Guest Author Carmen Stefanescu with Till Life Do Us Part #NewRelease #Paranormal

I’m doing the hippity-hop-happy-Snoopy dance for my dear friend, Carmen Stefanescu, who is celebrating a book birthday with her new release, Till Life Do Us Part.  She’s brought along a thought-pondering post with a topic that plays into her novel. Garb a cup of coffee or tea and mull it over. And while you’re pondering, be sure to check out Carmen’s release through the links below!

~ooOOoo~

Mae, thank you so much for having me as your guest today.  I’m thrilled to be here, and excited to share my latest release.

Book cover for Till Life Do Us Part by Carmen Stefanescu shows a trees at night framing a full moon

Till Life Do Us Part

Publisher: Solstice Publishing

Genre:  Paranormal Romance

Mystery, Suspense, Reincarnation,

Release date: 9th June 2016

It’s not my intention to lecture on a complicated topic but I’m sure there is no one who, having a sense of personal or collective responsibility, won’t wonder, at a certain moment in their life, what will happen to them after their physical death— why they were born and why must they die. Why life is so unfair for some and easy for others.

Is there or is there not a spirit? What is it? Is it mortal as our physical body or immortal?  At one time or another we will be touched by the passing of of our mother, father or some other beloved person. We want to know if we will meet them again and, if we do, when and how—their physical body was left in a flower-covered grave in a cemetery, or was burned to ashes.

Since ancient times people have wondered if something remains of a human being after physical death. Philosophers divide into two categories according to their beliefs. One is that of materialists, who believe all we have is our life here on Earth. Nothing follows after we pass. Our name lives on in the memories of others.

The second category includes idealists. They believe there’s more than the physical body—an immortal component that doesn’t disappear when we die. They call this component the spirit or soul and have tried, unsuccessfully, to find the place it resides in the human body.

I, too, have pondered these questions regarding the mystery of our lives. The immortality of the soul is the topic of my writing. Shadows of the Past, Till Life Do Us Part, as well as the upcoming Dracula’s Mistress, all tackle this idea.

Is it my fear of death, the fear of  “nothingness?”  Perhaps. But I am sure Antoine Lavoisier’s statement that “nothing is lost, nothing is gained, all is changed and transformed continually,” can apply to immortality of our soul, too.

BLURB:
Barbara Heyer can hear the voices of dead people. They whisper of their deaths, seek comfort for those left behind, and occasionally even warn her about future events. But when Barbara’s brother, Colin, is accused of murder, it will take more than her gift to prove his innocence.

Becoming smitten with the handsome investigator, Detective Patrick Fischer, is a serious complication given his assignment to her brother’s case. Barbara senses there is something far deeper—and perhaps much older—than the surface attraction between them. Could that be why she’s visited by a mysterious woman named Emma in her dreams? Could past life regression tie all the seemingly unconnected events together?

Barbara and Patrick must overcome heartache to find the truth to save Colin, and perhaps themselves.

Excerpt:
Barbara drove home in a state of utter mental and physical exhaustion. So many things had piled up on her in only one day. Her head throbbed and her soul was heavy. What had the spirit, Kathleen, wanted to tell her? Why did she mention Colin’s name?

Coincidence nagged at the back of her mind. The time when the girl had regained consciousness, according to the doctor, seemed to fit the moment when the spirit stopped talking to her in the car.

The joy of having brought peace into the hearts and minds of Alfie’s family was shadowed by what the spirit implied. Colin has some explaining to do. I can’t believe he would kill someone, she thought. It’s impossible. He’s a good, quiet kid. It must have been a malicious spirit, pulling my leg. And, what about her own attacker? That despicable man. Could there be a connection? He mentioned the name Kathleen and made threats. She must keep her windows shut and locked from now on.

/././././././././

“Detective, please, don’t  think I’m raving, but I have to ask. Do you know someone called Mabel?”

The man riveted Barbara with his dark blue eyes for a moment.

Barbara cringed inside. He’ll rebuke me.

The man passed a hand over his face and nodding, he answered, “Yes, I know a Mabel. My… my wife.”

“How long ago did she pass away?”

In a voice that was more than a little surprised he asked, “How on earth did you know she’s dead?”

“She’s here,” Barbara replied in a small voice.

His eyebrows shot up in disbelief. The steel in his voice was hard to miss. “What? What are you talking about?” He spun round and looked at the apparently empty space behind him.

Tell him I no longer suffer, Barbara heard Mabel’s voice.

Detective Fisher was still staring blankly around him.

“She wants me to tell you she no longer suffers. She hopes you’ve found in your heart the power to forgive her for committing suicide… for jumping off the bridge.”

The detective looked straight into Barbara’s eyes. The grief she saw in them was almost palpable.

 

Purchase Till Life Do Us Part from:
Solstice Publishing
Amazon 

Author Bio:
Author, Carmen Stefanescu smiling for camera
Carmen Stefanescu resides in Romania, the native country of the infamous vampire Count Dracula, where, for about 50 years of communist dictatorship, just speaking about God, faith, reincarnation or paranormal phenomena could have led someone to great trouble – the psychiatric hospital if not to prison.

Teacher of English and German in her native country, and mother of two daughters, Carmen Stefanescu survived the grim years of oppression by escaping in a parallel world, that of books.

Several of her poems were successfully published in a collection of Contemporary English Poems, Muse Whispers vol.1 and Muse Whispers vol.2 by Midnight Edition Publication, in 2001 and 2002. Her first novel, Shadows of the Past, was released in 2012 by Wild Child Publishing, USA.

Carmen joined the volunteer staff at Marketing For Romance Writers Author blog and is the coordinator of #Thursday13 posts.

You can stalk the author at the following haunts:
Blog 

Twitter 
Pinterest 
Facebook 
Goodreads 
Google+ 
Amazon Author Page 

Purchase Till Life Do Us Part from:
Solstice Publishing 

Amazon 

Guest Author JR Wirth with In Passing #Paranormal

I’ve got a new guest author on my blog today. Please welcome JR Wirth with his newest release, IN PASSING. We connected through a mutual friend *waving to Tammy* and I’m happy to host him. The concept and opening of his book certainly have me intrigued. Just take a look-see…

~ooOOoo~

Thank you, Mae, it’s an honor to be a part of your blog and for you to share your audience. I would like to share my latest, In Passing which was recently released.

The idea for In Passing originally came to me during the “Twilight” frenzy. I wanted to do a paranormal story, but not a werewolf or vampire story that were dominating the written and visual medias. The afterlife was the way I wanted to go, and did.

I’ve worked with a lot of victims of child abuse who were not equipped to deal with their situations. So I decided to not only give them a voice, but also a life and a story. Our heroine, Lizzy, accidently commits suicide in an attempt to deal with an assault by her mother’s boyfriend. She is then taken on an afterlife adventure, by Bart and unexpected visitor. The story moves from first person (Lizzy narrating her adventure) and third person, nine years after the adventure, where the story begins. The story moves back and forth, with parallel adventure, drama, and suspense.

Here’s an excerpt of In Passing as she is transported to a new dire situation:

Book cover for In Passing by JR Wirth shows ghostly double image of young man and young womanAs promised, I open my eyes to a new dramatic scene. It is cold and sterile here, surrounded by walls of steel. Musty, quiet and dark is the room where we stand. It must be night where we are, but where are we? I feel an overwhelming sense of gloom in this metal container. The air is thick, and reeks of death. Are we in the future? I wonder. Have we been transported to some post-apocalyptic safe room?

“Where have we been transported?” to Bart, I ask. “This place frightens me.”

Bart hears the apprehension in my voice. He pulls me close to blanket my fear. He now puts his finger to my lips and whispers, “Never fear, my love, I will always protect you.”

His physical and verbal touch refreshes my canvas, whitewashing this face of fear. Yet, from the endings of my nerves, the tremors from within do not completely subside. The shivers of dread, I feel, loom just beyond my spinal cord’s reach, waiting to pounce at the drop of a feather.

Bart releases his grip and turns his attention to this room of despair. And though I feel in dire straits, and in need of his constant, reassuring touch, I must let the scene develop. Bart must find the reason for our mission at this location. And, I dare say, we have yet to find the reason for our being together on this extended adventure.

Before he completely disengages, I squeeze Bart’s body one last time. I now allow him to uncouple and examine the room.

Bart walks about the frigid, uncaring concrete floor. He has that detective look again. I trust he will uncover the place, and reason, for our arrival.

Bart stops and peeks through a tiny porthole. The circular window, encased within the exit door, I sense, leads to more darkness, with much greater anguish.

He looks back at me, and says, “I’m not sure where we are just yet. But I think we are at a hospital basement, or a morgue, or something like that.”

“Is it in the distant future that we have been catapulted?”

“It’s hard to say, sweetness. It could be a week in the future, or a decade. Or, for all we know, it could be of the last century. But rest assured, I will protect my sweet Lizzy.”

The endearing words Bart uses again fill me with hope and warmth. But in this room of deep depression, I feel that the words are just that, fillers for hope and peace. I now fear that the words he speaks are only used to keep me calm; like the pills I stole from Mother, they sedate my mind and body. And if that is the case, then he may not feel as strongly for me as I do for him. But is it only the room that generates these disparaging thoughts, which in turn generate these negative feelings? I will delay my judgment, just in case. For now, I will focus my energies on the situation at hand, and see what next may come.

It is dreary here. It is more morose than any situation we have previously encountered.

“A living urn, it is,” I whisper. Then a sudden chill overcomes me, like that brought about by a spooky walk on a dark, empty night, when an unexplained sound, real or imagined, is heard.

“Bart,” in a monotone voice I whisper, “something is very wrong here.”

With concern in his gaze, Bart looks back. Then, with urgency, he checks the door. “It’s unlocked,” he whispers. “I think we are supposed to go this way.” He leans on the door and it opens wide. He puts his arm around me and, with a gently-guiding hug, escorts me out of the dreary room. Bart knows I am frightened.

Author Bio

Author JR WirthJR Wirth was born and raised in Southern California. Now hailing from San Bernardino, he was intimately affected by the recent terror attacks, but luckily his family escaped physical harm.

With several pieces published—including a poem and the bestselling series: “Twisted Family Holidays,” along with the epic paranormal, “In Passing,” J R. Wirth is an emerging author. The latest, young adult novel, “Saving Michael,” promises to be his best to date. Utilizing his extensive background in psychotherapy, J.R. exhibits a strong understanding of the emotions of a moment in time, as well as the inner workings of his characters. In all of his works, J.R. Wirth combines ordinary people with extraordinary circumstances to create characters who will jump off the page and straight into the readers’ hearts and minds. Look for J.R. in Goodreads, Barns and Noble, and Amazon.

Purchase In Passing from:
Amazon               

Connect with JR Wirth at the following haunts:
Amazon Author Page
Goodreads 
Pintrest
Google Plus  
Twitter                
Facebook          

Cover Reveal: Food for Poe by Mae Clair #Paranormal #Christmas #Romance

It’s October and I should be thinking about pumpkins, restless spirits, and things-that-go-bump in the night. I’ve got a Halloween mystery out right now with MYTH AND MAGIC, so that counts, right?

But as much as I enjoy Halloween, I adore Christmas far more. Without question, it’s my favorite holiday. That’s why I’m excited to be releasing a holiday novella in November. If you’ve visited my blog before, you’ve heard me talk about FOOD FOR POE, a Christmas romance with a paranormal twist and smidgen of horror.

And a cat. Did I mention it has a black cat?🙂

Because this is an indie release, and because I’m quasi-versed in graphic design, I put the cover together. After scouring stock photography sites, I found models who were a good match for my characters, Breck Lansing and Quinn Easterly–and, of course, I had to find a charming black cat for Poe.

What do you think?

Cover of FOOD FOR POE with cute young couple and a black cat.

Blurb:

When a blizzard strands Quinn Easterly at a handsome stranger’s house on Christmas Eve, she doesn’t realize her newly adopted cat, Poe, is the catalyst responsible for bringing them together.

Breck Lansing gave up on relationships after his wife, unable to cope with their daughter’s illness, left him. But the pretty blonde he rescues from a snowstorm has him rethinking his stance—especially when Quinn’s arrival coincides with a dramatic change in Sophie’s health.

Unfortunately, that change also attracts something only whispered about in folklore. Together, Quinn and Breck must defeat a sinister creature intent on claiming the ultimate payment.

Warning: A clever black cat, Christmas magic and paranormal trouble

~ooOOoo~

Poe’s release should fall somewhere in mid November. DH and I are taking a vacation to the tropics the beginning of the month (you’ll notice me missing) and I plan to publish the story when we return. After a week of tropical waters, sandy beaches, sun, and fun, I’ll be ready to focus on writing and publishing.

Now I just have to start planning promo.🙂

In the meantime, I’m happy to say you can add FOOD FOR POE to your Goodreads list by clicking here.

I am such a sap when it comes to animals, especially cats. If there was any doubt, take a look at the closet door and entrance door to my office/den. There’s another/different guy outside, too🙂

IMG_0671

Mythical Monday: The Valley of Headless Men by Mae Clair

The Nahanni Valley is tucked in the MacKenzie Mountain region in Northwestern Canada, a beautiful place by all accounts, but steeped in in the dusty annals of folklore and myth. First settled nine to ten thousand years ago, the area has since been dubbed “the Valley of Headless Men” due to a series of unexplained beheadings.

Looking up from the ground at spooky trees in a twilight forestAccording to legend, most native tribes avoided the region, believing it to be haunted. Rumors spread of ghosts and devils, of strange creatures that lurked in the forests. The Naha people, an inherently violent tribe, settled there regardless. During frequent raids outside of the valley, they were known to claim the heads of their victims. Their blood-soaked legacy came to abrupt end when the entire tribe inexplicably disappeared. No trace was ever discovered what became of them.

Fast forward to the 18th Century. Prospectors and miners descended on the region, lured by rumors of gold. In 1908, like many before them, brothers Frank and Willie McLeod arrived to seek their fortune. The pair gathered their gear and headed into the wilderness, but never returned. A year later their bodies were found along a riverbank, minus the heads.

Another prospector, Martin Jorgeson, burned to death in his cabin in 1917. When his skeleton was found among the charred remains, his head was missing. In 1945, a miner from Ontario was discovered dead in his sleeping bag. Like the others, he had been decapitated. In all cases, the missing heads were never found.

Had the ghosts of Naha warriors returned to inflict retribution on those who ventured into their domain? Whoever—or whatever—the culprit, the legends of beheadings left a permanent mark on the valley. Macabre place names are common. Headless Creek, Funeral Range, Deadman Valley and Headless Range, all speak of the grisly tales from which they sprang.

But unexplained beheadings aren’t the only unsolved occurrences to plague Nahanni. Many people have simply vanished without a trace. Others fortunate enough to return speak of an unseen presence, constantly watching. Rumors of mysterious lights, Bigfoot sightings, and UFOs are common. Some whisper the Nahanni Valley is a thin spot—a rare location where dimensions are easily breached by crossing through a fragile veil. Others believe the region may harbor a secret entrance to the Hollow Earth.

Riddled with hot springs, caves and gorges, this rugged terrain is frequently shrouded in mist. Perhaps a warning to stay away. Despite the gorgeous scenery, the “Valley of Headless Men” certainly isn’t a name to encourage tourism.

Hmm…would you venture there and risk the wrath of the Naha warriors?

Book Spotlight: Silver Wolf Clan by Tera Shanley #Paranormal #Romance

SWC CoverSilver Wolf Clan
By Tera Shanley
Genre: Paranormal Romance
Publisher: Lyrical Press/Kensington Publishing Corp.
Length: 129 pages
Book 1 in the Silver Wolf Clan saga

Blurb:
What happens when monsters turn out to be real? One summer night while camping in the woods, Morgan Carter finds out in a big way. A tall mysterious stranger, Greyson Crawford, risks his life to try and save her sister from the vicious wolf attacking their camp. When he’s bitten and disappears into the night, Morgan can only assume the worst.

Greyson shows up a year later, and he’s a different animal altogether. His eye color shifts constantly and the rumble in his throat sounds more animal than human. She hasn’t any idea where he’s been all this time, but a good guess as to what he’s become.
Grey is determined not to let the darkness of his new existence affect Morgan and the little girl in her care. He hasn’t been able to stop thinking about Morgan but knows he should stay away and let her live a normal life. That’s easier said than done, though. A new danger pulls him from the shadows to keep her safe, and he’s no wolf in sheep’s clothing.

Can she accept what lurks just below his surface? More importantly, can she survive him?  

View the Book Trailer

Purchase from:
Amazon 

Barnes & Noble 
Kobo 
Kensington Books  

author picAuthor Bio:
Tera Shanley writes in sub-genres that stretch from Paranormal Romance, to Historic Western Romance, to Apocalyptic (zombie) Romance. The common theme? She loves love. A self-proclaimed bookworm, she was raised in small town Texas and could often be found decorating a table at the local library. She currently lives in Dallas with her husband and two young children and when she isn’t busy running around after her family, she’s writing a new story or devouring a good book. Any spare time is dedicated to chocolate licking, rifle slinging, friend hugging, and the great outdoors. For more information about Tera and her work, visit www.terashanley.com.

Connect with Tera Shanley at the following haunts:
Facebook

Blog
Twitter
Website
Goodreads

Excerpt:
Greyson’s muscles quivered under Morgan’s hand but it likely had nothing to do with the cool rain. He opened his eyes slowly and the brilliance of the golden color pooled there was almost too dazzling to look directly at. Like staring at the sun. No one would mistake those for human eyes.

If she’d had any doubt before about the brand of monster he’d become, those liquid amber eyes put them to rest. He pulled his hood back and the chin-length dark blond hair from her memory fell forward into his face. She moved a strand to the side. He’d lost weight in the past year. He hadn’t had an ounce to lose in the first place, but it looked as if he’d struggled to stay healthy. His eyebrows, just a shade darker than his hair, were furrowed but he let her drink him in. He was playing fair. For all she knew, he’d been watching her the entire year. It was her turn now.

His nose was straight and his jaw line masculine. From the brief moments she’d known him out in those woods, she’d seen how intoxicating he was. He’d been a fearless warrior bent on that murdering wolf’s destruction, no matter the cost. Here, in the dirty alley under the relentless clouds, with those glorious feral eyes and a snarl in his chest, Greyson Crawford was utterly consuming.

Softly, she said, “You’re beautiful.”

His shaky whisper tore at her. “I’m a monster.”

Mythical Monday: The Wild Hunt by Mae Clair

I’m digging deep into my memory for today’s Mythical Monday post. I’ve read multiple books in which the Wild Hunt factors into the plot, but can’t come up with a single title off the top of my head. Frustrating.

I’m sure I devoured most of them in the days when fantasy novels were my go-to genre. I remember several scenes vividly. Although I don’t read nearly as many fantasy tales as I once did, I still love a good supernatural/sorcerous novel, along with all of the eerie and ethereal beings that haunt the pages.

bigstock-Horse-Eye-In-Dark-39925873I’ve read stories with dragons and necromancers, dark faerie races and repulsive monsters. Ogres, doppelgangers and slithering beasts. Perhaps none is more frightening than the Wild Hunt – a band of ghostly phantoms on spectral steeds. They can be seen racing across a night-blackened sky or hovering just above the ground, a macabre host surrounded by undead hounds. The chilling sound of the Hunt’s horn echoes through lonely meadows and moon-splattered woods, striking fear into the hearts of all who hear it.

Myths of the Wild Hunt can be traced to Scandinavian and Germanic myth; later to Northern European countries. An omen of ill fortune, the Hunt foretells of looming catastrophe, often of plague or war, most certainly death.

Fortunately it is limited to specific times, beginning on October 31st and ending on April 30th, (Beltane Eve), of the following year. The height of the Hunt’s activity comes during the midwinter festival of Yule (December 21st). On that cold wintery night, travelers would do well to stay indoors, gathered close to the hearth where it is safe and warm.

bigstock-Log-Cabin-In-Winter-28568249In Norway peasants superstitiously left a measure of grain outside between Yule and Twelfth Night to feed the Huntsman’s horse in hopes he would pass them by. If caught in the path of the hunt, travelers knew to fall face down in the middle of the road. If fortunate, they would feel nothing but the icy paws of the hounds passing over their back. Legend says the Huntsman will graciously spare those in the middle of the path, but woe to he who attempts to track the hunt. That ill-fated soul will find himself a captive in the land of the dead.

In many tales, the Norse god Odin is the leader of the Hunt, riding astride his eight-legged steed, Sleipnir. The Saxon version defines Herne the Hunter as leader, and in many legends, King Arthur is one of the huntsmen.

When I think of the Hunt I always envision its wintry existence. Perhaps it is nothing more than the chilling specter of something supernatural blending with the innate cold of winter. The two twine effortlessly, conjuring striking images of silver moonlight, snow and phantom horses in my mind.

Winter will soon be officially upon us with the arrival of Yule on December 21st – the shortest day of the year. I love this month, a truly magical time, culminated by the arrival of Christmas Day. Even as I celebrate that joyous occasion I can’t help but be intrigued by the folklore of the past.

By the same token, I prefer to imitate those lodgers who huddled around their hearths on cold wintry nights, safe and secure in the warmth of their homes. As fascinating as the Wild Hunt is I prefer my December nights full of Christmas cheer, good Yule tidings and merriment.

What about you?

Cover Reveal: Van Locken’s Witch by Debbie Peterson

Today, I’m delighted to share the absolutely gorgeous cover of my friend Debbie Peterson’s paranormal romance, VAN LOCKEN’S WITCH.  It’s just stunning!

Cover-Title---Van-Lockens-Witch

As always, Debbie weaves the supernatural with romance and history, a combination I love. I’m so looking forward to reading this and have already snatched up my copy from Amazon!

BLURB
Kapitein Rand Van Locken has no idea what awaits him as he boards the Spanish galleon on behalf of the Dutch West India Company, or that the beautiful woman imprisoned within will change his life in ways he never imagined or even desired. Until now…

Lissa Capoen, didn’t plan for the Spaniards to capture her while attempting  to rescue her sister. She didn’t foresee the handsome sea captain coming swiftly to her aid and offering his assistance. Nor did she expect him to steal her heart and claim it as his own.

Yet, as destiny brings them ever closer together, Armando Manera is determined to recapture the witch and present her to the Spanish King. No matter what it takes…

VAN LOCKEN’S WITCH is available from Amazon
Add VAN LOCKEN’S WITCH to your Goodreads list

photoDPAUTHOR BIO
Debbie has always had a soft spot for fairy tales, the joy of falling in love, and happily ever after endings. Stories of love and make believe filled her head for as long as she can remember. However, it was her beloved husband who encouraged, cajoled and inspired her to take up a pen and write some of them down. Her journey to published author could fill quite a few pages, but in June of 2010, she submitted her debut novel, “Spirit of the Rebellion” to her wonderful, patient, editor at The Wild Rose Press. A few short months after Rebellion’s release, her second novel, “Shadow of the Witte Wieven” was published through InkSpell Publishing. Her third novel, “Spirit of the Revolution” was released in 2013, through The Wild Rose Press.

When she is not busy conjuring her latest novel, Debbie spends time with the members of her very large family. She also pursues her interests in family history, mythology, and all things ancient and historic.

You can find Debbie at the following haunts:
Website 
Blog
Twitter
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Goodreads