Showing posts with label Bewitching Book Tours. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Bewitching Book Tours. Show all posts

Thursday, October 26, 2017

Spotlight: A Mortal Indiscretion







A Mortal Indiscretion             
The Justin and Ambra Series
Book One
Barbra E. Ross    

Genre: Paranormal Romance,
Romantic Suspense, Vampire Romance

Date of Publication: 4/27/16  

ISBN: 978-1530762804
ASIN: B01DFJ3TG4

Number of pages: 632 pages
Word Count: 259981

Cover Artist: ProEbook Covers

Tagline: A sexy vampire. A little deceit. A love worth dying for. What more could you want from a vampire romance?

Book Description: 

A man. A vampire. A love story....

One night changed everything for bachelor Justin Bertolli. A womanizer at heart, never quite ready to settle down, he meets the woman who would change his life forever. Ambra Taylor is that woman, but is she all that Justin bargained for? Told from a male protagonist point of view, A Mortal Indiscretion delivers wholly unique narratives that don’t succumb to the same old recycled concepts. 


Everything unravels in Justin’s world. Although Ambra is a vampire, she is the vulnerable one of the two characters, providing a refreshing twist on standard tales. She is not waiting for her prince to come save her on his white horse. She simply desires love, to feel human love again and will do anything to protect the love of Justin. 



When Justin discovers the truth about who and what she is, will he still love her? Will he still want her? Find out, as their hearts collide in this epic tale of love.



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All Hallow’s Eve 
Barbra E Ross

It only comes but once a year.
Filling your mind with fright and fear.
Some candy corn and popcorn balls.
While the eeriness, creeps through the wall.

A witch’s laugh, a ghostly moan.
Mummy’s hand and skeleton bone.
Vampire fangs, wolves howl.
Thunder cloud, wailing owl.

Midnight brings on the feast.
A zombie’s wander, never cease.
Cemeteries full of helpless souls.
While neighbors fill the candy bowls.

Dead leaves float through the air.
While devils dance, and stranger’s stare.
Pumpkin’s glow, red and gold.
My skin crawls in a deathly hold.

Sunrise brings it all to end.
Light and dark, begin to blend.
Demons whither, back to ground.
Evil’s desire gagged and bound.

Back to normal, all is well.
Nightly beasts sent back to hell.
Halloween, tricks and treats.
Make the heart, skip a beat.





About the Author:

Barbra E Ross lives in Michigan. She is a nurse by day and a writer of fiction at night.




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Friday, October 20, 2017

Villain Spotlight: Tarnished Journey






Tarnished Journey
Soul Dance
Book Four
Ann Gimpel

Genre: PNR

Full length paranormal romance with shifters and gypsies and demons–and an HEA.

Book Description:

Long before Germany rounded up Romani and sent them to prison camps, the Netherlands declared them undesirables. Yara’s caravan disbanded when she was fifteen to avoid being driven out of the country. Ten years have passed, and she’s been alone for most of that time hiding in caves and abandoned buildings. It’s been a lonely life, but at least she still has one.

Stewart conceals his true identity for the best of reasons. He’s not actually Romani, even though he’s been a caravan leader for many years. In a bold and desperate move, he joins a small band of shifters and Rom to fight the Reich’s chokehold on Europe. When they’re crossing the border into the Netherlands, vampires attack.

Yara senses Romani near her cave. The stench of vampire comes through loud and clear too, along with shifters. While not nearly as bad as vampires, her people have always steered clear of them. Another type of magic plucks at her. She can’t identify it, but it draws her from her hiding place. That decision tilts her world on its axis when she comes face to face with Stewart’s raw masculinity and savage presence. She could still turn tail and run. If she stays, it doesn’t require magical ability to recognize her life will change forever.

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Guest Post: VILLAIN SPOTLIGHT

Thanks so much for inviting me back to your blog, Gothic Mom. Hope all is well with you. Tarnished Journey, last of the Soul Dance books features many villains. Perhaps the most loveable is Manandan, son of Llyr and a sea god in his own right. Rather than an interview, here’s a clip from Chapter Eleven. It shines a light into Manandan’s character, his entitlement mentality, and his particular world view.
*********
…“Tell him what?” Yara broke in. “How the hell do you say no to a god? Besides, I didn’t exactly tell him yes. I asked a question, and he disappeared. Granted, I didn’t try to call him back. It would have been absurdly selfish of me to put myself before all the other people on this ship.”
“So ye werena smitten, lass?” Stewart arched a brow.
She smiled. “Sometimes you sound unbelievably archaic. Nay,” she aped his brogue, “I wasna smitten. Merely practical. Besides, I figured my mother wouldn’t force me into something I didn’t want. Once we were safe in Scotland, I would have addressed this.”
“’Twas a gamble. The gods may squabble like rats over a rotting corpse, but they stand together against any outsider, which is exactly what they’d consider ye to be.”
The deck pitched violently beneath them, and he scrambled for balance. “Come on. Manandan’s temper appears to be deteriorating.”
“It wasn’t his strong suit when he was in my cabin. Let me go first.”
“Nay.” Stewart gripped the handrails and hauled himself one deck up with Yara right behind him. They needed a plan, and he didn’t have one. Manandan had always been quick to anger, and he didn’t like to lose.
The deck canted hard to port; Cadr and Gregor were scrambling to get the canvas down. Vreis stood at the helm. Lines of strain carved deep into his face as he fought the wheel.
Manandan was turned away from them, facing out to sea with his hands raised. Power arced from his fingers, burning blue-white against the darkness where sea and sky merged into each other. It should still be daytime, but you couldn’t prove it by the inky darkness surrounding the ship. Water raced over the rails, retreating as it rejoined the sea.
Yara started forward, but Stewart gripped her upper arm, and then slid his hand down until their fingers laced together. The god knew they were there. No need to say anything.
Stewart rocked from foot to foot to stay upright. Perhaps the god would give him something to work with if he waited. Patience had never been one of Manandan’s virtues. In this instance, that might work in their favor.
Manandan spun. Anger shot from his black eyes. Dark hair swirled around him, falling to the middle of his back. He’d always preferred robes to trousers, and today’s was the color of old claret, sashed in deep blue.
He pointed a long-nailed index finger at Yara. “Faithless whore. I offered you a great honor, and ye throw it in my face by rutting with yon Druid. What? Ye couldna wait until I had the time to take you to my bed?”
The god marched toward them, his arm still extended. “We had a deal. A bargain. Granted, ’twas not sealed with your blood, but ye’re Rhiannon’s daughter. I assumed ye’d be an honorable wench. Not a faithless slut.”
Stewart stepped between them. “That is enough. Ye insult the woman who shall be my wife.”
A muted squawk emerged from Yara, but she didn’t follow it up by telling him he’d just presumed a whole lot without asking her.
“Wife, eh? Appears she’s a wee bit surprised by your proposal.”
“If I’m surprised, it’s because I can see you,” Yara spoke up, her voice surprisingly steady. “In my cabin, you were nothing but a disembodied voice.”
“So?” Manandan stared at her. “Surely ye’ve seen Rhiannon in all her forms.”
“In truth, I’ve never seen her at all. Not that I remember, anyway. She fostered me in a gypsy caravan when I was just a babe.”
“Details.” He waved a dismissive hand and more seawater sluiced over the deck, swirling about his feet. “We had an agreement. Will ye maintain your end, or would ye prefer to leave this flimsy piece of wood masquerading as a boat to the whims of the sea?”
“I see many more options than that,” Stewart cut in smoothly. “Ye surprised the lass when ye materialized below decks. She was flustered and dinna wish to put her own needs above those of the rest of us traveling with her.”
Manandan nodded knowingly. “Indeed. All good and salient reasons for her to leave with me now. I’ll instruct the sea to see you safely across to Scotland as I promised.”
“Did you talk with my mother? With Rhiannon?” Yara asked.
“When would I have had a chance to do that?” he countered. “I’ve been here, holding the storm at bay.” He tossed his head. “Keeping my end of the bargain.”
Stewart clacked his jaws together and jumped in with both feet. “Ye just contradicted yourself.”
Manandan transferred his unnerving black eyes to Stewart. “I should kill you for that impertinence.”
“Hear me out, then decide.” Stewart squared his shoulders. “First, ye said ye could instruct the sea to guide us safely across, implying ye dinna have to be here overseeing things. Next, ye announced ye’d been holding the storm at bay. Ye canna have it both ways. Either your presence is essential. Or ’tis not.”
“Your point, Druid?” Manandan skinned his lips back from his teeth, looking annoyed.
At least he hasna called down lightning to smote me. Yet.
“My point was this.” Stewart plunged ahead. If he stopped to organize what came out of his mouth, his courage might fail. “Ye dinna believe aught stood betwixt ye and yon lass, so ye werena in any rush to leave. Your behind-the-scenes motive was to make certain the ship made port with her aboard. Now that ye recognize I have a claim where she’s concerned, ye’re anxious to spirit her away regardless of whether the ship founders.”
“I would hear from her whether she sees herself as yours.” The sea god shoved past Stewart and stood nose to nose with Yara. “I take what I want, lass, but ye agreed to—”
“I asked a question,” she broke in. “I never said yes to anything. You left too soon.”
Stewart winced. She’d interrupted a god, and that wouldn’t end well.
“We had an understanding,” Manandan shouted. “Ye asked what I wanted when I turned down your offer of gold. Since my request was well within your ability to acquiesce, of course I left.”
“I asked a question,” Yara persisted. “You never used the words mistress or marry or have sex with. From where I’m sitting, your meaning was vague. For all I knew, you were planning to shanghai me to be your housekeeper.”
Stewart bit back an inane desire to laugh. Clearly not cowed by the god, Yara was brave and resourceful, countering his opinions with reason. Stewart wanted to hug her, but there wasn’t much point in making Manandan even angrier.
“Housekeeper?” His voice rose. “Housekeeper? I’m a god, woman. Magic accomplishes such tasks.”
Yara shrugged. “Since I wasn’t raised by Rhiannon, all I understand is life in Romani caravans—or by myself after the Dutch government made it a crime to be a gypsy.” She crossed her arms beneath her breasts and stood as straight as she could manage on the pitching deck.
A crafty look crossed Manandan’s craggy features. “Ye’ve had little enough of ease in your life, lassie. I could make up for the hard times. Ye’d never want for aught.”
“It takes more than that to make someone happy. I may be Rhiannon’s child, but until less than a day ago, I viewed myself as human.”
“I know what women like. Come with me. I have a lovely corner room in mind just for you. It looks down on gardens such as ye’ve never laid eyes on afore. Flowers grow that bloom only in the Otherworld. Ye’d have servants to tend to your every need.”
Stewart both saw and felt compulsion weave itself with the sea god’s offer. He fisted his hands, wanting to drive them through Manandan’s handsome face.
A closed-off look etched into Yara’s features, and she tilted her chin at a defiant angle. “Sorry. God or no, I’m not for sale.”
“I tried to do this nicely,” Manandan snarled. “Let’s see if a year or two in the dungeons doesna improve your attitude. I can afford to wait ye out.” The sea crashed over a railing and formed a glittering nimbus circling him and Yara. Brightness grew around the two, edging upward.
Stewart pulled power like a madman. He had to intervene before the god’s spell reached its zenith. When that happened, he’d disappear and take Yara with him.
“Let us help.” Jamal and Elliott closed on either side of him, weaving their shifter magic with his. It was a more potent blend than Stewart would have guessed. Power flared around them in a mixture of blues, greens, and browns, and the scents of their combined power gave him hope all wasn’t lost.
“Yara! Break free while ye still can,” Stewart exhorted.
Rather than answer, she extended her arms. Lightning bolts crackled from her fingertips. The wind turned her flame-colored hair into a twisting mass that took one bird form after the next.
Was it conscious? Either she was channeling her mother, or Rhiannon was on her way. Stewart upped his link with the two shifters and focused more power to break through the pulsing maelstrom of seawater surrounding Manandan and Yara. Even if Rhiannon were racing to her daughter’s side, she might arrive too late.
As if drawn by the avian tableau playing itself out in Yara’s long hair, Meara flew between the god and Yara, cawing fiercely. Stewart felt like cheering, but his spell required all his attention. Surely, the god couldn’t stand against all of them.
He doesna have to. All he needs to do is create enough of a power vacuum to spirit himself and Yara out of here.
Aye, and once he’s gone, we shall feel the full brunt of his resentment.
No help for that last. Once Yara was safely beyond the god’s reach, Stewart wanted him well and truly gone. He’d faced rough seas before, and he could do it again. The boat was solidly built. It would see them safe to port—with an assist from everyone’s combined magic.
He hoped.
I have yet to lose a ship. This willna be the first.
Manandan shot a blast of blue-tinged power at the vulture shifter, but she evaded him easily with a tilt of her extended wings. Yara took advantage of the momentary break in the god’s attention to fashion an opening in the pulsing water. Once she slithered through, she dropped back until a few feet separated her from Manandan.
He roared his displeasure. A vortex crafted from seawater swished outward from where he stood, enveloping Yara. She fought against it, power spewing from her as she tried to break the god’s grip.
Meara went on full attack mode, flying right at the god with her beak angled to take out one of his eyes. Just when she got close, she smacked up against something Stewart couldn’t see.
Must be the god’s warding. Shit! How would they drill through that? He was holding his spell around Yara and defending himself without expending much visible effort at all.
Stewart focused his magic, combined with Jamal’s and Elliott’s, at various points in the cyclone around Yara, but couldn’t penetrate it. “I need more,” he cried. “Give me more.”
“There isn’t any more,” Elliott said, his tone grim as death. “We need to be smart about this. Water is the most potent of the elements, and it’s his strong point. The rest of us use earth and air.”
“Fire comes to my call,” Jamal panted, “but it’s less than useless against water.”
“We have to do something.” Stewart shouted to make himself heard above the howling wind and pounding sea.
Oblivious to the rest of them, Meara flew around Manandan’s head, getting in blows from her beak from time to time. How she determined where rents were in the god’s warding was beyond Stewart since the shielding around the god all looked the same to him.
At least Meara’s diversion kept the god’s net around Yara from reaching full velocity. Stewart stripped warding from himself and plunged toward Yara. Where the sea touched him, it burned so hot he imagined skin sloughing from his bones, but he kept going until he stood within the circle of water by Yara’s side.
“That was stupid,” she screeched, her face contorted into a rictus. “Now you’re trapped right along with me.”
Her lack of faith in him stung, but he pushed it aside. “I hold Jamal’s and Elliott’s magic in addition to my own. Join yours to the mix. Together, we can blast through the enchantment. Ye must believe we can do this, lass.”
Hope flared in her eyes, turning them deep violet, and the unique feel of her magic augured into him. He didn’t hesitate, just braided it with what lived within him, working as fast as he could.
The sea pushed against them now with the same hungry icy-heat that had burned him when he blasted through its barrier. “Earth trumps water,” he shouted. “Channel as much as ye can.”
“It’s my strongest element.” A feral expression made her look like something out of legends, otherworldly and fierce enough to bend fate to her will.
“On my count of three.” Stewart didn’t bother with telepathy. Meara was still keeping Manandan busy, and if this worked, things would happen fast.
“One. Two. Three.”
Magic scoured its way through him; he welcomed its cleansing path. Extreme power always did this, made him feel like he came within a hairsbreadth of dying and being reborn as something pure and innocent, yet ancient and wise at the same time.
The circle of seawater burst around them, turning into nothing more than foam racing across the tilting deck.
Stewart didn’t hesitate. He wrapped his arms around Yara and dragged her backward until they were behind Jamal and Elliott.
Manandan focused a gimlet gaze their way. “Ye think to stymie me with cheap parlor tricks? My sea will make certain this ship founders. I’m done with good deeds. And with faithless sluts who doona appreciate me.” He raised both arms over his head and began to chant in Gaelic.
Meara pecked his outstretched hands until blood flowed, but the god ignored her.
Magic with a different feel spilled around them, enveloping them in a multihued ball of light. Wind still howled and waves still roared, but the ship righted itself, no longer fighting the restless sea.
“What the hell is happening now?” Yara sputtered.
Stewart tightened his grip on her. “I might be mistaken, lass, but I believe your mother is about to make an appearance.”
Yara tried to evade his grasp. The air around her developed a reddish tinge as anger exploded from her. “I hate this,” she yelled. “I’m more than a goddamned pawn on a game board. You hear that, Mother?” She shook her fist skyward. “Take your fucking help and choke on it. I may have needed you once, but I don’t anymore.”
Shock ricocheted through Stewart. He opened his mouth to chide Yara for her disrespect, but silvery laughter cut through the howl of wind and the slap of waves.
A gateway pulsing with violet light formed next to Manandan, and Rhiannon stepped through. Long red hair, twin to her daughter’s, flowed to her feet. She was wrapped in lengths of silver and gold brocade, and an owl sat on each shoulder. A copper torc circled her throat, and rings with violet gemstones adorned the index fingers of both hands.
She turned her golden eyes on Yara. “Well met, daughter. ’Twould be a sad day, indeed, if ye suffered for want of a mother ye never knew.”



About the Author:

Ann Gimpel is a mountaineer at heart. Recently retired from a long career as a psychologist, she remembers many hours at her desk where her body may have been stuck inside four walls, but her soul was planning yet one more trip to the backcountry. Around the turn of the last century (that would be 2000, not 1900!), she managed to finagle moving to the Eastern Sierra, a mecca for those in love with the mountains. It was during long backcountry treks that Ann’s writing evolved. Unlike some who see the backcountry as an excuse to drag friends and relatives along, Ann prefers solitude. Stories always ran around in her head on those journeys, sometimes as a hedge against abject terror when challenging conditions made her fear for her life, sometimes for company. Eventually, she returned from a trip and sat down at the computer. Three months later, a five hundred page novel emerged. Oh, it wasn’t very good, but it was a beginning. And, she learned a lot between writing that novel and its sequel.

Around that time, a friend of hers suggested she try her hand at short stories. It didn’t take long before that first story found its way into print and they’ve been accepted pretty regularly since then. One of Ann’s passions has always been ecology, so her tales often have a green twist.

In addition to writing, Ann enjoys wilderness photography. She lugs pounds of camera equipment in her backpack to distant locales every year. A standing joke is that over ten percent of her pack weight is camera gear which means someone else has to carry the food! That someone is her husband. They’ve shared a life together for a very long time. Children, grandchildren and three wolf hybrids round out their family.

Find Ann At:






Monday, October 16, 2017

Guest Post on Villains by Joe M. Solomon





The Darkness: Giger, Texas
Joe M. Solomon

Genre: Horror/Supernatural

Publisher: NES Publishing, LLC

Date of Publication: October 3, 2017

ISBN: 978-0-9990024-0-7
ASIN: B07435H5YR

Number of pages: 372
Word Count: 106,029

Cover Artist: Syneca Featherstone



Book Description:

When night falls in Giger, Texas, shadows gather as they always do in dim corners and other areas bereft of light.  But this time they consolidate and attack any who tread too close. Michael Warren, a twenty-four-year-old resident of Giger, finds himself at the epicenter of this horror and is stunned by the losses suffered overnight.  Then the sun sets and the shadows again coalesce, growing more aggressive, the darkness eviscerating anyone it touches.

His only weapon light, Michael struggles to survive and searches frantically for his girlfriend, aiding friends along the way.  When Hurricane Daniel roars ashore, wind gusts shred trees and tear down power lines, plunging all of Southeastern Texas into blackness that only feeds and strengthens the encroaching darkness.  Rising floodwater provides easy thoroughfares from which the darkness can strike as Michael and his friends contend with the elements, clash with criminals, and battle their way to his residence where they will stand against the darkness and fight to survive.

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Excerpt:
Startled, Eddie blinked and wiped at his own eyes. “What was…? Hello?”

No answer.
      
His pulse picked up. “C-Curt, you in here… you a-a-a-asshole?”

A box fell behind him.

Eddie spun around, body tight as a knot, eyes wide as their sockets would allow. “Wh-h-h-h-who the hell’s that?” he demanded with as much sternness as he could inject into his quivering voice.


Soft whispers trickled out of a minuscule pocket of emptiness near the back door on the farthest wall. There, amid the gloom, something progressed toward him. At first, its movements appeared mechanical, inelastic. Then it evolved into a smooth flow. A soft ripple. A consolidated wave of darkness.



Review - The Darkness Giger, Texas - 5 Stars

A total scarefest! Definitely not for the squeamish. This takes place right before a hurricane is about to hit. Those of us who have dealt with a hurricane or are afraid of the dark, will experience real terror among these pages. Michael Warren and his friends have no idea why there are mass murders taking place at night, not just in Giger, Texas, but all over the world. You won't believe what they encounter. Many of you may want to sleep with the lights on after this.

We have a very plausible scenario here that switches to the viewpoint of thecharacters throughout. If you live in the Houston area, you can really visualize this taking place which makes it all the more terrifying. I wasn't sure what to expect when I started this, but it was worth the ride. Seasoned horror fans will be glued to their seats as a new terror takes shape. - Reviewed by Janet



GUEST POST: VILLAINS


Let’s explore a little about what scares you.  I’ve read books and watched movies that reflect things that scare us.  Sometimes it is waking up and suddenly realizing that you are the last person on earth, i.e. Loneliness.  According to psychiatrists, we need people for everything from simple companionship to feeling good about ourselves.  This notion was examined time and again on the TV series The Twilight Zone. In Where is Everybody?, our main character basically wakes up in a town alone.  He tries a pay phone.  Nothing.  He rushes from a restaurant to the sheriff’’s office, finding no one.  He has a moment of hope when he sees a woman sitting in a car.  Further investigating, however, reveals that it is a mannequin.  When he can find no hope, ultimately our protagonist starts to crack up.  



We also see it in Time Enough when the main character survives a nuclear war.  Upon surfacing, the man finds everything has been destroyed.  He is a ferocious reader who wears thick eyeglasses. However, after discovering piles and piles of books he now has all the time in the world to read, he sees another on the ground, bends to retrieve it, and his glasses slide off of his nose and break.  Now he is alone, unable to read, with no one to talk to and nothing to do but wait to die.

In a more recent film, Passengers, the main character is on a spaceship, heading to a new world with thousands of other passengers.  By accident, the main character accidentally awakens.  All of the others still sleep.  Doing almost everything he wants to, from dancing in a virtual club to space walking outside of the ship, he finds it isn’t enough.  He needs a companion and soon finds it paramount.

So we need other people and fear total solitude. What else scares us?  Let’s consider some childhood that sometimes follow us into adulthood.  The three I’ve heard mentioned the most often are the monsters under the bed, the boogeyman in the closet and what lurks in the darkness.  As adults, the darkness continues to frighten us because we are aware now of terrors—like serial killers—that may lay in waiting for us as we walk to our cars late at night. Sick individuals who aren’t out steal our money or carjack us, but just want to see us suffer and die.  Or the lone gunman who unexpectedly sprays crowds with bullets or the man who waits in the shadows, engine running, carefully timing a hit and run.  All for the sake of violence.  But what happens when the menace in the darkness waiting to kill you isn’t a person, but the darkness itself is? 
“So what?” some might respond.  “The darkness is intangible.”  But what if it became tangible, not just her or there, but everywhere shadows formed.  And the one thing we knew for certain was that the sun must set. 
Again, so might shrug and say, “So what?  I’ll simply turn on the lights.”  What if a hurricane then plowed ashore and took away your light source?  What if the darkness grew so thick that is blocked out the starts from the sky… and the light in your house?  How would you protect yourself if a candle or flashlight simply wasn’t enough light to stave off the darkness?  Would submersing yourself in such a tale take you back to an earlier time in your life when the monster under the bed and the boogeyman in the closet seemed terrifyingly real? 

Well, this is what I present to you, dear reader:  A villain you cannot speak with, interview, reason with or evade… ever!

About the Author:

Joe M. Solomon earned a bachelor’s degree from the University of St. Thomas, followed by both master’s and doctoral degrees from Rice University. Joe’s supernatural thriller The Darkness: Giger, Texas released in 2017. A second novel—The Light: Houston, Texas—and a collection of short stories that arise from the macabre will soon follow.  




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Friday, September 22, 2017

Guest Post by Marcus James


 



Rise of the Nephilim
A Blackmoore Prequel
Marcus James

Genre: Erotic PNR/Gothic Horror

Publisher: Candiano Books

Date of Publication: 07/24/2017

ISBN:1545039895
ASIN: B073q4gb9w

Number of pages: 201

Word Count: 61,272

Cover Artist: Ransom Graphics

Tagline: Sex, witchcraft, and rock and roll on the Sunset Strip

Book Description:

LOS ANGELES, summer of 1987.

Kathryn Blackmoore, the 26 year old heir to Blackmoore World Corp. and the future matriarch of the Blackmoore dynasty of witches has fled the haunted old monied neighborhood of South Hill in Bellingham, Washington looking to trade in a century of rumors, superstition, and her own heartache  for the sun, sex, and music of the Sunset Strip.

Taking up residence in the famed and decaying Chateau Marmont hotel, Kathryn quickly finds herself in an erotic and thrilling journey into the world of Niiq, Arish, and Kuri; members of the band Nephilim, who seem to have the women of the Strip enthralled by their dark and sensuous sound. When bodies begin to turn up all over town and a mysterious and haunting figure fixates on Kathryn, she quickly learns that you can never escape your destiny.

RISE OF THE NEPHILIM is the first of a two part erotic paranormal romance/thriller revealing the beginnings of one of the most captivating characters in The Blackmoore Legacy series. It is a standalone prequel of eroticism, romance, and suspense.


GUEST POST:
The Queen of the Night: My Journey with Kathryn Blackmoore

Characters. For the fiction writer they are the reflections of the hidden pieces of a writer's self, they are a constant companion who often teaches the author new lessons needed to be learned and a voice in the darkness when we are deep in solitude. Characters for me are as real as any other person. I sense their presence, I hear their voices, experience their emotions, and see their world through their eyes.

  My main characters have always been men-more specifically gay men or straight-identified men who find themselves desperately in love with the lead main character. I call them the Boys, and they inhabit the worlds I walk into, and allow me into theirs. They are like spirits for me, energies from someplace else and like a medium I am channeling them.
  
The other characters are just as real for me but they don’t usually come on their own. Usually the Boys of whatever I am writing, bring these other characters in and give them a chance to speak and connect with me.

 Getting Kathryn Blackmoore to come through and chat so I could write Rise of the Nephilim was no easy feet. It required more than just sitting at the computer and writing, it was more akin to a séance. I sat on the floor of my office, lit some candles, smoked some pot, and put on the music I knew I would be writing to for this book; mostly Guns N Roses and Motley Crue. I had to draw this reserved and stylish witch out of her world and into mine.

Kathryn Blackmoore originated in my series The Blackmoore Legacy, (the first two books, Blackmoore and Symphony for the Devil are available now.) And in these novels she is mother to the main character, Trevor Blackmoore, and she is the unofficial matriarch of the Blackmoore dynasty of witches. Think equal parts Buffy, Dark Shadows, The Lives of the Mayfair Witches, with a dash of Harry Potter and you have the series.

 As an older woman, dealing with the loss of her husband, running the American offices of Blackmoore World Corp., and dealing with a dark, ancient, and bloodthirsty god seeking to regain power and human flesh to destroy her family, Kathryn is a sexy stone fox with a whiskey voice.

  In the Blackmoore series, Kathryn became a breakout favorite. My female readers really adore her, my gay readers think she is a fierce queen, and many of my straight male readers tell me how sexy she is. I’ve always known I wanted to tell her story as a young woman-before marriage and a child-but I was never quite certain how to do it. In the first novel, Blackmoore, Trevor is kept in the dark about the full truth of his family. He knows they are witches, that they see spirits, can read thoughts, effect the environment around them, etc. But the rich history of Voodoo and European witchcraft, the Dark God of the Wood, his role in everything; all of this is kept from him. The Blackmoores used to be very open about all of this within the family, but then it all just stopped and suddenly the family became very secretive. Well, I wanted to explain that, to reveal what happened to make Kathryn-and in turn, the rest of the clan-decide to suddenly stop talking, and the Nephilim Books were born.

 In the first book, Rise of the Nephilim, Kathryn is 26 and living in Los Angeles. It’s 1987 and she’s right on the famed Sunset Strip, where what we think of as 80’s rock and metal were born and where it called home. She’s trying to escape her life in Bellingham Washington, and her neighborhood of South Hill. An old-monied and superstitious place in the Sacred Heart parish, and the gossip and rumors that have persisted about her family for more than a century.

 In L.A. she’s recovering from a break up that has haunted her for years and she decides she’s just going to party, shop, have amazingly hot and thrilling sex and just experience the freedom in being young and away from home, but a series of gruesome deaths and haunting visions of a powerful and inhuman form begins to remind her that she can’t escape who she is and that she has been expected.

I wrote Rise as a standalone prequel to the main series, so that if you’ve never read Blackmoore or Symphony for the Devil it wouldn’t matter. Everyone is introduced to Kathryn and the world of the Blackmoores for the first time. It is a dark and complicated family and history and I wanted to make sure that with Rise it was as luridly intoxicating and gothic as the main series.

 I’ve had a blast getting to know Kathryn as an adventurous young woman enjoying her freedom and seeing who she was before she became the icy matriarch and protective and devoted mother that she is in The Blackmoore Legacy series. She is strong, fierce, and wildly independent and writing with her has been a reflection of myself at that age (26) when I loved a little too hard, partied a little too much, and lived one day as if it was the last.


I’m forever grateful to her and for taking me on this journey and she is a woman I am proud to know. That’s one of the greatest gifts we get to have as fiction writers; the chance to be surrounded by incredible souls that really belong to us so intimately that we are never alone and who can teach us things about ourselves that we may never see otherwise.


Excerpt:

The library was quiet with the exception of the short and humming-to-herself library assistant stacking the books left out or returned through-out the day. The girl was a junior; she was sure of it. She had never talked to her; they had never orbited the same solar system in the day-to-day endless galaxy of Mariner High School, but that didn’t matter.
She could still reach inside the girl’s mind whenever she wanted to, and explore everything she kept hidden from the rest of the world. She could travel the fleshy terrain of the girl’s brain and see her hopes and dreams, her fears, her loves, and her longings.
She was able to pick out that her name was Tammy. She was a studious girl with dirty blonde curls that hung to her breasts, her skin milk-white and soft, her face delicate and scattered with a dusting of freckles across the bridge of her small nose. Her brown eyes were golden and looked over the spine of each book, scanning their titles and looking up to each aisle to see where they belonged.
Kathryn Blackmoore stood from the table where she had been discussing after graduation party plans with her best friend Lila Sifuentes and with her boyfriend Sheffield Burges, excited to finally walk and receive their diplomas and be done with this place forever.
She was tall – five feet and nine inches. Her lean body was dressed in a pink-and-white pin-striped collared shirt, the sleeves rolled up to her elbows, the collar popped and buttoned only to her full breasts.
A three-tiered pearl necklace glistened in the bright white fluorescents overhead, and her thick shoulder-length feathered mane was a rich auburn that seemed to glow around her like a halo.
She gathered her books and began to make her way to the doors to begin the walk through campus back to her home. Her long legs were encased in a khaki, knee-length Ralph Lauren skirt with a slit up the left thigh and a tasseled and thin brown leather belt was fastened loosely around her waist and rested on her hipbones. Kathryn looked at her watch; it was 9:00 p.m. They had been put in charge of the after-party by the entire student body – at least by the Golden Gods, as the popular kids were called – and it was their job to deliver.
Somehow by some cruel joke perpetrated by the universe, Kathryn had somehow become one of them. That was a first for her family, and it was no surprise to her that this ascension in the school’s hierarchy was achieved by her relationship with Sheffield. He was one of the kindest and most popular guys at their elitist school, and was a rock star on the Soccer field. It was the school’s claim to greatness and claim to fame. Other schools had football, but Mariner was known throughout the country for their school’s soccer team. In the eighteen years of its existence – as long she had been alive – Mariner was a crowning achievement and had only ever lost three games. Families from the country over, who dreamed of soccer field futures for their children chose Mariner – a public high school – over the best sports-driven private schools.
Mariner was a dynasty of Bellingham Washington, and the rite of passage for the exclusive children of South Hill, with their centuries-old Victorian, Tudor, Colonial, and Craftsman mansions that stood on large plots of land between treacherous and almost guard-like evergreens on every street, and sidewalks lined with monstrous oaks and maples. Homes filled with inhabitants of both the living and the dead.
Then there werethe Edgemoore kids. Nouveau riche. Most of them were native Californians whose parents moved here in a great rush for cheap land when California’s real estate began to climb higher and higher, and for the chance to get their kid on the Mariner soccer team.
Here, on the cliffs on the other side of Bellingham Bay, and staring back at the old genteel mansions, were the castle-like and gaudy estates of Edgemoore.
These kids had no respect for the history that still stood in the city, and the almost haunted charm of Fairhaven, that filled the space along the water between these two wealthy neighborhoods. Fairhaven was the last town to merge with the county of Whatcom in 1903, finally forming the greater city of Bellingham. For the city, and everyone in it, there was a difference between the South Hill neighborhood and the rest of Bellingham itself, as if it were still its own town.
Connecting the south to the north of Bellingham was the campus of Fairhaven University, which in the 1890s had been the Washington State Normal School. Fairhaven University was carved through the trees and made up of tall, red-orange brick buildings and concrete bridges overpaved pathways in between the green. The city was not unlike Bram Stoker’s description of Transylvania: a place wild and filled with spirits, and fiercer things that lived in the mouth of the Carpathian Mountains that surrounded it.
The city was surrounded by cliffs and an endless army of evergreens.
Interstate 5 snaked through all of this above the city, so that every exit dipped down into it. Kathryn had grown up here, had been born here, into South Hill’s superstition and paranoia and never-ending fears.
South Hill was filled with the descendants of the founding families, and the majority had worshiped at The Cathedral of the Sacred Heart.
The white wood church with its gorgeous and detailed mammoth windows of stained glass was crowned with a single black-slated roof and spire.
The first time Kathryn had ever used her witchcraft against another was the priest who had tried to take advantage of her when she was twelve. It had felt invigorating to watch his body convulse and the blood begin to slip out of his mouth, eyes, and nose – even his ears.
When he had hit the floor, his brain fried, she had screamed and run out of the office as soon as one of the nuns and another priest – Father
Malady – opened the door, covering her tear-stained face.
It didn’t help anything when she told them what he had been attempting to do when the aneurism hit. She could hear the headmaster’s thoughts, as well as the two nuns and Father Malady, who had sat with his arms folded, his angular and almost rat-like face with his beady green eyes looking at her with a smug grin. They knew she had somehow caused it. She was a Blackmoore, after all; she was a witch and she had used her charms to seduce the priest. To bewitch him and befuddle him and make him lose all of his sense and self-control. She had made him weak on purpose so that she could kill him – to sacrifice him to Satan and make another hit in their diabolical war with the Church.
She had said nothing. She wanted to leave and go to Fairhaven Middle School. She was in her last year of junior high and she didn’t
want to be in this place any longer, with ruler hits and other obscene punishments. They were more than happy to get her out. Her father,
Trevor Mayland, had been the one to insist she go to Catholic School.
He feared the Blackmoore name as much as anyone else, regardless of the fact that he had married her mother, Annaline Blackmoore in 1961.
He had loved her so much that he had wanted to save Annaline from what he saw as the Blackmoore curse. He thought that she would be far from the devil’s reach if he could marry her and make an honest woman out of her. A God-fearing woman who would go to mass every
Sunday and keep far from her family’s other practice, aside from Blackmoore World Corp. – a multi-billion-dollar-a-year international company which handled almost all the shipments of goods, most legal and some more questionable, of the entire world – was running the Church of Light, the Spiritualist church that her great-grandmother Aria had started in 1898, where she would commune with the dead, read palm, tarot cards, and tea leaves.
It was a place where for a hefty sum, Aria could be hired to work her witchcraft for others, no matter the intention. The Church of Light was then run by Aria’s daughter Fiona, and now her daughter Mabel, her mother’s older sister. Annaline had been too adventurous for that anyways, and so Trevor’s plan meant nothing one way or the other, as Annaline was too much of a wild child, concerned with music festivals and poets and drinking while smoking pot and cigarettes.
This fact did not stop Trevor Mayland from worrying about “his girls,” as he called his wife and daughter, and sending Kathryn to boarding school, only a few blocks from her actual home, to only visit on the weekends, was extremely easy for him.
Yes, she had had enough at that point, and the death of the priest put a smile on her face – a smile she had to fight back when they almost hesitantly told her that she was finished and would be going back home.
They were witches; this was true, and Father Malady had known this. A man of forty-seven, straight from Ireland – in Kilcommon,County Mayo – where the Blackmoores had originated from, and where they still lived inside the great limestone citadel known as Blackmoore Hall on the shores of Broadhaven Bay.
Everyone in that part of Ireland knew of the Blackmoores. They believed them to be a family who grew into their wealth because of a pact with the devil, and those who knew them gained fortune or befell ruin simply for knowing them.
During the witch hunts her ancestors had fled the Black Moor and built a rustic cottage with a thatched roof along the cruel and wild sea, in hiding from both the evils of Christian men and the even greater and ancient evil that had tormented the clan of the Black Moor for centuries before finally escaping. He was a dark and bloodthirsty God who had tried to make slaves of the clan and had forced them to sacrifice the weak and the innocent to his altar.
They had finally escaped him, turning their back on him and refusing to write his name down or speak it from their lips. This went on for two hundred years, until all those who had known him had died, and he had grown weak from being forgotten. They left the moor in the year 1145 and journeyed northwest, as far from the wood and that deity as possible. They were secluded and far from wealthy, and then suddenly in 1845, they began to buy up nearly thirteen thousand acres of land and built a great, almost castle-like home. They were all certain that the family was finally reaping their rewards for the trade of their souls.
This had never been the case. The reason for the wealth was far more mundane; Katy Blackmoore of New Orleans – where the family
had moved to in the 1780s – denounced the family and the many evils that served the Dark God of the Wood who wished to wipe out the Blackmoores, and left for Spain. She returned almost a year later married to Spanish royalty, and bequeathed a fortune enough for a kingdom to her father Tristan, her brother Nicholas, and her grandparents Sarafeene and Malachey, in exchange for being left alone by them so that she could live a normal life.
She had lost her mother to her family and their Legacy – the name of their great curse – and she was certain that if she separated herself from her family and lived a good Christian life, never summoning her witchcraft, then she would not lose her husband, and her children would never suffer the loss of a parent, or the feeling of knowing who you were and what you were would end up killing the one you loved.
The Blackmoores had agreed and with that money, they made the family flourish. First in New Orleans and Ireland, and then later, the family moved west and north, and all points in between. Spreading out all across the United States, England, France, Italy, and Ireland, in vesting in industry and especially shipping; and acquiring and building fleets upon fleets of ships, until there was no one to rival them.
By the time the family had arrived in Fairhaven to begin building their empire in the “Gateway of Alaska,” as it had been known, the residents of the city were openly hostile – being fueled by the legends and superstitions of immigrant priests and servants who whispered about the dangerous and devilish Blackmoores of Kilcommon and their mission to take over the Christian world and hand it to the devil and his fallen angels, wrapped with a big bloodstained bow.
It was shit, but superstition is slow to die, and even in 1979, the people of South Hill still feared the Blackmoore name and what it meant if you talked to them. Kathryn had suffered that for so long, and for the longest time, Lila Sifuentes – the only Latina in the school –had been her only friend.
Her father had always loved Kathryn, but up until his death a week after the incident – due to the sudden brain tumor that claimed the lives of those who have unprotected sex with a Blackmoore – he had always been slightly wary of her, as if he could see the curse deep under her veins.
Unprotected sex with a Blackmoore always seemed to kill seven to twelve years later, and always of a severe seizure and hemorrhage caused by the tumor. Blood pooled from the nose, mouth, and other parts of the face, and the body would convulse. They would be biting their tongues so hard that often they bit the tip off completely. Every witch in her family always hoped and often believed that they would be the Blackmoore to survive the curse, that their lover would be strong enough to beat it back.
They always died, and her father had been no different.
Kathryn had been dangerously beautiful all her life, with a statuesque body and icy eyes – the palest of blues – and soft olive skin with an always-perfectly-feathered auburn mane lik ealion, and the latest fashions straight out of Vogueclothing her. She had a husky whiskey voice, much like the actress Kim Novak. She had loved Bell, Book, and Candle, so the comparison was flattering; besides, she thought Kim Novak was a magnificent and stunning creature.


About the Author:

Marcus James is the author of five novels and has contributed to several anthologies with Alyson Books and has been a contributing writer for Seattle Gay News. He lives in Seattle with his husband and Staffordshire terrier. He is 32 years old.





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