Storm Watch: Book Three in the Unfinished Business Series

Storm Watch: Book Three in the Unfinished Business Series
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Night Owl Romance

Night Owl Romance
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Novel Fun in the Summer Sun Tour

Novel Fun in the Summer Sun Tour
July 29-August 5, 2017

The Unfinished Business Series


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Tuesday, November 19, 2013

A Big Book Festival and Big News About The Widow's Walk

By now most of you know that I will be at the Nutmeg Book Festival on Saturday, November 23 in the historic New Milford Train Station in Connecticut. There will be 18 other multi-genre authors--and two fellow Ten Tales Authors April Grey and Debbie Christiana.

I'l also thrilled to announce that it appears The Widow's Walk has found a home!! The ink is not yet dry but the second of three books in my Cape Cod Paranormal Romance was offered a contract and I have to iron out some publication date details before the full announcement.

"Breakwater Beach" a short story in Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts is set in this storyline. I have special codes for download available to anyone who stops by my table in Connecticut and mentions they saw this post. And of course there will be chocolate. And all my non fiction books which will range from irreverent to inspirational.

Hope to see some of you there.

Join the conversation on Facebook or Twitter #WidowsWalk

Sunday, September 15, 2013

The Torridon Witches: Andrew Richardson's Newest Celtic Horror Is Out Today-Live Chat and GIveaways!

Everyone who reads my blog knows of my affection and admiration for  friend and critique partner Andrew Richardson, a very prolific writer with an uncanny ability to scare me. Horror is not my favorite flavor, but it's hard to stop reading his stories even though I know nightmares will ensue.

The Torridon Witches, set in contemporary times, is even more chilling because they don't target witches anymore--right? There isn't much more I can say. The blurb and excerpt are self-explanatory. Andrew knows his Celtic legend and lore, he knows the countryside and the people, and he knows how to write horror so real you're there with the characters.

Andrew, can you tell us a bit more about your fifth novel or novella?

The Torridon Witches is a novella set in the remote Scottish Highlands. The idea came to me when  I read a book about Scottish witch trials.  The suffering the accused went through, even before their inevitable end, was chillingly described.  I thought the helplessness and fear the ‘witches’ experienced would make a good theme for a horror story.

I placed the book in a (fictional) village in Scotland’s remote Torridon region; an area of mountains, upland moors, bogs and rugged coastlines which even today is only reachable by boat or single track roads.  I managed to find some historical records of ‘witchcraft’ in the region’s fringes, and I know the area well, so everything seemed to fit to make it an ideal setting.

I’m grateful to Damnation Books for taking the story on.  The launch on 15 September will be accompanied by a live chat at 2pm.  There’ll be giveaways and ‘variable pricing’ (i.e. discounts!) for early purchases.

So I understand you'll be doing research in the Scottish Highlands on release day. How authentic.

Yes, it should be rather surreal. And challenging to interface with the modern world.

Good luck, Andrew!

Thanks, Carole!


The Torridon Witches is available as of September 15 at: http://www.damnationbooks.com/book.php?isbn=9781629290553

Details about his other works are available at http://andrewjrichardson.blogspot.com.

On release day for Damnation Book, Andrew will be chatting at 2pm EST. I'll be there and hope you can make it as well. Log into the chat here.




Fiona MacLeod returns to Dunmorgan to gain revenge for Gran’s burning as a witch a decade ago. Friends accompanying Fiona have a row and in their tempers use the word ‘witch’. The villagers’ attitudes are ancient, and the friends are soon on trial for witchcraft. To avoid the stake Fiona must confront the charismatic but brutal Blue Eyed Man. She must also take on the sadistic villagers who were responsible for Gran’s death, and who are desperate for another burning.



Excerpt:
“Don’t burn me.” Bonnie’s wide eyes fixed on the flames dancing from the firebrand. “I’m really sorry I upset you. Please don’t burn me.”

“Maybe The Good Lord can show you mercy.”

Bonnie met the Blue Eyed Man’s gaze. “I haven’t done anything to deserve it. Please.”

His fists found his hips again, and Fiona was sure he spoke the crowd’s entertainment as much as to Bonnie. “Maybe God will forgive you, if you repent of your witchery.”

Bonnie cocked her head.

“Do it, Bon.” Ashmati shrieked. “Do it, and they’ll let you go. Just repent.”

“I’m sorry, for whatever I’ve done. I’m sorry.”

The crowd muttered, but The Blue Eyed Man’s raised hand demanded silence. He leaned closer to Bonnie. His voice lowered to a whisper, but still carried around the horseshoe. “They say, if the executioner is skilled and the fire is kept under control, death by burning can take two hours. We’re not particularly skilled—we don’t tend to have cleansings lasting more than an hour.”

The crowd laughed. Bonnie looked into his eyes. “Please…” 

Spotty giggled. “Was that, ‘please can we try for two hours,’ witch?”

The Blue Eyed Man continued. “If you repent, witch. If you admit your sins, and renounce witchcraft…”

“Do it!” Ashmati screamed. “Just say it!”

“I’m sorry.” Bonnie whispered. 

“Denounce witchcraft!”

“I denounce witchcraft.”

“Repent of your witchery.”

Bonnie looked at Ashmati.

Ashmati’s fists clenched. “Say it! Just fucking say it!”

“I repent of my witchery.”

“That is good, my dear.” The Blue Eyed Man’s eyes remained cold as he faced the crowd. He flicked a thumb toward Bonnie. 

“Now, burn her.”


Monday, August 26, 2013

Karma, Kickbacks and Kids

"Karma, Kickbacks and Kids," an excerpt of the first chapter, also the title, of my second memoir has been published in Not Your Mother's Book: On Parenting. Stay tuned for plans for my NYMB book tour, which will include stops in Huntington, Long Island and New Milford, Connecticut with a few others along the way. As soon as I have details I'll put them on Facebook and Twitter.

These upbeat and edgy books make great gifts. I can personalize book cards for those of you who download ebooks in any format. Contact me with your specifics.

I will have copies in my hands by the end of next week for anyone who can't wait--and Amazon won't get it to you any faster or with an autograph. I checked.





It joins "A Catholic Schoolgirl's Primer"  in Not Your Mother's Book: On Being a Woman, which is an excerpt from Someday I'm Going to Write a Book.  There is a new cover (same content), but so newborn it's not out and about yet. I've got plenty on hand and a new order pending, so let me know if you haven't gotten a copy.






Wednesday, July 3, 2013

Wordless Wednesday with Mohana Lakshmi

I'm so proud to be part of the author feature for Seers: Ten Tales of Clairvoyance on Mohanalakshmi Rajakumar's beautiful website today in her Wordless Wednesday post. In tribute, this post shall also be wordless to allow the excerpts to speak for themselves.


Saturday, June 29, 2013

Trailer Reveal for Seers: Ten Tales of Clarivoyance


Like Trailers?

Deborah Walker has published the Trailer Reveal for Seers: Ten Tales of Clairvoyance 


You can also view/share the trailer for Seers  here or watch directly below 






Click here to see Covers, Table of Contents and Trailers for all the Ten Tales Books

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Clarion Write a Thon Begins!

Despite three quarters of hard work on my doctorate,  I have managed to keep a toe hold in the creative writing world with three new publications.  On the fiction side, "Dance With The Devil" was just published in Seers: Ten Tales of Clairvoyance. All of my (four) publications in Rayne Hall's Ten  Tales series are spinoffs from my novels Unfinished Business or Boulevard of Bad Spells and Broken Dreams, which are now (still) making the rounds of agents.

On the non fiction side, "Artichokes" was published in Winter 2013 in Thanksgiving to Christmas: A Quilt of Holidays. In September, "Karma, Kickbacks and Kids" will be published in Not Your Mother's Book: On Parenting, and at the same time Not Your Mother's Book: On Being a Woman will be re-released by PS Publishing to a much larger market. My nonfiction runs the gamut from the sweet and sentimental to the irreverent and edgy so there is really something for everyone.

All my publications are listed on my Amazon Author's Page and anyone who makes a donation to the Write a Thon on my behalf will get a special gft from me (Hint: something or another on that page, depending upon your  taste)

I'm actively at work on "The Fairy Lamp," which will be going out to pro short story markets very soon. "The Ultimate Test," which has been cursed with acceptances that never seen to work out when anthologies run out of room or close down is in the queue with Fearful Symmetries and my fingers are crossed. I've also got "Fairyflies," which needs a nice, literary market and if anyone has a suggestion for a rather short magical realist tale, please let me know.

In order to get back into a regular creative writing routine, I've once again signed onto the Clarion Write a Thon to work through this backlog and break this writer's block. I would sincerely appreciate some contributions, no matter how small to this very worthy cause as well as to kick my butt and keep me at work with a story I've been dying to finish for years called "The Northern Lights."

And once I get done with that, I really need to get moving on the first chapters of the second book in the Boulevard of Bad Spells and Broken Dreams series, which has been researched and outlined and just needs some serious behind in the chair, fingers on the keyboard work.

So, please join me this summer as I've got a big deadline approaching on September 3, when my final year of the doctoral program begins and I once again must retreat into the scholarly world, which is nowhere near as much fun as writing fantasy or whipping up excerpts of my memoirs. Click here for my Clarion Author Page to view my progress and to the Write a Thon Home Page to make a donation.


Sunday, June 16, 2013

Rayne Hall, Editor, Introduces The Contributing Authors In Seers: Ten Tales of Clairvoyance

Last time, I was pleased to host Rayne Hall, the author, discussing her novel Storm Dancer. Today, I'm thrilled to announce the upcoming publication of the latest in her popular fantasy anthology series  Seers: Ten Tales of Clairvoyance. It is quite an honor to once again have placed my story, "Dance With The Devil," amongst an incredible lineup from authors from all over the globe. Without further ado,  here is a list of contributors and a table of contents--along with the cover. Stay tuned for release day and  I'll let you know when Rayne hits the button.




SEERS: TEN TALES OF CLAIRVOYANCE - ABOUT THE CONTRIBUTORS

 
APRIL GREY's urban fantasy novel, Chasing The Trickster, is published by Eternal Press.Her short stories have been published in such anthologies as Demonmind's Halloween 2010, The Best of Everyday Fiction 2, Northern Haunts, Ephemera, Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires, Undead: Ten Tales of Zombies and Terrible Beauty, Fearful Symmetry. Many of these stories can be found in her collection, The Fairy Cake Bake Shoppe available through Amazon.



RAYNE HALL lives in a dilapidated English seaside town of former Victorian grandeur where she writes horror and fantasy fiction. Her short stories have been published in many magazines, e-zines and anthologies. She has had more than 40 books published in several genres under several pen names, including the dark epic fantasy novel Storm Dancer. Her editing experience in the publishing industry spans three decades. She is also the editor of other books in the Ten Tales series. You can follow her on Twitter @raynehall and her website is http://sites.google.com/site/raynehallsdarkfantasyfiction/ .


JEFF HARGETT is a grandfather from North Carolina with an imagination full of magic and dragons. He stays young and fit by dining on epic fantasy whenever possible. He’s had a couple of short stories placed in competitions, but prefers his fiction in novel-length doses. He is currently writing an epic fantasy series that he hopes will be published while he can still wield a pen. He’s a firm believer that when this world doesn’t suit you, you should write a world that does. He enjoys interacting with readers and other writers and spends far too much time loitering around his blog http://StrandsOfPattern.blogspot.com/ .



FREDERICK LANGRIDGE enjoyed a varied career as an engineer, scientist, manager and teacher. Now in semi-retirement he has turned his writing skills to projects much more exciting than worksheets and textbooks. His short stories have appeared in compilations produced by the Panocticon Writing Group, of which he is a founder member, and in his own collection: Short Stories to Read on the Bus. He has previously contributed to a published science teaching course and several textbooks, and currently works part time as Associate Tutor in Science Education at Edge Hill University.

DOUGLAS KOLACKI began writing while stationed with the Navy in Naples, Italy, published numerous stories in San Diego, and recently completed a cross-country trek to his new home in Providence, Rhode Island. His short story credits include Weird Tales, Dragons Knights & Angels, Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires, Cutlass: Ten Tales of Pirates, Spells: Ten Tales of Magic and Big Pulp. His published novels are Elijah's Chariot and On the Eighth Day, God Created Trilby Richardson.





TRACIE MCBRIDE is a New Zealander who lives in Melbourne, Australia with her husband and three children. Her work has appeared or is forthcoming in over 80 print and electronic publications, including Horror Library Vols 4 and 5, Dead Red Heart, Phobophobia, Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, Scared: Ten Tales of Horror, Undead: Ten Tales of Zombies and Horror for Good. Her debut collection Ghosts Can Bleed contains much of the work that earned her a Sir Julius Vogel Award in 2008. She helps to wrangle slush for Dark Moon Digest and is the vice president of Dark Continents Publishing. She welcomes visitors to her blog at http://traciemcbridewriter.wordpress.com /.



CAROLE ANN MOLETI lives and works as a nurse-midwife in New York City, thus explaining her fascination with all things paranormal, urban fantasy, and space opera. Her work has appeared in a variety of speculative fiction venues including Lightspeed, The Internet Review of Science Fiction, Tangent Online, The Portal, and The Fix. Other stories set in the world of her novels are featured in Haunted: Ten Tales of Ghosts, Beltane: Ten Tales of Magic, and Bites: Ten Tales of Vampires. Follow her on Twitter @Cmoleti, Facebook http://www.facebook.com/pages/Carole-Ann-Moleti/105189976183638 or this blog.

JACK NICHOLLS lives in Melbourne, Australia, where on most nights he cannot see the stars at all. He is a graduate of Clarion West 2011, where this story was written. It was first published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies 101.His other fantasy fiction has appeared in Aurealis 54  and Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 56





MOHANALAKSHMI RAJAKUMAR is a South Asian American who has lived in Qatar since 2005. Moving to the Arabian Desert was fortuitous in many ways since this is where she met her husband, had a baby, and made the transition from writing as a hobby to a full time passion. She has since published five e-books including a mom-ior for first time mothers, Mommy But Still Me, a guide for aspiring writers, So You Want to Sell a Million Copies, a short story collection, Coloured and Other Stories, and a novel about women’s friendships, Saving Peace. Most recently, From Dunes to Dior, is a collection of essays related to her experiences as a female South Asian American living in the Arabian Gulf. After she joined the e-book revolution, she dreams in plotlines. Learn more about her work on her website at www.mohanalakshmi.com or follow her latest on Twitter: @moha_doha.


DEBORAH WALKER grew up in the most English town in the country, but she soon high-tailed it down to London, where she now lives with her partner, Chris, and her two young children. Find Deborah in the British Museum trawling the past for future inspiration or on her blogHer stories have appeared in Nature's Futures, Cosmos, Enchanted Conversation and in The Year's Best SF 18.

Friday, May 31, 2013

Welcoming Rayne Hall: The Author


Rayne Hall wears many hats: author, instructor, journalist, editor, moderator of the Professional Author's Group and Fantasy Fiction Forum. For as long as I've known her, she's been nurturing the cast of interesting and complex characters in Storm Dancer. I'm delighted to welcome her this week while she has a special 99c offer until June 5 for those of you who like your dark fantasy meticulously researched.

Rayne, how did you choose the title Storm Dancer for your book?

Storm Dancer was the first title that came to my mind, even before I had written the first chapter. Although I played with several other title ideas, this one just felt right. The two leads are both storm dancers, in different ways.

Dahoud is a troubled hero with a dark past seeking redemption. In the metaphorical sense, he is dancing in a storm of violence and temptation.

Merida is a magician who can change the weather by dancing. She's on a mission to bring rain to a land in the grip of drought and starvation. Her dance rouses a violent storm and unleashes the events that of the story.


Which characters did you enjoy writing about?

I loved - and still love - all my characters,  especially Dahoud. He's a dark, flawed hero, yet he fights his demon with integrity and courage, and I respect that.

Writing Merida was fun. She's a lovely woman, warm, compassionate, serious, honest and resourceful, but also tight about principles and prudish. I had wicked fun putting her principles to the test and making her do the things she swore she would never do.

The villain was fun to write, too. Many readers tell me that Kirral is their favourite character... although they wouldn't want to meet him in real life.

Yora is a spunky adolescent girl with a passion for knife fighting. She craves action and is unafraid.


Tell us about the world you've created for this book.

I had fun inventing the world, a fantasy world loosely based on the Middle East in the Bronze Age period. That's roughly the time when the Greeks besieged Troy and King David ruled in Israel. The cultures are inspired by ancient civilisations, especially Egypt, Greece, Persia and the Hittite Empire.

I enjoyed making the scenes come alive with intense atmosphere, so readers experience the story as if they were there and can smell the desert and feel the sand between their toes.




Dahoud is a fascinating character. Tell us more about him.  

He is a troubled hero with a dark secret. 
He needs to atone for the atrocities he committed as a siege commander. He works to build a new life, but his dark past won't let him go. Ruling the land he once devastated, how can he keep the secret of who he really is? He is possessed by a demon that tempts him back into his old ways. How long can Dahoud resist the lure? He fights to shield his people from war's violence - but the worst danger comes from himself. How can he protect the woman he loves from the evil inside him?

Are parts of the book based on real experiences?

The places and characters exist only in my imagination; I like making things up.

However, many inspiration come from real life. For the fantasy world, I've drawn on places where I've lived and travelled - Asia, Europe,  North Africa, the Middle East. Some of the characters have personality traits I've observed in real life people, although I like to mix them up so no real person finds their way into my books.

My own experiences are fertile material for fiction. I used to perform semi-professionally as a bellydancer, so I could write with authenticity about how the heroine in Storm Dancer learns the dance and performs it in a tavern.

Years ago, I went on an assignment as a development aid worker to a remote part of northern China. I had been promised a heated, furnished flat with running water. When I arrived, the flat was a ruin, the windows broken, no water, no furniture, no heating, and a blizzard was raging outside.  I survived the freezing night by piling all my clothes on top of me. In the morning, I confronted my employer and requested that he honour the contract. He shrugged. “I'm a busy man. I don't have time to keep my promises.”

I adapted this experience for Storm Dancer.  Merida is a weather magician, sent by her government to bring rain to a distant, drought-parched country. When she arrives, she finds the promised private apartment doesn't exist. Instead, she has to sleep in a grimy, noisy dormitory. She complains, and is told: “I am a busy man.” His voice had the low-humming hiss of a wasp hovering over rotting fruit. “I do not have time to keep promises.”

This was just the start. Things got worse for me in China, and they get worse for Merida in Quislak.


You write British English. How does it differ from American?

Some words vary. For example, Brits often use which or who when Americans use that.  In British English, we talk about autumn, lift and suspenders when Americans use fall, elevator and garter belt - not that those words are common in Storm Dancer. More significant are the spelling variations. British English words often have more letters than their American equivalents: honour, colour, jewellery, travelling instead of honor, color, jewellery, traveling, and s instead of z, for example in realise. Grammar and punctuation rules also differ a little.

Most readers enjoy a book regardless, and some even appreciate the variety. However, I've had emails from Americans who complain about spelling “errors” and demand that British authors give up their “inferior” English in  favour of “proper” (American) English. If anyone really can't bear British English, I suggest they avoid my books.

I actually love British English so that's something I really don't understand. Anyway,  who painted the cover?

The cover is a collaboration between two artists, Paul Davies and Erica Syverson.
Paul Davies is a professional illustrator specialising in fantasy,  He painted most of the character and some of the background. Erica Syverson is an art student who studies at Kendall College of Art and Design, majoring in Digital Media. Fantasy, horror and supernatural images are her speciality. . She painted much of the background and some of the character.

And you made the trailer, correct?

I had fun creating it myself. I think it captures the mood, intensity and excitement of this dark epic fantasy novel. 

How dark is Storm Dancer? Why the R-rating?   



Storm Dancer contains some dark elements which can be disturbing - war, violence, rape, treachery, human sacrifice, demonic possession. Most readers take these aspects in their stride, but some find them distressing.

There's no graphic sex, but the erotic tension is sometimes intense, and not all of it is of the consensual kind. Some of the temptations are vivid. The violence is not excessive, but in places it's graphic.

I recommend downloading the free sample pages to see if it's your kind of book.

You can also read the first six chapters free here: https://sites.google.com/site/stormdancernovel/storm-dancer-free-sample-pages

Where can we buy the book?

The ebook is available here:






Storm Dancer is also available as paperback. It's a big fat book for many hours of reading pleasure.





Thanks, Rayne. I hope you'll come back another time as Rayne Hall: The Editor, perhaps to reveal the cover of your next Ten Tales Series book?

Of course, I'd love to. Thanks for having me.

Wednesday, May 1, 2013

Celebrating Beltane with The Ten Tales Authors--Welcoming Karen Heard


I'm always amazed at how all religions seem to celebrate similar feasts at about the same times. The Jews and Christians celebrated Passover and Easter in late March, just as the Spring Equinox occurred. The Orthodox Christians are in the middle of Holy Week, with their Easter this coming Sunday. I shouldn't be surprised since we're all descended from the ancients who adopted new customs and beliefs as the wheel of time turned.

 Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft was assembled with great care by Rayne Hall to celebrate a varied interpretations of  witches and witchcraft by different authors, some of whom are witches, and others like myself  who know, love, respect, study, and write about them. I've made many friends on this journey to understanding and appreciation of the Craft, and welcome fellow Beltane author Karen Heard to tell us a little about herself and her writing.

With gratitude to Rayne and Deborah for all they have taught me about magic, witchcraft , and writing I wish all of you bright blessings no matter of which ilk they may be.




Most of my short stories can take months to write. However when Rayne told me she needed a final story as soon as possible, I knew I e to produce something of quality in a very short space of time. From contributing to Scared: Ten Tales of Horror, and reading the other work in Rayne’s collections, I knew that she set a high bar for the quality of work she accepts. I knew it had to be something special.

I didn’t have any suitable ideas in my head, and so thought I was going to have to decline the offer. However, as I was walking home along the Southbank, looking at the patterns in the river-side sand, an image came into my head of a strange ethereal girl floating across the sand. She had long white hair and instantly I knew her name would be Alba: a girl with a secret identity. I saw her stumble across a body lying in the sand, but that only Alba, with her secret knowledge, could sense that some unnatural force had killed the girl. I knew instantly that I had to write that story.

Sometimes, it helps with the creative process to have a loose brief. Not only did the theme of witchcraft inspire me, but as I knew the story would be part of a collection, it encouraged me to come up with an idea slightly different to the other stories. I wanted to describe Alba in the language similar to that used for magical realism to evoke the mystical quality she possessed. However, as soon as I saw Alba on that beach - the only person able to see what had happened - I knew she would have to be the one to solve the mystery herself, and so wanted the story to be, at heart, a detective story. I hoped this would be an unusual twist on the witchcraft theme.

I wrote the outline of the story in half an hour, as I walked along the Thames that first day, stopping every few minutes to scribble down another scene whilst the lunchtime workers rushed around me. Rewriting then took me quite another couple of weeks, with the occasional nudge from Rayne to keep me motivated.

I wanted to make the work evocative by capturing the smells and feelings that Alba experiences. However I also wanted to show Alba from an outside point of view, as, with her secret past, she is as much of a puzzle as the murder. In the end I introduced a detective: Sergeant Taylor, to also investigate the murders from an official point of view. The two narratives hopefully complement each other and towards the end, when the two stories combine, they help the reader make sense of what each person finds out.

Part of the joy of writing for a collection is when the finished version comes out and you can read the other stories and enjoy being a part of something. When I read Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft I felt proud to be included among so many other varied and thought provoking tales. I really enjoyed reading them all, and I hope you will give them a chance too.

Amazing story, Karen. It illustrates how authors come up with story ideas--and how our muses make their wishes known. Thanks for sharing.

Be sure to join the blog hop and check in on all the other Ten Tales author's Beltane Blogs. I will post the links as soon as they are live.

Here's the link to my post in celebration of Beltane, both the day and the book!

Beltane: Ten Tales of Witchcraft is available on Amazon  

To read more dark short stories by Karen Heard, check out her Amazon Author Page and  new collection: It’s Dark Inside