STILL DARK BLOG TOUR: #Spotlight #Horror #MindControl #Paranormal with @DWGillespie @Sirens_Call

STILL DARK BLOG TOUR – JANUARY 19 TO 27

Still Dark

D.W. Gillespie

DWGillespie_StillDark_cover_promoWhen a thunderous explosion rocks an idyllic cabin resort in the Great Smoky Mountains, animals and humans alike begin to act strange. Jim, along with his wife Laura and son, Sam, are cut off from the outside world, but they soon realize the true nightmare is just beginning…

Deep in the snow-covered woods, something is waiting. The creature calls itself Apex, and it’s a traveler. Reading the minds of those around it, Apex brings the terrifying fears hidden in the human psyche to life with a singular purpose: to kill any that stand in its way.

Locked in a fight for their lives, Jim and his family must uncover the truth behind Apex, and stop the creature from wreaking a horrifying fate upon the rest of the world!

Amazon Digital and Print: US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico| Brazil | India | The Netherlands

Kobo | Barnes & Noble (Digital or Print) | iTunes | Smashwords

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Gillespie-Family-Nov2014-53ABOUT THE AUTHOR — D.W. Gillespie has been writing dark fiction in one form or another since he was old enough to hold a pencil. He’s been featured in multiple horror anthologies, both in print and online. Still Dark is his debut novel, and his second book, a short collection titled Handmade Monsters, arrives in 2017. He lives in Tennessee with his wife and two children.

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WICKED DEEDS: WITCHES, WARLOCKS, DEMONS, & OTHER EVIL DOERS | #Release #Horror @Sirens_Call

Wicked Deeds:

Witches, Warlocks, Demons, & Other Evil Doers

WD_WWDED_Final_FrontCover.pngSometimes wicked people do wicked things simply because they can…

The twelve stories in Wicked Deeds tell tales of witches and warlocks with ill intent, devilish demons bent on destruction, and other doers of evil who make the world a terrifying place. What is a mother to do when her daughter is gifted but lives under the thumb of her fanatical preacher husband who will brook no talk of the supernatural? What of a demon so desperate to free himself of a trap that he will force another to repeat his atrocities and condemn a young boy to his demonic fate? Or maybe the story of a crotchety old witch with a score to settle against the town she lives in is more to your liking – what evil will the seemingly harmless town-crazy call upon when faced with an ultimatum?

If you’re looking for wicked people with supernatural abilities doing wicked things, this is the collection for you!

*This book is a collection of similarly themed yet varying fictitious short stories from multiple authors.

Wicked Deeds: Witches, Warlocks, Demons, & Other Evil Doers is available on:

Amazon: US | UK | Australia | Canada | Germany | Italy | France | Spain | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India | The Netherlands

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Smashwords

(other venues to follow…)

MONSTER BRAWL! | #Release #Horror @Sirens_Call

Monster Brawl!

MonsterBrawl_FrontCover_FinalIt’s time to let the monsters loose!

For this book, we collected stories of monsters doing epic battle with other monsters! The beasts could be classical by design with a unique twist, or they could be spawned straight from the author’s imagination. The only rule: there must be a clear-cut winner at the end of each story; one of the creatures had to die!

Some of the stories in this collection pit a single monster against another, while others are all-out gang warfare. Some are campy, some serious, but all a fight for the ages!

It’s time to get your game face on for twelve tales worthy of the title Monster Brawl!

**No monsters were hurt in the writing of these stories**

*This book is a collection of similarly themed yet varying fictitious short stories from multiple authors.

Monster Brawl! is available on:

Amazon: US | UK | Australia | Canada | Germany | Italy | France | Spain | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India | The Netherlands

CreateSpace (Print)

Smashwords

(other venues to follow…)

VISCERA BLOG TOUR: An Interview with Jessica B. Bell | #Horror #Collection @Sirens_Call

Jessica B. Bell is currently on tour for her quirky horror collection Viscera, and I’m pleased to share a recent interview I did with her!

Welcome Jessica! What is your writing process?

I sort of plot and write as I go – not that I’m making it up as I go along, but rather that I don’t always know exactly how the story is going to get from point A to point B. I will often think I know how a story is going to end, only to change it along the way. I’ll do a point-form list of the events of the plot, or even just my stream of consciousness thoughts, questions, and things I need to consider along the way. Then I plot through that, and check them off or delete them as I use them.

Is there a genre, other than the one you currently write in, that you wish you could break into?

I do write in several different genres, but I’d love to write a graphic novel. I just need an artist!

What are the 5 books that have influenced you the most, and why?

  1. Fahrenheit 451 by Ray Bradbury – I think not only has this influenced my writing, but my philosophy, my love of books, my outlook on society.
  2. Lord of the Flies by William Golding – again, a book that has shaped my view on humanity, and the evil that lurks in the heart of man.
  3. The Sandman by Neil Gaiman – a graphic novel (well, an entire WORLD, really) that explores various mythologies while creating its own. I’m obsessed with it. It’s beautiful and horrible and so layered that each reveal seems like an act of genius.
  4. IT by Stephen King – I love a lot of Stephen King, but if I had to choose one, this would be the one. It’s every monster movie, every nightmare, every childhood fear all wrapped up in a creepy clown.
  5. The Haunting of Hill House by Shirley Jackson (with honourable mentions to The Lottery and We Have Always Lived in the Castle). This, even more than Stephen King’s The Shining, is how you do a haunted house story. Classic.

If you could cast one of your works, who would you choose to play your main characters?

I always thought that Christopher Lloyd would make an excellent Morbo – an aging magician with a shady past and a dark temper. There’s another story about an old British soldier that can only be played by Michael Caine.

What is the first thing you would do if you woke up one morning to find one of your books on the NY Times Bestsellers List?

Well, I suppose I’d be on the hook for that deal I made with the devil… so I’d likely start drawing arcane symbols on the floor and preparing the sacrifice. Contrary to popular opinion, the devil does not require newborn babies, but will also accept peanut butter sandwiches. Apparently they don’t have peanut butter in Hell.

Do you have any vices that you turn to while you are writing?

Strangely enough, my vices disappear while I’m writing. Even when I smoked (which I don’t anymore) I wouldn’t smoke while writing. I’m too focused to do anything but write. I do listen to a lot of music. Godspeed! You Black Emperor is a current favourite soundtrack for writing.

What do you do when you’re not writing?

I read. A lot. I play guitar from time to time, even writing and recording songs when inspiration strikes. I also spend a lot of time doing the other things that writing entails: editing, formatting, proof-reading, creating artwork, promoting. That in itself can be a full-time gig.

Please share with us the first nine lines of your current work-in-progress.

Okay, but it’s going to be slightly more than nine lines for proper impact. This is a story called Thirty-Seven.

“Thirty-seven… thirty-seven… thirty-seven…”

The woman held her dirty knees with ragged hands, fingernails all chipped or missing, and pulled them to her sunken and emaciated chest. Rocking back and forth on the floor of her cell, she repeated her mantra with blank, unblinking eyes. Her hair had taken on both the consistency and nothing-colour of old straw, and her skin, covered in sores, hung slack on her thin frame.

“Thirty-seven?”

This time, it almost seemed to be a question.

“What does it mean, Doctor?”

The man exhaled and scratched the back of his head, as if considering what to tell his young apprentice. The truth was at once simple and yet an enigma. The What was clear. The Why was what he had spent the last twelve years trying to determine. As if answering that question would somehow unlock all the mysteries of the universe. As if he could somehow bring back the dead by uncovering the secrets that lie trapped inside Rose Torrance’s head.

“It’s the number of her victims,” he said, never taking his eyes off Rose, who continued rocking and murmuring.

Sounds very intriguing! While we wait for that to be finished, let’s take a look at Viscera

Viscera_FrontCover_Promo.pngViscera is a collection of short stories full of all the things that make you squirm, cringe, and laugh when you know you shouldn’t. You’ll remember why you’re afraid of the dark and experience an abundance of weird creatures: witches, ancient gods, and all-too-human monsters – the scariest of all.

Indulge your twisted sense of humor with stories about unconventional werewolves and a woman with a frog fetish. Know what it’s like to arrive too late to save an unusual alien abductee, or giggle with sick delight as a woman serves up a special Hasenpfeffer dinner to her pig of a husband.

Settle in for bedtime stories fit for monsters.

Viscera will grab you by the gut and squeeze, making you cry for mercy—or laugh like a fiend!

Viscera is available on:

Amazon:

US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India | The Netherlands

Amazon Print:

US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India | The Netherlands

Kobo

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

iTunes

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jessicabbellABOUT THE AUTHOR — Jessica B. Bell is a Canadian writer of strange fiction. It is rumoured that she lives in a damp, dark basement, writing her twisted tales in her own blood on faded yellow parchment. Her stories have been published in various anthologies, the most recent of which is Voices. She also writes under the name Helena Hann-Basquiat, and has published two novels on the metafictional topic of Jessica B. Bell, titled Jessica and Singularity. A third and final novel is planned for 2017.

Find more of Jessica’s (and Helena’s) writing at whoisjessica.com.

BLOG TOUR: Nora’s Wish by John Mc Caffrey

Today The Flipside is featuring an interview with author John Mc Caffrey, who’s recently seen the release of his debut novella Nora’s Wish.

Thank you for taking the time to answer these questions John. Tell me, what does your significant other and family think of your writing career?

My wife Karen, has been supportive from the beginning. She takes a very active role in my writing, proofreading, and offering editing advice when I’ve completed a manuscript. If not for her, Nora’s Wish may never have been published. After completing it, I felt it was a bit too far outside my usual genre, but she encouraged (okay, encouraged is a bit too soft, she demanded) that I submit it.

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

I’m fortunate to have a wonderful proof reader in my wife Karen. I’ve never really needed more than her attention to detail.

What one word best describes you?

Non-conformist. I’ve always followed my own path, whatever that may be. I’m not easily swayed by the traditional values of society. I hate television, find sports boring, have tattoos covering both arms, and ride my Harley to the Opera. I pretty much do what I like, regardless of what other people might think.

Is there a writer you idolize? If so who?

If I had to choose only one (and there are many) I would have to say Tolkien. The immense imagination required to create Middle Earth and all its lore still amazes me. I’m also a fan of King, Koontz, Matheson and Herbert.

Entice us, what future projects are you considering?

I have taken a break from writing short stories and am concentrating on larger manuscripts. I am currently working on a supernatural horror thriller that I hope to complete by spring, and have a fantasy partially outlined to begin once the current manuscript is finished. I was asked to collaborate on an anthology of horror stories next year which I’m still considering due to time constraints. It would be fun, but I’m uncertain if I can commit to it as of yet.

What are you passionate about these days?

Passion is the province of the young. I’ll settle for moderate dedication these days. However, on the days I can find enough energy and time, I’m passionate about my writing. I’m always looking for ways to improve it, and I find ways in the most unlikely of places: from observing people, to watching a movie or even quiet meditation. Writing is like playing a musical instrument, it requires years of practice.

Who is your favourite character in Nora’s Wish?

Ben, without question; his bitterness and cynicism barely hides the warmth that still exists in his heart. In the face of the tragedies of his life, he still holds on to his sarcastic humor. Nora sees through his façade, and not so much enables him to be the man he used to be, but to become the man he was always meant to be.

What was the hardest part of writing Nora’s Wish?

Besides finishing it? I would have to say exploring the loneliness that exists within older people. Not all, granted, but with many, far more than I realized before I began writing it. I dropped by a few retirement facilities while I was writing Nora’s Wish to get a feel for where Ben and Nora lived, and the sadness was obvious in the many faces I saw there. I didn’t know any of those people, but I hoped they weren’t forgotten the way Ben and Nora were in Nora’s Wish.

If you could tell readers one thing about Nora’s Wish that you think would interest them in reading it, what would it be?

That love can be found even when you’re certain it no longer exists, and that the greater part of magic is nothing more than the human spirit.

Using 10 words or less, tell me about Nora’s Wish.

Nora’s Wish is the story of two wasted lives saved.

Thank you John. Here’s some information about Nora’s Wish

 

NorasWish_JohnMcCaffrey_FrontCover_Promotional.pngBen Jameson is a bitter retiree residing at Willow Manor, a home for the aged or those in need of care, and has nothing more to do than await the inevitable conclusion of a life wasted. Forgotten by his family, his days are marked by the solitary existence of books, loneliness, and regret.

A chance meeting with a terminally ill resident named Nora, and her unshakeable optimism in the face of her eventual demise, rekindles emotions he was certain were gone forever. Nora reawakens his ability to love, and with her compassion and her companionship, he comes to realize that even a life as wasted as his own can be salvaged and, given the right incentive, is still worth living.

As Nora’s health declines, they both dare to hope that the magic of a strange pendant Ben purchased from an antique shop as a gift for Nora will overcome the odds, offering them more time with one another.

Nora’s Wish is available on:

Amazon: US | UK | Australia | Canada | Germany | Italy | France | Spain | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India | The Netherlands

Amazon Print: US | UK | Canada | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil| India

Barnes & Noble (Print & eBook)

Kobo

iTunes

Smashwords

***

AuthorPhoto_JohnMcCaffrey.pngABOUT THE AUTHOR — John Mc Caffrey writes tales of horror, the supernatural, science fiction, and fantasy. He was born in Illinois and grew up on the south side of Chicago. While still in grade school, he developed a passion for reading through the works of Tolkien, Poe, and Lovecraft as well as being addicted to watching Hammer Film’s at the local Saturday matinee. Today he lives in Northern Indiana with his wife where he writes in his spare time.

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BLOG TOUR: Dragon Born by @ElaLourenco | #YA #Fantasy

Thank you for stopping by The FlipSide today. I have a special treat for you in the form of an interview with Ela Lourenco, author of the YA Fantasy book Dragon Born. If you’re not yet acquainted with Ela, let’s take a few moments to get to know her…

BioPictureElaLourencoEla Lourenco lives in Scotland with her two daughters and husband. She has been an avid reader since childhood and has long enjoyed mysteries, mythology and anything related to the paranormal/supernatural/mystical/science fiction. She loves nothing more than making up stories about faraway people and places (helped somewhat by a mind that just won’t grow up!). When she isn’t nose deep in a book or writing herself she can be found dancing around the kitchen whilst baking. Her biggest wish in life is to infect others with a passion for reading.

Welcome Ela! Tell me, what does your significant other and family think of your writing career?

They are very supportive. In fact, Dragon Born was inspired by my daughters!

Do you have critique partners or beta readers?

Yes, the most demanding… my two daughters! Also a few close friends who don’t mince their words!

What one word best describes you?

Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious! Anything is possible!

Is there a writer you idolize? If so who?

There are too many to count!! I am thankful to each writer whose books I have read for giving me moments of true unadulterated pleasure! (To name but a few; Richelle Mead, Kim Harrison, Jennifer Estep, Nalini Singh…)

Entice us, what future projects are you considering?

Well, the next four books of the Dragon Born series have already been written. And I am currently working on another YA series (I am on book three!).

What are you passionate about these days?

My family, my kitten, reading, writing and the creative writing workshops for children that I run… everything in my life actually. Happiness is the little things.

Who is your favourite character in Dragon Born?

Aside from the four protagonists who are based on and named after my daughters and nieces, it would have to be Deedee, the wonderful, weird and eccentric shop owner… but is that all she is? (I know, that’s just mean of me!!)

What was the hardest part of writing Dragon Born?

Not having enough hours in the day, or days in the week!!

If you could tell readers one thing about Dragon Born that you think would interest them in reading it, what would it be?

Well, Dragon Born is a fantasy adventure and it is filled with magic and rituals, prophecies and legends. But what really makes it interesting are the many twists and turns the story takes, the ‘whodunit’ factor and mystery.

Using 10 words or less, tell me about Dragon Born.

Fantasy, adventure, magical, mystery, surprise, friendship, past becomes present.

Thank you Ela! Now for a little information about Dragon Born…

ElaLourenco_DragonBorn_FrontCover_For_PROMO.pngFar in the distant reaches of the universe is a world called Azmantium. A planet with lilac skies, jade green seas and fiery red suns. A planet where everything, from the tides of the sea to life itself, is rooted in magic. Children are assessed at an early age and trained according to their unique magical talents.

Lara, an orphan who has no memory of her true origins, is unaware that she has a vital role to play in the ancient prophesies that are about to begin coming true. Older than most who are just beginning their magical training, Lara will soon find out that destiny waits for no one, especially when the fate of the world rests on their shoulders.

With the help of her new friends, Lara will learn that in order to save the future, she must journey into the past – to a time when Dragons ruled the world!

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Dragon Born is available on:

Amazon: US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India | The Netherlands

Amazon Print: US | UK | Canada | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India

Barnes & Noble (Print & eBook)

Kobo

iTunes

Smashwords

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BLOG TOUR: One Bad Fur Day by K. Trap Jones | #Interview #Horror

Thank you for stopping by The FlipSide of Julianne today. I’ve got a treat instore for you today in the form of K. Trap Jones and an interview with him regarding his writing and his most recent release One Bad Fur Day. One Bad Fur Day is a special type of horror novel in that it’s completely anthropomorphized—he tells the tale through the eyes of the animals. It’s a great read and one I think you should all pick up. But first off, let’s learn a little bit about its author…

KTrapJones_photoK. Trap Jones is an author of horror novels and over 50 short stories. With inspiration from Dante Alighieri and Edgar Allan Poe, he has a temptation towards narrative folklore, classic literary works and obscure segments within society.

His novel The Sinner (Blood Bound Books) won the 2010 Royal Palm Literary Award. His splatterpunk novella, The Drunken Exorcist has been released by Necro Publications. His narrative horror short story collection, The Crossroads is available from Hazardous Press.

He is also a member of the Horror Writer’s Association and can be found lurking around Tampa, Florida.

Welcome K. Trap! Let’s start off by asking an easy question: what does your significant other and family think of your writing career?

Writing is a hobby for me. I really don’t talk about it too much in my ‘real life’. With that said, my wife and family think it’s cool. I brainstorm a lot of ideas with my wife and she has edited a few stories. I don’t push my books on to my extended family, simply because you either like horror or you don’t like horror. And I would never expect some of my extreme horror novels to be discussed at a family reunion J

That’s fair. You’ve mentioned using your wife as a sounding board but do you have any other critique partners or beta readers?

I actually don’t use any critique partners or beta readers. I have nothing against them; they’ve just never been a part of my writing process. Once written and a self-edit is completed, I usually work with the Publisher/Editor to complete the story.

What one word best describes you?

Imaginative

Is there a writer you idolize? If so who?

I think the writer I idolize the most is Edward Lee. I really admire his style of writing. I look at extreme horror/splatterpunk as pushing the envelopes in the horror genre and Lee is the Godfather of the style.

Entice us, what future projects are you considering?

I have a few things in the works. I have two contracted novels coming out in a few months. The first is a splatterpunk novel called ‘The Charm Hunter’, coming 12.11.15 from Necro Publications & Bedlam Press. This is a crazy story about a bounty hunter who crosses path with Lady Luck. For the reward of everlasting luck, she tempts him into scouring fairy tales worlds in search of her beloved lost charms. The second novel due out this winter is ‘The King’s Ox’ from Strigidae Publishing. This one is a narrative dark fantasy/horror story which reinvents old time executioners into a merciless breed with the only task of providing death. There’s an unlikely friendship between this killing machine and a young prince as they travel through an unrelenting realm filled with barbarian hordes and insane creatures.

Of course, I will always fill my down time by continuing to write short stories.

All sound very intriguing… What are you passionate about these days?

Besides writing, I really enjoy watching my three sons excel at what interests them. My oldest plays a mean guitar and creates music. We go to a lot of music concerts and festivals throughout the year. My middle son plays baseball and I help coach the team. My youngest plays basketball. Most of my free time is spent traveling between the sports/music venues.

So let’s get down to the nitty gritty of why we’re here: who is your favourite character in One Bad Fur Day?

Difficult question because there is always a special bond between the main characters when you write narrative. So much emotion goes into him and it really does outweigh the others. Besides Sid, I think I would have to say the two possums, Phil and Parker. While writing these two, I always had a smile upon my face. The way they converse with one another and haphazardly set traps. They were fun to create.

What was the hardest part of writing One Bad Fur Day?

The hardest part about writing OBFD was the creation of the animal characters. I spent a week or so researching the mannerisms of them. I had a long list of animals I wanted to include, but ultimately had to trim it down. Each animal had certain limitations and I had to constantly be aware of those when writing the interactions.

Why write an anthropomorphised horror tale?

Inspiration for One Bad Fur Day came directly from my three sons and the ton of Pixar movies and cartoons I watched with them. During one of these movies, I thought to myself, “Wouldn’t it be great if one of these were geared towards adults?” An animated horror movie based on animals? Sounded great to me. I spent the next few weeks conjuring up the tale and researching different habitats and the species who dwelled within them.

If you could tell readers one thing about One Bad Fur Day that you think would interest them in reading it, what would it be?

OBFD is a unique look into the animal kingdom during the aftermath of a category 5 hurricane. The story is filled with some of the most memorable characters I have ever created. Even after writing the story, I still think about them and wonder what other types of chaos they could get themselves into. It is unpredictable with heavy twists and quite simply a roller coaster ride through Mother Nature’s landscape of turmoil.

The story begins with a famous quote from John Muir (1838-1914) which sums up the experience perfectly: The clearest way into the Universe is through a forest wilderness.

Using 10 words or less, tell me about One Bad Fur Day.

A suspense driven horror ride that blurs the lines between harsh reality and brutal imagery.

Thank you K. Trap for taking the time to answer my questions. If you’re interested in reading a little more about One Bad Fur Day, here’s the information…

KTrapJones_OneBadFurDay_FrontCoverCall it odd, call it off-beat, call it fantasy; but don’t think for a moment that One Bad Fur Day is anything other than a suspense driven horror ride that blurs the lines between harsh reality and brutal imagery…

As Hurricane Katrina barrels through the Louisiana bayous, the animal population is forced to deal with the tumultuous upheaval of their world. Sheriff Sid and his wife are caught completely off-guard by the natural disaster unfolding around them as they battle not only the turbulent winds and flooding waters, but heinous acts committed by other creatures inhabiting the backwaters. Following a brutal assault on his wife, Sid is forced to fight off voodoo-priestess snakes, a junkyard raccoon, deceitful badgers, and a band of roving power-hungry alligators. While clinging to his tenuous hold as sheriff, Sid must find a way to recapture what is rightfully his and exact his revenge.

K. Trap Jones does a fantastic job of pairing the genuine horror of a natural disaster with a story of deceit, betrayal and vengeance that pulls you in and forces the reader to identify with Sid as he journeys through the darkest reaches of the bayous, facing deadly encounters, on One Bad Fur Day!

One Bad Fur Day is available at:

Amazon: US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India | The Netherlands

Amazon Print: US | UK | Canada | Germany | France | Spain | Italy | Japan | Mexico | Brazil | India

Barnes & Noble (Print & eBook)

Kobo

iTunes

Smashwords

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Catch up with the rest of the tour by clicking on the badge!

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Essence Blog Tour: Guest Post from Ela Lourenco

Essence_ElaLourenco_PostCard

Ela Lourenco has been touring the internet in support of her debut novel Essence. Essence is a paranormal fantasy with romantic twinges and I asked Ela about the world she created…

Essence: The Creation of a New World Order

Ela Lourenco

One of the greatest aspects of writing paranormal/fantasy is the artistic freedom that comes with it. The characters can be outlandish, otherworldly… Nothing needs to be based on the ‘real’ in terms of who, why, where, and when as long as the characters are credible in their interactions with each other.

I spent many a happy hour (paper all spread across the living room floor in disarray!) creating the various supernatural races that star in Essence – their backgrounds, their histories their individual magical powers… Even their religions and philosophies of life. In all honesty, I think I spent more time creating my world than writing the novel itself. The different races’ pasts and interactions with each other helped me add a depth and flavour to the main story while allowing me to keep the suspense going as new information was slowly trickled down to the reader. The many different rituals of the various races helping me to make the world in Essence a more credible place.

Creating my own worlds and races allowed my imagination to run wild and free and to become absorbed into the story myself – I was the mother, they my children in a sense. The more intricate and complex the details of my world became, the more I bonded with what I wrote – invested in what would happen to my characters next. The fact that I got to depict the world as I would like it to be in my own fantasies was an added bonus though… Who wouldn’t enjoy the omnipotence of that, even if only in writing?

Thank you Ela! Now let’s take a closer look at Essence… And there’s a giveaway and an excerpt to follow as well!

Essence_ElaLourenco_front_coverKatra is a Fae Hunter in a world once ravaged by a terrible war. Having lost all memory of her childhood and rightful identity, her duty is now to protect the tentative peace brokered by the varying races of the supernatural world.  When an evil darkness begins to spread, draining young witches of their power, Katra must find a way back to her true past in order to save the future.

Enduring many trials as ever-increasing powers awaken within her, Katra must also struggle with the mixed emotions her new partner, Blade – a Black Dragon – is rousing within her. Together they must battle the shadows that plan to devour the world they know and prevent its decent into another thousand-year war.

Can Katra hold onto her strength as the truth of her very being begins to unravel? Can she bear the weight that ancient prophecy has placed on her young shoulders? Or is her destiny to regain her true self, only to lose the world she is sworn to protect?

Available on:

Amazon: US | UK | Canada | Australia | Germany | Italy | Spain | France | Japan |India | Brazil | Mexico

CreateSpace

Smashwords

Barnes & Noble

Kobo

iTunes

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ELA_ESSENCEABOUT THE AUTHOR – Ela Lourenco lives in sunny Scotland with her two daughters and husband. She has a passion for reading and all things supernatural, particularly where there is a whodunit involved! Ela can often be found in the kitchen baking yet another cake as she ponders her next story.

Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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And there’s a giveaway!

Sirens Call Publications will be giving away digital copies of Essence by Ela Lourenco to 5 (five) lucky winners! Follow the link to enter for your chance to win!

Win 1 of 5(five) copies of Essence by Ela Lourenco

***

And here’s the excerpt of Essence you’ve been promised…

From –

Chapter 1

Katra

Maya worried about Katra when she was hunting, despite knowing how tough she was. Katra was part elemental, part fae and already a powerful witch. It wasn’t a lack of faith in her abilities but the unanswered questions that niggled at her. Elementals and fae both matured magically at eighteen, but Katra was almost twenty-one and her powers were still growing, and at a speed Maya had never seen before. That, together with Katra’s inability to remember anything before the day they met, was a constant source of worry. Something had obviously happened to her, but what? And who was involved? Despite her trust in the council Maya had never registered Katra as an official hunter, she didn’t want anyone to find out about her yet. There would be too many questions, especially if they saw her violet eyes and silver hair. Not greying hair, pure liquid silver… Maya had never seen anything like it, and neither Katra’s fae nor her elemental heritage could justify the colour. She had taught Katra how to glamour the day after she arrived and as far as the world knew Katra was just another brown-eyed brunette. A gorgeous one, no glamour could change that, but at least she stood out less.

***

“Ouch,” Katra rubbed her sore hand as the backlash from the spell hit her fingers. She smiled at Maya, “I’m ok I just wasn’t prepared for the kickback.”

“Your powers are growing too fast,” Maya spoke, as if talking to herself, “they should have stopping growing by now.”

Katra released another fireball spell. This time the ball of fire grew as big as a basketball when she lobbed it at the dummy in the training room. With her other hand she drew an ice spell which covered the fireball and neutralized it before she set something on fire, again.

“Well done!” Maya clapped, “At least your control is growing too… but I still think we need to figure out what’s happening here. I don’t know what any of this means…”

“It’s not a problem Maya,” Katra shrugged. “The more power I have the better I can do my job. You should be less worried not more.” She grabbed a towel and wiped off the beads of sweat on her face. “I should grab a shower before I head out, and I have to get my stuff ready,” she called over her shoulder as she went back up the stairs. Maya went into the back of the shop. They didn’t keep regular shop hours as most supernaturals were nocturnal. Not because they couldn’t go out in daylight or anything as Hollywood as that. They just simply preferred coming out at night, and they didn’t need as much sleep as humans so the day could feel quite long. In fact, vampires didn’t need sleep at all if they fed regularly.

Once she was sure that Katra was in the shower, she pulled out a box from the back of the bottom shelf. Inside was a large grey pearl. She closed her eyes and placed her fingers on it.

“Maya?” a deep voice whispered in her head.

“It’s me Antonio,” she thought back at him as the pearl linked their minds together.

“Is something wrong?” he sounded worried, “We were not due to talk until next week.”

“I don’t know… I have a bad feeling, there is a darkness coming. I’m worried about Katra. She has been having those nightmares again. She tries to laugh it off but I can see the shadows in her eyes.”

“When did she start having them again?” Antonio asked.

“She has been having them for a month, they are getting more vivid and her powers are growing so fast I can’t keep up. I think it’s all connected… Antonio, I have to tell her the truth.”

“You cannot!” he burst out in her head, “It is not safe! You don’t know what it will do to her!”

“She has lived with me for over two years! I know her; she is strong, and she will handle it! I know the dangers, but isn’t it worse if she remembers by herself?”

“What about Jessie?” he asked. “Don’t you think she will look for her once she knows?”

Maya shook her head. “Antonio, Katra is a smart, independent young woman… of course she will want to find her, but Jessie is almost eighteen. She is almost fully matured, once she is, it will be safe.”

“What about Katra? You keep telling me that she is still growing in power even though she’s older.”

Maya sighed. “I don’t know Antonio… there is much we don’t know, but we owe them what we can tell them. I’m tired of lying.”

“Maya, she will be twenty-one in a week, and Jessie will be eighteen. Please wait until then at least. I hate lying to them too…” Antonio sighed. “I’ll speak to you next week.”

Maya took her fingers off the pearl and dropped it back into the box.

Thank you Ela!

The Coven Blog Tour: Guest Post from Angie Gallow

Angie Gallow is currently touring the internet in support of her vampiric horror debut novel, The Coven. I wanted to learn a little more about Angie’s process and in that, to learn just who her favourite character is. Luckily, she told me the answer and I’m sharing that with you all. But before we get to that, let’s learn a little bit more about Angie…

The author known as Angie Gallow enjoys all things weird and creepy. A great lover of books and words, words, words as Hamlet would so eloquently put it. Even though this is the first novel published, the author has been writing for years, honing her craft through the fine professors at Columbia College in Chicago.

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So let’s hop in and learn just who Angie’s favourite is…

Do Writers Have a Favorite Character?

Angie Gallow

Many would equate a writer having a favorite character is similar to asking a mother if she has a favorite child, but yes, I do. I spent a great deal of time coming with up with diverse and interesting characters for my novel and in that development time, I became very attached to the character Grace LeVine. Many have said she favors my personality but the reason I enjoyed writing her was because I purposely made her mysterious.

It is believed that writers know their characters inside and out; what they would do in certain situations, when and where they were born and how they became the character we know them to be. Some writers enjoy showing their characters off in the sense they’re showing off what an awesome personality they’ve created. But Grace was like my little secret. With every other character, we can draw a line and figure out what makes them tick, but Grace is a bit harder to figure out.

I wanted Grace to be this mysterious little creature who has an ear for language, who becomes fluent in a language simply by hearing it for the first time. She is notoriously cool, calm and collected to the point where even being kidnapped by the band of rogue vampires doesn’t ruffle her. This is because I know all that Grace has been through in her mortal and immortal lives; she’s a runaway from a Baton Rouge orphanage who had to figure out a way to survive on the harsh streets of Victorian London. I loved knowing everything that went through Grace’s mind without showing it; I loved veiling her behind her even-tempered, Devil-may-care demeanor and expert gambling skills, which no one seems to know how she acquired.

Grace was my favorite because as much as I wanted to give her colorful past the spotlight, I refrained believing there should always be a character lurking in the story that only the writer truly knows. Although I know everything about all of my characters, Grace is really nothing like me. Although we share the same go-with-the-flow demeanor, Grace can stand in the face adversity and take it without flinching. Grace is simply one of those people who saves her emotions for the serious situations that call for her to be angry, sad, happy, or fearful; she doesn’t waste them. And when she makes up her mind, she’s made it, except when it comes to Lauren, he’s her only soft spot.

Thank you Angie! Now let’s take a look at The Coven and get to an excerpt from the book!

TheCoven_Final_cover_frontAfter a gruesome betrayal, vampire Sebastien Vilmont is flung into a whirlwind cat and mouse game when his traveling party is ambushed by an opposing group of bloodthirsty vampires. Maurice, the leader of Sebastien’s coven, makes the decision to not only wage war against the opposing vampire clan, but a clerical organization known as The Diocese Club who wishes to exterminate all vampire-kind.

Trying desperately to protect the secrecy of their coven’s location below the streets of Whitechapel, London, Sebastien finds himself at odds with Maurice in his desire to not engage in all-out war with the renegade Catholic faction. At the same time, he must also battle the other vampire coven to guard their anonymity from humans. In doing so, Sebastien is forced into choices and alliances he might not otherwise have made.

Set in the tone of Victorian England, The Coven is a thrilling and horrific journey through the seedier workings of the vampire underworld, and pious ideology of The Diocese Club.

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And there’s a giveaway!! 

Win 1 of 5 copies of The Coven by Angie Gallow

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An Excerpt from The Coven by Angie Gallow…

Two

“You in or out, then?” Lauren Granger said tossing a coin onto the table as his Cockney accent honeyed the room. A marathon Poker game in the cellar had been in session the majority of the night. Lauren peered over his hand of cards with a toothy, mischievous grin at Sebastien.

“Surely, if you have enough money to cover your loss,” Sebastien retorted, raising one eyebrow. Lauren rolled his eyes and let a sigh pass from between his teeth.

The large round table they sat at was filled with empty glasses that held red residue, cards, coins and banknotes. Sebastien snuffed out his cigarette in a smoking tray, ending the wafting ballet of red smoke only to replace it with a fresh one. It dangled idly from his lips as he lit it and studied his cards as though they were a complex mathematic equation and one misplaced step would ruin his answer. Another coin fell on top of the pile.

“In.” Grace LeVine’s southern accent echoed. She sat beside Lauren at the table. Sebastien glanced up at the small beauty who wore a look of calm indifference as she rearranged the cards in her hand. Grace’s eyes seemed to hold every star in the sky within them and carried a complexion of the finest bowl of butterscotch money could buy.

Lauren leapt up from sitting on one of his loose suspender straps then rearranged himself back in his chair.

“Nervous, comrade?” Octavio Perez grinned sheepishly as he fingered a banknote in his white hands before letting it fall onto the table. His eyes were sharp as knives and he grinned like a plotting villain.

“He never wins, he’s got nothing to be nervous about,” Octavio’s twin sister, LaStacia passed a wink across the table at Sebastien, who chuckled silently behind his cards.

“Bugger off, the lot of you,” Lauren sighed, relieved at the fact he was incapable of turning red.

“Not our fault you play like a dog,” Lee Green’s deaf-accented voice sounded at Lauren. Lauren twisted his nose a bit and looked at Lee with a grimace.

“You just call me a doll, then?”

“He’s said, ‘dog’, love,” Grace looked at her sweetheart then back to Lee, signing what he said back to him. Lee nodded with a light giggle, “Dog,” Grace made the sign for the word, sliding her fingers together as one does to snap them. Grace had learned Lee’s mode of communication in the same fashion she had learned Spanish. Grace would become fluent by hearing any language only once and she was the only person in the entire coven who could communicate effectively with Lee.

Sebastien glanced over his cards once more before a small hand reached passed him for a waiting glass. Calvin Bell was only a head taller than the table. He carried a round tray in his small arms that he would place empty glasses.  The little boy circled the table with his tray. No one sitting asked him for much of anything and did their best to ignore the fact that a mortal child was acting as their servant.

Calvin passed Grace, who would carefully slip a series of coins from her own pocket into the lad’s as he moved past her. Calvin smiled lightly and eased past Lauren, who merely took his glass back before Calvin could lift it.

“I got it, lad, no worries,” Lauren would often say whenever Calvin attempted his duties. Finally, as the child finished his rounds, Sebastien lifted the tray from his hands. Calvin looked at Sebastien with sapphire eyes that twinkled innocently.

“Have a seat,” he moved an empty chair closer to the table for Calvin, who did so reluctantly. Sebastien placed a hand fondly on the boy’s head.

Everyone sitting at the table was considered an outcast within the coven. Lauren and Grace’s poverty was apparent the moment they arrived. The only possession of value between them was a pocket watch Lauren inherited after the death of his father at the age of six. Having only been in their twenties when they were transformed and used to living in squalor, Maurice had assigned them quarters near the coven house’s cellars.

Calvin sat quietly at the table, watching the card game. The child was the only mortal within the coven’s walls. He was bound to the place after a group of vampires invaded his home and killed his family; he was found hiding from the slaughter in his bedroom closet. He was carted back to the coven and given to Alaric, under the coven’s strict rules that children were never to be killed. The child was made to earn his keep as the coven’s servant boy and would forever remain.

LaStacia and Octavio were often never trusted; their clairvoyance kept others away. They would often take turns mystifying and otherwise, terrifying coven members with their sight, finding members of the coven and telling them information without warning. It was such a random occurrence that members would be fearful of what they could be told; the intense and thorough insight had forced them out of the coven’s acceptance.

Lee was unknown and deaf. His inability to communicate properly was viewed as something distasteful, like an illness that was contagious should one get too close. Maurice shunned him by appointing him as a personal secretary. He was given an office and enough work to seal him away for as long as needed. It was unknown how he arrived or found out about the coven but despite being locked away, nothing about their home was a mystery to him.

Sebastien had been unable to blend into the well-kept coven. He continued to live the life he was accustomed to; alone and private with few friends. He was never fond of a wealthy lifestyle nor could he comprehend the need for extravagance. The coven house was bathed in dazzling colors, rich ornaments and glossy furnishings. Members were proud to match their new home with decadence, refined etiquette and holier than thou behaviors. Sebastien was often revolted whenever he was made to participate.

He took a swallow from his glass and looked over at Lauren.

“I will see your five shillings,” Sebastien threw coins onto the table, “and raise you… ten more.”

Lauren’s eyes widen at the sight of the money on the table. Calvin giggled at the sight of his twisted expression as Grace placed her hand on his elbow.

“Breathe.”

Sebastien eyed his competitor with a smirk and Lauren could only blink. Lauren looked down at his cards, holding an incomplete pair and felt his stomach lurch. He threw his head back against the head of the chair and threw down his cards.

“Bloody hell!”

Octavio finally revealed his hand; an ace, a king, an eight of clubs and four of hearts. His sister looked at him with contempt, having bet their last banknote. She slapped the back of his head as Octavio cradled his face in his hands. Lee looked around and shrugged, his hand was no better, if not worse than Octavio and Lauren’s. He laid the cards out and took his loss.

Grace and Sebastien eyed one another with competitive glares. Grace had made a career playing every game that one could bet on before her life as a vampire and Sebastien tried to think of new ways to outplay and outthink her.

“Ladies, first,” Sebastien graciously motioned towards Grace.

“Yeah, too bad you called me a ragamuffin earlier,” she countered.

“That was before money was on the table.”

Grace looked down at her cards with a somber gaze for what felt like an eternity. Her nimble fingers teased the edge of the cards as she made the few subtle adjustments to their order. Octavio looked over at her, his elbows still resting on the table in defeat and his sister leaning over as she watched Grace’s unraveled expression. Grace leaned forward as she plucked a card from her hand and raised it just before it hit the tabletop.

A royal flush presented itself on the table and Sebastien’s face fell to the floor. Lauren and Lee let out hearty laughter as Grace’s hand swiped the money from the table. She smiled warmly as Sebastien wiped his face free of tension before letting out a hard sigh. Grace put her money in the front pocket of her trousers. “Maybe now we can buy our way out of the cellars?” she looked at Lauren.

“Good luck with that bargain,” Lauren laughed.

The game ended and the friends went their separate ways. Calvin trailed behind Sebastien like a faithful pup as they climbed the stairs from the parlor. They emerged in the main corridor, greeted with a glowing chandelier that bounced light from whatever surface it touched.  Sebastien began down the hall, towards his chambers when Alaric approached him coming from the opposite direction. Calvin was waved along as Alaric stopped short in front of Sebastien.

“I’ve been looking for you all evening.” Alaric placed his arm slightly around Sebastien, turning him in the opposite direction. He spoke in a cagey whisper as he led them down the hall, “Father has an idea that I think we should consider.”

“We?” Sebastien inquired. His suspicions mounted as he recalled the volatile reaction from Maurice months prior, after Sebastien recounted his tale of how he had arrived. He had buried the account in the back of his mind, giving no real thoughts to it as he carried on with his existence. Alaric shushed his friend, telling him to keep his voice low.

“Yes, we,” Alaric affirmed.

They finally stopped and Alaric opened a door and ushered his friend inside. He shut the door behind him and motioned for Sebastien to sit. The room was dim as the two sat across from each other and Sebastien pulled out another cigarette, striking a match.

“Since you’re one of the few survivors who has seen the vampires that have been employed by the Diocese Club, Father wants you to assist with his plans,” Alaric explained.

“What are his plans?” Sebastien’s tone was matter of fact as he eyed his friend intently. Sebastien’s cigarette hissed as he inhaled. Alaric explained that Maurice was drawing plans to capture one of the vampires who had been trained to work for the Diocese Club, saying that Maurice would extract information from the vampire by any means to use against the Diocese. Sebastien closed his eyes and removed the cigarette from between his lips.

“And how does he intend to do this?” the sarcasm in Sebastien’s tone was not missed and Alaric leaned forward.

“That’s where you come in.”

“Excuse me?” Sebastien raised an eyebrow and looked closely at his friend. Contempt grew in his eyes and Sebastien unfolded his legs and leaned forward, “Does it look like I want to be involved with something as insanely dangerous as that? I understand your father’s motives and means to exact revenge but for the love of God! Even with one, two or all of those vampires, we will never have enough information to take down that organization! The attempt at a war is a suicidal plot that I will not be a part of!”

Alaric looked at Sebastien and silently weighed out his friend’s convictions. Alaric continued to stress that the plan would help end the savage attacks on their kind. He continued to say that the plan could assist in finding the other vampires in the hunting group. Yet, the more he talked, the more Sebastien stubbornly shook his head.

“I will not be a part of a campaign that has the strongest potential for our downfall. Tell your father that regardless of any amount of information he extracts, the Diocese Club is too elusive. Hell, where would you even begin to search for one of those vampires?”

Alaric’s face darkened as Sebastien stood from the chair and made his way towards the door.

“We know ourselves well enough to know where to look for them.”

Thank you Angie!

SUBMISSION DEADLINE EXTENDED: The Sirens Call Issue #14 – Old School Horror

Submission Deadline Extended!! If you have an Old School Horror story, consider subbing it here for great exposure! 36,000+ downloads of our last issue (it’s a FREE eZine!) and still counting…

The Sirens Song

With the number of emails we’ve received from authors who have just seen the open call for the 14th issue of The Sirens Call, we’ve decided to extend the deadline to March 31, 2014!

So… Here it is again!

Old School Horror

For this issue, we want horror.

We don’t want murder mysteries, we don’t want cleverly couched tales of the supernatural, and we don’t want slasher/gore pieces. All we want is straight up horror.

That’s all we’re looking for… Be it a short story, flash fiction, drabbles, or poetry; whatever form you choose to write in, just be sure it’s spine-tingling horror!

Submission Deadline: March 31, 2014

*All submissions MUST be submitted to: Submissions@SirensCallPublications.com

For full guidelines, please visit our website!

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