Monday, June 3, 2024

The Evorath Trilogy by Joseph P Macolino


The Birth of Death
The Evorath Trilogy
Book One
Joseph P Macolino

Genre: Epic Fantasy
Publisher: Free Dragon Press LLC
Date of Publication: August 11, 2016
ISBN: 978-0997883800
ASIN: B01K9PRWQA
Number of pages: 377 pages

Book Description: 

Clues that lead deep beneath the surface.  Rituals to summon an ancient power. 

In a world filled with magic, can good stop a hungry evil? 

Lieutenant Artimus Atyrmirid feels unsettled. As a talented archer and head investigator for the kingdom, the pragmatic elf tries to brush aside the flaws others claim are infiltrating his picture-perfect realm. But he senses a shift when a breakthrough in a bizarre kidnapping case puts him face to face with a devilish villain.

Mage Savannah Sylvanas is on a personal quest for justice. Delighted to be assigned to the rangers’ top investigative squad, the former druid drives herself hard to impress her new leader. And she’s horrified when their venture into an abandoned dwarven mine ends with half the team’s minds corrupted by a lurking darkness.



The Rise of Yezurkstal
The Evorath Trilogy
Book Two
Joseph P Macolino

Genre: Epic Fantasy
Publisher: Free Dragon Press LLC
Date of Publication: July 11, 2023
ISBN: 978-0997883824
ASIN: B0C6JRCBV4
Number of pages: 394 pages

Book Description: 

A year ago, he was forced to retreat. Now he’s back for revenge. Will the people of Evorath be able to stand against his terrifying new power?

Yezurkstal is more determined than ever to reshape the forest of Erathal in his image. He’s done hiding and ready to lead the dark elves to build a new empire in Erathal. His plan is guaranteed to succeed after he creates a spell to lure unsuspecting humans into his army.

Evorath's heroes are once again called upon to fight. With new allies joining the cause, they unite to stand against the rising evil. But as Yezurkstal's power increases, time is running out, and the challenge is greater than ever before.

Will Yezurkstal and his undead army prevail over the heroes of Evorath or has he finally met his match?

The Rise of Yezurkstal is the thrilling second novel in the Evorath epic high fantasy series. If you enjoy reading about characters everyone loves to hate, mythical creatures, and fantasy worlds, you'll love Joseph P Macolino's epic fantasy adventure.



The Battle for Erathal
The Evorath Trilogy
Book Three
Joseph P Macolino

Genre: Epic Fantasy
Publisher: Free Dragon Press LLC
Date of Publication: February 20, 2024
ISBN: 978-0-9978838-4-8
ASIN: B0CNHHS4FH
Number of pages: 319 pages

Book Description: 

He just wanted to enjoy this time of peace. But when a familiar evil is unleashed upon the forest of Erathal, will anyone be safe?

Enjoying the time without strife, Irontail works to spread peace and unity throughout the forest of Erathal. Organizing the first ever Festival of Gratitude, he finally feels he is fulfilling his calling as the leader of his centaur village. But his plans are once again hijacked when a familiar villain escapes from imprisonment.

The felite warrior, Tel’ Shira, joins Irontail and the other heroes of Erathal as they plan their counter-offensive. But even her gift of foresight is not enough to prepare her for the upcoming battle against this malevolent foe.

With the future of Erathal on the line, will anyone survive to tell the tale?

The Battle for Erathal is the thrilling conclusion to the Evorath epic fantasy trilogy. 

If you like expansive world-building, heart-pounding battle scenes, and heroic ensembles, you won’t want to miss Joseph P Macolino’s epic fantasy adventure.



About the Author: 

Joseph Macolino has a passion for nature, philosophy, and all things fantasy. An unwavering Christian and self-declared anarchist, he dreams of a future human society where people can truly cooperate and voluntarily exchange ideas, goods, and services. When he’s not writing Evorath, he’s likely outside gardening, spending time watching a show with his family, or reading a book on philosophy.

Considering himself a lifelong student of humanity, Joseph enjoys meeting new people and being exposed to new perspectives. He believes each person’s unique gifts can help contribute to stronger communities and hopes his work encourages others to embrace their gifts. Find out more about him at his website.

https://evorath.com/ 

https://www.facebook.com/Evorath

https://www.instagram.com/evorath/   






Monday, May 27, 2024

M. Laszlo’s Top Ten Ghost Hunting Tips





First tip: Avoid swamps. If you venture into one, you will probably find yourself beguiled by will-o’-the-wisps—and it will be impossible to distinguish them from hypothetical ghost activity.

Second tip: Always trust in ghost hunters trained in Victorian spirit photography. You’ll notice their equipment includes box cameras, tripods, carbines, and aperture plates. 

Third tip: Don’t waste your money on preposterous ghost-hunting gadgets. The only high-tech tool you will need is a German vibration sensor: der Transduktor.

Fourth tip: You’ll know if the vibration sensor works because it ought to make your milk tooth ache.

Fifth tip: When in doubt about something, consult Helmut Xenopol’s Encyclopædia of the Transmundane. 

Sixth tip: Proper Victorian spirit photography obliges you to set up a proper darkroom with a traditional safelight.

Seventh tip: If the monochrome image in the developing tray resembles a malformed beignet, you might as well move it to the stop bath.

Eighth tip: If the aforementioned problem continues to happen, you might be dealing with the kind of ghost activity that requires the gelatin dry-plate silver-bromide process. To get a sense of what that entails, consult the Orbology article in Helmut Xenopol’s Encyclopædia of the Transmundane.

Ninth tip: If problems persist, you will have to employ Magnesium-flash lighting.

Tenth tip: If you wish to please or to placate an unruly ghost, the best offering is a dish that has a recipe that includes the following trinity: bell pepper, sweet onions of Vidalia, and celery.




On the Threshold
M. Laszlo

Genre: SciFi, Historical Fiction, Magical Realism
Publisher: Awesome Independent Authors Publishing
Date of Publication: February 2024
ISBN-10 ‏ : ‎ 1922329584
ISBN-13 ‏ : ‎ 978-1922329585
Number of pages: 342
Word Count: Approximately 90,000 words
Cover Artist: Rose Newland

Tagline: Obsessed with solving the riddle of the universe,  Scotsman Fingal T. Smyth conducts an occult-science experiment during which he unleashes a projection of his innate knowledge. 

Book Description: 

Obsessed with solving the riddle of the universe, a Scotsman named Fingal T. Smyth conducts an occult-science experiment during which he unleashes a projection of his innate knowledge. 

Fingal aimed to interrogate this avatar to learn what it knows, but unfortunately, he forgot how violent the animal impulses that reside in the deepest recesses of the unconscious mind can be. The avatar appears as a burning man who seeks to manipulate innocent and unsuspecting people into immolating themselves. 

With little hope of returning the fiery figure into his being, Fingal must capture his nemesis before it destroys the world.

Amazon     BN

Excerpt:

Autumn, 1907: late one morning, some kind of torrid, invisible beast seemed to wrap itself all around Fingal T. Smyth’s body. Each one of his toes twitching fiercely, he exited the castle and scanned the distant, Scottish Highlands. Go back where you came from. As the entity wrapped itself tighter all about his person, Fingal blinked back his tears. I’m melting, I am. Aye, it’s the heat of fusion.

Gradually, the beast’s heartbeat became audible—each pulsation. At the same time, too, the illusory heat of transformation emitted an odor as of oven-roasted peppercorns dissolving in a cup of burnt coffee.

Over by the gatehouse, Fräulein Wunderwaffe appeared—the little German girl wearing a plain-sewn robe and square-crown bowler. In that moment, she no longer seemed to be a sickly child of seven years: her inscrutable expression resembled that of a wise, indifferent cat.
Perhaps even some kind of lioness. Fingal cringed, and he recalled a fragment of conversation from three weeks earlier.

“She suffers from a most unnatural pathology, an anguished, maniacal obsession with cats,”

Doktor Hubertus Pflug had explained. “Ever since the poor girl was a baby, she has always regarded it her fate to one day metamorphose into a glorious panther, for she believes herself to be ein Gestaltwandler. Do you know this word? It means shapeshifter and refers to someone who possesses the power to take the form of anything in nature.”

The heat radiated up and down Fingal’s spine now, and his thoughts turned back to the present. Aye, it’s a change of phase. I’m melting into a chemical compound. Despite all, he greeted the girl and willed himself to flash a grin.

Fräulein Wunderwaffe did not return the smile. Hand on heart, the little girl drew a bit closer.

Then, as the hot, animalistic presence undulated all across Fingal’s body, the little girl’s eyes grew wide. Until the little girl’s expression turned to that of a vacant stare.

A moment later, her feet pointed inwards, she removed her hat and undid her long, flaxen hair.

Again, he cringed. “If you’ve noticed something, ignore all. This hasn’t got anything to do with you.” A third time, he cringed.

A most ethereal, lyrical, incomprehensible hiss commenced then: from the other end of the winding, decorative-brick driveway, each clay block shining the color of blue Welsh stone, a sleek Siamese cat with a coat of chocolate-spotted ivory had just appeared. And now the creature raced toward his shadow.

As he looked into the animal’s big, searching, blue eyes, the chocolate Siamese studied the off-center tip of his nose. Then the animal turned away, as if to compare the peculiarity with that of some disembodied visage hovering in the distance.

Out upon the loch, meanwhile, a miraculous rogue wave suddenly arose—and now the swell crashed against the pebbly strand.

Not a moment later, a cool flame crawled across Fingal’s throat. The strange fire rattled, too—not unlike the sound of fallen juniper leaves caught up in the current and dancing against the surface of a stone walkway.

Crivens. By now, the alien, pulsating presence held him so tight that he could barely breathe.

Before long, he fell to the earth, and as the dreamlike flame continued to move across his throat, he rolled all about—until the illusory sensation of cool warmth wriggled and twisted and dropped into his neck dimple.

He crawled over to the little girl and grabbed her ankle. “Get on up to your physician’s room, eh?

Please. Go on and wake Doktor Pflug and tell him what’s happened.”



About the Author:

M. Laszlo is the pseudonym of an extreme recluse who lives in Bath, Ohio. Rumor holds that he derived his pen name from the character of Victor Laszlo in the classic film Casablanca. 









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Susanna Strom's Top Ten Shifters in TV and Fiction #PNR #Shifter #FatedMates




When I was a little girl, I watched The Wolf Man, an old black-and-white horror film from 1941. This was my introduction to the world of shifters. The werewolf in that movie was a tortured soul, a man unable to control his violent impulses, a man terrified that he’d kill the woman he loved. When he shifted into his werewolf form, he kept his human shape, but long fur sprouted over his face and the backs of his hands. There was nothing sexy or attractive about this homicidal werewolf. (Check out pictures of Lon Chaney Jr. as Larry the werewolf if you want to see what I mean.) If you’d told me then that someday I’d be obsessed with shifters—that I’d consider them among the hottest, most appealing romantic heroes ever—I probably would’ve run screaming from the room.

Times change. The depictions of shifters in popular culture evolved, and my attitude toward them turned from “Hard pass” to “Yes, please.” Modern shifters haven’t lost their edge. The threat of violence remains, but it’s a threat tempered by their deeply rooted protective instincts and devotion to their mates. I’m a sucker for big scary guys who will love you forever and who will do anything to keep their people safe. 

My ten favorite shifters in TV and fiction:

Charles Cornick from the Alpha and Omega series by Patricia Briggs. Charles is a scary character, an enforcer, an executioner tasked with maintaining discipline among the often unruly North American werewolves. He doesn’t like to get close to people because he might someday be ordered to kill them. The violence he’s forced to commit eats away at his soul. He’s essentially a good man with strong protective instincts, especially toward the vulnerable. Only his mate, Anna, sees his tender side.

Adam Hauptman from the Mercy Thompson series, also written by Patricia Briggs. Adam is a dominant werewolf and the alpha of his pack. His protective instincts run deep and he has a hard time turning away from people in need. 

Curran Lennart from the Kate Daniels series by Ilona Andrews. Curran is a lion shifter and alpha of a mixed pack of shifters in Atlanta. He’s smart and thoughtful. Diplomacy comes naturally to him, but he’s ruthless against anyone who threatens those under his protection.

Jordan Pride from Rebecca Zanetti’s Dark Protectors series. Jordan is the alpha of a mountain lion pack, and a strong and compassionate leader. He carries a secret that forces him to hold people at arm’s length. 

Seth Volk from Zanetti’s Stopes Pack series. The deadly predator lurks just beneath of the surface of the merciless enforcer. He’ll make any sacrifice and do whatever it takes to serve his pack. 

Wheeler Cole from Dannika Dark’s Seven series. Wheeler is a grumpy, tattooed bad boy with a tortured past who finds love in the most unlikely place. 

Riley Kincaid from Nalini Singh’s Psy-Changeling series. Known as “the Wall,” Riley stands between his fellow wolves and any threat, external or internal. After his sister is kidnapped, he’s consumed with guilt and blames himself for failing her. He’s a classic “still waters run deep” type of character. When he cuts loose, wowza!

Deke from Renee Rose and Lee Savino’s Shifter Ops series. He’s a scary, damaged, ex-military, biker dude with major issues. He’s also loyal, protective, hot-as-sin, and totally irresistible. 

Derek Hale from television’s Teen Wolf series—or as my husband calls it, “The Derek show.” (The man knows me very well.) He’s another shifter with a tortured past. He’s a brooding, dangerous man, but beneath his tough guy exterior beats a good and loyal heart. Tyler Hoechlin brought a lot of depth and soul to the character and an—ahem—impressive physicality.

Finally, my tenth favorite shifter is a collective. I’m indulging in a bit of shameless self-promotion here. In creating the heroes for my Black Rock Guardians series, I took everything I love about shifters and gave those qualities to my characters. Adam, Zane, and Viggo have very different personalities and back stories, but they’re all strong, fiercely loyal, protective, and one hundred percent devoted to their mates. 

How about you? Who are your favorite shifters?

Marked Under the Midnight Sun
Black Rock Guardians 
Book Three
Susanna Strom

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Cougar Creek Publishing, LLC
Date of Publication: May 21, 2024
ISBN: 9781960382092
ASIN: B0CKKXFYFC
Cover Artist: Lori Jackson 

Tagline: He was loaded for bear. And he still wasn’t ready for her… 

Book Description:

Viggo

I do jobs no one else in my pack can do. Dirty jobs.

Like kidnapping Liv Hagen.

I didn’t want to do it. I was just following my alpha’s orders.

I never thought my bear would think she’s ours.

But there’s no way I can keep her. The consequences are too dire.

So, when the time comes, I’ll have no choice but to surrender her to fate.

Even if it kills me…

Liv

Kidnapped, held captive, and used as a bargaining chip against the Black Rock Guardians.

Yeah. Seems about right for my luck.

But if the big, bad bear shifter thinks I’m going to submit to his—or anyone’s—will, he’s got another thing coming.

Which is why I’ll just have to ignore my attraction to the sexy jerk. It’s probably Stockholm syndrome, anyway.

I mean, it’s not like he’s my fated mate or anything… right?

Marked Under the Midnight Sun, Book 3 in the Black Rock Guardians Series, is a lightly angsty, enemies to lovers paranormal romance with plenty of spice and tense moments, and just the right amount of suspense, action, and adventure. Download today and get ready for the supernatural romance you didn’t know you needed.

Amazon     Kobo     Apple     BN     Books2Read      

Excerpt:

Liv huddled next to the campfire, a flimsy Mylar sleeping bag wrapped around her shoulders. Soaking wet, her cheeks flushed scarlet from the frigid air, the human was in trouble. The sun had dipped below the horizon and the temperature was plummeting.

I glanced at my shivering captive. “Gimme your coat, dress, and boots.”

“What?” she sputtered. “Dude, I’m not stripping in front of you.”

My lip quirked. Nobody but this feisty, gotta-be-freezing-her-ass-off woman would dare call me dude. Most pack mates cringed in my presence, and referred to me as Mr. Creed, or sir.
Not Liv.

“You’ll never warm up if you spend the night in wet clothes.” I pointed at the sticks wedged into the ground next to the campfire. “I’ll put your things close to the flames to dry out.”

“Forget it.” She yanked the emergency sleeping bag up to her ears.

I bit the inside of my cheek. I never got a good look at her body underneath the sodden down parka, but her legs were shapely and I bet her figure matched.

What the hell am I doing?

Was there any thing more pointless, more self-destructive than being attracted to the woman I’m turning over to my heartless alpha?

Time to shut this shit down.

I stepped toward her and deliberately shaped my features into an intimidating scowl.

“You telling me you’d rather freeze to death than take off your wet clothes?”

She didn’t answer, probably realizing how foolish she’d sound if she said yes.

“My orders are to bring you safe and sound to Medved. I can’t let you get hypothermia.”

“And a flunky like you doesn’t dare disappoint his alpha, right?” Scorn dripped from her voice.

“That’s right.” No point in taking offense when she spoke the truth. I lowered my chin and put command into my voice. “So either you strip or I’ll do it for you.”

Color returned to her cheeks in an angry flush. “Try it, buddy, and you’ll lose a hand.”
I could easily overpower the mouthy woman and peel her clothes off. Grizzly shifter versus human? Hell, no contest. Liv wasn’t stupid. She had to realize how powerless and vulnerable she was. Still, she jutted out her chin, and her pretty brown eyes shot sparks.

Rubbing the back of my neck, I debated how to handle the insolent human. I’d ripped her away from everybody and everything she knew. Her next few days were bound to be rough, especially if she shot off her mouth in front of Medved. Why not cut her some slack? If she saw me as a reasonable man, she might be more willing to listen when I warned her to mind her manners in front of my alpha.

“How about I turn around and look the other way while you undress?” I proposed.

The fingers clutching the top of the sleeping bag had turned bone white, and she trembled from the cold. “Fine,” she said reluctantly. “Do it.”

I put my back to her. “Just don’t get any crazy ideas about picking up a branch and clobbering me.”

She snorted. “We’re in the middle of godforsaken nowhere.” I heard rustling as she dropped the sleeping bag and shed her wet clothes. My imagination filled in the details as I imagined her naked behind me. “Even if I managed to knock you out, where would I go?”


About the Author:

Susanna loves to read―and write―stories full of complex characters who find love, hope, and connection while navigating through an exciting and dangerous world. Susanna lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with her husband and two very spoiled cats.






Susanna’s Stormers, Facebook Readers Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1572291033136914 







Wednesday, May 15, 2024

The Crystalline Crucible by Adam Rowan


The Crystalline Crucible
Adam Rowan

Genre: New Adult 
Publisher: Spinning Monkey Press
Date of Publication:  May 14, 2024
ISBN: 9798985769562
ASIN: B0CXYM3R8B
Word Count: 90000 

Tagline: Treasure comes in many forms

Book Description: 

Maxwell Jacobs, a neurodivergent 21-year-old with a passion for knights, Tetris and cheese sandwiches, harbours an audacious dream-to become the greatest treasure hunter in England. 

His chance comes with The Crystalline Crucible, a treasure-hunting contest promising untold wealth and answers to the world's biggest secrets. However, Max's mission gets off to a rocky start when he's arrested for breaking into a museum in search of a clue. His fear of leaving his hometown, Stapleford, his cynical best friend, Rosie Shaw, and his clumsy, awkward nature only serve to complicate things further. Overall, his prospects seem dim. 

That is, until Max crosses paths with Khalil Ahmed, a former criminal seeking redemption and quick cash. Despite their differences, their shared desperation draws them into The Crystalline Crucible. Together, they'll decipher cryptic clues and embark on an epic nationwide adventure, with high stakes and a singular goal: to find treasure!

Amazon      Books2Read     BN     Smashwords     Amazon UK     Apple

CHAPTER 1: THE WOOLLY MAMMOTH THIEF

In the seven-decade-long existence of the Nottingham Natural History Museum, no break-in had ever occurred until five a.m. on one fateful Saturday. The trespasser’s name was Maxwell Oscar Jacobs, a local retail worker. In his spare time, he enjoyed playing Tetris, doing crossword puzzles, and—his preferred pastime—a spot of treasure hunting.

With a stone he’d found on the pavement, Max had smashed the museum’s back window and climbed into it by balancing on a rubbish bin. Shortly thereafter, he padded warily through the geology exhibit surrounded by models of Earth, not enjoying the experience in the slightest. Surveillance cameras mounted above on the wall scanned him, but he dearly hoped the authorities hadn’t been dispatched to arrest him. They shouldn’t be. After all, he hadn’t poured chocolate milk on the power box outside for nothing.

Max was twenty-one years old, rather tall with stick insect limbs. Bright blond hair and a poorly cut fringe topped his head. He wore a grey Cookie Monster hoodie, straight-legged jeans, Mickey Mouse socks and a cheap, halfbroken children’s watch with coloured numbers. He also wore blue trainers with the shoelaces undone and carried a Tony the Tiger rucksack in which to store the mammoth tusk he was after. To top it all, he had a scabbard that held a broadsword called Fleshrender, Max’s favourite possession.

Pacing along, he thought passingly that he should have dressed the part more and put on a ski mask. His heart pounded as he passed by the dinosaur exhibit, unease assailing him. It was too late to go home at this point. He just had to find the mammoth tusk before daylight.

He gathered himself, drew his sword and focused on not tripping while he navigated through the dark, winding corridors. Even the smallest of noises made him jump—broadsword at the ready—as he crept through the empty halls.

With the lights off, the museum was practically a haunted house. While he tiptoed into the zoology section, glimmering rays of moonlight streamed in through the windows, falling gently over him. Shadowed model animals lined the walls, felt rabbits and plastic spiders sitting on table displays. A frightening bear stood with its paws raised and its sharp jaws wide open as if
ready to pounce on him at a moment’s notice. Max’s eyes widened, but within seconds he discerned to his relief it was just taxidermy.

At last, the mammoth appeared behind a red security barrier not far away. With every muscle tensed, he gazed in awe at its gigantic figure. But his jaw dropped as he realised, despite how carefully he had planned this mission, he’d forgotten one crucial part: how to extract the mammoth tusk out of the skeleton. It looked like it’d been screwed in tightly. Should’ve
brought a screwdriver. Oh, bother.

Pushing his shoulders back, he sheathed his weapon, strode right up to
the mammoth and peered at the display label. It read:

This woolly mammoth skeleton was discovered in 1925 by a team of esteemed archaeologists in rural Devon. It was the first almost entirely preserved specimen ever uncovered in England. It is a relic of priceless historical value. DO NOT TOUCH.

Deciding to disobey and wrest the tusk out, Max stepped over the maroon rope that encircled the mammoth and wrapped his hands around it. Like Arthur pulling the sword from the stone, there was nothing else to do but pull really, really hard.

After counting down from three, he tugged the mammoth tusk towards him with all his might. It took a few tries, but finally the tusk separated from the woolly mammoth skeleton with a nasty crack, and he fell on his backside.

Yet before he could rejoice, he heard the sound of a creak.

A door opened across the room.

“PUT YOUR HANDS BEHIND YOUR BACK! LAY DOWN ON THE GROUND!”

Max turned around and scrambled to his feet, mouth wide open. Police with intimidating weapons emerged out of nowhere, swarming him. He gaped at the approaching horde before looking back down at the tusk. This couldn’t be happening.

The thought crossed his mind to run. But what was the point? There were too many police. He was toast!

He dropped the mammoth tusk on the floor and unsheathed his sword.

“Listen, this is all a b-big misunderstanding,” he stuttered.

“NO MISUNDERSTANDING!” a second officer yelled, a woman in a navy tunic with a bulletproof vest. She inched over to him. “HANDS BEHIND YOUR BACK NOW!”

Max stared at the police, aghast. They think I’m a criminal. How ridiculous. I’m just an innocent treasure hunter!

“Let me e-explain. It’s v-very, very important for you to let me eexplain,” Max stammered.

He pointed his sword at them threateningly, before spotting a paunchy man who held what looked like a laser pointer and was aiming it at him.

Max swung the sword around as a warning. “Please. If you’d just give me a second to clear this up, I’m sure that—arghhh!”

His words cut out with a bloodcurdling scream. Electricity surged through his body. The red dot he’d seen on his chest hadn’t been from a laser pointer at all, but a taser. Limbs spasming, Max fell onto the floor and crumpled into a ball as the police closed in on him.

About the Author: 

Author Adam Rowan’s passion for writing began in childhood, although he admits his early attempts were far from perfect. After a hiatus during his teenage years, Adam rediscovered his love for writing in his early twenties and has been dedicated to improving his craft ever since. In 2022, MotherButterfly Books published Adam's first novel. His second book, The Crystalline Crucible, is published by Spinning Monkey Press and is inspired by his experiences growing up in England. When he's not immersed in the world of writing, Adam is an electronic musician and avid film fan. With the support of his family, Adam continues to pursue his writing dreams, understanding that patience is key in the journey of creating a book. 



Amazon Author Page: https://amzn.to/3w3uH0d 



Tuesday, May 14, 2024

Creole Noir's Protection Spell #ProtectionSpell


Creole Noir's Protection Spell 

Ingredients:

- A small black candle
- A piece of parchment paper, or a piece of brown paper bag
- A pen or marker
- Protective herbs such as basil, rosemary, sage, or cinnamon
- A small pouch or container

Instructions:

1. Begin by cleansing your space and yourself. You can do this by burning sage or palo santo, or simply by visualizing a golden light surrounding you and your surroundings, pushing away any negative energy.

2. Write your intention on the parchment paper. For example, "I am protected from harm and negative energy."

3. Place the protective herbs on the parchment paper, focusing on their power to ward off negativity and provide protection.

4. Roll up the parchment paper and tie it with a piece of string or ribbon to create a scroll.

5. take a sharp object and carve the word, "protection" three times on the candle. you can anoint the candle with olive oil or any kind of protection oil, then sprinkle cinnamon over the candle. Hold the candle and visualize a shield of protection around the candle. Light the black candle and place it on your altar or a safe surface.

6. Hold the parchment scroll in your hands and visualize a shield of white light surrounding you, protecting you from harm.

7. Recite the following incantation or create your own:
   "By the power of earth and sky,
   Protection now, no harm can pry.
   With these herbs and candle's light,
   Ward off darkness, keep me safe tonight."

8. After reciting the incantation, place the parchment scroll next to the candle and let it burn completely.

9. Once the candle has burned out, collect the ashes and the remnants of the parchment paper.

10. Place the ashes and remnants in a small pouch or container to carry with you as a talisman of protection.

The Heart of Chenoa
The Black Dove Legacy 
Book One
Creole Noir 

Genre: Magical Realism, YA, Coming of Age
Date of Publication: June 2, 2023
ISBN:  979-8396415935
ASIN: B0C6VYSPF1
Number of pages: 275 pages
Word Count:  44,953
Cover Artist: Creole Noir 

Tagline: Everyone knew she was the belle of the ball, and it was hard to imagine anyone ever taking her crown away from her.

Book Description:

The Heart of Chenoa is a heartwarming tale about a young woman's courage to leave her abusive boyfriend and start a new life in a new town. Along the way, she finds a group of misfit friends who become like family to her, including the inseparable siblings Brooke and Jerald, and the popular but conflicted JC, who harbors a secret love for Jerald. As they navigate high school drama and personal trauma, they come together to seek revenge against a conniving classmate, and ultimately learn to embrace their unique gifts and find strength in their bond.

The story explores themes of love, friendship, betrayal, and redemption as the characters navigate their way through the ups and downs of life. Brooke's premonitions and Lucille's powers add a touch of magic to the story, while Jerald learns to control his trauma-induced alter ego. Ultimately, they discover that they have grown and evolved in unexpected ways and that their bond is stronger than anything life can throw at them.


Excerpt:

Amidst the sprawling fields of Chenoa, a small town nestled in the heart of the Texas, a tale of resilience and friendship unfolds. At its core lies the story of a young woman named Indigo, whose journey from darkness to light weaves a tapestry of courage, love, and the transformative power of friendship.

Indigo had known no other reality than the one she shared with her abusive boyfriend, Troy. The shackles of fear bound her tightly, choking the life out of her dreams. But one fateful night, fueled by a flicker of courage ignited deep within her heart, she made the decision to break free.

With nothing but a few belongings and a trembling resolve, Indigo set out on a journey to start anew in a town where nobody knew her name. Chenoa welcomed her with open arms, offering sanctuary from the storm that had raged within her for far too long.

As Indigo tentatively navigated the unfamiliar school of her new home, she stumbled upon a group of misfits whose warmth and acceptance enveloped her like a comforting embrace. Among them were Brooke and Jerald, inseparable siblings whose laughter echoed through the halls of Chenoa High School, and JC, whose inner turmoil simmered beneath his charming exterior.

Together, they formed an unlikely family, bound not by blood but by the unbreakable ties of friendship and shared experiences. Each member of their motley crew bore scars of their own, but together, they found solace in the company of kindred spirits.

As high school dramas unfolded and personal traumas resurfaced, Indigo and her newfound companions stood united against the tide of adversity. They rallied together to seek justice against a conniving classmate, their bonds growing stronger with each shared victory.

But beneath the surface of their idyllic friendship lay secrets waiting to be unearthed. JC harbored a love for Jerald that dared not speak its name, while Brooke's premonitions whispered of futures yet to unfold. And in the shadows, Jerald battled with the demons of his past, struggling to tame the beast within.

Yet through it all, they clung to each other, their hearts intertwined in a tapestry of love and loyalty. As they confronted their deepest fears and embraced their unique gifts, they discovered that strength lies not in solitude but in the unbreakable bonds of friendship.

In The Heart of Chenoa, amidst the Spanish moss trees and the whispering winds, Indigo and her friends learned that the greatest battles are fought not with fists but with hearts open wide. And as they embraced the magic woven into the fabric of their lives, they found redemption in the unlikeliest of places: within themselves, and within the hearts of those they held dear.


About the Author:

Creole Noir is an author who has a passion for writing stories that not only bring suspense, but also delve into deeper themes of social justice and class disparities. His debut novel Cry of the Black Dove follows London and her friends as they embark on a mission to get revenge after being wronged by those in power. Creole hopes his work will help readers think about these issues and the marginalization that often follows. Outside of writing, he enjoys hosting a podcast with Kinky Boots. Creole currently lives in Tyler, Texas where he obtained an Associates degree in General Studies from Tyler Junior College before engaging in healthcare labor such as caregiving and teaching life skills. He now writes full-time.

Keep in touch with Creole Noir's work by following him on Instagram or checking out his podcast. He loves hearing from readers about their favorite stories and characters. With Creole Noir’s vivid imagination and captivating voice, each of his novels will keep you hooked until the very end.

Keep in touch with Creole Noir via the web:






Wednesday, May 8, 2024

Lost and Found in Ghostlandia: How a Historian Became a Ghostorian





It was all very straightforward, at first. I’m a scholar with particular interests in 19th-century burial and memorialization. Accordingly, I spent a lot of time in old graveyards over several decades. I lectured on the subject, toured thousands of people through those graveyards, wrote and published papers. Throughout it all, I clung to an academic perspective: neutral, objective, trying to evade the question most of my listeners and readers asked: “Are there ghosts?”
Privately (that is, when academic colleagues and various journalists were absent), I thought there probably were. I’d experienced the cool, gliding fingertips of the paranormal just often enough to make belief possible. Barely. Just. 

And then, because scholars aren’t wealthy and my history walking tours of a National Landmark Historic Neighborhood weren’t making enough money to pay my parking fees, I decided to advertise my tours as ghost walks. I was the first in that locale; it wasn’t yet trampled by herds of ghost-curious tourists and people in capes happy to take their money. 
My tour wasn’t much different than before I hung out a new shingle. The neighborhood was old, the buildings were old, and the place had a history of violence and vice. Fertile ground, in other words, for unquiet shades—if there were any.

There weren’t. Month after month, I shepherded my little crowd of ghost hopefuls into bricked alleys and deeply shadowed alcoves. We learned, we had thrills and chills, we saw nothing. 
Until we did. Let me be accurate. I did. The extramundane got real for me on a muggy late summer evening when a strong smell of gardenia—a popular perfume in the 1800s—came from a particular doorway and settled around me like a fur stole. With it came the conviction that a female someone was quite literally breathing down my neck. 

I told myself all the things rational people say in the face of the Other. I’m imagining it, it’s someone in the group whose perfume I didn’t notice, it’s a vestige of someone who passed through earlier today and I’m misreading it…

That worked the first time. It did nothing to explain the subsequent dozens of times the phenomenon repeated. I was both honored and terrified by the persistence of what I was by then calling “my ghost.” Mostly, I was resigned to it until finally—for reasons I don’t understand any more than I understand why she appeared in the first place—my ghost went away. 

So, here’s the instructional point of this post. You can’t find ghosts. They find you. My suggestion—not remotely strong enough to be advice—to someone who hopes to make contact with what Prof. Sybil Trelawney called “The Beyond,” is the same I’d give to someone hoping to find true love. 

Be yourself, at a likely place, wearing the right clothing, and with your cellphone turned off. Like true love, it’s a one in a million chance that someone from Over Yonder will find you, but—trust me on this—it’s the best chance you’ve got. 

My protagonist, Celeste ‘CeCe’ Gowdie, in Bound Across Time is drawn from life: mine. She’s a historian from the American South. Rational, objective, fact-seeking. And CeCe’s driven toward success; she doesn’t need any distractions. Like the fiercely attractive man she’s just encountered in the tower of the Welsh castle where she’s found her dream job. Could her dream job have come with a dream man?

It did and he is. What’s the catch?  

He’s been dead since 1761. 


Bound Across Time
Book One
Annie R McEwen 

Genre: Paranormal Romance, Ghost Romance
Publisher: Harbor Lane Books
Date of Publication: May 7, 2024
ASIN: B0CV4RPDDX
Number of pages: 324

Tagline: In a castle on the shores of the Irish Sea, she’s met the love of her life. Clever, witty, strong, fiercely attractive.  What’s the catch? He’s a ghost.

Book Description:

Historian CeCe’s dream job in a Welsh castle goes sideways when she’s ordered to ditch the history and lead ghost walks. That’s the worst of her worries until she meets Patrick: strong, handsome, irresistible…and dead since 1761.

Desire and hope flare in Patrick’s heart when CeCe touches him while, for CeCe, Patrick is everything. But she’s in the bright world of the living while he’s trapped in the shadows. 

Loving a ghost is deadly business. Patrick and CeCe struggle to outrace fate as it hurtles them toward disaster. Can the ancient riddle of an Irish seer save them? The spells of Welsh witches? 

Or can powers CeCe didn’t even know she possessed bridge time and defeat death?

Book Trailer: https://shorturl.at/ajuE0


Excerpt from Bound Across Time, by Annie R McEwen

You’re an idjit, Patrick. Death was always too good for you.

He should have gone slower with her, no doubt about it. He was a lout, a brute, to startle her so thoroughly, and that was never his intent. He could have—no, he should have—whispered, or moaned, or shimmered from a distance. Instead, he was hasty.

Hasty? He was a burning brand of desire. Who could blame him after two hundred-fifty…how long had it been? He’d lost count of the years.

That was still no reason to be an imbecilic knave, popping up like codswalloping Punch on a puppet stage while wearing the same filthy linen he was tipped overboard in when the Earl didn’t have the decency to give him a proper burial. At least the sea water had washed away the blood.

His honor, his common sense—perhaps they’d washed away as well. Within reach of this woman, he could remember nothing he’d learned of subtle romance and courtly manners. All he could think of was making her his, now until the end of time.

What an embarrassment he was, to his sainted mother, to his upbringing, to the gentleman he was reared to be. An embarrassment to every Irish bard who ever sang songs or wrote poems about women who were doves, and lilies, and other things he couldn’t remember.

He did remember that they were fragile and easily startled. Easily driven away.
Next time, I will be slow. I will slowly and gently explain things to her. Unusual things. Highly unusual, uncanny, frightening, nigh incomprehensible things.

Sure, now, Patrick, me boyo, that’ll be a stroll along the banks of the Shannon.

By the right hand of God, but she was beautiful. Slumbering on the stone floor, her skin smooth ivory but gilded, as though the sun had kissed her once and then fallen in love, unable to leave. She’d lost her cap, and her hair—rich, deep brown and burnished with red, like brandy—tumbled around her neck and shoulders. Her sun-brushed skin, high and perfect cheekbones, the delicate slant of her eyes, the plump swell of her breasts above the top edge of her bodice, the curves of the body he could imagine pressed to his own aching and lonely one…

Beauty itself, she was, not only of body but of mind. In the weeks before she’d seen him, he’d watched her exercise that beautiful mind among the slower thinkers of the Castle, who doubtless envied her. She was stubborn, spirited, and quick-witted—he liked that.
He crouched over her crumpled form, not touching, only taking in her scent. Rose attar and mint—he liked that, too.

The only thing he didn’t care for was the name she went by, See-see. What sort of name was that? It was something you called a canary. He would never call her that, not when the French name with which she’d been christened was just like her.

Céleste, meaning heavenly.

She was waking now. He rose and backed away. Time for him to depart, as he must, and breathe a prayer. Not for himself, there was no point to that. If God had ever listened to him, he wouldn’t be where he was, and he deserved no better. His prayer would be for her, the angel who defied or escaped God’s curse to light his endless night.

Come back, Céleste Gowdie. Please come back.




About the Author:

Annie R McEwen is a career historian who’s lived in six countries, under every roof from a canvas tent to a Georgian Era manor house and driven herself to work in everything from a donkey cart to a vintage Peugeot. For her, it feels perfectly natural to create stories of desperate love and powerful secrets in faraway times and places.

Winner of the 2022 Page Turners Award, Genre (Romance) Category, Annie also garnered the First Place 2022 RTTA (Romance Through Ages Award from Romance Writers of America; Post-Victorian to WWI Category), the 2023 MAGGIE Award, and the 2023 Daphne du Maurier Award. Her Regency murder mystery “Death at Dunarven” appears in the 2024 Murder Most International Anthology. 

Annie’s books are published by Harbor Lane Books (US), Bloodhound Books (UK), and The Wild Rose Press. When she’s not in her 1920s bungalow in Florida, Annie lives, writes, and explores castles in Wales. 









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