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BOOK OF THE WEEK: The Accidental Witch by Jessica Penot #Halloween #paranormal

Our BOOK OF THE WEEK at Lachesis Publishing is The Accidental Witch by Jessica Penot (paranormal with romantic elements). It’s funny, scary, clever, and features a heroine that you will just love to bits.

WHERE YOU CAN GET IT:

amazon

barnes and noble

kobo

iBooks

Lachesis Publishing

What it’s about:

Phaedra Michaels is a small town psychologist who is beginning to lose hope. Two of her patients at the local hospital in Dismal, Alabama have just killed themselves, she’s still reeling from her divorce and what turned out to be a disastrous marriage, and her father has died, leaving her without any notion of who her real mother is.

Just as Phaedra decides to commit herself to a serious drinking problem and an eating disorder, or two, a mysterious spell book arrives in the mail. Feeling desperate, Phaedra uses it to cast spells to save her fading patients. Suddenly, good things start happening.  Phaedra’s patients begin to get better and she even starts dating the sexy doctor from the hospital.

Phaedra is so happy she doesn’t notice the small things that start to go wrong in Dismal, or the dark creatures slithering out of the shadows near her house. When Phaedra finally realizes her spells have attracted every card-carrying demon from hell, she has no choice but to accept help from a slightly nerdy, 500 year-old warlock with a penchant for wearing super hero T-shirts and a knack for getting under Phaedra’s skin. Now, if only she could get the hang of this witch thing, she might be able to save her town.

EXCERPT:

I carefully pulled the twine and the brown paper fell off. Beneath the paper was a large, leather bound book. It looked like an old journal or recipe book. It was tied together with a red ribbon and the ribbon held numerous pieces of paper. I ran my hands over the smooth leather and read the title of the book. It simply said Spells.

I laughed and pulled the red ribbon that held the book together. The book fell open. Inside, it was like a recipe book a mother would pass on to a daughter. There were old typed pages with handwritten notes in the margins. There were pages added with handwritten spells on them and drawings.

“What the hell?” I said as I leafed through the old book. There were potions and summoning spells and candle spells. In-between pages, there were pressed flowers and herbs and some of the pages were stained with old candle wax.

I set the book down and went into the kitchen and opened the fridge. At least the kitchen was done. It looked like any other modern kitchen. It had granite counter tops and marble floors. I’d spared no expense making it look like something that belonged in an old southern mansion. I wanted the house to be perfect and I had Johnny Boy’s money to help me achieve that dream. The lights flickered when I entered. I would have to talk to Lawson about that in the morning. I took a beer out of the fridge and opened it. I had a sip and grabbed a roll of cookie dough. Armed with the cookie dough and beer, I returned to the book. It had fallen off the counter, to the floor, and was opened to a page. I laughed again. The page it had opened to was love spells. That was just what I needed.

I sat down and ate and drank and leafed through the book. I stopped at a page with an interesting picture on it. The spell was an awakening spell. It awakened you to the supernatural world. I hesitated and looked at the script around it.

Something fell upstairs and the lights went out. I fumbled around and found the nearest flashlight and switched it on just as the lights flickered back on.

“Lawson, you asshole,” I said as I turned the flashlight off. “The wiring is done in the parlor, my ass.”

A sudden wave of fatigue washed over me and I picked up my mess and carted my sorry butt upstairs. I climbed into bed with my flashlight. I still had the book of spells. It had been so long since someone had given me something that I had forgotten what it felt like. I knew the book was more than weird. It bordered on creepy. A normal woman would probably burn the damn thing, but I wasn’t a normal woman. I was a lonely divorcée living in a house known to be haunted, but I loved it the way most people love their pets. I was the daughter of a man who had made it clear that he loathed me, with a step-mother who’d bought me toilet paper for Christmas. The creepy book was wonderful to me. It meant that someone out there, even if they were a freak, cared about me, and freak love was better than no love at all.

Did you like what you read? You can get The Accidental Witch at Lachesis Publishing.

Connect with Jessica online on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook.
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Dark Paranormal, Historical Paranormal, paranormal, Supernatural, Supernatural thriller, Vampire Horror

BOOK OF THE WEEK: Dragon’s Fall – Rise of the Scarlet Order by David Lee Summers

Three vampires (2)

The Lachesis Publishing Book of the Week is DRAGON’S FALL – RISE OF THE SCARLET ORDER by David Lee Summers.

What it’s about:

Three vampyrs. Three lives. Three intertwining stories.

Bearing the guilt of destroying the holiest of books after becoming a vampyr, the Dragon, Lord Desmond, searches the world for lost knowledge, but instead, discovers truth in love.

Born a slave in Ancient Greece, Alexandra craves freedom above all else, until a vampyr sets her free, but then, she must pay the highest price of all . . . her human soul.

An assassin who lives in the shadows, Roquelaure is cloaked even from himself, until he discovers the power of friendship and loyalty.

Three vampyrs, traveling the world by moonlight—one woman and two men who forge a bond made in love and blood. Together they form a band of mercenaries called the Scarlet Order, and recruit others who are like them. Their mission is to protect kings and emperors against marauders, invaders, rogue vampyrs, and their ultimate nemesis—Vlad the Impaler.

Connect with David Lee Summers. online via facebook and twitter, and check out his web site.

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BOOK OF THE WEEK: The Spinster and the Earl by Beverly Adam #amreading #Regency #romance

SPINSTER AND EARL POSTCARD DEC. 19, 2016

OUR BOOK OF THE WEEK is the delightful historical romance (Regency romance) The Spinster and the Earl by Beverly Adam, and it’s FREE!

You can download the The Spinster and the Earl for free at Lachesis Publishing, amazon, Barrnes and Noble, kobo, and iBooks.

What it’s about:

Book 1 in the Gentlemen of Honor series

She was known as The Spinster of Brightwood Manor, and that suited Lady Beatrice O’Brien just fine.

She was happy being a spinster; happy running her father’s estates while amassing a fortune of her own; happy tending to the needs of her community; and most of all, she was happy not having a man around to tell her what to do.

But when Beatrice accidentally shoots her new neighbor, the Earl of Drennan, her life turns upside-down. Suddenly, this very arrogant gentleman, who also happens to be charming and attractive, makes himself at home at Brightwood Manor, and proceeds to court her!

Beatrice knows one thing for certain. Marriage will complicate her life. But falling in love? That’s an entirely different matter.

EXCERPT:

Faith, he really was one of the handsomest specimens of manhood she’d clapped eyes upon since the war against Boney started, despite that nasty looking scar he wore. She had to admit, even if he were a bit of a tiresome bore, he was pleasant to look upon.

Distracting herself from the sight of his almost bare chest, she nervously recited by rote her planned introductions. “Sir, I am Lady Beatrice O’Brien, mistress of this house. And this delicate beauty standing beside me is our healer, Mistress Sarah Duncan. I must add she’s the same witch who had the kindness to sew your leg up for you.”

Wise Sarah gave a deep curtsy and smiled warmly at him. Her light blue eyes, the same shade as bluebonnets, sparkled down at him in warm welcome.

“Indeed,” he said looking in astonishment at the lovely vision. She didn’t appear to be someone who’d choose to seek out the more unsavory parts of life, let alone be seen boiling a cauldron of eye of newt under a full moon.

“Mistress Sarah, you must amuse our patient here sometime with tales of how you manage to stay aloft at night on your broom,” said the lady of the house with a bemused smile. “I must tell you your patient is vastly interested in such witchery and would be delighted to be instructed about your more unusual practices.”

“Now, Lady Beatrice.” The pretty healer laughed in feigned indignation. For most of her life Wise Sarah had lived under superstitious peasant eyes. She knew the numerous wild tales concerning her adopted mother and herself.

“I’ve told ye before that we modern day hexes don’t use those uncomfortable conveyances anymore. Why they proved to be far too drafty and terribly dangerous to ourselves. What with one good gust of wind there’s been many a good hex that’s gotten herself lost over the North Sea.” She laughed and winked impishly at the lady of the house, relishing the silliness of her own tale. She and her adopted mother had never touched a broom, let alone tried to make it fly, except to clean their plain plank floor.

“Nay, dear lady and lord, we modern sorceresses ride about in smart pony carts these days like the rest o’ ye mortals. It being far saner and safer. Though ’tis true, less romantic.”

The stranger smiled at her quaint explanation, flashing a row of healthy teeth. “But all the same, ma’am, despite your being a witch. Demme, if I’m not grateful for the service you’ve rendered me by tending to my leg.”

The pretty healer blushed under the handsome English stranger’s praise. “It was nothing, sir. Truth be told, it was mostly Lady Beatrice here who did the work, putting your leg back into place and binding it tight like she did. Aye, ’tis she you ought to be looking to when giving your thanks.”

His arctic blue eyes turned themselves upon his nemesis, the lady of the house, or the “vanithee” as he’d heard the servants refer respectfully of her in whispers. She stood proudly erect wrapping her title as lady of the manor about her like a protective cloak. Her bright green eyes the same shade as new leaves, carefully watching and observing his every word and gesture, her body rigid in anticipation to what he would say. It would be quite easy for him to slight her in front of the wise woman if he wished. But he did not.

“Tell me, is there no master of the house to greet me?” he asked, wondering if the lady was married, intrigued by her apparent aloofness. It was as if she had no one but herself to answer to for bringing home a stranger. Would not someone, her guardian or husband perhaps, wish to speak to him? To assure himself that such an unknown English stranger would not bring harm or scandal to his household? Surely there was someone?

“Aye, there be one,” the lady answered. “My father, Lord Patrick O’Brien. He is the master here. He’d like to have greeted you in person, but at present himself is suffering sorely from the gout and begs that you excuse him. In his absence, he requests that you accept his daughter’s welcome.” She then gave a short bob, in lieu of a proper deep curtsy of welcome, which was normally the due she gave to guests in her father’s house.

His eyes narrowed, he’d not missed the slight. “Ah . . . yes.” He nodded with understanding, his voice liquid cool, chilling the peat-heated room. “Considering that it was a member of his household who shot me off my mount that would be the least one could expect him to do. Don’t you agree, my lady?”

She gasped, stepping towards the ungrateful English dolt. She clenched her hands at her side, ready to give him a proper show of her famous spinster temper. “If ye’d only taken the time to look before ye leaped, we wouldn’t have had to put ye in this bed. And I’d not be saddled with the obliging care of ye!”

“Please, Lady Bea—,” intervened Wise Sarah, placing herself strategically between the attacking hostess and her wounded patient. “Behave yourself! Now what will your da say when he up and learns you tried to attack this wounded gentleman? And this time in pure aggression, if you please. One would think that you truly wished him harm.”

Chastised, Beatrice obediently took a step back. The last thing she desired was to have her father’s wrath fall upon her head. He’d warned her that if another one of her notorious escapades brought any disgrace upon the family name, he’d see to her punishment himself. A dire threat she knew he would follow through with if she were not careful.

She sighed audibly, her hands were tied. She could do nothing to dislodge this ingrate. And once more she regretted her part in acting the Good Samaritan to this English pudding-headed lout. She ought to have left him in the muck and mire where she’d found him, instead of seeing to it that he was brought here and properly tended.

Like what you’ve read? You can download the The Spinster and the Earl for free at Lachesis Publishing, amazon, Barnes and Noble, kobo, and iBooks.

Connect with Beverly Adam online on her blog and on facebook and on goodreads.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter and like our facebook page.

amreading, blog post, BOOK OF THE WEEK, CHILDREN'S PARANORMAL, Dark Paranormal, From the Editor's Desk, paranormal, Supernatural, Supernatural thriller, YA, YA paranormal, YA Supernatural

BOOK OF THE WEEK: CROSSED OUT by Kim Baccellia #amreading #paranormal #YA

CROSSED OUT POSTCARDTHE LACHESIS PUBLISHING BOOK OF THE WEEK IS CROSSED OUT by Kim Baccellia (YA paranormal). 

YOU CAN GET IT HERE AT LACHESIS PUBLISHING

What it’s About:

Following the light can’t be that hard, right? So why don’t the dead just do it and leave Stephanie Stewart alone?

However nothing is ever as simple as it should be, as Stephanie learns when her hidden ‘gift’ becomes more than a nuisance, quickly turning unto a liability.

If she can’t learn to trust someone with her secret, the world as she knows it will go to hell. Literally. But if she doesn’t choose wisely, she might just end up learning firsthand how hard it is to follow that light.

Because she’s next on the list to be crossed out.

EXCERPT:

I couldn’t deal with Mom and her holier-than-thou attitude about decorating crosses. If she had any clue why I needed to do this, maybe she’d back off.

I pushed my hair aside and looked down at the wooden beams. My box of Sharpie pens lay close to my side. I had to get the design just right. Roses, or something plainer? It didn’t help that it was so cold in the garage.

Why was it so hard to help the dead go to the other side? It’d be a whole lot easier if they told me what they wanted on their crosses. Dead girl comes, asks for help, and tells me she’s into pink roses. Yes, that would make my job a lot easier.

But one thing I’ve learned is, life isn’t easy. Cliché, but true.

Figures, this was how I’d spend my time on a Saturday – sitting cross-legged on the floor in our garage, worrying about finishing a cross for some dead girl. In a few hours, Mom would drag me to Mrs. Swanson’s house for a sleepover. I didn’t really have time to decorate a cross.

And each time I tried to sketch, thoughts of the meeting drove any thought of the design out of my mind. I mean, how could I even think of helping others – albeit dead ones – when my own life was such a disaster?

I didn’t want to go. But Mom was using the whole sleepover as a way to get me to be around Hillary, whom she thought would be such a good example for me. But I couldn’t tell my mother the truth – I hated Hillary. Yes, we’d once been close, but it wasn’t as if we were BFFs anymore. No, Hillary made sure of that when I was stupid enough to trust her with my secret. A secret that was better left hidden. No one believed the dead could talk to you.

According to my last counselor, the only way that could happen is through serious Steven Spielberg special effects.

When I admitted to seeing one of my dead friends, he didn’t freak. No, he did something worse. He ended up suggesting to my parents that I needed to see a doctor – for serious psychological help. I mean, only crazy people see the dead.

And, I hate to say this, but the anti-anxiety meds and antidepressants don’t keep them away. Sometimes I wished the drug cocktail could just erase them. It sure would make my life a lot easier.

Sighing, I decided to go with pink roses. What girl didn’t like pink?

A sudden coldness permeated the garage. Jeez did Dad forget to close the back door again?

I pulled my hoodie tighter. Working in near darkness was bad enough without the drop in temperature.

Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh.

I dropped my black Sharpie.

Over in the corner of the garage loose papers and dust whirled around – a funnel growing larger and larger.

A light shone next to Mom’s holiday plastic boxes, illuminating some Christmas ornaments, tinsel, and wrapping paper.

“Stephanie…careful….”

The childish voice grew louder. A chill went up my back. I know that voice!

I blinked once and when I opened my eyes I saw the girl. Her long dirty blond hair was clumped into two pigtails, and her bikini top and cut-off Levis brought back memories of the YMCA pool three years ago where I‘d spent my summers.

Allison!

Omigod! I pushed the wooden cross aside. A tingling sensation burned through my whole body. Once I helped a dead person cross over, that was supposed to end the whole rescue scenario. The bright light appeared and poof! Well, not this time.

I scooted away, over the rough, cold pavement. This didn’t make sense. Though I was used to visits from the ―other‖ side, having Allison reappear scared me. I didn‘t know what to do.

“Allison, why are you here?” My voice broke.

She took a step toward me. Her lips trembled. “Careful…danger….”

Danger? Did that mean her murderer was out of prison? Just the thought of that perv touching or killing someone else made me want to hurl.

“No… another….”

Someone else?

“Allison, what are you trying to tell me?” I slowly got up off the ground. “Is the guy who killed you, out?”

Allison shook her head. It still freaked me out how much the dead looked like us, not fuzzy or semi- transparent like they show on TV. The ones I helped still looked the way they had when they‘d been killed, complete with all the blood and stuff.

Yet here was Allison. She should be in Heaven singing in one of those heavenly choirs Mom always talked about.

I bit my hangnail, ripping it off. I couldn‘t deal with this. Not now.

“Careful….”

The wind picked up, tossing loose papers everywhere. None of this affected Allison.

I had so many questions to ask her. I missed her. I knew she‘d understand me, even when others – including my mom – were clueless.

“Allison, what‘s it like to be…?”

The wind howled drowning out her answer. And just as quickly, Allison left.
I felt as if something had punched me in the stomach. I pushed back the sickness threatening to escape.

What was going on? But even worse, I didn’t know what to do. One thing had been made perfectly clear. The rules had all changed and no one bothered to give me the new players’ guide.

Like what you’ve read? You can get Crossed Out at Lachesis Publishing. You can also buy it on amazon, Barnes and NobleKobo, or iTunes.

Connect with Kim Baccellia on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook.
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amreading, blog post, BOOK OF THE WEEK, contemporary romance, From the Editor's Desk, paranormal romance, romance books, romance fiction, romance hero, romance novels, Supernatural

BOOK OF THE WEEK: SISTERS OF SPIRIT by Annette Blair, Jeanine Duval Spikes, Christine Mazurk, Lynn Jenssen #amreading

FOUR WOMENOur BOOK OF THE WEEK is SISTERS OF SPIRIT, a wonderful anthology about love and friendship written by four real life friends: New York Times and USA Today bestselling author Annette Blair, Lynn Jenssen, Christine Mazurk and Jeanine Duval Spikes (also known as J.D. Spikes Lachesis Publishing author of The Possession).

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!

What It’s About:

Four life-long friends face the biggest changes of their lives.

Four sisters—not related by blood—but by spirit, each embark on a quest

Four women find out what they’re truly made of, and what love really means.

Follow Lachesis Publishing on twitter and like our facebook page.

 

amreading, amwriting, Bestselling Authors, Bestselling Authors Q and A, blog post, CHILDREN'S PARANORMAL, From the Editor's Desk, Kids paranormal, Lachesis Blog, paranormal, Supernatural, Teen supernatural, YA Fantasy, YA paranormal

New York Times bestselling YA fantasy author C. J. Redwine talks books, writing retreats and fangirling over Benedict Cumberbatch

New York Times Bestselling Author C. J. Redwine
New York Times Bestselling Author C. J. Redwine

C.J. Redwine is the New York Times bestselling author of YA fantasy novels, including The Shadow Queen, The Wish Granter, and the Defiance trilogy. If the novel writing gig ever falls through, she’ll join the Avengers and wear a cape to work every day. Visit her website: www.cjredwine.com 

Welcome C. J.!

You’re a YA fantasy author – tell us how you became a writer and how you first got published. 

I’ve been writing stories since I was in the second grade. By the time I was a teenager, I was filling spiral notebooks with stories, ideas, poems, and even lists of words that I loved. Book Nerd FTW!

51BM-5rlvzLI graduated from college with a degree in English and my teaching credential. Even though I loved to write and wanted to be published one day, I had no real idea how to accomplish that, and I needed a career that paid the bills. I taught high school for a few years, got married, had children, and life became one non-stop loop of no-sleep-keep-the-boys-from-starting-the-apocalypse-I-don’t-know-how-to-brain-anymore. It wasn’t until I was thirty and facing a cancer diagnosis that I stopped and evaluated what I was doing. I realized that I’d been waiting for life to slow down and give me the perfect opportunity to write books, but that’s not what life does. If you want something, you have to make it happen or move on to another dream. 

So I wrote my first novel, which is a monstrosity that no one will ever read. I joined writer’s groups. Went to conferences. And learned as much as I could about the craft of writing and about the publishing process. I wrote a second book, queried literary agents, and signed with my amazing agent. I expected that book would sell, but it didn’t. I wrote another book, and that book didn’t sell either. I’d been with my agent for over two years without a sale, while others sold in a matter of weeks. I kept picking my self-confidence up off the ground, dusting it off, and telling myself that I could do this. 

When I wrote my next book, I turned it in to my agent, fully expecting to hear a slew of “no’s” once it went on submission to editors. Instead, my agent called me to tell me the book was going to auction with four houses bidding on it. I just cried. It was so surreal. It took months for the fact that I’d sold a series to sink in!

51lWd-Ffq9L._SX314_BO1,204,203,200_You’re a NYT bestselling author – tell us which book hit the bestseller list first, what number did you hit, and what did you do to celebrate?

My book THE SHADOW QUEEN, which is a dark epic fantasy inspired by the Snow White fairy tale, hit the list at #5. I went out to dinner with my family to celebrate. 🙂

41C0wO8Bl+L._SX331_BO1,204,203,200_I know that you’re published with Balzer and Bray (a Harper Collins imprint) but you’ve also written a book and indie-published it – called Query: Everything You Need To Get Started, Get Noticed, and Get Signed. Tell us about that and why you wanted to write a book about how to break into the industry?

I’ve been teaching writing workshops for years. I love to teach! And I realized there were a lot of up and coming writers who’d never be able to attend one of my workshops. So I decided to put my query workshop into book form so that anyone who needed a step by step process for how to write a query letter that gets results would have it at their fingertips. 

 Sherwood-Splash-LR_616x440_acf_cropped7a4c3295-d761-411a-bfa6-60e7a4179d39.1 ad7fb75c-4831-494e-9897-c00e5dab45fe.1You also offer writing workshops and you organize an annual writer’s retreat tell us about that and is it just for YA authors or do you offer it for authors who write in other genres?

The annual retreat is open to any writers who register. We’re currently accepting names on a wait list for next year’s retreat
C. J. REDWINE’S WRITER’S SANCTUARY WRITING RETREAT). It’s a fabulous event full of workshops, critiques, time to write, and delicious home cooked food. I also travel to conferences, book festivals, writer’s events, and libraries to give workshops.

41Yqk143nKL51xhJ9LBwsL._SX341_BO1,204,203,200_You’re a busy mom – what do your kids think of their mom the author? What do you enjoy reading to your kids?

My boys are teens, and they think it’s cool that I’m a writer. Sometimes they even read my books (and then complain about how awkward it is to read a kissing scene written by your mom). My girls are in first grade and preschool, so they don’t really understand what it means to be published. But they do know that I write books, and they love to fold paper together and make their own books. 🙂

It’s very competitive out there with traditionally published authors and indie authors and authors who do both! Writing a good book is of course important – but aside from that – how can a newbie or emerging author find their own place in a sea of so many successful authors?

It’s important to figure out where your readers are and connect with them. One great way to connect is to make sure that your social media presence revolves around passions of yours that are also passions of readers who’d love your books. For example, I write fantasy. I love Grimm, Supernatural, The Flash, The Avengers etc, and I talk about those things. I’m part of the Harry Potter fandom. Of course I share other aspects of my life too, but I make sure to share the things that I know are shorthand for readers who love the same things I do. I also think networking with other authors and doing shared events or book festivals is a great way to meet new readers!

 Screen Shot 2016-10-25 at 10.24.55 AMWhat do you have coming up next?

My  next book is THE WISH GRANTER, a dark epic fantasy inspired by the tale of Rumpelstiltskin in which a bastard princess must take on a dangerous fae to save her brother without losing both her brother and her soul.

What do you love to read in your downtime?

Everything! I read widely. My favorite genres at the moment are thrillers, horror, and contemporary, and of course I always adore a great fantasy. I find so much inspiration in reading outside of my genre.

Where do you get your inspiration from?

Literally everywhere. I’m constantly seeing interesting things that make me ask “What if …?” or I hear a piece of  music that sparks a conversation between characters or an image of a world … I carry a notebook at all times because my head is a very busy place.

imgres-1benedict-cumberbatch (1)Bonus Question: Who do you fangirl over and why?

I love character actors! My faves are Benedict Cumberbatch, John Noble, Tom Hiddleston, Johnny Depp, and Bill Nighy. Also I fangirl over fictional characters like nobody’s business. Batman. Loki. Iron Man. Wonder Woman. Dean Winchester. I could go on, but you get the point.

Thank you!

Connect with C. J. Redwine via her website, facebook page and on twitter, tumblr. and pinterest.

Like our Lachesis Publishing page on facebook.
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amreading, blog post, Hauntings, Horror, horror fiction, paranormal, paranormal romance, romance books, romance fiction, romance hero, Supernatural

BOOK OF THE WEEK: THE ACCIDENTAL WITCH by JESSICA PENOT #amreading #paranormal #Halloween2016 #spooky

ACCIDENTAL WITCH POSTCARD OCT. 24TH, 2016Our BOOK OF THE WEEK at Lachesis Publishing is The Accidental Witch by Jessica Penot (paranormal with romantic elements). It’s funny, scary, clever, and features a heroine that you will just love to bits.

CLICK HERE TO PURCHASE!

What it’s about:

Phaedra Michaels is a small town psychologist who is beginning to lose hope. Two of her patients at the local hospital in Dismal, Alabama have just killed themselves, she’s still reeling from her divorce and what turned out to be a disastrous marriage, and her father has died, leaving her without any notion of who her real mother is.

Just as Phaedra decides to commit herself to a serious drinking problem and an eating disorder, or two, a mysterious spell book arrives in the mail. Feeling desperate, Phaedra uses it to cast spells to save her fading patients. Suddenly, good things start happening.  Phaedra’s patients begin to get better and she even starts dating the sexy doctor from the hospital.

Phaedra is so happy she doesn’t notice the small things that start to go wrong in Dismal, or the dark creatures slithering out of the shadows near her house. When Phaedra finally realizes her spells have attracted every card-carrying demon from hell, she has no choice but to accept help from a slightly nerdy, 500 year-old warlock with a penchant for wearing super hero T-shirts and a knack for getting under Phaedra’s skin. Now, if only she could get the hang of this witch thing, she might be able to save her town.

EXCERPT:

I carefully pulled the twine and the brown paper fell off. Beneath the paper was a large, leather bound book. It looked like an old journal or recipe book. It was tied together with a red ribbon and the ribbon held numerous pieces of paper. I ran my hands over the smooth leather and read the title of the book. It simply said Spells.

I laughed and pulled the red ribbon that held the book together. The book fell open. Inside, it was like a recipe book a mother would pass on to a daughter. There were old typed pages with handwritten notes in the margins. There were pages added with handwritten spells on them and drawings.

“What the hell?” I said as I leafed through the old book. There were potions and summoning spells and candle spells. In-between pages, there were pressed flowers and herbs and some of the pages were stained with old candle wax.

I set the book down and went into the kitchen and opened the fridge. At least the kitchen was done. It looked like any other modern kitchen. It had granite counter tops and marble floors. I’d spared no expense making it look like something that belonged in an old southern mansion. I wanted the house to be perfect and I had Johnny Boy’s money to help me achieve that dream. The lights flickered when I entered. I would have to talk to Lawson about that in the morning. I took a beer out of the fridge and opened it. I had a sip and grabbed a roll of cookie dough. Armed with the cookie dough and beer, I returned to the book. It had fallen off the counter, to the floor, and was opened to a page. I laughed again. The page it had opened to was love spells. That was just what I needed.

I sat down and ate and drank and leafed through the book. I stopped at a page with an interesting picture on it. The spell was an awakening spell. It awakened you to the supernatural world. I hesitated and looked at the script around it.

Something fell upstairs and the lights went out. I fumbled around and found the nearest flashlight and switched it on just as the lights flickered back on.

“Lawson, you asshole,” I said as I turned the flashlight off. “The wiring is done in the parlor, my ass.”

A sudden wave of fatigue washed over me and I picked up my mess and carted my sorry butt upstairs. I climbed into bed with my flashlight. I still had the book of spells. It had been so long since someone had given me something that I had forgotten what it felt like. I knew the book was more than weird. It bordered on creepy. A normal woman would probably burn the damn thing, but I wasn’t a normal woman. I was a lonely divorcée living in a house known to be haunted, but I loved it the way most people love their pets. I was the daughter of a man who had made it clear that he loathed me, with a step-mother who’d bought me toilet paper for Christmas. The creepy book was wonderful to me. It meant that someone out there, even if they were a freak, cared about me, and freak love was better than no love at all.

Did you like what you read? You can get The Accidental Witch at Lachesis Publishing.

Connect with Jessica online on her web site and on facebook and twitter.

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The Pivotal Moment When You Decide To Become A Writer by Maeve Christopher #amreading #amwriting #writingcraft

 

Author Maeve Christopher
Author Maeve Christopher

Everyday people and situations provide fodder for Maeve Christopher’s imagination. Keep asking “what if” and “why”, and the plot thickens. What could be more fun?

She currently lives in Massachusetts with a number of messy subplots and Freddie the tiger cat.

Maeve Christopher’s Redemption Series is part family saga, part suspense and part love story — with the touch of the Supernatural.

My journal came out of its hiding place at the back of my desk drawer almost every day of my childhood. I don’t remember a time when I didn’t write little stories, or make up stories about people I encountered in life. I almost never shared them.

There’s a big difference between being a writer and taking that step to becoming a published author. I think for most of us, writing is as natural as breathing. We can’t not write. For many people, stories stay in their journals or in their heads. I was always convinced that would be the case for me. I pursued science studies and a career in health care.

One day a new patient showed up in my office. Under “occupation” he listed “editor” for a prominent New York publisher. I still remember how excited I became (even more than the time I met Phil Collins!) I asked him to tell me all about his job, then went on and on about how much fun, how exciting being an editor must be, how thrilling to work with authors, etc. etc.

When I took a moment to breathe, he asked, “Do you want to write a book?”

I was stunned silent, then burst into nervous laughter. My mind said, “Of course I do! Doesn’t everyone?” But I quickly said something like, “That’ll be the day.” Funny, but that moment was a turning point for me. I began to think it could be possible.

It was years later when I finally gave myself permission to write with the intention to publish. Unfortunately, by that time the editor had long since retired and relocated. And when my 800 word saga was complete, it had everyone’s point of view, including the dog. When I gave it to a dear friend to read, she kindly said, “You might have something here.”

Many years and revisions later that effort became the basis of the first three books of The Redemption Series. I’m so grateful when I think about that editor who asked the question that started me on this writing journey. Now I can’t wait to share my stories!

Maeve Christopher is the author of the upcoming Lachesis Publishing release A RING AND A PRAYER Book 1 of the Golden Bowl Series, an inspirational women’s fiction novel with romantic elements, plenty of laughs, action and twist and turns. Stay tuned for more details! 

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In the mean time you can “meet” and get to know some of the featured characters from A RING AND A PRAYER in Maeve’s previous releases: Mercy’s PenKiller Cupid, Fame, Fortune and Secrets,  

Connect with Maeve Christopher via her website and on facebook and twitter.

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BOOK OF THE WEEK: When a down-and-out boxer becomes immortal he sets out to save his town from the undead GHOSTS OF GLORY by Morgan Chalfant #amreading #urbanfantasy #paranormal

Ghosts-of-Glory-453x680Our BOOK OF THE WEEK is the urban fantasy/paranormal Ghosts of Glory by Morgan Chalfant.

What It’s About:

Jersey “The Brawler” Romero is dying. Slowly. Tediously. Not the way he thought he would go out on the savage streets of Glory, the Twilight City. But all of that is about to change when Jersey is granted his youth again by a messenger of the Twilight Goddess, the Spirit of Glory. He’s also given a mission: save Glory from the dark forces that are bent on destroying her.

Jersey’s been a fighter his whole life, whether it was on the streets where he struggled to survive, or in prison where he fought to stay alive. Glory never gave him anything without a battle, and that’s what he’s always loved about his beloved city. But nothing has prepared him for the war that’s coming. Monster-like creatures masked as humans are bent on exterminating him. Their leader is a mysterious man named Templar. He’s been amassing an underground army called The Black Crux. Templar wants to make Glory his, by laying waste to everyone who stands in his way. Possessing an almost otherworldly vision, Templar knows everything about Jersey, including an explosive secret that will blast away everything Jersey has ever believed.

But Jersey isn’t called “The Brawler” for nothing. He’s determined to fight Templar with everything he’s got. Because he’s not just fighting for his life, he’s fighting for Glory’s very soul.

WHERE YOU CAN BUY IT:

amazon: http://amzn.to/2ensFfp

kobo: https://goo.gl/hCBYS3

barnes and noble: https://goo.gl/njVQhn

iBooks: https://goo.gl/eHDpdG

READ AN EXCERPT:

We’re standing on the roof of Skript and Abigail hasn’t said a word in five minutes. She dragged me up here with such urgency, I figured the show would have started by now.

Sitting down in a damp lawn chair, I wait. Patience and I have nothing to say to each other, but Abigail has me intrigued so I let her have all the time she needs. It’s not easy opening up doors that have been locked for so long, especially to strangers. If that’s what we still were. Maybe strange acquaintance is a better term.

The view from the rooftop is actually quite beautiful. Rarely can the word beauty describe Glory. What little good happens to someone here, happens at the expense of someone else’s pain. Surprisingly, the night is peaceful. It’s never peaceful in Glory, so there’s obviously something off, but I don’t have the time nor the inclination to worry about it at the moment. It’s just the cone of silence. The calm before the storm. Strangely, I’m the calm. Abigail is the surging storm.

My eyes fall from the billions of firefly buildings to a sight more pleasing. Abigail stands looking up at the moon. It’s a waxing half-moon, but there’s still enough light for decent visibility. I watch her take off her leather jacket and pull off the gloves and drop them at her feet. Before my eyes, strange symbols begin to appear on her forearms and hands. The spaghetti strap top she’s wearing leaves much of her neck visible where more symbols begin to shimmer. Spiral patterns. They resemble some sort of tribal ink, but they begin to glow like lanterns in the dark. It’s an eerie, beautiful blue light. Cerulean, turquoise, and sapphire.

I stand up and move closer as Abigail turns around. I can see her face now. The incandescent markings have spiraled up her cheeks, climbing like staircases up to her eyes. Both her eyes shimmer inhumanly, one golden amber, the other a pool of twinkling emerald. Her breathing is erratic, she shakes, like she’s frightened I’m going to run away or grimace at the sight of her.

“Th-this . . . is me.” She stutters. “What . . . what I was talking about.”

Before I know it, she’s reaching for her jacket to cover herself. I spring forward and stop her, grasping her firmly by the shoulders. She looks up at me like she’s a monster that should be cowering in darkness. She won’t look at me. I can’t help but wonder who ever looked at her and cringed. Who made her feel so malformed? It’s perfectly clear to me she’s not the abomination she considers herself to be. She’s the most beautiful sight I’ve ever seen. It’s not every day a street devil like me gets to behold a shimmering angel.

I move my hands to her cheeks, rubbing my thumbs over the glittering markings. There’s no textural difference. Her skin is as soft as cashmere. Her radiance is overwhelming. Her glow envelops me.

“My God,” I whisper. “You’re beautiful.”

Like what you’ve read? You can purchase GHOSTS OF GLORY by Morgan Chalfant at  Lachesis Publishing.

You can also purchase it at Amazon, Kobo, and Barnes and Noble.

Connect with Morgan Chalfant on facebook, tumblr, and twitter.

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He writes undead westerns, steampunk, science fiction and a few Star Trek books for good measure. Q and A with prolific author Robert E. Vardeman (by David Lee Summers) #amreading

Prolific Fantasy and Sci-Fi Author Robert E. Vardeman
Prolific Fantasy and Sci-Fi Author Robert E. Vardeman

Robert E. Vardeman is the author of more than 100 fantasy and science fiction novels, as well as numerous westerns under various pen names (Jackson Lowry, Karl Lassiter). He’s written gaming tie-in novels such as Dark Legacy for the Magic: The Gathering series and he wrote the Star Trek novels
The Klingon Gambit
and Mutiny on the Enterprise.  He was nominated for the prestigious Hugo Award in 1972 and he named Albuquerque’s science fiction convention Bubonicon.  The convention is named because even to this day, there are occasional cases of Bubonic Plague in the area.  Fortunately, it’s easily treated by modern antibiotics!

414GCl+aDgLNot only has Bob Vardeman succeeded with traditional, mainstream publishing but he has a long track record of working with small presses and even self-publishing.  His short story collection Stories from Desert Bob’s Reptile Ranch which spans more than thirty years of writing was published by Popcorn Press. I’ve been honored to be featured in a few anthologies with him, including the forthcoming Straight Outta Tombstone anthology from Baen Books.

Bob is a longtime resident of Albuquerque, New Mexico, who graduated from the University of New Mexico with a B.S. in physics and an M.S. in materials engineering. He worked for Sandia National Laboratories in the Solid State Physics Research Department before becoming a full time writer.  I caught up with Bob at this year’s Bubonicon in Albuquerque.

DLS: As I understand, you started out working in the Solid State Physics Research Department at Sandia National Labs before becoming a writer. How has your background in physics and materials science influenced your writing?

41MD66Od1kLREV: While we call it science fiction, what we enjoy most is actually technology fiction–how science affects our lives (and our characters’ lives).  Science moves so fast these days, other than trying to avoid simple mistakes, what I learned back in the days of yore is outdated.  Bell’s Inequality, which changed so much, came 15 years after I quit working at Sandia.  Nano tech meant ICs then. Hubble and soon Webb space telescopes open the universe to dark matter and energy.  I read about new discoveries but mostly I don’t understand them.  Instead, I try to put it all into a technology framework and figure out what the effect will be on our lives.

DLS: How did you get started writing? When you started writing for fanzines, did you have an idea that you wanted to be a professional author?

REV: I’m one of the exceptions to the “I always wanted to write” rule.  I never did.  I wanted to be a nuclear physicist and more or less ended up there, though X-rays and RTGs were as close as I got.  I had a few months between quitting Sandia and going to UC Berkeley where I had been accepted to work on a PhD (in ceramic engineering) when I visited my good buddy Geo. Proctor.  Geo. was a reporter for the Dallas Morning News, had a couple novels and short stories printed and had always wanted to be a writer.  He suggested we coauthor a story.  Why not?  We did, it sold. (and we never got paid–the magazine folded before publication).  Over the years this story sold twice more with the same result.  Ironically, the title of the story was “A Killing In the Market.”  I enjoyed the process, wrote a fantasy proposal and sent it out.  It sold.  I was faced with finishing the book or going to Berkeley, so I postponed school by a half year.  In that time I sold two more novels and decided this was more fun than designing materials for rocket throat liners.  As it turned out, this was a good decision on another front.  The prof who would have been my adviser died of cancer 2 years after I would have begun.  Such a tragedy easily could have derailed my dissertation, research and career.

51GRZF0757L._SX284_BO1,204,203,200_DLS: You’ve written under several pseudonyms including Karl Lassiter and Jackson Lowry for westerns, your science fiction has appeared under your own name as well as F.J. Hale and Edward S. Hudson, and I could go on.  Authors often build brands around their names.  Why have so many pseudonyms?  What kind of work do you put into building a brand for each new pseudonym?

REV: The sf pen names came about to keep from competing with myself.  One month I had three titles, out, two fantasy and an sf book.  Publishers loathe such self-competition.  The shift in western pen name from Karl Lassiter to Jackson Lowry came about for the same reason.  When I switched publishers, the new one insisted on a different name to keep from supposed promotion of titles from a competing publisher.  In a way, this was good.  Lassiter did more epic, long form novels while Lowry does short stories, lighter westerns and weird westerns.

DLS: Not only do you have several pseudonyms, but you’ve run the gamut from publishing with New York houses to publishing with small presses to self-publishing.  Why work with such a range of publishers?

REV: It took me a while to figure out that I would be terrible doing repetitive assembly line work.  After a few minutes, I’d be changing how Part A fitted into Part B.  Keeping with one genre (and publisher) is like that.  New challenges, new ideas, “what if” always beckons and not necessarily in the same field.  I am prolific and varied ideas flow constantly (I am aware of the difference between constant and continuous, alas–the ideas flow constantly).  It takes a lot of ink and electrons to keep up.

519D7Ya9H2LDLS: Tell us about the Empires of Steam and Rust series. I thought this was an especially innovative approach to self-publishing where several authors write in a single world and help each other market their works.  How can we learn more about the books in the series?

REV: Shared worlds aren’t too uncommon, but I decided on a different approach.  The basic steampunk framework could be applied in myriad ways–all suggesting myriad authors could contribute.  The idea of “holes” into a world consumed by rust gave a world lacking in oxygen and the possibility of invasion from (and into) it.  Rather than being the editor for all this, I let trusted authors use the framework to tell stories in their own way and bring their readers to the world.  Hopefully that story interests their readers to look at other writers working in the same framework.  Each author is responsible for story, editing, publishing, cover, marketing, everything.  And the individual author collects 100% of the revenue from their own work.  No charge for use of the world.  Entries so far have been strong and interesting and varied.  I look forward to writing more myself in the world and hope other authors ask if they might join the fun (send me an email to inquire).

DLS: Your career started before we’d heard of things like Twitter and Facebook.  How has the world of book marketing changed now that social media has come on the scene?  How do you fold social media into your own book marketing campaigns?

51a1Aat6GyLREV: I coined the term VIPub a few years ago. Vertically Integrated Publishing.  Indie authors have to do it all, think up the idea, write the story, edit it, get a cover, publish and promote. It all rests on the author’s shoulders.  This is overwhelming if you try to do whatever is currently hot in social media since it is a moving target and changes in 6 months (or less).  In a talk David Morrell said 10% of a writer’s time ought to be spent on promotion.  The question arises as to how to allocate that time.  From all the possibilities, I say pick three that interest you most.  Twitter or Facebook or blogs or Instagram or…whatever else is out there.  I have a website I update periodically (www.cenotaphroad.com) and an online store (www.robertevardeman.com).  I do post fun stuff on facebook every day and link it with Twitter.  I have let blog writing lag since I can’t do it all.  One element that is the author’s and no one else’s is a mailing list.  Self-selected fans are the greatest.  (Sign up for mine via my website or online store)  I only send out the n/l when a new book is available or other publishing info comes to light.  I don’t like getting inundated so hold down frequency to make each one special (and give special offers of free books, etc)

DLS: What can we look forward to in the coming months from Robert E. Vardeman, or your other identities for that matter?

51yJWiSr1iL51dpCvV1pdLREV: One novella I am especially excited about is “Jupiter Convergence” in the new anthology Rockets Red Glare.    A weird western short story, “The Sixth World”, is forthcoming in the Baen anthology Straight Outta Tombstone.  The final volume in a Jackson Lowry weird western trilogy, Punished, is due out in November (#3: Bayou Voodoo joins #1: Undead and #2: Navajo Witches).  I am returning to work on an sf book with a different take on first contact and have a major project mapped out set on the moons of Jupiter.  And when I get a chance, I have a really strange detective novel in synopsis.  Final mention is one of my pen names, Dana Fox.  Burning Man Anomaly is joined by a 3-author follow-up Aztec Automaton Anomaly with a 3rd title being sketched out now set in a haunted 1930’s Texas luxury hotel slated for release in 2017.

Connect with Robert E Vardeman online via his website, on facebook and on Twitter.

Connect with David Lee Summers. online via facebook and twitter, and check out his web site.

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