Wednesday, October 18, 2017

Halloween Time with Michael Shinafelt


Love, love, love this time of year! One of my favorite traditions is trading fun questions my best horror mate, Michael Shinfelt. You can catch my interview on his blog here.


ME: Seems like Hollywood has been doing a lot of remakes/reboots. What is your fave horror remake/reboot? What classic horror movie/series do you think they should leave alone? MS: I actually had to Google this subject because to my knowledge I had never seen any, and the one I know I saw with my then boyfriend on cable of "A Nightmare on Elm Street" was terrible. So on my Google list was "John Carpenter's The Thing" way better than the original. Even though it didn't scare me, it was tense. The horror movie series they should leave alone? Too late Hollywood has bastardized them all!


Ew. Nasty. Get the bug spray!
ME: If you find yourself surrounded by zombies, what horror legend would you want at your side? MS: I would love to say Dracula,, because like you, vampires are my favorite. But what good would blood sucking do me with Zombies? I will go with the Wolfman, because he has sharp claws and I'm sure he could behead a few of those mothers! ME: What famously haunted location would you want to spend the night at, and who would you take? MS: The Amityville Horror house. I would take my friend Karen Castrischer. We would laugh ourselves to death before anything in there could scare us there.


Definitely on my list
ME: Have you ever tried to contact the spirit world with a Ouija board? Did it work? MS: Wow! How perceptive. Me and some friends did in the preteen years. Did it work? I know my imagination was the culprit that brought those spirits on. ME: What's your most extreme paranormal experience? MS: Define extreme? lol! I believe my father and my grandmother each visited me one time since their passing. ME: How far would you go to impress your horror crush? MS: I would scour the earth find Dracula an age appropriate (legal) female virgin. Impressive, I know. Dracula if you are reading this call on me. ME: Would you rather see Freddy in your dreams or Norman Bates at a motel?


Think I'll stay at the Holiday Inn, thanks


MS: Norman Bates in a Motel, at least there is a chance I could get laid before I'm slayed. ME: Who is your favorite scream queen? MS: I'm sure you already know the answer to this one. Nobody does it better than Jamie Lee Curtis!
Good call on the wrinkle free material
ME: What was your best ever Halloween costume? MS: When I was a kid I was a witch. Yes, I was obsessed with them as a child. Still am actually. ME: What are your absolute must haves for Halloween? MS: A turban and some make-up.

My thanks again to Michael Shinafelt for giving me one more thing to look forward to in October. Be sure to check out his other blog posts as well!

Friday, October 28, 2016

Halloween Horror Fun with Michael Shinafelt

Several years ago, my fellow horror buddy, Michael Shinafelt, and I started trading off blog interviews in October. It has become one of my favorite Halloween traditions. Check out my interview on Michael's blog here, and be sure to check out his other posts for fun stories about music and entertainment.


ME:  Addams Family or The Munsters?

MS: Addams Family, truly were creepy, kooky, mysterious and spooky. The Munsters were too cartoon like, they had no bite.


ME: What attracted you to horror initially?
MS: Well my Dad and I used to watch them on Saturdays. That's what got me hooked. We would watch all those creature films with Dracula, TheMummy & The Werewolf.

ME: Do you think there are certain traits that horror fans share?
MS: Yes, the ones I know have great imagination, a free spirit and a fierce intelligence.
ME: Classic Frankenstein or hot hero Aaron Eckhart's I, Frankenstein?
MS: Classic Frankenstein all the way! I confess I never saw I, Frankenstein, but I don't really think I need to.


ME: You have a crazy night of horror, drinking, and debauchery. Who do you want to wake up next to?
MS: Well, you just named three of my favorite things, thus, more of the same!


ME: You're making your own horror movie. You can choose any characters from the horror genre. Who's in your dream cast?
MS: A vampire movie, I want to be the main blood sucker. Jon Hamm would be my paramour. Since there needs to be some female energy for good measure let's go with Sharon Stone.


ME: If your life was a Twilight Zone episode, what would the title be?
MS: The Accidental Pheromone


ME: You accidentally watch the videotape from The Ring. You have 7 days...What do you do?
MS: Seven days, huh? That doesn't leave much time to travel so I would do some of the things I haven't done on my bucket list such as parachute out of an airplane. Also act on all my impulses, give into the id. Have sex as much as I could with my special guy. On the last day I would act out being a vampire because not matter what happens to me as a result it's my last day, so whoop it up!


ME: I'm also curious about your take on the creepy clown craze. What do you think?
MS: There are people out there with a fear of clowns already. So this exploits that fear which is so wrong. Then there are impressionable children who haven't really experienced them that are now being taught they are to be feared without making that choice for themselves. My niece had to speak to her son about staying away from clowns because of it. The school required the students be prepped just in case they came around the school playground.


ME: I know we both like to watch bad horror movies for their comedic value. But some are so bad, they aren't even funny. Shock Waves (1977) was one of those for me. It was about a German WWII experiment to create the perfect soldier who could adapt to any environment. When they found out they were losing the war, they sunk the ship carrying the soldiers, but they adapted to water. I called them Gemermen. It was so bad it wasn't even funny. Same with The Hills Have Eyes (2006). What tops your list of horror movies you can unsee?

MS: The remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street. I was watching TV with my then boyfriend, and it was coming up on cable next. He begged me to watch something else as he had seen it, and thought it was terrible. My curiosity got the best of me...boy was it bad! Not even remotely scary or interesting for that matter. Boring all the way, and the re-imagining of Freddy made him look like a charred cat!

Thanks again to Michael for the Halloween horror fun!


Friday, May 6, 2016

Be Witched: A Paranormal Romance Boxed Set of Witches and Magic


Be Witched: A Paranormal Romance Boxed Set of Witches and Magic
Publication date: May 3rd 2016
Genres: Adult, Paranormal Romance
Limited Edition Paranormal Boxed Set
22 NY Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling Authors.
22 of today’s most romantic, bewitching titles.
Yours for only $0.99.
Prepare to Be Witched with 22 tales of magical and mysterious Paranormal Romance. All one million words of this witchy romance boxed set will leave you spellbound, but this collection won’t last long. This limited edition omnibus is available for a limited time and packed with today’s NY Times, USA Today, and International Bestselling authors, bringing you nothing but the best of the best in the witch romance genre. With over 100 hours of reading, you’re paying a penny per sixty minutes of enjoyment. Grab this collection today before it’s gone for good!
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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Cover Reveal - Infinite Possiblities Anthology


Infinite Possibilities Synopsis

“Pounding from the front door echoed across the room, drowning out the sound of the rain pelting against the window.”

T.J. Burton, Mireille Chester, Robbie Cox, Maggie Dallen, Taylor Dawn, Brandy Jellum, and S.L. Stacker, the authors of Infinite Possibilities, take that sentence and deliver to you seven unique YA/NA short stories filled with romance, action, fantasy, and the paranormal.


Individual Story Synopses

Medium by T.J. Burton
One line blurb:

Jocelyn Sinclair can see and talk to the dead, but can she help the nephew of the handsome stranger who shows up at her door?
Full synopsis:

Jocelyn Sinclair had known since she was a small girl that she was different. Many called it a gift but she often wondered if it was a curse. Talking to and seeing the dead came at a heavy price. It made it nearly impossible to live a normal life. It did allow her to help people both alive and dead and for that she was thankful.
When Ethan knocks on her door on a dark, rainy night, she knows she has to help him. He is as desperate as he is handsome. The spirit that haunts his nephew is stronger than Jocelyn has ever faced before. Can she do it?


Tears of the Moons by Mireille Chester
One line blurb:

A search for a lost dog sends Kendra into a world she never knew existed. Will she survive when all she has to rely on is an injured man?
Full synopsis:

When Kendra is woken in the middle of a storm by her neighbor, Sara, the last thing she wants to do is search for the child’s missing dog.
After safely locating Max and returning home, Kendra is forced back into the storm to find her phone she dropped during the search. Soaked and nearly frozen from her first outing, the last thing she wants to do is go back out.
As she retraces her steps, she soon learns her phone isn’t the only thing she will find. Add in an injured man, a pack of wolves that want them dead, and a new world she never knew existed, Kendra finds herself overwhelmed.
It isn’t long before Kendra realizes she knows nothing about this new world, and if she doesn’t keep the injured man alive, she’ll be left to die herself.




Enter the Witch by Robbie Cox
One line blurb:

Amber Bastian strives to help Jasmine Burkehart rescue a friend from a spell gone awry as a skittish ghost, Cletus, cautions her about the danger of being a witch.
Full synopsis:

Enter the Witch sets the stage for the Witches of Savannah series while giving us the origins of one of the side characters in Come Halloween. We once again meet the owner of Faerie Dust, Amber Bastian, as she strives to help a younger Jasmine Burkehart rescue her friend from a spell gone awry. Cletus, a skittish ghost who seems somehow stuck to Jasmine, provides more than just comic relief in this short tale as he cautions Jasmine about the dangers of being a witch.


Olivia & Max by Maggie Dallen
One line blurb:

Olivia, a ghost haunting Governor’s Island, and Max, a lone college student, discover love is sometimes bigger than life or death.

Full synopsis:

Olivia has been haunting Governor's Island for more than a century. Wandering the island alone, the lonely ghost is waiting...but for what, she doesn't know. To pass the time, Olivia does her best to exist alongside the living, befriending them and talking to them--even though no one can hear or see her. But then one day someone does.
Max, a student at the new college that opened up on the island, didn't ask to see a ghost and isn't thrilled by the prospect of further cementing his status as the lone freak on campus. Neither Olivia nor Max know why he's the only one who can see her, but as they get to know one another, a friendship develops and the two lonely souls find that sometimes love is bigger than life or death.



Perfect Harmony by Taylor Dawn
One line blurb:

Can Marlee Mitchell find perfect harmony in the world of country music, or will she walk away when things get tough?
Full synopsis:

Marlee Mitchell only wanted three things in life: to fall in love, to see her dream of singing on stage come true and to heal from the wounds of her past. As a recent graduate of the University of Memphis, things weren’t really going according to plan. That was until one audition changed her life. Marlee must now choose between her dreams and leading man, Colt Gibson. Can Marlee find perfect harmony in the world of country music or will she walk away from everything when things get tough? Follow Marlee and the Willoughby Ramblers in this Novelette by International Bestselling Author, Taylor Dawn.




Save Me, Now by Brandy Jellum
One line blurb:

In a race against time, Hanna Malloy and Detective Nathaniel Whitmer set out to prove her innocence in the murder of her roommate.
Full synopsis:

Hannah Malloy turns to her brother's best friend, Detective Nathaniel Whitmer, when she discovers her college roommate dead. He's determined to prove Hannah's innocence to herself...and the rest of the world.
In a race against time, the two must piece together the events that led up to the murder, as well as heal from another tragedy the two faced years ago.



Summer Soiree by S.L. Stacker
One line blurb:

Taylor Brighton attends an annual end-of-the-year party that soon brings the police to the door. She soon realizes this will be a summer to remember but perhaps, not in the best of ways.

Full synopsis:

Junior year has come to a close, and Taylor Brighton is excited about being a Senior. She decides to keep a diary in order to document the events of her upcoming Senior year.
On the first day of summer break, when she writes her first entry, she has no way of knowing the events that would unfold…events that she may not want to remember.

An annual end-of-the-year party, true friends, and a blast from her past will leave this soon-to-be-senior with a summer to remember.


Author Bios

      Tammy Andresen (T.J. Burton) lives with her husband and three children just outside of Boston, Massachusetts. She grew up on the Seacoast of Maine, where she spent countless days dreaming up stories in blueberry fields and among the scrub pines that line the coast. Her mother loved to spin a yarn and Tammy filled many hours listening to her mother retell the classics. It was inevitable that at the age of 18, she headed off to Simmons College, where she studied English literature and education. She never left Massachusetts but some of her heart still resides in Maine and her family visits often.

Links:


Mireille Chester is a fantasy author who likes to spend time in made up worlds filled with magic. She is a firm believer that no hero is perfect and that all villains are burdened with a tiny shred of humanity.
Born in Ottawa, Ontario, Mireille now resides in the beautiful prairies of Saskatchewan. Wife and mother, she spends most of her time with her three children and husband. When she is not writing stories or grooming dogs, you can find her on the lake fishing with her family.

Links:


Maggie Dallen is a big city girl living in Montana. She writes romantic comedies in a range of genres including young adult, historical, contemporary, and fantasy. An unapologetic addict of all things romance, she loves to connect with fellow avid readers on Facebook, Twitter, or at www.maggiedallen.com.

Links:



    Robbie lives in sunny Florida where he spends his days taxiing the family to various places while jotting down the many crazy thoughts inside of his head. While the girls (his affectionate name for the three ladies he lives with) and he enjoy traveling to exotic places, they prefer to do it with great friends and their family. Most often, he can usually be found on his back porch, his peaceful haven, watching the squirrels chittering at the birds, while he enjoys a cigar, a scotch, and the many characters that talk to him inside his head.
He has enjoyed a freelance career writing for several magazines, sharing some of his interesting viewpoints on life and those around him. Now, he focuses his attention on the characters that surround him, excavating their stories for his novels. He writes in several genres, including paranormal, urban fantasy, fantasy, and erotic romance.

Links:


Taylor Dawn (formerly writing as C.D. Taylor) began writing as an item to check off her bucket list. She resides in the southernmost part of Illinois, right on the mighty Mississippi river. She enjoys the quiet country life with her husband, son and the many farm animals that make up the rest of the family. Deciding that farm life was just a little too mundane, Taylor began writing roamcne and fantasy to liven things up, so far so good. Before starting her writing career, Taylor entered the field of cosmetology. When she isn't writing, she can usually be found sitting around a table making people laugh. She has always wanted to be a standup comic. She loves pulling practical jokes, dresses up in a costume every Halloween and believes that dancing is the key to a happy life (even if you aren't a good dancer). She believes that life shouldn't be taken too seriously, we will never get out alive anyway. More than anything, she is a kid at heart, she doesn't believe in bedtimes, eating everything on her plate, or having ice cream only for dessert. Her favorite quote is by Dr. Seuss..."Why fit in, when you were born to stand out."

Links:

     Brandy’s passion for writing began long before she actually sat down to write. As a child, she has had an obsession with reading, everything from the classic stories by Jane Austen to YA Fiction by Richelle Mead. Finally, in 2012, she decided to create her own stories for people to fall in love with. Brandy bounces back and forth writing both Romance and Young Adult Fiction (which is mainly just for fun). At the beginning of 2014, Brandy signed a contract with publishing company Booktrope. She is very excited about the next chapter of her life and cannot wait to share her books and passion with readers. When she isn’t writing, she can be found chasing after her husband, her four children and her black lab, Diesel. Or curled up on her favorite corner of the couch with her newest book.

Links:



    S.L. Stacker is an author with Booktrope publishing. She has written and published three Romantic Suspense books in the Macyn McIntyre series. Her current projects include several fiction novels, but her focus is the Sisters of Summit Bay series—to be published in 2016/2017.
When she isn’t throwing her readers for a loop and leaving them wanting more, she can be found relaxing and hanging with her husband, children, and dogs. You can visit her at http://www.slstacker.com
If you would like more information about S.L. Stacker and her upcoming works, please visit her at:

Links:


Monday, April 25, 2016

New Release - Epic Fantasy: In the Company of the Dead by Ciara Ballintyne


NEW RELEASE Ciara Ballintyne’s Epic Fantasy ‘In the Company of the Dead’




Only a fool crosses a god, but Ellaeva and Lyram will do anything to get what they want.

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Title: In the Company of the Dead
Author: Ciara Ballintyne
Series: The Sundered Oath #1
Genre: Epic Fantasy/Fantasy Romance
Chosen as a five-year-old orphan to be the Left Hand of Death, Ellaeva has nothing to call her own—nothing except a desire to avenge her murdered parents. Her duties leave her no time to pursue the man responsible, until both her work and revenge lead to the same place—the lonely castle where Lyram Aharris is serving out his exile for striking his prince.

Lyram is third in line for the throne, and when the castle is unexpectedly besieged, he fears his prince means to remove him from contention for the crown permanently. Ellaeva’s arrival brings hope, until she reveals she has not come for the siege, but instead she hunts the castle for a hidden necromancer dedicated to the dark god of decay.
Within their stone prison, Ellaeva and Lyram must fight to save themselves from political machinations and clashing gods. But as the siege lengthens, the greatest threat comes from an unexpected quarter.


Chapter 1
Premonition
Only a fool would split hairs with a god, least of all the goddess of death, but Ellaeva would count herself such a fool and consider it worth it—if she could get away with it.
She leaned across the knife-scarred timber of the tavern table.
“Are you sure?” she asked, her tone even and barely loud enough to be audible over the noise of the flute and the zither. Her work on behalf of the goddess Ahura, adjudicating the small war here in Dayhl, could only be abandoned in favour of a greater threat. If she was going to chase off after the man who killed her parents, she needed to be sure her arguments stacked up. The pursuit of personal justice wouldn’t be enough.
Is it justice or revenge?
No time to worry about that now. She tugged her black hood farther down over her infamous face, even though deep shadows blanketed the common room corner. She’d chosen a table far from the tallow candles mounted in their stag-horn chandeliers. There was no point taking chances; the black hair and porcelain skin of a Tembran would be remarked here among the platinum-haired Dayhlish. Besides, someone might recognise her.
“In Ahlleyn, sure as the spring comes after winter, Holiness.” The narrow-faced man across from her grinned, baring teeth more brown than yellow. The acrid smoke from the candles didn’t cover his pungent breath.
She half-stood, making an urgent, negating gesture as she glanced around, but the hubbub of chatter from the patrons and the music covered his slip. No one even glanced their way. On the far side of the room, away from the two blazing hearths, tables were pushed aside for dancing. She dropped back into her seat, her black robes fluttering around her booted feet.
Ahlleyn lay on the other side of the continent, months of travel by horse. If her informant was right and a Rahmyrrim priest had been dispatched there, he would likely be gone long before she arrived—unless she begged a favour, but she’d not do that for a lark of her own. However, if it meant catching the man who killed her parents, well then maybe she could come up with an argument that would hold water for a god. Old grief and anger, stale from a decade or more, stirred in her gut, and her fingers curled around the edge of the table.
Releasing her grip, she reached to the inner pocket in her robes where rested the smudged charcoal drawing of a man. Hard work and luck had helped her obtain that picture of the man she believed killed her parents—a man she knew to be a priest of Rahmyr. If she decided to act against her standing orders, then she needed to be sure it was the man she was after, and that he was involved in some act heinous enough to attract her goddess’s attention.
“Did you get the name of this priest? Or his description?” An unknown number of priests served Rahmyr, but she knew six by sight—six still alive anyway.
The thin man shook his head. “Nobody mentioned. I got the impression he’s already there, or on his way leastways.”
She scowled. No way to be sure then that this was the man she wanted. Begging favours of Ahura for her personal satisfaction was a risky business, especially if she neglected her duties, and perhaps it would all be for nothing.
With one hand, she flattened the map that curled on the table between them. The patrons behind them exploded with laughter at something unheard. Ignoring the noise, she stabbed her finger at an unmarked portion of the map in the foothills of the Ahlleyn mountains. If he didn’t know who, maybe he knew the what. “There, you say? What possible interest could Rahmyr have there? There’s nothing of interest at all.”
She lowered her voice even further as she uttered the name of the goddess of decay, and glanced around again. That name spoken too loudly would bring unwanted attention. But nearly all the tavern patrons were busy whirling on the impromptu dance floor or lined up to watch the dancers, their backs to her.
The nameless man leaned forward, treating her to another stomach-clenching blast of foul breath, and touched a spot perhaps half an inch away from her finger. A tiny, unlabelled picture marked something there.
“Here, Holiness.”
She squinted at the picture, letting his lapse slide. The image represented a holy place. There was an old shrine to Ahura somewhere in the Ahlleyn Borders, wasn’t there? And a castle built over it. “Caisteal Aingeal an Bhais.”
“That sounds like the name,” he agreed. “Never could get my mouth around them Ahlleyn words. Pink castle, I heard.”
She grunted. That was the one. “There’s still nothing there.”
Nothing of interest to Rahmyr anyway. The shrine wasn’t particularly important, and the castle held no political significance.
“What’s there,” the man said, “is Lyram Aharris.”
The premonition went through her like a blast of icy wind, stiffening her in her chair as the hand of the goddess brushed against her mind. A light caress, but from a giant, and so it sent her mind reeling. She clutched the table for support. Lyram Aharris’s reputation preceded him the length of the continent: eight years ago, at the age of twenty-seven, he’d brought an end to the centuries-long conflict between Ahlleyn and Velena through a series of brilliant military manoeuvres. He’d survived the Siege of Invergahr against near-impossible odds, brought the crown prince safely clear of the conflict, and fought the Velenese to a standstill using their own guerrilla warfare tactics against them. As a novice, she’d covered the tactics thoroughly as part of her studies. The man was a military genius. That he was third in line for the throne of Ahlleyn was the least there was to know about him—at least it was, until his king dismissed him from court. The rumours on everyone’s lips said he murdered his wife, even if no one could prove it.
What did Rahmyr want with him?
Ciara Ballintyne grew up on a steady diet of adult epic fantasy from the age of nine, leaving her with a rather confused outlook on life – she believes the good guys should always win, but knows they often don’t. She is an oxymoron; an idealistic cynic. She began her first attempts at the craft of writing in 1992, culminating in the publication of her debut work, Confronting the Demon, in 2013. Her first book to be published with Evolved Publishing is In the Company of the Dead. She holds degrees in law and accounting, and is a practising financial services lawyer. In her spare time, she speculates about taking over the world – how hard can it really be? If she could be anything, she’d choose a dragon, but if she is honest she shares more in common with Dr. Gregory House of House M.D. – both the good and the bad. She is a browncoat, a saltgunner, a Whedonite, a Sherlockian, a Ringer and a Whovian... OK, most major geek fandoms. Her alignment is chaotic good. She is an INTJ. Ciara lives in Sydney, Australia, with her husband, her two daughters, and a growing menagerie of animals that unfortunately includes no dragons.