Showing posts with label Reading Addiction Blog Tour. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Reading Addiction Blog Tour. Show all posts

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Promo Blitz: Mother of Demons





Supernatural Crime Thriller
Date Published: August 2015
Samhain Publishing

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The hunt is on!

Alice Logan has gone missing, and Harry Bailey and Department 18 have been called to help find her. The main suspect is Anton Markos, a satanic cult leader who has a predilection for young women like Alice. Members of Markos’s cult start turning up dead—shredded by what seems to be a wild animal. Is there a madman within the cult? Or is it something far more horrible?

Can Department 18 discover the impossible truth and end the spree of murder, insanity and carnage? Or will they become the prey?


Excerpt

Chapter One

 High above street level in Clerkenwell she climbed up to the balcony’s railing and rested her naked foot on the ice cold metal. A brisk wind was coming in from the east, gusting across the balcony and raising goose bumps on the girl’s pasty white skin. From inside the penthouse the four boys watched her climb.

            “Go, girl,” one of the boys – Finbar Clusky – called out. The other three laughed.

            “Where’s Erik?’ another of them – Terry Butler – said. “Shouldn’t he be here? This is for his benefit, isn’t it? Hey, Alice. Don’t jump…not yet. Your main audience isn’t here yet.”

            The girl glanced back into the room. “I’m not going to jump, silly. I’m going to fly. I’m going to soar, above the clouds, to the heavens. There I will take my rightful place with the other goddesses.”

            “Is that what you are, Alice, a goddess?” Davy Coltrane said.

            “I am Artemis; goddess of the moon, goddess of the hunt. And once I’ve taken my rightful place in the heavens, I will hunt you all down and make you kneel before me.”

            “Not Artemis, my love, but Hecate, the goddess of sorcery and magic.”

            All eyes turned to stare at the speaker: a man, older than all of them: handsome, with a chiseled Mediterranean face and piercing coal-black eyes. They all shrank back in their seats and cast their gaze to the floor. All except the girl who, from her perch on the balcony, looked at the man, her eyes clouded with confusion. “But, Erik, you’re here. I thought you had gone away.”

            “I’m here, my love. I would never leave you.”

            “Erik, I can fly. I want to show you.”

            He smiled at her indulgently. “I know,” he said. “I know you can fly. You can soar, as high as a bird, more graceful than an eagle. You don’t have to prove it to me. One day we will fly together.”

            She looked uncertain. “Do you promise?”

            “On my life.” Erik Strasser bent low and whispered in Finbar Clusky’s ear. “How much did you give her?”

            “The usual amount. Nothing excessive.”

            “But now she believes she’s a bird,” Strasser said.

            “No, a goddess,” Mikey Gibson said, trying to lighten an atmosphere that had suddenly turn to stone.

            Strasser silenced him with a look and turned again to the girl. “Come in now, my darling. Come in and get warm. Your skin is turning blue.”

            Alice looked at him questioningly for a moment, then down at her naked body. She shrugged, stepped down from the balcony, and took a step inside the penthouse. Strasser reached forward and wrapped his arms around her shivering body. Gently he led her through to the bedroom and laid her down on the bed, covering her with a quilt, waited until her shivering had stopped, and then watched a tear trickle down her cheek.

“Erik, I want to go home,” she said, in a voice so small that he had to lean forward to hear what she was saying.

            “And so you will. Tomorrow you can go back and see your mother, just as we discussed.”

            “Promise?”

“Of course. I give you my word.” He reached out and stroked her forehead, smoothing her long blonde hair away from her brow.

“Thank you, Erik. You’re so kind to me.”

Her eyes fluttered shut and within a moment her breathing had deepened and she was asleep.

 He stared down at her, a frown creasing his forehead, and then he stepped away from the bed and went back into the lounge.

            “Who was responsible for that?” he demanded, his accent thickening as his anger increased.

            “Just a bit of fun,” Terry said.

            “No harm in it.” That from Davy Coltrane.

            “And that’s what you would have told the police once they’d scooped her body up off the pavement?”

            “They didn’t mean anything by it, Erik,” Finbar said. “You’re over-reacting.”

            Erik Strasser spun around to face him, his brow furrowed, his eyes blacker than ever.

          Finbar grabbed his midriff and bent double as an icy hand gripped his intestines and started to twist. “Please,” he gasped. “Don’t.”

            “Don’t blame Fin. It wasn’t his fault,” Davy said.

            “Then whose fault was it? I left Finbar in charge”

            “I was only having a laugh,” Davy continued. “I didn’t think the silly bitch would react so badly. I only gave her another shard. How was I to know she would go all goddess on us?”

          Strasser turned on him. The skin of his brow had smoothed out, but the eyes burned just as deeply. “Get out,” he said in little more than a whisper. “Get out of here and don’t come back.”

            The boy stood up to his full height and thrust out his chin to show he wasn’t going to be intimidated by Strasser. “Suit yourself. I’m going. This was a lousy gig anyway.” He turned to Finbar, who was slowly straightening up, the color gradually returning to his face. “I don’t go much on your choice of friends, Fin. Especially this wanker.’

            Finbar gave a small, almost imperceptible shake of his head, but Davy, nostrils flaring in anger, ignored it. “I’m outa here,” he said, stalked to the door and yanked it open, slamming it shut behind him.

            “Indeed you are,” Strasser said softly.

           

Minutes later Davy Coltrane was on the platform of Farringdon underground station, listening to the steady rumble of the approaching train.

            The train’s headlamps pierced the gloom as it appeared from around a bend in the track. As the train pulled into the station Davy took a step forward…and then another.

The train hit him before he could fall from the edge of the platform. It carried his body along for a few yards until it slipped down the cold metal and disappeared under the grinding wheels.


About the Author


Maynard Sims is pen name for authors L.H. Maynard and M.P.N. Sims when they right together. They are the authors of supernatural thrillers, thrillers, and erotic romance.

Their first screenplay, Department 18, won British Horror Film festival Best New Screenplay Award 2013. They have several other screenplays in various stages of development, including funding.

All their short stories and novellas were published as a uniform eight volume collection in 2014 as The Maynard Sims Library.

They worked as editors on the nine volumes of Darkness Rising anthologies. They co-edited and published F20 with The British Fantasy Society. As editors/publishers they ran Enigmatic Press in the UK, which produced Enigmatic Tales, and its sister titles. They have written essays. They still do commissioned editing projects, most recently Dead Water, and they are working on an anthology as editors for the ITW. They also do ghost writing commissions.

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Giveaway
$5 Amazon Gift Card


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Monday, August 17, 2015

Book Blitz: Your Chakras and You





New Age / Self Help
Date Published: July 2015

This recording is a meditation to cleanse the Chakras. The relaxing narration guides the listener to gently dwell on each Chakra area and visualize each of them. Focusing and sending healing energy to each Chakra allows them to function normally.

This meditation was developed because there is a need to understand the Chakras and the importance of the energy they control in each person. These energy center can become under or over emphasized in life due to stress and tension. When they are not functioning in a normal manner they can cause emotional, spiritual and physical discomfort. The narration in this meditation is designed to assist in relaxing and creating an atmosphere for healing.




About the Author


John Cappello is an internationally renowned psychic medium from the North Texas area. He has been working in the area of evidential mediumship since 1997 and gives comfort and validation to those suffering from the loss of a loved one. He has demonstrated his work on many radio and television programs and has appeared on America’s Spookiest Homes on the HGTV Network. John travels around the country appearing at various metaphysical outlets providing workshops, public demonstrations and private readings.

He is certified as an “authentic” psychic medium by the American Federation of Certified Psychics and Mediums. He is an internet radio talk show host for the program Beyond Metaphysics on the Inception Radio Network and author of the award winning book, Open the Mind Exercise the Soul. The book has been recognized as a finalist in the adult non-fiction category at the North Texas Book Festival in 2013, the winner of the New Age category for the 2013 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, a finalist in the New Age category at the International Book Awards in 2013 and was a finalist in the New Age category at the USA Best Books Awards in 2013. It was the most awarded psychic development book in 2013 in the United States.

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Friday, June 26, 2015

Blog Tour: The Blood of Woobane




Horror
Date Published: January 2015


Once they bayou was thick with it. The buttery yellow petals. The delicately veined green leaves. The seductive scent of wolfbane.

The DAWN OF DOOM...

Philip was happy now that he had his pint of old character and decided to take a shortcut through the graveyard toward home. He paused every now and then to speak to the headstones or crypt of some poor departed soul he had known it better days. Then he heard a moaning. He looked around, spotting a huge mound of earth that he did not remember being there the last time, he took this short cut. Philip decided to look. He staggered toward the mound of earth, stopping as he heard a snarling sound. It was muffled, as it came from the grave itself.

Excerpt
SATAN’S WORK

The cats lay silent in their hidden places, waiting out the storm…and watching, as strange, misshapen creatures rose from out of the ground, cooing out of the dark swamps. The Beasts stood in the rain; they were not fearful of this rain, for they knew it had been sent by their Master. They stretched their arms and loosened their muscles. They had been asleep for a long, long time. And now they were free.

Huge, clawed hands waved through the wet air powerful jaws that dripped stinking saliva snapped at nothing. The fangs of the Beast were four to five inches long, and yellow. The creatures, well over six feet tall when erect, weighed between two hundred and fifty and three hundred pounds. Their eyes were small and evil, with Hell-sent hate shining bloodred. Their bodies were covered with thick, coarse hair.

The cats lay concealed and watched the Beasts as they stretched and growled. And the cats knew that the devil’s work had just begun….


Guest Post
Hardest thing about character development

The character have to talk like themselves and not how I would talk sometimes that involves me talking out loud to see how it sounds.  It is too much like me, then I need to change it especially  if it is  a teenager.




My favorite authors are: 

1. Clive Barker; It is impossible to please everyone when it comes to any form of top 10.  List

2.     Joe Lansdale is one versatile due very spooky

3. Dan Simmons approaches horror well, he’s an attention thief.

4. Dean Koontz I myself however, still consider the man an excellent write who, when he gets it right, gets it really right.

5.    Ramsey Campbell; The man’s mind seems to function on the same intricate plane, that Clive Barker Traverses, and I love it.

6.    Stephen King: isn’t remotely near as Campbell or  even as prolific as Koontz. But he’s got magic in his mind, and it bleeds onto paper in wondrous fashion.

7.     Edgar Allen POE; He creates so much suspense and it’s like he’s right they’re telling you an ancient story that has been passed  down from generations but had neither there less decreased its scariness   

8.      Bram Stoker; One of the greatest writers of all  genres, of the 20th centaury.

9.      Bentley Little; His novels made me stay awake all night, unable to put it down.

10.    Peter Staub;  Every book has written has entranced me spooked the heck out of me.


10 things readers would be surprised to know about me

1. I love to cook
2. I love doges 
3. I three younger sisters
4. My son is my best friend
5. I  love music 
6. I love to read a good horror book

Day  in   my writing life

1 alarm goes off and  I’m to work  checked e-mail
worked 8 hour come home shower, eat dinner  check email
 and phones messages write  for 3 hours

About the Author

Joann Harris was born in Durham, North Carolina and from an early age, she always wanted to write horror. What is it about horror that she finds so tantalizing? For one she finds terror a thrill a minute. Even when she was a teen she taunted her friends and relatives with stories about blood and gore, embellishing on the sordid details as they squirmed and cringed. Harris currently resides in Baltimore, Maryland.





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Thursday, March 12, 2015

PROMO Blitz: Ariel





Paranormal
Date Published: February 16, 2015

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Despite her sharp scientific mind and her degree in bio-molecular genetics, Dr. Ariel Jones hasn’t figured out how her life changed so much in a single day. Before she can blink and ask about what is going on, she’s being shot with a billion nanos and some very potent wolf blood.

Now she can suddenly turn into a giant white wolf with the bloodlust of a starving animal. And she’s an alpha wolf…or so she is told by the even larger, very male, black wolf who was used to create her. Hallucination? She wishes. Whether human or wolf, Reed talks in her head and tells her how to handle things…or rather how to kill them…starting with the men who hold them all captive. Too bad he can’t tell her how to put her life back like it was.

Admittedly, there are perks to being a werewolf, such as meeting sexy werewolf guys like Matthew Gray Wolf. It’s not like the science labs were overrun with sexy men in white coats. She also doesn’t mind learning about a side of herself she never knew existed. It's great changing into a real wolf whenever she wants, but being a living experiment wasn’t part of the scientific career she’d planned for herself. Neither was falling for the local werewolf alpha, but what else is a newbie werewolf caught in her burning time going to do?





EXCERPT

Ariel shook with cold as she came up out of a deep, drugged sleep. Naked and shivering, she determined that she was lying on a small cot.

As she struggled to open her eyes, she could just barely make out the forms of Dr. Crane and his white-coated asswipe of an assistant. They were staring into the cages where they’d stashed the other two women who had been captured alongside her. There was a bunch of growling and hissing which kept getting louder as the men talked.

Dr. Crane looked extremely pleased with whatever was happening. The knowledge pissed her off, but her dark thoughts of doing vicious and hideously cruel things to both men surprised her.

Ariel lifted a pale hand in front of her face, which blurred out of focus, but finally came back in. So far, nothing overly unusual had happened to her body, unless you counted the sick headache she had at the moment. She felt strange though—very strange. Her stomach growled with fierce hunger and there was a steady fire burning between her legs. Those two white-coated bastards had better not have touched her. If they did, she was cutting off their man parts and throwing them in the recycler. Later, when she was more alert, she promised herself she would check her body closer.

A loud clanging against the bars of her cage had her covering her ears. Sound—all sound—hurt terribly and increased her headache. A percussion band played in her head as she fought the pain.

“I’m afraid your doctoral thesis is now a complete failure, Dr. Jones. Apparently, the metamorphosis strand is a deterrent to transpecies mutation as well as being something to shorten a person’s life. Now I have to decide what to do about you. We can’t just turn you loose in society and have you telling everyone what we’re up to here. You were certainly a waste of a couple billion very expensive nanos we can’t get back. Sadly, you’ve become the only failure case, rather than the pinnacle of our success.”

It took her a lot of effort, but Ariel finally managed to manipulate her hand enough to get her middle finger to stand up alone. Crane’s laugh at her silent rebellion grated on every nerve she had, not to mention how much his voice hurt her ears.

“When I get out of here, I may kill you just to watch you hurt,” Ariel croaked, her mouth dry as dust.

Crane laughed harder and walked away. At his departure, the growling and hissing in the cages next to her ceased. When the room was totally silent once more, she drifted back into a peaceful oblivion where she could pretend nothing had happened.

***

Dr. Jones—Ariel. Wake now, but do not shift. Wake in human form. Think of yourself as human and you will be one.

Ariel rolled to her side on the canvas cot and tried to pull the scratchy cover she’d found over her naked body. Even with her knees scrunched up, it was far too short. She covered her eyes with a hand as she fought off the nightmares which were now continuously talking to her. There must have been hallucinogens in what they gave her.

I am not a hallucination. I am Reed—a three hundred year old alpha. You are a two day old version. It is very wise of your wolf to hide itself from those who seek to harm you.

Ariel groaned and rolled to the other side. “Head hurts. Stop talking to me.”

I know you are in pain, but you must fight off the drugs now. Crane returns soon. He is planning to move you to another facility and dissect your body to find out why conversion failed with you. They have identified another experiment victim and she arrives tomorrow. You must rescue the others and kill Crane before he can turn more.

“Kill Crane? Sure. I’d love to do that,” she repeated, covering her eyes with her hands.

Yes. I regret the extremeness of the step, but Roger Crane must not be allowed to continue his work. You will have to destroy the lab as well. Accidents happen all the time in Alaska. I doubt Feldspar Research will fund any other scientist if we completely destroy the proof of Crane’s success.

“O—K.” she said groggily, working her body into an upright position. Sitting up hurt as much as anything else did. “And I thought my divorce was traumatic. Either my nightmares are getting bossy or I’m hearing real voices in my head.”

Putting a hand up to her head, she rubbed the base of her skull where they had shot something into her brain stem.

“Hey nightmare, since we’re on a speaking basis, do you know what the hell Crazy Crane shot me with in the back of my head?”

My blood—I believe. He took it at the pinnacle of my wolf’s lunar cycle. Since I was already in my wolf form when he caught me, hitting the lunar pinnacle was evidently strong enough to cause a species turning. I had heard the legends, but human turnings have not been done since the middle ages. Packs prefer to propagate organically. Unfortunately, Crane found a way to take the choice from me.

Ariel laughed. Her intuition spoke to her all the time, but it usually didn’t announce she was a wolf in human form. “Hey Nightmare, are we going to keep talking in my head?”

Yes. I am your alpha. You are an alpha in training. So yes—we will talk in your head—until we can do so differently. I cannot shift from my wolf until the bullets and collar are removed from me. Silver has a restraining effect.

“Being shot with your blood doesn’t make you my dad or anything, does it?” Ariel could have swore her nightmare wolf tried to laugh. He huffed like a dog doing it.

No. But it does make you my responsibility until you take a mate who can look out for you. Being part of a pack is like having a large family. I think you might like it once you understand it.

Ariel snorted. “So I’m an alpha. Does being alpha mean you’re top dog or something?”

We are canis lupis, not dogs. Alaska is home to more than eleven thousand wolves. More than half are what humans call werewolves. This is what you have become, Ariel Jones. You are now both human and wolf, as are the other two females. They are your charges and the first of your pack. They are your responsibility and will look to you for guidance on how to adjust to their new lives.

His comments—which she was starting to believe weren’t just voices in her head—had Ariel standing on wobbly legs and walking to the bars of her prison. In the cages next to hers, two multi-colored wolves paced restlessly. They were less than half the size of the black wolf, but still real enough to convince her she wasn’t just having a nightmare. Oh no—she was living one.

“Brandi. Heidi. Relax. We’re going to escape. I promise.” When both multi-colored wolves sat and turned to her expectantly, Ariel shook her head. She knew their names and could command their obedience. Though she’d never been a person given to swearing, there were no normal words to express the enormity of her shock. Was she truly going to one day be a wolf as well?

“Un—fucking—believable,” she whispered. She turned her head until she saw the edge of the giant black wolf as he leaned against one side of his cage. “Reed? Is the giant black wolf you?”

Yes, Ariel. The giant black wolf is me. You should see the alpha of the Wasilla Pack. Matt’s wolf is even bigger.

She felt like peeing herself when the black wolf turned his head and met her gaze like a human would during a conversation. He had the greenest eyes she’d ever seen on a man or animal. They were filled with a kind of determination she’d never felt before, but had a feeling she was about to get an education in it.

Crane returns. I know it is him. His stench will haunt me for the next hundred years of my life.

“Okay. I’m wide awake now and mostly willing to believe you,” she said, hoping all three wolves understood she was working her way to acceptance as fast as she could. She went back to her cot and huddled under the short cover. “Hey Reed, did I get bigger or something?”

Yes. And you are strong enough to kill the men who will be trying to kill you. You have to try, Ariel. It is important to me that you and the other women survive. When they open the cage to take you out of it, call your wolf to help. She will be more than happy to answer. I’ve been helping you hold her back until the time was right.

“My mind is having a hell of a time trying to believe all of this is real, but I’m sure as hell not ready to die. Let’s say I believe you. What does my wolf look like?”

Until she comes, none of us will know. I just hope she’s big and strong. Rest now and pretend to be weak. You do not want them to know what you really are until it is too late.

Ariel leaned back on the cot and tried to look as pathetic as possible so her captors would believe she was just as harmless as they assumed she was.

Inside, she was praying that Reed—or whatever inner voice was helping her survive—was right about her being able to free them all.




About the Author


Donna McDonald is an active dreamer and finds writing to be the best way to use her creativity.

Needing to satisfy both sides of her brain, she is a cross-genre author of contemporary, fantasy, and paranormal romances. Her books appear on bestseller lists for humor, romantic comedy, space opera, and more.

She craves laughter from her readers and focuses her attention on making that happen as often as possible. She loves to hear from anyone who has read her books.


Author Links




Twitter: @scifiwoman13




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GIVEAWAY

5 copies of Ariel in ebook format (any channel)




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Tuesday, March 3, 2015

Cover Reveal: Fire Above




Fantasy
Date Published: April 13, 2015

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I love her so much, I'd risk anything.

She and I don't have names. We're just slaves, after all. But our hearts don't care, and we're lucky, we have a chance at a scrap of happiness in our terrible lives. My father is the Queen's pet.

But when my love discovers the lords' newest atrocity, she lashes out, does the unthinkable, and attacks one of them. Her courage is heroic, but now they have stuffed her in prison, getting ready to slaughter her.

 With nothing to lose, I dare to dream of a life far from the lords. I fight for our freedom, and escape to the woods with my love. We can do no less than free all of our people in the effort.

Our flight through the woods is only the start of our journey. The lords’ flaming attacks, their deception, the loss of so many of my people—I don't know if I will survive, or if I even want to. But for my love, I will do almost anything, even battle the fire above.



 Excerpt


    In that moment of indecision, my love struggled to rise and moaned, “Run, you fool! If you love me, run!” A plan burst into my mind, born of desperate hope. Perhaps it would be enough. I had to try.

    The guards, distracted, turned to look at her.          

    “I'll be back for you,” I swore. I waited until they looked back at me, then turned and ran into the night.

    I could hear them pounding after me. I cut into the woods immediately, slowing down and making a great deal of noise. I looked over my shoulder and could see one clearly after me.

    I ran in a large circle, keeping the guard chasing as close as I dared. When I began to approach the castle again, I sped up to give myself a bit more time. If I could just knock down the guard near her, we might have a chance. But when I came in sight of the castle, I saw two guards standing in front of my love, each firmly grasping his weapon, ready to fight. A third stood behind her, looking into the forest. Looking for me.

    She stood, arms bound behind her, feet shackled together. I stumbled, tears clouding my vision. The crashing from behind me drew closer. I saw her face in the moonlight, beautiful and proud. She thought I’d gotten away. She’d sacrificed herself so I could escape. What would she say if I just threw it all away now?

    So I cut left, trying to gauge how far to go to miss the one chasing me and avoid the two edging forward. The guard chasing me caught up and angled his run to cut off my escape, edge me toward the other guards. Legs burning, lungs gasping, I ran as hard as I could. Exhausted and starving, I was no match for them, fit, fed, and well-rested as they were. But her face gave me strength. And they didn't run like I ran. They didn't know the woods like I did.

    The guard behind me dove, fingers brushing my shoulder. I leaped, grabbing a branch and swinging as the onrushing guard leaped at me. What would have knocked me down just grazed my swinging legs and sent him sprawling. Landing, I cut left close to another tree, and the last guard stumbled over a hidden tree root. I kept to the shadows, using the night to my advantage until I reached the common footpath away from the castle. Running away from the castle, my footfalls loud on the path, I slowed to an easy stride. I looked over my shoulder to see the guards burst from the woods and start running.

    They were still after me. Knowing my love was back there, I almost gave up, let them catch me. At least we would be together for a short while. Then I remembered the bandits. They had fighters,
 maybe they could free us both! Spurred on, I lengthened my stride, knowing the guards could never keep up. I ran like my life depended on it.




About the Author


              To young C. H. MacLean, books were everything: mind-food, friends, and fun. They gave the shy middle child’s life color and energy. Amazingly, not everyone saw them that way. Seeing a laundry hamper full of books approach her, the librarian scolded C. H. for trying to check them all out. “You'll never read that many before they expire!” C. H. was surprised, having shown great restraint only by keeping a list of books to check out next time. Thoroughly abashed, C. H. waited three whole days after finishing that lot before going back for more.

                With an internal world more vivid than the real one, C. H. was chastised for reading in the library instead of going to class. “Neurotic, needs medical help,” the teacher diagnosed. C. H.'s father, a psychologist, just laughed when he heard. “She's just upset because those books are more challenging than her class.”  C. H. realized making up stories was just as fun as reading, and harder to get caught doing. So for a while, C. H. crafted stories and characters out of wisps and trinkets, with every toy growing an elaborate personality.

But toys were not mature, and stories weren't respectable for a family of doctors. So C. H. grew up and learned to read serious books and study hard, shelving foolish fantasies for serious work.

                Years passed in a black and white blur. Then, unpredictably falling in love all the way to a magical marriage rattled C. H.'s orderly world. A crazy idea slipped in a resulting crack and wouldn't leave. “Write the book you want to read,” it said. “Write? As in, a fantasy novel? But I'm not creative,” C. H. protested. The idea, and C. H.'s spouse, rolled their eyes.

                So one day, C. H. started writing. Just to try it, not that it would go anywhere. Big mistake. Decades of pent-up passion started pouring out, making a mess of an orderly life. It only got worse. Soon, stories popped up everywhere- in dreams, while exercising, or out of spite, in the middle of a work meeting. “But it's not important work,” C. H. pleaded weakly. “They are not food, or friends, or...” But it was too late. C. H. had re-discovered that, like books, life should be fun too. Now, writing is a compulsion, and a calling.

                C. H. lives in a Pacific Northwest forest with five pets, two kids, one spouse, and absolutely no dragons or elves, faeries, or demons… that are willing to be named, at least.


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Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Promo Blitz: Chosen

Paranormal Romance
Date Published: February 4, 2015

It began as a fever of unknown origin that its victims dubbed “the Heat,” but as it burned through most of the world’s population, it became known simply as “the Dying.” And for those left behind, the struggle has just begun….

In the aftermath of the Dying, survivor Jessica Monroe is protected and guided by the gentle voice of an invisible being she thinks of as her guardian angel. When she reaches the sanctuary he’s provided for her, however, she realizes that her unseen companion is no angel at all. The destruction of humanity was only the first step in a much larger plan, and now Jessica must struggle to discover her own role in a frightening new world where everything has changed. 



EXCERPT

Now was the time to say a few words, but nothing seemed to come to mind. I couldn’t even remember the Lord’s Prayer, or more than the first few words of the Twenty-third Psalm.

“The Lord is my shepherd,” I began, then shook my head. What came next? The lines were all jumbled together in my head, nonsense syllables that sounded like something straight out of “Jabberwocky.” And what did it matter, anyway? We weren’t a religious family; we went to Christmas Eve services some years and some years not, maybe Easter. I’d gone to Sunday school when I was really little, but my parents hadn’t even bothered with that when Devin came along.

For the longest time I stood there under the oak, the sun disappearing altogether, deep dusk falling upon the yard. Then I moved, and the motion-sensor light mounted to the side of the garage flashed on.

“I love you all,” I said finally, then set the Waterford vase and the football trophy on top of their grave.

After that, I went back inside and shut the door behind me. It seemed to echo in the unnatural stillness of the house, and I realized it was hardly ever this quiet — someone always had the TV on in the background, or there was music playing, or somebody talking on the phone. Now the quiet pounded against my eardrums, and I realized how big a three-bedroom, two-thousand-square-foot house could feel when you were the only one in it.

The only one in the world….

The thought whispered through my mind, and I did my best to ignore it. Surely if I were immune, and not just having extremely delayed onset for some reason, that meant other people had to be immune, too. How many? I couldn’t begin to guess. I didn’t know the mortality rate of the disease. Even if 99.9% of the population was dead, that would leave around a thousand people still alive in the greater Albuquerque area, if I was doing my mental math correctly.

I turned on the overhead lights in the kitchen, then went through the house, turning on all the lamps. Maybe that wasn’t the smartest thing to do — maybe advertising my presence would do more harm than good. But I couldn’t sit there in the dark, not after everything I’d been through that day. Besides, when I peeked out through the curtains, I saw mine wasn’t the only house on the street that was all lit up. Most likely the others just had their lights on because no one was around to turn them off, but it did make mine seem less conspicuous.

“Are you there?” I asked of the darkness. Even a voice that was only a product of my imagination was better than this deep, deep silence, the kind of quiet you should never hear if you lived in a big city.

No reply, of course. My gaze shifted to the remote control, still lying where I’d last dropped it on the coffee table. I didn’t quite dare to turn on the television, not after what I’d seen the last time around. I could only imagine how bad it must be by now.

But there was still the stereo, and all the CDs my parents wouldn’t get rid of, despite Devin and me telling them all that plastic just took up space and that they should just rip all their music off those CDs and then play it through Apple TV or something. And now I had to be grateful for their stubbornness, because that meant I could get up and choose something to blot out the silence. My father liked country, but old country, like Hank Williams and Willie Nelson and Patsy Cline, and my mother preferred classical. That sounded better to me right then, so I found her favorite, Rachmaninoff’s Second Piano Concerto, and put that on.

It actually was better, with the sound of an orchestra and Vladimir Ashkenazy on the piano overriding that awful stillness. Or at least it was better until I realized that no one would ever play that piece live again, that there would be no more symphony orchestras or Arcade Fire concerts or anything, ever again.

“Oh, God,” I gasped, pushing myself up from the couch and running into the kitchen, where I turned on the faucet and splashed cold water in my face. As if that could begin to help. It was all too big to comprehend, so awful and enormous that I could literally feel the horror of it beginning to sink in, like some  noxious chemical seeping into my skin.

And then it was as though strong, invisible arms wrapped around me, bringing with them a soothing warmth. Unseen lips brushed against my hair, and I heard the voice again.

Be strong, my love. Be strong for just a while longer.

Just as suddenly, the presence was gone. I held on to the tile of the kitchen counter, feeling the cool surface beneath my fingertips. In that moment, I truly wondered if I’d lost my mind.

What other explanation could there be?


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Friday, February 13, 2015

Virtual Blog Tour: The Devil's Music

Non Fiction
Date Published: August 2014



Certain musical modes, tones, and instruments have been used to represent evil for centuries. From the torturous musical instruments depicted in Hieronymus Bosch's famous "Garden of Earthly Delights" to the dark tones that announce the presence of Darth Vader in the Star Wars films, from the cantatas of Bach and the operas of Mozart to heavy metal, music has been used to represent a gallery of rogues and demons including the devil himself. But can music do more than suggest the presence of evil? Can certain music actually embody evil? Since antiquity many have thought so. And this belief combined with religious and philosophical concepts drawn from Eastern cultures has influenced the direction of Western culture, its mythology, cosmology, theology, and politics, and consequently the structure of Western society itself. This book recounts the history of demonic music and its extraordinary influence on Western culture. 

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Excerpt:

Like other distinctive cultures, Western culture has long struggled against its own particular demons. Especially during the period from the Dark Ages through the Renaissance, Europeans viewed this struggle literally as a battle with the Devil and his cohorts for the souls of humanity. By the eighteenth century, however, many Western thinkers had come to view the dark forces that their ancestors so feared and struggled against as essentially a product of destructive beliefs, social institutions, and practices. They disputed philosophies that promoted absolute rule, a rigid class system, impoverishment of the vast majority, and extreme judicial inequality; and they disputed the idea that a rigidly structured human hierarchy was justified as part of a divinely ordained order. This challenge to traditional authority reached a culmination during the eighteenth century Enlightenment and helped precipitate the revolutions that followed. It brought with it eventual change to societal institutions and, among other things, put a formal end in the West to one of the world’s great evils: slavery. 

Much of what occurred is well-documented. What has been largely overlooked is the sizable role that Western music and the affective theories that helped shape it have played in this history. This book recounts the dark side of that extraordinary and often surprising influence on Western culture and history. 

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