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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.

Spaceborn C02-2

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.

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). 

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!

Check out Eric Henson, our spotlight author for THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS! #newauthors #holidayreads

After last week’s cover reveal, I decided to invite all my fellow Black Opal Authors who are in THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS anthology over for a little sharing time. 

First up, Eric Henson, his short “I Thought The Grinch Was Green” is part of our collection available December 14th from Black Opal Books. 

Just to whet your appetite, here’s a little peek into his story….

Excerpt from: “I Thought the Grinch Was Green” by Eric Henson

Carol sat up so fast that she grew dizzy. Whether awakened by some internal alarm or external sound she did not know. Outside the winter wind gusted and rattled her old bedroom windows. The plastic insulation her father fastened over them ruffled from the draft seeping beneath. Carol listened but heard nothing more than the moaning wind.

She looked at the clock hanging over her dresser. Unable to focus on the hands she rubbed her eyes clear and discovered it was eleven thirty-four. Laying her head back down on her pillow, Carol waited for sleep to find her again. Just as her eyes grew heavy and her mind drifted off, she heard a muffled sound. Carol lifted her head and faced her door. Her heart skipped a beat and said—Santa Claus!

Who else could it be?

Carol jumped from her bed, slipped on her favorite fuzzy pink slippers, grabbed her matching favorite pink robe, and dashed for the door. Anticipation built within her as she slowly open the door and inched out. Carol, who wished to go unnoticed by Santa, slinked along the wall to avoid the spots on the floor that creaked. She watched for the shadows within their lighted Christmas tree as she drew closer to the living room. Carol almost squeaked in excitement when she heard the jingling and the tinkling of bells. She pressed both of her hands against her mouth as an uncontrollable smile took her face.

Only two words existed for her right then, Santa and Claus.

Then the rhyming and chiming bells became mixed with other sounds—the clattering of chains, a swift whooshing followed by a light thud, and the unmistakable sound of whimpering. His goat-like image seemed to float across her mind before she turned the corner. It was eerie, frightening, almost as if she herself had willed Krampus into being.

Taller than the Christmas tree, the creature hunched to avoid hitting the ceiling. In one hand Krampus held a bundle of birch branches and in the other he had Peter by the ankle. Her brother tossed and wailed, upturned, as the hairy monster birched him. The sight looked more like Halloween then Christmas. Carol shook her head and rubbed her eyes.

When she opened them Krampus was closer. He looked at her with his head titled to one side, in a confused dog-like manner. She looked at upside-down Peter’s reddened face, at the slight tremor along his jawline, and it broke her young heart.

Krampus tilted his horned head the other direction and in a deep-rumbled voice said, “You should not be able to see me child. You should be lost in slumber.”

Little Carol closed her eyes tight and shook her head hard. Krampus watched her. Well aware of what she attempted to do—every child did the same. When she reopened her eyes, he was even closer. It was as if the monster advanced when unseen. All it took was an instant and he moved in on you. They were impossible odds. At some point you had to blink, had to look away. The mere sight of Krampus assured this. 

Want more? 

Then check out THINGS THAT GO BUMP FOR THE HOLIDAYS, a collection of paranormal shorts from Black Opal Authors, coming December 14th!

Interested in taking a ride with Eric?

His debut novel, HARROW, is the first installment in a series centered on the aftermath of a small group of fallen angels who, in order to prevent the cacodemon Báalzbub from destroying all of existence, sought the help of those they once betrayed. The second installment, titled UNKINDNESS, is in progress. 

Harrow

GET YOUR COPY HERE:

Books A Million           Barnes and Noble           Amazon          Black Opal Books

Eric Henson

Eric Henson is an American fiction writer of dark fantasy, supernatural horror, suspense, and thriller. Henson is known for intertwining theology, mythology, science and psychology into his writing. Born in Salem, Massachusetts and lived the majority of his life in New Hampshire, Henson’s writing generally takes place in fictitious towns in New England. With Harrow, New Hampshire being the center point. Other towns include Clayton and Salem Willow.

Henson has severe dyslexia, a learning disability that impairs one’s ability to read, speak, and spell. Over time, Henson managed to overcome many of the hurdles created by his disability, and hopes to inspire others suffering from dyslexia not to give up on themselves.

Henson is a member of the International Thriller Writers and the Atlanta Writer’s Club. He currently lives in the Atlanta, Georgia area.

You can find Eric on the web at:  www.hensonfiction.com or on Facebook at: www.facebook.com/EricHensonAuthor

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