Thursday, May 25, 2023

Author Interview - Truth in Blue by Mirai Amell

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

I am a neuroscientist working full-time at a brain institute in Seattle.

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

Truth in Blue 😊 I started writing this book to make sense of certain experiences in my life, and when rationality failed to give me peace, I turned to magic.

- What is the hardest thing about being an author?

Realizing not everyone might like what you wrote with all your heart.

- What is the best thing about being an author?

Finding out your words had meant something to a complete stranger.

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

Not yet. I would love to have tea with Victoria Schwab (Darker Shades of Magic, Addie LaRue) one day.

- What book changed your life?

The Curse of Chalion by Lois McMaster Bujold.

- What were some of your favorite books growing up?

A lot of mythology/folklore (Greek, Russian, Persian, Indian, Japanese), and Agatha Christie (Miss Marple, in particular).

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

Currently reading Daughter of the Moon Goddess by Sue Lynn Tan. I have ARC from two amazing indie authors that I am looking forward to starting. Apart from that, I have way too many books cued on my Kindle to list here.

- Which do you prefer ebooks, print, or audiobooks?

I prefer print, but my job requires me to move around a lot, so reluctantly had to switch to Kindle. Haven’t tried audiobooks yet, mainly because I like seeing the words.

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

I would like to live in the world of my book series. I created it so I would enjoy it there, and though there are obviously issues and drama (or no one would enjoy reading it), but I love its society where opportunities are not limited to the aristocracy and problems don’t discriminate. Secondly, I love the concept of afterlife in my book series. 

But, if I had to choose a different author’s world, it would be the Belgariad series by David Eddings. The warmth of the found family there, the variety of cultures and countries to visit, the Gods and magic system¬—I would love to be a part of that.

Truth in Blue
All that Matters 
Book One
Mirai Amell

Genre: High Fantasy
Publisher: Shadow Spark Publishing
Date of Publication: March 20, 2023
Number of pages: 379
Word Count: 102K
Cover Artist: MiblArt

Tagline: Sometimes life is better as a lie.

Book Description:

Malakai wanted to protect his kingdom from threats beyond its borders. Instead, stripped of his magic and on the run, he now needs to save it from his brother, the king himself.

Amaryllis wanted to have nothing to do with humans. Instead, stranded in the wrong realm, she now needs to retrieve a lost fae relic with powers no one comprehends.

Una wanted to be a knight in shining armor. Instead, haunted by the memories of a life she never lived, Una now needs to find answers from someone she doesn’t remember meeting. 

When their paths cross, each must decide what matters to them the most.
Or risk losing everything they hold dear.

In a world where Angels and Shades battle for souls while the Devil sips his tea, the fate of one country, two races, and four realms hangs in the balance when love and loyalties are tested to their limits. 

Excerpt - Chapter 1

No place like home

The palace was too quiet.

It should have been abuzz with many familiar noises: gardeners tending the plants, cooks clanging the utensils, and servants running errands. Instead, the rhythmic clip-clop of the hooves from Ciaran’s horse was the only sound echoing across the palace courtyard. The perfectly manicured shrubs and flowers blooming during peak summer looked exhausted, having to keep the facade of their expected sunny disposition. In contrast, barricaded in a garden corner, rooted yet lifeless, the prana plants glinted cunningly. With the sunlight bouncing off their amber-colored crystalline form, it was as if they were watching him.

As if they knew something he didn’t.

The trained senses of a King’s Knight warned him, but Ciaran dismounted, nevertheless. How could he be wary of a place he had called home for so long? After a few moments of deliberation, Ciaran decided to tie his horse to one of the pillars near the doorway, just in case. 

He had practically grown up at the palace, having arrived there at thirteen to live and train as an apprentice knight. His father, Oswald—a Bender and the Lord of Korbridge—had still been alive then to watch with pride when Ciaran had received the royal crest that declared him a King’s Knight five years later. The metal emblem, carved with a golden sun rising from behind a jeweled dagger, was pinned to the chest of Ciaran’s black coat when Oswald passed away a few months after the ceremony. That had been six years ago. Malakai had stayed by his side through the ups and downs, the triumphs and losses. He was a friend, a rival, a comrade, and the closest thing to a family Ciaran had left.

He would gladly walk into a raging fire if it were for Malakai.

Now, Ciaran walked into the decidedly frosty palace.

No one greeted him in the main hall. The throne room, offices, and foyer were all eerily deserted.

He could sense people around, hear their hushed whispers and the echoes of their footsteps, yet it seemed they were deliberately avoiding him. Ignoring the strange stillness in the air, he resolutely walked toward his sleeping chambers in the north wing. Of all the knights in the country, only ten were chosen to be King’s Knights, the ones who lived in the palace, attending to the ruling King of Castellon.

Halfway to his destination, he stopped at the edge of the winding stairs. The stairs diverged here: one set of steps went up to the royal residence, and the other went down to the palace dungeons, a place that brought back haunting memories for him. He tried to shake them off and turned to take the stairs going upwards.

“I see you’re back already.” The hostility in the voice of General Atkins standing before him startled Ciaran. The five knights, who had crept up behind him in the meantime, didn’t appear any friendlier. Reva, Lucia, Feris, Goran, and Jahir all held weapons. To make things worse, they knew each other too well.

“General, where is he?” Ciaran could not stop panic from rising in his heart. The aging General had gray in his hair, but his height and breadth made him a mountain of a man. The formidable presence of this experienced warrior was enough to make grown men wet themselves (most grown men). Still, Ciaran did not break eye contact with his mentor, his emerald eyes demanding answers.

The General winced almost imperceptibly before replying, “The king sent him to Lasceraz.” Ciaran’s blood froze in his veins; he was too late for his friend.

“They’d such a shouting match that the stewards had to call me from my home in the city,” Atkins said. “I found Malakai unconscious on the floor, and the only thing I got from the king was the order to transport him to the dungeons in Lasceraz. In chains. Ciaran, what’s going on?”

The General implored him for some explanation.

“How long ago?” Ciaran ignored the General’s question to ask his own.

“Nearly three days now. What are you guys keeping from us? Answer me!”

Ciaran didn’t reply, his mind already calculating his next steps. Lasceraz, the infamous prison, was in the southernmost corner of the country. It would take several months to reach it on horseback unless he secured the service of a space-Bender mage—like the General, for sure, had. Fortunately, he knew one who used to work for his father, but Bender Farley lived in Ciaran’s hometown Korbridge, and it would take a few days to reach there from Castle. The longer he delayed, the more time Malakai would rot in Lasceraz.

Just as Ciaran turned around to leave, the knights readied their weapons: two sets of daunting daggers, two shining swords, and one menacing mace pointed straight at him. The General himself did not carry anything, standing with his arms crossed in front of him. Not to mention that Ciaran was not a mage, but two of the knights and the General were. Taking a deep breath, he brushed his sandy hair back with his right hand; a few locks strayed back over his green eyes.

“You truly believe you can stop me from leaving?” he asked, smiling for the first time since entering the palace grounds.

The knights looked highly uncomfortable, for they were well aware of who they were up against. People in the kingdom might not know his name, but every knight in the country knew of Ciaran’s reputation.

“No. I don’t believe we can manage that…” The General replied truthfully, “But I need to say that we tried our best regardless.”

Ciaran gave his mentor a quick nod, steadied his sword, and took his stance. “I understand.”

He couldn’t understand how he was still alive.

His entire being ached; his muscles and even his bones were sore.

Malakai tried to turn on his bed to find an angle where it would hurt slightly less, and a pained yelp escaped his mouth. The cold iron bit his wrists, sinking its unyielding teeth into his joints. He opened his eyes to find himself chained to the walls.

Lasceraz. A wave of despair overtook him, making it hard to breathe. Was the air always so stale and thick here? Malakai had toured the prison many times but never noticed how dark it was. The cells were made of thick granite, without even a tiny window to allow light to peek through. With some effort, he turned his head upwards and regretted it immediately. Everything swam before his eyes, and a sharp pain made him retch, only to realize he had nothing left to vomit apart from his blood.

After his body stopped shaking from the shock, Malakai felt a strange emptiness inside him; the warmth and comfort of his magic were barely there anymore. The panic that rose through him was worse than the bile he tasted in his mouth. He tried his best to calm himself, to convince himself that it could not be gone, for magic was made of prana: the life energy coursing through every living being. It had to be somewhere if he was here. But the more he searched, the more it became evident that it was dying.

And he was dying with it.

Malakai’s eyes blurred once more. Were they tears of sadness, knowing he had lost everything he held dear, or tears from the burning torment his body experienced with the slightest movement? He couldn’t tell them apart.

As his eyes focused again, Malakai remembered there used to be a window in every cell once upon a time. The first king of Castellon knew light was a beacon of hope; it kept the fight alive in people. His descendant, the current king, also understood what it meant to the prisoners. So, five years ago, he ordered all the windows to be boarded up. Malakai was the one who had supervised the project and seen the dejected looks on their faces, caked with dirt and grime, yet he never fully comprehended. Until now.

Many of them were murderers, kidnappers, and swindlers, but there were others who couldn’t pay the ever-increasing taxes; people who had no reason to be in the infamous jail of Lasceraz.

Yet, they were.

So was he.

“Get 'im to eat somethin’.” The metallic tinkle of keys alerted him as the room door opened. A guard dressed in red and yellow placed a bowl of soup in front of him while another held a lantern in his hand. Malakai wondered how many days had passed since he was sent here and if Ciaran knew his fate yet. It was no coincidence that he was incarcerated when each of his allies within the King’s Knights happened to be out of the capital.

“Three days. You’ve eaten nothin’.” The guard brought a spoon with the soup near his mouth.

“Please!” the man nearly pleaded and added, “Yer Highness.”

The other guard looked equally awkward. Malakai understood how disturbing it must be to treat the second prince of their kingdom as a mere prisoner—torn between their absolute loyalty to the orders issued by the king and their instinct to protect a member of the royal family. His older brother might be the ruler of Castellon (and he made sure to remind people of that constantly!), but Malakai was a soldier, first and foremost. He had spent time with guards, trained them, and inspected prisons as part of his duties, something the pampered king never bothered himself with.

He opened his mouth to let the guard feed him. Under no circumstance was he allowed to be free of his manacles. Such was the rule in Lasceraz, where every prisoner was kept in maximum-security solitary confinement. Sip by sip, he finished the bowl of soup, and the guards released simultaneous breaths of gratitude, likely because they had half-expected him to protest, or worse. Malakai didn’t want to make it any harder on them than necessary, considering they would have a tough enough time when he escaped. His weak stomach rebelled despite his noble intentions not to trouble the guards; a dull ache radiated from his core, spreading out like a volcano spewing lava, and Malakai keeled over in pain.

After they helped him throw up everything he had just ingested in the chamber pot, one of the guards tried to say something but couldn’t. Ignoring the grip of fatigue threatening to suffocate him, Malakai smiled and said, “It’s not your fault.” He meant it, but they hung their heads in shame and left the room without checking the chains, forgetting that they’d loosened the shackles slightly to let him clean up earlier.

He didn’t doubt that Ciaran would find a way to get him out of here.

But maybe Malakai could beat him to it.

Being beaten in a battle wasn’t something Ciaran ever worried about.

However, victory always comes with a price.

As he rode his tired horse away from Castle, the capital city of Castellon, Ciaran had to admit that while he’d managed to get out of the palace in one piece, thankfully without killing any of them, it hadn’t been easy. Every hesitation, every indecision from one side was used by the other. It was a wonder he’d made it this far.

About the Author:
Mirai Amell is the pen name of a neuroscientist who believes in myths and magic as much as she trusts molecules and microscopes. When she is not doing science, or reading fantasy books, or watching anime, Mirai scribbles poems published in anthologies like From One Line Vol(s) 1-3, Wounds I Healed, and The Crow’s Quill magazine. 

Currently, Mirai lives in Seattle, where she researches various brain things.

Monday, May 22, 2023

Character Confession - Scrooge’s Folly – Saving Jacob Marley by David Weinberg #RomCom #PNR

My name is Jacob Edward Marley.  The real Jacob Marley, not the bastard and miser presented by my former friend Charles Dickens, in A Christmas Carol.  I could rant about Dickens for days, but at the moment I’m in a bit of stew about David Weinberg, the author of Scrooge’s Folly – Saving Jacob Marley.  God was certain that Weinberg was the one to pen and market the story…but I’m am not so sure. I’ll give him credit for penning an accurate portrayal of my life, and that of Andrea Smilow, Beth Mayer, and Ebenezer Scrooge. However, I am a bit out of sorts with the way he has chosen to market the book.

His use of talking cats on TikTok and Instagram, while clever, simply doesn’t reach enough potential readers. I have implored him to reach out to Colbert, who would certainly welcome the tale of my being granted a second life…and of my redemption.  At least he should be capable of sharing the story with Reese Witherspoon, or Drew Barrymore.  Honestly, how hard can that be? I speak to him daily about it, but it is as if I am speaking to a wall.

God has granted only five second lives in the past two hundred years.  Scrooge and I each have one.  This is front page news.  I will grant you that hiring Chicago actress Amy Gorelow for the audiobook was a stroke of genius.  Ms. Gorelow is highly entertaining with her various character voices, and her British accent is better than many who people who live in England.  I dare say that if it were a choice between the printed book and the audiobook, I would opt for the latter.

He has explained to me on repeated occasions that people, especially young people, do not read books the way that they did in my day.  That only proves he has no grasp on what my day really was.  I was born in Liverpool, England in 1813.  The gap between rich and poor was vast, and the poor, who were the majority, couldn’t read at all.  Weinberg has assured me that he knows what he is doing.  

He has pointed out that while Scrooge’s Folly is a wonderful ‘beach read’…it is more a romance set at Christmas time.  Therefore, the bulk of the marketing and publicity should be done in Autumn.  I am for now giving him the benefit of the doubt…but I am watching closely.  If the true story of my life is not known to all by Christmas day, there will be consequences.

Scrooge’s Folly – Saving Jacob Marley
David Weinberg

Genre: Romantic Comedy/Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Old Fezziwig Press
Date of Publication: May 23rd, 2023
ISBN: 9798218104054
Number of pages: 285
Word Count: 80,000
Cover Artist: Nicole Collis

Tagline: Love and redemption are always possible…even for the dead.

Book Description: 

Award-winning, but down-on-her-luck playwright, Andrea Smilow, is commissioned by The Playhouse in Connecticut to save it from bankruptcy with a new work.  

When she arrives, she discovers that The Playhouse is inhabited by the spirit of the real Jacob Marley, and he wants her play to be about him…to set the story straight about how Dickens ruined his life with A Christmas Carol. 

Andrea believes he needs to be reunited with the spirit of Ebenezer Scrooge, who lives in the caretaker house.  It is all Scrooge’s idea.  He has been working with Andrea’s roommate, the most powerful witch in North America, to win a second life for Marley from God…and to get Marley and Andrea to fall in love.

Amazon     BN

     Andrea walked to the coffee table and picked up the letter. She held it up and jabbed at it with her right index finger. “Eleven regional theatre companies have performed Rememberings this year, and I get a royalty check for $750. How could that be right? They’re screwing me and I have no idea what I’m supposed to do.”
     “Call Roger and see what he has to say.”
     Andrea laughed. “Roger? He texted me yesterday. Not a word about money. He texts me once a year and never once has mentioned royalties…let us not forget that Roger is my last remaining tie to Brian. I met Roger through Brian. Fifty agents wanted to sign me, and Brian insisted I go with Roger and WMA. He’s a pleasant enough guy, unlike Brian, but he’s never done a damn thing for me. Is it Brian’s fault for recommending him, or my fault for listening to him?”
     Thoughts of Brian hit Andrea like a face against a windshield. She hadn’t thought about him consciously in a long time, yet he was never far from her thoughts. Some guys are like that; they just get into your blood. Often it is the horrible ones that stay there. As the hot water from the shower touched her skin, it elicited an almost imperceptible sigh. She and Brian had spent many a shower together. She remembered how he loved to soap her breasts, and make her nipples hard…until they begged for his lips. She tossed her wet hair out of her eyes and slapped the wall, chastising herself for even thinking about him. He was just one of many evil spirits she had encountered in her life, and he was her past. Perhaps Ivoryton would point the way to her future. She shook her head as she dried her hair with a towel. She had no idea that she was not quite done with Brian yet.

About the Author:

David Weinberg is a screenwriter and musician. Most recently a quarter-finalist in the 2022 Creative Screenwriting Pilot competition. 

He has a B.S. in Environmental Health from Quinnipiac University and a Masters in Liberal Studies from Wesleyan University.  He is divorced and owns the two most spoiled cats in America.

You can also enter The Contest on the author's site to win

1st Prize – A cameo in the movie version when it gets produced. 
Winner chosen Christmas Eve -2023

2nd Prize – Ibanez 6 string sunburst acoustic guitar, gigbag and capo.

Friday, May 19, 2023

Interview with Marcella Kroll - The Roast Iconic Oracle Deck #OracleDeck #OracleCards

Hi Marcella, welcome to our blog. Please tell us a little more about yourself.

My name is Marcella Kroll, and I am a lifelong artist, psychic medium, and non-denominational witch. I love to bridge art and magic together because I feel like it is part of my purpose and soul's plan to bring in this life in this journey to bring people closer to their intuition and Empower them through ART and Magic and revisioning their future.
Do you have any other decks available or do you plan to create other decks in the future?

So I previously self-published four decks, three oracles, and one tarot, including the first incarnation of the roast iconic. 

Luckily, all four of my decks are being re-visioned and rebirthed in partnership with Union Square publishing. 

The fourth edition of the Sacred Symbols Oracle for divination and meditation was published worldwide in November 2022. Now the Roast Iconic Oracle comes out in May 2023. 

Next, after that, we will have my very own Tarot deck called The Dreamers tarot. It is a non-binary archetypal Tarot deck geared towards young adults and anyone getting in touch with healing their inner child coming in the fall of 2023, and then we have my nature nurture deck. It's also an oracle deck coming out in the spring of 2024. 

I plan to work on more projects that provide tools of empowerment and inspiration for others. In the meantime, I am also writing a book that will also be available through Union Square in 2024, which I'm looking forward to immensely.

What was the inspiration behind The Roast Iconic Oracle Deck?

The inspiration for the Roast Iconic Oracle deck came from a job where I was commissioned to create two custom tarot cards within another deck for some clients who had a TV show on HBO Max called Search Party. They are a group of brilliant writers and actors who are always making thought-provoking content. They explicitly created a season that poked fun at occult and spiritual knowledge. I created two cards that would be used by a character inspired by me and my Instagram weekly readings. It felt only right and natural to develop this deck to bring some fun to the heaviness and seriousness that can happen when we become too wrapped up in ourselves and forget to find humor and humility. 
Who do you think is the target audience for this deck?

The target audience for this deck is anyone who has a spiritual practice um but is also okay with taking the punches of life not so seriously. I think it's if the target audience is meant for anyone who wants to get hard truths, perhaps because while it is intended to be a deck with some comedy relief, it's also meant to make some serious inquiry and wants to be right-sized within the space they occupy. 
Tell us about a few of the cards? How can readers interpret them?

This is hard for me to answer, since cards are so personal, and so relative to the individual, and what your inquiry might be. I think it’s important no matter what card you pick to first go on your initial gut response before solely going to the booklet for its meaning. The best part of working with divination tools like oracle decks and tarot, is learning how to utilize them in harmony with your own psychic gps. 
Do you have suggested spreads to use with this deck?

My suggestion for working with the cards is that there is no wrong or right way to work with them, and you can use them as daily practice. You can use them when clarifying a particular situation, especially if you have ego blockages to understand where you are. You can also break them out at a party and use them with friends or work to break the ice or lighten the room's mood.
Can you tell us more about your metaphysical background and the programs and workshops you facilitate?

So my background comes from several things. I am a multiracial, autistic, hereditary medium, artist, witch, and spiritual counselor. I've been reading tarot and Oracle since 1995 but publicly full-time since 2009 when I started offering private sessions to the public and teaching group classes. My classes range from Intuitive Empowerment, Intro to Oracle, Cord Cutting, Past Life Healing, Psychic Self Defense, Spell Writing, Timeline Jumping, and many other subjects that invite magical workings into your daily practice. Over the years, I've had the honor and privilege to teach tarot for teens with the Los Angeles Public Library for the last 15 years (I recently retired from that), teaching classes and speaking on panels worldwide and nationwide. 

Tell us about your podcast Saved by the Spell?

Saved by the Spell is a podcast I've had for several years. It also is the name. of my business. My podcast lets you learn about magic, practicality, and function. I would say it is not an instructional manual, or by no means like an academic classroom vibe, it's not a mentorship either, but it is a great resource when one finds the wonders of magic and the power it can have to help shape and shift our lives. I've been able to offer a lot of 101 and baseline information to help you get started in your magical journey and how to get connected to your practice. I've also had some fantastic guests I love and respect share their practices on the show. It's laid-back and meant to feel personal. I share a lot; I'm a pretty open book, and I like to make people feel like anything is possible and that all are welcome. 

The Roast Iconic Oracle Deck
Marcella Kroll

Genre: Body/Mind/Spirit / Tarot
Publisher: Sterling Ethos
Date of Publication: May 9, 2023
ISBN: 9781454948759
ASIN: 1-4549-4875-2
Number of pages: Kit: 64 pages, 30 illustrated cards + booklet
Cover Artist: Marcella Kroll

Tagline: Sassy, snarky, and hilariously harsh, this oracle deck will tell it like it is.


When you do your one-card draw for the day, looking for a sign from the cards, what happens when you pull Fashion Witch? Bitch? Influencer? Red Flag? 

This intentionally sassy 30-card deck from well-known witch Marcella Kroll is a great way to get real talk from the Universe. 

Don’t settle for being coddled by the Rider-Waite-Smith. This deck will not hesitate to throw shade or tell you you’re trying too hard. If you’re tired of the mystic limitations of the Lenormand, get wrecked by Kroll’s hilarious hand-drawn illustrations.  

Direct, full of salt, and contemporary in its presentation and affect, The Roast Iconic is just what you need for days when you need your intuitive messages to be as direct as possible.
Whether used alone or as a fun party game with friends, The Roast Iconic will deliver blunt truths that make you laugh just as much as they make you think.

Amazon       BN      Bookshop

About the Author:

Marcella Kroll is a professional artist, intuitive, and workshop facilitator. She has been practicing her gifts since 1995. 

Marcella works in private practice with clients all over the world and was a program presenter for the Los Angeles Public Library for 14 years, leading public classes for teens on tarot and other divination subjects. 

She regularly holds healing circles, guided meditation groups, and empowering workshops for men and women in the greater Los Angeles area and around the United States, and hosts a podcast, Saved by the Spell. She is also the co-author of Tarot in the Library Esoterica series from Taschen. She lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Thursday, May 18, 2023

Bonus Scene from Caio by LS Delorme #Paranormal #Romantic #Thriller #PNR

Character Confessions/ Backstory:  Additional Scene  
Caio in the Moments Before Seeing Sarah Again for the "First"  Time.

Caio waited patiently as the boy beneath him struggled.  He rolled and twisted, trying to break Caio's grip on him, as he grasped at the wire around his neck.  This part of the job was always distasteful.  In many ways it was boring, simply waiting for the blood supply to the brain to be blocked for long enough to cause unconsciousness, which didn't usually take more than a couple of minutes.  The distasteful part was that the person would not only struggle, they would also often piss and shit themselves in a spectacular fashion.  His nose told him that this moment had come and gone for his current victim, who had stopped struggling.  It would still take another two minutes for death to come.  Some people seemed to think that the moment of death was somehow transformative, something imbibed with some sort of magical or etheric sort of significance.   This hadn't been his experience.  Instead, most of what he saw was panic, followed by frenzy and finally a simple ceasing of body functions.  The spirits of these people, upon discovering the death of their bodies, behaved much the same as they would have if they were still alive.  The fearful ones remained fearful.  The angry ones ranted and raved.  The manipulative sorts would try to negotiate with him, as if he had any control over anything by that point.   By the time someone came to take them to the upper winds, they were usually so wound up that they might not even be able to see the carrier, let alone converse with them. 

As he waited, Caio looked around the room.  The décor in the apartment was both expensive and tacky.  The adults in the family had probably bought this place because it was the most expensive property in an average income neighborhood, so that they could feel superior to their neighbors. They had also thought it a good idea to hang individual portraits of themselves in both the living room and the foyer, as if their appearances or their actions warranted such celebration.  Caio had been hired to kill the spoiled and coddled son of these parents.  He didn't know why.  He didn't ask questions like that, but he had seen this sort of family often enough in his travels to know that there were probably a multitude of reasons to want this kid dead.   

The expensive oriental rug beneath the boy's body was now staining brown.   

Suddenly, the boy stood up from his body.  He took a few steps away from his physical form before crinkling his nose in distaste.   A wind came up inside the apartment.  It started as a breeze but quickly became a gust and then a gale, and yet nothing in the apartment moved.   A rattling sound, like a train coming down the tracks, filled the air around them.   In the middle of the room, a creature appeared and held it's hand out toward the boy.  

Caio turned away, both the give them privacy and to keep from being addressed.  It was best if the ghost didn't know he could see them.    He walked to the window and glanced at the basketball court that separated the more expensive properties from the more modest ones in the neighborhood.  A few boys were playing basketball there.

Suddenly, he noticed movement on the sidewalk at top left-hand corner of the court.  It was a woman, probably in her forties, carrying plastic bags, probably full of groceries.   Even thought she was young she was walking gingerly, with her head down, as if something was hurting her.  

Something in his stomach knotted.   He pressed his nose up against the glass.   When the woman looked up, he saw her face as if it were right in front of him, instead of yards away.   He knew she had pale skin and freckles that spread across her nose and cheeks.   He knew that when she smiled, her teeth would be strong, white, and straight. 

"It's her," his half dead heart screamed, as his legs gave out and dropped him unceremoniously to the floor.  

Limerent Series
Book One
LS Delorme

Genre: Paranormal, Romantic, Thriller
Publisher: Limerent Publishing
Date of Publication: Feb 11, 2023
ISBN: 979-8-9874880-1-3 Paperback
ISBN: 979-8-9874880-1-0  ebook
Number of pages: 294
Word Count: 114030
Cover Artist: Brittany Wilson

Book Description:

Sarah Baker is a paralegal in a law firm in modern-day Brooklyn. Her life is bouncing between her abusive lawyer boyfriend, the voices she hears in her head and her soul sucking work at the law firm. On a New York spring day, she meets Caio as he plays basketball on a street court. He is alluring, intriguing and young. Yet that’s the least of his mystery, for Caio was beaten, thrown into a hole and left to die. In 1905.

Sarah tries to understand this enigmatic stranger while juggling the dubious ethics of her law firm and the ghosts in her head. As she struggles with loss, grief, love, beauty and lawyers, she will need to summon the strength to break all of society’s rules, save several lives and step into a new and potentially magical life.

Caio is the opening book of a new series of supernatural romantic thrillers that will pull on your heart (strings), challenge your perceptions and lead you on a singular journey of discovery and revelation.

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How can you be as smart as you are and have no backbone, girl? or You’re not pretty enough to be able to expect a man to take care of you, so you better find an administrative job so you can support yourself, or Self-consciousness is just another form of vanity. It’s just you thinking about yourself too much.

That simply scratched the surface of what Sarah heard on a daily basis growing up. On the positive side, she could take criticism with the best of them. She had also learned to channel her sensitivity into an awareness of people’s motivations that coworkers called “uncanny.” On the negative side, when her parents died, she had absorbed their voices into those that already spoke inside her head, and now they were the loudest ones.

It was her heightened awareness that told her that something was not quite right with the Davies case. She wasn’t sure what, and she would need to be careful about how she researched, but it tickled her curiosity.

Sarah was lost in these thoughts as she left the grocery store and made her way home, past the park and toward the basketball courts. When she realized where she was, her heart started to race a little bit at the thought of seeing the boy she had seen last week. There were some boys playing on the court. She scanned them for someone in grungy clothes, but from a distance, they all looked like they were wearing appropriate attire.

Sarah’s heart sank a little.

Don’t be ridiculous, she told herself. Although she wasn’t exactly sure what she was chiding herself about, it was nice when the voice doing the talking was her own.

As she got closer, she saw the tall, red-haired boy miss a shot and retake the ball. He was one of the regulars. When the red-haired boy landed, he jostled one of the other boys near him. That boy staggered, regained his footing, and in the process deftly stole the ball. When she saw his face, Sarah actually heard herself gasp. The boy who had been pushed, the one who now had the basketball, was the boy she had seen before. She hadn’t noticed him because his appearance was quite different. His shoulder-length dark hair had been cut. He had on a red-and-black striped shirt that didn’t look expensive, but did look brand new, as did the matching shorts. His sneakers were black with pristine white soles. And right at the moment, he was dribbling the ball down the court—straight at her.

Sarah froze. She was standing on the sidewalk behind the basket on the other side of the chain-link fence. She felt like her feet had grown roots as she watched him set up, jump, and make the basket. He came down right in front of her. As he landed, before turning to run back down the court, he stopped and caught her eye. His eyes widened ever so slightly, and he smiled.

For a moment, he looked directly in her eyes and she felt a strange dizzy feeling in seeing him and being seen by him. No one in her life ever seemed to actually see her. No one ever had.

About the Author: 

Lexy has lived an eclectic life.  As a 'navy brat', she grew up in various US states until her father retired to North Carolina when she was 14.   As an adult, she has continued this "tumbleweed" life, having since lived in 3 countries, 9 US states, and 21 cities around the world.  She has been a musician, scientist and attorney, and was one of the first employees at 23andMe.  But, through all this change, her love of writing has been the one constant whether it be songs, scientific writing, legal briefs, travel blogs or fiction.  Writing the Limerent Series allows her to combine all of this to help her create new worlds.  Lexy lives in Paris with her husband and two very cool sons.  

Caio is book one of 8 in the upcoming Limerent Series

Saturday, May 13, 2023

Author Interview- Forged In Lies by Raven Dark and Jenna Stirling #DarkDystopian #WhyChoose #MCRomance

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

I am a full-time author, can watching reaction videos be considered a job? 

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

The Life and Times of Crazy

- What is the hardest thing about being an author?

Trying to write all the stories in my head, even if I had ten lifetimes, I would never write them all. 

- What is the best thing about being an author?

I get paid to make stuff up! 

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

I don't get starstruck meeting celebrities, but if I met Robert Jorden, I'd probably lose my shit. Although, he's dead, so I'd probably run like hell if I saw him.

- What book changed your life?

Not a book, but a movie. I came out of The theater after watching The Neverending Story, when I was 12 and I knew I wanted to be a writer.

- What were some of your favorite books growing up?

I read a book as a girl called The Passionate Winter by Carol Mortimer. That's one of my favorite little romances, though it's probably out of print now. Also It and the Stand, and Wheel of Time. I'm a genre whore.

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

Have you got an hour? 

- Which do you prefer: ebooks, print, or audiobooks?

Audio actually. Definitely audio all the way. I absorb what I listen to better than what I read. I will read something I really want to read on Kindle but prefer audio. 

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

Forgive me for the difficult answer, but most of the books I read have worlds no one would want to live in. I mean, give the people good lives, and I'd love to live in The Hunger Games, but then it wouldn't be The Hunger Games. As to why, because I'd love to have a friend like Katniss. It's a weird thing to say, but Smoke and she would get along well, I think.

Forged In Lies
The Monarch Series 
Book One
Raven Dark and Jenna Stirling

Genre: Dark Dystopian, Why Choose MC Romance
Publisher: Raven Dark
Date of Publication: April 23, 2023
Number of pages: 348
Word Count: 106,428 words
Cover Artist: Raven Dark

Tagline: This world is full of deadly beasts. And I might be worse than any of them…

Book Description:

This world is full of deadly beasts. And I might be worse than any of them…

I remember life before the solar flare destroyed society. And I remember pieces of the dystopian hellscape that followed.

But my memories are fractured. Full of holes and inconsistencies.

How I managed to slit the throat of a biker twice my size is a complete mystery.

But I did. Easily and without thought.

Now, the dead man’s four ruthless MC brothers want me as their captive plaything in the bedroom, and their assassin in the outside world.

I should hate them. Fear them. But I don’t.

My attraction to these sexy savages is as inexplicable as my nagging feeling that something—or someone—is coming for me.

All I can do now is hope the sleeping beast inside me is ready to kill when I need it…and that the brutal men I’m falling for don’t get caught in the crossfire.

“Forged in Lies, book 1 in the Monarch series, is a dark, post-apocalypse why choose romance featuring a strong heroine, and the merciless alpha males who love her. (Think The Handmaid’s Tale meets Sons of Anarchy, mixed with a dash of Firefly, but with more happy endings and spicy times.) Download today and hope your e-reader doesn’t go up in smoke.

***WARNING***This book contains sexual situations and dark scenes that may upset some readers. If you have triggers, please do not buy this book. Cliff-hanger ahead. HEA at end of series.

Excerpt 2:  


My cock’s still hard as a rock when I thump down the steps toward Brute’s infirmary. As I reach the door to the basement, it flies open, almost hitting me in the face.

“Watch where you’re going, fucker,” Sage snaps. He shoots me an irritated look before stomping up the steps.

I glance back at him. Professor’s in a fuckin’ mood. I growl under my breath. For a genius, he can be really stupid sometimes. He’s supposed to be watching her.

Shaking my head, I walk into the infirmary and halt. Venom’s standing at the foot of the bed, staring down at our captive. She’s cuffed hand and foot to the bedrails. Venom’s pulled her ass forward so her knees are bent. My fists clench. He’s idly running his hand over her bare stomach.

“Thought you said no one was supposed to touch her, Keep.” The disrespect slips out.

He jerks as if I caught him off guard. I like that I startled him.

“My house, my rules.” He doesn’t take his eyes off her. My jaw tightens as he slides his hand down to her pussy. “She’s fuckin’ beautiful,” he muses, not seeming to realize he’s spoken. “Like an angel.”

Her eyes are still closed, and she doesn’t move. I drink in her naked body, long limbs immobilized. My cock’s hard to the point of distraction.

Venom strokes her pussy as if it’s his. Fuck that, she’s mine. Mine.

Shit, women are a dime a dozen to me, but I hate the thought of anyone’s hands on her. His being my fuckin’ Keeper’s all that’s preventing me from throwing him through a wall into next week.

“You want her, Havoc?” Eyes on her, he slips one finger into her cunt. She still doesn’t move.

“Actually, I wanna snap your neck,” I say.

He grins. “I know you want her, and I guess I do too. Tired as fuck of fighting it.” He withdraws his fingers and licks her juices off. “We need her out of our heads. It’s our job to look after things. We both gotta have clear heads to lead the club outta this mess.”

I grunt in acknowledgment. He’s right. This possessive shit’s making me want to shove my cock down her throat until she chokes.

“She needs to be fucked,” Venom rasps. “I wanna see you give her what she deserves.”

Shit, yeah.

Before, the idea of letting anyone touch her rankled, but now everything in me’s telling me to share her. She isn’t only mine. She’s ours. It just feels… right. Like something in me is choosing him.

Choosing him for her.

I cross the room to them. Venom makes room for me, moving to her head. I step into the spot between her legs, looking her over. She’s toned without being bulky. Even in repose, there’s a certain grace to her body. Hard and soft all at the same time, built for battle. And fucking.

I tweak her nipple and smirk at him. “Think it’s time to wake her up, Keep.”

His smile widens. Then he bends down and lays one right on her lips.

She thrashes awake, arms and legs tugging hard on the cuffs as if she’s being waterboarded.

This is gonna be fun. 

About the Author:

As a young girl Raven Dark dreamed of being abducted by a savage alien warrior, whisked away by a brutal pirate, or rescued by a cape-bearing hero. When none of these men came to claim her, she brought them to life in her stories. Then twelve years ago she met the man of her dreams. He doesn't wear a cape, fly a spaceship, or wield a sword, but sometimes she swears they've mind melded.

Raven lives with her dream man and their one cat that thinks she's a dog in the Mundane world's version of Ontario, Canada. When she isn't working on her latest erotic romance novels and crafting interesting worlds in which to set them, she's spending too much time with friends, feeding her Youtube addiction, or curled up on a couch watching favorite shows with her future husband.