• Who We Are

  • Schedule

    Mondays ~
    Tuesdays ~ Snarky
    Wednesdays ~ Dreamer
    Thursdays ~ Naughty
    Fridays ~ Dreary
    Saturdays ~
    Sundays ~

    Whenever ~ Smokey, Mighty, Eerie and Wicked

  • Snarky’s Tweets

  • Kinetic’s Tweets

  • Dreamer’s Tweets

  • Wicked’s Tweets

  • Eerie’s Tweets

  • Mighty’s Tweets

MERRY CHRISTMAS, EVERYONE!

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I want to wish all my loyal Swamp Followers, friends, family and anyone reading this a wonderful Christmas and an exciting New Year.

Thank you so much for sharing 2013 with me.  Here’s to another year filled with joy and laughter!

And to ensure a grin, I have to share this lovely piece with you (however, I have to admit to stealing it from Ilona Andrews.)

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Spotlight’s on Bonnie Vaughan’s contribution to THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS! #paranormal #anthology @spacebornishere #SciFic

To conclude our THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS spotlights, we have the talented and lovely, Bonnie Vaughan! Today she’s sharing a peek into her upcoming Science Fiction novel, SPACEBORN (coming in 2014 from Black Opal Books). Don’t forget to pick up your copy for the holidays!

3D Paranormal AnthologyAvailable now:  AMAZON  or BLACK OPAL BOOKS

Jami, thanks for hosting me on your blog and for spreading the word about THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS. It looks like the perfect extra gift. I’m signing copies and putting them under the tree for my children and grandchildren, but shh, don’t tell them before December 25.

“An Unexpected Blessing” has an ending that might tingle your spine. I can’t wait to read the other stories in the book. My husband, Lee Vaughan, says they’re very good.

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The following excerpt is from SPACEBORN, my science fiction novel about a pregnant astrogeologist who discovers something strange on Mars, published by Black Opal Books this year.

Michelle drove Morgan, Randy, and Vlad to the site. The others emerged from the portable habitat in their spacesuits just as the new team joined them.

Jamese walked up to Morgan and blocked her progress. “Why did you come? We can do our jobs without you looking over our shoulders.”

Morgan stopped and waited, without speaking. Anything she said would give Jamese something to criticize. It would be best to let the others handle her.

“Please move aside,” Cass said.

“We didn’t say we needed her here,” Jamese said, not moving. “She doesn’t have to take credit for everything.”

Randy stepped between the women. “We should turn on the broadcast now, Jamese. Would you mind narrating again?”

“She shouldn’t even be outside,” Jamese said before she moved out of the way and started recording.

Morgan set her suit camera and radio for broadcast as she started walking uphill. She held back what she wanted to say to Jamese so that it wouldn’t reach Earth.

“The rest of the Pax crew came out to see the remains that the exploration team found this morning,” Jamese said for the distant audience. “This discovery might prove to be the most significant of all at the excavation site.”

“Over here,” Aiden said, motioning for them to hurry.

Morgan had never seen his eyes open so wide beneath his untamed forelock, which his comm-cap could not contain. She rushed to his side, put her helmet faceplate against his, and said, “Congratulations on your amazing find.”

He jumped up and down like a child who couldn’t wait to show his mother a new drawing. His boots kicked up sprays of dust each time he bounced off the red soil.

“Come see it.”

Morgan walked over to a shallow pit and looked down. Long, tubular objects lay at the bottom like scattered pipes. Could they be bones?

She knelt and leaned over for a closer look. Near the edge of the pit she saw a tiny spot of green. “Michelle, would you please bring me the tweezers?”

“Here.” Michelle handed her the foot-long instrument.

Morgan grasped the green object with her tongs and lifted it up in the pale light of the Martian afternoon. The end of the tongs held a ring.”

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Bonnie Vaughan became fascinated with space travel when the first lunar lander took off from the moon, a feat she had thought was impossible. As the author of numerous newspaper and magazine articles, her most exciting interview was with Colonel Al Worden, pilot of the Apollo 15 command module, who told her how fragile the Earth looked from a distance. A journalism degree from San Jose State University landed her a job as an award-winning technical writer, including an Award of Distinguished Technical Communication from the Society for Technical Communication in 2013. She has authored many software books for Silicon Valley companies and writes her own science fiction stories on weekends, at home in San Jose, California.

Visit her website at www.bonniegvaughan.com.

Under the holiday anthology lights, it’s Debbie Christiana’s turn! THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS #anthology #PNR #BOB @DebChristiana

We’re almost done spotlighting our holiday anthology contributors for THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS,  which, I know you now have your copy of. (If not, stop everything you’re doing and go get it!)

Today’s guest is Debbie Christiana and she braved the slushy mud trails and the icy drips from our surrounding swamp trees to bring us a peek into Spooky Millane’s world, with MAKING SPIRITS BRIGHT.

3D Paranormal Anthology

Making Spirits Bright–A Spookie Millane Holiday Short Story

By Debbie Christiana

Their touch is invisible but I know they’re near.

I’m not psychic nor do I see dead people. My visitors are what I affectionately refer to as the nearly departed. Those souls who come to me in the hours before their death for help to finish something they have run out of time to accomplish.

How is part of their life essence able to leave and appear to me while they are still alive? I couldn’t say. I have no formal knowledge of the metaphysical and intend to keep it that way. Blessing or burden, it’s my fate in life and I don’t question why.

Along with any otherworldly guests I may have today, I’m excited to meet with Jocelyn Jordan, a psychic paranormal investigator and filmmaker. When I received her hand-written letter asking for an interview, I was intrigued. In this day of emails a posted letter is odd and she described in detail her visions of my unusual talent. As private as I am about my skill, it’s a lonely existence. I sometimes ache to talk to someone who might understand.

The clock chimes two forty-five. Fifteen minutes until she arrives. I’m a bit perplexed at what to do. I rarely entertain actual people.

The nice thing about the almost dead is their simplicity. They don’t care that I prefer to dress in gothic style, that Halloween is my favorite holiday or if my house is clean. The other side of the coin is they don’t make appointments, often appear at importune times and have issues with personal space.

My humble abode reflects the festive time of the year. A small Christmas tree is lit near the fireplace and the alluring aroma of frankincense and myrrh swirls around the room. My life size Jack Skellington, dressed as Santa Claus, and his love, Sally the ragdoll, are positioned under the mistletoe by the door. Their dog, Zero is at their side, his jack-o-lantern nose glowing bright

In the kitchen I turn the teapot on and place gingerbread cookies on a plate. I take out two of my favorite holiday mugs. One with a black and white picture of Morticia and Gomez Addams decorating their dead Christmas tree, the other with a headshot of Lurch dressed as Santa Claus. I keep Lurch for myself.

I’m ready.

Then I feel the familiar tingle down my spine.

I know you want more, especially since you’ve devoured THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS, so here are some very tasty tidbits to add to your reading pile:

SOLSTICE–on sale for 99 cents until Dec. 31st, 2013!

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Time is running out for Armend Zogu. The 250-year-old family curse on his head will claim his life on his 30th birthday, the winter solstice.

Sofia Palmalosi might be just the Strega who can save him. A descendant of a long line of powerful Italian witches, her family’s magic was a gift from the Goddess Diana.

Together Sofia and Armend embark on a journey from New York, to Sicily and the ancient ruins of Diana’s temple, and back to New York, all the while fighting a battle of magic and wits with a psychopath who wants them both dead and the curse intact.

If the curse doesn’t kill Armend, breaking it just might.

Pick up your copy of SOLSTICE from AMAZON or BLACK OPAL BOOKS

TWIN FLAMES

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She’d never met him before…or had she?

The last thing forty-year old Natalia Santagario expected was to be sitting on a Manhattan barstool ogling a man she’s never met, but swears she knows.

He didn’t know her at all…or did her?

The mysterious dark-haired woman at the end of the bar stops twenty-eight year old Marc Tremonti in his tracks. His head assures him she’s a stranger, but his heart tells him otherwise.

Together they embark on an adventure that will change their lives forever.

Their attraction instant and enigmatic, they undergo past life regression and discover that, not only have they spent hundreds of lives together as lovers, Natalia holds the secret to Marc’s puzzling birthmark.

But what should have been a joyful reunion is complicated by a kind, albeit confused, almost ex-wife, an unfortunate accident in a taxicab, and a bout of temporary amnesia that threatens to ruin everything. On top of all that, they must contend with a mischievious ghost from their past.

What else could possibly go wrong?

Buy your copy of TWIN FLAMES at AMAZON or at  BLACK OPAL BOOKS

Debbie Christiana loves to read and write about mysteries, unusual love stories and things that go bump in the night. She’s been fortunate to publish two novels, Twin Flames, a paranormal romance and the romantic suspense, Solstice, with Black Opal Books. Forever Flames, A Twin Flames Novella will be out in 2014. She also has published two dark fiction short stories in The Ten Tales anthology series. Debbie is a member of RWA, her local RWA chapter and the International Thrillers Writers, Inc. She lives in Connecticut with her husband and three children.

You can find her:

WEB: www.debbiechristiana.com

BLOG: www.debbiechristiana.com/blog

Twitter @DebChristiana

Facebook: Debbie Christiana, Author

A Season for Rambling

And so it begins…

This is my favorite season of the year. Maybe because I live in a place that’s nearly always hot. I love anything that isn’t sunshine, especially rain, but cold is a nice change too. Sometimes I dream of snow. I’ve only seen it a handful of times in my life, but in my dreams, it’s always so clear. But it isn’t just the cold, or the dreams of snow, it’s the changes in life this time of year. People behave differently, sometimes for the better, and sometimes for the worse.

I listen to Christmas music, sometimes a month before the big day. The songs are familiar and comforting. They bring back happy memories. And with each year, Christmas becomes even more special. I thought not being a child anymore would take away from the magic of this holiday, but in fact, it’s even more magical when you are preparing for your own children.

Traditions both old and new come together to create a sort of magic that almost jingles in my ears. As I talk about all the things to come, I find it easier and easier to see it all through the wonder of a child’s eyes.

So this time of year brings about an array of thoughts and emotions that string together to make only a bit of sense, but a lot of fun. I’ll leave my tree up long past a fashionable time. People will look at it quizzedly, wondering if I just haven’t had the time. But I’ll smile, and give some excuse, while all the while convincing myself that the holidays can stay as long as the tree remains.

Can you keep a holiday secret w/ @khlemoyne and THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS? If so, you could win! #holidays #anthology #giveaway #BOB

It’s almost here! THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS hits shelves TODAY, Dec. 14th! We wanted to get you ready for the release and today we have KH LeMoyne with us and she sharing, but shhh! don’t scream about it too loud, we don’t want to scare everyone away! Besides, you don’t want everyone to know what an awesome gift you’re picking up this year. 

((sigh)) Never mind, go ahead and tell everyone one….please!

3D Paranormal Anthology

Jami, thank you for having me on your blog. I’m thrilled to be in the Things That Go Bump For the Holidays anthology with you and so many other wonderful writers.

My contribution in the anthology, Heart Strings, is a follow-on short story with the characters from my first Portals of Destiny book, Return of the Legacy. For those of you who can commiserate with the difficulty of buy gifts and keeping secrets from your loved ones during the holidays, the task takes on a new level of difficulty in a family of gifted empaths and mystics.

Here’s an excerpt from Return of the Legacy to whet your appetite:

A glint of steel flickered in the shadowed dusk.

“What’s your business here?”

Logan shifted his eyes to make out the owner of the deep rasping voice. He slid his hand higher to palm the child’s head and shield her.

The sword was fisted in the hands of one short, but solid, old man, white hair plastered to his head. Fierce eyes challenged Logan’s, urging him to make a wrong move. Logan had no doubt a mistake now would end his life. Practiced calm seeped through him and froze him in place.

“Logan.” Robert moved closer, but a sword blade from a second person motioned him silent. Robert sank to his knees beside Logan, hands raised in submission in an attempt to defuse the aggression and take the brunt of the attention.

The position would make no difference. Robert was as deadly on his knees as he was on his feet. So was Logan if the protection of the fragile child hadn’t come first.

“There’s no need to hurt anybody.” Logan’s voice stayed calm and low. “We’re no threat.”

“That’s not for you to determine,” the older man rasped.

Logan moved his second hand from the anchor of the rock to the sling.

“Hefin, there’s a child.”

The deep, sultry voice drew Logan’s gaze to the woman’s face. His eyes narrowed. He moved back as she reached toward him, but the sword stopped his movement. Slender long fingers touched the sling with a gentle touch. They paused to cover Logan’s hand on the child’s head, and then retreated. Beneath her hood, he saw the outline of full lips and high cheekbones. Recognition struck a blaze through his body in spite of the wet and cold.

“Stay back from them, Briallen. They’re likely Vandals. Or scouts.”

Her hood feel back. Almond shaped eyes widened before her delicate brows drew together in puzzlement. “No, they are not.”

Ignoring the rivulets from rain that streamed down his face and the sword at his neck Logan met her gaze. “The girl is very sick. She needs a dry, warm place and some medical attention.”

Her hand gently pushed aside the blade at Logan’s throat. “Hefin, there is no harm here.”

Want more? I know you do! Check out her Amazon Author Page for all her titles. We’re going to share her Return of the Legacy:

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Three magical dimensions…Two mystical bloodlines…One undeniable destiny.

Born a magical empath, Logan MacKenzie has spent his life protecting his family from discovery. Evil has found them anyway. What begins as Logan’s search for answers on Earth becomes a race for survival in the magical dimension of Loci.

The battle to save those he cares about will reveal his true lineage—the bloodline of the Makir, one half of a pair of sentinels chosen to guard the mystical portals between dimensions. The price of his acceptance: a love he never imagined possible and a heartbreaking choice.

Her family attacked, her home destroyed, and now stranded on Loci, Briallen of Tir Thar, descendant of a magical race, has only to summon the power within her to return to her own dimension—or so she had hoped. Unfortunately, her powers aren’t cooperating, and the sorcerer bent on her family’s destruction will stop at nothing to possess her.

Raised without knowledge of the portals, the Makir guardians, or her own destiny, Bri takes a leap of faith in an alliance with Logan. Embracing an uncertain power and accepting his goals as hers offers her the only way home. If they fail, the consequences of allowing the portals to fall to evil are unthinkable—the destruction of every magical dimension throughout space.

Or for those who want a little more pulse pounding excitement, check out her Dragon Rider’s Gift:
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Three souls. Two hearts. One courageous calling.

Roark of Nedres spent his life absorbing lore, legend, and rumor to claim his dragon beast in order to save his people. Nothing has prepared him for the ultimate bond fate will demand.

Princess Nira Meriel Estar was born with the power of prophecy. Her most recent vision forecasts a dire fate for her people, promises few answers, and will deliver the country of Fyrhall a victorious future or crushing defeat. 

Kraz, an ancient dragon of mythical power and knowledge, has eluded capture for a thousand years. However, only a dragon of great wisdom would consider an eternal bond to his warrior rider to save his dragon race.

I bet you want your own copy of Return of the Legacy, or Things that Go Bump for the Holidays, or maybe even, Dragon Rider’s Gift?

Good, because KH is going to share one AMAZON or B&N copy of one of these with one of our lucky commenters.  Just tell us, do you like:

variety (Things that Go Bump for the Holidays)

a tale that tugs on your emotional strings  (Return of the Legacy)

 a fantastical tale of mythical proportions (Dragon Rider’s Gift)? 

Indicate your preference: VARIETY, EMOTIONAL, or FANTASTICAL, but don’t forget your email* so we can shower gifts on December 16th !

*we’ll only use your email for gifting, we promise not to send you a plethora of joke emails or newsletters

 KH LeMoyne 

KH LeMoyne left behind a career as technology specialist and now lives in Maryland with her family and two corgis. Her love of things mystical and magical keeps her writing, with characters who fight for never-ending love against insurmountable odds. Well, that and occasionally she gets to write about elves, dragons, immortals, and shifters. You can find Kate on the web at: www.khlemoyne.com, her blog: www.fantasypoweredbylove.com  and on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/khlemoyneauthor

Put your hands together for our master of thrill–John R. Beyer…THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS spotlight #anthology #BlackOpal #thriller

It’s getting closer…that soft shuffle of pages, the tantalizing scent of fresh ink, yes, THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS is coming in FOUR days!

Our next guess is debut author, John R. Beyer. A storyteller of thrills and chills, his debut novel, HUNTED, flew the coop in May 2013.

His piece, WINGS OF CHANGE, is part of  our holiday anthology, THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS, and will bring forth your goosebumps.

Wings of Change’ –  By John R. Beyer

He believed there might be a second chance at a new beginning with the woman he loved. It took a tragic accident to test that belief to its limit and to shed light on the question: What future lies beyond the grave?

3D Paranormal Anthology

John was nice enough to share a small peek into his novel, HUNTED (available now!)…

A killer without remorse, burning with pride, and having the time of his life, Zachary Marshall is unstoppable – until Detective Jonas Peters unexpectedly arrives in the midst of one of Marshall’s heinous crimes. After a bank robber goes from bad to worse and leaves three dead – including a little girl – Marshall finds himself the target of the most intensive manhunt Riverside, California, has ever witnessed.

Detective Peters becomes frustrated and half-crazed as the case falters due to lack of clues and evidence. Ordered to take a vacation from the the department, before he drives all the other detectives crazy with his constant tirades, he heads to his sister’s in Arizona. But an innocent remark to the media changed the entire scenario – and now the hunter has become the hunted.

Hunted J. Beyer

PROLOGUE
The pock face man sauntered up to the boy who was filling the gas tank on an ’eighty-six, baby blue Ford Mustang.

“Hey, kid, need any help with that?”

With a look of disgust, the baggy-trousered youth ignored the older man, who stood only a few feet away, and kept his eyes on the nozzle he held in his hand.

“Ain’t nice to ignore people, son,” returned the man with a grin in his voice.

“Listen, old man,” started the teenager as he completed draining the last drop of regular unleaded from the hose in his hand. He hated adults who thought they could tell kids how to do things. Didn’t this old fart know he belonged to a gang? One more word from the wino and he would let him have it. “I don’t need—”

“That’s right, boy,” continued the man, now standing dangerously close to the youth. “You just keep your goddamn mouth shut. I’m gonna borrow your car for a little job, and, if you is a good little asshole, I may let you live. Get in and slide over to the passenger’s seat.”

Fear shot through the boy as he stared down the barrel of a large-caliber handgun in the stranger’s hand. He could not move. He could barely breathe, let alone think.

Replacing the fuel hose, the boy gingerly stepped in front of the larger man and entered the vehicle through the driver’s-side door. He thought about jumping out the passenger side, but then he realized this stranger wasn’t fooling around. The boy knew he’d be dead before he got a chance to grab the door handle. He could tell from the look in the man’s eyes. This guy wasn’t sane. Lifeless, cold eyes stared right at him and sent chills down his spine. The boy was scared, truly frightened. This man was one serious badass.

The gunman tossed a large brown duffel bag into the rear seat. He pushed in beside the boy, settled himself behind the wheel, and started the Mustang. Slowly, he drove out of the ARCO gas station.

“I noticed you have one of those No Fear stickers on your rear window.” The man smiled as he turned onto the main roadway. “Is it true?”

“W–what?” the youth stuttered, badly shaken.

“Are you stupid as well as ugly, kid? Don’t you fear nothing?”

“I–I–”

“I bet you peed your pants already.” The man laughed as he turned north onto De Anza Avenue. “You shitheads with those stickers. You go out and skateboard or ride your silly-assed, off-road bikes and think you’re some sort of brave men. You all are nothing but a bunch of weekend weenies. Shit, you’re probably scared of the dark, ain’t you? With your pants hanging below your ass you gotta be some kind of queer or one of those big bad gangstas those niggers are always singing about. Pukin’ sissies!”

He was scared. Out-of-his-mind scared. “Mister, what do you want?”

“Nothing, now,” the driver answered calmly. “I got what I wanted. I got me a car and a young boy.”

“Oh, Jesus.” The youth suddenly felt sick to his stomach and started to reach for the door handle beside him. He stopped as the barrel of the man’s revolver pressed into his left temple.

“That would be real stupid,” the man whispered as he turned into a strip mall parking lot, drove behind the businesses, and slowed the car to a stop. “This is where you get out.”

The young man was suddenly shaking as he realized this nightmare was almost over. “You’re letting me go?”

“What’d ya think I was gonna do? Break your cherry?” The man stopped talking and pointed to a dumpster tucked up into a narrow alleyway behind a small Mom and Pop Liquor store. “Get out and climb into that dumpster. If you stay there until you hear me drive away, you’ll live. If you don’t…well, I guess you won’t.”

The boy didn’t hesitate as he jumped from the car and made it over the side of the dumpster in one tall leap. Quickly, he burrowed down into the trash, trying to put as much distance between him and the carjacker as possible. His heart suddenly skipped a beat as he heard the Mustang’s door open. “Don’t worry, kid. I gotta take a leak.”

There was silence and then the unmistakable sound of approaching footsteps on blacktop.

“Hey, boy! Fear this!”

The youth looked up and saw the barrel of the stranger’s gun pointing directly at his head. It was the last thing he saw.

The man shot the youth twice in the face. “Not bad, boy—very little noise, and it’ll be a while before they find you in the trash.”

The killer looked around, shrugged his muscular shoulders when he realized no one had come to investigate, and walked back to the dead teenager’s car. “No fear.” He chuckled to himself as he pushed the revolver beneath the driver’s seat.

“Fuck him.”

CHAPTER 1

April Phillips glanced right, left, and then right again before she stepped off the southwest corner of Central Avenue and Riverside Drive and into the crosswalk. Her parents always warned her and she always remembered. Hadn’t Sammy Mathews been run over last summer because he had darted into the traffic lanes without even taking a look for oncoming vehicles? April was a smart girl. Everyone told her so and she liked hearing it.

Staying between the two wide yellow lines painted on the asphalt, April walked her bicycle across the busy street. A red truck slowed to a stop and the driver smiled at the twelve-year-old girl in the crosswalk. April wanted to smile or wave back but, again, the advice of her parents sprang to her memory and she didn’t dare.

“Never get involved with strangers,” her mother had told her time and time again.

She always followed that advice. Safely on the other side of the street, April lifted her little pink BMX up onto the sidewalk and started riding west down the cement path toward Riverside Plaza.

April was very excited this morning. She had one hundred and forty-two dollars in the left front pocket of her jeans, which she planned on depositing into the Citibank located near her home on Laura Lane. First, of course, she had to open an account. But she had her parents’ permission and knew they were proud of her. She had done a good job saving that money from the small, around-the-house chores she did every week. She was still too young to do any serious baby-sitting, but in a year or two she would get all the sitting jobs she wanted, and then the savings would really start to grow.

Slowing the BMX as she approached the bank, April took a couple of deep breaths to calm herself. Then she slowly climbed off the brightly-painted bicycle and locked it to a steel rack by the front door. Patting the money safely tucked into her pocket, she pushed open the heavy glass door and walked into the foyer of the bank.

Today was the day. She was going to be an investor.

Want more? I bet you do, and I know where you can get more for your fix…

AMAZON       Black Opal Books       Barnes & Noble    Smashwords

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John R. Beyer Ed.D. spent nearly a decade in a Southern California law enforcement agency dividing his time between street patrol and as a member of the elite Special Weapons Assault Team (SWAT). Moving from law enforcement he has spent two decades in public education as classroom teacher and administrator. He is currently the founder and head-writer for J & L Research and Exploration blog and spends any free time traveling nationally and internationally with his spouse, Laureen, for the next ‘big’ blog. Being a native Californian he lives on a small ranch in the High Desert near the rural town of Phelan. His next novel, ‘Soft Target’ will be released in 2014.

It’s Melissa Groeling’s turn under the spotlight for THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS… #holiday #anthology #PNR @stringbean10

We’re continuing our journey with the awesome sauce of Black Opal authors and their upcoming THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS anthology coming December 14th!

And up next is the creative, mad genius, Melissa Groeling.  Not only did she contribute to the anthology, but she has a book coming out in TWO DAYS! Yes, indeed, her thriller LIGHTS OUT is hitting shelves on December 7th..

but before we let you in on what’s hiding in the dark, let’s get a taste of what’s in store for the holidays…

3D Paranormal Anthology

Jami! How are you? Hope you’ve recuperated from a weekend of munching, drinking, munching…and did I mention the munching? I’ve finally managed to pull myself out of my apple-pie coma to share with you the awesomeness that comes with sharing pages with some truly amazing authors from Black Opal Books! It’s a double whammy because not only do I get to partake in the Things That Go Bump for the Holidays anthology but I also get to take up some space right here on Jami Gray’s blog!

My short story in the anthology is called, The Ghost of Christmas Present. It centers on Colin who’s always been good at keeping secrets…until one comes back to haunt him…literally. Here’s a little bit to get the blood flowing:

He moved farther in, away from the comforting safety of daylight. The door slammed shut behind him, throwing him into complete blackness. Swearing under his breath, he backtracked, fumbling for the doorknob. When his fingers touched nothing but empty air, a funny skittering sensation went through his chest. He knew he wasn’t that far away from the entrance—

Something moved behind him. Startled, he turned to find a door opening. It swung outward, stopping about halfway so that it hid the threshold. But it threw a gratifying amount of soft, yellow light across the concrete floor.

Spooky, aren’t we? Colin thought sarcastically.

He waited for someone to appear, to welcome him in. When no one did, he went toward it but stopped, his eyes drawn to the giant puddle of shadows farther down the hallway.

“I assure you, there’s nobody here but us.”

Colin jumped at the voice that came from inside that softly-lit room. It was raspy but weirdly melodic like those sand dunes that sang in Death Valley. It was curious, urging him forward until he was abruptly warned, “State your business.”

He stopped. “Excuse me?”

“State your business.”

“I’d rather not from the hallway.”

“No one comes in here unless their minds are open to the possibility.”

He sneered. “I’m not here for a reading, ma’am. I’m here because my girlfriend comes to see you a few times a week. You may know her—”

“Julia.”

Colin blinked. “I have a gift idea for her and I wanted to ask you—”

“Why would you need my help to propose to her?”

He licked his lips. Lucky guesses, he told himself vehemently. That’s all they are.

“Who said anything about proposing?” he snapped.

There was a small pause. “Bring her by the day after Christmas. Around two. I will help you.”

He clenched his jaw. “Fine.”

“And be prepared. Your life is about to change.”

*Shivers* You have to pick up our collection of Paranormal shorts, you’ll never look at the holidays the same way.

If that little taste makes you crave more, never fear, you can pick up LIGHTS OUT, coming Dec. 7th.

Lights out

Even when the lights are out, he can still see you…

Paul Holten’s profession doesn’t leave much room for doubt or conscience but he’s reaching his breaking point. The nightmares are getting worse, the jobs are getting harder to finish and the volatile relationship with his boss, Aaron, is falling apart. Now faced with the possibility of an impending death sentence, Paul makes the fatal decision to run. Drawn into one hellish situation after another, he’s forced to confront his dark past—and wonder if perhaps dying isn’t the better option.

Melissa has even more creative tales for your enjoyment. You can pick up her YA thriller, TRAFFIC JAM now!

Traffic

When you’re caught in traffic, you’ve got nowhere to go…

Val Delton’s life is spiraling and there’s nothing she can do to stop it. Her dad lost his job, her mom works fourteen hour days to pay the bills and yet somehow there are high-end shopping bags and an iPod in her older sister’s room. Naturally, Val becomes suspicious but her sister’s lips are sealed. Then by accident, she uncovers a dark, dangerous secret hidden behind her sister’s bright smiles and cool indifference. Val has no idea how far and how deep the repercussions of her sister’s secret will reach but she’ll do whatever it takes to keep her family safe. Will she succeed before her sister’s secret destroys everyone she loves?  

AMAZON        GOODREADS        BARNES AND NOBLE         SMASHWORDS          DOYLESTOWN BOOKSHOP

Authorpic

Melissa Groeling graduated from Bloomsburg University with a degree in English. She lives, reads and writes in the Philadelphia region and wherever else life happens to send her. She is a hardcore New York Giants fan and loves chocolate. Traffic Jam is her first young adult novel.

Come find me at Facebook!

Twitter: @stringbean10

Blog: http://melissagroeling.blogspot.com

 

THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS Welcomes Liv Rancourt to the stage… #holidayreads @livrancourt #anthology #paranormal

How was everyone’s Turkey Day? Good? Feeling well fed and lazy? Great! Because it means you’re our captive audience for our next author spotlight.

Today, our visitor from our soon to be released anthology: Things That Go Bump for the Holidays (coming Dec. 14th), is none other than LIV RANCOURT!

You’ll have to excuse all the squees of delight, as Liv gets settled in. There are so many great authors in this anthology, I think our crowd will be hoarse by the end of our spotlight runs. 

Without further ado, I give you–Liv….

3D Paranormal Anthology

Thanks so much for having me as a guest on your blog, Jami! I’m seriously looking forward to December 14th, because I can’t wait to get my hands on Things That Go Bump For The Holidays. Being in an anthology with you and with all the other great Black Opal Books authors is such a thrill! And I know I sound like I finish every sentence with an exclamation point, but for real, I’m excited about this.

😉

My contribution to the anthology, God Rest Ye Merry Vampires, is a bit of a different spin for me. Last spring I did a bunch of research on early 20th century Seattle for a day-job-related project, and it just seemed like the most natural thing in the world to apply some of that research to my fiction. And, because of the way my brain works, vampires had to be involved.

So here’s a snippet from God Rest Ye Merry Vampires, my historical/paranormal holiday tale. I hope you enjoy it, and that you have a very merry holiday season!

Liv

                  Snowflakes the size of nickel coins melted as soon as they hit the street. Clydie wiped away a bit more of the frost that edged the perimeter of each pane of glass, hoping to find a different view. It must not snow tonight, Christmas Eve. Howard’s train would arrive soon, and she had to get to Seattle’s King Street Station to meet him.

Clydie moved away from the window, her steps small and careful, hindered by her narrow, hobble skirt. Walking any distance required patience, a quality she rarely exercised, but she loved the silken drape of the burgundy velvet as it tapered from her knees to her ankles. Tiny, seed beads edged the cap sleeves and daring neckline, and her hair had been turned into a crown of soft curls held in place by a gold band. She not only had to find a way to get to the train station, she had to do it without ruining her hair and dress. James, her father’s driver, held the key to her success in more ways than one.

The public areas of the house were trimmed with pine garland, candlelight, and a calm anticipation of the event to come. Two years ago, when they moved into their grand new house near Volunteer Park, Mother had declared the décor would reflect modern principles of efficiency and cleanliness. Her comfortably cluttered Christmas decorations, ruby-toned glass ornaments, holly wreaths, and swaths of greenery, undermined those principles. Mother would dim the electric lights when the guests arrived, wrapping everyone in candlelight’s honeyed glow.

Heel, toe, patience, patience. Clydie kept up a whispered chant as she minced through the main rooms, looking for James. Nerves twisted under her breastbone like otters at play, sliding and tangling and popping up where she least expected them.

“My dear, come help,” Mother said from the grand stairway, holding out a taper. Mother looked wonderful, her hair piled high, her cream silk and lace gown a nearly perfect copy of one made by the House of Worth.

Clydie tucked her hands behind her back. “I’m looking for James.”

“Why?”

“The candelabra in the dining room is tilted, and I can’t reach it.” Clydie kept her expression sincere, though she hadn’t seen the dining room since breakfast. Likely the candelabra had been hung with greens, and perhaps some had come loose and knocked it askew.

“Maybe I can help.”

Clydie whirled around, catching her balance on one of the small side tables strewn around the perimeter of the room. Lucas Bail stepped out of the shadows.

“Oh.” She gulped down her surprise, willing her heart beat to slow down. Her father’s handsome assistant made her nervous for more reasons than his uncanny ability to appear out of nowhere. “Of course.”

Lucas wore his hair somewhat longer than the latest fashion, and whenever she saw him she wanted to brush the loosely curled lengths away from his face. His neat beard suggested an earlier time, adding a subtle hint of mystery. Keeping her chant in mind, she forced a calm over her booming heart and led the way into the dining room. Her shortened stride made her hips swing, and under different circumstances she might have enjoyed giving him the opportunity to notice.

The dining room smelled heavily of the pine branches draped over the candelabra. Of course it wasn’t tilted. Clydie kept up the bluff, straightening to her full height and imitating her mother’s imperious tone. “I’m sorry for interrupting your work, Mr. Bail. James must have already attended to it.”

He raised a single eyebrow, the only indication he might not quite believe her story. “Of course.”

Even when she stood tall in her kitten heeled slippers, he towered over her. His eyes unnerved her, tonight more-so than normal. During the day, he wore smoke-colored spectacles, however in candlelight, his eyes were a deep amber brown, and he examined her as if he could peel away her burgundy velvet dress.

“I do apologize. I’ll just go help Mother.” With all the grace she could muster she brushed past him, heading towards the door.

You want more don’t you, greedy boys and girls? Good, because you can pick up some of Liv’s titles now, just to whet your appetite.  Check out her page at Amazon then pick up some awesome appetizers.

Forever Vamp's Deligh

Come meet Liv:

Liv_5

Liv Rancourt writes paranormal and romance, often at the same time. She lives with her husband, two teenagers, two cats and one wayward puppy. She likes to create stories that have happy endings, and finds it is a good way to balance her other job in the neonatal intensive care unit. Liv can be found on-line at her website (http://www.livrancourt.com), her blog (www.livrancourt.com/blog), on Facebook (http://www.facebook.com/liv.rancourt), or on Twitter (http://www.twitter.com/LivRancourt). 

Time to meet Julia Joseph, awesome contributor to THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS! @juliajoseph7 #BOB #holiday #anthology

So we’re still counting down until release day (12/14/13) for THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS.

In our lovely collection of paranormal, holiday shorts (stories, not actual clothing), we have the fantastic JULIA JOSEPH, story teller for Young Adult Paranormal fiction.

I’m anxious to introduce her, so I’m turning the blog on over (besides, I think those holiday cookies just started a small flash burn in my kitchen!)

Ladies and gents…I give you Julia!

Hello all!

First, I have to say how thankful I am to Ms. Jami Gray for hosting me on her blog today.  My name is Julia Joseph, and I write Paranormal Young Adult fiction.  I’ll be sharing a place with Jami in Black Opal’s anthology, Things That Go Bump for the Holidays.

My short story piece, entitled Palomino Man, is a prequel to my debut novel The Broken which will be released 1/18/14.  Let me give you a quick introduction to both:

3D Paranormal AnthologyPalomino Man (12/14/13):

Demons don’t scare Miriam Kazin.  Aggravatingly cute men do.

Young but tough, Miriam is not afraid to be alone.  In fact, she prefers it.  Between her unorthodox job and raising her two younger sisters, her life is already all she can handle—until she stumbles across the path of a fellow demon fighter, Shadrach, while patrolling a remote area of New Mexico.

Suddenly, Shad is popping up everywhere—usually in Miriam’s way—and it’s all she can do to keep him from disrupting what little peace she’s got in life. When she finds avoiding him impossible, Miriam discovers the one thing that truly scares her—love.

Want a taste of Palomino Man? Here’s your chance:

I watched with fear as Misty picked her way carefully across the frosted meadow, crunching the dead blades of grass beneath her hooves, before I knelt stiffly beside the trickle of water that had once been a raging river.  My teeth chattered as I peeled off my stained coat and reached for the eco-soap in my pack.
Assignments in the backwoods of New Mexico suck. 
The thought came unbidden and sounded so unlike me that I shook my head and resisted the urge to laugh, but I couldn’t hold back the groan of pure pain that escaped my lips at the shocking cold of the stream.   The water reflected the harshness of the winter sun into my eyes with the fire of a million tiny stars.  I had to squint while trying to wash the blood from my hands and off the Gore-Tex of my camouflage jacket.  The meager suds I could manage in the freezing conditions failed miserably.
I gave up and called for Misty.  She’d wandered only a hundred or so yards away in her never ending search for a blade of green grass.  Her soft neigh floated to me from a nearby clump of trees, quickly followed by her form materializing hazily through the snowflakes swirling up from the disturbed earth.  Misty trotted over, looking wholly unsatisfied.  I leaned with pleasure into her hot, sweaty flank and stroked the long muscles of her neck.
I nearly missed her ears prick to attention when I bent down to refresh my washcloth for her turn at a bath.  Jerking back, my eyes scanned the horizon.  I couldn’t see anything, but someone had to be nearby.  Dropping down into a crouch, I tapped Misty’s knee, commanding her to sit and do a horse version of my position.  I whispered a quick blessing—one my father had taught me just a few short years before—and felt our presence fade a tiny bit.   We’d melt completely into the background if anyone tried looking directly at us.  Bless you, Daddy!  The words floated through my mind, bringing only a mild tinge of pain with them.  I shook my head.  I had to focus in order to slip into my Sight. Being able to feel what was coming might be the only way I’d survive the next few moments.
A man astride a giant palomino peeped out from between the broken branches of the trees where Misty had just been.  He held a saber in his right hand, and I tried not to notice the dead look in his eyes.  Alone and on my first remote mission, I couldn’t afford to let my nerves overrun logic.  Concentrate and breathe, Miriam Josephine.  The man could be a rancher out looking for a lost calf.  With a saber?  Yeah.  Right.
Taking only shallow breaths, I tried not to move.  My mother had taught me at a tender age that a woman alone in the wilderness was too great a target.  I could fight better than anyone I’d ever come across, but I’d learned well that fights avoided were much easier to win.
“Don’t bother holding your breath,” Palomino Man called out.  “I can see you.”

 If that’s not enough, Julia’s THE BROKEN is coming in January!

Broken

The Broken (1/18/14):

The time before the start of the invasion dwindled, as did the fear of my own death.  To calm my nerves, I checked my bow and supply of arrows.  I felt for Ouriel’s knife strapped at my back.  The weight of it steadied me.  I knew now, without any doubt, I could use both weapons to kill in order save the people I loved.

Born into a family of Guardians—extraordinarily gifted humans who fight demons to protect mortal souls—seventeen year old Rose Kazin shows no signs of being blessed with the supernatural talents her family has used for generations to fight.  When she and her father figure, an age old celestial Warrior, are horribly wounded in a demonic ambush, Rose awakens to find a younger Warrior, Ouriel, has volunteered to stand in as her protector.  She rails against his presence, but Ouriel seems interested in only one thing—teaching Rose how to protect herself from the demons she was never supposed to fight.

(Both works will be available at blackopalbooks.com, as well as Barnes & Noble and Amazon.)

Personal Life:

As I stated earlier, these are my debut publications, and I’m currently working on the second novel in my trilogy, The Beaten.  Before I embarked upon this total madness called writing, I was a teacher for many years.  Rather than subject you to endless ramblings, I’ll just supply you with my official bio:

Julia Joseph taught Theatre for nine years in Texas middle and high schools, where she wrote and produced three original plays for her students.  In 2011, Julia left teaching to devote all of her energy to her own children and to writing a novel.  She earned her B. A. in English Literature and Language with a focus in Drama from St. Mary’s University in San Antonio, Texas.

Julia spends most of her free time reading, writing, and chauffeuring her kids between activities.  She lives happily with her husband and two children wherever the Army happens to station them.

I totally don’t know who that above lady is, but her life sounds strangely similar to mine…J  And this, apparently, is what she looks like:

Julia

I’d be glad to answer any questions you have for me on my Facebook page:

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Julia-Joseph/235817936473172?ref=hl

And I’m just starting to learn how to use twitter:

@juliajoseph7

 You can also visit my still under construction, basic website (where I will soon be expanding and starting a blog) at:

www.juliajoseph.net

Thanks everyone for your time and interest!  Hope you run out and pick up both books on their release dates!

Lots of love,

Julia

(Much whooping and hollerin’ commence!) Thank you, Julia for swinging on over. Stay tuned, peeps because Liv Rancourt will be dropping by later this week!

The Spotlight’s on…me! My turn in holiday anthology! #ThingsThatGoBumpForHolidays #holidays #anthology #paranormal

As part of my part in spreading the word on the upcoming holiday anthology THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS coming December 14th by the fantastic group of Black Opal authors, the spotlight has spun to…me!

My contribution, WRAPPED IN SHADOWS, takes place before Shadow’s Edge. A fun, quick ride with Raine McCord, Gavin Durand and Xander Cade, this story proves holidays can really be hell. I hope you’ll add it to your To Be Read list. 

For my teaser, I actually choose an excerpt from the third installment of the Kyn Kronicles, SHADOW’S MOON, coming Spring of 2014…

Dread settled like a stone in her stomach. “Do you think it’s Chavez?”  Someone had an ax to grind with Warrick. The psychic peek of those venomous taunts directed at him was very personal. Normally it wouldn’t give her pause, her Alpha was more than able to take care of himself, but something about this set her and her wolf on edge. The urge to protect this stubborn male dug in with vicious claws.

He rose to his feet and shook his head.  “There hasn’t been enough time.”

Not enough time for the grieving Southwest Alpha to get past losing his psychopathic mate who had almost killed Xander three weeks ago. Nowhere enough for him to forget that Warrick had approved her death and stood aside while it was dealt.

“He’ll come hunting us.”  Her voice was soft, but her certainty was rock solid.  No wolf, no alpha, would forgive the death of a mate.  Even if their mate deserved it.

“I know.” Warrick move to stand beside her.  “But this isn’t him.” He turned back to Ryuu and Sebastian. His leg brushed her shoulder, sending a streak of heat through her that chased away the icy trepidation.

“Then which enemy are we facing?” Ryuu’s question was directed at Warrick as the shrill song of sirens came to a screeching halt outside the club. 

Xander set Sara aside once again and rose to her feet. 

The thump of car doors slamming sounded from outside. It was soon followed by raised voices trying to corral the agitated crowd outside.

Warrick’s lips thinned and his frustrated anger leaked through their connection.  The loss of this lone wolf had hurt him, just as it was suppose to.

An echo of the hateful taunt whispered across her mind. “How many deaths will it take?” 

“The phone call says its personal.” She kept her voice low and even as she moved closer.  No need for his wolf to think she was challenging him. 

Those who knew Warrick understood the line between his human mind and his wolf was thinner than most.  Which meant you had to deal with the animal as much as the human.  She could challenge the wolf in private, and had done so numerous times, but in front of Pack he was first and foremost her Alpha.  

Standing next to him she couldn’t miss his low growl or the way tension had stiffened his body. She fought her wolf and kept her hackles down.  Sebastian and Ryuu kept their gazes lowered.  No one moved, holding still and giving Warrick’s wolf a few precious moments.

Slanting a look at him from under her lashes to judge his control, she continued.  “Someone wants your job. Who’ve you pissed off lately?”

Suddenly he was crowding her. The weight of the power that made him alpha pressed against her, demanding submission. “Just you,” he growled.

She let her wolf out just enough to stand against him.  It was dangerous, so dangerous to do this dance with him publicly, but it was necessary.  One of the reasons she was fighting their bond so hard was because Warrick was the most dominant male in the Northwest.  She had no intention of turning into his submissive bitch. She had fought tooth and nail for her independence.  There was no way she was going to toss it all away because he had decided she was his.  Even if Warrick was a wickedly intelligent hunter who knew all about patience and prey. She wanted to be a partner, not a door mat.

“Besides me,” she hissed.

Even as she stood her ground, there was a tiny part of her that wanted to tuck tail and bare her throat in the face of his fury. But the woman knew if she gave in, whatever slim chance they had of this relationship working would be snuffed out. So she locked her knees, clenched her fists, gritted her teeth and met that burning stare without blinking. 

Grim amusement lit his dark eyes.  “No one else important.”

“Vidis,” Ryuu’s voice snapped the tension. “Incoming.”

Warrick shifted his attention from her to the club’s entrance, inserting his body between her and the approaching humans.  She let out a shaky breath and prayed Warrick wouldn’t lose it. 

“Non-threatening,” she muttered the reminder and stepped around him.  Too many witnesses meant they had to stick around and help. At least until Division joined the party.

His eyes narrowed as she stood at his left.  She raised her hands above her head and arched an eyebrow at him.  His lips quirked as he copied her movements.  Sebastian and Ryuu followed suit.  She sighed and watched the cops pour into the club. 

The first two books, SHADOW’S EDGE and SHADOW’S SOUL are available now, just click the BOOKS link on the website tabs above!

ShadowsEdge_HR JamiGray_ShadowsSoul_CoverHR

Stay tuned because next week we get to meet Juila Joseph and Liv Rancourt!

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