Wednesday, April 10, 2024

Cover Reveal Marked Under the Midnight Sun by Susanna Strom #CoverReveal

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
Cover Artist: Lori Jackson 

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

Book Description:


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…


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.

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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.

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Thursday, April 4, 2024

Tracy Cooper-Posey's Top Ten Fantasy Stories Of All Time #Fantasy

Fantasy is a huge, sprawling mega-genre.  Like only a touch of speculative fiction?  Magical Realism is your ticket.  

Like a lot of magic and more?  Epic Fantasy will suit you.  So might contemporary fantasy. 
There’s something for everyone.

I like a whole range of different types of fantasy.  Here’s my top 10 list—will any of them surprise you?

The Pern Series by Anne McCaffrey – The Dragonriders

I know, I know.  Anne McCaffrey would break out in hives if she caught me calling her Hugo and Nebula award winning series “fantasy”, but for most of the very early books in the series, that’s exactly how the series reads, like a deeply fascinating fantasy.  
Besides, there’s dragons.  And very cool dragon-riders. 

The series gets two entries in this list, because the books in it are sharply divided by various parts of Pern society.  The dragons and their dragon-riders are one of the best aspects of the series.

The Gunnie Rose series by Charlaine Harris

The Gunnie Rose series, starting with book 1, An Easy Death, is an alternative history of the North American continent, which features the descendants of the last Tsar of Russia, who escaped to America (in actual history, Tsar Nicholas and his entire family were assassinated in the last days of the Great War).  

I love alternative histories, but this one is special – there’s magic.  Everywhere.  

Charlaine Harris doesn’t pull punches when telling her stories. The first book is amazing.

Mistborn by Brandon Sanderson (The Cosmere series)

Brandon Sanderson is known as an epic fantasy author.  He finished off the Wheel of Time series when Robert Jordan passed, and was already a very successful fantasist even then. 
Mistborn, though, isn’t just a fantasy story.  It’s also a heist story.  Love Ocean’s 11?  Combine it with unique magic systems, and you have Mistborn.

The Dark is Rising Sequence by Susan Cooper

The Dark is Rising series is a kids’ fantasy series that, even if you’re reading it as an adult, packs an emotional wallop.  This series is responsible for my life-long love affair with King Arthur mythology and everything Welsh. 

The fourth book, The Grey King, makes me cry every time I read it.  It deservedly won the Newbery Medal. 

Susan Cooper has been named this year as the 40th Damon Knight Memorial Grand Master by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers Association (SFWA).

The Once and Future King by T.H. White

I discovered The Once and Future King not long after finding Susan Cooper’s The Dark is Rising series, and wallowed in more King Arthur.  

This one is on my list because I love, love, love to hate the tragic romance triangle between Arthur, Guenivere and Lancelot.

The Last Pendragon by Catherine Christian

Acquiring copies of this book was once next to impossible.  I had a tattered copy when I lived in Australia, and finally hunted down an equally battered copy when I moved to Canada…and it took me nearly ten years to find it.  (It’s a lot easier, these days, with Amazon and other on-line stores listing old print editions!) 

This book cemented my obsession with all things Arthurian. It tells the tale of King Arthur by, first, placing the story where it should be in history; the sub-Roman era (fifth and sixth century Britain), not in the medieval period where knights in plate armor joust.  
And it tells the tale with a minimum of magic and supernatural elements (although there are some).  It’s a brilliant rendition.

The Lord of the Rings by J.R.R. Tolkien

I’ve seen a lot of best-of-fantasy lists where The Lord of the Rings (not Lord of the Rings—the movie shortened the name) is added as “obligatory” entry, with the list compiler adding a notation that the book is there because fantasy readers would scream if it wasn’t.

That’s not why I’m adding it here.  I love The Lord of the Rings.  I’ve read it every year since I was 14.  

But I’m not nearly the Middle-Earth nerd that I thought I was.  

Recently, I read Why We Love Middle-Earth: An Enthusiast’s Book About Tolkien, Middle-Earth, and the LotR Fandom by Shawn E. Marchese & Alan Sisto.  These guys put me to shame.  

But their book will inspire you to read The Lord of the Rings, and perhaps even more of the books and lost tales set in Middle-Earth.  They unashamedly adore Tolkien’s fantasy world.

The Sookie Stackhouse series by Charlaine Harris

I loved the books long before the True Blood TV series came along and blithely ignored almost everything in the books. 

Harris’ series is the only one in this list to feature vampires, which is odd, because I’ve written a lot about vampires in my own stories. 

This is the second Charlaine Harris series on my list.  She writes stories that seem gentle and slow, until you get to the end, when blood is spilled, stakes are astronomical, and her main characters rarely walk away unscathed.  

My favourite in the series is Book 4, Dead to the World.  I can’t explain why without laying down massive spoilers.  But I will say that Sookie, toward the end of the story, is forced to make a decision that is utterly heartbreaking.  

The Witcher series by Andrzej Sapkowski

This is one series where I usually recommend that the TV series be watched as you’re reading the books.  There’s connective tissue here and there, but the books tell the story of the Witcher in a different way to the TV show.  Neither is better than the other, which is why I suggest reading/watching.  It’s like a braid, with the TV show weaving over and under the stories. 
But it’s classic fantasy, with a distinctly European flair.  I grew up (re)reading classic fairy tales, and this series has the same “feel” as those tales.

The Pern series by Anne McCaffrey – the Masterharpers books

The second entry for this series, focusing this time on the Harper Hall and its residents, and the Masterharpers, too.   

What I like about this sub-series of books isn’t the music, but the fact that the harpers of Pern are political lobbyists, activists, and far-thinkers.  They quietly direct the affairs of Pern while the dragon-riders take all the glory. 


Crossroads Magic
Witchtown Crossing
Book One
Tracy Cooper-Posey

Genre:  Paranormal Women’s Fiction, Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Fantasy
Publisher:  Stories Rule Press
Date of Publication:   March 21, 2024
Amazon ISBN: 9781779431943
ISBN: 9781779432018
Number of pages: 306 pages
Word Count:  74,000 words
Cover Artist:  Dar Dixon, Wicked Smart Designs

Tagline:  I’m just an ordinary, middle-aged woman, and my life is falling apart….

Book Description:

When did I become such a cliché?  I’m divorced, working a crappy job, living on next to nothing, and wondering how it all went so wrong. 

Then it goes even more wrong.  My grown daughter turns up after not speaking to me for two years, with stunning news of her own, and to cap it off, I’m summoned to a tiny, isolated hamlet in northern New York called Haigton Crossing, where my mother has lived for decades.

Haigton Crossing looks like a throwback to another time.  For such a small place, it is stuffed full of secrets.  The people there are different, including the town’s doctor, Benedict Marcus.  And Haigton Crossing is way, way too small to host a murder….

This book is part of the paranormal women’s fiction series, Witchtown Crossing
1.0: Crossroads Magic …with more to come!

A Paranormal Women’s Fiction novel.

Praise for Crossroads Magic:

Love this new series. Once I started reading, I didn’t want to put it down.

Now I must wait for the next book which is pure torture.

Nice to read about a woman starting over after her daughter has grown.

As I adore everything Tracy writes...I am on cloud nine with the start of a new series.

It was wonderful to read a book about a woman who is closer to my age facing problems that I might actually have.

She explains the sights, sounds and smells in a way that makes you feel like you are there. I am eagerly awaiting the next book in this series!

What a delight! A heroine with some life experience, with real world problems.

A NEW Series From TRACY!!! EEEK!

Tracy's strong suit in her writing is her character development and knowing when a good twist and turn is needed to further captivate her audience.

An excellent beginning to what promises to be a most intriguing series, Crossroads Magic is a fascinating story in itself, though there are so many different directions this series could take.

Excerpt Chapter One

The only thing I was worried about as I headed back to my apartment building was the spot on the back of my hand where hot fat had left a burn the size of a nickel.  Small, but mighty, the burn throbbed and ached, reminding me it was there.  It was worse when the sun hit it, which it did frequently.  It was one of those perfect, mild days in December, when you could actually see the sky over L.A. and it was blue.  

Who am I kidding?  The burn spot wasn’t the only thing I was worried about.  If you were to ask me, I could rattle off a dozen major and minor problems, including the sumo-sized rat I suspect was trying to take up residence under my kitchen sink.  But those were all chronic problems.

The burn on my hand was new and painful.  I didn’t need new problems and was trying my best to ignore it until I could slather aloe vera gel on it.  Marjorie, at the diner, had hacked off a leaf from the plant sitting in the pot outside the kitchen door when Deborah, the assistant manager, hadn’t been looking. Marj had wrapped the leaf in plastic. It was in my bag, along with the serving of pecan pie which Deborah had ordered the waitresses to throw out because it was too old.  Three days old…there was nothing wrong with it, and it had more calories in it than the egg and toast I had lined up for dinner.

In this world that wasn’t the one I would voluntarily choose, today was turning out okay. Pecan pie, and Hobgoblin of History in my ears.  I had been waiting weeks for book fifteen of M.K. Lint’s fantasy series.  The library had doled it out to me yesterday and I was on chapter three.  Harry the Hobgoblin was looking for the Fairy Eloise, this book; he’d lost her at the end of the last one, because he hadn’t closed the Doors of Eternal Flame in time and a demon had abducted her.  

I like reading.  I like it a lot.

 My building was a white monstrosity that did nothing to enhance the L.A. skyline.  The white had long ago turned to a stained, dull grey.  Five years ago, a fire had broken out on the top floor and burned out a few apartments.  The black smoke had billowed up out of the windows, staining the walls above them.  The stains were still there and every time I saw them, I had to remind myself they were smoke stains, not black mould taking over the building.  Black mould seemed more appropriate.

I turned off the audiobook, stashed my phone in my pocket and headed for the front door.  I only used the front door when I came home from work.  Usually, I used the side door, because it was closer to the bus stop.

There was another homeless person sitting on the front steps, leaning against the wrought iron bannister as if they couldn’t prop themselves up, their jean jacket pulled in tight.  It wasn’t that cold, although this late in the afternoon, any warmth in the day was beginning to fade.
I swung around the homeless person’s worn boots, and up the steps, digging out my key.

“Mom?”  The voice wavered.

I whirled, my heart rate climbing, to face the woman rising from the steps, a denial on my lips.  

Blue, short, spiky hair.  A nose ring.  Black eye makeup that had run…or that she had been wearing for too many days.  The black looked like bruises.

“Ghaliya?” I asked, for the high cheekbones, narrow chin and high forehead were hers.  So were the blue eyes—even if they were blood shot.  The next question was right there, behind my teeth.  What the hell are you doing here?

Ghaliya pulled the jacket in around her once more.  She’d lost weight since the last time I’d seen her…two years, two months and five days ago.   And about thirty minutes.  

“The super said you’d be home around now,” Ghaliya said.  She bent and picked up a small black backpack that had been sitting under her knees and straightened.

Was it possible she’d got taller?  She’d been an inch shorter than me.  I didn’t think she was shorter than me anymore, and I am nearly always the tallest woman in the room.

I didn’t ask why she was here.  That was obvious.  She needed help.  

I hefted my keys instead.  “You’d better come in.”

About the Author:

Tracy Cooper-Posey is the author of the popular Once and Future Hearts historical fantasy romance series, among others. She writes romantic suspense, historical, paranormal, fantasy and science fiction romance, plus women’s fiction. She also writes under the pen names of Cameron Cooper (science fiction) and Taylen Carver (fantasy).  She has published over 200 titles since 1999, been nominated for five CAPAs including Favourite Author, and won the Emma Darcy Award.

She turned to indie publishing in 2011. Her indie titles have been nominated four times for Book Of The Year. Tracy won the award in 2012, a SFR Galaxy Award in 2016 and came fourth in Hugh Howey’s SPSFC#2 in 2023. She has been a national magazine editor and for a decade she taught romance writing at MacEwan University. 

She is addicted to Irish Breakfast tea and chocolate, sometimes taken together. In her spare time she enjoys history, Sherlock Holmes, science fiction and ignoring her treadmill. An Australian Canadian, she lives in Edmonton, Canada with her husband, a former professional wrestler, where she moved in 1996 after meeting him on-line.


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Tuesday, April 2, 2024

Release Day Blitz The Holy Man’s Sinner by T. M. Smith

The Holy Man’s Sinner
Blood Coven World 
Book Three
T. M. Smith

Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Evernight Publishing
Date of Publication: April 2, 2024
ISBN: 978-0-3695-0982-6
Number of pages: 79
Word Count: 1597
Cover Artist: Jay Aheer

Tagline: An unlikely heart seeks redemption

Book Description:

In an opposites-attract story, the vampire Elisabeta is searching for more than just pleasure and the bludfrenzy. 

When she crosses paths with Nelo, a holy man with a rebellious streak, her world is turned upside down. 

As she navigates a new path filled with self-discovery, romance, and redemption, she must confront the challenges that threaten to tear them apart. 

Will their love transcend the judgment of others and the shadows of their pasts?

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“Tell me about these selfless acts which will heal me.” Her lips caressed the glass as she sipped her drink.

Nelo’s breath caught at the sight. Remembering the conversation, he puzzled his chin with forefinger. “Good deeds will fill your days and contemplation your nights. At the end of your healing, a worthy, seductive male awaits your recovery.” He patted his chest. “The male would be me.”

“Cruor, you lack humility.”

“It is a flaw I work on.”

“In the meantime, you’ll assign me to a soup kitchen until I feel better about myself?”

“To something. Not a soup kitchen.” He tilted his glass, swallowing a sip and noticing how Elisabeta watched him.

“How do you know your solution will work?” she asked.

He rolled the amber liquid in the tumbler. “I am the Cruor, a male wise beyond his years.”

“With only a small flaw.”

“So tiny. Not worth mentioning.” He threw back his drink, rose, and shoved out his hand.

About the Author:

After retiring from her career in education, T. M. Smith settled in to write something more creative than lesson plans on split infinitives and inner-school memos on noise in the hallway.

Taking great interest in the lives of vampires, demons, elves, mages, and other magical beings, she began a paranormal romance series of five books with alpha males who aren't always nice and females who have no problem keeping them in line. The Blood Coven Series is complete. Her new project is a series of stand-alone, short novellas set in the Blood Coven World. In the meantime, she is working on a longer surprise project.

Here are more orts, scraps, and fragments from her life. (a homage to Virginia Wolf and Shakespeare.) She moved from sunny Las Vegas to the less-than-sunny Pacific Northwest. Here she has adventures with her daughter, son-in-law, and two granddaughters who also moved to the area. She also enjoys a membership at Bainbridge Artisan Resource Network (BARN), a local organization that supports the arts and offers classes and events in eleven different studios. It was at BARN where her critique group began. With equal time given to in-depth comments on each other's works, snarky remarks, and laughter, they have now been together nearly eight years.

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Monday, March 25, 2024

Author Advice with Mark Towse #Horror #Thriller #Romance #Comedy

The lead-up to writing a novel…

I could speak all day about this subject. My advice for anyone just starting would be to ignore all the noise, lock yourself in a room, and unleash hell.

Undoubtedly, the first few stories will be subpar. And the ones after that. And the ones after that. But eventually, once you have released sufficient bile, you will find your own voice. Beautiful things will then follow.

We are a product of our influences. While there's nothing wrong with that, you must find your own unique style, one you are comfortable with. Readers will quickly pick up on the fakers, so authors must deliver every word with sincerity and emotion. It has to be you on the page, raw and unfiltered. It has to be true.

Sharpen the toolkit by writing short stories. I wrote 100 before attempting longer fiction. I've made a few mistakes in this writing business, but this was one of my better decisions. I then wrote 15 novellas before attempting my first novel. It didn't seem like such a mountain to climb after notching up all those credits.

Against the consensus, I'm a pantser. I always have been and always will be, even with novels. Once I have the thread, I just run with it and see where it takes me. This keeps the journey enjoyable for me and, moreover, fun. Perhaps even more importantly, it ensures my writing is fresh and unpredictable. If I don't know where the story is heading, you can be sure the reader won't. I've used that quote a lot. Someone once suggested that being a pantser wouldn't work in novel writing, but I vehemently dispute that. In fact, I disregard most advice, which I guess goes against the point of this post. Sorry. Not sorry.

But take intense planning, for example. For me, writing long chapter notes and ticking boxes would introduce a linearity that would ruin my playtime. There are many paths to weave and places to explore that one might miss otherwise. And if I knew what was happening, chapter to chapter, what fun would that be?

Allowing for character growth is also crucial. Only through bringing them to life on the page will you get to know and fully understand them: how they will behave under certain conditions, their motivations, insecurities, and desires. Such behaviour might ultimately differ from what you first envisaged, so adapting on the go is critical. My top tip would be to put characters together that you might initially be nervous about. I used to shy away from this, but you can learn so much from such explosive dialogue and emotions. It helps round off the characters; for me, it's just as much about their journey as it is about the plot.

I usually write 2,000 words daily (on my writing days anyway). This isn't considered a lot, but I edit my work as I go, enabling a degree of control and accountability and ensuring I don't go too far off the rails. It also means less of a headache at the end; attempting to make sense of a 60-80,000-word document after not revisiting it would feel akin to writing the book all over again. 

That said, the writing part is fairly straightforward. Marketing is the killer, and I have no secret recipe for that.

Chasing The Dragon
Mark Towse

Genre: Horror, Thriller, Crime, Fantasy, Romance, Comedy
Publisher: Eerie River Publishing
Date of Publication: 23rd March 2024
ISBN: 1998112268
Number of pages: 234
Word Count: 68,650

Cover Artist: Tom Brown

Tagline: The town needed a hero… it got Reformo.

Book Description: 

A town on its knees, dread's bony fingers wrapping around its throat and squeezing, death rattles soon to follow.

Drugs, filth, and a lack of human decency are starving it of hope.

Introducing Simon Dooley, our trauma-driven wannabe superhero, the relentless voice of his dead mother pleading with him to "end the chaos." Dressed in a leotard and armed only with a dozen dog poop bags, Simon's plight will find him falling in love and going head to head with the seediest characters walking the streets.

The town needed a hero... it got Reformo.

About the Author: 

Mark Towse is an English horror writer living in Australia. He would sell his soul to the devil or anyone buying if it meant he could write full-time. Alas, he left it very late to begin this journey, penning his first story since primary school at the ripe old age of forty-five. Since then, he's been published in over two hundred journals and anthologies, had his work made into full theatrical productions for shows such as The No Sleep Podcast and Tales to Terrify, and has penned fourteen novellas, including Nana, Gone to the Dogs, 3:33, and Crows. Chasing The Dragon is his debut novel.

Hecate, the Goddess of Crossroads, Embracing the Unconventional: A Ritual by Lucinda Wicked

Hi there, fellow fans of the enigmatic and seekers of the unusual! Let's explore the world of ancient magic today and honor one of the most mysterious deities ever: Hecate, the mistress of magic, the invisible, and crossroads.

Hecate isn't your typical divinity, though. She exudes an air of mystery and edge that entices people who are willing to venture beyond the norm. And what do you know? She follows a ritual that is as distinct as she is.

We're going to travel into uncharted territory, so gather your candles, your plants, and your spirit of exploration.

First things first, locate a peaceful area where you can establish a connection with the surrounding energy. Make sure you're at ease and unbothered, whether it's in a quiet corner of your room or your lawn at night.

Let's speak about tools now. Hecate doesn't require or require complicated setups or sophisticated accessories. No, her focus is more on the unadulterated, primordial energy that comes from within. However, a few pieces may really set the tone. Consider using black candles to represent her evil side, a key to represent the opening of doors, and perhaps some mysterious herbs like lavender or mugwort.

After gathering your equipment, it's time to prepare the area. Scatter your herbs, light some candles, and allow the atmosphere to envelope you. Give yourself a time to center yourself and let the energy of the room combine with your intentions.

Now for the exciting part: calling upon Hecate herself. You can accomplish this in any way that seems appropriate for you, such as through meditation, prayer, or even a sincere chat. Honor her authority and seek her advice in a conversation that you would have with a reliable friend.

This is when the exciting part starts. Rather than adhering to a rigid plan, allow your gut to lead the way. Maybe you're drawn to whispering secrets into the night breeze, or maybe you feel compelled to dance beneath the stars. Whatever it is, have faith that Hecate will guide you on the right way.

Accept the shadow side of yourself while you communicate with the goddess. Hecate is about accepting all aspects of who you are, even the elements that society may find "dark" or "unacceptable." She is not simply about light and love. Give up the need to judge others and give yourself permission to explore your whole self.

And thank Hecate for her presence and wisdom when you are ready. Let go of your candles, throw your herbs to the breeze, and know that her spirit follows you everywhere.

And there you have it, people: a Hecate ritual as outlandish as she is. Recall that magic is about accessing the boundless potential that each and every one of us possesses, not about according to a set of rules.

Until the next time, may Hecate guide you through the dark, stay enchanted, and remain interested.

Cosmic Requiem Circle
Book One
Lucinda Wicked

Genre: LGBT, Paranormal, Dark Romance
Date of Publication:  January 13, 2024 
ISBN: 979-8872258339
Number of pages: 236
Word Count: 51,097 words 
Cover Artist: Lucinda Wicked

Tagline: Where shadows dance, and echoes of demise intertwine, Lady Death and Mistress Misery conduct the cosmic requiem, orchestrating the symphony of eternal darkness.

Book Description: 

Slice, butcher, kill

Misery has lived the last eon by their code. Hunting everything with and without breath for the right price. Unfeeling, without mercy. A greedy overlord makes Misery an offer they can't refuse. All they have to do is kill the silver ghost

Except this ghost is not really a ghost…

Collect, collect, collect

Death has learned the hard way that solitude is the only way to safeguard her heart. Cold, ruthless and without compassion, the universe has learnt to be terrified of death. Deserting at the mention of her name.

Until there was one who wasn't terrified. One who dared hold a knife to her throat.

Death is curious…

The universe has thrown death and Misery together and an ancient force looms in the background…

Death is about to find out that there are more twisted things in the universe and that perhaps…Death doesn't have to walk alone.


Death was finally able to take a nap, she rested, moving to a beach in her dreams. As she sunbathed, she felt a ripple through her dream. An odious black thing streaking the sky. She felt a subtle tremor in the cosmic threads, a disturbance that distrusted her sleep, bathing her dream world in darkness.

“Oh for fuck’s sake.” She said, stretching her hand for her scythe. She got up and took off the sarong, slipping her arms through the sleeves of a satin robe.

With the sharp edge of her scythe, she ripped through the fabric of the dream world.

“I actually put a lot of work into creating this one. This better be worth it.” Death murmured, stepping out of the dream and entering a black void.

She found herself standing within the threading—a vast expanse where the fabric of existence intertwined.

Threads stretched in every direction, touching each other in a complex web of interconnections. Each thread was connected to another. They revolved around a small spool in the center.

She found herself, a small piece of black lopping around each thread.

“What is it this time?” She said into the endless void, her voice echoing.

Tainted threads manifested before her, the red threads had clumps of black glue choking it. Her face contorted in a grimace.

“Damn. That’s a lot of dirt. What has this soul done?” She asked. “Come. Let’s go find them. Someone has to die.” She sighed.

She stepped into Misery’s dream. She was lying awake in a dark space.

“Really? You have the ability to think of anything and this is what you choose?” She said, scoffing. “You’re unbelievable. I don’t know why I bother.” Death finished.

Deathless eyes stare back at her.

“The dark is comforting. You should know that better than anyone else. It is home to vile twisted things like us. Come lay with me.”

“Would love to but this is a bye bye text. I’m too lazy to reach for my phone. I’m killing two birds with one scythe.”“That’s not how the saying goes.”

“Who cares.”

“Where are you headed?”

“Somewhere terrible. " Death said.

Misery sat up, the shadows binding her to the black space falling away. “Where are you going?”

Death looked up, trying to convince her eyes to unsee Misery soft, white, naked, eyes open in ecstasy.

“To hunt a tainted thread.” Death said mindlessly.

“I’m coming with.” Misery said.

“You’re not. You’re busted up. Why are you naked?”

“I sleep naked.” Misery said, brows scrunching in confusion.

“I did not need to know that.” Death said, making a strangled noise. “Why do you insist on coming with me, Misery?” Death questioned, her mood souring. She looked at Misery with cold emotionless eyes.

Misery, undeterred, responded, “I’m connected to the balance as much as you are. I’m connected to you. It’s a roundabout thing. won’t stay idle when darkness threatens.”

“Everybody is connected to me, little psycho. Try again. I’ll be the last to leave this universe when it ceases endless existence. I’ll turn the lights out behind me. I’ll escort your soul to the after life too. Try again, Mise.”

“I have no soul.” Misery grinned, cracking open her chest to reveal a black empty space.

Death scowled. “You’re still not coming along.”

“Yes I am. I’m coming to cover your ass.”

“Literally or figuratively.” Said Death, her lids lowering. Misery flushed, disappearing into the shadows.

“Well. I’ll see you when I’m back.” Death said.

“I’ll be downstairs in five minutes. We both need to get dressed and you take ten years to change your clothes.” Misery said at the same time, wrinkling her nose.

They looked at each other, both frowning.

“I’m coming. The End.” Said Misery, disappearing into the shadows. Death cursed, opening her eyes.

She stood up, heading to her closet. She yanked out a long flowing lace vest and a pair of leather pants. She wore a silk shirt under the vest, the lace vest on it and a corset on the whole ensemble.

The lace looked like it was sewed to the corset. She slipped on a pair of black studded six inch stilettos and raced outside, sliding down the railing to the foyer.

She rushed outside, opening her Mercedes and taking a seat in the driver’s side. She pulled out of the castle, doing a victory dance.

She dialed Misery’s number, tapping her acrylics on the screen joyfully. The phone rang from inside the car.

She looked back to see a grinning Misery lounging in the back seat.

“You have to be shitting me.” Death said, shaking her head.

“I wish. You’re not supposed to leave people you’re going out with at home.” She said, laughing. She smoothly maneuvered herself from the back seat to the passenger’s side.

About the Author:

Meet Lucinda Wicked – a seasoned cosplayer with over a decade of experience. When she's not donning epic costumes, Luci runs her own gig catering to the spooky souls out there. Stickers, sweaters, and more – she's got your eerie cravings covered. Luci's love for all things spooky is practically woven into the fabric of her creations.

But Luci is not just a business owner; she's a proud member of the LGBT+, BIPOC, and Neurodivergent communities. Embracing diversity and uniqueness is not just a trend for her – it's a way of life.

You can snag Luci's otherworldly wares at Luminous Moon Swag, whether you prefer the virtual aisles of Etsy or the online realm at And if you're in the mood for a quick cosmic escape, check out her TikTok micro-episodes featuring the Cosmic Requiem Circle.

In her spare time, you'll find Luci immersed in the magical realms of her own creation, embracing the spooky, and spreading a cosmic vibe. This is Lucinda Wicked – crafting dreams and bringing a touch of the supernatural to your everyday life.

Friday, March 22, 2024

Interview- A Murder of Wizards: Apocalypse Rising Year Two by Eric Swett

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

I am an account manager for an IT Managed Services Provider. I’ve been working in IT for more than ten years

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

That is a good question. I suppose if it was a general biography, I would have to go with “No Sweat” because the play on my last name is way too easy to pass up. The second choice would be,  “A Geek For All Seasons,” because I’m proud of being a well diversified geek.

- What is the hardest thing about being an author?

The hardest part for me is finding the time to write. Working a full time job, having a wife and kids, and a household full of pets (three dogs and six cats at current count), means I have very little time I can dedicate to writing. I find time here and there, often writing during my lunch break or after everyone else has gone to bed.

- What is the best thing about being an author?

The best thing is the way it feels when I finish a book or story. That is pretty amazing on its own. When someone reads your book and you get some positive feedback, especially if it is from someone you do not know. I’ve gotten some really nice reviews from complete strangers for my latest book and it sends me to the moon every time.

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

I’ve never actually met one of my favorite authors. I’ve had some secondhand brushes with Robert Asprin, and that was kind of cool. Until recently, I’ve not spent time in many writing circles and felt more like a guy on the outside.

- What book changed your life?

Oh wow. That is a tough one. The first one I recall feeling like a life changer was Christopher Stasheff’s Her Majesty’s Wizard. I remember reading it and enjoying what was a pretty solid fantasy novel with a concept I though unique at the time (a person from the real world being transported to a fantasy world), but toward the end, there was a transformative scene that reminded me of the Arthurian legends. I remember less of the details since it has been years since I read it, but I remember the way it made me feel. For the first time I could recall, I felt like there really was a higher power, or at the least, a higher purpose. It’s not that I suddenly found religion and that changed my life, no, it had more to do with the way good writing made me feel deep inside.  There are other books and authors that have changed my life since, but that was the first I recall and I will never forget the way that book made me feel.

- What were some of your favorite books growing up?

When I was a kid my favorite books had to do with World War II, especially books about fighter aces and warplanes. I had one book in my grade school that I probably checked out once a month throughout fourth and fifth grade. I could have recited it to you back then. 

As I got older I got into fantasy novels. I especially loved the original Conan stories and the Robert Jordan Conan novels, but anything fantasy was an interest. Weis and Hickman’s Dragonlance novels and John Norman’s Gor series both played a big part of what influenced me in Junior high.

Highschool brought on Tom Clancy’s Jack Ryan novels along with other like Dale Brown’s Flight of the Old Dog and the like. Robert Heinlein's Battlefield Earth and The Invasion Earth series were huge influences and I still reread them every few years.

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

I’ve been reading a lot of independent authors as of late. I’m also listening to Gibbon’s Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire on audio book. Next in my queue though is book five of the Wheel of Time series or book seven of the Goblin Slayer light novels.

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

I prefer ebooks because I can read in the dark or wherever I happen to be. I don’t always have a paperback with me, but I always have my phone on me, so my kindle app is always on hand. I do read a lot of audiobooks because I spend a good amount of time on the road, but my audiobooks are almost always non-fiction.

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

That is one tough call. A lot of what I read tends to be pretty bleak, but if I was pressed to pick one it would be the  Chicago of the Dresden File novels. I love the blend of magic and modern  and knowing someone like  Harry Dresden is running around would make me feel a bit better about the world.

A Murder of Wizards: Apocalypse Rising Year Two
Armageddon Angels 
Book Three
Eric Swett

Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Haileybug Publishing 
Date of Publication: 12/9/23
ISBN: 979-8867576660
Number of pages: 251
Word Count: 95,789

Cover Artist: Eric Swett

Tagline: The Grim Reaper looks for a serial killer who is ritually murdering wizards and taunting them in the process. He needs to find the killer and stop him before his plot comes to a disastrous conclusion.

Book Description:  

Apocalypse Rising: A Murder of Wizards is an Urban Fantasy about a fallen Angel named Justin. He just happens to be one of the Horsemen of the Apocalypse, the Grim Reaper himself, Death. 

Two years have passed since he remembered who he was and what he is. He is regaining  abilities and memories he lost when he chose to fall to earth and live among humans, but he has a long way to go before he can fully reclaim his title. When Justin is asked by a friend to investigate a string of supernatural murders he can't say no. Justin discovers he has a connection to the murders and has to find the murderer before their plans come to fruition.

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“Don’t look.” Justin turned and pulled Lilly to him. He tried to shield her from the gore splattered about the alley. The copper stink of fresh blood assaulted them as they stood across the street from the scene. As the Grim Reaper, eons of death dulled the impact for Justin. He wanted to keep Lilly from it if possible.

“I can’t.” Lilly looked away, but it did not help. Despite being blind, the murder shone in vivid technicolor to her. Being Justin's Oracle gave her sight far beyond what any normal person enjoyed.

The pull of death drew her attention, and in her mind's eye, the scene coalesced as clearly as if she stared at it. The violence and butchery lit the aura surrounding the dead body in angry tones of black and red that shone like a spotlight upon the murder.

She placed her hand over her mouth to keep from vomiting.

The splayed open corpse's entrails hung about the alley. The smashed kidneys hung from the side of a dumpster. The lungs sat in a pile against the alley wall. The liver dripped blood into a shallow pool beside the corpse. The buzzing of flies grew louder as the dead man's evacuated bowels drew them to the feast.

The callous mess made of another human left her uneasy.

She wanted to block it out, bury her head in Justin’s chest, and flee the scene. She tried to look away, but ancient instinct forced her to bear witness to the death of a fellow human. Her instincts buzzed with warning. Her palms sweated, and her lips trembled. A predator lurked nearby, and she needed to be aware.

“Lilly.” Justin put an arm around her shoulders and turned her back to the horrific scene playing out in the alley. “It’s okay. I’ve got you.”

Justin wanted to go home and leave it all behind them. Lilly wanted to know what happened and needed him to tell her so she did not have to face it alone. The closer they got to it, the more apparent the full extent of the horror became.

“What…what is it? What happened, Justin?” Lilly held onto him tightly, seeking comfort in his strength.

He apprised the situation with a practiced stare. His experience on earth gave him some insight, but his familiarity with death brought everything into focus. He scratched at the stubble on his chin as he considered the dead man. “Looks like a sacrifice of some sort, a ritual, but not one I’ve seen before. Doesn’t appear demonic, but it could be part of a summoning. Maybe something geographical...”

“Can we go? I don’t like the way this feels. There is something wrong about this. I can't put my finger on it, but there is something dark here. It's tickling my senses, tempting me, drawing me toward it like an inevitable conclusion.” She turned her back on the scene and shuddered.

“Huh? Oh. Yeah, sure. Let’s get out of here.” Justin guided Lilly away from the murder. Justin held her hand gently as they walked. “Sorry about that. Hazard of the profession. As the Angel of Death, I've seen a lot of corpses. It’s not every day you come across something this unusual.”

About the Author:

Eric Swett is a husband and father. He has a beautiful wife named Tracy and three fabulous children (Zachary, Connor, and Kaitlyn). Between the four of them, he has absolutely everything he really needs in this world. If everything else went away and he still had them, he could die and count himself a fortunate man.

He works in IT, streams video games, and dabbles in 3D printing.

He is a self-proclaimed Geek and does not adhere to a single form of geekdom. He likes roleplaying games, tabletop games with painted miniatures, video games, comic books, science fiction and fantasy, Star Wars, Star Trek, and Doctor Who.