Monday, August 15, 2022

Hunted – A Vampwitch Novel by Kathleen Harryman #PNR

Hunted – A Vampwitch Novel
Book One
Kathleen Harryman

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Date of Publication: February 2021
ISBN: 978-1637603239
Word Count: 73988
Cover Artist: Kathleen Harryman

Tagline: Loving a werewolf is complicated. When everyone wants you dead, complicated is easy.

Book Description: 

Secrets can kill you…

For twenty-five years, Alice Quinn, believed she was human. That was until a fire demon killed her mother, and her father walked back into her life. As a vampire, being dead is not an acceptable reason for staying out of Alice’s life. 

Forced to accept her heritage and the dormant power she possesses as half-vampire and witch, Alice becomes submerged into a world of danger, where deadly forces threaten to strip away her humanity.

Stuck with a newfound family that doesn’t understand her. A ghost who doesn’t want to be dead, and a grumpy gnome, sent by her grandfather from Faerieland, to spy on her, life is more than challenging.

Alpha werewolf, Ethan Jefferies, has a choice, bring Alice back from the Ghost Plane or allow her to die. Ethan’s wolf has its own agenda, claiming Alice, he binds them together. But Alice wants more—she wants the man. 

Excerpt Two:

“Arthur’s going to assist with today’s lesson, dear, along with Jack.”

I want to ask why, but I’m not prepared to make Grumpy, grumpier. “Right, I’ll get something to eat and then we can start.”

“There’s no rush, dear.”

“Take your time, I’ve only been waiting three hours, what’s another three.”

I roll my eyes at Arthur’s comment.

“You’re being facetious. It won’t take me three hours to eat breakfast.”

Arthur folds his arms over his vast stomach. “Humph, I’ve seen what you can eat.”

I take no notice. The gnome will always need to vent out his opinions

“If I have to wait, I might as well have some elderflower water… warmed it’s cold out there.” He sends me an expectant look.

“Don’t look at me, I’m not your molly-maid, besides I don’t want to keep you waiting.” I pull out a chair next to Ethan, as Aunt Dot cooks my breakfast.

“You know where everything is Arthur.” The gnome huffs at Julian as he jumps from the stool.

“This wouldn’t happen in Faerieland. They look after gnomes there.”

“Doesn’t the word gnome come the from nineteenth century fairy tales?” I enquire, snagging a sausage off Ethan’s plate. “They use it in their stories to reference little people like brownies, or leprechauns.”

Arthur’s face reddens, angry at the downgrade in his status to the same as brownies and leprechauns.

“Alice.” Aunt Dot shouts at me and I drop the half-eaten sausage on the table.


She shakes her head at me. “Never take food off a wolf.”

Everyone is watching Ethan.

I look at the sausage. “Oh, do you want it back?” I hand him the half-eaten stick. “I’ve only had a big bite.” My lips twitch.

Arthur walks over, pulling out a chair and placing his glass on the table. A low growl omits from Ethan.

“She took the sausage not me.” The gnome takes his drink backing away.
Amber sparks light Ethan’s eyes. The wolf coming to the surface. I place a hand over Ethan’s and his eyes meet mine.

“Sorry, wolf, I didn’t mean any disrespect.”

The room is quiet, everyone is waiting for a storm to hit, and no one’s sure how to break the growing pressure.

“We’ve shared before and I didn’t think,”  I say trying to explain my lack of thought and calm the wolf.

Ethan shrugs and the wolf recedes. The tension in the room relaxes. “Not to worry.” His fingers graze mine as he pushes the sausage in my hand towards my lips.
Arthur huffs.

“I think you’re the one he’s mad at for sitting too close to him, not me.” Meat swirls round my mouth.

Aunt Dot places a plate of food in front of me, and I pick up a sausage. “Here, have one of mine,” I say handing the sausage to Ethan.

“I don’t believe it.” Arthur throws his hands in the air.

“Ok, what did I do now?”

“Nothing, Alice, don’t worry,” Ethan says as he pulls his chair back, accepting the offered food.

“It’s getting late, we’d best go.” Ethan nods at Julian.

I watch the two men leave, tucking into my breakfast, aware something significant has happened, but not understanding what.

“Well, that was interesting,” Jack says from my right, making me jump.

“I thought we agreed you wouldn’t do that anymore.”

“Do what?” False innocence rolls off him.

About the Author:

Kathleen Harryman is an award-winning storyteller and poet, living in historically rich city of York, North Yorkshire, England.

Kathleen was first published in 2015, a romantic suspense, The Other Side of the Looking Glass. Since then, she has developed a unique writing style, which readers enjoy, and is now a multi-published author of suspense, romantic suspense, psychological thrillers, historical romance, paranormal romance, and poetry.

The Independent Author Network: 

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Monday, August 08, 2022

The Authors of Haunted Flint are back with Ghosts and Legends of Genesee and Lapeer Counties

The authors of the Amazon #1 Bestseller Haunted Flint are back with a new book featuring local historical haunted hot spots and urban legends.

Ghosts and Legends of Genesee and Lapeer Counties will be released Monday, August 29, 2022.

In this book history, true crime, and the paranormal intersect

Spooky stories and terrifying tales lurk in dark rural corners and on historic main streets throughout Genesee and Lapeer counties. Hospitals, cemeteries, and historic homes have numerous ghosts attached to them.

Roxanne and Joe dig into the archives in search of secrets buried in history. They uncover dark truths that have led to haunting tales. They often discover stories where history, true crime, and the paranormal intersect. These sinister tales of murder have led to locations full of paranormal activity.

A Clio man’s spirit is thought to still reside in the junkyard office where he was murdered. The incident was billed as the internet’s first murder case and made nationwide headlines as the Instant Message Murder.  

For almost two centuries the Flushing area has been fascinated by tales of the wealthy Brent family whose land is connected to numerous tales of murder, mystery, and ghosts. The land may also have ties to the brutal 1928 murder of 5-year-old Dorothy Schneider.

The Lapeer State Home has ties to unethical medical practices, eugenics, and murder. The land and remaining buildings that once belonged to the home are considered to be extremely haunted.

The counties have numerous urban legends including the Michigan Dogman, black panthers, creepy clowns, crybaby bridge, and Blood Road.

 Meet The Authors at Local Events throughout September and October

Ghosts and Legends of Genesee and Lapeer Counties 
Haunted America Series 
Roxanne Rhoads and Joe Schipani 

Release Date: August 29, 2022 

Book Description: 

Ghost stories and urban legends lurk throughout Genesee and Lapeer counties. 

A Clio man's spirit is thought to still reside in the junkyard office where he was murdered. For almost two centuries, the Flushing area has been fascinated by tales of the wealthy Brent family whose land is connected to numerous tales of murder, mystery, and ghosts. 

In Lapeer County, the Bruce Mansion's unnerving fa├žade hints at the specters inside, and the land and buildings once belonging to the Lapeer State Home are plagued by haunting cries and ghostly activity. 

Join the authors of Haunted Flint, Roxanne Rhoads and Joe Schipani, as they take you on a tour of Genesee and Lapeer counties’ most haunted locations. 


Walmart     BN     ThriftBooks     

If you plan to attend the Book Release Party for Ghosts and Legends of Genesee & Lapeer Counties you can pre-order a copy to ensure one is available for you.

You can pick up your copy at the event Friday, September 2 at Totem Books.

Thursday, August 04, 2022

Hidden By The Dark by J.C. Moore #Thriller #Horror

Hidden By The Dark 
Pine Creek Thriller 
Book One
J.C. Moore

Genre: Thriller/Horror
Publisher: MissingStarBooks  
Date of Publication: June 8th 22
ISBN: 9798834386896
Number of pages: 225
Word Count:  57000
Cover Artist: J.C. Moore

Tagline: Something terrifying has awakened in the mountains…

Book Description: 

A sheriff and his deputy investigate several brutal murders in a coal mining community where fear and terror have struck. As the investigation continues, they piece together a shocking and terrifying puzzle that leads him to believe that the murders may be the work of a serial killer.

Or is it someone from out of town? Or worse yet, is there something even more sinister?

The murders seem to have no pattern or motive, leaving them struggling to find answers. With time running out, the sheriff must find the killer before he strikes again.

If you are a fan of Dean Koontz, James Rollins, Douglas Preston, Lincoln Child, Stephen King, or Michael Crichton, you will love Hidden By The Dark.

This book is the first in the Pine Creek Thriller series.

About the Author: 

J. C. is a published songwriter, father, husband, IT guy by day - but also moonlights as a professional musician. He reads anything from classics to modern literature and pulp books. He is particularly fond of horror and science fiction. J.C. is a fan of movies and writing that allow for the expression of characters' inner lives, as well as the idea that there are good people in the world who embody qualities such as kindness, empathy and compassion. He resides in upstate NY.

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Monday, July 25, 2022

Modern Witchcraft with the Greek Gods: History, Insights & Magickal Practice

I have a guest contribution, "Personal Insights with Ariadne", in the book: 

Modern Witchcraft with the Greek Gods: History, Insights & Magickal Practice 

From Zeus and Hephaestus to Hades and Persephone, this book reveals the origins of nearly thirty Greek gods and goddesses, how they've been worshipped across the centuries, and how you can work with them in your own practice. 

Jason Mankey and Astrea Taylor introduce you to the gods one by one, presenting their history, unique correspondences, and a ritual or spell for connecting with them. 

You'll also enjoy insightful contributions from members of the Witchcraft community who actively work with these deities. 

Modern Witchcraft with the Greek Gods features other mythological figures as well, such as the Titans and Primordial Forces, and it explores the spell and ritual structures of ancient times. Everything you want to know about Greek gods and how to call upon them today is in this book.

It will be released on December 8 but is available for pre-order at all major retailers

#GreekGods #ModernWitchcraft #Ariadne 

Friday, July 22, 2022

Free Book Friday Bridging the Gap – Reducing Gender Bias in the Workplace by Alexandra McGroarty #FreeBook #KindleFreebie


Bridging the Gap – Reducing Gender Bias in the Workplace
Alexandra McGroarty

Genre: Social Sciences
Publisher: McGroarty and Company Consulting
Date of Publication: June 8, 2022
ISBN: 9798835096770
Number of pages: 129
Word Count: 30,210
Cover Artist: Jenna Gelow Designs (Graphics)/Allison McCafferty (Photographer)

Tagline: Offers insight into how women and those around them can help cultivate growth opportunities

Book Description:

Bridging the Gap - Reducing Gender Bias in the Workplace is an overview of the current state of gender bias in the workforce with a personal twist. 

McGroarty outlines the biases we have unconsciously, those we impart on others and how the pandemic shaped the way we view women in the workforce. 

By outlining what women face both at home and at work, McGroarty lays a path for how to reduce gender bias whether you are an executive professional or looking to further your understanding of this important topic.

Get it Free

Bridging the Gap – Reducing Gender Bias in the Workplace by Alexandra McGroarty

Bridging the Gap – Reducing Gender Bias in the Workplace
Alexandra McGroarty

Genre: Social Sciences
Publisher: McGroarty and Company Consulting
Date of Publication: June 8, 2022
ISBN: 9798835096770
Number of pages: 129
Word Count: 30,210
Cover Artist: Jenna Gelow Designs (Graphics)/Allison McCafferty (Photographer)

Tagline: Offers insight into how women and those around them can help cultivate growth opportunities

Book Description:

Bridging the Gap - Reducing Gender Bias in the Workplace is an overview of the current state of gender bias in the workforce with a personal twist. 

McGroarty outlines the biases we have unconsciously, those we impart on others and how the pandemic shaped the way we view women in the workforce. 

By outlining what women face both at home and at work, McGroarty lays a path for how to reduce gender bias whether you are an executive professional or looking to further your understanding of this important topic.


Sometimes, it takes a truly dramatic event to bring the truth to light: we do not have to struggle so hard, and we do not have to struggle alone. I am still learning what it means to have mental health. It is not about a constant state of happiness or complete enlightenment; mental health does not free us from pain, grief, worries, or bad days; it only reframes our thinking about these struggles so that we can learn from the ones that are out of our control and do something about the ones that within our control.

Dealing with my own mental health issues also taught me better how to interact with others. We do not all interact and communicate in the same way. What I need may drive someone else’s triggers; what I dislike doing may be the way they prefer to communicate. I am still in therapy, and I am constantly working on myself. It has taken time, and will continue to take time, to unpack the events of my life, and realign them in a way I can move forward with.

We women stand in a world bursting with opportunity.  

There’s not a job out there that we’re forbidden from trying. There’s not a position that we can’t be considered for. There are spoken intentions to place us in positions where decisions are made. In fact, companies, CEOs, politicians, the workforce itself, really seem to want to announce their dedication to the world. “Look, we hire women! We promote women! We listen to women!”  We are now able to work full- time and be mothers, too. People absolutely understand that women have babies and want to raise them in addition to having a career.  

The COVID-19 Pandemic proved a fact that really needed no proof: that women are on the frontlines when it comes to holding society together, keeping the engines running, and keeping the fires under control.

And yet, somehow, the problems we work so hard to overcome (microaggressions, systemic bias, serious pay inequality, and our shouldering the overwhelming burden of stress and responsibility for unpaid and/or unpromotable work) remain stubbornly in place. Putting women in the workplace is not the problem. Putting them on equal footing with their male counterparts is.

Gender equity begins with equitable hiring – that means hiring men and women for the same amount of money. But it also means that once they are there, both men and women are given the same opportunities. Women must be able to occupy an equivalent number of executive, managerial, team, and departmental roles within the company.  

Gender equality means a more peaceful, productive, healthier, wealthier world. Men who accept and promote equitable gender practices are generally healthier and happier), they experience fewer mental health issues, and they have happier life-partners. Societies where men treat all genders as equal are more inclusive and peaceful, both inside their own borders and in relation to other nations.

We are all beautiful in our differentness, and our differentness lets us lean on each other in times of need. Someone else’s puzzle piece can complete your picture. That is what diversity and inclusion are all about.

About the Author:

Alexandra runs McGroarty and Co. Consulting as the lead Human Resources consultant and serves as a certified diversity professional as well as a certified professional coach. She is currently pursuing her PH.D in Social Psychology.

Alexandra lives with her two children, Lucas and Ava and two bulldogs Max and Sadie in New Jersey. In her free time, she likes to spend time with family, travel, and volunteer in the Greater Philadelphia area.

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Thursday, July 14, 2022

Top 10 Witches in Books, TV, and Movies with Maria DeVivo

So, since I’m deep into writing about witches and all things dark and spooky, I decided I would create a Top 10 Witches in Books, TV, and Movies List. 

10. Morgan le Fay – Morganna, Morgaine, Morgue – call her what you will, but don’t forget to call her one of the most badass witches written about in history. A Welsh myth, an Arthurian legend, Morgan le Fay is the absolute archetype for all witches who follow. Her tale spans centuries, and the stories of her wreaking havoc and mischief are epic. **Fun fact – I named my daughter, Morgan, for her and Dexter. The name served 2 purposes!

9. Queen Bavmorda from Willow – Nasty, nasty, nasty woman. Evil to the core. I always felt like her story mirrored the Evil Queen from Disney’s Snow White, just for an audience who were a little older. One word: PIG!

8. Samantha Stephens from Bewitched – What little girl didn’t want to wiggle her nose and make stuff happen? When I was a kid, I played hooky from school to watch The Price is Right and re-runs of Bewitched. Samantha was so pretty and so “normal” that she seemed to fit right in with everyone even though she had that super cool secret. When I was seven, I wanted that secret, too.

7. Maleficent – Speaking of Disney, a witch list wouldn’t be complete without good ole’ Maleficent (animated version and Angelina Jolie). The animated one turned into a damn dragon. I mean, if that isn’t power, I don’t know what is! And a super big slow clap to Angelina Jolie. That role was MADE for her. She was flawless as the Dark Fay and brought a sense of empathy and understanding to her version of the character.

6. Morticia Addams from The Addams Family – Carolyn Jones was perfectly cast as the matriarch of the Addams Family in the original series, but when you say MORTICIA ADDAMS, it’s pretty much a foregone conclusion that you will think of Anjelica Huston. Huston’s Morticia was dramatic and romanticized the notion of being a ‘goth’. She showed the world that yes, you could be different and weird and still be a good wife and mother. It gave teenage misfits like me hope for my eventual future. She was everything dark and spooky and good and wholesome wrapped into one.

5. The Wicked Witch of the West from The Wizard of Oz – Green-faced and gangly, the Wicked Witch of the West was a thing of nightmares. But the old gal knew what she wanted and dug her non-ruby slippers into the ground until she got her way. Or tried to, at least. You have to admire her fortitude and persistence. I always wonder if there was an alternate story where she DID get the slippers. What real damage could she have inflicted upon the residents of Oz with those bad boys in her possession? One can only dream… 

4. Evil-Lyn from He-Man – Such an underrated character, Evil-Lyn served loyally by Skeletor’s side in his quest for the Power Sword and takeover of Castle Grayskull. As a kid, she was always my favorite character – I wanted to wield her staff and say her spells. Every time she was on screen, I was glued to the TV, yet always walked away kinda unsatisfied as they never really got into her back story or development. The latest He-Man series (Revelations) magically fulfilled all my Evil-Lyn childhood needs, and oh boy, it did NOT disappoint. Lyn is seriously a force to be reckoned with. 

3. Melisandre from Game of Thrones (the TV show, not the book) – Beautiful, talented, filled with the power of the Lord of Light, Melisandre is at the top of the list for so many reasons. While she does horrific things and casts wicked spells, any woman who can drink poison without dying, and birth a murderous shadow child definitely gets props from me. But what sets Melisandre apart is her vulnerability. While she appears to be fierce and sure of herself on the outside, there is still a part of her that is doubtful of her abilities. Haven’t we witches all felt like that at some part in our spell crafting history? Am I doing this right? Will this work? What is my greater purpose? Sometimes Melisandre’s visions are wrong or misread. We’ve all been there! That aspect of her is what makes her so relatable to me.

2. Willow Rosenberg from Buffy the Vampire Slayer (the TV show, not the multiverse comic series or the novelizations)  -  Willow’s witchy progression over the course of the series was brilliantly done. Mousy, nerdy Willow is just a sidekick character at the start of it all, but her evolution is a true thing of beauty. From dabbler, to basic witch, to strong sorceress, to evil demonic force, to recovering addict – the metaphors are so true to life. One of the best character developments in cinema, Willow’s tale is a cautionary one for practitioners everywhere.

1. Nancy Downs from The Craft– I really rooted for Nancy. Truly, I did. There was something about her that spoke to my dark heart, which is why she is my #1 favorite witch. She was broken, and can you blame her for trying to set things right for herself? Granted, like Willow, Nancy took things way too far, but I have a soft spot in my soul for people who try to make a change in the world. The road to hell is paved with good intentions, right? She was just too young and too inexperienced to fully incorporate the power of Manon, and ultimately, absolute power corrupts absolutely. But her struggle was real and relatable. I felt sorry for her, rooted for her to be imbued with the power, swooned with her when she was drunk with madness and flew with her til the very end…  

Witch of the Red Thorn 
Dawn of the Blood Witch 
Book Two
Maria DeVivo

Genre: Occult Horror 
Publisher: 4 Horsemen Publications
Date of Publication: June 5, 2022
ISBN: 1644505614
Number of pages: 254
Word Count: 58k

Tagline: Three years after the Salem Witch Trials, a new evil awakens to terrorize an unsuspecting town.

Book Description: 

The residents of New Haven Harbor, Massachusetts think they've escaped the madness of the Salem Witch Trials, but when a new Reverend is dispatched to their church to take over for their aging vicar, they soon realize the darkness is far from over. Dutiful Christian wife Barbara Flynn is immediately affected by the new pastor's presence. Intense thoughts and feelings she has never experienced before stir inside, drawing her close to the strange man.

When a series of grisly occurrences tear through the town, Barbara and the new Reverend join together to wade through the carnage. But on their journey, Barbara soon discovers she is part of a larger design - a plan that has been in the making since the dawn of time. As shadows loom over the quiet seaside town, the simple townsfolk grow frightened. Fear soon turns to anger as fingers point in every direction to snuff out the source who has once again brought witchcraft into their midst.

Can Barbara control the demons within her to assure the town's safety? Or will the mob force Barbara and the new Reverend to atone for the sinister magic devouring New Haven Harbor?

Reader Advisory: Witch of the Red Thorn contains violence, gore, Satanic rituals, and graphic sexual situations


I didn’t realize how long we had been out in the clearing of the woods until Tansy’s screaming snapped me back into reality. It was almost like a dream—when you fall asleep into that dream world and your story just picks up in the middle of a scene, yet you have all the memory and knowledge of the world your mind has temporarily created for you. One moment we were walking out into the forest in the purest daylight to gather fresh flowers for the chapel, and in the next instance, it was pitch black and Tansy was pulling hard on my pinafore dress and howling at the top of her lungs for us to run.

“Run, Barbara! Run! Go!” she commanded as I twirled at the edge of the clearing, awestruck at the sight that lay before me—strewn in a circle lay twisted animal parts covered in leaves and muck and blood. Symbols arranged neatly with twigs, flower heads drenched in the crimson sticky blood, and black candles burned to their nubs protruded from the ground. Something about it enthralled me, bewitched me, and I stared hard at the tableau—unafraid and somewhat curious at the peculiarity of it all.

With one final tug of my dress and a shake to my shoulder, I locked eyes with my sister. Her words finally registered in my head, and her urgency struck deep into my soul: Run. Go. Now. We both took off running, my legs swiftly carrying me to presumed safety, my hands still clutching tightly to the cluster of Bellflowers I had previously picked (with no recollection of doing so).

When we finally made it to the edge of the Black Wood, the both of us slumped forward, hands on knees, panting hard for air to fill our lungs back up.

“Did you see it? Did you see it?” Tansy struggled to force the words out.

“Yes, Tansy, I saw!” I answered.

“I… I… I thought we were done with all of that! I thought that was passed us! I thought…”

“As did I. As did I.”

Tansy’s upper body shot up with a sense of awareness. Her torso tensed and stiffened, and her face drew dark and contemplative. She furrowed her brow as if trying to piece some wild puzzle together or connect the dots to some great revelation. I saw it glittering in her soft hazel eyes, like words and images dancing in her mind, yet they were too fast for her to catch and put together. When it dawned on her, it was like a candle flame flickering to life. “Today’s the 20th, isn’t it?” she asked.

“Yes, why?”

She stepped closer to me and lowered her voice. “It’s been almost three years, Barbara. Almost three years to the day that Martha Corey and the others were hanged in Salem. You know, the last of the trial judgments. Do you think it’s happening again? Do you think what happened over there is now happening here?”

“Hush your mouth, Tansy Wilkins!” I snapped back. “We are God-fearing women of our community. Peace-loving. We reject Satan and all his minions.” I paused after those words. For some reason, it didn’t feel right for me to say them. A creeping feeling of doubt entered my heart, but I pushed it aside. “Don’t you be putting that energy out into the universe,” I continued my admonition. “And for God’s sake, don’t go saying that around anyone else. You know how on edge everyone has been since all that business over there.”

“But Barbara, I’ve heard stories. Been hearing stories…”

“And stories they just are. The same ones I’ve been hearing, too. Nothing but silly ghost tales and monsters under the bed. Now shush, and don’t go putting wood on someone’s fire. Because the last thing we surely need is what happened there to infect us here. It’s still fresh. It’s going to take a little while for that wound to heal.” That much was true! I knew our town of New Haven Harbor would never be able to survive the horrors of Salem.

Her face darkened again at my words. It was obvious she wasn’t fully convinced by what I told her. I knew I wasn’t convinced myself, but I had to say the words to quell my sister’s suspicions. It would be a shame if she had opened herself to the hysteria of our neighboring town. Who knows what influence or bogeymen she might allow in?
Like a pinprick in the back of my mind, I could feel the scene in the clearing calling me—beckoning me to go and investigate. But I ignored it, and instead, I tried to convince my sister nothing nefarious was afoot.

“Winnie Gordon told me that two young children went missing over in Salem just last week.

They were playing at the bottom of the ledge where the witches were hanged, and no one has seen them since. Winnie says those little kids must have awakened something because strange things have been happening since then.”

“You know I can’t stand that Winnie Gordon. Never could,” I barked.

Tansy’s eyes went wild. “Barbara, stop that! How could you say that! Winnie has been my best friend since grammar school!”

“And pray tell, why is it that she needed to repeat her studies multiple times? Winnie Gordon is not the smartest of women, now is she? There are at least four, maybe five children in this town who bear the face of her sweet husband Jedidiah Gordon yet do not belong to Winnie herself…”

With a swift shot to the shoulder, Tansy huffed, “Barbara!”

I smirked from the corner of my mouth. “I speak nothing but truth, dear sister. And as for Winnie Gordon, I don’t think she could recognize truth if it slithered its way from between…”
She gasped again at my seeming vulgarity. “Barbara! Enough!”

I must admit, I too was taken aback by the images in my mind and the words that formed on my lips. It was no secret that Winnie’s husband was a fine catch for her. A brokered deal among their families to afford the best financial possible outcome for all parties involved. And it was no secret that Jedidiah Gordon was the desire of many of the women in New Haven Harbor, to which he heartily obliged. I envisioned all types of women in our town lying on their backs, receiving the full weight and girth of Jedidiah at once in a passionate ceremony, as if he were shapeshifter who could penetrate them at the very same time, all at once, thrusting and pulsating and rising and… I shook my head to rid myself of the thought, but the pinprick sensation was still needling its edge in the back of my head, sending electric waves down my spine.

I gave Tansy the bouquet of bluebells and instructed her: “Take these back to the chapel.

Someone will probably be wondering where we are and why we’re taking so long. Not a word of this, though. To anyone. Not even Winnie Gordon, you understand me. Someone is clearly playing a cruel joke, trying to get everyone excited and spooked for the upcoming anniversary. I’m going to go back to the clearing to tidy up so no one else sees it. I’ll be quick and come back with more flowers. Say I was unhappy with what was out there and wanted prettier ones.”

Tansy gave a quick nod and went on her way. I turned on my heels and headed straight for the clearing—straight back to the scene of grisly ritualistic murder, straight back to the scene that seemed to call to me, that drew me in. On closer inspection, I realized the twigs were arranged in the shape of a makeshift circle with the five-pointed star in the center. At each point of the star, a black melted candle was stuck into the earth. The waxy pools at their bases held them in place. A squirrel’s severed head was in the center of the star and there was blood—so much blood— adorning the center and outside of the circle.

But the blood sings.

I knelt at the end of the ground altar, entranced with the precision at which it was constructed and thought: Who could have done this? Why did they do this? What is the meaning behind it all? But my internal questions were drowned out by the song of the blood and replaced with the only thing I could describe the feeling as—knowing. The scene was suddenly beautiful to me, and a wave of guilt tumbled into my soul. I should not feel this way. I should not feel this way…

Yet something in me did.

About the Author:

Maria is the Author of the Amazon bestselling and award-winning series The Coal Elf Chronicles, the YA psychological horror series The Altered Experience, and the NA Urban Fantasy series The Aestrangel Trinity. 

When not writing about dark fantasy and horror, she teaches Language Arts and Journalism to middle school students in Florida. A lover of all things dark and demented, she takes pleasure in warping the comfort factor in her readers’ minds. Just when you think you’ve reached a safe space in her stories, she snaps you back into her twisted reality.

The Ghostwriter of New Orleans by Laura Michaud #YAParanormal

The Ghostwriter of New Orleans
Laura Michaud

Genre: YA, YA Paranormal
Publisher: Pelican/Arcadia Publishing
Date of Publication: 3/28/22
ISBN: 978-1455626243
ASIN: 1455626244
Number of pages: 192
Word Count: approx 55k

Cover Artist: Julie Buckner

Tagline: What if fate got it wrong this time?

Book Description: 

When a boy dies and becomes a ghost in his high school, he creates life-changing consequences for the entire student body when he communicates with his girlfriend by underlining passages in her favorite book in the library.  

But he finds that he also has a decision to make–accept his fate or take a dark path back and start a new life?

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How many times have you forgotten to do something small? Shut a window before it rains? Take your phone with you? Do up a button on your shirt? Grab your homework on your way out the door? On the day that seals my fate, I forget to look over my shoulder.

Right before it happens everything is the same. I get the same rush of freedom that I always get in my stomach when I leave the school parking lot, hit the gas, and make a right turn onto St. Charles Avenue. The same line of live oak trees cast their tunnel of shadows over the street. I see their branches moving, so I turn the air conditioning off, roll my windows down, ignore the text messages blowing up my phone, and turn the Jimi Hendrix music (that I only listen to when I am by myself) way up. The sweat starts to pool up around the white collar of my school uniform, but the feeling of the wind across my face is totally worth it. What I do not know is that this is the last time I will ever do it.

I guess if you asked me what I do know for sure in those last moments I would say that I am a pretty fast runner, I am decent at guitar, and that Margot Cramer is the love of my life.

About the Author:

Laura Michaud grew up with her face in a book, so it was natural that she would spend some time in the publishing industry before becoming a children’s librarian and writer. A native of New York and New England, she has called the amazing city of New Orleans home since 2004. The Ghostwriter of New Orleans is her first novel.