Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Hot Shot by S.A. Stolinsky - Deck the Halls with Books Holiday Extravaganza



James Ellroy once said to me, “Go to the museums, the out of the way art galleries, the people in the park, any park, and talk to everyone.  That’s where you’ll get your stories and that’s where you get ideas.” I have no quarrel with that. After I stopped shaking because I was meeting a literary “star” I realized he was interested in the common man, woman, the everyday person whose story was on its face boring, but whose psychological makeup was anything but.

In Hot Shot, my protagonist, Tyler West, is depressed.  He starts out depressed, lonely, unsure of himself, angry, a real Borderline Personality.  He’s tried the drugs, the alcohol, the sex addiction, and now he’s lodged into gambling which turns out to be his worst nightmare yet.

He lost everything.  His girlfriend, his money, his life savings, his friends and almost his family—because there is one woman who still wants to see him---his mother, Sue,  and then I wondered, “Where am I going with this?”  Honestly, the way I write---I start out never knowing where I’m going with a book. I start with an idea and I always know the ending, always the ending.  Like, this one is going to be about gambling.  Okay, okay, what do I know about gambling?  Well, I love Vegas.  I love to watch some cowboy with a gut hanging over his belt, come in wearing a white Stetson hat and sit down at a $10,000 buy in table and literally put down $10,000 dollars!!

I freak out.  I do.  Who lives like that?  My mind goes over all the things I could buy for that much money and why is it so important for this man to chance it all?  Then that leads from one place to another. And then I just tell myself the entire story.  After that, what most of our colleagues call “Panstering” I will do the outline.  Because by then I know the story.

Then chapter one leads to chapter two, and so on. But when I first met the real “Tyler West” the pseudonym for a guy I worked with, I had no idea he was going to end up winning the World Series of Poker.  I mean how many people do that?  Then that led me to researching the book.  Oh, poor me.  I had to go to Las Vegas for a weekend, stay at New York, New York, eat all that glorious food, and wind my way to the Rio where the poker series takes place. 

What an arena---the size of about five football fields with tables bunched up against each other and six chairs to a table and rows upon rows of lighting above.  It’s daunting.  I spoke to some players who had lost, some guards who explained how the series worked and even a winner of three million dollars. 

It's always good for me to go anywhere at Christmas time, too.  I love Christmas and as a child, my mother always had a very ornamental tree with gobs of presents under it.  And at an early age I realized, a good novel must have a Christmas or holiday scene, a rain, scene, a love scene and a death scene.  Pretty good for a 10-year-old, but those were the stories I liked to read.  Especially Dickens.

I discover along with him what’s going to happen next.  When the book is finished, it’s generally around 315 pages, I re-read it and go where the book takes me. So, let me end by saying, along with your central plot, the added texture of a time and place really enhances a story. 


Hot Shot
S.A. Stolinsky

Suspense

November 1, 2016

Book Description:

Payback is a powerful thing...

Actor and bartender, Tyler West experiences a sudden streak of luck -- winning poker games. Determined to change his life, he enters the World Series of Poker. His life is suddenly turned upside down when the Russian mafia fronts him 1.5 million dollars to play at the tables. And then...he loses…

Now on the ride of his life, deceit and deception are his key to uncovering the truth. He must recoup the money, but will it come at a price? Can he stay alive long enough or will his time run out?







EXCERPT HOT SHOT by S. A. STOLINSKY

Tyler pushed his long, blond hair back with one hand and slouched.  He knew she found him attractive.  “I’ll tell ya,” he began, hoping to make it last, keep her interested.  “I pretty much need the start up money right now.”
Ah, too fast.
“Start up money? Now? You think I got a stash under my bed upstairs?” Elsie pushed Tyler into an oversized easy chair covered with a brown mohair blanket. A black cat with white paws jumped off it as Tyler slammed down.
  “We should go up and find out.  My, my we’re in a hurry aren’t we? Easy kid. When you’re hustling, you don’t wanta look too desperate, know what I mean? Take it slow.  Move slow, kiss slow.”
She took a grape from a bowl of them on the center console.
“Well, you are good lookin’ I’ll give you that,” she said. “What’s that piece of paper you got there?  Your birth certificate or something?”
“No, ma’am,” Tyler gave her the certificate. “It tells everybody I’m HIV negative. Made this up on my computer.”
Elsie’s head flew back, her mouth opened and a yell of hysteria came out of her mouth.  She began drooling and wiping her chin with her arm.  She finally calmed down enough to say, “Bullwhippie!”
“Jeez,” Elsie said as she tore up the certificate and put it in a glass ashtray on the glass coffee table. “Nobody’s gonna think you got HIV, okay?”
She sat back on the couch, her old, wrinkled face frozen in amusement and held the torn pieces of paper in her lap.  “Let me explain something to you, kid.  The only thing that makes a lot of money fast is ass.”
“One point five million?” Tyler asked.
“You’re good looking, but park your ego at the door.  Nobody makes that kind of money first time out, even a guy as good lookin’ as you.”
Elsie put her feet up on the foot stool and sat back with her hands folded in her lap, the pieces of paper falling around her.
“Listen, baby. This is just between you and me, okay? I’ve been a madam longer than I can remember. I work on the sly now so when my parole officer comes around, but he don’t bother me anyway. You know why?”
              A still crestfallen Tyler looked at her.
              “Because I got the goods on all those assholes, that’s why. I got video. Don’t ever do porn without a video somewheres in the bedroom. Ya got me?”
              Tyler nodded.
              Elsie continued without noticing. “I’ll never tell where I hid the original but believe me I got plenty of copies. Got a friend does the best photography in the city. I had a couple of tapes made and almost sold ‘em to TV—the porn sites, of course. So, I been thinkin’ real hard about how I can re-establish my rep. And here you come.”
Tyler finally opened his mouth but it was only to use his tongue to wet his lips, they felt parched and he was sure they would crack it he kept his mouth closed any longer.
“Yes, Ma’am,” was all he could think to say.
“I’m gonna start up the biggest whore house in the state, sonny. This time? With men. You know how much a good male hooker can make? Two thousand a night. Now---depending on your stamina…”
“Yeah, I get the picture,” Tyler said.
He wasn’t in to older women, but he had to admit, Elsie was beginning to look visibly younger with the excitement she was projecting. Some people love their work. Her gray roots were beginning to look more like silver blonde streaks and her smile was widening. For a few seconds he didn’t see her wrinkles across both cheeks.  Her teeth, perfect in what were undoubtedly caps, glistened.
“A male whorehouse. I don’t think it’s been done before,” Elsie repeated.
Elsie was spry for a woman her age, but she had gotten fat over the years.  She no longer looked like a professional, but that was probably the point.  He picked up a small, silver framed picture which sat on an end table. It looked like an old studio shot of a glamorous woman, her head tilted back, full makeup and blond hair, her fingers just touching her chin and a large, pearl necklace around her neck and thick jeweled bracelets on her wrists. Tyler put it back.
“A lifetime ago, sweetie,” Elsie said to him. “Women in their eighties still masturbate, you know that? And I figure that is such a shame when guys like you are running around just waiting to service us.”
“Never really thought about it,” Tyler said.
“You sure do look like your pa. He was a crafty one, but always good to my girls. You work out, huh? I got a boob job in my seventies. Hell, nothing stays up forever. They’re just starting to sag again now. Thinking about getting ‘em done again, so this is a good time we connected.”
“Yes, Ma’am,” Tyler wasn’t sure where this was going, but he was pretty sure he didn’t want it to go much further.
“Thirty percent on my end,” she said.
“Huh?” Tyler realized his eyes had widened and tried to relax so he wouldn’t look so stupid.
“Thirty percent.”
“That’s a lot of money, Ma’am,” Tyler said, when the hole in his stomach shrunk slightly. “I mean I’m desperate, like you say, but that’s a big cut.”

“Listen, kid. A man looks like you, your age, your height, your…face, could make more than two thousand dollar

About the Author:

Stefanie Stolinsky, Ph.D. is a licensed psychologist and forensic psychologist with a private practice in Beverly Hills, California. She  specializes  in trauma, adults sexually, physically and emotionally abused as children, and PTSD. She is an international speaker and has taught training seminars in overcoming the aftereffects of child abuse. She has also taught licensing examinations to candidates for both marriage, family and child counseling and for the psychology licenses. 

She began her career as an actress in motion pictures, television and stage and created a unique therapy combining acting exercises with psychodynamic psychotherapy to help survivors of all kinds of trauma overcome the aftereffects of abuse. The first edition of "ACT IT OUT" was a top seller for over nine years. A second edition of the popular book was launched in April of this year and is available on Praeclarus Press, Amazon, and Barnes and Noble. 

She is also the author of several award-winning short stories including her newest short story anthology, DATE NIGHT, and numerous comedy mystery. Dr. Stolinsky lives with her husband in Los Angeles.






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Monday, December 17, 2018

10 Holiday Gifts for Your Supernatural Friends



10 Holiday Gifts for Your Supernatural Friends

Christmas shopping can be challenging at the best of times, but the non-humans on the list can present special problems. Need ideas for what to get the vampire with centuries of clutter in his garage or the mermaid who needs everything waterproofed? Here are some suggestions from our retail experts:

1. Get that vampire a month’s rental on a storage locker big enough to house his spare coffin collection!

2. For the shifters we suggest many, many lint rollers or a rechargeable hand vacuum!

3. For the fussy feline shifters, how about modern art that doubles as a scratching post?

4. As a stocking stuffer, nothing beats fake human teeth for the vampires!

5. A definite must have: non-toxic chew toys for the werepuppies.

6. Environmentally friendly dry cleaning options for the mummies on your list.

7. Steaks

8. Stakes

9. A personal crossroad for that special demon. Top seller: something on Route 666.

10. High-strength spray adhesive is a thoughtful present for those zombies who just can’t keep it together.

Just remember, whatever you choose, it’s the thought that counts—or possibly the deliciously fresh brains that just manufactured that thought …



Gifted: The Dark Forgotten
Dark Forgotten Series
Book Five
Sharon Ashwood

Genre: Paranormal romance/urban fantasy



Publisher: Rowan and Ash Artistry

Date of Publication:  November 11, 2018

ISBN: 978-1-7750279-3-5
ASIN:  B07K5DYCBK

Number of pages: 124
Word Count: 35,000

Cover Artist: Wicked by Design

Tagline: Who says the holiday season is just for humans?

Book Description:

For all the holly-jolly times, family gatherings are complex no matter who—or what—you are. When you’re hunting for the latest “it” toy to stuff a stocking, it doesn’t matter if you’re alive or Undead, fanged or furry—you’re just as desperate to be the cool dad. And then there are the family grumps who never send cards, the ones who eat all the good candy, and those who drool and dig up the neighbor’s yard.

No, the Yuletide Season isn’t for the faint of heart—and sometimes it’s downright demonic—but holiday miracles make it all worthwhile. Chance encounters and unexpected forgiveness remind us that joy doesn’t come in a gift-wrapped box.

This novella from the Dark Forgotten world catches up with favorite characters for a fresh take on the holidays. Those visiting the world for the first time will understand why Chicago Tribune called it “simply superb.”

Grab this book and return to the world of the Dark Forgotten. Santa Claws is waiting!




“Don’t you want to go see Santa Claws?”  Errata Jones asked in her husky, teasing voice.
“Meh,” Perry Baker replied, still grumpy at the prospect of crowds and gift-giving decisions. Plus, it was cold, gray, and rainy—a typical December day in the Pacific Northwest.
“Where’s your boundless holiday spirit?” She turned into the parking lot outside the Fairview Sports and Recreation Center. It was the final day of the Yuletide Holiday Market, an arts and crafts event by and for the local supernatural community. “Counting today, there’s only three shopping days till Christmas.”
“I really hope you’re not going to make me sit on Santa’s knee.”
“I don’t think so, darling. That would be weird, even for us.”
Errata swung her Jaguar coupe into the last parking space, beating out a massive pickup by a whisker. The truck made a sound like a startled dinosaur as it lurched to a stop on the frosty pavement. Turning off the Jaguar’s ignition, Errata smoothed her chin-length, jet-black hair, then glanced in the rear-view mirror, looking pleased with herself. Perry twisted in his seat to see the pickup driver turn a Christmassy scarlet and lurch off. 
Perry willed his heart to resume its normal rhythm.  Errata was a werecougar, and there were reasons cats shouldn’t drive. Werewolves like him were another matter. Wolves appreciated order, including stop signs. Cats did things because they could—like pester him into going to this stupid craft fair. 
That’s what he got for befriending a feline. He cast her a sidelong look, taking in her high cheekbones and smooth, golden skin. It was all he could do not to reach over and stroke her hair, but that would be crossing a boundary. She’d made it clear from the start that cats walked alone.
Errata finished preening and gave him an arch look. “Shouldn’t you be shopping for your human, what’s-her-name?”
Perry released his seatbelt. “Her name is Tiffani. With an i.”
“Tiffani. Of course it is.” Errata patted his cheek with a pitying look. “Come on. First fifty guests get a goodie bag.”
“She’s fun,” Perry said, sounding defensive even to himself.
“Humans generally are,” she said agreeably. “You should buy her something really nice.”
“Men don’t shop before December 23rd,” he protested as he got out of the car.
“Friends don’t let friends give their sweethearts, even ones named Tiffani with an i, gift cards.”
“But gift cards make sense.”
Errata flung the end of her scarf over her shoulder with a flick of one gloved hand. “Be grateful you have me to watch over you.” She clicked the locks and swept toward the entrance of the building, leaving Perry to catch up.
“Cats,” he grumbled. “What do you want for Yule?”
“Not a gift card.”


About the Author:

USA Today bestselling author Sharon Ashwood is a novelist, desk jockey and enthusiast for the weird and spooky. She has an English literature degree but works as a finance geek. Interests include growing her to-be-read pile and playing with the toy graveyard on her desk. As a vegetarian, she freely admits the whole vampire/werewolf lifestyle would never work out, so she writes her adventures instead.

Sharon is a winner of the RITA® Award for Paranormal Romance. She lives in the Pacific Northwest and is owned by the Demon Lord of Kitty Badness.


Website        www.SharonAshwood.com

Twitter         https://twitter.com/RowanAshArt

Tumblr (The Prattler) http://rowanashart.tumblr.com/






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Sunday, December 16, 2018

Sign Up for the After Christmas Social Media Blast from Bewitching Book Tours


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Friday, December 14, 2018

Sin City Salvation: Holidays Are Hell by Karen Greco




Sin City Salvation

Holidays Are Hell

A Hell’s Belle Prequel Novella

Karen Greco



Genre: Urban Fantasy     

Publisher: 56West, LLC

Date of Publication: 11/27/18

Number of pages: 136
Word Count: 38,000

Cover design by Robin Ludwig Design Inc.

Tagline: What Happens In Vegas Needs to Stay In Vegas

Book Description:

There are thousands of bodies buried in the Las Vegas desert. Nina Martinez does not want to be one of them.

Blood Ops agents Nina and Frankie came to Las Vegas for a little R&R. But their holiday takes a detour when there is a mass suicide on the Vegas strip. With the sigil of Satan burning on the bodies, what looks like a human problem quickly turns supernatural. Satan is in Sin City, and he’s been reinvented as the self-help guru behind the multi-billion-dollar organization BestLife Ministries.

With an offer to attend the BestLife’s Yule Ball, Nina accepts her invitation to dance with the devil. But what happens in Vegas needs to stay in Vegas. For all of humanity’s sake…

This action-packed prequel novella to the acclaimed Hell’s Belle series gives fans of series a glimpse at Nina’s origin story while new readers can sample the unique Hell’s Belle world.


Amazon     Kobo     iTunes


Excerpt:
"You hear that?" Frankie asked.
"Do I have vampy hearing?" I countered with my own question. Of course I didn't hear it.
"That's right. Sorry," he said with a teasing smile.  "There's a lot of chatter in the wind, a lot of bobbies, EMS, that sort."
Frankie was a posh Brit. Sometimes his terms needed translations.
"By bobbies, you mean cops, right?"
"Right, police. They keep calling code 10-56. Any idea?"
"No, but Google will."
I stopped walking and pulled out my phone. I fired up my browser and punched in the police code while Frankie crossed his arms and sent his eyes skyward. His hatred of Google was irrational, considering the vamp never used a computer.
"Suicide," I said, reading off my phone.
"That many at once?" he asked. His eyes narrowed but his lanky body went electric, like he was listening to the wind again. "That's a terrible number of 10-56s being called."
"Maybe they're repeating?"
"Different voices. Dispatch is sending bobbies out to different locations."
"Where?" I asked, my own body tensing with adrenaline.
"All different hotels. All on the Strip."
"No," I said, launching myself forward, our ridiculous hotel less than a mile away. Get in, get to the room, close the drapes, pretend this wasn't happening.
"What?" Frankie asked, matching my steps. "Aren't you curious?"
"Human problem," I said. "Suicide is a human problem."
"Nina—" he started in that voice.
That. Voice. I knew that voice. That was the voice that said we should wade in.
I pressed forward. "Are they talking about puncture wounds in the neck? Are the bodies gutted, half eaten entrails left behind? Anyone speaking in tongues?"
He slowed his gate, so his answer came from behind me. "But this sounds like a mass suicide."
I pushed my pace even faster. If he wanted to explore whatever the hell the idiot humans were up to, he was welcome to it. I, however, wanted to wash off the stink of failure and then crash in the hotel's promised "Angelic Cloud" bed.
Frankie, of course, caught up. He wasn't even breathing heavy. Of course, he was dead so he didn't technically breathe.
"You ever hear of those Heaven's Gate nuts? That was human," I pushed out, getting a little winded, not by my speed walking but from the spike of my stress level. We were supposed to be on vacation. Hunting monsters 24/7 over the past nine months had me fatigued. I needed a time out. "Jim Jones? Not supernatural. Human."
"That was murder," he pointed out.
"Whatever. You get the idea," I said. "Suicides, even mass ones, happen for human reasons, Frankie. I promise you. This has nothing to do with us."
That was when Frankie football tackled me, shoving us off the sidewalk into the street. We slammed against the door of one of the stopped cars, then bounced forward a little before both of us landed on our asses in the gutter.
A body landed on the sidewalk in exactly the spot were were just standing. It made a loud thud on impact. Then a pink spray covered our bodies while fragments of bone pelted us, pinging off the metal of the cars still backed up on the street.
"What in bloody hell was that?" Frankie asked as we both scrambled back up to our feet, ignoring the shrieks of the woman driving the car we hit.
My own eyes tracked up the length of the high-rise casino beside us, where three heads poked out an open window, arms flailing and pointing down.
"Jumper," I said, looking at what was left of the body.
The torso was intact. Two arms and one leg had separated from the body. The one remaining attached leg was akimbo. His head was pulp.
In my job, I've seen human bodies ripped apart by werewolves and drained of blood by vampires. But this? This was a gruesome way to go.
I ignored the gore that covered my bomber jacket, now destined for the garbage bin. No amount of cleaning would wipe away the mess on this coat.
"Let's get out of here," I said to Frankie, who was wiping his leather down with a handkerchief. "Frankie, you're gonna need more than a little hankie to get that shit out."
"Don't you think we should stay for the police?" he asked.
"Human problem," I repeated.
"Nina." There was a warning in Frankie's tone, and I pulled my eyes away from the body and to a man huddled by the revolving door of the casino. If he had been mere seconds earlier, he would have been pancaked under the jumper.
The man's eyes were wide. His skin, sheened with sweat, took on a grey pallor. He couldn't have been much older than thirty, but what he just witnessed seemed to age him one hundred years.
"You okay, sir?" Frankie called out to him.
The man shifted his eyes towards Frankie. Fear and confusion danced behind his violet irises. I watched his Adam's apple bob as he swallowed, trying to find his voice. The pulse of the artery in his neck throbbed.
"I . . . I'm . . . what the—"
That was all the man could manage to get out before his eyes tracked back to the body and his face melted from shock to horror.
"Human problem, eh?" Frankie snarked with a nod to the remains.
I closed my eyes as my stomach roiled. Deep down, I knew. A string of suicides on the Vegas Strip the night before Christmas Eve? By jumping out high-rise windows? I didn't want to see, didn't want to know, didn't want to admit: this was no human problem.
"Nina—" Frankie prodded. "You gotta look."
With a determined sigh, I opened my eyes and saw a blue flame dance on top of the dead man's torso. Frankie and I inched towards the body until we hovered over it, watching the flame ignite into a shape from groin to chest.
"Do you see that?" the frightened man whispered from behind us. "You both see that, right?"
There was no way I could unsee any of it, especially the sigil formed from the flames.
This wasn't just any old sigil.
This was the mark of Lucifer.
The devil was in town.
And Frankie and I were likely the ones who had to run him out of Vegas.

About the Author:

Karen Greco’s entire career has revolved around writing. She studied playwriting in college (and won an award or two). After not writing plays for a long time, a life-long obsession with exorcists and Dracula drew her to urban fantasy, where she decapitates characters with impunity. Titles in her Hell’s Belle series include: Hell’s Belle, Tainted Blood, and Steele City Blues. Sin City Salvation is a prequel novella to the series. She wrote contemporary romance for a small press under the pen-name Jillian Sterling. She is currently re-writing and expanding those books for re-release. She is a freelance entertainment publicist and feature writer. She is a regular contributor to Providence Media’s various regional titles.







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Thursday, December 13, 2018

Hot Holiday Erotica



Tasty Christmas Treats 

Roxanne Rhoads 

Holiday Erotica/Short Story

Publisher: Bewitching Books; 2 edition 

Publication Date: November 24, 2015

ASIN: B017T3G8HO

It's the night before Christmas Eve and all the naughty elves have been working hard in Kelly's upscale adult boutique. Santa Kelly is exhausted and in desperate need of a night off to spend some quality time with her sexy husband, Marc. 

But just as Kelly and Marc's holiday fun starts getting really heated, an emergency phone call from one of Kelly’s employees interrupts the festive fun. Her oversexed cousin, Chrissy, is up to no good, and wreaking havoc in Kelly’s shop. 

Can Kelly convince Chrissy that her store is not a brothel before the cops shut it down? Will Kelly and Marc ever get to finish their passionate Christmas rendezvous? 

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Fangs for the Holidays 
A Vehicle City Vampires 
Short Story 
Roxanne Rhoads 

Publisher: Bewitching Books 
Release Date: November 18, 2014
ASIN: B00PE7QANU

Book Description:

After spending the day baking holiday goodies Anwyn drops by her vampire boyfriend Galen's home so they can spend some quality time together. 

He is surprisingly enticed by the smell of baked goods on Anwyn's skin which leads them to a drama filled discussion about family holiday gatherings, the other man in her life...and eventually to very hot holiday sex. 

The events in this story take place between book one, Hex and the Single Witch, and book two, Hex and the City.

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Candy Cane Thrills 
Roxanne Rhoads

Publisher: Bewitching Books 
Release Date: October 14, 2014

ASIN: B00NYN7OUO

Genre: short story Christmas erotica

Book Description:

Adrienne has a little Christmas seduction planned. She dresses up in naughty red velvet lingerie for her boyfriend Marcus. 

But it turns out that she's not the only one with sexy shenanigans in mind. 

Marcus has been thinking along the same lines, and he has a delicious Christmas treat in store for her.

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