that tension, that wonderful feeling of dread so fantastically. Them!, not too sound too fan-girlish, is utterly amazing. By modern standards, Them! easily tops what producers consider to be blockbusters in not just storytelling and characterization, but also special effects. It makes me curious what original audiences thought when they first sat in their parked fin-tailed red and chrome Chrysler's at the local drive-in, WITHOUT having been desensitized by years of modern computer-generated graphics.

Alas, those day's are gone forever.

All we can do now is cherish the time we had.

Sad.

Well...

For those who have not had the pleasure, here is a quick synopsis of Them! from IMDb:

"The earliest atomic tests in New Mexico cause common ants to mutate into giant man-eating monsters that threaten civilization."

Boom. You don't really need anything more than that, do you? Needless to say, IMDb isn't wrong. In a nut shell, those are the stakes. A mutated strain of ants are multiplying in the New Mexico desert and could very well threaten civilization. And not just any mutated ant species, but a mutation of the Cataglyphis genus, better known as Desert Ants. These sand dwellers are among the most aggressive of ant. The perfect bugs to supersize for a horror/science fiction movie, right?

One of the fun aspects of Them! is how the movie starts off and is treated more or less throughout the entirety as a "detective" story. The movie opens with a patrol car doing their normal patrol and pickup a little girl, no more than six years old, strolling through the desert alone dressed in a nightgown and cradling a broken doll. They try talking to her but she is catatonic, speechless, staring blankly out at the brown sand. That feeling of dread we talked about begins to weave slowly into the movie and as the policemen investigate a nearby trailer, finding it mostly destroyed, pulled apart from the outside (they deduce) the tension builds even further.

The next scene certainly adds to not only the mystery but also the horror when police sergeant Ben Peterson's (played by the very awesome James Whitmore) partner "disappears" off screen investigating a strange sound. He get's off a couple of shots and then screams, that kind of scream that sends chills down your spine. The sound the officer investigates permeates throughout the entire movie. A familiar nature melody for anyone living in suburbia or out in the country. The sound of cicada or crickets singing in trees or in tall grass. Come summer, that sound is still quite pleasant to me, despite this film's attempt to ruin it. Though, there is a lingering feeling of "what's really making that sound? Are they, Them! watching me?"

And I love how, despite the excellent movie art on the  poster, knowing there will be giant ants in this movie, the story stalls the BIG reveal, forgive the pun, until the absolute right moment. And that moment, much how the newly brought on character, FBI agent, Robert Graham (played by man's man James Arness), to its frustrating conclusion through the "comic relief" of sorts Professor Harold Medford (played by Santa himself Edmund Gwenn) and his "if a boy can do it a girl can do it too" daughter Dr. Patrica Medford (Joan Weldon). The Dr. Medord's are not really that comedic, the old man is sort of how we might think brilliant old men are, a tad absent minded to every day tasks, but a genius in their preferred fields of study. And the female Dr. Medford, despite her strong grace of femininity, wasn't overpowering or preachy. She was meek but smart and willing to go places most men wouldn't dare go. In a decade before feminism really took off in America, it's hard to place the purpose of her character. Regardless, I was and am very pleased with her performance, second to her father perhaps, how she was not the ditsy romance how most other movies place actresses. Harold may have been love struck, but everyone else called her Pat, a genderless name, and I prefer it that way.

The reveal was perfect, as I said. A sandstorm kicks up and everyone's goggled and stumbling around for clues. Somehow Pat get's separated from the group. That chilling buzzing, ringing, clicking cicada sound starts again, getting louder and louder, and everyone is looking around wondering what that noice is and where it's coming from. Above Pat on a dune, emerges a large black head with giant orb eyes long furry antenna and large sharp looking mandibles. She screams, alerting the others who begin opening fire, destroying the ant's antenna (to the suggestion of Dr. Medford). The ant is killed and while the others are staring at this impossible horror, Dr. Medford makes a statement, the inspiration and message of the entire movie, I think. He says, "We may be witnesses to a Biblical prophecy come true - 'And there shall be destruction and darkness come upon creation, and the beasts shall reign over the earth.'" He says something very similar towards the end of the movie, stating, "When Man entered the atomic age, he opened a door into a new world. What we'll eventually find in that new world, nobody can predict."

The Atomic Age...

Full of sparking large logos and flashy gadgets and a new generation of fast food and drive-in theaters and modern jazz and rock-in-roll, but this was also an era of uncertainty. Hiroshima and Nagasaki awakened something in humanity. Something more than just awes and dread. Something darker and more pious than religion. The Atomic Age was this new fear of the bomb. Uncertainty over world powers, the growth of the Cold War, and a horizon in modern science to which many did not understand. Not knowing is the greatest fear of all, at least according to H.P. Lovecraft. The Atomic Age also gave birth to this very feature we find ourselves enjoying (hopefully), the birth of unnatural monsters such as Godzilla and Them! Better known as Creature Features.

Them! acts as a cautionary tale. Be warned, what will await us on the other side of the door. Will science bring upon us destruction and darkness? Will man's ignorance? Them! isn't about the dangers of real giant bugs, it’s about consequences. That in everything we do or strive to bring about, for every action there is an equal and opposite reaction, as Newton had once said. Its a message every new generation hears, right? Cautionary warnings from the old folks rocking on the porch, talking about how things used to be.

The rest of Them! takes on that similar detective story we were introduced to in the beginning. They hunt down the hive and destroy the giant ants with poison, only to discover a few queens had escaped prior. Now the once localized investigation turns into a global event. Hush hush, of course, to avoid widespread panic, the team with the added benefit of the military and select government officials quickly work to destroy Them! But the movie doesn't end like some monster movies with the creatures being destroyed...there is a feeling of uncertainty, astute given the era, and we are left wondering if perhaps there are more giant mutated ants out in the desert thanks to atomic weaponry. And as Dr. Wedford said, "nobody can predict."



The Last Hellfighter
Thomas S. Flowers

Genre: Historical Fiction/Horror

Publisher: Darker Worlds Publishing





Date of Publication: Aug 10, 2018



ISBN: 1724369202
ASIN: B07FFND86J

Number of pages: 277 (Kindle)
410 (paperback)

Word Count: 78K

Cover Artist: Michael Bray

Tagline: They thought vampires were fantasy. They were wrong.

Book Description:

In the year 2044, reporters from the Public Relations Ministry gather at the home of Benjamin Harker, the last surviving member of the Harlem Hellfighters. At the age of 144, he is the oldest recorded man alive. Hidden among them, Clyde Bruner is looking for a different kind of story. Across the United States, despite the Great Walls and patrol drones built to keep America secure, something has found its way in. And now towns are vanishing during the night. Entire populations, gone. Only to return after the sun sets, changed, unholy, and lethal. And whatever this evil is, its spreading west.

According to a bedtime story Bruner’s grandfather told him when he was a boy, Benjamin Harker has seen this before. He’s faced this scourge. Fought this evil. Survived them. Killed them. From the trenches of the Great War to the jungles of Vietnam to the sands of Iraq, Harker will search his past to save our future.

But as each city light extinguishes across the country, is there no time left to stop what’s coming?



About the Author:


Who doesn't love a good story? Thomas's favorite books include All Quiet on the Western Front, Salem's Lot, and Hell House.

In his own writings, he aspires to create fantastic worlds with memorable characters and haunted places. His stories range from Shakespearean gore, classic monster tales, and even stories that hurt him the most to write about, haunted soldiers and PTSD. Residing in the swamps of Houston, Texas, with his wife and daughter, Thomas's debut novel, Reinheit, was eventually published with Shadow Work Publishing, along with Lanmò, The Hobbsburg Horror, FEAST, Beautiful Ugly, and Planet of the Dead.

His veteran focused paranormal thriller series, The Subdue Series, filled with werewolves, Frankenstein-inspired monsters, cults, alter-dimensional insects, witches, and the undead are published with Limitless Publishing.

In 2008, Thomas was honorably discharged from the U.S. Army where he served three tours in Operation Iraqi Freedom. In 2014, Thomas graduated from University of Houston-Clear Lake with a Bachelors in History. He is the senior editor at Machine Mean, a site that reviews horribly awesome and vintage horror movies and books from guest contributors who obsess over a wide range of strange yet oddly related topics.






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Bad Blood by Shyla Colt



Bad Blood
Bad Duology 
Book One
Shyla Colt

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Date of Publication: 9/28

ASIN: B07G6TPBZ4

Number of pages: 230
Word Count: 53,317

Cover Artist: Dreams 2 Media

Tagline: He saved her life, and stole her Freedom

Book Description:

A reluctant knight

A magical descendent

A race against time

A freak accident thrusts Nakeeta Alva into a dangerous world of secrets, ancient spells, and a legacy she never wanted. The last in a magical line, she’s tasked with restoring the balance to a supernatural world poised for ruin.

Tasked with the care of their savior, Crewe’s main focus is survival. Used to giving orders, the knight isn’t prepared for the sassy witch’s mouth or her lure. The powerful woman reminded him of his humanity and challenged his beliefs.

Keeping her safe is his mission, but the real danger may be losing his heart.

Together, they will save the world … or die trying.

Amazon





Excerpt 3:
“Let’s cast the circle.” Storing her emotions away, she removed her raincoat, and shimmied out of her pack, placing it beside the fire. Unzipping the main compartment, she started to remove the orgonite pyramids. The resin structures had been hand made with a variety of things. The silver, white, and gold piece she held in her hand was crafted with Fluorite Amethyst and Onyx, specifically for protection. Kneeling she rested it on the edge of the perimeter and moved on to the next one.
With the circle clearly defined, she admired her work. Firelight flickered off the colorful pyramids. Reaching into the backpack, she pulled out the blessed sea salt. Rolling the chunky pieces between her fingers, she reinforced the circle with a physical layer. A low-level hum began as the energy of the twenty people gathered in the space and began to build. Pleased with her work, she placed her elemental items, a clay pot crafted by Lav for earth, a copper bell for air, An ornate jade dragon for fire, and a large conch shell for water.
Next, she removed her wand. The crystal quartz with black tourmaline and moonstone served as the perfect way to focus her energy. The bits of turquoise, onyx, and copper used to help decorate all worked together. It felt like she was holding a lightning rod. Standing straight, she began to cast the protection. Facing North, she held the wand up, envisioning a white thread as she moved to the east, connecting each point she drew out
Facing east, she picked up the bell and rang it. “We honor and welcome the transitional winds.” The wind ruffled the thick hair she’d pulled back into a braid. Goosebumps rose on her flesh. “We call you and ask you to make our steps light as a feather and our voices powerful shouts of conviction and intent.” The bell swung back and forth, echoing into the night. Resting it back into its place, she moved clockwise to the South, carefully extending the vision of the white ribbon in her mind's eye with her wand aiming true.
Picking up the jade dragon, she ran her fingers over its smooth surface as she imagined the heat of fire, flowing through her body. “We honor and welcome the burning flame. We call and ask you to ignite the spark of life and energy behind our eyes. Enable us to destroy and create with white-hot power.” The fire jumped high, rising far above the cauldron before it shrank back down. The others gasped at the physical manifestation of her will. Returning the figure to its place of honor she slowly turned clockwise to face West.
The shell was smooth in her hand. Honing in on the falling rain, and the smell of the sea salt, she imagined the waves crashing into the shore. “We honor and welcome the tides. We call you and ask you wash away the doubts that cloud our minds and grant us motion and purpose. Our emotions are as powerful as our bodies.”
Resting the shell onto the ground, she began her final rotation back North. Holding the clay pot in her hand, she felt the energy of the makeshift family who’d adopted her into their ranks rose up to comfort her and keep her shaking head steady. She imagined them as an unmovable rock. A powerful natural structure tested and weathered by the elements, but never destroyed. “We honor the earth. We call you and ask you to remind us of our strength and how far we’ve come. Just as you endure, let us grow and meet every obstacle that comes in our way.”
She walked to the center of the circle in front of the fire, picturing the white ribbon growing brighter.
“Oh, God. I see it,” Rainer whispered. The translucent white stripe shimmered, iridescent and breathtaking. The powers that be were here and listening. Glancing at everyone in the circle, she envisioned their bodies feeling with the powers of the elements.
“With fire in our heart, air in our lungs, water in our veins, and earth beneath our toes, we come. Let this space strip us of all our pretenses and connected us with our deepest hidden parts and the world around us. We give thanks to the elements that stand guard against our enemies, the energies that thrum at our fingertips ready to be wielded and the forces our eyes have been opened to.” She rose her hands to the air. “We dedicate this space to be the base where we project our power and intent. Lend us your protection.” She cried her request. The words seemed to echo in the night, bouncing around them.
“Goddess.” Someone whispered as a wind tore through the circle, winding around their waists, tugging at their clothing and hair before it moved out of the circle. Her lips parted as a twisting wall of a whirling tornado obscured them from view. The scent of the beach wafted through the circle. Rain pounded the ground, forming a circle of water. The elements were forming walls between them and danger. Her gut clenched. A flame of fire sprang from the ground, burning bright and hot. She could smell the ash and smoke. The ground rumbled beneath their feet, cracking. A chasm formed around them.
“T-the circle is cast,” Keeta stuttered.
“I have never seen a circle so powerful,” K said.
“We’ve been feeding this ground our energy and blood in preparation. It makes sense,” Rainer added.
“Not just our blood,” Keeta reminded them. Is this what happens when vampires and witches combine their will?  “Now we start our spell.” Keeta removed the vials of blood from the black backpack.



About the Author:

Shyla Colt is the sassy USA Today Bestselling author of the popular series Kings of Chaos and Dueling Devils M.C. This genre-hoppers stories feature three of her favorite things: strong females, pop culture, and alternate routes to happy ever after. Listening to her Romani soul, she pens from the heart, allowing the dynamic characters, eccentric interests, and travels as a former flight attendant to take her down untraveled roads.

Born and raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, this mid-west girl is proud of her roots. She used her hometown and the surrounding areas as a backdrop for a number of books. So, if you're a Buckeye, keep an eye out for familiar places.

As a full-time writer, stay at home mother, and wife, there's never a dull moment in her household.

She weaves her tales in spare moments and the evenings with a cup of coffee or tea at her side and the characters in her head for company.

You can interact with Shyla Colt online


Twitter: @shylacolt



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Tuesday, October 09, 2018

New Release - The Arena: A Tuck Houston Novel by October Weeks




***** New Release *****

The Arena
A Tuck Houston Novel
Book 3
October Weeks

Paranormal Romance/Urban Fantasy

An ancient grudge. An ancient darkness. A slayer who will stop at nothing to put an end to both.

Book Description:

When her good friend Lucia DiGregorio calls her asking for help, slayer Tuck Houston immediately joins the hunt. Once she gets a hint of strigoi power at the scene of a slaughter, she understands exactly why Lucia called her in.

Shortly after that slaughter, Tuck realizes that the team is in a trap and none of them will be able to leave until the game is done. The gravity of the situation is made clear when they discover that the vampyr responsible holds an ancient grudge against Lucia’s family, and that the strigoi in league with the vampyr has his own plans for Tuck once the game is done.

But Tuck won’t make success easy for the vampyr or the strigoi. She will find a way to end the game … even if she has to die to do it.



Tangled Web by Gail Z. Martin


Tangled Web
Deadly Curiosities
Book Three
Gail Z. Martin

Genre: Urban Fantasy

Publisher: SOL Publishing

Date of Publication: May 10, 2018

ISBN: 978-1939704719
ASIN: B07D1C6Y55

Number of pages: 242
Word Count: 73,000

Cover Artist: Lou Harper

Tagline: Keeping Charleston—and the world—safe from supernatural threats one cursed object at a time!

Book Description:

Cassidy Kincaide runs Trifles & Folly in modern-day Charleston, an antiques and curios shop with a dangerous secret. Cassidy can read the history of objects by touching them and along with her business partners Teag, who is a Weaver witch and Sorren, a 600-year-old vampire, they get rid of cursed objects and keep Charleston and the world safe from supernatural threats.

When zombies rise in Charleston cemeteries, dead men fall from the sky, and the whole city succumbs to the “grouch flu,” Cassidy, Teag, and Sorren suspect a vengeful dark witch who is gunning for Teag and planning to unleash an ancient horror. Cassidy, Teag, and Sorren—and all their supernatural allies—will need magic, cunning, and the help of a Viking demi-goddess to survive the battle with a malicious witch and an ancient Norse warlock to keep Charleston—and the whole East Coast—from becoming the prey of the Master of the Hunt.

Amazon      BN      Kobo      iTunes      Universal Link


Tangled Web – Chapter Two Excerpt

“So you brought an audience this time, Teag? I didn’t know our lessons were so entertaining.” Mrs. Teller gave me a big smile and hugged me tight. I got a hug from Niella, her daughter, as well. Mrs. Teller led us into a room she had repurposed as her studio and motioned for Teag and me to have a seat. Niella came in a few minutes later with a tray that held a pitcher of sweet tea and four glasses, and she put it on a side table.
“So are you here to see what this boy’s been up to, or are you thinking to learn some weaving yourself, huh?” Mrs. Teller fixed me with a gaze that seemed to see right down to my bones. She was in her late sixties, with short hair sprinkled with gray, mahogany skin that showed no signs of aging, and piercing black eyes. Niella took after her, in her looks, her lilting accent, and her talents.
“I think I’ve got enough with my touch magic,” I replied. “I’m leaving the Weaving to you.”
Mrs. Teller and Niella are some of the best sweetgrass basket makers in Charleston. They have a regular spot down at the Charleston City Market, and their baskets fetch high prices—for good reason. Not only are they true artists with a difficult craft, but Mrs. Teller’s Weaver magic gives a “little something extra” to all of her creations. Oh, and she’s also a damn fine Hoodoo worker, a Root woman of high regard.
Mrs. Teller laughed, a rich, throaty sound. “Let me know if you change your mind.”
I glanced up at Niella and thought she looked more tired than usual. “Have things been busier than usual?” I left it up to interpretation whether “things” meant the market or the Hoodoo.
“Well now, that’s a tale in itself,” Mrs. Teller said. Out of habit, she picked up an unfinished sweetgrass braid, and her fingers flew while she talked. Teag took down a half-woven basket of his own from a shelf and returned to sit next to me. Where Mrs. Teller’s muscle memory was born from more than a half-century of practice, enabling her to bend and twist the sharp dried grass without slicing up her fingers, Teag moved with careful caution. He’d learned the hard way, and I’d seen him come into the shop with fingers covered in bandages more than once.
“Fill us in,” I begged. Sharing information was essential for those of us in the supernatural community in Charleston, and Mrs. Teller ran in some circles that Teag and I usually weren’t part of.
“Trouble’s brewing,” Mrs. Teller said, and Niella settled into a chair beside her, picking up her own half-done basket to work while we talked. “People can feel it coming, like a storm over the ocean.” The sweet, earthy smell of the seagrass filled the air.
“What kind of trouble?” I asked. Teag’s focus was on his basket, and I knew he juggled both the complexity of working the stubborn grass, as well as the magic he channeled through the weaving. He might be listening, but he had too much going on to talk.
“Don’t know yet, that’s the truth of it,” she replied. Her Lowcountry accent rounded her vowels and softened her consonants, and added a musical quality that I found mesmerizing. “But it’s big. I feel that in my bones, and my bones don’t lie.”
I tried to track how she wove the sweetgrass, but her fingers practically blurred with the speed of experience. Even without handling the baskets, I knew they projected a calm, protective resonance that probably attracted buyers as much as the beauty of her craftwork. The baskets of hers that I owned were some of my favorite decorations because they always made me feel better being around them.
“Just a feeling, or have you seen something?” I pressed.
“What I’ve seen is people making a beeline to my door, asking me for gris-gris bags and goofer dust,” she said. “Folks be saying that they can’t sleep, or that they hear noises but nothing’s there, or they catch a glimpse of shadows out of the corner of their eye.” She shook her head. “Uh, uh,” she tutted. “That’s not good. Not good at all. So I fix them up best I can, show them how to put down the dust or put a dime in their shoe or fix their mojo bag and send them on their way, and the next day, I got twice as many people waiting for me, because they all told their friends.”
While the boom was good for business, I knew that whatever had people unnerved sounded like the kind of problem that landed in my lap, sooner or later. Sorren is part of the Alliance, a secret organization of mortals and immortals that take care of supernatural threats. He founded Trifles and Folly with my ancestor nearly three-hundred-and-fifty years ago, and our store is one of dozens Sorren has all over the world. The stores serve as outposts to get dangerous magical or haunted items out of circulation and shut down things that go bump in the night.
“What kind of bad dreams?” I asked, although I couldn’t resist a glance in Teag’s direction, but he never looked up from his work. “Is there a common thread?”
Mrs. Teller shrugged. “There’re all nightmares, for sure. Most people won’t speak of their dreams because they think saying it out loud gives the dreams power. Maybe so, maybe not. But the ones who would say told me they were being chased, in the dark, but they couldn’t see what was behind them. Except for red eyes.”
Teag didn’t say anything, but he swallowed hard, and his fingers paused for a few seconds.

I swallowed hard, too. “Yikes,” I managed. “Any idea what might cause that?”


About the Author:

Gail Z. Martin writes urban fantasy, epic fantasy and steampunk for Solaris Books, Orbit Books, Falstaff Books, SOL Publishing and Darkwind Press. Urban fantasy series include Deadly Curiosities and the Night Vigil (Sons of Darkness). Epic fantasy series include Darkhurst, the Chronicles Of The Necromancer, the Fallen Kings Cycle, the Ascendant Kingdoms Saga, and the Assassins of Landria. Newest titles include Tangled Web, Vengeance, The Dark Road, and Assassin’s Honor. As Morgan Brice, she writes urban fantasy MM paranormal romance. Books include Witchbane and Badlands.




Twitter: @GailZMartin



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