Book Review Tuesday: The Ballad of Mrs. Molony #UrbanFantasy #SuperHeroFantasy @Virgilante

Warm and cozy window seat with cushions and a opened book, light through vintage shutters, rustic style home decor. Small cat on window seat, along with coffee cup by pillow, Words Book Review Tuesday superimposed over imageIt’s pumpkin weather and I have a great pumpkin read to share today. Craig Boyack has a new Lizzie and the Hat adventure, and it’s a perfect fit for this month. The great thing about Lizzie and the Hat novellas is that you can read them in any order. Each story is complete to itself. They’re also an ideal size for a fairly quick read.

And let’s not forget the Hat or his trademark snark. I LOVE that character! 🙂


Book cover for The Ballad of Mrs. Molony shows straw cowboy hat on wooden table with cobwebs, pitchfork beside tableThe Ballad of Mrs. Molony
by C. S. Boyack

C. S. Boyack’s unique crime fighting duo is back in a new Lizzie and The Hat adventure. Not familiar with these two? Lizzie is a twenty-something who wields a mean pistol and plays the upright bass in a cover band with the help of the hat. He may look like a fedora (or whatever hat style he chooses), but he’s actually a being from another world—capable of zinging some of the best snarky dialogue you’re likely to encounter. These two play off each other with witty banter and plenty of adventure as they go up against supernatural bad guys. This time, it’s a group of vampires haunting the rodeo circuit.

That makes for a lot of colorful happenings as Lizzie, the hat, and their band take on the country music scene, mingling with broncobusters and cowboys. Boyack treats us to plenty of rodeo experiences in addition to Lizzie and the hat working to track down the vamps. Some of the moments that stood out for me included Lizzie target-shooting ghouls in a cemetery, egged on by the hat’s snarky asides; a vampire with a speech impediment; the hat’s addiction to “my internet” and his ongoing insistence the band should have a fog machine. And then there’s Mrs. Molony—but you’ll need to read this supernatural romp yourself to find out just how she plays into the story. Clever, clever, clever!

AMAZON LINK
black bat with wings outstretchedGenre:  Superhero Fantasy > Superhero Science Fiction > Paranormal & Urban Fantasy

I give The Ballad of Mrs. Molony 5 Stars, and 5 Spooky Bats


And speaking of spooky things—if you’re out and about the blogosphere, you can find me at Teri Polen’s place today. Want to find out what book scared me so much, I threw it in the trash? Hop on over for my turn on Teri’s Halloween-themed Bad Moon Rising.

Book Review Tuesday: The Light: Wake Robin Ridge #4 @MarciaMeara, Earth’s Earliest Ages, George H. Pember, The Whisper Man @writer_north

Warm and cozy window seat with cushions and a opened book, light through vintage shutters, rustic style home decor. Small cat on window seat, along with coffee cup by pillow, Words Book Review Tuesday superimposed over imageWow! It’s a New Year and I’m thoroughly jazzed to start off the week with my first review of 2020! Although I read these book in December, I didn’t want to share them during the hustle-bustle of Christmas for fear they would get overlooked in all the festive merriment.


Book cover for The Light by Marcia Meara shows young boy standing on a rock with hand extended toward a floating orb of lightThe Light: Wake Robin Ridge #4
by Marcia Meara

I have read and enjoyed all of Marcia Meara’s Wake Robin Ridge books, but The Light, is quite possibly my favorite. Rabbit­—a very special eleven-year-old boy who grew up in Appalachia, now the adopted son of Sarah and Mac—takes center stage yet again. Gifted with “the sight” which allows him to see future events as well as “read” others, he is wise beyond his years. An old soul who has a unique way of viewing the world, he has a folksy charm that resonates with every word he utters. Meara’s gift of writing him is exquisite, and despite numerous well-rounded and lovable characters, it’s Rabbit who steals the show.

I adore Mac and Sarah—mostly because of Rabbit’s pure-hearted love for them, and their utter devotion and fierce protective love for him. I’m enamored of several new characters who make their debut in this book—especially Austin—but once you meet Rabbit, you’re eternally smitten. No two ways about it. He’s a character who lingers long after you’ve read the last paragraph.

An added bonus is the inclusion of the Brown Mountain Lights, an unexplained phenomenon that has long fascinated me. Meara does an excellent job of weaving their appearance into a multi-layered plot which covers the gamut from high-brow society to misguided con artists.

If you like family stories with plenty of warmth, ­­­threads of the supernatural and folklore, plus a well-plotted mystery, don’t miss the latest in the Wake Robin Ridge Series. Five big glittery stars!

Amazon Link
Genre: Paranormal & Urban Fantasy > Ghost Fiction


Earth’s Earliest Ages
by George H. Pember

Book cover for Earth's Earliest Ages shows alien-looking humanoid in profile, large head, ears and eyes, three pyramids and prehistoric looking bird flying above pyramidsSomeone recommended this book to me, and I found it to be an intriguing read. Originally published in 1884, it is somewhat dense—you won’t breeze through it—but also highly interesting. The author starts at the Beginning. And I do mean THE BEGINNING, as in prior to when God said, “Let there be light.”

Pember takes the reader through the creation of Earth, the Fall, life outside the gates of Eden, the sin of Cain and the rise of Watchers or b’nai ha Elohim (“sons of God”) who mingled with humans, resulting in the birth of the Nephilim, half celestial, half human beings. All from a Biblical perspective.

He offers the belief that Nephilim (as well as Principalities of the Air) were the ancient gods of Babylonia, Egypt and Persia, as well as the gods of Rome and Greece. But there’s much more, including a close look at life leading up to the Great Flood. Later, he addresses how the sorcerers of Ancient Egypt were able to duplicate several of the plagues Moses—through God—inflicted on Pharaoh and the Egyptians.

Earth’s Earliest Ages, was written in a time when Spiritualism was exploding. The first half of the book is devoted to studying Old Testament events and comparing Pember’s day to the days of Noah. The last half of the book takes an in-depth look at Spiritualism, Theosophy, and Buddhism. Although I found the section on Spiritualism interesting (due to the amount of research I did on sham aspects of the religion for a novel), I waded through the chapters on Theosophy and Buddhism. That aside, Pember offers up several interesting theories and backs them from a Biblical perspective. Despite being published over a century ago, the text has been updated through multiple editions, and still resonates with the state of our world today in many ways. 4 Stars.

Amazon Link
Genre: Nonfiction > Biblical Studies


The Whisper Man
by Alex North

Book cover for The Whisper Man by Alex North shows ragged handprint with open butterfly wings serving as palm. Blackimage on white backgroundChalk this up to one of my favorite reads of the year! After his wife dies unexpectedly, Tom Kennedy moves with his young son, Jake, to the tiny village of Featherbank in an effort to start fresh. Jake is a sensitive child, prone to talking to an imaginary friend. At first things appear to be moving in the right direction, then Tom learns that he and his son have moved into the neighborhood “scary house.” Worse, Featherbank is also the site of several child abductions and murders decades in the past. The serial killer responsible was known as the Whisper Man due to a habit of whispering to his victims outside their bedroom windows. Just before Tom and Jake settle into their new house, a young boy goes missing. Then Tom overhears Jake reciting part of a rhyme: “If you leave a door half open, soon you’ll hear the whispers spoken…”

Where to begin? This is a highly suspenseful, creepy read with intricate layers. Not only do we have Tom and Jake—with Tom struggling on so many levels to be the father Jake needs—but two detective inspectors are also front and center. DI Pete Willis is the man responsible for bringing the Whisper Man to justice decades ago, and DI Amanda Beck is the lead on the current abduction case. A case that bears eerie similarities to the Whisper Man’s crimes.

Twists and turns? Oh, yes! I smugly thought I had part of the story figured out early on, only to have the proverbial rug wrenched from under me. Plus, there are HUGE surprises in store. WOW moments that induce goosebumps. I’m in awe by how expertly the author wove everything together.

Originally, I was a little cat-shy about reading a story that involved child victims, but there is nothing graphic here. The past is only touched on in a sinister, but distant way. What makes this book so unforgettable is the atmosphere North conjures in most every scene—like a storm waiting to break. The creep-factor is subtle, but deliciously wrought, and the ending delivers another jaw-dropper. If you like well-written, tightly plotted, suspenseful reads with a hint of eeriness, don’t pass up The Whisper Man. I highly recommend this one! Five whopping big stars!

Amazon Link
Genre: Horror Suspense > Ghost Mysteries > Ghost Thrillers

The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody is Now Available on Amazon

Happy book buzz day! I have major ebook news to share as Marcia Meara rolls out her latest release, The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody. I’m positively delighted to share this new novella on my blog. I adore the characters and devoured the first Emissary novella. Needless to say, I snatched Emissary 2 up the moment it became available. Please welcome Marcia with her brand new release!


Absolutely lovely to be here on your blog today, Mae! Thanks so much for having me over to share the release of The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody with your followers. Your wonderful review of The Emissary was a big inspiration to me as I worked on the newest one. I’m really excited to have finished this latest run of adventures between Jake, Dodger, and their angelic boss, Azrael, and I hope you’ll enjoy following along once more as they come to terms with their ever-increasing powers. I also hope the blurb and short excerpt below will tempt some of your followers to do so, as well.

Both Book 1 and Book 2 of the trilogy are quick, easy reads, which are definitely not meant to be viewed as any sort of religious dogma. Rather, they are merely excursions into a bit of “what-if-ery,” with a few nuggets of universal truths scattered throughout.

When I get the third novella of this trilogy finished, I’ll be combining all three into a set I can offer in print as well as eBook format. But for now, folks looking for a bit of Urban Fantasy Lite can download Books 1 and 2 and find out for themselves exactly what’s expected from the world’s first Emissaries to the Angels.

Note: I do need to point out that The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody is the middle book of the Emissary Trilogy, and not a stand-alone novella. With that in mind, Book 1, The Emissary, can be downloaded HERE.

Corrected The Emissary 2_kindle cover_2

BLURB

They’re back!

Jake and Dodger, the first (and so far, only) Emissaries to the Angels, are on the road again.

They’re looking for mortals about to take a wrong turn. You know the ones—the kid thinking about stealing from a corner market or the man planning to lie about a coworker and destroy her career. Yeah, them. People on the brink of making a mistake that could send them down that wrong road and jeopardize their mortal souls.

Of course, there are rules by which the emissaries must play, and the archangel Azrael stands ready to enforce them. First and foremost, a person’s free will must never be compromised. Emissaries are allowed to use only the smallest of mental nudges. Thankfully, a whispered suggestion here or images of a better course of action there is usually all it takes. The potential mugger walks on by. The thief drops the wallet back into the unattended purse. But whether the results are obvious or not, Jake and Dodger are fully committed to making a positive difference, even as they struggle with issues of their own.

Will Dodger get over losing his chance to learn what true love is all about? Will Jake survive the grueling angelic equivalent of Boot Camp? Will Azrael ever finish the Official Emissarial Guidebook—including the chapter titled Do Not Even Think About It?

One thing’s for sure—Jake’s and Dodger’s strengths are growing daily, as they help more and more people make better choices. But is the price for so much power higher than they’re willing to pay?

EXCERPT

Lounging Beside a Cluster of Heat-Yellowed Palms,
Drinking Warm Bottled Water Gone Stale as Old Bread,
Watching Dodger Work His Magic on Unsuspecting Beachgoers.

TWO DAYS HAD slipped by since Dodger confessed his tale of woe to Jake, yet Jake was no closer to knowing how to handle the issue than he’d been when he first heard the boy’s story. On the one hand, they both ought to be well beyond any of the concerns they’d had in their past lives. On the other, that wasn’t actually the case for either of them, in spite of the differences in what they worried about.

They hadn’t had a visit from Azrael since departing Atlanta two weeks earlier, which in itself seemed ominous. They’d pretty much ignored the angel’s wishes by heading south together, and while he wasn’t sure how Azrael felt about that decision, the continued silence probably wasn’t a good sign. Combine that with Dodger’s unhappiness, and Jake figured it might be time to reach out to the big guy.

“Why have you not done so sooner?”

Jake jerked around so hard, he tipped his folding beach chair over and fell face first into the hot sand. Scrambling to his feet, he swore before he could catch himself. “Dammit, Azrael—I mean, geez-lou-freakin’-weeze! Why do you do that? It’s not funny, you know. And even if it had been funny the first ten times, it sure isn’t now!”

“On the contrary, my friend. Watching your various reactions to my sudden appearances is something that never seems to grow old.”

Jake righted his beach chair and offered it to Azrael. It wasn’t until the angel took a seat that he realized Azrael had once again referred to him as his friend. His anger evaporated immediately.

“Good to see you, too.” He smiled at the archangel he privately called Boss. “I really needed to talk to you.”

“Yes. I am aware of your concern about Dodger. It is a thorny problem, is it not?”

“I’m afraid so. It’s causing Dodger a whole lot of pain right now, and by extension, it’s causing me pain, too.”

“Ah. When he hurts, you hurt. This is both good and bad, as most meaningful relationships among humans seem to be.”

“I’m glad you understand.”

“Oh, I did not say I understand. I am aware of these things, yes. You cannot observe humans for centuries upon end without seeing evidence that this is the way of it. But knowledge is not the same thing as understanding. That is one of the reasons building a cadre of emissaries like you and Dodger is so important. Having been mortal beings and lived lives filled with human dreams and passions and relationships, you are both far better equipped for this job than I, or any other angel, could ever be.”

“Does that mean you’ll take me at my word when I say we need to help Dodger?”

“No. As always, it means I will listen to you and evaluate what you tell me, and then do my best to help where needed.”

Buy The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody HERE

~~~


Author Marcia Meara

Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years, four big cats, and two small dachshunds. When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. At the age of five, Marcia declared she wanted to be an author, and is ecstatic that at age 69, she finally began pursuing that dream. Her belief in the redemptive power of love is a unifying factor in both of her popular series and her poetry. Today, she’s still going strong, and plans to keep on writing until she falls face down on the keyboard, which she figures would be a pretty good way to go!

Marcia has published six novels, one novella, and one book of poetry to date, all of which are available on Amazon:

Wake-Robin Ridge
A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2
Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3

Swamp Ghosts: A Riverbend Novel
Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2
That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3

The Emissary: A Riverbend Spinoff Novella

Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love

Marcia’s Amazon Author Page

You can reach Marcia via email at marciameara16@gmail.com or on the following social media sites:

The Write Stuff: http://marciamearawrites.com/
Twitter: @marciameara
Facebook: www.facebook.com/marcia.meara.writer
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/marciameara/

Cover Reveal for The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody by Marcia Meara #Paranormal #UrbanFantasy #Angels

I’m delighted to welcome my friend, Marcia Meara, today with the cover reveal of her upcoming novella, The Emissary 2: To Love Someday. I’ve read the first in this wonderful series and highly recommend it. Marcia created memorable characters that touched my heart and I can’t wait to see what, Jake, Dodger, and the angel, Azrael, are up to this time around. Check out this gorgeous cover!

COMING SOON!
They’re back!
Jake and Dodger are at it again,
accompanied by their
boss, the archangel Azrael.

I am so excited, I can hardly stand it. Once again, Nicki Forde Graphics Design has come up with a cover that does exactly what I wanted it to do. It provides a great-looking image that clearly links the second novella in my Emissary series with the first one. And it does this by putting Jake’s big, red-and-white semi front and center, angel wings and all, but with a completely different background.

In The Emissary 2: To Love Somebody, Jake and Dodger travel both coasts of Florida, day and night, working their emissarial magic wherever they find souls in trouble. For me, the palm fronds over the truck, the ocean in the background, and the moon shining down are perfect.

I can’t give you an exact release date for The Emissary 2: To Love Sombody yet, as I still have a few more tiny odds and ends to finish up, including the blurb. But I’m 99.9% sure it will be available within a week or two, and I’ll have more to share with you then. In the meantime, what do you think?

My heartfelt thanks to all the wonderful bloggers who have helped me share my new cover with the Immediate World! It’s lovely to be part of such a supportive online community, and every single one of you is special to me. Thank you!

NOTE: This is not a stand-alone novella, so now’s a good time to grab the first one. You can read it in an evening and be all set for The Emissary 2. You’ll find The Emissary 1 on Amazon HERE.


Author Marcia Meara

Marcia Meara lives in central Florida, just north of Orlando, with her husband of over thirty years, four big cats, and two small dachshunds. When not writing or blogging, she spends her time gardening, and enjoying the surprising amount of wildlife that manages to make a home in her suburban yard. At the age of five, Marcia declared she wanted to be an author, and is ecstatic that at age 69, she finally began pursuing that dream. Her belief in the redemptive power of love is a unifying factor in both of her popular series and her poetry. Today, she’s still going strong, and plans to keep on writing until she falls face down on the keyboard, which she figures would be a pretty good way to go!

Marcia has published six novels, one novella, and one book of poetry to date, all of which are available on Amazon:
Wake-Robin Ridge
A Boy Named Rabbit: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 2
Harbinger: Wake-Robin Ridge Book 3

Swamp Ghosts: A Riverbend Novel
Finding Hunter: Riverbend Book 2
That Darkest Place: Riverbend Book 3

The Emissary: A Riverbend Spinoff Novella

Summer Magic: Poems of Life & Love

Marcia’s Amazon Author Page

You can reach Marcia via email at marciameara16@gmail.com or on the following social media sites:

The Write Stuff: http://marciamearawrites.com/
Twitter: @marciameara
Facebook: www.facebook.com/marcia.meara.writer
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/marciameara/

Mae Clair Presents: Blood Stitches by Erin Fanning #giveaway

Today, I’m happy to welcome Erin Fanning back to my blog with her new release, BLOOD STITCHES. You might recall this fabulous cover being splashed on my blog before, but now the book has officially been released, and Erin has dropped by to answer a few questions. Whether you’re a writer, reader or both, I think you’ll find her post interesting.

She’s also got a giveaway going on for a $20 Amazon gift card, so be sure to check out the Rafflecopter link at the bottom!

BloodStitchesCover

~ooOOoo~

From Erin:

Over the past several months, I’ve received lots questions from friends and family about my novella Blood Stitches. It seems like the top three are always the same, sort of universal questions about writing:

How do you come up with your ideas?

I spend a lot of time outdoors–biking, hiking, skiing, and kayaking–so I’m heavily influenced by nature. Current events and everyday encounters often get stuck in my imagination. Turkey vultures perched along the road look like a coven of witches or an ordinary tapestry resembles an opening to another world.

These story ideas churn around in my brain for days, months, sometimes years, until they practically force their way out through my fingertips. Next I jot down several paragraphs or pages, whatever I can. Then I take a breath and make a rough outline of the plot and characters, filling in the blanks, and reworking it as I go.

When do you find time to write?

I’m lucky in the sense that my “regular” job as an online editor for a global information provider, searching the web for international financial news, allows me to work from home. So I often find time to write during the morning, but even though my schedule has more flexibility than most people, I still have to be disciplined. I’m the Queen of Procrastination and Distraction!

How long did it take you to write Blood Stitches?

Along with being the Queen of Procrastination and Distraction, I’m also possibly the slowest writer on the planet. I’m in awe of authors that seem to whip out two books each year. I started writing Blood Stitches several years ago and then put it aside. About two years ago, I picked it up again and finally finished it.

~ooOOoo~

I love Erin’s take on where she gets her ideas from. That’s definitely a writer’s mind at work. And although she may consider her writing turnaround on the slow side, I’ve no doubt the results are well worth waiting for. See for yourself:

Blurb for Blood Stitches:

Love and danger intertwine…

It’s called El Toque de la Luna—The Touch of the Moon. At least that’s how nineteen-year-old Gabby’s older sister, Esperanza, refers to the magical powers she inherited from their Mayan ancestors. Esperanza says women with El Toque weave magic into their knitting, creating tapestries capable of saving—or devastating—the world. Gabby thinks Esperanza is more like touched in the head—until a man dressed like a candy corn arrives at their Seattle home on Halloween. But “Mr. C” is far from sweet…

Soon, Gabby and her almost-more-than-friend, Frank, find themselves spirited away to a demon ball, complete with shape shifters—and on a mission to destroy Esperanza’s tapestries before they cause an apocalyptic disaster… And before it’s too late to confess their true feelings for each other.

View the book trailer here

Purchase Blood Stitches from:
Kensington/Lyrical Press

Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Kobo
Google
Itunes 

Author, Erin FanningAbout the author:
Erin Fanning spends her summers on a northern Michigan lake, where her imagination explores the water and dense forest for undiscovered creatures. In the winter, she migrates to central Idaho, exchanging mountain bikes and kayaks for skis and snowshoes. She’s the author of a mountain biking guidebook, as well as numerous articles, essays, and short stories.

Find Erin at the Following Haunts: 
Website 
Goodreads 
Twitter @WriterErin
Amazon

Rafflecopter Giveway Alert!
Enter to win a Rafflecopter giveaway for a $20 Amazon gift card here: a Rafflecopter giveaway

Mythical Monday:  Something’s Mything by Mae Clair

I know it’s Mythical Monday and I should be Mything but I actually have a blog tour kicking off today for TWELFTH SUN. The tour was supposed to happen way back in January, but if you recall, Lyrical Press was acquired by Kensington Books and it took a while for the dust to settle and new Kensington titles to be issued.

Book Promotions by Literary Nook Book was happy to work with me in delaying the tour, so here we are five months later, and it’s finally under way. Something is definitely mything from my blog today, but maybe the timing worked for the best as TWELFTH SUN is a breezy summer read.  Here’s where I’ll be should you like to drop by and say hello over the next few weeks:

Tour Banner Twelfth Sun

May 12
Kristy Centeno – Promo with excerpt
KMN Books – Author Interview, promo with excerpt

May 13
JM Stewart–Contemporary Romance Author – Promo with excerpt
The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl – Promo with excerpt

May 14
Some Like It Hotter – Promo and excerpt
Triad Literary – Promo with excerpt

May 15
Musings of a Writing Reader – Promo with excerpt

May 20
Mythical Books – Review

May 21
Have Novel, Will Edit – Promo with excerpt

May 22
Deal Sharing Aunt – Author Interview, Promo with excerpt

May 26
My Devotional Thoughts – Promo with excerpt

May 28
Literary Nook – Promo with excerpt

May 30
Book Reviews by Xunaira J. – Promo with excerpt

June 2
Crystal’s Many Reviewers – Review

Solstice Island Final smallIn other news, I’m also visiting with Brooke Williams today, promoting SOLSTICE ISLAND . . . also a summery read, and a adventure involving a mythical sea creature.

And, since this is turning into a book update post, here’s where my latest WIPs stand:

~ooOOoo~

ECLIPSE LAKE

Shot of a lake at summer twilight
Romantic mystery, family drama, and an unsolved missing person’s case.

I still hope to publish this title in June.

~ooOOoo~

MYTH AND MAGIC
Romantic mystery involving ghostly happenings and sabotage at a secluded corporate retreat.
Takes place in October and over Halloween.
Should be ready for submission by the end of the month.

~ooOOoo~

A THOUSAND YESTERYEARSbigstock-Ghost-At-The-Window-tint--23502128
Urban fantasy/horror.
A haunted house, a family curse, and an evil presence that will stop at nothing to continue its legacy of darkness.
My current WIP.
I’m going back to my roots with this one. Fantasy/horror was my first genre as an author.

~ooOOoo~

Mythical Monday will return next week as usual. In the meantime, I’d love to know what you’re working on at present, or news on your latest release. Please share!

Author Spotlight: Mary E. Merrell

Today, I’m pleased to turn my blog over to Mary Merrel, author of AFFINITY-BIRD IN A GILDED CAGE. I read this great YA book a while back and am eagerly looking forward to the sequel. After reading it, I invited Mary to visit my blog and share a bit about herself and AFFINITY. Please give her a ‘pen-friendly’ welcome!

~ooOOoo~

Hi Everyone, and thank you, Mae Clair for inviting me to your blog so I can talk about my Young Adult Urban Fantasy, Affinity-Bird in a Gilded Cage. There is something wonderful about the writing community. The people I have met are caring and encouraging in this tough but wonderful world of writing. Mae Clair is no different, except she seems to have more energy than the average writer. Whenever I feel woe is me, I don’t have enough time to write, boo hoo, I read one of her blogs and stop complaining and get back to work.

When I wrote Affinity, I wanted something that was completely different from my Paranormal Mystery Series. Something out of my comfort zone. Normally, stories and characters come to me, enter my head and bang around until I relent and admit they have promise and put them down in a notebook.

Affinity started as a short story I had to think up. I wrote it in third person instead of first person, my protagonist a teenage boy instead of a thirty-something woman and my genre YA Urban Fantasy instead of Paranormal Mystery. Slowly, the short story about Talon a young man with the ability to communicate with the crows emerged, and I liked it.

16060100Affinity Description
The crows followed Talon Corvus everywhere. When he went to work with his uncle for the summer, the birds came too. Talon recognized that one straggly-tailed old crow. The same birds had flown from Modesto to Sacramento to be with him. Maybe Iris was right.

Iris Yorita lived in his old neighborhood in Modesto. Snakes were drawn to her as the big, black birds were drawn to Talon. She called their ability an AFFINITY. Claimed it was a gift from God, and they should use it to help people. Talon thought she was out of her mind. How could a bunch of mangy crows or slimy snakes help anyone?

When a thief targeted the people in his uncle’s neighborhood, all fingers pointed at the new kid, Talon. He decided it was time to put this strange ability to the test. Find out who was robbing their neighbors and clear his name. As Talon worked on communicating with his crows things heated up. Something more sinister than robbery was going on, and it would take Talon and his new-found friends, Iris and Chloe who communicated with raccoons to discover what really was going on.

Excerpt – Affinity-Bird in a Gilded Cage
Talon walked through the garage and into the house followed by the rest of the freaks. As soon as he got inside, he sprinted for the office, propped open a large wooden blind and peeked out. The tree tops were black, the branches swaying with moving bodies. Small black birds perched on the gutters of the house. Some looked more brown than black.

“There are little black birds and little brown birds,” Talon said. “What are they? And some bigger birds have black backs and white stomachs. What kind are they? And a ton of crows.”

Iris’ fingers flew across the keyboard. A blind lower down popped open and Chen and Chloe sandwiched Talon. Scraggy jumped from Chloe’s arm to Talon’s shoulder and poked her beak between the blinds, not wanting to be left out.

“OMG,” Chloe said. “Talon. What did you do?”

“I don’t know.” He had reached out to his familiar birds and any other birds he could sense; totally stoked he had called more than the usual crows.

A big, black bird, that looked like a crow but larger landed on the courtyard arch, wings flapping and pushing aside the birds already there.

“Look at the totally ginormous crow,” Chloe said.

“Probably a raven.” Iris continued to type. “Okay, here we go. Talon, did you know your last name, Corvus, is the genus for crow or raven. I bet that big bird is a raven.”

“Yep.” Talon was stoked. “Uncle Nate told me.”

“So many birds,” Chloe whispered.

“There’s another one,” Chen pointed out. “See. At the top of the house. Ravens mate for life.” Another one of the huge black birds landed on the Mendoza’s roof. The smaller birds moved out of the way, making room for the raven and turning the roof into a living, moving thing. Tiny brown birds hopped around in small bursts of flight.

“How long have you been studying animals, Johnny?” Iris asked.

“Since I knew there was something odd about me.”

“When did you know?” Chloe asked in a small voice.

“It was just after my parents were killed. Junior high, I think. That whole time in my life was kind of a blur.”

“I’m sorry, Johnny, that you had to go through all that on your own,” Iris said.

“I was at my first foster home when they started showing up. At first I thought it was a coincidence that every home I stayed in had raccoons in the neighborhood.”

“My father was Korean, and my mother was Mexican. My uncles were pretty good to me. As much as they could be under the circumstances. Not everyone was accepting of the mixed marriage. I probably should tell them I’m okay. And let them know I appreciate all they did.”

 “You speak good English for a Mexican Oriental.”

 “Talon, that’s racist and not appropriate,” Iris said.

 “I’m as American as you white boy.”

 “White boy. Wow, Chen, that one really cuts deep.” Talon ignored Iris’ sigh at their name calling. He didn’t mean to be racist, and it didn’t seem to bother Chen.

 A bead of sweat ran down his temple. Not all the birds wanted to stay, and it was taking a toll he hadn’t noticed at first.

“I bet they’re crapping everywhere,” Chloe said with a giggle.

Even the serious Chen made a snorting noise. As they watched, Uncle Nate flew out from under the courtyard arch, his gray hair waving out behind him, and his mouth wide open. He glanced over his shoulder once, and then headed across the street without looking.

“Your uncle can run fast,” Chen said. “For a . . .  old, white guy.”

Talon had never seen him move like that either. As Uncle Nate crossed the street, a police car with its lights flashing roared down the street. Talon watched in horror, sure his uncle was dead. The cruiser braked, the back end sliding sideways as it ground to a halt. Uncle Nate’s hands were on the hood as he skirted around the front end. He threw his hands up as Officer Brandt jumped out of the vehicle.

“Sssh, quiet.” Talon cocked his head to the side to hear better and so did Scraggy.

“What’s going on, Mr. Corvus?” Officer Brandt asked, way too calm for a guy who nearly ran someone over.

“Snakes.” Uncle Nate pointed to the Mendozas’ house. “Slimy snakes everywhere. I didn’t sign up for this, man.”

The officer’s shoulders jerked back, his head pivoting in the direction of the Mendozas’ house. He cleared his throat. “Calm down, Mr. Corvus.” Officer Brandt patted the air in front of him as he walked toward Uncle Nate. “I’m sure we can handle a couple snakes.”

“There’s more than a couple, man. There’s thousands of ‘em, I tell you. Thousands. Maybe more. I’m out of here.” Uncle Nate ran up the driveway and into the garage. Officer Brandt stood in the middle of the street. Slowly, he turned toward the Mendozas’ house.

Chen was making a kind of shushing noise, the blinds quivering with his shaking.

“You okay, Chen?” Talon asked.

“Uncle Nate…” He shushed some more, shoulders quivering as he gathered himself with a deep, shaky breath. “Uncle Nate is scared. Scared of snakes.”

“Terrified more like,” Chloe said.

“You think that’s funny?” Talon looked at Chen.

Tears ran down the kid’s face, his eyes mere slits as his cheeks puffed up, and his face split into a toothy grimace. He nodded.

“Hey, you freaks. Get out here,” Uncle Nate yelled from the family room.

“I don’t know if I like this…being called a freak,” Iris got up from her place at the computer. “And I definitely don’t like being summoned.”

Talon checked out the scene across the street. The police cruiser was in front of the Mendozas’ driveway now, and the birds flapped their wings, groups moving from branch to branch like a living wave.

“Pretty impressive, Talon,” Chen said.

Talon jerked, not realizing Chen was still in the room, the rat on his shoulder. Johnny pushed his glasses up and gave Talon a look before joining the other freaks.

Thanks again, Mae. I enjoyed doing this blog post and revisiting, Affinity-Bird in a Gilded Cage released October 24th of 2012. I plan on writing the next book in the Affinity Series this year. This time we’ll be with Brandon and his peregrine falcon as he and the rest of the super freaks take on the mystery of his grandfather in Affinity-Jailbird. You can visit my website at www.maryemerrell.com to see all I’m working on or find me on facebook and twitter, @MaryMerrell7.

You can purchase Affinity at Amazon

Check out my Paranormal Mystery Series as well, with Rosemary Fernandes and the gang. Book 3, Soul in Present Condition is due to be released April 2013. Thanks again.

Mary Merrell

~ooOOoo~

member_817010[1]Mary E. Merrell lives in the Central Valley of California with her husband, two dogs and four cats. She has two grown sons, Everette Merrell and Richard Mickelson who is married to a great girl, Brooke. Mary has worked at various jobs, selling furniture, a meat company and a manufacturing company. It wasn’t until she started selling real estate that her Real Estate Paranormal Mystery Series came to life in that old, vacant home. She enjoys reading all types of genres and writes Paranormal Mysteries and YA Urban Fantasies. When she’s not writing, she’s working on her decorative planter business LivingCreations with her husband, gardening and playing soccer. Please visit her website to see what she’s working on next. www.maryemerrell.com, or contact her through Facebook and Twitter.

Blog Tour: Dream On by Renita Pizzitola

photoTitle: Dream On
Author: Renita Pizzitola
Genre: Urban Fantasy Romance
Publisher: Lyrical Press
Release Date: March 4, 2013

dreamonBlurb: 
Her quest begins when she closes her eyes.

Emory Bennett owns a lucrative dreamwalking business. Trained in weaponry and Muay Thai, she spends her nights entering the dream realm resolving her clients’ nightmares, whatever they might be: bad guys, scary beasts, or the classic forgot-to-wear-my-pants nightmare. Her jobs get complicated when a gorgeous man keeps appearing requesting her help.

Grayson, a fellow dreamwalker, is stuck in the dream realm while a stranger inhabits his body. He needs Emory’s assistance in the waking realm, which he can’t visit if he can’t get back into his body.

Once Emory is convinced Grayson’s not a figment of her imagination, they concoct a plan to lure the body snatcher out. But as Emory begins to fall for Grayson, the line blurs between him and the stranger who inhabits his body. She must keep it together to get close enough to discover his secrets, or divide her very soul if she can’t bring the man she loves back.

CONTENT WARNING: Strong language

A Lyrical Press Urban Fantasy Romance

EXCERPT:

I’d run out of options.

He hurled me at the wall and I slumped down it. This dream needed to end, but my aching head scrambled my thoughts. I sought out my body and the room blurred, but I wasn’t going home. I was losing consciousness–in a dream. This couldn’t happen. Could it?

I squinted at my attacker as my vision dimmed. He sneered at me and then disappeared. I blinked. Where had he gone? My tunnel vision provided no clues. With forced concentration, things came into focus. Now two men–my attacker and another on top of him–struggled over the fireplace poker.

I continued seeking my body while deciphering the situation. One of the men grabbed the makeshift weapon, raised it and thrust it into the man on the floor. The victor turned to me.

I stared into his golden eyes.

“Emory?”

“How do you know my name?” My consciousness slipped making my words heavy.

He knelt in front of me. “Are you okay?”

I shook my head.

“You need to get back to your body.”

“Yeah,” I murmured.

“Try hard to concentrate. Find your life cord. Feel its pull. It’s right there, ready to bring you home. Your body’s waiting, go to it.” His voice soothed and the tingling energy of my spirit connecting with my body ran through me.

“Have you been looking for me?” I asked, as my spirit fluctuated between worlds.

“Just go home. I’ll find you again.” I nodded in drowsy agreement as I drifted out of Clare’s dream into one of my own.

My head pounded and the metal park bench was unforgiving to my achy body. I needed to meet with someone but didn’t remember whom. I rubbed at my head and looked around. The sunlight aggravated the throbbing. Casting my gaze downward offered minimal relief.

A soft shuffling came nearer. I stared up into the handsome face of a stranger.

“Hi, Emory.”

“Do I know you?” I asked, rubbing my head again.

“I’m Grayson. I’ve been searching for you. I think you can help me.” His gentle tone stirred a fleeting memory.

I studied him. “How’s that?”

Someone called my name, and I looked over my shoulder. Nothing.

Grayson glanced behind me too. He continued with more urgency. “I’m stuck and I need you to help me get home.”

My name rang out again, louder.

“Johnathan?” I searched for my friend.

“Emory, I know you have to get back, but next time I see you, will you talk to me? Please?”

“I think I hit my head. I don’t know why I keep dreaming about you, but this isn’t real.”

“It’s real. I’m real.”

The voice calling my name became more demanding. My dream faded.

“Emory? I’ve arranged a meeting for us, soon. Please talk to me, I need y–”

My eyelids inched open.


Purchase Links:
Amazon/Barnes and Noble/Lyrical Press/iBooks

Book Trailer:

Author Bio:
Renita Pizzitola writes Paranormal Romance and Urban Fantasy. An avid reader herself, she has always enjoyed stories with witty humor, romance, and fascinating characters. Renita lives in Texas with her husband and two children. When not writing, she enjoys reading everything she can get her hands on, drinking copious amounts of coffee, and playing referee to her two typically adorable children.

Visit www.renitapizzitola.com for more information

Contact Links:
website/twitter/facebook/blog/goodreads

Mae Clair’s Book Promo: Seeker of Fate by L.J. Kentowski

Title: SEEKER OF FATE (Book 2 of the FATE Series)
Author: L. J. Kentowski
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Release Date: Available Now

Ebook_SEEKEROFFATE_medium

Created from the angels, Guardians don’t belong in Hell. But Cassandra Cosgrove is no ordinary Guardian, and she’s determined to get into Hell despite the blood that runs through her veins.

With a new resolve, and newly developed powers, she sets out on a journey into Hell to save a loved one from the tortuous hands of the King of the Underworld. But to get in, she must befriend a past enemy, and quickly learns that this is only the first sacrifice she must make to succeed.

When Hell welcomes her with open arms, and a deal with the Devil seems the only way to save the men she loves from an eternity of torture, will Cassandra make the ultimate sacrifice by giving up her soul completely? Will the man she loves let her?

Buy SEEKER OF FATE at:
Amazon
Barnes & Noble
Smashwords

Photo on 2011-12-12 at 17.37 #5Author Bio:
L.J. Kentowski is the author of Guardian Of Fate & Seeker Of Fate, books 1 & 2 in the Fate series. She lives in the Midwest with her husband, step-daughter, son & dog, working diligently on more hypnotic urban fantasy and paranormal romance novels.  Her next book, Divine Warrior, the start of a new, hot paranormal romance series, Divine Descendents, is expected out in 2013.
You can find L.J. at the following haunts:
Website
Blog
Twitter @laurajeanwrites
Goodreads
Facebook

Cover Reveal: Only in Her Nightmares by Christina McKnight

Title: Only In Her Nightmares, The Oneiroi Book 2
Author: Christina McKnight
Genre: Urban Fantasy / Mythology
Publisher: La Loma Elite Publishing
Release Date: August 2013

Tagline: Can he defy his destiny to claim the woman who rules his nightmares?

EXCERPT:

Darius watched the girl enter her home. It seemed to fit her, tan with dark green shutters and a well-manicured lawn. An aged, quaint bungalow in a well-maintained neighborhood. Two neighbors had waved to him as he drove down the street, for fuck’s sake. He wasn’t out for a Sunday cruise. What would the neighbors do if they knew his true intentions for invading their peaceful slice of suburbia?

His source had finally proved useful. I may have to spare his life when the time comes.

The sight of it–the house, the neighborhood, the families–all made him sick. This could’ve been me, should be me. Instead, he was stuck on this godforsaken Earth, most of his powers stripped, forbidden to return to his rightful place in Erebos. And his only option was the girl. This weak female held his fate in her hands.

And she hadn’t a clue.

He moved across the street and slipped into her backyard with only a glance over his shoulder to make sure no one watched. Her yard surprised and repulsed him just as much as the front of the house. The front was straight from a promotional brochure, while the back yard gave the appearance of a Better Homes and Gardening showpiece. There were flowers, shrubs, and trees covering every square inch. The serenity of it reminded him of all he despised.

This was almost me! Good thing I dodged that bullet. Peace, tranquility and harmony are way overrated. One word: boring. Thankfully, she had rejected him. After that embarrassing episode he’d shelved his heart–there was no room for feelings left.

It was time to shake things up and restore order. His order.

“Master, she has retired to her bed chamber,” Alexander said.

Darius turned to see his man standing beside him. Alexander’s ability to move without alerting others to his presence was what drew Darius to him. After he was banished from Erebos, he convinced Alexander to join him in his crusade to right the wrongs of his father and support his new Lord’s cause.

“Enter and report back to me. Find the connection to my brother,” he said.

With a nod, Alexander vanished as silently as he’d appeared.

~ooOOoo~

THIS WEEKED FREE ON AMAZON!
NOVEMBER 10 and 11
Get caught up in Book 1 of this extraordinary series, ONLY IN HER DREAMS  

AMAZON LINKS FOR BOOK 1
BUY LINK FOR US
BUY LINK FOR UK

About the Author:
Christina McKnight is a book lover turned writer. From a young age, her mother encouraged her to tell her own stories. She’s been writing ever since.

In college, Christina took many courses to help develop and enhance her writing skills. She completed a seventy-page dissertation on the need for community policing in American society. Now, she focuses on Historical Romance, Urban Fantasy, and Paranormal Romance.

Christina lives in Northern California with her husband, daughter, two boxers, two cats, and a Beta fish named Marmaduke. If she’s not behind a computer screen or book, she’s busy leading her daughter’s Girl Scout troop. She is very active in several writing groups and a local book group.

Connect with Christina McKnight at:
Website
Twitter
Goodreads
Facebook