Wednesday, April 28, 2021

Ghost Hunting Tips with Tamara Hughes #PNR

I’ll admit, I am not a ghost hunter, but my kids have become experts by watching ghost hunting on TV. 

Here are their tips…

First, find a haunted building, especially one where a murder has occurred. The more backstory you have on this place and those who were killed the better.

Second, when you enter the building, you must wear black, turn off all the lights, and one of you must wear sunglasses like a douche.

Third, you must get a spirit box, which appears to be a shoe box with a microphone.

Then, you must ask in a monotone voice, “What’s your name?” Wait five seconds and gasp, “Oh my God!”

Return to the spirit box and listen carefully to what was recorded. Listen to it exactly three times. (The last time should be at an extremely slow speed.) Everyone else might be hearing an incoherent noise, but you must use your expertise to figure out what was said. “Jeremy.” Yes, “Jeremy” was the sound you heard.

In the dark, you will undoubtedly see a vague light that carries across the ceiling, also know as a ghost orb, or as my daughter calls it, a ghorb. This light indicates the ghost is among you. If the ghorb enters your body, you will feel one of many things—cold, angry, sick, or severe intestinal discomfort, in which case you must release the demons.

If you’ve experienced these things at your own home, it may be time to call a ghost hunter.

Please note that while I do believe there may be spirits among us, these shows border on ridiculous. To make things interesting and get more ratings, they obviously go to some extremes to keep things spooky.

The Goddess of Magic
Bewitching the Beast
Book Three
Tamara Hughes

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Soul Mate Publishing
Date of Publication: 4/28/2021
ISBN: 978-1-64716-212-2
Number of pages: 220
Word Count: 75,000

Cover Artist: Fiona Jayde

Tagline: He was supposed to keep her safe, but the beast spares no one.

Book Description:

Socialite Holly Ellison’s best friends are immersed in a fight against evil. They don’t want her involved, but she’s determined to keep them safe. Little do they know she’s the key to everyone’s survival.

Dr. Peter Rennick hears his brother’s rumblings about witches, magic, and dragon spirits possessing people’s bodies only to find out what he’s saying is true. Peter witnesses firsthand the destructive powers of the beast and demands a role in the fight.

When Peter is put in charge of Holly’s safety, the intense attraction between them is a distraction they can’t afford. They must focus on destroying the beast, a powerful spirit that has its sights set squarely on Holly.

Each book in this series can be read as a stand-alone.

Amazon US      Amazon UK     Amazon CA      Amazon AU


I, Holly Ellison, am an idiot.

Grinding her teeth, Holly marched down the hospital hallway, away from the emergency room cubicle where her father was being treated for a broken arm. All this time she’d been working her butt off at her father’s art gallery, and for what? She should have seen her father’s betrayal coming. And in a sense she had. She just hadn’t wanted to believe he thought so little of her. Her throat tightened. They weren’t extremely close, but their relationship was good, wasn’t it?

Her footsteps faltered. She wasn’t being the best daughter. Only hours ago her father had fallen down the staircase in his Upper Manhattan duplex apartment. No, other than a broken arm, he was fine. Besides, he had his newest girlfriend at his side. The same girlfriend who would no doubt soon be his traveling companion. Now that he’d had his epiphany that life was too short to continue to run the Ellison Gallery.

Her blood pressure rose again. But instead of passing the reins onto her, his only daughter, the daughter who had been working for him since high school, the daughter who basically ran the gallery when he was gone, he would hire a “professional” to manage the place.

A professional. What was she? A trained monkey?

She pushed open the door to the street and braced herself for the early December nighttime chill.

Sure, she’d never gone to college, but she’d learned on the job. That had to count for something. Her father had given her an office and put her in charge of various aspects of the business. Had that merely been nepotism? His way of showing affection—a pat on the head and, once in a while, telling her she’d done a good job?

A biting wind hit her, but the cold wasn’t an issue. Not tonight. She was too hot under the collar for the icy temperature to affect her. Maybe she should walk all the way to Tess’s apartment. It might cool her off, so she sounded halfway sane when she vented to her best friend. Best friend? The one who kept secrets from her. Ugh. She should go home. A glass of low-cal wine might help just as well.

She rounded the corner of the building and came face-to-face with a . . . masked man? Holy hell! Holly turned tail but got only two steps away when she was grabbed around the waist from behind. Her heart beating so hard it might leap from her chest and pound on the guy for her, she screamed and twisted in his hold as he stuffed a silver compass into his pocket and dragged her toward a parked car.

“No! Let go!” She lost her purse in the midst of stomping on his feet, kicking his legs, elbowing him anywhere and everywhere. The few times she made contact had little effect. “Help,” she yelled as her attacker opened the car door to the back seat and shoved her inside.

About the Author:

A small town girl with a big imagination, Tamara Hughes had no idea what to do with her life. After graduating from college, she moved to a big city, started a family and a job, and still struggled to find that creative outlet she craved. An avid reader of romance, she gave writing a try and became hooked on the power of exploring characters, envisioning adventures, and creating worlds. She enjoys stories with interesting twists and heroines who have the grit to surmount any obstacle, all without losing the ability to laugh.


Amazon Author Page: 

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Monday, April 26, 2021

Character Confessions with Amelia Hartliss #CrimeFiction #MysteryThriller

Hi, Everybody. My name is Amelia Hartliss, but everybody calls me Melia, (and that’s the first thing I have to ‘thank’ my creator for). Why a short name? Why so informal? Good Grief, I’m a kick boxer, a sharp shooter and a skilled linguist. Why shouldn’t people respect me for being more than a gorgeous female, devastatingly attractive to both males and females. My author is so old-fashioned. He makes me wear tight sweaters and leather boots, tight jeans and jackets. He implies I sashay into rooms. For whose benefit? Watch out, folks. It’s almost as if there’s an adolescent young writer behind this character, and one with raging male hormones!

Having said that, the most bizarre thing about the world I inhabit is that nobody swears. None. There’s no profanity. So here we are, in the dirty alleyways and tough cities of post-industrial northern England, and everyone speaks as primly as a church-going spinster on a Sunday. I suppose it’s something I’ve had to get used to, but some days, when things don’t go right, (and that’s pretty often, in my world,), I just need to vent. Doesn’t everyone? I’m surrounded by bank robbers, terrorists, thieves and kidnappers, but no matter what the tension, there’s not a single expletive to be heard. (I’ve been told some readers like that.)

Unfortunately, author Mike Scantlebury has never explained himself on this odd quirk. Also, he hasn’t allowed me to comment on it, though me - being a tough cookie in a Man’s world - might have noticed it, don’t you think? In fact, he doesn’t allow me much opportunity to explain myself at all. He might tell you that I was born in Manchester, England, but hey, there’s a million people in this city and a dozen suburbs. Where was I born and where did I grow up? What school did I go to? (Well, I know that. It was called Levenshulme High School for Girls, in the south of the city. Is that of any interest to you?) One thing that does keep cropping up is that I live in an apartment at the back of Piccadilly train station, the main one in central Manchester, and that I have a great view of the old canal basin on Dale Street from my second floor window. Yeah, it’s nice, well furnished and secure, (being off the ground), but when did I move in? Did I buy it? I can’t remember any of those details, even though I’ve been here for years, and plenty of characters have come to visit me here, including Prince William, grandson of the Queen, (in the ‘Olympics 2012’ novel).

I suppose I had parents, like most people, but that’s another closed book, to coin a phrase. The only relative I’m ever allowed to mention is my cousin Liv, who lives on the other side of the river, in Salford. Apparently, we spent a lot of time together when we were teenagers, but our lives together only really re-started when the city of Salford decided to elect its own Mayor for the first time in 2012 and Liv’s Dad, my Uncle Marty, got involved in the more sleazy aspects of the electoral process. Marty is dead now, and Liv has moved from her childhood home in Swinton to a smart new flat in the precincts of the University of Salford. Not bad, I say. Not bad for a girl with less education than me, who left school with no qualifications, and had to make up for lost time by attending Night School and Evening Classes. The gal has done well for herself. The only thing I resent about her is that she keeps poaching my men. There was a time when she was engaged to Terry the technician - from my Unit - but that all fell through for some reason. Later, she married a police detective called Don, a sergeant in Manchester City Police, the best friend of my boyfriend, Mickey.

Well, I say ‘boyfriend’. I’ve got no reason to be sure about that. Mickey is sometimes portrayed as being a Secret Agent, like me, but a while ago he retired from the Service, only to resurface occasionally as an active spy, who keeps disappearing off abroad on hair raising missions. When he’s here, he’s great, but there’s plenty of times when he just isn’t. When I was having to deal with the ‘gun running Granny’ Jan Branch in my recent adventure ‘Co-Vid2020’, he was nowhere to be seen So, please don’t blame me that I fell in love with a younger man while on a short holiday in Spain. He was called John Lewis - well, that was the identity he gave me - and I only found out his true background - and real purpose - much later. Oh dear, that does make me seem like some sort of irresponsible, gullible chick, doesn’t it? Please don’t judge me. It’s the way I’m written. My critics sometimes say I’m introduced as a smart and modern young woman and then I go and commit the simplest mistakes and fall for the most obvious fabrications. I wish I could be painted as clever as I am, but No. As one critic recently said: ‘They say you’re a spy, so how come that when something happens, you’re always the last to know?’

I don’t know. I’m the last to know. Like, for instance, you might be told I work for a government department here in Britain, but the Unit keeps changing its name. The work we do is mainly anti-terrorism, so you might guess we’re linked to MI5, the place where James Bond works. But he’s in London, of course, and I’m up here, in the northern Regional Office. At least, I think I am. Some people say that MI5 doesn’t have any offices in the Regions, but what do they know? If there were no regional offices, I’d have no place to work, and there wouldn’t be any British Security presence in Manchester or Salford and - well, I wouldn’t exist. But that’s not possible, is it? I’m Amelia Hartliss, Secret Agent, and Mike Scantlebury, author, is quite clear about that.

Co-Vid 2020
Amelia Hartliss Mysteries
Book Twenty One
Mike Scantlebury

Genre:  Crime Fiction mystery thriller
Date of Publication:  27th August 2020
ISBN:  9781393529453
Number of pages:  88
Word Count:   26588
Cover Artist:  Mike Ather

Tagline:  “It’s the biggest buried treasure in North West England. Who wants it?”

Book Description:  

Melia is facing yet another change of boss. Somehow the government doesn't seem happy unless they're shaking up British Security Services and making the agents uncomfortable and insecure. Captain Gibson isn't around. Some say he has been sent for 're-education'. Meanwhile, a jumped-up little idiot from London has been sent up north to Salford to show the natives how to do stuff. So far, according to all reports, he has been a miserable failure.

Meanwhile, an older woman from Melia's past, Jan Branch, re-appears after many years away. Jan's mother has died and she is there to clear her old house and tidy up loose ends.

Unfortunately, she is not the same person she was when she left town. Where she lives now, in the East Indies, they call her the 'Gun-running Granny', for that is her new profession. She hadn't planned on staying long back in England, but two things delay her departure. One, there is an Arms Fair in the city and she sees an opportunity to do some deals and make some money. Second, she hears that a successful property developer, Jimmy Batter, has amassed a fortune which he intends to divide amongst his ungrateful family. Unluckily for them, the 'Treasure' is hidden, and although various relatives are falling over themselves to find the money, Jan thinks she has a much better chance than most. After all, she used to be a film-maker, and captured Old Jim on video, back in the day. Those films, made by the group known as 'Co-operative Videographers', maybe provide all the clues necessary to unearth the fortune.

Melia might care, but she has other things to do. After the trauma of the last few months, a holiday in Spain led to a liaison with a young man who wants to save an unfairly imprisoned journalist. Melia is eager to help, and for one reason only - she is in love. She doesn't want anyone to know, but John Lewis has stolen her heart. She would do anything for him, and before long, we find out exactly what that is.



Jan Branch stared at this greasy little man. Him? Him? Surely he wasn't capable of murder! Bim Turkay?

"Me," Bim said, just so there was no misunderstanding. "I was offered the job, and I took it. I was handed a pre-prepared file, photos and everything. I am now an assassin. It fits in well. I’m here in Manchester for the Arms Fair, so it’s like killing two birds with one stone."

Jan Branch was dumbfounded. She liked Melia. She couldn't imagine anyone would want her dead. And yet this little weasel had promised to do it –

Then Bim Turkay said something even stranger, confounding her completely.

He said: "I'm sure you're good for ten grand, Jan. You want to chip in to the pot? I'm sure you hate Ms Hartliss as much as the rest of them."

Why? Jan demanded. What on earth would make you think that?

"Well, she did kill your husband."

Jan blanched. That was never proved! she wanted to say.

Of course, she knew nothing for certain. She'd packed her bags and left the country before it happened. She heard - from old neighbours, keeping in touch - that Mark had been accused of murdering someone at the Irwell Arts Centre, down on Salford Quays, opposite the BBC complex. There had been several unexplained deaths, she was told, and Melia had been around at the time, looking into some other mystery.

Completely coincidentally, she had been with him that dark night, up on the roof of the Arts Centre, when he went over the edge and plunged to his death. But, so what - what happened? Was Bim saying he might have been pushed? By Melia?
That sounded completely unbelievable!

Bim went on: "Well, I can't speak for you, of course, but I've been assured that his first wife hates Melia too. Oh, and her God-daughter. They don't have the money to join the Consortium and pay for this job, but they've been told about the plan, and offered their approval, apparently."

Jan couldn't think what to say.

His first wife? She never discussed that bitch!

As for 'hating' Melia - No, she might resent her a little. Melia had been a bit standoffish, over the years. They weren't really 'close friends', but -
Bim had only one more thing to say.

"Look, Jan, I've been honest with you. So, tell me, now you know what my contract is asking me to do, you want to stop me? Do you want to pay me to NOT do it?"
Jan Branch was floundering.

She supposed that if she'd known about this little 'plan' earlier, she might have had a chance to develop some sort of point of view about it, maybe some opinion. But, having it all sprung on her like this - she wasn't really sure what she thought.
The only thing she was certain about was that this latest news only made her despise Bim Turkay more than before.

No, she wouldn't be contributing to the consortium’s fund, purely because of that. She didn't like the man, and wanted distance from him.
But he couldn't let it alone.

"After all," he said, "we both know we've done similar things in the recent past."

She gasped. He was going to bring that up?

He was untrustworthy!

Sure, the Arms business was no ice-cream stall. There had been plenty of threats, rivalries and outright promises of retribution. Sometimes Jan Branch had been forced to act before someone acted against her. But she hadn't killed anyone!

Not directly. Not with her own hands.

"When are you planning - " she started.

"Oh, not immediately," Bim assured her. "I have another 'Mission'. Something personal. A private little obsession of my own to take care of."
Jan noticed, for the first time, that he was holding a plastic carrier bag, down by his side. He lifted it now, and let her peek inside.

It was half-full of hand grenades.

"I need to get down to Irlam," he said. "Time is wasting, and I need to get started."

Jan Branch nodded, no longer surprised by anything the man said.

Except - that would make it 'three birds', she was thinking.

About the Author:

What can you say about Mike Scantlebury -that isn't taught in schools already

Well, he says he was born in absentia (the small town on the Bay of Biscay), beside the dock of the bay, but moved to England when  young, and not yet able to navigate astutely. His family settled in the West Country of England, near a cross cultural crossroads called Temple Cheney, where his father became a map maker and mushroom farmer.

When the borders were changed in the 1980s, and old maps became outdated and invalid, Mike packed a service record and moved to an apartment in the nearby city of Bristol. This is where he first got involved in folking, flaking and faking. Later, he became disenchanted and moved to the other extreme, the North West of England, where he encountered education.

One of the books he read was by Raymond Chandler. It started him off in an exploration of Private Eye fiction, (which he doesn’t do), Police Procedural and cosy mysteries, (which he can’t write), and romances set in exotic parts of the world like Los Angeles. When Mike met the lost angels of Manchester he decide to set his novels around that area, using their stories as a bedrock. His action adventures have never strayed far from the North West of England, but then, what happens there today, happens elsewhere tomorrow, as they have always said.







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Lisa Acerbo's 10 Favorite Zombie Characters in Film and Literature #Horror #Dystopian #RomanticFantasy #NARomance #Zombies

10. Zombieland clown zombie. My two biggest fears combined. I guess Columbus (Jesse Eisenberg) and I can bond over this if we survive the apocalypse.

9. The food pantry zombies from The Walking dead. These were so scary I watched the entire scene with hands over my eyes. Talk about the worst-case scenario: small spaces and murky water.

8. Bill Murray from Zombieland. Okay, he wasn’t really a zombie at first, but the make-up and his unexpected demise is too good not to include.

7. Ed(Nick Frost) from Shaun of the Dead. Keeping your best bud close after he turns into a zombie shows what true friendship is all about.

6. Melanie from The Girl with all the Gifts by M. R. Carey. A child zombie with intelligence. This could be good or very, very bad for the world.

5. The teeth-clicking zombie from World War Z. I still hear that noise in my nightmares.

4. Ben CortmanfromLast Man on Earth by Richard Mattheson.  Mattheson blurs the line between vampires and zombies in his novel with Robert Neville’s former best friend turning into his zombie-like nemesis. So good!

3.Night of the Living Dead. Sure, the hordes are creepy, but my pick is Karen, the young girl. Don’t “get in the cellar.” You have no idea what is waiting down there.

2.  Liv Moore (Rose McIver) in IZombie. This show had an amazing couple seasons as Liv struggled to deal with both human and zombie problems before it went somewhere no zombie show should ever go.

1. R (Nicholas Hoult) from Warm Bodies. I’m a romantic and he’s adorable even as a zombie. What can I say?

Hell in a Handbag Series
Book One
Lisa Acerbo

Genre: Horror, Dystopian, 
Romantic Fantasy, NA Romance
Publisher: DLG Publishing Partners
Date of Publication: March 24, 2021
Number of pages: 264
Word Count: 66, 000

Tagline: Life is bad after the apocalypse . . . the undead just made it worse. 

Book Description: 

“My dreams pre-pandemic included  a high school graduation party before attending college and marrying an attractive future lawyer. Instead, I'm praying for a long, sharp knife and a big gun to survive the undead.” —Jenna 

Jenna Martin lives in a world gone insane after a mysterious pandemic kills much of the population. Being alive after an apocalypse is bad, but it is made worse when the multitudes killed by the disease return ravenous for human flesh. Jenna, in serious trouble and pursued by undead, heads to the safest place available, a cemetery. 

Ready to give up, she finds the strength to persevere for one more night and meets a group of survivors willing to take her in. The group caravans to Virginia, where they plan to inhabit an isolated inn called High Point, but the undead are always close behind. Packs of zombies, known as Streakers, attack, leaving Jenna and the other survivors battling for their lives and racing toward safety. 

Once safely isolated at the inn, the group rebuilds society and Jenna begins a relationship with Caleb. Although he withstood the virus, he has not come out unscathed. He and some others now labeled the New Rave have changed into what many would call zombie kin—vampires. Jenna's falls hard and fast for Caleb, which causes more problems that she ever expected in the fledgling society. But there are worse things than vampires and zombies searching for her, and they arrive at the inn's door ready for destruction.

Excerpt 2

REMNANTS OF TOPPLED CASH REGISTERS, broken carts, card‐ board boxes, and plastic bags littered the floor.

“Paper or plastic,” Quentin kicked a white bag. It flew across the room like a specter.

Brazen vermin squealed and scurried in front of Jenna’s feet. Most of the shelves were not only empty but badly deteriorated. Still, Emma and Jackie were able to gather a few cans that had hidden in dark corners or under filth.

She stepped over a long-dried puddle. It was hard and black.

“Clean up in isle four.” Quentin’s voice rang out behind her. They wandered through the maze of aisles—skirting empty. molding containers, broken shelving, and avoiding the darkest of places. A noise caught her attention and that of the group, signaling for everyone to stop. Jackie motioned for Jenna and Quentin to fan out. Quentin gave her a thumbs-up before he prowled ahead. A broken sign dangled. The words cereal and bread still attached by thin chains.

Quentin pulled out a wallet and handed Billy a one-hundred-dollar bill. “Go crazy. Buy whatever you need.”

“Gee, thanks.” Billy took the money, but a moment later let it slip through his fingers. It sailed to the floor, landing gently.

They could be dead soon. Why had she never tried to get to know Quentin?

Everyone loved him and his off-beat sense of humor. Something she didn’t understand and shied away from. He’d been part of the group for more than two months. One of the last human survivors she and the rest of them had run across. It was their first scavenging party together.

Always friendly since day one.

Did his antics make her feel protected? She couldn’t remember how that worked.

Why had she remained aloof?

“Attention shoppers.” His hands cupped his mouth, so the words echoed in the emptiness. “Today’s specials include dented cans of long-expired veggies. Don’t forget those condiments. A bottle of ketchup can spice up any type of zombie brains.”

“We don’t eat zombie brains,” Jenna blurted.

He smiled at her. “I know.”

Exactly the reason staying quiet is best.

She studied him. He stood at least five inches taller than Jenna, and when he turned back, hoisted his bat, and winked at her, the tight, long-sleeved T-shirt highlighted muscled arms. Tousled brown hair fell into his blue eyes. She’d seen it all before, but it was as if today she took it in and etched his features in her mind.

He waved her forward and she joined him. “The town’s been quiet since you and Caleb vanquished the last batch of Streakers.” Mice, frightened of his voice, surged forward, leaping over Quentin’s steel-toed boots. “Free of the undead types and humans.”

 Jenna jumped back before huffing out a breath. “Yup.”

So much for practicing those social skills.

“Looters cleaned this place out long ago.” He ran a long, straight index finger along a shelf, picking up a layer of dust mixed with animal hair. “Nothing’s here but the stench.”

“And the rodents.” Jenna pointed to the boots the vermin had just run over.

“Those too.” He held her gaze.

“We should have searched houses. You know how people stockpiled at the end.”

“Staking out each house, ensuring there are no Streakers, and then searching takes so much longer. Grocery stores are a one and done deal.”

“Does it make sense to split up?” Emma peeked around a corner.

“It will make the search go faster. I doubt we’ll find much in here.” Jackie smoothed a lock of hair behind an ear.

“Not too far apart.” Emma headed away from the group and Jenna. “We can see each other from the ends of the rows. Let’s stay in sight when possible.” “Come on.”

Emma grabbed Billy and followed Jackie. “You two take the rows at the other end of the store. We can meet in the middle. Yell if you need us.”

Quentin bumped shoulders with Jenna. “Partner.”

She ignored him. He repeated the contact. This time more forcefully.

“Stop.” The growl emerged from deep in her throat. She strode away until she found an interesting store aisle and then meandered through it; Quentin followed a few steps behind. His breath hit the back of her neck and she stopped short. “Do I need to yell over to Jackie for a rescue, or are you going to behave? I like my personal space.”

What does he mean by all the close contact?

Quentin didn’t take the prior hint and started a drumbeat on the back of her jacket.

“Stop,” she protested.

“What are you going to do about it?”

“Are you ten years old?” Posture rigid, exasperation leaked out. “We’re on a mission here.”

“I’m old enough.” Quentin’s blue eyes twinkled.

“Good to know you’re so seasoned and battle ready.”

“Look at these arms.” Muscles bulged under his shirt. “Do they look like the arms of a pre-teen? I’m ready for battle… and other things.”

“All I see are the lovely and appealing stains on your shirt.” She did a double take. “Actually, I recant my statement.”

His smile was wicked. “I knew you would.”

“They look like the arms of a small child. Someone needs to be hitting the gym a little more often.”

“Ouch.” He shoved her.

Catching her off guard, she stumbled. He reached out and drew her in. “Sorry.” His whispered word tickled her ear.

He didn’t let her go and she stood cocooned in his warmth. The heat of his body, close and warm, was confusing. It’s been such a long time since physical closeness with anyone was normal.

“There’s a pharmacy at the end of the next row we should check out.” She tried to break the spell of the moment.

“Really?” He didn’t take the hint and relinquish her. “There’s a lot going on right here I want to examine.”

“I take it back.” She wiggled out of Quentin’s grasp, then punched his arm.

“What?” His arms went limp at his side.

“You’re acting like a toddler.” She inched closer to the pharmacy, placing more distance between Quentin, the confusing emotions, and herself.

“Everyone okay?” Emma’s voice echoed from the next row.

“We’re good. At least Quentin is good. I’m suffering through his antics.” Jenna wasn’t sure what was going on or why, and she didn’t want to begin to address the sensations careening through her.

“Try your best not to judge him too harshly.” Muffled laughter filtered through the ramshackle shelving.

“I’m trying my darndest.” To be over there with the rest of them. Why am I stuck in a teen dating movie? She chalked her bewilderment and awkwardness up to the recent near-death experience with Streakers and nightmares. After some quality sleep, everything would be fine and dandy. “Come on.” Jenna tugged the arm of his T-shirt. He remained planted like a tree. “We have a job to do and not a lot of time to do it.” Jenna edged back. “Let’s get moving.”

He groaned but followed, kicking at the discarded face masks littering the floor, some flaked with dried blood. She checked the nook of a shelf on the way to the pharmacy. Vermin squeaked, scurried, then scattered.

About the Author:

Lisa Acerbo is a high school teacher and adjunct faculty at a local community college. She lives in Connecticut with her husband, daughters, two dogs, and horse. When not writing, she mountain bikes, hikes, and fosters dogs.

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Sunday, April 25, 2021

Kindle Freebie - The Death Sparrow’s Shadow: The Assassin of Acreage Book One by R. L. McIntyre #Fantasy

Kindle Freebie April 21- 25

Saving her homeland will cost everything, including her heart.

The Death Sparrow’s Shadow
The Assassin of Acreage
Book One
R. L. McIntyre

Genre: New Adult Dark Fantasy
Date of Publication: 2/27/21
Number of pages: 317
Word Count: ~ 80,000
Cover Artist:

Book Description:

For Serena Nightshade, the infamous Death Sparrow everything has come down to this. Templarians stole her homeland, killed her people, and outlawed her culture. For nineteen long years, Serena has survived as her homeland's best assassin trying to get close to the King who destroyed everything and have her revenge. However, new invaders threaten the little safety she has.

Samorians are infiltrating Acreage and now the Death Sparrow must trade in her daggers for ballgowns to save it. As if infiltrating the castle of a tyrant is not hard enough, shadows of her harrowing past and the man who broke her heart warn her never to trust again, but war is not won alone. She must team up with the Heir Prince, Daryl Merriweather, and his handsome Captain of the Guards, Wesley Trylo to navigate her precarious position at court. That is if she can keep her meddling heart from getting in the way of her mission. If not, even her skills as an assassin won’t be enough to survive this nightmare, especially if the strange gargoyle-like creatures haunting her don’t reveal her darkest secret.

The Gods may be gone but magic isn’t. Especially not hers.

This title includes intense scenes of violence that may be disturbing to some readers.

#darkfantasy #NA #fantasy #indieauthor#NAfantasy #indieauthors #booklovers #fantasybook #fantasybookish #indiefantasy #ilovefantasy #fantasybooks #freebook #KindleFreebie #Free #GetItFree #FreeKindleBook


Author Interview Trial of a Tyrant by R. L. McIntyre #NADF #DarkFantasy #NewAdult

- What is your “day” job if you are not a full time author?

I work as a paraprofessional working to support students with special needs and I also coach volleyball (a second love of mine).

- If you wrote a book about your life what would the title be?

Uncovering My Roar

- What is the hardest thing about being an author?

Juggling the many hats of being an author. I love the writing part but the editing, the formatting, the marketing, all of the other aspects can feel overwhelming at times, but there are a lot of great resources and people who will help. 

- What is the best thing about being an author?

I love connecting with other writers and readers during the writing process. Especially, when I’m working on the next book or a new series, I love getting feedback as well as also giving feedback to other authors. There are so many amazing books I can’t wait to see published.

- Have you ever been star struck by meeting one of your favorite authors? If so who was it? 

Some of my favorite authors are classic authors like Shakespeare or Jane Austen so meeting them is out of the question. I haven’t met any of my modern favorites, but, as a kid I was a huge fan of Dinotopia by James Gurney. I had the awesome experience to meet him and get a signed book. I was totally starstruck and he’s an awesome guy.

- What book changed your life?

For me there have been so many books in my life changed me. By far one of my favorites was The Cry of Icemark. It was the kind of book I needed as a kid. I wasn’t into the typical Princess story where the Princess was saved. It was a time where Disney only had those kinds of princesses except for Mulan who of course was my favorite. I loved strong female protagonists, and this was the first book I read where a Princess was not the one being saved but the one leading armies and saving her home. Not to mention it included snow leopards which were my favorite animals at the time. Looking back at this book’s role in childhood I think it was after this book that I really started writing my own strong female protagonists. So I think it likely had a lot to do with the writer I’ve become.

- What were some of your favorite books growing up?

I love the Percy Jackson series growing up. I also read Animorphs, Avalon Quest for Magic, and the Maximum Ride series. There were tons more. I had an overflowing bookshelf and was constantly at a library. I was a big fan of James Patterson at the time and read a lot his work.

- What books are currently in your to be read pile?

My pile is so big! I have a bunch of books by other indie authors I’m reading and some traditionally published ones as well. A couple of the books are Ruthless Gods by Emily Duncan, The Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian, and From Blood & Ash by Jennifer Armentrout. For indie books I have TJ Young and the Orishas by Bandele Antoine, and the Sword of Light by J. C. Lucas but I am always adding books.

- Which do you prefer ebooks, print, or audio books?

I love print. It is by far my favorite. I love the smell of the pages and the weight of a book, but I’ve been reading a lot of ebooks recently. I gravitate towards print, but I also buy a lot of ebooks because it’s so easy for me to take my fifty book TBR pile with me.

- If you could live inside the world of a book or series which world would it be and why?

That’s so hard, but I would love to live in the world Rick Riordan created in the Percy Jackson series and his continuing series. I love myths from all cultures and living in a world where the Gods were real would just be amazing. I’d also secretly hope to be a demigod but who wouldn’t?

The Trial of a Tyrant
The Assassin of Acreage 
Book Two
R. L. McIntyre

Genre: New Adult Dark Fantasy
Publisher: Indie publishing on KDP
Date of Publication: 4/24/2021
ISBN: 978-1-7365182-3-6
Number of pages: 370
Word Count: ~ 90,0000
Cover Artist: Getcovers

Tagline: Nothing cuts deeper than the truth.

Book Description:

Putting a tyrant on trial could cost everything.

Serena, the great Death Sparrow, saw the sacrifices made at Bathon. She knows to dethrone the Tyrant King would require more than even she is willing to give. The only advantage Serena has left is her magic. As she begins to explore this part of herself, the ever-watchful gaze of the General follows her. He knows that his son Wesley, and her are involved, and relishes in this new game of cat and mouse. It isn’t just Serena who is ready to do anything for her friends. Wesley will risk the same to see his father stays far away from Serena, but he cannot stop the King alone. Together they must keep nine lords alive during the trial or risk the gallows ending everything.

Serena vows to do the unthinkable at every turn. Bow before the Tyrant and his General, play the role of a court Lady and use her magic in secret to give them a fighting chance. However, in this game of secrets, it isn’t only the King’s that are under scrutiny.

The Shadow Heir is coming, and he knows everything about the Death Sparrow and her friends, including her magic. 


Serena scowled as she worked on Wesley’s tattered back. The General’s hand, his father’s hand, was crueler than even she realized. He was in considerable pain but hissed through his breaths with controlled ease. Her anger rattled her breaths as she grabbed the nearby bandages.

“Sit up,” she ordered.

Wesley sat up on the bed turning to face her. He removed the remains of his shirt leaving her face to face with his naked chest. Several white scars decorated it, but her eyes rested on the well-formed mountains he had for muscles. His abs were perfect. His whole body reminded her of a warrior God. A blush grew on her cheeks as she remembered feeling his muscles through his shirt, but now she could see them without interference. She sucked in a breath, trying to focus on the task while her eyes wandered every inch of him.

A smirk crossed Wesley’s face. He gently grabbed her hand, pulling her closer.

“Do you like what you see?” He held her hand against his chest. She could feel his muscles shift with his every breath. It ignited a warmth in her stomach she tried to control.
Her face flushed, and she pulled back steadying her breaths. “Stop distracting me,” she said, unrolling the bandage and holding it to his chest as she reached around him to wrap his back. He placed his hand over hers. The warmth of the touch drew her eyes to his. The look in them held her still. Without words she could feel his every thought. The blush on her cheeks grew as the fire in her stomached grew even hotter.

“Stop,” she breathed.

“Are you sure you want me to?”

Serena took a deep breath that filled her nose with myrrh. She nearly whimpered at how it only seemed to make things worse but still she pulled her hand away. She focused on the bandages. The soft, cold bandages. The feel of his naked body against her arms continued to fluster her. His breaths seemed to pull her closer as she tried to finish quickly. Wesley grabbed her waist and pulled her tight. She tripped into him, her momentum almost knocking him onto his back. He chuckled, holding her close as his arms wrapped around her. She glared down at him, while a playful grin covered his face as he looked up at her.

“I fear I am a distraction.” He smirked. Daryl left the room as she bent her head down towards his, so her lips hovered above Wesley’s. There was a hunger in his eyes. She felt it too, but she refused to let him know so easily.

“I may be distracted,” she said, letting her eyes drop to his lips before gently licking her own. He edged up towards her. “but it isn’t enough for me to lose focus.” She pushed him back a smirk gleaming on her lips as she returned to the bandages. Wesley sat stiffly, almost pouting as she finished. His eyes carefully watched her ever move. She began to wash her hands in the basin when he bolted up behind her and snatched her waist. She yelled out, his warmth and presence keeping her assassin instincts at bay as he spun her, pinning her between the pole of his bedframe and him.

“You’re finished now. So, stop teasing and kiss me,”

“Is that an order?”

“We both know I cannot order you to do anything.”

She smirked and leaned up to him. His lips laid on hers. A gentle kiss that filled her with a warmth that chased away the darkness that suffocated her heart. He kissed her harder, igniting the hunger she barely kept at bay. He pulled her waist tight, drawing her even closer to him. She gasped at the sensation, continuing their kiss as she moved her hands to his neck and cheek. She carefully avoided his back as she tried to feel as close to him as possible. Her hands wandered as his possessively held her still.

“Can you please not,” said a voice. She looked at the door, lust heavy in her eyes as she saw Sam. Her stomach dropped as she understood what he just saw.


“I know you chose him; I’d just not like to see it. Now I was here on business, not pleasure like some people.” He said coldly.

“Sam, that isn’t what-” she started feeling the pain that was in his eyes. It felt like tiny shards of glass piercing her skin.

“Enough, Serena!” he snapped angrily. “I don’t have anything to say to you.” She flinched at those words. The pain quickly turned to anger as she moved past Wesley to Sam. He would not talk to her like that. Of all people he knew better.

She shoved him back into the parlor. He stumbled catching himself before he fell.

“Don’t disrespect your better. You want to keep things all about business. Fine, then remember who is above you, Viper.” She growled. He glared back at her.

“Fine Sparrow, but I wasn’t here to talk to you. So, if you don’t mind.” He growled, turning to Wesley.

“What do you want?” Wesley asked, an edge of annoyance in his voice. She wasn’t sure who he was annoyed at.

Sam looked at Wesley’s bandages and scoffed. “I’ve figured out how I can help. I want you to add me to your guards. Once I’m in, I can get into the King’s personal guard. I’ll earn his trust.”

“Can I trust you to not stab me in the back?”

Sam let out a cynical laugh. Serena felt more on edge with that laugh. Her muscles primed for an attack.

“Trust? Is that how you convinced her? I don’t need you to trust me. I can do this without your help if I want, but we all decided on a plan. I just need you to work with me. I’ll repay the favor.”

“That doesn’t answer the question,”

“You truly do not understand assassins.” He looked at Serena a look of mockery on his face. “We do what we must for our own gains. Why she stands by your side is as perplexing as why the moon shines when the sun is out. It is useless.” Sam stepped closer to Wesley who stood stiffly glaring at him. “Do you see yourself holding onto the things you want without my help? A few months from now summer will be in full swing. It will be the perfect time for an invasion, especially since Acreage won’t be sweltering hot like the Samorians are used to. Can you really refuse me?” His eyebrows raised to match his smirk.

“Viper,” Serena warned. Sam rolled his eyes and looked at her.

“I won’t hurt your toy. I refer to your station as long as you keep it, but the moment you lose it I won’t,” he warned.

She took a deep breath, knowing what he meant. If Gwayne heard of her relationship with Wesley, she’d lose her standing in the assassins. Gwayne would destroy her. If Sam didn’t attack her first. Looking at him, she wasn’t sure if he was still her ally or just a convenient blade hired out of necessity. When the necessity ended, was he willing to turn against her? Seeing the pain and anger in his eyes. She knew the answer was yes. So, she needed to make sure he still needed her regardless or she would suffer the fallout.

“You should remember if you want your name cleared you need me.” she retorted.

“Then perhaps when we no longer need each other, I can sever the heart you’ve so enjoyed stabbing.” She felt the pain in her own heart as if he stabbed hers. She held it back. “I expect to be added to the guard’s tomorrow. Be sure it’s done,”

He left the room falling into silence. Serena stood still a few moments calming herself. She still cared for Sam. They grew up together. He was her first everything. His pain was her pain. For so long pain and love had been the thread connecting them. For their history to stop controlling her future she could have to sever their bond, but not until it was safe.

“I should get back to Helen’s. We all have work to do.”

“I’ll walk with you,” Wesley said, throwing on a new white shirt. She looked over at him and sighed.

“I’m fine. I want to walk alone. I want to think.”

Wesley watched her walk to the door.

“Make sure to rest,” she said as she opened the door. Wesley closed the distance between and pressed the door shut. His body nearly draped over hers as she stood looking at the door.

“Serena,” His hot breath caught in the collar of her shirt sending shivers down her spine.

“I should go.”

“I don’t want you to.”

Her knees felt weak hearing those words. She inhaled deeply the scent of myrrh reminding her he was behind her. Not that she could forget. His heat was suffocating, and she didn’t care that her lungs refused to work.

She wanted to be lost with him. Lost from the world full of problems she needed to fix.


“Stop.” She said forcing herself to think and not give in. Her body and heart roared against her mind. They refused to be ignored but staying would make everything more dangerous. The General could find out. That thought alone warned her that this was not the time to forget what must be done.

“Not tonight.” Her voice nearly wavered. “There is work to be done, and if I stay...” She couldn’t finish the sentence. She opened the door and Wesley stepped back letting her walk alone into the halls. Serena focused. There was no time for distractions.

About the Author: 

R. L. McIntyre is a new fantasy YA/NA writer, from the Philadelphia area, who debuted February 27th, 2021. She is a fan of all things medieval which includes her own personal sword collection. She strives to write complex and realistic characters using her knowledge of psychology. When not curled up with a book and her fur babies you’ll likely find her out on an adventure looking for her next big inspiration.

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