Monday, May 23, 2022

Interview -Wild Creek Whispers by Cindy Keen Reynders #Mystery


Are you currently binge-watching anything on Netflix, Hulu, etc.? What keeps you glued to the screen?

I haven’t binge watched anything for a while. But I did binge Game of Thrones when I got access to it. Excellent!I love watching programs with solid action and thriller plots. I also love police procedural shows. They are my guilty pleasure. When my husband goes to bed, I love watching those.

Do you prefer movies or TV series?

No preference, as long as they are good and entertaining.

When it comes to reading do you prefer standalones or series?

I love series! Although, when Stephen King’s “The Stand” was originally published, I loved it.

Do you prefer to start new book series when the first book is released or do you wait for a several books in the series to be released so you can binge read?

I start with the first one, then wait impatiently for the next book to be released.

What are some of your hobbies, interests or guilty pleasures?

I love walking, crocheting, crafting and going on long drives.

What's your guilty “nerd” pleasure?

I typically hate horror, but after The Walking Dead TV series came out, I now love zombie movies and shows. Especially if they are funny.

Have you ever peeked at the ending of a book?

Often, I’ll peek at the end of the book, especially if I’m not liking it. If the end isn’t satisfying, I’ll stop reading. I don’t feel like I have the time to be disappointed. I’m naughty like that!


Wild Creek Whispers
Reese Golden Mysteries 
Book One
Cindy Keen Reynders

Genre: Mystery
Publisher: Camel Press
Date of Publication: April 12, 2022
ISBN: 9781942078524
Number of pages: 256
Word Count: 70,302

Tagline: A little girl is missing; stolen in the night. Reese Golden, Wyoming PI, will search far into the backcountry wilderness to find the truth.

Book Description: 

After being shot on duty, former Denver Police officer, Reese Golden, starts a private investigator firm in her hometown of Meadowlark Valley, Wyoming. Easier cases like skip tracing individuals and performing background checks pay Reese’s bills, and keep her from becoming too emotionally involved. 

Skylar Ellington calls Reese one day, pleading for Reese’s help in locating her 4-year old daughter Daisy. Law enforcement and any other PIs Skylar has hired haven’t located the child’s whereabouts.

Reese feels compelled to accept the case. The next day, she drives up to Wild Creek Ranch near Sage, Wyoming to meet her new client. 

Skylar’s brother Chance and her mother Leyla dislike Reese’s arrival. They fear Skylar is wasting her money by hiring another PI; that she’s setting herself up for more disappointment.

Reese wonders if Chance and Leyla have something to hide. Also, could Daisy’s absent father be the kidnapper? Local townspeople suspect Skylar of doing something with her child in order to resume her single, party girl lifestyle. 

As Reese investigates potential leads and talks with the locals, she realizes she’s being followed. It’s obvious she’s being targeted by someone who doesn’t want the truth about Daisy to be discovered. 

Despite attempts to keep her emotions in check, Reese becomes entangled in the case. Her attempts to remain focused on her goals are interrupted by several close calls where she is nearly killed, and her growing attraction to Chance. The handsome cowboy touches her heart, yet leaves her suspecting his motives.

Amazon

Excerpt:

“Miss Golden, my daughter was kidnapped in back in June, and it’s killing me not knowing what happened to her,” Skylar said. “The police, the FBI and everyone else haven’t come up with anything. And I’d do anything to find her.”

“I read about the case in the newspaper,” Reese said recalling the article in the Meadowlark Valley Chronicle. “I’m so sorry.”

 “Daisy’s only four,” Skylar said, her voice trembling. “She must be confused and upset. She’s all I can think about night and day. Pl-please help me. Don’t turn me down. Otherwise, I think…I think I’ll go insane.”

Reese closed her eyes as Skylar’s plea plucked at her heart strings. Right now, she didn’t feel confident enough to take on a case of this magnitude. Yet, how could she turn away such a desperate plea?

About the Author:

Born in Portland, Oregon, Cindy has lived all over the United States and spent five years in Misawa, Japan. She has visited Canada, the Philippines, Samoa, Hawaii, both the western and eastern Caribbean and New Zealand.

Currently, she lives in Cheyenne, Wyoming, where Cheyenne Frontier Days is held each year. CFD’s well-known rodeo is often referred to as the “Daddy of ‘em all.”

Over the years, she has won or placed in various writing contests. She has also written for and edited numerous newsletters. Her non-fiction magazine articles have been featured in “True West” and “Wild West.” She was a book critic for Storyteller Alley and is a freelance editor.

Although retired from Laramie County School District 1’s Community Relations office, she still contributes articles for the district’s Public Schools’ Chronicle, which has a circulation of approximately 46,000 readers.

In April of 2022, Camel Press released her seventh published novel, “Wild Creek Whispers,” which is the first book in the Reese Golden mystery series about a Wyoming private investigator. From baby alligators to glow worms, Cindy has seen a variety of life’s wonders.

Website: http://www.cindykeenreynders.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/littlewing1959

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/cindykeenreynders

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/cindy.k.reynders




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Thursday, May 19, 2022

Wrath by S. Peters-Davis #PNR #Suspense #Paranormal #Romance


Wrath
Kendra Spark Series 
Book Five
S. Peters-Davis

Genre: Suspense, paranormal, romance
Publisher: BWL Publishing Inc.
Date of Publication: April 2022
ISBN EPub: 9780228621263 
ISBN Kindle: 9780228621270 
ISBNWeb: 9780228621287
ISBN Print: 9780228621294
Number of pages: 157
Word Count: 54,800
Cover Artist: Michelle Lee

Series Tagline: Kendra sees ghosts, and then her BFF, Jenna, becomes one. The two friends and FBI agent Derek Knight form a team that fights for the victims of heinous, supernatural crimes.

Book Tagline: The FBI-VCU-SI team deals with the ultimate test of good vs. evil when the powerful, evil entity Chaos joins forces with the dark side.

Book Description: 

Kendra Sparks’ vacation gets cut short when Sassy Blaze, the captured voodoo priestess of the dark arts, hangs herself in prison, and a string of curious deaths follows. 

Attempting to stop Sassy costs lives, relationships, and creates unexpected complications, especially for Derek and Kendra. 

Who will defeat the voodoo, dark witch when she can possess whoever she wants?

The FBI-VCU-SI team must deal with the ultimate test of good vs. evil and it’s not looking promising, especially when the powerful, evil entity Chaos joins forces with the dark side.


Excerpt: Kendra’s Point of View

“Thank you for your assistance,” Derek acknowledged the man who guided us to the morgue.

“Now, I’d like this entire room cleared for at least an hour. Your morgue director can verify that order.” Derek nodded, and as he turned toward me, our guide moved away to the two working coroners, escorting them out of the room.

“Dang, this place reminds me of places in the dark plane.” Jenna stood in the center of the room and spun a slow circle. “It’s almost like I can feel Bertellia’s presence, even though I know that woman is gone forever.”  

Once everyone cleared the room, I went to work crushing and mixing up the concoction of herbs in a small burning pot. “I can see the film that cocoons the body you mentioned.” I lit the herbs, allowing a quick flame. Then I blew out the little fire and left the blended ingredients smoldering. As I waved the pot over the body, I said the ritual words. Jenna and Derek joined in the mantra, repeating it with me two more times to break the bond holding Mr. Mead’s soul.

A massive pop, deep enough to shake the floor, startled me. Jenna screamed. Derek jumped in front of me, pushing my body back. “Grab your blades. Mine’s vibrating as if it wants to act on its own.” He grabbed his dagger (the one that NaNa Rosa had given to everyone on our team for protection and guidance against evil spirits from the dark plane) out of the sheath tucked into the back of his pants.

Jenna slipped hers from the sheath strapped to her thigh.

The film surrounding Mr. Mead had disappeared, and the oozing, dark entity that rose out of him charged the air with a distinct acrid odor that immediately gagged me.

I grabbed a wastebasket and threw up.

“Wow, you actually tossed your cookies, Sparky.” Jenna stared at me. “Are you sick?” She stood next to me, dagger in her hand. “Come on, woman, we need you now.”

“Rotten eggs, Kendra. Do you have your dagger in your hand?” Derek’s full attention remained on the grizzly form of leaking pustule bumps and dripping saliva.

I puked again, and my stomach continued to buck and roll. My protection sigil burned, telling me this guy came from the dark plane and would love to feed off our energy. I had tucked the blade in my bag with the herbs. Right now, that satchel lay on the floor about three feet to my right. Gagging and swallowing, I inched toward the bag to hold off the inevitable next wave of nausea.

The entity pulled itself entirely out of Mead’s body, red eyes gawking at us. It caught my movement, and a wretched toothy smile spread across its disgusting thick, slimy lips. The horrendous monster stood on the opposite side of Mead and stepped toward me through the gurney and Mead’s body as if wading through water.

“Sparky, get your dagger!” Jenna readied to throw.

“You look tasty, you’re first,” it rasped and stretched a claw at me, snapping its sharp nails.

Derek and Jenna threw their blades, hitting the evil creeper in the heart and slowing its progress toward me.

I dove for my bag, and the hilt of my dagger snugged into my hand. I yanked it out and flung it with a snap of my wrist. The blade found its mark and sunk into the entity’s heart beside the other two daggers. A vicious scream howled out, dropping Derek and me to our knees with hands covering our ears. I watched as it burned from the inside out and turned into white ash that disappeared, leaving Mr. Mead’s spirit staring at us.

“Where the hell am I?” He looked from Derek to me to Jenna and back at Derek. Then his gaze wandered around the room. “Am I inside a morgue?” His mouth dropped open when he saw his body on the gurney. “Am I dead?”

“I’m so sorry to tell you this, but yes, you died. We don’t know how. Can you remember anything that happened?” I didn’t want to force him, but his anxious shaking took a drastic turn as he stared at our daggers lying beside his feet.

“Did you guys kill me?” His image faltered into momentary static, but then he restabilized into a vivid body, appearing alive. “I want answers.” His lips pinched together, and then his eyes wandered to his dead body on the gurney. He slumped and looked at Derek. “What will my husband do?”

I glanced at Derek and watched his eyes widen.

“Let us know who your significant other is, and we’ll inform him of your passing.” Jenna stepped closer to him.

Mr. Mead huffed. “What would you say? Even I don’t know how I died.”

“We believe it had something to do with Sassy Blaze.” Derek moved beside Jenna, and I followed.

“All I remember is heading to the prison wing to check on the prisoners there. I noticed one guard sleeping beside the door, totally against protocol, so I kicked his foot to awaken him. Then I noticed a green powdery substance around his nose and wondered if he was on drugs. That’s all I recall, other than getting slammed against the wall and hearing the iron door slide open. That normally happened for my prisoner check, but I don’t remember anything after that. I blacked out.” His eyes went wide. “Did anyone look at surveillance?”

“The monitors recorded static in that cell block. That’s why I’m asking you.” Derek took a couple steps to stand directly in front of Mr. Mead. “Sassy Blaze hung herself in her cell. That got caught on surveillance and then her body disappeared. Do you know anything about that?”

“Sassy is dead?” His spine went erect, and he shook his head. “No, that can’t be right. That lunatic wants to murder the FBI Task Force team that imprisoned her. There’s no way she would kill herself.” He glared at Derek, and Derek stared back at him. “Wait a minute. You think I had something to do with Sassy hanging herself?”

“Did you?” Derek’s body went rigid.


About the Author:

S. Peters-Davis writes multi-genre stories but loves penning a good page-turning paranormal or supernatural suspense-thriller, especially when it’s a ghost story and a romance. When she’s not writing, editing, or reading, she’s hiking, RV’ing, fishing, playing with grandchildren, or enjoying time with her favorite muse (her husband) in Southwest Michigan. 

She writes Adult and NA paranormal, supernatural, suspense romance novels.

For a current listing of her book links, check her author or publisher homepage below. She’s listed as: Davis, S. Peters

       
BWL PUblishing: http://bwlpublishing.ca







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Monday, May 16, 2022

Siren's Desire by Samirah the Sapphic Siren


Siren's Desire
Samirah the Sapphic Siren

Genre: Poetry
Date of Publication: May 2022
Number of pages: 122
Word Count: 7K
Cover Artist: Ahrabi Raj and Samirah the Sapphic Siren

Tagline: I am not something desired. I am someone who desires.

Book Description: 

How do you leverage desire as power when navigating desire comes with navigating colorism and desirability? 

Samirah the Sapphic Siren’s poetry deals with that conflict directly then transforms ser societal reality through nature and the other worldly.

CONTENT WARNINGS: Colorism, Patriarchy, Rape. Trauma is not detailed with extreme depth or explicitness, but Samirah does express raw anger and hurt after dealing with them. This is about transforming trauma into anger, and then reconnecting with personal desire. This is not trauma porn.



About the Author: 

Samirah the Sapphic Siren (se/sem/ser) is a nonblack brown skinned Tamil siren who is usually perceived as a woman. For sem, navigating desire comes with navigating colorism, patriarchy, and desirability. Ser poetry deals with that directly then transforms ser societal reality through nature and the other worldly. Se is @theSapphicSiren on instagram and sapphic_siren on twitter.









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Friday, May 13, 2022

Midnight Pages: Mystical Inspiration and Writing Prompts for Writers, Insomniacs, and Night Owls by Diane Riis


Midnight Pages 
Mystical Inspiration and Writing Prompts for Writers, Insomniacs, and Night Owls 
Diane Riis 

Genre: Nonfiction, Self Help, Writing, Journal, Workbook 
Publisher: Earth and Soul Publishing
Date of Publication: Feb 2, 2022
ISBN: 9798985131000
Number of pages: 370
Word Count: 25,000

Cover Artist: Book Designer: Andrea Schmidt, a-schmidt.com

Tagline: The night has something to tell you.

Book Description: 

Midnight Pages is a workbook of magical prompts and creative writing exercises. It is also the antidote for anyone who has ever tried (and failed) to get up early to write morning pages. 

Embrace your nature! Whether you do your best work at night or you’re going through a bout of insomnia, you will deepen your writing practice and learn to listen to the voices of the night. 

Amazon


WRITING PROMPT From Midnight Pages:

Close your eyes. What do you hear, smell, taste? What do you sense at an energetic or intuitive level? Spend some real time. Find at least twenty-five things. When it gets hard to add to the list is when it gets interesting…”

Excerpt:

VIGILANTIA

Vigilantia: lying awake, sleepless, vigilance. The silence and stillness of midnight might feel suffocating, dense, and thick—heavy with foreboding. It might have you lying in bed, heart pounding, afraid of the dark.


Under the cloak of night, your hearing is heightened. Sounds startle you awake as you drowse. Your mind can ramp up: haunting memories, recriminations, regrets, and stuck thoughts keep you from your rest. Some “insights come up as well and sensations: the surge of adrenaline, pricklings on your neck. You might feel the weight of the dark bearing down on you or you notice movement in the shadows. Maybe you have the sense you’re being watched. Something lurks in the dark that’s imperceptible during the day. You might feel like you are not alone, and that subtle presence over your shoulder seems familiar. You wonder if it’s been there before, maybe even always. During the day, with music blaring and people talking, you just don’t perceive it. Ask what message all this has in store for you. Don’t reject what you hear. Don’t dismiss. Allow.

Night belongs to the spirits. –Proverb

About the Author:

Diane Riis is author of five books and owner of Earth and Soul Coaching and Publishing which works with Indie authors, writers and magical practitioners who want more joy in their lives. She is a metaphysical minister and witch offering spiritual direction (which is a process of reflecting on your journey and learning to observe how you participate in your personal spiritual framework.) She offers writing coaching and classes as well as High Vibe, Soul Deep writing workshops and retreats for women who understand the power of the collective. Rev. Dr. Diane owns and operates a remnant flower farm on Long Island, NY all the while raising dogs, cats, chickens and a boy.





 





Arrow’s Flight by M. B. Sträng #Fantasy



Arrow’s Flight
Knights of the Pearl Order 
Book One
M. B. Sträng

Genre: Fantasy
Date of Publication: 02/17/2022 
ISBN-13: 979-8418478887 
ISBN-13: 9781005631352 
ASIN:B09SP9R1YX 
Number of pages: 277
Word Count: 99,600 
Cover Artist: M.B. Strang

Book Description:

An unknown menace moves through the polite society of Pearl’s Holding. If not caught in time, it will bring down not just the hallowed Knights of the Pearl Order, but also everyone who lives and works with them. The answer lies with a young woman of mysterious origins whose life has been touched by tragedy. To fulfill her potential, she must confront her past and discover a future more amazing than she’d ever imagined and find the inner strength to fly.

She’s not alone. A handful of Knights, a hearthmage, and their magickal companions all test their physical and magickal limits to make things right before it’s too late. Otherwise, dark forces will overtake the Knights for good.


Excerpt:

Beads of sweat rolled into my eyes, and I used the back of my wrist to wipe my forehead as I continued to cut flesh from the lamb’s carcass. The task became difficult as my knife had dulled over the years, and there was no way to sharpen the blade. Scraping it over a rock seemed to make it worse, not better. Taking the animals thumped guilt into my heart, but I didn’t think that the people in the valley would miss them much and I was tired of eating fish. Only once had one of them ventured anywhere near my cave, but he never came close enough to find the bough-covered entrance. I hid, just like my mother said to do. The man soon left, but I’d stayed hidden for hours.

Rumbling filled my belly, and I sliced at the flesh with greater determination. Figuring out how to make fire had come naturally. As for the rest of it—what my parents could do, but I had not yet learned—well, Mama and Papa were not here to teach me. And besides, Mama said to keep it hidden. Some, especially the Brethren, would kill us for what we were.

“Mama said to hide.” I spoke out loud to myself. It had been a long time since I’d heard another voice, but at least I could hear my own. My cave was too far from the valley to hear the people there. The few times I ventured close to the hamlet, I heard their language was not my own native tongue. Suspecting I had lost some words, I spoke more often now, and practised all the languages I knew in order to not forget more, and so my throat wouldn’t lose the ability to speak. I talked to Mama and Papa, wishing they were here. I visited Mama out there in the woods. Just bones now. I had taken the arrow out of her ribs, broke off the shaft, and wore the arrowhead on a cord woven with her hair. It was my way of taking my mother with me, keeping her close.

Heat flushed my forehead. That had been happening more often lately. Despite the warmth in my brow, I shivered. Waves of dizziness washed over me. I finished with the lamb and cleaned the knife on a bit of parchment, one of several scraps I found floating down from the sky one day. A piece had drifted across my face, and I glanced up to see what appeared to be a book flying by. The dropped parchment was no less strange: ornate script scribbled all over in green ink. I had grown tired of trying to decipher the bizarre symbols, many of which different than any of the languages I had learned to read, and found other uses for the parchment pieces.

And now I used another sheet as a mop for my sweating head.

Sitting back on my heels, I clutched the arrowhead in my fist. Once more the events of that long-ago day forced themselves into my mind. That terrible day when a man appeared on the ridge. The sun behind cast him in silhouette, and we could not see his face. He wore the dull robes of the Brethren. They billowed, though there was no breeze. His limbs writhed and twisted and cloth rent as wings thrust out, the man’s body distorting until it resolved into a white wyrm, like a dragon but certainly not a dragon. A foul stench emanated from the beast, and I started to gag.

I saw my father struggling. I knew what he was trying to do, but he could not do it. I knew why my mother could not do it right now but why couldn’t my father? Before they had a chance to ready weapons, the wyrm flapped its leathery wings and issued a bone-jarring shriek. Lightning spewing from its terrible maw, past its narrow, gleaming teeth. That creature took flight, swooped down, snatched up my father in its talons, and carried him away.

“Teban!” My mother screamed my father’s name over and over that the word may reach his ears and give him hope. She fell to her knees, wracked with cries of anguish. Clasping me tightly, she held me for what seemed like a long time, both of us sobbing violently. At last, she gained control of her breath and said, “Quosa, I must go after him. I will get your father back. You must hide.” She stood, and shaking her head, she said, “It must be because of the signatures. That’s why he couldn’t—” Her words broke off as we saw another one of the Brethren approach. She screamed, “Hide!” as the man loosed the arrow that lodged in the middle of her chest.


About the Author:

M.B. Sträng has been happily married to Timothy for over 33 years and they are the proud parents of a Biologist who has earned a Master’s degree. M.B. recently worked at a domestic violence shelter, but now writes full time. She has black belts in two martial arts and occasionally teaches self-defence classes. She enjoys writing (of course), painting, drawing, sewing, and embroidery. At the age of 53, M. B. learned that she is autistic, and suddenly her whole life made sense. She fences with messers, longswords, sabres, and arming swords and bucklers fairly regularly at the Ann Arbor Sword Club, and is a Knight-Magister in the Order of Paladins. Arrow’s Flight is her first novel.









Friday, May 06, 2022

Urbantasm: The Spring Storm by Connor Coyne #MagicalRealism #Urbantasm #TeenNoir


Urbantasm:The Spring Storm
Urbantasm
Book Four
Connor Coyne

Genre: Magical Realism,Teen Noir
Publisher: Gothic Funk Press
Date of Publication: May 1, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-956722-02-4
Number of pages: 474
Word Count: 158,000
Cover Artist: Sam Perkins-Harbin

Tagline: Eventually, everything comes to an end. Even endings.

Book Description:

Urbantasm: The Spring Storm is the fourth and final book in the magical teen noir serial novel inspired by the author’s experiences growing up in and around Flint, Michigan.

The stage has been set. The chessboard awaits. Against a background of love and friendship, of hard-won grades and groundbreaking plays, John and his friends are ready to claim their lives, their futures, and their city. They have identified their adversary: a mysterious man who calls himself “God” and manipulates the Chalks street gang through the influence of his children. John has also unlocked the secret of O-Sugar, an otherwordly drug with the ability to distort space. But God wields a powerful influence throughout the city of Akawe, and nobody seems to understand his true motives or intentions.

As the ice and frost of a long and unrelenting winter finally crack under cold, torrential rains, frozen things begin to stir again. The brutal murder of one of John’s friends and the abrupt disappearance of another signals that the moment of action has arrived. Who will survive this dying city, and how will the experience change the survivors?  Akawe has been unstable for decades. A bit of lift and heat and moisture is all it needs to build a spring storm.



Excerpt:

I borrowed a flashlight from Charles before I left rehearsal that night. I half-expected to hear some winos as I passed under the viaduct, but all was empty. I directed the flashlight beam away from the looming silos and made my way across the wet stepping stones with aching care. When I got to the other side, I saw Bill standing beside my tent, staring at me, his forehead hatchet rent.
That was when everything I had kept at a distance collapsed beneath its collected weight, and I knelt and vomited and cried. We will never be free, we will never be free, we will never be free of this, it will never go away. Then the food was gone, and I was dry heaving. I swallowed and slowly gathered my breath and looked up again.

Bill hadn’t moved. He still stared at me, the wound in his head like a third eye that didn’t watch me but looked instead at the silos hidden behind the concealing trees.

“Since you’re just staring at me, you won’t mind if I get something to drink,” I said.

I rummaged in the tent and got the water. I swirled it in my mouth and spat out the bile. Then I drank. Then I ate a Pop-Tart. Then I ate another. Then I reached into my backpack and took out some fishing line and silverware from the home ec room. Ignoring Bill, I tied the fishing line around the trunk of the willow tree and drew it in a broad loop around the clearing, wrapping it around trees as I went. When I had returned to the willow tree, I tied the line off and began hanging the silverware, in twos and threes, every meter or so. It probably took me an hour.
I plucked at the fishing line. The silverware clattered and banged.

“Now I can hear like a pigeon,” I said.

Bill started to walk away. He went a dozen paces up the trail, then looked back at me.

“What is it?” I said. “Why are you here? Why don’t you just go away? You’re an urbantasm. You can’t see me. You can’t hear me. What the fuck do you want?”

He watched and waited.

“You aren’t even there,” I said, but I picked up the flashlight and followed him along the path.

Bill led me slowly. In the utter dark – the sky was cloudy above the hundreds of branches – I had to step carefully over the cracked roots and desiccated vines. I followed Bill back to the main path, and he led me southward. We scrambled up and down a couple of hills, and I could hear the churning of the water far beneath me. I caught up with Bill at the edge of the stream. He was standing near a lightly submerged concrete pillar, which seemed to provide passage to the other side.

“What is it?” I asked.

Bill stepped onto the pillar, his footsteps not disturbing the water, and crossed to the opposite side.

I followed, my feet clumsily kicking up waves. At one point, I slipped, and my whole left leg went into the water. I almost fell off the pillar completely, but I held the flashlight overhead and hauled myself back up. I finally made it to the opposite side, dripping and freezing, and saw Bill moving away from the stream onto the bank.
Is this where she is? I wondered. Did she come back in the woods here and die, and I’m about to find her body, and then he’ll vanish, and I’ll be left alone with what’s left of Selby? Is that what happens now?

There were no paths here, and the growth was younger and denser than where I had made camp. Branches and nettles scratched my face, and the flashlight beam flew wildly. I finally emerged into a massive grassy clearing, where Bill stood waiting. He pointed. I followed his gesture.

We stood at the back of a broad lawn, looking up at a great, hulking, shuttered building made of brick and stone. It was only three stories high but close to a hundred feet tall, and the vast wings of the structure stretched off to the right and left. For a moment, I wondered how such a colossal building had gone unnoticed in the middle of the forest. Then I recognized it as the mental asylum. We’d come out of the Happy Hunting Grounds on its westward side and stood behind the massive complex. I could hear the quiet hum of traffic along South Street.

“Is Selby in there?” I asked.
Bill’s mouth moved.

“No,” he said, and there was a slight delay between his speaking and the sound that followed.

“So you can talk too. And I can hear you. And you can hear me.”
Bill stared at me.

“I’m not going in there,” I said. “No way.”

I returned the way I had come. Bill didn’t follow me. When I got back inside my tent, a blue glow rose around me.

“Is that you, Aunt Ellie?”

“Yes, my love,” came my aunt’s voice.

“Why is Bill following me? What does he want?”

“Yes, my love.”

“Why am I able to hear you now? I thought you were just images pulled back to me because of the O-Sugar. How are you able to talk? Is it a flashback? Are you just illusions? Or are you real ghosts?”

“Yes, my love.”

“Whatever you are, please protect me from nightmares again. Because the days are nightmares right now. I can’t do this if both days and nights are nightmares.”

“Yes, my love.”

I undressed and crawled into the sleeping bag. The blue glow wavered, and I knew Ellie was taking a seat outside. I closed my eyes and wondered if Bill was going to follow me for the rest of my life. I wondered if Selby died, if her urbantasm would appear to me as well. Would I give up my search at that moment? I thought about May. I wanted her. The warmth of her arms. She could protect me, but now it was up to me to protect the others. I started to say a rosary to myself. I thought it might help me calm down. It doesn’t matter if I don’t have the beads, as long as I say the prayer. I knew the number and order of the Our Fathers and Hail Marys, but I’d forgotten what came before and after. Was it the Nicene Creed at the beginning or another saying? And what were the right ruminations? The scourging and the crown, yes, but what else? When Pilate washed his hands? No, that’s not right. None of us can just wash our hands. I said prayers until the sleep finally closed in around me.


About the Author:

Connor Coyne is a writer living and working in Flint, Michigan.

He’s published several novels and a short story collection, and his short work has been featured in Vox.com, Belt Magazine, and elsewhere. He lives with his wife, two daughters, and an adopted rabbit in Flint’s College Cultural Neighborhood (aka the East Village), less than a mile from the house where he grew up.

Learn more about Connor’s writing at: 

Author Website: http://ConnorCoyne.com 

Series Website: http://urbantasm.com


Author website: http://connorcoyne.com

Newsletter signup: http://eepurl.com/bzZvb5











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Thursday, May 05, 2022

Infinite Azure by Suzanne M. Sabol #UrbanFantasy


Infinite Azure
The Blushing Death Series
Book Nine
Suzanne M. Sabol

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Date of Publication: May 4, 2022
ISBN: 978-1-64716-282-5
ASIN: B09V85WYYR
Number of pages: 379
Word Count: 114K

Cover Artist: Rae Monet

Tagline: Fighting enemies on all fronts, The Blushing Death must convince humanity that vampires and werewolves aren’t the monsters they’ve always feared. But destroying her enemies and protecting her people may be harder than she realizes with all of humanity watching and their secret out in the open.

Book Description: 

The supernatural world has come out to humanity with a bang!  

All the precious planning Patrick and Dean have worked toward and all the connections they have developed are worthless. When the Master Vampire of North America decides to remind humanity of their place on the food chain, the city and its people will pay the price. The battle for the North American vampire colonies has begun in earnest and only a single vampire can be at the top.  

Dahlia is waging a battle on a different front. Baba Yaga is making moves in Faerie to regain her power in both the human world and Faerie, creating chaos and leaving carnage in her wake. Faced with new crises and old enemies, Dahlia will need to balance her responsibilities to her people and her city with the creatures in the Outer Realm. 

But Baba Yaga has used the darkest magic to tie The Blushing Death to her and the ramifications could be deadly. Can Dahlia build an army to defeat Baba Yaga? Can she overcome her own fears to become the power she needs to be? 


Excerpt:

“It’s fucking cold out here,” I hissed through chattering teeth. No matter how much I willed my jaw to remain motionless, it didn’t listen and the rattling inside my head was driving me insane.

The fire flickered in the pitch-darkness of the Outer Realm, casting an eerie glow across the snow. Beyond the miniscule light of the fire, as large as we dared make it here so we didn’t attract other and more dangerous beings, inky blackness stretched on forever. The oppressive nature of the dark night and the fact that I knew it could literally stretch out for eternity, was some cruel realization that I was infinitesimal in an expansive place with creatures that would eat me for the hell of it.

Shaking off my descent into bat-shit-crazy, I considered the first time I’d been here and each subsequent journey back. Each time I crossed the veil into the Outer Realm, it got just a bit colder, the air bitter and chilled. This time there was a light dusting of snow on the ground with flurries brushing against my exposed skin. I’d dressed for cold, knowing full well how the wind had burned through my clothes the last time. But this was worse. The wind was piercing and sharp as it howled through the trees and my layers.

Beyond the minimal warmth and light of the fire lurked beasties and creatures of every shape and size, and the focus of their eyes on me was a weight I felt in my gut, a tight clench of fear that made me queasy, alert, and on edge. I fought the urge to run, knowing that I couldn’t outrun any of them. I could fight but I would lose. The Outer Ream was a place where strength was valued, and weakness was devoured. Maybe they were just curious. Maybe they were hungry. I had no choice but to wait and hope they remained in the dark beyond the light of our fire.

“Make the fire warmer,” Adrik snorted, landing on my shoulder and rubbing his hands together, holding them out before the inadequate flames. The four-inch-high pixie stood close to my neck, soaking up my body heat. He knew I could use my magic to increase the heat of the fire, and I’d considered it, but I didn’t want to give too much away too soon. Bargaining with the fae was a delicate balance of knowledge and cunning. Negotiating from a position of strength was better but I wouldn’t lay all my cards on the table just yet.

“I don’t want to burn my eyebrows off,” I said, smirking at the pixie. He rolled his small silver eyes at my obvious lie. “When are they going to get here?” I asked, wanting desperately to be home and warm in my bed. The longer I stayed in the Outer Realm, the bigger the likelihood that someone would notice either on this side or my side of the veil that I was not where I was supposed to be.

Adrik and I had been making small trips to the Outer Realm for weeks without letting anyone know. I was pushing my luck before either Patrick or Dean noticed and gave me hell, at the very least a lecture. After the mountain where I’d killed Rokap but lost Milagra and Konstantin, Dean and Patrick had been different. More protective. More confining. More everything. Dean especially. If they knew what I was doing, Dean would lose his shit. Right now, this was better. He didn’t worry and I didn’t have to deal with his anger. I was being a coward but right now, I was willing to be a coward to keep them safe just a bit longer.

“The representative should be here momentarily,” Adrik responded.

“You’d think I’d figure out how to dress properly to be here, but it always seems colder than the last time,” I said, unable to keep my teeth from chattering. The fleece lining wasn’t enough.

“It is not your imagination,” Adrik answered, his voice rough through the already guttural accent. His English was much better, but I could still hear the centuries of Russian in the shape of his words.

About the Author:

Suzanne M Sabol is the author of Urban Fantasy and Paranormal Romance. She is a graduate of The Ohio State University and has two Bachelor of Arts degrees with majors in Criminology, International Studies, Russian, and Political Science. She has a Master’s degree from The Ohio State University’s John Glenn School of Public Affairs. She is married with one child and lives in Columbus Ohio.

The Blushing Death Series and the Blood and Bone Legacy are published through Soul Mate Publishing. Editor, Debby Gilbert, can be contacted through their website at www.soulmatepublishing.com.







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