Wednesday, August 31, 2011

The Qwillery: Interview with Stephanie Chong and Giveaway - Augu...

The Qwillery: Interview with Stephanie Chong and Giveaway - Augu...: Please welcome Stephanie Chong to the The Qwillery as part of the 2011 Debut Author Challenge interviews. TQ :  What would you say is your...

The Official Blog of author Jennifer L. Armentrout: Six Sentence Sunday and Contest

The Official Blog of author Jennifer L. Armentrout: Six Sentence Sunday and Contest: I haven't done a Six Sentence Sunday Contest in a while, or at least, it feels that way. And if you want some swag and stuff, best enter the...

Review - The Watchman of Ephraim

Cris De Niro worked his way up to the top of the hedge fund world. Yet, all of his money couldn't protect him from losing his wife on 9/11. 10 years passed since the tragedy. De Niro and his sons relocated to a sprawling ranch near Las Vegas. Turning to his faith to overcome his anguish, De Niro now lives for a higher purpose. From a biblical passage, he reads about the "Watchman of Ephraim," a defender who kept watch over the land. De Niro decides to acquire a lackluster counter-terrorism agency in order to transform it into a modern-day version of The Watchman for the United States but there's not a moment to lose.

Aref Sami Zamani is planning a terrorist attack on American soil - codenamed "Antioch," a plot to detonate a nuke over the city of Las Vegas. The Watchman uncovers a connection between Zamani and a Mexican drug cartel but their agent goes missing before they can learn more. That's because Zamani has a spy working for The Watchman. Strange events start to unfold near the Nogales border crossing. References are discovered to something the Mexicans are calling "Noche Del Espantada" ...Fright Night," but can it mean something else?

September 11, 2011 and the sun hasn't risen yet in Las Vegas or Nogales. Antioch is in motion! At the border, Noche Del Espantada has begun and there are intruders at De Niro's ranch. De Niro has to protect his sons and someone new in his life, Dr. Moriah Stevens. She too, lost her spouse on 9/11. Moriah finds herself in love with De Niro but his devotion to his wife is proving too powerful for him, even after 10 years. It's the 10th anniversary of the worst terrorist attack on American soil and unless De Niro and his new team are successful, the day will be known as "The 2nd 9/11."


My review:

This is a debut novel that is written as if he has been a published author for a number of years. If you didn't know, you wouldn't be able to guess either. This is one of the best political suspense thrillers I have read in a while.

The first couple of chapters are hard to read as someone that distinctly remembers 9/11 and knew people both in NYC and DC on the day of the attack. But after those intro chapters, which really are necessary to the story. The rest of the story takes place 10 years later. You follow Cris as he moves his family to Las Vegas and starts on a new mission for his life. To keep Americans safe for something like 9/11 ever happening again. A tough calling but he has the funds and the friends to put together a top notch team. Shortly after assembling his team they are faced with trouble. There is another attack planned for the 10th anniversary.

The story moves at an almost nonstop pace. And you have to keep reading in order to find out what happens next. The characters are real. They are believable and you can easily imagine that there are people out there who are civilians but are dedicated to keeping another terrorist attack from happening.

I only had a few little problems with the book. One is that while the author does a good job of identifying terms and phrases that ordinary civilian might not know in the footnotes, early on in the story he misses a few that you know involve military or technology terms and practices but you really dont know what they are or do. Also when Cris is setting up his new company, it seems to be a bit rushed to get to the action. When you go in to meet the new team you are introduced so fast that later when they reappear you have to go back to see what role they have again. And lastly, during the climax when people are being killed. It just seems hard to believe that no one in all the locations these are taking place notices if they are not part of the story. And while I admit I am sure that with knowing the right people and knowing the situation that is going on and that it was basically a matter of national security that it is likely they would not be punished. It just seemed to me that it needed a bit of "official" explanation, even if it is just what goes on behind closed doors that the normal civilian would never hear about. For me that would have provided a little more closer to the story.

I am really glad this is a series. And I am really looking forward to the next book coming out soon. This is one writer you do not want to pass up, especially if you are a thriller fan.

Note: Sorry for the lack of graphics the past couple of posts. Blogger is not cooperating on uploading images. I hope it works again soon.

Moonlight Reader: Birthday Giveaway!

Moonlight Reader: Birthday Giveaway!: YAY!!!! It’s my birthday month and I’m excited. To celebrate my birthday month (August) and turning the big 24, I’m going to give ONE (1)...

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

Guest Post - Gerard de Marigny

Faith-based Paranormal … A Contradiction in Terms?

Two years ago, I shopped a manuscript I'd written called, _The First Seal: Year of the White Horse_. It was to be Book One of a seven book series I was creating called "The Saga of The Seven Seals." As you might have noticed, the series is based on the Biblical time of Revelation. I intended to write seven books – one book for each of the seven seals, as they represent consecutive time periods.

The first thing that a writer should decide very early on is genre. I'm not saying that writers should limit their creativity here, but I do believe a writer should have a general idea of what the macro-genre of the work he/she is writing before beginning to write. This was my first completed, full-length novel and I made the mistake of not defining the genre in my head from the onset. What I ended up writing was an adventure/fantasy written in the style of a geopolitical thriller. Yikes! If you could picture in your mind a storyline like _Lord of The Rings_ written in the form of a Tom Clancy novel, you would taste the flavor of that first manuscript I penned.

Despite that dilemma, my manuscript was getting noticed and liked by people … but this is where the story gets even weirder. You see, when you shop a novel to agents and publishers, you need to target the ones that represent the genre of the work you're shopping. The more defined you can be, via sub-genre, the more chance you have of selling your work.

I'd decided that because I wrote a story dealing with the Biblical end-times that I should shop it within the Christian genre, specifically the Christian Speculative Fiction sub-genre. Yikes again! Wow, did I find out a bunch of things … all wacky!

First, the Christian Spec Fiction genre was virtually destroyed, at that time, by the LEFT BEHIND Apocalyptic fiction series by Tim LaHaye and Jerry Jenkins. I was told that right after the success of LEFT BEHIND, every Tom, Dick & Harriet started flooding publishers with knockoffs. That caused a flood of novels to be dumped on the public with basically the same storylines. Readers became tired of reading the same story written by a myriad of authors and voila … dead sub-genre.

Did I know any of this when I set out to write _The First Seal_? No.

Did I even read the LEFT BEHIND series? No.

It didn't matter though, the "Christians" told me that I should try my hand at writing romance novels about pilgrim women. (You read that correctly)

Yep … romance novels about puritan women apparently were selling like hotcakes within the Christian genre. A few things here … one … what I know about "romance" could fit in a thimble. Heck, I only got married when I was 33! Two … and this question is out of sheer ignorance … do puritan women even have romances?

I'm digressing …

So, I was stuck in a quandary. I'd written a story that mixed genres in a gnarly way and then shopped it into another genre and sub-genre market that had NO interest in it. Yeah … not exactly the way I'd suggest starting YOUR writing career.

What to do now?

After getting rejected by the Christian genre community, I decided to send the manuscript out to several non-Christian beta readers. They were just people I knew from the net that showed interest in my novel's summary. Key point here: They were almost all avid PARANORMAL lovers! Guess what? They all, to a person loved it!

So, I tried to write an adventure/fantasy novel, but for some unknown reason used a geopolitical thriller format – then tried to sell it into the Christian/Christian Spec Fiction market only to be utterly rejected by all of them … and the folks who like to read stories about women attracted to studly vampires or vice versa (that was my general idea about paranormal back then) were stoked over it!

You can't make that up … and I make things up for a living!

Even with growing affection for it, I decided to shelve _The First Seal_. I intend on re-writing it, perhaps as early as next year.

In the meantime, I started work on my debut novel, _The Watchman of Ephraim_ a month later and yes, I got my genre correct with this one … it's a geopolitical thriller.

I learned an interesting lesson though, through that whole experience. I'm a devout Judeo-Christian, which means I follow the teachings of the Bible very closely, but I'm also the former guitarist for a heavy metal band … so I'm not exactly your archetypical poster boy for a Bible-thumping, nape-of-the-neck exposed, white bread-eating choir boy. I'm the other guy sitting all back of the bus. Yet, I still thought that my fellow "Christians" would accept me with open arms in the book community. I was wrong. Now, in fairness, all the folks I dealt with were very nice – and I don't mean piss-down-my-leg-and-tell-me-its-raining nice, I mean genuinely nice. But that was it. They had no interest in my novel or me.

The paranormal community, on the other hand, accepted me with open arms (and claws extended). They gave my novel a fair read, not carrying any biases going in and just judged the story on its merits … and they weren't afraid to say they liked it, despite its religious overtones (trust me, I don't preach in my stories, I just write from a Judeo-Christian worldview).

After thinking on the whole experience, it makes sense to me now, if in a weird way. Think about it – people who like to read Paranormal are already accepting of some pretty odd things. When they read my story about a character who had taken the ancient vow of a Nazarite (the same vow Samson took that gave him his great strength), they weren't "weirded out" by it. To them that aspect didn't make the character odd, it made the character interesting.

Ironically, the Christians-in-traditional-publishing weren't so open-minded.

Well, they would have been, if I'd only changed the lead character to a Puritan woman who fell in love with the son of a non-believer, on one of her carriage trips into "town," who then has a baby out of wedlock … but then the woman's dad, who was an "elder" who turns to drink and picks up his wood-choppin' axe and heads into town to cut the Oscar Meyer off of the non-believer boy … well, you get the idea.

To me … it doesn't get any weirder than that!

Author Bio
Gerard de Marigny is the author of the geopolitical thriller, _The Watchman of Ephraim_, Book 1 of THE WATCHMAN OF EPHRAIM series. The sequel, _Signs of War_ is scheduled for release in September 2011.

Gerard de Marigny resides in the beautiful foothills of Las Vegas, NV with his wife Lisa and his four sons. When not bending an arm with friends at the local pub, he's putting to paper the stories and characters that are alive in his mind.

Author/Publisher Sites

Author's Website:
Author's Blog: SelfPubber's Pub

Social Networking Sites
Facebook Page:

Buy Links
Amazon: Gerard de Marigny Books
Barnes & Noble: Gerard de Marigny Books
Smashwords (all eBook formats): _The Watchman of Ephraim_
Personalized, signed copies are available at the author's website: (all transactions secure via PayPal)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Trailer - Lure of the Vampire

Guest Post - Bertena Varney - Lure of the Vampire

What is Lure of the Vampire

Hi everyone. My name is Bertena Varney and I am the author of the pop culture reference book, Lure of the Vampire. I published this book in June and have found that a lot of people just don’t get what the Lure of the Vampire is. So, I thought I would try to explain what Lure of the Vampire is and why it is unique and different than other vampire books.

The Lure of the Vampire is a pop culture reference book for writers, vampire fans, students and teachers who love the study of the mysterious creature of the night. This book is for the fanatics who sit up at night and watch reruns of Buffy for the hundredth time, the Twi-hards that line up for hours before the show, just to glimpse the newest Twilight movie and for those die hard traditionalists that balk at all of this “new” vampire craze.

The Lure of the Vampire is also for the new writers who love creating their own worlds where the vampires may be aristocratic and romantic or dark and dangerous; the world where there are castles, heaving bosoms, chivalry and danger of loving a vampire, the dreams of so many women in today’s world.

And finally, The Lure of the Vampire is a book for those who love to study all aspects of the vampire in both pop culture and the world. Whether they are the historian who loves tracing the evolution of the vampire or the sociologist who wants to explore the world of those that live the lifestyle, the reader will find resources here to help them in their quest for knowledge of this lifestyle.

The Lure of the Vampire is divided into ten sections beginning with mythology and ending with modern vampires. Within each section there are lists that will help the reader learn basic and fun facts about that section’s topic. Links to websites are provided to ensure that the reader may find more information about that section without having to search for it on the Internet or in other books. To help supplement a particular subject within that topic, there are personal essays or interviews that give the reader a personal look from the author’s perspective. For example, Lure of the Dead Boyfriend provides the reader with a look at why women love vampire romance, while exploring the vampire as a soul mate, erotic lover, and an escape from the real world.

There are also unique interviews with The Vampiric Council of New England, Vlad the Gothic Vampire Magician, Audrey Koogler, Vampire Priestess, and Hugo Pecos the director and creator of The Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency. The reader can delve into the world of a creator of an alternate reality or learn more about those whose lives lead them to embrace vampirism as a way of life.

Lure of the Vampire is a complete pop culture reference book for those who enjoy vampires and their impact on society and to further enhance the opportunity for additional study, you will find the bibliography in its own section at the end of the book.

So what do you think that Lure of the Vampire can provide for you? I look forward to your comments.

Lure of the Vampire: A Pop Culture Reference Book of Lists, Websites and Very Personal Essays By Bertena Varney, M.A.

Lure of the Vampire is a pop culture reference book that begins with history and mythology and ends with modern living vampires. The author has provided "fun" lists like the Powers of Dracula, Real Live Vampire Murders, Television Shows and African Americans who have Played Vampires. There are also websites in each section that show the most popular vampire books and even children's shows and books. But, there is a personal twist when it comes to Lure of the Vampire.

The author has provided personal essays from national and international vampire authors as well as her own. They range from a personal look at vampires in mythology to the romantic lust filled vampire. There are also interviews with various groups and individuals involved in the vampire community. Lure of the Vampire: A Pop Culture Refence Book of Lists, Websites, and "Very Telling" Personal Essays is a perfect quick to grab reference book for the vampire fan or author. It is concise enough to assist you in finding links to what you are looking for without our being too cumbersome and confusing.

Lure of the Vampire contains essays from authors: Denise Verrico - David MacDowell Blue - Charles E. Butler - C.J. Ellisson – BittenTwice – Elizabeth Loraine

Interviews with: Vampiric Council of New England, Vlad the Gothic Vampire Magician , Audrey Koogler, Vampire Priestess , and Hugo Pecos, creator of The Federal Vampire and Zombie Agency

Lure of the Vampire is great for any writer who would like to find fun facts to give their vampires in their story. For example, what powers have vampires in mythology possessed or the first literary vampires? There’s a section for that.

What if you are a vampire fan who is looking for new YA or adult authors- there is a section with titles, authors and their websites.

What about vampire games? There’s a section for that too.

Sections include: Mythology, History, Literature, Movies, Television, Recreation, Children’s Vampires, On the Web, Education, and Real Life Vampires. There are lists, websites, essays, and interviews included in throughout the book.

Lure of the Vampire: A Pop Culture Reference Book of Lists, Websites, and "Very Telling" Personal Essays is a perfect quick to grab reference book for the vampire fan or author. It's concise enough to assist you in finding links to what you are looking for without our being too cumbersome and confusing.

You can buy Lure of the Vampire at in print here-

Ebooks will be coming to Kindle, Nook and Smashwords soon.

About the Author

Bertena Varney is from Winchester, KY and currently resides in Bowling Green, KY. She attended Morehead State University where she received the following degrees:
- B.A. in Social Science and Education - M.A. in Social Science and Education
- M.A. in Sociology and Criminology - Rank 2 Secondary Education Certification

While in college She used all of her extra essays, projects and independent study classes to study vampires in pop culture….thus the creation of Lure of the Vampire.

She has been employed as a middle and high school as well as college instructor. Here past employers include Morehead State University She has been employed Morehead State University, Eastern Kentucky University and National College and will be lecturing at Bowling Green Community College in the fall.

Currently she is planning her lecture tour schedule. In the past she has presented papers at conference such as Sirens in Vail, Colorado and The Harry Potter Witching Hour in Salem, Mass. Currently she is scheduled for ScareFest, Dance on the Dark Side and A Day of Mystical Blood Lust.

She is also planning to begin a vampirology course based upon her studies of vampires in pop culture.

Find Bertena on the web:


Her writing website is

Her vampire research website

Twitter @tenavarney


To sign up for her newsletter go here.

Book Trailer

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Qwillery: Interview with Nancy Kilpatrick & Giveaway - Augus...

The Qwillery: Interview with Nancy Kilpatrick & Giveaway - Augus...: Please welcome author and editor Nancy Kilpatrick to The Qwillery. TQ :  Would you walk us through the process of putting together an antho...

Review - The Lost

Adam Bruno is no ordinary millionaire. The heir to an ancient race possessing a dark, powerful magic, he can shapeshift and create energy. His gifts make him a living weapon and have forced him to live in seclusion. But now an inhuman force hunts down Adam-just when he finds someone who makes him feel more human than he ever imagined possible . . .

Home from combat in Iraq, Bobbie Carerra wants only peace, yet soon joins Adam in a terrifying battle against paranormal enemies who hide in plain sight. She’s drawn to his strength of mind and body; he’s attracted to her courage and intoxicating energy. Their scorching passion can either transport them to the heights of ecstasy or-if Adam’s powers rage out of control-destroy them. But when an invisible brotherhood tightens its nets and someone Adam trusts betrays him, only a heartrending decision can save them.

About the author:
Caridad Pineiro is the NY Times bestselling author of over twenty-six paranormal romance and romantic suspense novels and novellas. Look for THE FIFTH KINGDOM, a romantic suspense from Carina Press in July 2011 and THE LOST, the first book in the new SIN HUNTERS paranormal romance series in August 2011. Caridad has also done the foreword for OBSESSED: EROTIC ROMANCE FOR WOMEN edited by Rachel Kramer Bussel which will be available in August 2011. Her popular THE CALLING vampire series returns in 2012, but vampire lovers will enjoy A VAMPIRE FOR CHRISTMAS (October 2011) which includes Caridad’s novella, WHEN HERALD ANGELS SING.

For more information on Caridad, please visit

Visit Caridad on Twitter at or Facebook at

My review:

What a great start to a new series. I was drawn in from the first chapter and didnt want to put it down. This is a well-written interesting new series that has all the elements in it from romance to action to paranormal.

The main characters Adam and Bobbie are interesting and each very complex on their own. When they come together they must both learn to trust each other not only with their secrets but their lives and loves.

There is also a complex mythology behind what Adam is and what the brotherhood searching for him is as well. Since it is the first book in a new series, we dont get the full background on these people in this book. We do get a great introduction to it in this story and I am looking forward to finding out more as the story continues.

Its a great book and any lover of the paranormal will enjoy it. And anyone who is just looking for something different and likes romance will too. I highly recommend it and I am looking forward to picking up more of her books soon.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Musings of a YA Reader: Blogoversary Giveaway #1

Musings of a YA Reader: Blogoversary Giveaway #1: Guess what?! Today my blog turned one! A year ago, if anyone had told me I’d be blogging for this long, I probably wouldn’t have believed ...

Review - Static

By Tawny Stokes

Genre: Paranormal YA

During the summer before her senior year, 17 year old band groupie, Salem Vale, has been following her favorite punk rockers, Malice, from gig to gig hoping that one night she might get backstage and meet the sinisterly sexy guys. She’s been saving her virginity for the lead singer Thane. One fateful evening she gets her wish. It’s a dream come true.

Except the dream turns to a nightmare when she wakes up in a dumpster, tossed away like yesterday’s trash, with no memory of what happened the night before. She feels strange, different, as if something is trying to get out. Soon she realizes she’s changing…turning into something not quite human.

Now a hunger deep inside claws at her to feed, to siphon energy from those around her. Before she can do just that, Trevor, the band’s roadie shows up and stops her from killing. With his help she learns to control the hunger inside, because he’s just like her. And in return he wants her help to do one little thing…

Help him kill the members of Malice.

My review:

As much as I love vampire fiction it was fun to read something that was paranormal but different. I dont want to spoil it too much and say what the characters are. But they are not shifters and not vampires. And it was a great story.

The main characters of Salem and Trevor are well developed and you feel like you know enough about them to have their decisions make sense. Many of the secondary characters (members of the band Malice) are not as well-developed. But for being the secondary, evil character types they had enough detail. A couple members remained fairly mysterious though the whole story but it worked.

The only problem I had with the story was the actions of the groupies at the clubs. It was very 70s-80s like. It just had the feeling of how groupies acted then. I know in many cases its still like that, but those scenes with trying to get backstage passes, parties, etc just seemed to me way more dated and out of place than the rest of the story.

The story was interesting. It flowed well. I didnt notice any lag spots and I never got lost following the movements of the characters. It was very well written and I enjoyed reading it. I am looking forward to reading more by this author.

Guest Post - Tawny Strokes - Static

Quick Five with Tawny Stokes

Five favorite YA books/series
Hunger Games trilogy – Suzanne Collins
Gone series – Michael Grant
Divergent – Veronica Roth
The Devouring series – Simon Holt
Morganville Vampires – Rachel Caine

Five favorite movies
LOTR trilogy
Harry Potter series

Five favorite actresses
Angelina Jolie
Diane Lane
Emma Stone
Milla Jovovich
Ellen Page

Five favorite bands/singers
Papa Roach
Three Days Grace

Five favorite words

Tell me your 5 favorite things.


Tawny Stokes has always been a writer. From an early age, she’d spin tales of serial killers in love, vampires taking over the world, and sometimes about fluffy bunnies turned bunnicidal maniacs. An honour student in high school, with a penchant for math and English, you’d never know it by the foot high blue Mohawk and Doc Martens, which often got her into trouble. No longer a Mohawk wearer, Tawny still enjoys old school punk rock, trance, zombie movies, teen horror films, and fluffy bunnies. She lives in Canada with her fantastical daughter, two cats, and spends most of her time creating new stories for teens.

Tawny also writes adult paranormal/urban fantasy fiction under the name Vivi Anna, and is an aspiring screenwriter.!/TawnyStokes

Monday, August 22, 2011

Sleep. Eat. Read: Dirty Blood Cover Reveal and E-book giveaway!

Sleep. Eat. Read: Dirty Blood Cover Reveal and E-book giveaway!: I killed a girl last night. I did it with my bare hands and an old piece of pipe I found lying next to the dumpster. But that’s not the par...

Sleep. Eat. Read: Birthday Giveaway! I like giveaways! :)

Sleep. Eat. Read: Birthday Giveaway! I like giveaways! :): Okay guys! I had originally planned on starting this WONDERFUL giveaway on Tuesday, so it would run for exactly two weeks, but I just couldn...

Yahoo! Homepages for Homerooms

Yahoo! Homepages for Homerooms: Found this great classroom project – Peaceful Playground Games Wanted - that needs our votes to get funded by Yahoo! Take a minute to check it out!

Friday, August 19, 2011

Guest Post - Eileen Schuh - Schrödinger’s Cat

Thank you, Donna, for inviting me to guest on your blog.

This intermingling of genres in present day literature is symptomatic of our evolving ‘global society’. The edges and definitions of everything are melding, welding, and merging—from nations and races and peoples to biological classifications, historical events, and mind vs matter.

In tune with this trend, my latest novel, SCHRÖDINGER’S CAT, skips out of its sci-fi genre and speaks to readers of both the Paranormal and Women’s Lit.

SCHRÖDINGER’S CAT is based on the quantum physics theory that everything that can possibly happen does happen—there are many universes, not ‘out there’, but worlds in which we fully participate. Some of these worlds are very similar to ours and some are vastly different. Chordelia, the protagonist, gets caught up in alternate realities. That is the Sci-Fi part.

Although in reality (in our universe), scientists have tentatively declared there is no possibility of communication between these many worlds, SCHRÖDINGER’S CAT looks at what might happen if they are wrong about that. Perhaps bleed through does happen. Perhaps in these lives of ours in other worlds rests the scientific explanation for deju vu, premonitions, hallucinations, creativity, and insanity. Perhaps… Therein lies the paranormal part of SCHRÖDINGER’S CAT.

The Women’s Lit part of the novel is that despite being haunted by alternate universes, Chordelia struggles with the same gut-wrenching emotional and relationship problems experienced by women around the globe.

SCHRODINGER’S CAT: A woman’s angst. Death and dying. Choice and fate. A sci-fi/paranormal/ psychological/crime thriller

A great read for everybody.

Available on Amazon, Smashwords, and other fine stores.

Eileen Schuh, Author
Schrödinger’s Cat
The Traz

Thursday, August 18, 2011

Review - Schrödinger’s Cat

Chordelia, straddling two of the realities proposed in Everett’s Many Worlds Theory of Quantum Physics, has no idea how distorted the line is between choice and fate.

In one of her worlds, Chorie’s young daughter is dying—a drama that quickly contaminates her other, much rosier, reality. Before long, the emotional burden of dealing with two separate lives spawns heated legal battles, endangers her role as mother and wife, and causes people in both universes to judge her insane. As her lives begin to crumble, so does Chorie’s heart and mind.

When Dr. Penny, a man with disturbing, murky, hypnotic eyes offers to rid her of the life that’s causing so much pain, she must decide if she is willing to sacrifice the chance to be with her dying child for the chance to save her marriage and experience happiness.

She thinks she’s planned it well—she’s researched her choices, prepared herself for the consequences, put everything in place. She makes her decision. However....

Life, as it has the propensity to do, strikes back with the dark and unexpected.

Click here for an excerpt.

My review:

This book was surprising on many levels. Its not clear from the summary what type of book you are starting. But what it ends up being is an extremely well written, easy to follow story that encompasses one group of people living in 2 different timelines and what minor differences can do to alter their entire life.

The book is heavily influenced by the theory of Schrödinger’s Cat. While at its base its not a terribly hard theory to understand. When you delve deeper it because much more complex. Eileen has taken this theory and incorporated it into a story with believable characters and situations. And produces a story that flows and is near impossible to put down.

Its hard to do a review and give details of the story as it would be too easy to give spoilers. But I do want to say that the ending was a surprising twist that really makes you question what reality is true and does what happen in the alternate realities affect what happens in the so called real one as well.

This is a fantastic example of the principle in quantum theory of superposition. Which is most cases can be pretty darn hard to wrap your mind around. But Eileen has taken this theory and incorporated it into a story that is not only well written and readable but also easy to understand.

Once Upon a Twilight!: Joplin, Missouri Classrooms need our help!

Once Upon a Twilight!: Joplin, Missouri Classrooms need our help!: Hi everyone, I wanted to share with you all the chance to help out classrooms in Joplin, Missouri.  "On May 22, 2011, the town of Joplin, ...

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Guest Post - Lisa Kessler - Night Walker

Come What May…

Hi everyone –

Thanks so much Donna for having me on your blog today! I’m halfway through my Night Walker blog tour and feel like I’m barely keeping up! LOL

Night Walker is a very dark paranormal romance, but the emphasis is on romance. The song “Come What May” from the movie Moulin Rouge was on my playlist while I did a rewrite of Night Walker. The song’s lyrics connected with me and to the story I was trying to convey. “But I love you until the end of time… Come what may, I will love you until my dying day…”

After his one love is murdered because of a confession he trusted to the wrong man, Calisto is offered the chance to live until she is reincarnated and lives again. He takes the offer in a heartbeat for the promise of seeing her again, but didn’t realize he would wait over 200 years to see her again. In that time he’s lost hope and grown bitter.

But he still waits for her. Come what may…

I thought I’d share an excerpt of their first meeting. He recognizes her instantly even though it’s been over two hundred years since he looked into her eyes. He wants to touch her, but she has no conscious memory of him…


Kate watched them wander off before kneeling closer to the cross. Unable to stop herself, she traced her finger along the T in the center.

Behind her, someone cleared his throat. Kate jerked her hand away and shot to her feet. When she turned around she found a tall, dark-haired man staring at her.

Her cheeks flushed with heat. She hoped he hadn’t witnessed her touching the relic. She waited for some kind of admonishment, but he didn’t say anything.

Not with words.

Something in his dark eyes captured her. His gaze wandered over her face like a tender caress, and strangely, instead of screaming for Lori and Edie, she caught herself imagining his touch on her skin.

“I hope I did not frighten you,” he said.

His deep voice resonated through the empty courtyard, and the intimate tone weakened her knees. The hint of a Spanish accent didn’t hurt, either. Nervous laughter escaped her before she could contain it.

Her face warmed all over again. “Just a little startled. I didn’t see anyone else out here.”

He stepped closer without encroaching on her personal space, his eyes locked with hers from beneath thick lashes. “Forgive me.”

She swallowed hard and prayed she wasn’t blushing. “No problem.” She looked away before she embarrassed herself even further, focusing on the cross. “It’s beautiful isn’t it?”

“Si.” He nodded slowly. “Yes, it is.” His barely there smile made her think he wasn’t referring to the flowers or the cross. “I am Calisto. Calisto Terana.”

Expectation hung as heavy as the scent of eucalyptus, as if he waited to hear something more than just her name.

“I’m Kate.” Instead of offering to shake his hand, she tucked a stray lock of hair behind her ear. “It’s nice to meet you.”

“The honor is mine, Kate... ” His accent colored the vowel in her name. It had never sounded more beautiful. She reminded herself to breathe.

When he hesitated for a moment waiting for her to speak, she realized she hadn’t shared her last name as he had. She flipped through a rapid pro and con mental checklist, and decided it couldn’t hurt. Maybe they would meet again.

“Bradley,” she said.

A sexy smile curved at the corners of his lips. “I hope this will not be our last meeting.”

She glanced around the shadowed courtyard, feeling vulnerable, and almost gave in to her first instinct—to run. But she remembered her promise to herself. Be strong. Take action. She lifted her chin and
said, “I guess you never know.”

With a smile that said he had every intention of seeing her again, he tipped his head. “Buenos noches, Kate Bradley.”

Her heart raced and her palms sweated when she realized he meant to leave. No man made her palms sweat. Ever.

His gaze held hers for a moment, full of unspoken promises she didn’t understand. Without another word, he walked away.

There are more excerpts on my publisher’s page…

Thanks again for having me on your blog today Donna!!! And for the readers out there, do you have certain songs that remind you of people in your life or characters that you love? I’d love to hear about them! 


About Nightwalker:

Book Description:
He gave up his soul for a second chance to love her…

Two and a half centuries ago, Calisto Terana lost everything when a zealous priest murdered the woman he loved. Now, desperate for another chance to love her, he wants redemption for the mistake that cost her life.

She’s haunted by dreams of her own death…

After catching her fiance with another woman, Kate Bradley returns to San Diego to clear her head. The last thing she needs is romance, but after meeting Calisto she’s drawn to him in ways she doesn’t understand.

They’ve waited in the shadows for centuries…

Calisto has no doubt Kate is the reincarnation of his lost love, but the Fraternidad Del Fuego Santo has a new watcher with dark ambitions of his own. As old enemies reemerge and a new threat arises, the betrayal that enslaved Calisto to the night might destroy the only woman he’s ever loved again.

About the Author:
Lisa Kessler is an avid reader and writer of dark fiction. Her short stories have been published in print anthologies and magazines, and her vampire story, Immortal Beloved, was a finalist for a Bram Stoker award.

Lisa recently signed a 4 book deal with Entangled Publishing to release her Night Series. The first book, Night Walker, is scheduled to be released August 5th.
When she's not writing, Lisa is a professional vocalist, performing with the San Diego Opera as well as other musical theater companies in San Diego. You can learn more at

Lisa lives in southern California with her incredibly fun husband and two amazing kids.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Mimi Valentine: 100 Followers Giveaway!!

Mimi Valentine

Mimi Valentine: 100 Followers Giveaway!!: "Oh my gosh, I can't believe I actually reached 100 followers already! The time seems to fly by so quickly. I only started blogging a few mon..."

Monday, August 15, 2011

Stuck In Books: Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent Review ...

Stuck In Books: Blood Bound by Rachel Vincent Review ...: "Source: ARC from author in exchange for a fair and honest review Please note that this book is Adult Fiction, not YA. My Summary: Ol..."

Once Upon a Twilight!: Blog Tour: Only Mine Review + Giveaway

Once Upon a Twilight!: Blog Tour: Only Mine Review + Giveaway: "Only Mine Blog Tour Welcome to the next stop in New York Times best selling author Susan Mallery's Only Mine tour. Hosted by Little Bird P..."

Sunday, August 14, 2011

Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me: 850 Follower Giveaway: Part 1

Read Me Bookmark Me Love Me: 850 Follower Giveaway: Part 1: "VIEW PART 2 HERE Hello my beautiful people! Firstly just wanted to say thank you all so much for your kindness and support! I love that I'..."

Pages of Forbidden Love: Birthday + Blogoversary Bash: Favs from Year of Bl...

Pages of Forbidden Love: Birthday + Blogoversary Bash: Favs from Year of Bl...: "  YA: Between Shades of Gray By Ruta Sepetys Born at Midnight   By C.C. Hunter Day Before, The  By Lisa Schroeder Demonglass  By Rachel..."

Kimberly Franklin: Giveaway Alert! Win an autographed copy of Forever...

Kimberly Franklin: Giveaway Alert! Win an autographed copy of Forever...: "Time for a Giveaway, don't you think???   We think HECK YES! Recently Kristi *waves hi* had a chance to attend a Forever signing in NC and..."

Pages of Forbidden Love: Giveaway for My One Year Blogoversary!

Pages of Forbidden Love: Giveaway for My One Year Blogoversary!: "  The day is here.. My blog is one year old. It has been a long road but a happy one to get to the big mile marker of one year of blogging..."

Saturday, August 13, 2011

Review - Gift of Illusion

Book Description:  

Something wicked has returned to Elmwood, and it longs to continue the study it began over a century ago. It's looking for volunteers, but few seem worthy of the gift. Isaac Winters might be the one. He's a detective with a damaged past, and something to prove. Still haunted by his wife's murder sixteen years earlier, Isaac has thought more and more about turning in his badge. Over the years, he's seen the worst mankind has to offer. Until now. A strange fire has consumed the life of a young girl. But she won't be the last. There are no witnesses and no evidence except a small stone figurine, a gateway to the past. Accompanied by a partner with questionable experience, Isaac must discover and defeat this faceless villain before it takes from him the greatest reminder of his dead wife. Their daughter.
Buy Links:


My review:

A paranormal thriller along the likes of Stephen King, Peter Straub and Dean Koontz. If you like any of their works you will not want to miss this one. Richard Brown has really shown that there is good new paranormal thrillers coming out.

His characters are interesting and you are pulled into the story from the beginning. And it turns into a roller coaster ride that doesnt let you off until you reach the end of the line.

You have the detective that is haunted by his past with a daughter he will do anything to keep safe. You have the innocent little girl that starts it all by finding what seems to be a unremarkable object. You have the secondary detective that is searching for a meaning to his life and career. You have the writer/researcher who has the clues to the entire mystery. And finally you have the evil magician and the house that has lain in wait for his return.

Add all of that together and you get a suspenseful story that you wont want to put down until you finish.

Friday, August 12, 2011

Guest Post - Richard Brown

The Rebirth is a collection of poetry I wrote over a period of about five years, around the time I stumbled into adulthood. So about ten to fifteen years ago (has it really been that long?). I credit much of my ability (or lack thereof) to the thirty or so poems contained within this volume. I often say I cut my writing teeth penning these modern masterpieces and the hundreds of other lesser poems that didn't make the book.

Here is one of my poems.


Gliding through the highest trees,
A bird whispers with the breeze
The beauty of the bank—it sees

A serpent swaying with the clay,
Gently stalking out its prey,
To live, yet another day

Upon the desert of this land,
Where with the rustling of the sand
Is placed in reach of nature’s hands,

Who so suddenly can break
This home, this throne that all create
The knot of life unto the lace

Bound with skin, and buried deep
Beneath the light where none can creep
Their thirsty eyes upon the seed,

Growing bigger, faster, further
To the point where fear will hold her
Awake—I pray, from the sleep of murder

Slowly sneaking from behind
The shadows of its filthy crime—
To slip into another time,

And escape without a scent or trace
Of death, the earth with smiling face
Replenishes the old disgraced

Into a much more worthy creature
Capable of expanding features,
To teach the lesson like the teacher

For all the many to be so born
Without a choice—to be so sworn
Into the circular eye of the storm,

With winds to shake the deepest core
Of all that sheltered you before,
Will be able to shelter you no more!

If you would like a free copy of my poetry book, The Rebirth do this:

Step 1: Purchase The Gift of Illusion. It doesn't matter where you buy it or in what form (ebook or print). If you have previously purchased the book, you are still eligible for the free deal.

Step 2: Go to and sign up for my mailing list on the right hand side. I promise I won't spam your email, the mailing list is only used to announce the release of new books or special deals. You want more books, don't you? Within 24 hours I will email you back with a random question about The Gift of Illusion. You won't need to have actually read the book to answer the question, but you may need to have the book on hand.

Step 3: Email me back the correct answer to the question. There is no time limit. Take as long as you want. Also, tell me what form you want your free copy to take. It can be Kindle (mobi), Nook (epub), or PDF. If you prefer something else, ask and I may be able to oblige.

Step 4: Wait for me to send you your free copy of The Rebirth. Shouldn't take long. That's it. Enjoy. Thank you.

If you don’t want a free copy of The Rebirth but would like a chance to win a copy of The Gift of Illusion please leave a comment on this post.

About the Author:

Richard is not a vampire, yet.

While he awaits immortality, Richard spends much of his time banging his head on the keyboard trying to make sentences out of words.

Since the age of ten, he's written dozens of short stories, over a hundred poems, and two novels, the first -- The Gift of Illusion -- was released May, 17 2011.

He also enjoys spending time with his daughter, girlfriend, three dogs, watching mixed martial arts, singing karaoke, debating politics, and of course dressing up for photo shoots with a guitar he never really learned to play (ahem).!/pages/Richard-Brown-Books/219461381398669

Asheville to Nashville: Virtual Tour: Win the Books!

Asheville to Nashville: Virtual Tour: Win the Books!: "Myra , Victoria , and Beth are thrilled about bringing a tour to their local areas--from Asheville, NC, to Nashville, TN. We'd love it if y..."

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Qwillery: Basilisk and Chimera by Rob Thurman - Giveaway

The Qwillery: Basilisk and Chimera by Rob Thurman - Giveaway: "I am a huge fan of Rob Thurman's writing, So...I'm going to giveaway 2 sets of books in Rob's Chimera series. Chimera Chimera 1 (Roc, Jun..."

Monday, August 8, 2011

Subscribe by Email

I have added a email subscriber option you can find it on the sidebar to the right.

Guest Post - Laura Bickle

by Laura Bickle

The blank page can be the most intimidating force in the universe.

It says nothing, and it's likely to say nothing. I fight against all that white space, trying to fill it, struggling to turn a ream of blank paper into a book. I used to take years to finish a book. I'd pick it up, put it down. I'd ignore it for weeks or months. I'd lose my place, go back, get sucked into editing. I'd wander into internet research, never to return. I had no deadline, nothing external to make me finish. I would lose the fire of the idea that caused me to begin the project in the first place.

Then I heard about National Novel Writing Month. The challenge was to write fifty thousand words in a month. I was doubtful. Really skeptical. After all, it took me YEARS to finish a book. How could anyone possibly do fifty thousand words in A MONTH? In a month, with a full-time job and other commitments?
But I gave it a shot.

And I learned more in that crazy month than I did in years of plinking around with the same book. Laundry piled up. Sleep was at a premium. I ate a lot of Froot Loops. But I learned the most important secrets to writing a novel, that contributed to me becoming a published writer:

Integrating writing into my daily life. NaNoWriMo requires that one keep a pace of around 1600 words a day. It became easier and easier for me to fold that into my life, to keep the momentum going.

- Suspending the dreaded inner editor. My inner editor can become quite vicious. NaNoWriMo allows me to hold her at bay for weeks, allowing me to get the skeleton of a story down on the page.

- NaNo taught me to finish. Completing a manuscript is the most important thing that a writer can do to further her career. And doing it again. And again. And I find that I learn faster when I produce more.

- My 2008 NaNoWriMo novel, DARK ORACLE (under my Alayna Williams pseudonym), was published in June 2010 by Pocket Books. My 2009 NaNoWriMo book, ROGUE ORACLE, was published in March 2011.

I use the skills I learned in NaNoWriMo in all the novels I write. I've learned to write quickly, to write daily, and to complete a story over and over. It helps me meet deadlines and keep my energy level up. At the end of NaNoWriMo, I certainly don't have a complete eighty thousand word manuscript. But I have the skeleton of a book, something that I can build upon.

And I'm no longer facing the terror of the blank page. I know that it won't be blank for long. Within a few weeks, I'll be on my way to something wonderful.

Author Bio:

Laura Bickle has an MA in sociology-criminology (research interests: fear of crime and victimology) and a BA in criminology. She has worked in and around criminal justice since 1997. Although she does read Tarot cards, she's never used them in criminal profiling or to locate lost scientists. She recently took up astronomy, but for the most part her primary role in studying constellations and dark matter is to follow her amateur astronomer-husband around central Ohio toting the telescope tripod and various lenses.

Writing as Laura Bickle, she's the author of EMBERS and SPARKS for Pocket - Juno Books. Writing as Alayna Williams, she's the author of DARK ORACLE and ROGUE ORACLE.
More info on her urban fantasy and general nerdiness is here:

Laura/ Alayna’s blogs and

She’s a proud member of Word Whores.

She’s at Facebook, and Fangs, Fur, and Fey.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Review - Jinn Nation

Once, the vampire Dylan had feared nothing and no one. He'd rampaged throughout the world on a seemingly never ending quest to fill his eternal years with the finest, most outrageous extravagances; with exquisite, soft-limbed young women and copious amounts of rich, vibrating blood. But life, however full of joy, inevitably changes.

Finding himself alone for the first time in his long unlife, Dylan turns to the preternatural race of savage creatures called the jinn - a path that inevitably leads him to Christa, a strangely childlike woman with the power to control minds and read thoughts. Mutually intrigued by each other, they set out on a blood-soaked road trip that crosses the United States and the Atlantic Ocean, finally leading them beyond the world itself to the mysterious fae kingdoms of the Inbetween.


My review:

For anyone that is a fan of vampire literature this is a book not to miss. I was intrigued when I first read about it and am glad I decided to read it. I was hooked almost instantly and didnt want to put it down once I started.

The main characters are Dylan - a vampire and Christa - who is what you could call a witch, but her origins are somewhat mysterious. They meet in the unlikely location of a Jinn bar one night and end up traveling together.

The character progression is very well done as well. The book is broken up into parts. In part one I liked Dylan and didn't really know what to make of Christa. Part two I liked Christa and was not at all happy with what Dylan had become. Part three brought it all back together and really showed how the characters had grown and evolved over the course of the story.

Its a fast paced interesting story that keeps you involved, interested and wondering what could possibly happen next. While also addressing issues of good vs evil and even ideas as basic as friendship and how one treats the people they love and meet along the way though their life.

If you are looking for a well written, entertaining novel about vampires to pick up. You wont be sorry if it is this one. And right now you can get it at a great deal.


Where to buy Jinn Nation:
Amazon Kindle USA
Amazon Kindle UK


Check out further stops on the tour at: And check out the guest post and excerpt posted earlier today.

Excerpt - Jinn Nation

This is a short extract from Christa’s brief adventures in Mexico in Part Three of Jinn Nation. She’s travelled there with her friend Darrell to seek out a famous holy man and beg him to remove the growing powers that have begun to scare her.


Erubiel proved to be a difficult man to find. Christa searched every mind they passed as they rattled along poorly kept roads in a rusting Mitsubishi stolen in Texas, probing the children who ran to the window with trays of chewing gum for sale and the dead-eyed men manning the roadside fruit stalls. Those who appeared to know of Erubiel’s existence spoke and thought in Spanish, a language that Christa had never excelled in. After a long, tiring fortnight and far too many nights spent trying to sleep on the car’s lumpy backseat, Christa eventually instructed Darrell to pull over in a small town called Coatepec.

“What’s the matter?” he said. “You hungry again?”

“No, there’s something here. Everyone is quiet, careful with their thoughts. It’s as if they’re keeping a secret.” Christa got out of the car and looked around, shading her eyes against the blinding sun. “Can’t you feel that?” she said. “It’s a sort of humming, a vibrating energy.”

Carefully picking her way between the long tufts of yellowing grass growing up through the broken sidewalk, Christa began to walk further into town. An old woman, her mottled face wrinkled as a walnut, top lip studded with short, black hairs, looked up from the piece of knitting she had been furiously working on as Christa passed. She was sitting on a folding chair, nestled beneath a sign pointing to the local convenience store. Christa paused when the woman mumbled something in Spanish.

“Darrell,” she whispered, edging to his side, “what did she say?”

“Something about tourists, I think.”

The woman repeated her words, this time louder and with more venom behind them.
Darrell nodded at her before turning back to Christa. “She’s saying that today is not a day for tourists. Tourists come on the weekends, when the shops are open.”

“We’re not here to shop,” Christa said, sighing when the old woman frowned and shook her head in confusion. “Erubiel?” she tried instead. “Do you know Erubiel?”

The woman sat up in her chair, long knitting needles falling from her lap to clatter onto the pavement beside her. “No,” she said. Then louder: “No, no!” She reached for her discarded knitting and rose to her feet, wincing as she straightened.

“Wait,” Christa said. “Darrell, please ask her where he is. Tell her we just want to talk to him.”

Before Darrell could work out how to pose this question in Spanish, the woman had collected the folding chair and placed it under her arm, pausing just long enough to glare up at Christa and shake her head once more before disappearing into the cool dark of a doorway behind her.

“Well, either that old woman’s got heat stroke or we’ve found the mysterious Erubiel,” Christa said. She reached for Darrell’s hand and began pulling him behind her. “Come on, let’s follow my impeccable instincts this way.”

Christa’s impeccable instincts led them to a large, square building, rising above the squat houses pressing against it on either side. A wooden sign bearing the legend, ‘Gym’ was nailed onto the crumbling brickwork and beside it, scaling the entire wall, was a portrait of what Christa could only imagine was supposed to be Rocky Balboa. He stood proudly in his white shorts and bulbous boxing gloves, his face painted in such broken, amateur strokes he appeared to be leering down at them.

“You think he’s in there?” Darrell said, glancing up and down the street with one hand on his rucksack as if he expected to be attacked at any moment.

“I can’t understand the exact meanings, but the thoughts of this entire town culminate here. They’re in awe of this place.”

“Maybe they’re just huge fans of the Italian Stallion.”

“Who isn’t?” Christa laughed, pushing through the glass doors straddling Rocky’s feet.

The gym wasn’t as spacious as the grand facade suggested. Two large flags were pinned to the bare-brick walls, one American and one Mexican, beneath which was a boxing ring, the vinyl stretched around the bottom tattered and torn. Standing at the side was a cross trainer and an exercise bike. Christa ventured further inside, a sudden bristling of the hairs along her arms telling her they weren’t alone.

“Come in, dear Deiwo,” a thick Mexican accent echoed across the room. “You were looking for me?”

Christa looked up to see where the voice was coming from and jumped back when a small pair of eyes met hers, half hidden in shadow and seemingly hovering beneath the Mexican flag.

“Are you Erubiel?” Christa edged closer to the back of the room, squinting up into the darkness until she could make out the figure of a small, sinewy man, hanging upside down from a bar fixed against the wall. His feet were hooked over it, long toenails curling like the talons of a giant bat.

“I am he,” the man said. He stretched before reaching to grasp the bar with his hands and swinging himself upright. “This must look strange to you. It is good to elongate your body this way, I do it twice a day.” With a small grunt, he let himself drop to the floor, landing on his feet with the poise of a gymnast. “It strengthens the muscles and ligaments.”

Christa stared at him for several seconds, taken aback by his strange appearance. He was wearing a low-cut lycra body suit that displayed abundant tufts of thick, grey chest hair. The hair on his head was thinning, scraped across his skull in an obvious comb-over that hadn’t moved during his remarkable exertions due to the amount of gel plastering it to his head, yet he wore a full beard, peppered in shades of brown and grey, and an untidy moustache.

“So, you know who I am,” she eventually said.

Erubiel grinned, his entire face wrinkling. “Of course,” he said. “You would have to be blind or stupid not to see who you are.”

“I was hoping you’d be able to help me.”

“I will try, but I cannot think what the Deiwo would need from me.”

“Please don’t call me that, my name’s Christa.”

“Of course.” Erubiel bowed his head, waving towards a door behind him. “Please, we can talk in my office.”

The office was little more than a desk littered with paperwork and a lonely, brown-tipped pot plant standing on the ledge of a dirty window. Unable to find anywhere to sit Christa and Darrell remained standing, exchanging furtive looks with each other as Erubiel followed them in.

“I’ve heard you’re a man of some power,” Christa began. “Is it true you cured an American boy of cancer?”

Erubiel pretended to tidy the paperwork on his desk into piles, his face reddening at Christa’s summation. “It is true,” he said. “The boy’s parents were most grateful. They paid for the machines in there.” He nodded towards the exercise bike and cross trainer.

“Well, I’m hoping if you can take cancer from a boy, you can also take something from me.”

Erubiel looked up from his paperwork, his smile fallen away. “You are unwell?”

“No, nothing like that,” Christa said. She fidgeted with her hands, wondering how to word such an immense request. “I want you to take my powers away,” she finally blurted. “I don’t want to be the Deiwo anymore. I don’t want to read peoples’ thoughts or make them do whatever I tell them. I just want to be normal, like everybody else.”

Erubiel gaped at her, his head slowly shaking from side to side. “Why would you give up these things? You are chosen, you are the Deiwo. You cannot be anything else.”

“I can’t control it anymore,” Christa said. “I could hurt people without meaning to.”

“Such is the way of the Deiwo. It is a heavy burden to bear, certainly, but it is yours alone to carry.”

“I’ve heard that same cryptic rubbish from at least a dozen people,” Christa said, feeling anger beginning to rise within her, white and blinding. She balled her hands into fists, forcing it back down. “I didn’t care when they said it and I don’t care now. I’m not a slave to prophecy or destiny; I’m just a girl with a curse. I want the bloody curse lifted, can you do it or not?”

Erubiel looked as if he was close to tears. “This I cannot do. It isn’t right, you were not meant to live as others do. But even if I didn’t believe this was so, it is not in my power to drain your gifts. To do this is a dark thing. You would need to find a person who weaves his magick from shadow, who communes with creatures I would run from.”

Christa hung her head and closed her eyes. As she thought about the days they had spent on the hot, dry roads of Mexico, the restless nights spent catnapping in the tortuous confines of the car, anger threatened to overwhelm her once more. “I came all this way and even if you could help me, you wouldn’t?”

Erubiel quailed before her, his face blanching at the sudden menace in her voice. “Please forgive me, Deiwo.”

Christa took a step towards him as Darrell placed a hand on her arm. “Do you know someone else we could go to?” he said.

Erubiel’s eyes widened. He pressed his lips together, edging towards the door.

“You do, don’t you?” Christa said. She reached for his mind with her own, skirting around the pulsing web of memory and thought until a single image pushed itself forward. Erubiel cried out and lifted his hands to his head, attempting to shake her loose from his brain with physical force. He was indeed a powerful man: a man schooled in ritual and tradition who was extremely skilled at healing; yet when he tried to block his thoughts from Christa, to close off his mind, she simply plunged the white hot fingers of her will into him with such ferocity he began to tremble. She clutched at the image she had glimpsed, laying it out at the forefront of his mind. It was a beach at twilight. A dozen palm trees in silhouette stood beneath a bright moon, the incoming tide creating rivulets and streams beneath their heavy, sighing fronds.

“Is that Hawaii?” Christa wondered. Then with more conviction, “It is. There’s a man in Hawaii who practises dark, unspoken arts. He scares you because he’s your superior, but also because he deals with forces you can’t bear to acknowledge. You believe he could purge my powers.” The image of the man was hazy and indistinct. Christa pushed Erubiel’s other thoughts away to concentrate on the intangible man’s face, but he refused to come into focus. All she could make out was a bright grin, a bare chest and an odd tribal tattoo: a winding pattern of thick black lines that started at the crown of his head and worked its way down his body. “You’ve never met this man, and you don’t know his name,” she eventually conceded. “All you can show me is how you imagine him to be. But the tattoos are important.”

She retracted her will and opened her eyes, wincing when she saw Erubiel before her. He was shaking sporadically, his face wet with tears and his eyes bloodshot and manic.

“I’m sorry,” she said. “I didn’t come here to hurt you.” He simply stared at her, his mouth twitching at one corner. “Maybe now you can see why I want to be normal. I don’t want to do this anymore.”

When Darrell attempted to lead her away, leaving Erubiel alone in the humid silence of his office, Christa complied without objection. She felt overcome with the sudden desire to climb back into the car and leave Coatepec as fast as she could.


Check out further stops on the tour at: And stay tuned for a review of Jinn Nation.

Guest Post - Caroline Barnard-Smith - Jinn Nation

Inspire This

Inspiration can be a slippery thing to get to grips with. When you’re desperate for an idea it can refuse to make an appearance, leaving you with writer’s block and a thumping headache. Then, just when you’ve called it quits for the day, it decides to slap you in the face at the most inconvenient moment, usually when you don’t have access to a pen or a PC. Stephen King was inspired to write The Shining while staying at The Stanley Hotel, so at least he had complimentary notepaper to write on. But spare a thought for poor Frances Hodgson Burnett whose extensive Kent garden inspired her to write her classic children’s book, The Secret Garden. What was she supposed to write on when inspiration struck? Leaves, perhaps?

I glean inspiration from many places. While I was writing my first novel, the dark vampiric fantasy, Dunraven Road, I was inspired to write about vampires without even planning to be. Dunraven Road was supposed to be about feeling unfulfilled in your twenties, but somewhere amidst the unrequited love and the ambition a band of starving vampires crept in, taking over the story and meddling, in some cases disastrously, in my character’s lives. I suppose it was inevitable that I would write about vampires one day. I was inspired by Anne Rice’s intricate tales of love and unlife in The Vampire Chronicles and the viciously beautiful undead in Poppy Z. Brite’s Lost Souls. It was the vampire as anti-hero, not two-dimensional villain that inspired me. My latest novel, Jinn Nation, went one step further in my love affair with immortals. I took my favourite vampire character from Dunraven Road, a character I couldn’t bring myself to destroy at the end of that novel along with the rest of his kin, and created for him a story of his very own.

Many scenes in Jinn Nation are inspired by music. I always listen to music while I write but this was more than a case of music seeping into my work surreptitiously. I planned large segments of the book around scenes inspired by single songs that had been playing in my head for a long time, long before I ever began writing Jinn Nation and long before they even belonged to specific characters or places. One of those songs was Bring Me to Life by Evanescence. Maybe it was the dark cityscape of the video but that song conjured up an entire exchange for me between two characters who were having a stand-up row, both wanting to tear into each other and end the fight with a passionate embrace. This turned into the last chapter in Part Two of Jinn Nation. It’s one of my favourite scenes but it was also one of the hardest to write as I was so intent on including all the little details I’d been carefully preserving in my head for nearly a decade.

Dreams are a common source of inspiration for writers. Mary Shelley produced Frankenstein after dreaming about a scientist who was afraid of his own creation and Stephanie Meyer famously started writing Twilight after dreaming about a vampire and a young girl alone in a forest. The novel I’m working on now was inspired by some vivid reoccurring dreams about a small town on the edge of a river. The town is imaginary, although I’m sure it’s also a conglomerate of many towns near where I live in South Devon. I clearly saw the grand yet faded public house overlooking the water, the tiny streets filled with independent shops and the winding beach, stony and pearlescent. After dreaming about this town for the fourth or fifth time, I finally decided to put it into a story. I still haven’t worked out all the details of this new novel, but it will definitely feature some sort of faery market (also from a dream, by the way!) It seems that once again I’ve taken an ordinary idea and let something completely unordinary creep in. I suppose that’s what happens when you read too much Tolkien at a young age.

You can currently buy Jinn Nation for your Kindle or other e-reader for the very special price of $0.99 / £0.95!

About the author:

Caroline Barnard-Smith has been writing stories since she was five years old. Having graduated from the University of Portsmouth with a bachelor’s degree in English Literature, she now lives in Devon, England with her husband and baby daughter where she writes about ruthless vampires, lovelorn zombies and heinous blood cults.

Her short stories have been published in numerous small press magazines, including Ballista, Hungur and Night to Dawn, and on the web at Dark Fire Fiction.

Caroline’s debut dark fantasy novel, Dunraven Road, was published by Immanion Press in June 2009. For various exciting reasons she’s since turned her hand to indie publishing. Jinn Nation is her first full-length independently published novel.

When she’s not writing, Caroline is busy running her handmade craft business, CazzCraft, selling both online and at craft fairs.





Where to buy Jinn Nation:
Amazon Kindle USA
Amazon Kindle UK

Check out further stops on the tour at: And stay tuned for an excerpt and review of Jinn Nation.

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