Wednesday, 30 September 2015

Drabble Wednesday Meets October Frights

Okay, you ghouls and monsters, tomorrow kicks off a ten day extravaganza of creepy delights for the wonderfully wicked October Frights Blog Hop! We have nearly 50 authors taking a terrifying trek through terror. You'll find Free Reads, Prizes & Giveaways, and more! And it all happens October 1st-10th!



For my part, I’m serving up a look at the upcoming paranormal anthology, Beyond the Wail, giving you stories galore, my regular Drabble Wednesday feature and a great giveaway. All under the theme of ghosts.

That’s right, for ten days my blog will be haunted!


So be sure to come back tomorrow when it all kicks off!





And now on to our Drabble Wednesday Feature Presentation:



Today I’ve dipped into the vaults for a story, but there is a deathly duo of new drabbles as well.





Wanderers

Whispers quiver along unseen particles between worlds, caught against the ragged edges of darkness and light. They race the electric and sing the shadows, they weave among the thunder and warp past the starlight.
They are the lost.
They are the forsaken.
They are the mourning echoes down the eons, the ache in the hearts of the lonely. They breathe the dust on worlds long dead, and remember some that never began. Their voices speak to drops of dusk tumbling from sunsets, their wails resound from the church bells to the moonbeams.
They are the lost.
They are the forsaken.

~*~ 




Waiting

“Can you see him?”
The old man’s voice murmured, a weak rasp barely heard above the medical machinery. He waved his hand in a feeble gesture; the sunlight from the hospital window illuminated his skin’s wrinkles and liver spots.
“See who, Grandpa?”
“Death.”
The man standing beside his grandfather’s bed shivered, but didn’t quite understand why. So he smiled, and said, “It’s just the medication, Grandpa. There’s no one there.”
The old man closed his eyes. He knew better. The black shadowed figure stood by his bed, a cold hand placed on his shoulder.
Death had come for him.
Tonight.

 ~*~




Wail of the Plaid Spirit

Beware the Plaid Spirit
That’s what my Granny Fiona always said.
I thought she was bonkers until I spent one summer at our ancestral castle in the Hebrides. When I came face to face with our family ghost.
On that third moonlit night, a ghastly yowl echoed throughout the castle. I jumped from my bed, flung open the bedroom door and stared into the black eyes of the Plaid Spirit.
I gasped.
For there, a gargantuan presence in the darkened hallway, hovered the ghost of my great-great uncle Angus. At the first wail of his bagpipes, I turned and fled.




© A. F. Stewart 2015 All Rights Reserved


Friday, 25 September 2015

Book Spotlight: Tears by Jean Lowe Carlson

Today I have a book spotlight for dark fantasy romance Tears by Jean Lowe Carlson. It is the second book in the Three Days of Oblenite series. If you'd like to check out the first book, see my spotlight here: Book Spotlight: Breath. Now on to today's post for Tears (be warned, there is some racy, suggestible content)...



Tears by Jean Lowe Carlson

Pious half-Gypsun Phillip d’Auvery is tortured. His soul is pledged to his god, but Phillip’s life has a darker aspect that drives him to the scourging lash of the Padrenne of Saint Sommes Cathedral year after year. For Phillip’s curse is a bliss that can only be found when pain smites him until tears are shed. His blissful curse alienates him until Phillip discovers a man who understands pain and power, the stern Oruthane d’Iver. As Phillip’s love for his dominant lover grows, the two are exposed, and danger begins to follow them. But there is no greater danger than the dark secret smoldering in Phillip’s heart, which will threaten everything dear to him.

Content Warning: This book contains intense BDSM with whips.




ABOUT THE SERIES - Three Days of Oblenite (3 novels)

This darkly romantic, gothic paranormal fantasy series is rife with superstition, piety, and the devious nature of the mystic. The three novels take place in a dark version of Victorian-era Paris, and feature three characters cursed with the gifts of a dead saint. Swept up in the torturous undercurrents of their desperate curses, their lives collide in desire, lust, power, obsession, addiction, fervor, desperation, and death. “Breath” features a young woman cursed to celibacy and unable to find love because her kiss kills, all except one night a year. “Tears” tells the story of a young man cursed to feel bliss when he is whipped, and the religious conflict he feels as he finds himself in a relationship with the man who brings him release. While in “Blood”, a brilliant surgeon cursed with blood that heals descends into a desperate underworld, addicted to working miracles. And in the seedy Gypsun Quarter at the edge of the Saints Commons, there is no blessing that can save those cursed to depravity, darkness, and permission. They can only save themselves.



Excerpt:


Phillip d’Auvery moved carefully back down the steps at the altar, nodding to a few faces he recognized who were yet waiting for the Padrenne, and then turned towards a door upon the left side of the cathedral. He made his way through and up the cramped stone staircase to the narrow wainscoted hall of the cathedral’s Holy Servants offices, and entered the first door upon the left without knocking. 

The gaslamps were low in the hall and flickered soft ghosts across the forest scene on the Padrenne’s carven door as Phillip entered. The Padrenne’s offices were tidy and plain, befitting a man of his station and devoutness, and Phillip selected his usual overstuffed chair across the desk from the Padrenne’s and sat, settling in to await Henri Coulis in quiet meditation.

Minutes stretched as Phillip prepared himself for the hours ahead, eyes closed, listening to the deep midnight hush of the cathedral. Whispering footsteps came and went upon the stone in the hall. The old scents of incense wafted upon his breath, not a new stick yet lit tonight, but the deep comforting smell of a tradition of char to push back evil. It calmed Phillip’s soul, laved him in a kind of alert ease as he waited.

At last, the iron latch of the door clicked, and the ancient wood groaned inwards, and Phillip heard the rustle of Padrenne Henri’s fine garments, the black robes and white stole used only for this particular day. He heard a sigh, and then the crack as Henri Coulis popped his own back. A rustle of the fabrics came as they were hung up properly in a cupboard to the right of the door. Phillip heard the creak of leather as the Padrenne took a seat in his usual high-backed chair behind the desk, and Phillip opened his eyes at last.

“Phillip.” Henri Coulis’ red-rimmed eyes were exhausted, but his thin lips held a benevolent and satisfied smile. “How may I help you tonight?”

“I would like to conclude my Pentriant in the old way, Padrenne.”

Henri nodded, his burnished grey-opal eyes unsurprised and shining with the pleasure of devotion despite the red that rimmed them. Phillip knew why those tired eyes shone now in that time-stretched face. The next few hours would be cleansing for them both. It was merely a formality between them, Phillip’s asking with such careful propriety, after so many years. Padrenne Henri knew that Phillip d’Auvery held to the old ways, like his mother had before him, one of very few who still did.

And he also knew why.

“Very well,” Henri smiled, just a slight twist of the lips. “Give me a moment to prepare. You may strip to the waist, remove your boots and socks, and anoint yourself at the basin in the prayer niche. Then please kneel upon the bare stones before the Immaculate, my son, and settle into silent meditation. I will attend you shortly.”

“Thank you, Padrenne.” Phillip inclined his head.

“As the Immaculate wills it, my son.”

Padrenne Henri made an offering gesture towards the prayer niche with his long parchment-thin hands, and Phillip rose, turning away from the desk and walking to the niche. He settled upon the plain wooden bench by the wall and removed his boots and socks, then hung up his grey wool coat upon the peg. His trim black waistcoat followed, then his loosened cravatte was folded up neatly and tucked into a pocket of the waistcoat. Once the cravatte was gone, Phillip stripped his black shirt off over his head rather than bothering to undo all the buttons. His lean muscles ached from the day, and Phillip’s abdomen seemed thin and hollowed from fasting. He adjusted his neck and shoulders again, rolling them out a little as he took his place upon his knees before the small statue of the Immaculate in the prayer niche.

The Immaculate’s pale marble arms were open and welcoming as Phillip knelt upon the familiar cold stone floor, the effigy’s face kind and slightly wistful. Phillip knew the contours of that face, knew why the effigy seemed both pleased and saddened to see him. Phillip’s knees protested what had already been today and what was yet coming with twin surges of pain, but he consummately ignored them, settling before the effigy. He leaned forward, dipping his hands into the silver bowl of water to the side, and rubbed the water over his face, hands, neck, chest, and through his short ruff of unruly black hair. Then he rested his forearms upon the stout wooden railing that housed the statue. Phillip clasped his hands and closed his eyes. He allowed his head to fall forward and his neck to relax, his forehead coming to rest upon the wood railing with his elbows.

Immaculate trust settled within Phillip d’Auvery, and a small thrill of fear mixed with anticipation as Phillip listened to the sounds of the Padrenne moving around the room, preparing. Phillip’s rose-beads were left around his neck, their miniscule weight comforting. With long, slow breaths, Phillip d’Auvery prepared for his final Cleansing of Pentriant, and urged every muscle in his body to loosen. He heard the Padrenne approach at last, and fought the urge to tense. Henri Coulis took up his usual place directly behind Phillip, the quiet step of his bare foot a whisper in the chamber as he took his ready stance.

A thrill passed through Phillip again.

“Are you prepared to come to the Immaculate, my son, and to be Cleansed of your sufferings at last, upon this Most Holy Day of Pentriant?”

Phillip swallowed, fighting the tension of anticipation, urging his body to be calm and loose. “I am, Padrenne. Cleanse me of my sufferings, and bring me to the Everlasting Joy, the Infinite Bliss of His Holy Soul. So Be It.”

“So Be It,” Padrenne Henri murmured.

The crack of the lash startled Phillip as it always did, as it curled over his bared back and snaked around his ribs. There was always a moment, the first moment, when his body responded to the sound, tightening with surprise, before the pain came.

But then it came.
A searing of pain, a bright line of misery, a flash of horror and anguish and then the surge, the blossoming of every dark touch and miserable need of Phillip d’Auvery’s flesh and his soul. Phillip gasped at the pain, all pretense of manhood abandoned. It devoured him, blistered him, dived within him and scourged him, knifing like hot fire through every part of his poor corpse and his everlasting soul.

He had a moment to breathe. The Immaculate gave him that small concession, at least.

And then the lash fell again.

Phillip screamed, the sound torn from his throat like the beasts howling in the night, like all the desperate sinners who cried and died in torment, whose pitiful pain mimicked his own. It sent him reeling. Their suffering abounded within him. Phillip breathed it in and keened it out. Every night of passion abandoned into misery, every mother aching for a child long gone, every curl of madness and anguish and every twisted, obliterated heart that cried out into their own endless Inferno.

And then the lash fell again.

Phillip d’Auvery broke with a sob, and began to weep.

Tears beaded upon his dark eyelashes and dripped down his hanging head to his nose, dropping upon the cold stone of the floor and striking upon the wood of the stout railing. And as they fell from his lashes, Phillip felt the Ecstasy of the Immaculate begin to flow through him like honeyed wine.

Tears streamed freely now, and the lash fell a fourth time. Phillip screamed, a short cry of surprise and pain and release, rocking forward upon his elbows at the railing, absorbing the agony, taking it all in, holding it close within his heart, transmuting it. Bliss filled him, eternity filled him, life itself filled him and he gasped from the pure pleasure of the Immaculate building within, scouring away his sufferings at last. Abandoning himself to its deep succor, Phillip shuddered with livid pain and infinite pleasure. He lifted his head, the breath of his Immaculate surging through every pore. Drinking it in, he opened his throat and cried out for the Great Mercy.

The lash fell a fifth and final time.

Phillip d’Auvery fell back upon his knees and bare ankles, his elbows falling from the wooden railing. His chest opened and his head fell back, baring his throat in surrender, his hands resting palm-open at his sides, fingertips trailing upon the cold stone of the floor.

Open to the Eternal Bliss, Phillip wept in silence.

Open to the Light and the Life and the Joy, Phillip wept in silence.

Broken open, his back streamed blood from the lash and his naked throat gasped. The pure ecstasy of the Immaculate dived down Phillip’s throat and in through his closed eyes. It penetrated his chest and thrust deep into his aching flesh. And as the tears streamed down his jaw to his neck, the world opened up suddenly in the flickering lamplight behind Phillip’s closed eyes. The ecstasy rolled out from his flesh in a burgeoning wave, saturating everything it touched. No longer contained within the poor corpse that was Phillip’s body, the Immaculate’s Own Touch expanded in every direction, blessing, commanding, unstoppable, undirected, blissful.

Phillip heard Padrenne Henri fall to his knees with a short cry. And then he felt the Padrenne’s benevolent hands upon his bare shoulders as Henri Coulis was taken by the Immaculate’s ecstasy also, this night like every other. The Padrenne sighed, wrapping his stringy arms around Phillip’s chest, cradling Phillip close and resting his gaunt cheek to Phillip’s forehead. Uncaring of the blood from Phillip’s scourged back, the Padrenne cradled his Holy Son, and Phillip felt the wet of Henri’s own tears upon his forehead like a blessing from the Immaculate himself.

So it was, with Phillip d’Auvery.

That his suffering, his pain and tears, brought himself and those around him so much bliss.


Tears is available at:






Author Bio:

Jean Lowe Carlson is a writer of dark supernatural romance and epic fantasy fiction, but her novels vary widely into dystopian fantasy and even into supernatural westerns with some erotic content. Jean writes genre-bending and genderqueer fantasy, mixing a keen and gritty blend of epic, romantic, erotic, dark, supernatural, and dystopian fantasy. Her sensual, raw worlds remind one of Jacqueline Carey, Clive Barker’s Imajica, Anne Rice, and Robin Hobb. Jean holds a doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from Bastyr University in Seattle, and as a doctor, she has a keen awareness of psychology, energy, nature, and human behavior. She currently practices Esoteric Buddhism (tantra), yoga, Reiki, and Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT). Jean pulls from this knowledge to paint vivid and emotionally complex characters, set amidst the broader scope of nations in turmoil or societies with riveting secrets or supernatural elements. Not afraid of exploring all kinds of relationships, including LGBTQ and BDSM, her novels are exciting, passionate, challenging, and lush.

For more on the author and her books:



Thursday, 24 September 2015

Book Spotlight: Timesnatched: Pole Star

Today I present another book spotlight, this time for the Young Adult time travel novel, Timesnatched: Pole Star by B.D. Boyle. Pole Star is book one, in the Timesnatched series, soon to be followed by book two, Southern Cross. Enjoy this look at the first book in the series...




Timesnatched: Pole Star by B.D. Boyle

Three teens are flung twenty years into the future where time coins and bohrium bracelets can mean the difference between life and death. Thrown together in a dystopian New York City, an American farm boy, English school girl and teen scientist will have to quickly unite and join the Coalition of Liberty. The girl’s quiet life along Wigan’s Pier is behind her and she is now faced with trusting the daring young American and the geek kid who can almost invent something from nothing. The boys will either save them all from this strange turn of events or they’ll plunge them even deeper into a frightening world of oppressive dictators, rebel forces and teenagers who are kidnapped for their future talents.




Excerpt:


Why is Grandpa doing this? Why is he meddling with things he knows nothing about? Questions bombarded Nicolas Wycliffe as he stared at the gold coin in the palm of his hand.

Nicolas lifted his eyes to the golden red glare of the London night sky. In the minutes he had been standing there, the shrill scream of bombs hurling toward the earth had overpowered the drone of the Nazi bombers. The ground under his feet shuddered and he quickly slipped the coin into the safety of his coat pocket. He saw a sign on the street corner and sprinted for the stairway of the London Underground. His long legs took him to the subterranean tube that wound under London proper. Vast numbers of people crouched in the semi-darkness, seeking shelter from the Blitz that was showering London with fire and exploding bombs. The firestorm above was sucking the city of its precious oxygen; but down there, in the depths of the Underground, Nicolas Wycliffe found relative safety—at least for now.

After raking his fingers through his unruly cowlick, Nicolas attempted to wipe from his thick glasses the black soot of the war zone above. He glanced around at the poor souls who cowered nearby and then sank to the floor, his back to the stone wall. This was the night he had read about in history books, the night his grandfather had told him about so often that Nicolas could have recited the tales by heart. “It was a scene from the bowels of hell, to be sure.” His grandfather described the fateful night of December 29, 1940. “I was with my cousin and childhood friend, Molly McGruder. We were running through the streets of London, half expecting a bomb to land on us at any moment.” The old man often paused and reflected at that point in the story. His eyes looked up as if watching the scene on a giant screen. “Molly stumbled and fell; I reached out to help her when the brick wall of a building fell on her, throwing me ten yards away into a pile of rubble. I ran to her, but I knew it was too late. My dear friend and cousin was gone from my life.”

Nicolas sighed. Here he was in London on that horrific night in 1940, trying to find his grandfather who had taken one of two prototypes of the time coin he had invented just two months before. Nicolas himself had not even had a chance to test the little machine properly before he discovered the missing coin. From journal entries he knew exactly where his grandfather was headed. And, thanks to the history books, he knew when. A quick Internet search revealed the GPS coordinates of the warehouse that had fallen and he drove to the location for the time jump.

There was a momentary hush in the Underground. All eyes turned to the ceiling. Nothing. Nicolas jumped up to take advantage of the lull. When he emerged on the surface once again, he glanced at the map he had saved on his cellphone and took off running. In minutes, he was on Shoe Lane. Firemen were training a fire hose on a burning book factory amidst the penetrating heat. People were shouting and the ever-present pungent odor of smoke billowed high into the sky. Nicolas searched the alleyways and down every sidewalk. Coughing, he ran until his lungs were bursting. He leaned over, hands on his knees, to take a rest and then he saw them—two young teenagers walking rapidly hand-in-hand. One was unmistakably the teen version of Nicolas’ grandfather, for he had seen his boyhood pictures many times. The other was a girl in school uniform with curly, red hair. Her pretty freckled face was etched with fear. She must be Molly McGruder, Grandpa’s cousin, thought Nicolas. He stood in the smoky shadows observing the pair when from around the corner a tall, lanky older gentleman rapidly approached the couple.

“Grandpa, no!” shouted Nicolas.

The grandfather ignored the warning and in an instant embraced the two teens.  They struggled to get out of the old man’s grasp when suddenly a large portion of the tall, brick building broke free from the roof structure. Nicolas watched in horror as the massive wall descended toward the helpless trio below. At that instant, a firebomb lit up the street like a giant flare and there was no mistaking what happened next—the three victims disappeared into thin air just as the bricks landed in a massive pile on the street. Nicolas pursed his lips, reached into his pocket for the gold coin, and whispered, “Oh, Grandpa, what in the world have you done?”


Timesnatched: Pole Star is available at Amazon





Author Bio:

Searching for fast-paced adventure stories with uplifting plots and wholesome characters left B.D. Boyle frustrated and ready to try her hand at it. That’s how “Timesnatched” came to be.”  Writing clean, teen fiction has become a passion for Barbara Dillree Boyle who traveled all over the world for twenty years with her husband in the U.S. Air Force. “Raising eight children in four different countries was a fast-paced adventure in and of itself,” says Boyle. She and her husband reside in a high mountain valley in the Idaho Rockies.

For more on the author and her books:


Wednesday, 23 September 2015

Drabble Wednesday: Terrible Beauty

Today, on Drabble Wednesday, I’m revisiting the darkness inside the spectacular and the beautiful…




Bring the Storm

Far above our tiny village the barrage of thunder boomed, and the dark mauve sky flared with sporadic bursts of lightning. The air snapped crisp and burnt, and shook with the ferocity of the storm.
Most villagers huddled in their homes, praying for the swift end to the squall. Some brave souls, however, gazed to the sky, seeking a figure riding the fire and roar. The maker of the tempest, in all his screaming agony. Our God, whose body both created and endured the lightning. We prayed for him, God of Storms, and his torment, his sacrifice for his people.

~*~



Rift

I never realized annihilation would be beautiful.
It’s golden and sapphire, shining and shadows, a mosaic pattern of fissures, a jagged pulsing web across the glassy sky. And its growing. Amber tendrils twisting, cerulean coils sprouting. Bigger, larger, wider, patterns into patterns, into fractals, mandalas, always growing, glowing into more exquisite forms.
The forming of the rift held me hypnotised, spellbound in awe. It was the most dazzling phenomenon I had ever witnessed. I would have stayed there forever basking in its wonder, in its beauty.
Such a shame it would eventually tear apart the world, and then the universe.

~*~


Wings

Dusk emerged from a bronze and copper sunset, and etched its ebony on the contours of the muted forest. Something shifted within the surrounding trees and flanking shadows. It emerged and settled on the nearby, deserted road. A small thing, compared to the forest or the sky, but large enough to cast a presence.
It twitched its sable hide—shoulders, limbs, back—flexing muscles and sinew. Bone and cartilage extended, left, then right, and great stygian wings unfolded, flailing, flapping, breaking the quiet with their noise. To the air the creature rose, majestic, noble, sovereign of the night.
The Gargoyle.






© A. F. Stewart 2015 All Rights Reserved 



Saturday, 19 September 2015

October Frights Are Here To Scare...

October is the time for ghosts and ghouls, so start the month off with some shivers down your spine and join the fun of the October Frights Blog Hop!




There's a graveuh, I meana place ready and waiting for you!
Just pop over to Clarissa Johal’s blog for details!


You can also add your support to our Thunderclap:
https://www.thunderclap.it/projects/31496-2015-october-frights-blog-hop




Then join 40+ Authors from October 1st-10th for a terrifying trek through terror in the 2015 OCTOBER FRIGHTS BLOG HOP. You'll find Free Reads, Prizes & Giveaways, and more!

We're all dying to meet you!




Friday, 18 September 2015

Book Spotlight: Fall of the Seven Cities

Today I bring a book spotlight for the horror novella, Fall of the Seven Cities by Jay Brenham. Enjoy...

Fall of the Seven Cities by Jay Brenham




Perfect for fans of The Remaining and No Easy Hope, this is the first story in an action-packed new series that is impossible to put down!

Matt Hess has failed at almost everything: his real estate career is in shambles, his engagement is over and he’s in debt up to his eyeballs. But his past problems pale in comparison to what he’s about to face—an infection so deadly it takes out a hospital waiting room before his very eyes.

Along with a patrol cop, a maternity ward nurse, and a newborn infant, Matt manages to escape the first wave of infected. But the disease spreads so rapidly that soon the entire city of Virginia Beach is overwhelmed. Now Matt and his companions must figure out who they can trust and fight their way out before they join the ranks of the infected horde.



Fall of the Seven Cities is available at Amazon



Author Bio


Jay Brenham has lived up and down both coasts of the United States and some places in between. He spent half a year living in a former Soviet satellite and he has traveled to more countries than he can count on two hands. Some of those travels were for work and others were for pleasure, but he enjoyed them all. Jay now resides in an undisclosed location in the Pacific Northwest.

When Jay isn't writing he likes to forage for clams, mussels, oysters and all kinds of bivalves. When he can’t do that, Jay loves crabbing, camping, hiking, and reading about building his own log cabin.

Wednesday, 16 September 2015

Drabble Wednesday: Fallen Kingdoms

Today on Drabble Wednesday we travel to lands rent asunder, to kingdoms fallen…






After the War

The rivers still flow, past the ruins, past the end of our world.
And we flow with them, on our small boat. On and on with the current, a bobbing bit of nothing waiting to see what transpires. Waiting to see if we become pawns or join the ranks of the dead.
We are the royal children, smuggled away in the night as the kingdom fell, as the palace burned. We exchanged our silks and velvet for coarse linen and wool, our beautiful home for a cramped and tiny boat.
But we are alive. There is a chance for vengeance.


~*~






Eternally Beneath the Moons

The ghost of queen always walks under the moons, when the blue glow merges with pale silver. In each passing footstep the celestial radiance weeps tears, following her eternal, spectral form as it keeps vigil. The queen seeks peace, but finds only anguish in her death.
Around the old palace garden she strolls, calling the names of her lost and vanished children, babes stolen from her arms and slaughtered by invaders. They never answer, for they cannot. Tiny slashed throats no longer speak.
Still, she searches, her voice an echo off the moons. She calls endlessly, and forever, in vain.


~*~




Invasion

My tiny one whimpers, afraid but uncomprehending. I press my lips to her ear and murmur, “Hush, my sweet. It will be over soon. Close your eyes and Mama will make it better.”
My darling girl obeys, never realising. I raise my knife and pierce her heart. She dies in my arms, and I kiss her cold cheek in farewell. I hoped she understood. I did it to spare her.
She will not be taken as sacrifice to their awful gods.
They may control our kingdom, but they will not have royal blood.
I raise the knife to my throat.




© A. F. Stewart 2015 All Rights Reserved



Tuesday, 15 September 2015

Interview With Author Sarah Sunday

Today I have a wonderful interview with science fiction and fantasy writer Sarah Sunday, author of How to Stop Wildfire and Harmonic Waves. Enjoy.


Interview With Sarah Sunday




Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

Hi, I’m Sarah Sunday, author of How to Stop Wildfire and its The Adventures of the Trinity and the One series. First and foremost, I am a world-builder. My novels are set inside this world and are part of the rich history I have constructed. The stories helped develop the world and vice versa. I love creating and imagining new concepts and details. Writing is one way of doing that.


Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

Harmonic Waves is the sequel to my debut science-fiction fantasy novel How to Stop Wildfire. It follows the journey of four characters, Cyclone, King Fla’neiel, Spellbinder, and Farrco, in trying to become the universe’s ‘divine heroes.’ To prove themselves, as no one really believes they are divinely ordained heroes, they are sent to solve a conspiracy involving planetary bombings. It is part comedy, thriller, mystery, and tragedy. There are some really funny parts, but there are also some extremely poignant sections.

 
How long have you been writing, and how many books have you published to date?

I’ve been writing and world building for around a decade, but only recently began to publish. Right now I have four works published, three that are part of my mythos.


Who is your intended readership?

People who love sweeping worlds: Think Tolkien and J.K Rowling. Realms and realities that you can dive in and get lost to. It is kind of Marvel like in that there is a little bit of all genres in it. I think anyone can find something they like in it, if they looked closely enough.


Why did you write this book? What was your inspiration?

The first, the truly first, draft of this book was written when I was young really young, around eight years old. It was like a parable for my future world building; it was what all these characters built from. I don’t know how or why I wrote it then, but why I rewrote it was because I felt like I needed to tell this story again, and explain it all in a way that would last. To detail it all out and have it in a form that would transcend myself. So, basically, I wrote it because I felt obligated to it. I needed to serve it as best as I could.


What did you enjoy most about writing your book?

The dialogue. Between the four main characters there is tons of potential for witty banter and humorous scenes. Having them indulge my comedic side is pure ecstasy for me. The back and forth and ludicrousness of what they are together is fantastic to write and watch it unfold and develop.


What did you hope to accomplish by publishing your book?

I want to share everything that I have built and let others enjoy it. This world and these characters are my chief passions, and I want to immortalize them and have other people experience what I have for so long.


When did you realize you wanted to be a writer?

I don’t know the exact moment I realized it; I’ve always been writing in some sense or another. Being able to take an idea I have in my mind and turn it into something real on a page feels so rewarding. I guess it was when I realized how much I loved doing that did I know that writing was for me.


Are you working on another book?

Yes! I’m working on the third book in The Adventures of the Trinity and the One. I don’t have the title decided upon yet, but I assure you it will have a ‘wind’ element, following with my elemental motifs for the other two books. It centers on Spellbinder and the titular group’s previous incarnations. Has a cosmic horror edge to it. Really like how it is turning out.



About the Author

Sarah Sunday is a passionate world-builder. Creating epic science fiction fantasy worlds and writing about them is her core hobby that has been with her for nearly a decade.
When she is not writing or obsessively writing about her story-world's background, she watches obscure movies on Netflix, reads non-fiction books, and builds with Legos.

You can find out more about Sarah and her books at these pages:


And you can find her books here:




Sunday, 13 September 2015

Book Spotlight: Cross Academy by Valicity Garris

Today I have another book spotlight, this time for the dark fantasy novel, Cross Academy by Valicity Garris. Enjoy.



Cross Academy by Valicity Garris

Imagine walking outside and seeing a wall 30 meters high and 5 meters thick. This wall encircles the entire village, keeping all the citizens safe inside. What waits behind the wall?

Demons.

Over half of humanity fell on Black Day when demons appeared and devoured two-thirds of the population in a single night. For 350 years humanity wages war with these creatures as they hide behind the giant walls surrounding their villages. The structures manage to keep the villagers safe, but only for so long.

There comes a day when the demons strike again and this time they're relentless. Sixteen-year-old Fox Fire witnesses the terror of the demons on the second Black Day when her village is reduced to rubble. After losing her family, Fox Fire joins Cross Academy, an institution dedicated to destroying demons. Here she devotes herself to demon-hunting but her loyalty is tested when her best friend becomes possessed. Fox must decide if she will spare her most cherished companion or give in to her demon-hunter instincts.


You can find Cross Academy at:

  



Author Bio:

Valicity Garris is a recent college graduate, a blogger, and a Youth Pastor. She lives with her family in Western New York and continues to write whenever she can. When she isn't writing, she's spending time with her family or doing charity work with her church. Valicity loves reading YA books and anything with dark magic.


Friday, 11 September 2015

Book Spotlight: A Fistful of Fire by Rebecca Chastain

Today I bring you good readers another book spotlight, this time for the upcoming urban fantasy novel A Fistful of Fire by Rebecca Chastain. This novel is book two in the Madison Fox, Illuminant Enforcer series. Plus, there's a great Rafflecopter giveaway. Enjoy.





A Fistful of Fire by Rebecca Chastain

Madison Fox survived her first week as California’s newest illuminant enforcer, defending her region against imps, vervet, hounds, and one lascivious demon. If her grumpy boss, Mr. Pitt, was impressed, he hasn’t told Madison. In fact, there’s a lot her boss has been closemouthed about, including the dark secret haunting his past.

But Madison’s problems are just igniting. Neighboring regions report an uncharacteristic flare-up of evil, fire-breathing salamanders blaze unchecked across the city, and Black Friday looms. Trapped doing cleanup amid mobs of holiday shoppers, Madison watches from the sidelines as dubious allies insinuate themselves in her region.

As suspicions kindle and the mysterious evil gains strength, Madison must determine who she can trust—and whose rules to follow—before her region and career go up in flames.

Sizzling with adventure and sparking with magic, A Fistful of Fire is fused with Madison Fox’s trademark blend of humor and ass-kicking action.



The book releases October 10, 2015, but is available for pre-order at:



Also available Fist of Evil
(Book One, Madison Fox, Illuminant Enforcer)



Find it on Amazon


A Fistful of Evil 


Madison Fox just learned that her ability to see souls is more than a sight: 
It’s a weapon for fighting evil. The only problem is she doesn’t have a clue what she’s doing. 


~*~



Rebecca Chastain is an International Amazon Fantasy Bestselling author of A FISTFUL OF EVIL and MAGIC OF THE GARGOYLES. She has found seven four-leaf clovers to date, won a purebred Arabian horse in a drawing, and once tamed a blackbird for a day. Dreaming up the absurd and writing stories designed to amuse and entertain has been her passion since she was eleven years old. She lives in northern California with her wonderful husband and two bossy cats.

Visit Rebecca at www.rebeccachastain.com
or at 
Twitter: @Author_Rebecca


The Giveaway





Thursday, 10 September 2015

Interview With Author Angela J. Ford

Today on the blog I bring you an interview with Angela J. Ford, author of the fantasy novel The Five Warriors, first in The Four Worlds series. Enjoy...



Interview With Angela J. Ford



Why don’t you begin by sharing a little about yourself.

Hi, I’m Angela, and I’ve been obsessed with books as long as I can remember. Growing up summers were spent combing through books at the library or creating imaginary worlds with my four sisters. Much of my creativity stemmed from the games we used to play together as children.


Could you tell us a bit about your latest book?

The Five Warriors is the first novel in The Four Worlds Series. The original version was written specifically for my sisters when I was twelve years old. It was inspired by games we used to play, books I read, movies I watched and dreams I had. I wanted to create a world in a galaxy far away where powerful beings similar to humans lived and fought through the rise and fall of their worlds. It’s a place where magic has not forsaken the land and powerful being are led by their whims and desires which ultimately impact the fate of the world. The Five Warriors is a tale of five individuals who find themselves combining forces to reach a common goal, although each of them have a different reasoning.


How long have you been writing, and how many books have you published to date?

I’ve been writing as long as I can remember, but I did take a four year break after graduating from college. It was a point where I wanted to evaluate where I was going with my work and whether I wanted to continue down the road of re-writing all of my childhood stories. There’s a fanatical, flighty mindset I had when I was younger, and it was much easier to conjure impossibilities into adventure stories, but not necessarily have a great plot to go along with it. I published a short novella in 2009 which I wrote as a teenager, it certainly wasn’t my favorite work but did give me a taste of publishing and what not to do. 


Why did you decide to write in the fantasy genre?

Fantasy is such an easy genre to write in, because I can say ridiculous things and not have to go back and research them. If I want to have a character who speaks to metal and creates weapons with magical abilities, like hypnotizing the enemy, it’s not such a preposterous idea.


Who is your intended readership?

The Four Worlds Series appeals to those who are young at heart. It’s certainly not an intense read for critical critique during a book club or college class. It’s for those who want pure entertainment, a break from normality to read and adventure and deal with the issues of the characters for once instead of their own.


What did you enjoy most about writing your book?

The most fun part about writing a book is discovering where it will take you. It’s like going on a road trip, you already known the end destination, you may even have a visual or picture of it in mind. However, along the journey unexpected things could happen, and that’s exactly what happens when I write. Unplanned scenes pop up, one characters turns into a hot head and goes rouge. I almost feel as if my own characters are taking me on an adventure and that thrills me!


What did you hope to accomplish by publishing your book?

My hope is for readers to enjoy the book as much as I loved writing it. The Four Worlds Series aren’t for everyone, and yes, I am writing with my sisters in mind. But I’m also writing for those who enjoy a good adventure, and a tale with heroes, villains, monsters and unexpected twists. Reading should be fun, it should be entertaining and that is what I hope to accomplish by publishing my book and allowing to reach a much larger audience.


What advice would you give beginning writers?

Stop talking and start writing. Just write. Every single day. It doesn’t matter whether it’s one sentence or 5,000 words. We’re all busy, we all have things going on every day which can take time out of our writing. Some days I get five minutes to write, others, five hours. But the most important thing is writing. And just like the weather, there will be sunny days when you’ll feel the muse and write pages, and other days will be rainy, and you’ll spend hours perfecting once sentence. Regardless, keep writing.


What do you like to do when you're not writing? Any hobbies?

Writing is such a huge part of my life, but when I’m not writing novels, I’m generally writing for my inspirational blog, working on marketing initiatives for creatives, running my own business and traveling as much as possible. My ultimate goal is to make it to New Zealand for a few months and write one of my books from there. I’m a foodie and my favorite drink is a white chocolate mocha (no whip)!

~*~

Author Bio


Angela J. Ford is an imaginative and entertaining writer who creates stories of fanciful worlds that enable young adults to confidently believe in possibilities and overcome differences to be stronger together. Born in Ann Arbor, MI, and raised in Alabaster, AL, she moved to Nashville, TN, where she currently resides, to pursue a degree in Music Business at Belmont University.
Although her career has not been largely focused on creative writing, it has been an integral part of her lifestyle. Brought up as a bookworm and musician, she began writing The Four Worlds, a fantasy action, adventure series at the age of 12. The storyline of those books was largely based off of creative games she played with her sisters. Originally finished when she was 16, after college, Angela began to re-write The Four Worlds Series, bringing it from a child's daydream to an adventure young and old alike can enjoy. Inspired by fairy tales, high magic and epic fantasy, you’ll enjoy your adventures within the Four Worlds.

If you happen to be in Nashville, you’ll mostly likely find her at a local coffee shop, enjoying a white chocolate mocha and furiously working on her next book. Make sure you say hello!


To learn more about the author and her books, check out her websites:



The Five Warriors





What if... 
your best friend started a rebellion in the middle of a war? 
your lover awakened a deep evil and helped it grow? 
your people were too cowardly to face a battle? 
you stole an ancient power source? 
you gambled with the fate of the world? 
Join five powerful warriors in their quest for freedom.


Purchase Links: www.thefivewarriors.com

Wednesday, 9 September 2015

Drabble Wednesday: Broken Things

Today on Drabble Wednesday I bring tales of broken bits and shattered things…




A Splinter of Time

The cracks decorated the clock face like a fractured spider web, radiating outward across the glass. No familiar tick tock rhythm filled the room, and the clock’s hands stayed motionless. Its tall, ornate body stank of wood rot and rust, and a layer of dust shrouded its once lustrous sheen. The machinery that destroyed it was gone, winked out of existence, as was the man who annihilated the universe.
Yet, the clock survived. A fixed point in the nexus of infinity. It remained as the atoms of the universe disintegrated, coagulated, dissolved and reformed, as time itself shattered and unmoored.

~*~




Fragile Glass

Shards of glass littered the lawn. Other bits hung off the frame of the sliding door. Jagged pieces even scattered over the hardwood floor. He stared at them, trying not to see the rest, or the tinges of red on some of the glass.
“I didn’t mean to, it was an accident.” He whispered the words to an empty house. “Everything just got out of hand.”
Perhaps he meant what he said, perhaps he believed it. The gun in his hand suggested otherwise. As did the body of his wife, resting on the lawn in a bed of broken glass.

~*~




Mirrored

“I’m afraid.” The tiny whisper broke the night’s silence.
The old woman smiled at the child. “Shush now, little one. The darkness holds terrors, but you must be strong. You've your mirror, yes? You remember what to do?”
The girl nodded. “Show the Dark-Beasts their reflection. Trap them in the mirror.” She sighed. “Like they were trapped before Mama broke the Otherworld looking glass.”
“Yes. But you will fix her wickedness. You will mend the damage and put right the world.”
The child nodded and closed her eyes. “We just have to reach the temple before the Dark-Beasts find us.”



© A. F. Stewart 2015 All Rights Reserved


Saturday, 5 September 2015

Cover Reveal: Beyond the Wail


As some of you may know, one of my stories, The Weeping Lady, was accepted into Xchyler Publishing's upcoming paranormal anthology, Beyond the Wail, set to release next month. Well, here's where I give you the first glimpse at its striking cover.

So here's the grand reveal...




Beyond the Wail

12 Grave Tales of Love and Loss


Featuring chilling paranormal stories by:

Amanda Banker
Jay Barnson
Julie Barnson
L. K. McIntosh
Sebastian Bendix
F. M. Longo
Tirzah Duncan
Danielle E. Shipley
Alex McGilvery
Ginger C. Mann
A. F. Stewart
T. N. Payne 

and edited by J. Aurel Guay 









Thursday, 3 September 2015

Blog Tour: Sigil of the Wyrm by A. J. Campbell

I have a jam packed post for you today, as I join the blog tour for the fabulous new urban fantasy release, Sigil of the Wyrm, and its talented author A. J. Campbell. I have a bit on the book, its trailer, a quick Q and A with the author on geeky things, a giveaway, and most delightful of all a Fireside Chat interview with one of the book's characters, Kate Avery. So read on, and enjoy!



Sigil of the Wyrm by A. J. Campbell






Available on:






About the Author:

Born and raised in the wilds of Northumbria, A.J. Campbell was brought up on a diet of stories and local folklore, of which the Legend of the Lampton Worm was a perennial favourite. She eventually left her home town to study English and Creative Writing at the University of Warwick and now lives in Hampshire, (which she persists in calling the “wrong” end of the country), with her fiancĂ© and a succession of dead houseplants. At weekends she can often be found dressing up and pretending to be other people, immersing herself in the lives of fictional historical characters—or as it is better known, “LARPing”. She makes her own costumes and has a weakness for detective stories.



And for a little insight, here’s a quick geeky Q&A from our author:


Star Wars or Star Trek?
            Trek when I want to think, Wars when I want to feel.

Hunger Games or Divergent?
            Hunger Games

James Bond or Jack Ryan?
            Bond. Who’s Jack Ryan?

Sherlock: Robert Downey, Jr. or Benedict Cumberbatch?
            They’re both excellent, but I have to express a slight preference for RDJ

Spock: Leonard Nimoy or Zachary Quinto?
            Again, both fantastic actors, but Quinto just edges out Nimoy.

X-Men or Avengers?
            Impossible choice! X-Men has far more decent female characters, I’ve been into it for longer, and I love the latest film reboot, First Class and Days of Future Past… but Avengers had Joss Whedon writing the movie screenplay…

Aliens or Predators?
            Neither. Or both at once in Regency England.

Minions or Penguins?
            I’m assuming we mean the penguins from Madagascar, not just any old penguins? In which case I choose Minions.

Batman or Superman?
            Wonder Woman.

Harry Potter or Pirates of the Caribbean?
            Love both, but am going to have to choose Harry Potter because they were books first.

Beatles or Rolling Stones?
            Rolling Stones.

Peter Jackson or James Cameron?
            Peter Jackson every time. Can’t stand James Cameron.

Steven Spielberg or George Lucas?
            Spielberg.

Vampires or Werewolves?
            Werewolves

Jane Austen or Charlotte Bronte?
            Jane Austen

Marvel or DC Comics
            DC over Marvel because a) Wonder Woman and b) Birds of Prey

LARP or MORPG?
            LARP





 And now for the featured character interview... 


Fireside Chat with Kate Avery



“Welcome everyone, to another Fireside Chat. I’m Richard Dale, your host. Today, our guest is Kate Avery, Pirate Queen of the Weirding World.” Richard nods to the woman sitting opposite to him. “Welcome Kate. Why don’t you begin by telling our audience a bit about yourself.”

Kate smiles, coyly, “What, and ruin my mystique? Really, Richard, apart from the devastatingly good looks and mind like a steel trap, I’m quite ordinary. I’ve even given up the seafaring life to run a jeweler’s… for the time being.”

“Fascinating. From the sea to a shop, quite the change.” Richard tosses her a smile. “Being a Pirate Queen must have lent itself to some exciting moments. Do any of your adventures stand out as especially memorable?”

Hmm…” Kate ponders the question for a minute. “I think that’s one of those ‘I could tell you but then I’d have to kill you,’ questions. Most of the really interesting ones are those where I haven’t yet been pegged as the culprit, so, unless you really care to live dangerously…”

Um, no. I’ve had my fill of dangerous interviews, thank you.” He suddenly leans in closer. “Rumour has it that your marriage to the Baron is in trouble. Care to elaborate?

Her voice suddenly becomes firm.“On that subject, I’d rather not,” She says, flashing our host a dangerous glance, which in an instant softens into a rather stilted laugh. “What I mean to say is, I’ve never been the sort to kiss and tell. Let’s just say, I’m not ruling anything out at this point in time.”

“Well then, on the to the next question. What is your connection to Richard Lampton and Lampton Wyrm?”

“Not so much a connection to him as to his uncle. Everyone in the Weirding knew Tom Lampton, and then when he died, I felt I owed it to his heir to help him adjust to his new life. He hadn’t been brought up to it, see?” She shrugs. “Call me an interested well-wisher, if you like.”

How very gracious of you.” He glances to his right. “Oh, I believe it’s time for tea.” They are interrupted by the arrival a gentleman carrying a tea tray. He sets it down and waits to pour. “Care for a cup? It’s excellent. Earl Grey.” Kate nods. Two cups are poured and served. Richard takes a sip. “See, excellent. All right. Moving on. What is your favourite part of the Weirding World?”

“The Jewellery?” she laughs. “I do have something of a fascination with gold and gems, and of course in our world they have far more hidden properties than in yours. There are secret places to unlock, hidden treasures to find – and of course diamonds are a girl’s best friend!”

“Indeed. On a different subject, do you have any hobbies?”

“Hobbies?” Her forehead wrinkles. “I’m not sure I’d have time. I enjoy a drink and a smoke and a game of cards once in a while? I’m not sure that counts.”

I do believe it’s close enough. What is your idea of perfect happiness?”

“Getting my own way.”

“I don’t think on comment on that answer. What one word best describes you?”

“Formidable.”

“I definite agree with that assessment.” He gives a gentle laugh. One last question. How do you want to be remembered, what legacy do you want to leave behind?”

“Well, since I rather intend on never dying, I’m hoping the question will never arise. I would, however, be happy to be known as ‘the one that got away’ – in all possible senses of the phrase.”

“Well thank you Kate, for agreeing to this interview. It’s been a delight. I’m Richard Dale and that concludes our Fireside Chat.”



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