Monday, November 3, 2014

Monday's Montage Showcase: Enter at Your Own Risk: Fires and Phantoms

A collection of seventeen tales that explore the passions, lusts and longings that ignite the fires that inflame and consume us, leaving behind phantoms to rise from their ashes. In Firbolg Publishing’s latest ghostly, gay-themed addition to the Enter at you Own Risk series, a diverse range of acclaimed authors tell haunting tales of scorned lovers with malevolent secrets and vengeful surprises; of fateful obsessions, unleashed impulses, doomed affairs and desire stronger than death; of love that remains ruinously unrequited and love that triumphs over bloodcurdling odds. With an outstanding introduction from Robert Dunbar, Phantoms and Fires sets free gothic visions that manipulate our emotions and penetrate the deepest, most forbidden corners of our psyches--
Enter… at your own Risk.

Alone by Edgar Allan Poe
When You Are Right by R.T. Anderson
Time For One More Show by B.E. Scully
He by H.P. Lovecraft
The Neglected Ones by Joshua Skye
In The End, He Dreamed by Michael Meeske
Country People by Richard Hall
Prickle the Ivories by Chad Stroup
Sing for Me, Baby by Catherine R. Smyka
A Decent Cup of Tea by Michele Cacano
The Eyes by Edith Wharton
Promises in the Dark, Whispers at Dawn by Vincent Waters
Murder by Any Other Name by Abella Rodriguez
Stage Whisper by Ted Cornwell
In Kropfsberg Keep by Ralph Adams Crams
Inheritance by Richard May
A New Heart That Tells A Tale by Andrew Wolter
Last Dance in the Rain by T. Fox Dunham

Author Bios:
Edgar Allen Poe
The name Poe brings to mind images of murderers and madmen, premature burials, and mysterious women who return from the dead. His works have been in print since 1827 and include such literary classics as “The Tell-Tale Heart,” “The Raven,” and “The Fall of the House of Usher.” This versatile writer’s oeuvre includes short stories, poetry, a novel, a textbook, a book of scientific theory, and hundreds of essays and book reviews. He is widely acknowledged as the inventor of the modern detective story and an innovator in the science fiction genre, but he made his living as America’s first great literary critic and theoretician. Poe’s reputation today rests primarily on his tales of terror as well as on his haunting lyric poetry.

Just as the bizarre characters in Poe’s stories have captured the public imagination so too has Poe himself. He is seen as a morbid, mysterious figure lurking in the shadows of moonlit cemeteries or crumbling castles. This is the Poe of legend. But much of what we know about Poe is wrong, the product of a biography written by one of his enemies in an attempt to defame the author’s name.

The real Poe was born to traveling actors in Boston on January 19, 1809. Edgar was the second of three children. His other brother William Henry Leonard Poe would also become a poet before his early death, and Poe’s sister Rosalie Poe would grow up to teach penmanship at a Richmond girls’ school. Within three years of Poe’s birth both of his parents had died, and he was taken in by the wealthy tobacco merchant John Allan and his wife Frances Valentine Allan in Richmond, Virginia while Poe’s siblings went to live with other families. Mr. Allan would rear Poe to be a businessman and a Virginia gentleman, but Poe had dreams of being a writer in emulation of his childhood hero the British poet Lord Byron. Early poetic verses found written in a young Poe’s handwriting on the backs of Allan’s ledger sheets reveal how little interest Poe had in the tobacco business.

Edith Wharton
Edith Newbold Jones was born into such wealth and privilege that her family inspired the phrase "keeping up with the Joneses." The youngest of three children, Edith spent her early years touring Europe with her parents and, upon the family's return to the United States, enjoyed a privileged childhood in New York and Newport, Rhode Island. Edith's creativity and talent soon became obvious: By the age of eighteen she had written a novella, (as well as witty reviews of it) and published poetry in the Atlantic Monthly.

After a failed engagement, Edith married a wealthy sportsman, Edward Wharton. Despite similar backgrounds and a shared taste for travel, the marriage was not a success. Many of Wharton's novels chronicle unhappy marriages, in which the demands of love and vocation often conflict with the expectations of society. Wharton's first major novel, The House of Mirth, published in 1905, enjoyed considerable literary success. Ethan Frome appeared six years later, solidifying Wharton's reputation as an important novelist. Often in the company of her close friend, Henry James, Wharton mingled with some of the most famous writers and artists of the day, including F. Scott Fitzgerald, AndrΓ© Gide, Sinclair Lewis, Jean Cocteau, and Jack London.

In 1913 Edith divorced Edward. She lived mostly in France for the remainder of her life. When World War I broke out, she organized hostels for refugees, worked as a fund-raiser, and wrote for American publications from battlefield frontlines. She was awarded the French Legion of Honor for her courage and distinguished work.

The Age of Innocence, a novel about New York in the 1870s, earned Wharton the Pulitzer Prize for fiction in 1921 -- the first time the award had been bestowed upon a woman. Wharton traveled throughout Europe to encourage young authors. She also continued to write, lying in her bed every morning, as she had always done, dropping each newly penned page on the floor to be collected and arranged when she was finished. Wharton suffered a stroke and died on August 11, 1937. She is buried in the American Cemetery in Versailles, France.

HP Lovecraft was born in 1890 in Providence, Rhode Island, where he lived most of his life. He wrote many essays and poems early in his career, but gradually focused on the writing of horror stories, after the advent in 1923 of the pulp magazine Weird Tales, to which he contributed most of his fiction. His relatively small corpus of fiction--three short novels and about sixty short stories--has nevertheless exercised a wide influence on subsequent work in the field, and he is regarded as the leading twentieth-century American author of supernatural fiction. H. P. Lovecraft died in Providence in 1937.

R.T. Anderson lives in the mountains of Montana with his lunatic dog and other strange creatures. His short stories have appeared in Enter At Your Own Risk: Old Masters, New Voices, DarkMediaCity, and Dark River Press.

Michele Cacano is an avid fan of the supernatural in books, movies, and real life. She believes in Life as Art and Art as Life; enjoying painting, photography, dancing, foreign language study, and travel as well as writing and reading fantasy and horror. She lives happily in Seattle with her husband, her cats, and her ADD. Her primary career as a successful massage therapist allows her time for many interests and goals. She regularly hosts a local writer’s critique group and often teaches and volunteers in the arts. She recently began a new blog on her writing life, titled A Dream and a Scream.  She also has a facebook page for her forthcoming comedy/ horror novel set in the zombie apocalypse.

Ted Cornwell is a freelance financial journalist living in one of New York City’s smallest apartments, in a building suitably old and storied enough for ghostly companions. His fiction has previously appeared in anthologies from Alyson Publications, Cleis Press, Arsenal Pulp Press, and Gay City Anthologies. Years ago, one of his first stories was published in The Ghost of Carmen Miranda and Other Spooky Gay and Lesbian Tales.

Robert Dunbar has written several critically praised novels, including The Shore and Willy. He is also the author of the queer-themed collection Martyrs & Monsters.

T. Fox Dunham resides outside of Philadelphia PA— author and historian. He’s published in over 150 international journals and anthologies. He’s a cancer survivor. When he’s not scribbling words, he’s out catching bass on a rooster-tail lure, thinking about writing as he fishes. His friends call him fox, being his totem animal, and his motto is: Wrecking civilization one story at a time.

Richard Hall was a novelist, an acclaimed short-story writer, and a widely produced playwright. He was book editor of The Advocate from 1976 to 1982 and the first openly gay critic to be elected to the National Book Critics Circle. His landmark essay, Gay Fiction Comes Home, was the front-page article in The New York Time Book Review in June 1988, and his reviews have also appeared in The New Republic, the San Francisco Chronicle, and The Village Voice . Richard Hall died of AIDS-related complications in October 1992.

Michael Meeske writes across genres , including romance, mystery, suspense, horror and gothic fiction, a genre that blends horror and romance , and has its roots in some of the earliest novels ever written. Poe’s Mother is his latest release available exclusively on Kindle at

From 2008 to 2010, he served as Vice President of Florida Romance Writers (FRW). He has been a member of FRW and the Romance Writers of America since 2002. He also was an active member of the Writers’ Room of Boston, a non-profit working space for novelists, poets and playwrights.

Michael’s writing credits include Frankenstein’s Daemon, a sequel to Frankenstein, offered through Usher Books. He also is the co-author of His Weekend Proposal, a tender category romance published in August 2009 by The Wild Rose Press under the pen name of Alexa Grayson (soon to be published in Greece); Zombieville, a short story included in a 2011 anthology by FRW writers, available at, and Tears, a short-story published in the Fall 2000 issue of Space & Time, a magazine of fantasy and science fiction. Usher Books will publish additional works by Michael in 2012 and 2013.

Some of his influences are Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft, Shirley Jackson, Oscar Wilde, Daphne du Maurier, Richard Matheson, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and any work by the exquisite BrontΓ« sisters. You can contact Michael at michaelmeeske@

Abella Rodriguez is a Los Angeles native with close ties to Mexico. She often writes about being a lesbian within the framework of her blended cultures. This is her first venture into the world of horror.

B.E. Scully writes tales dark and strange, drinks red wine and murky beer, cooks, reads, studies, and believes in the golden key. She lives in a haunted red house that lacks a foundation in the misty woods of Oregon with a variety of human and animal companions. Her recently released short story collection The Knife and the Wound It Deals is currently available on Amazon and other fine venues along with her critically acclaimed gothic thriller Verland: the Transformation. She has published numerous short stories and poems in an eclectic assortment of genres, styles, and places. Published work, interviews, and other odd scribblings can be found at . She can also be found posting pictures of cats on Facebook and Twitter.

Joshua Skye was born in Jamestown, New York but predominantly grew up in the Texas Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. He lives in rural Pennsylvania with his partner Ray of sixteen years and their eight year old son, Syrian. His short stories have appeared in several anthologies and periodicals. He is the author of The Singing Wind, Bareback: A Werewolf’s Tale, Midnight Rainbows, and the forthcoming The Angels of Autumn & The Grigori.

Catherine R. Smyka is a freelance writer, editor, and essayist currently living in Seattle, WA. She is the founder and Editor -in-chief of T( OUR) Magazine, a quarterly publication about experiences in the queer community. She writes for the books department at The Stranger and is an editor through She also teaches non-fiction writing workshops around the city and performs with various local storytelling organizations. Prior to her West Coast move, Catherine had been a radio essayist with the Chicago NPR station, WBEZ. She has been published with This I Believe and The Q Review, and , over the next year, hopes to publish her first collection of non-fiction essays called The Rules of Being a Lesbian.

Chad Stroup is currently pursuing his MFA in Fiction at San Diego State University. His work has recently been featured in the San Diego Poetry Annual, Penduline, and Educe Journal. He also runs a blog called Subvertbia, which showcases some of his short fiction and poetry.

Vincent Waters is a San Francisco native and recent transplant to Los Angeles. He is a social activist and has worked feverishly in the battle against Proposition Eight. He often does guest blogs to discuss issues in the gay community. This is his first published story.

Andrew Wolter is the award-winning author of the books Seasons In His Abyss, Much of Madness, More of Sin and Nightfall. His short stories have appeared in several online and print publications. In addition to his fiction writing, Andrew has previously acted as a contributing columnist to X-Factor Magazine, in which he has over 85 published reviews and 15 published interviews. Being a strong advocate for human rights, he also freelances as a contributing columnist (under a pseudonym) for a nationwide LGBT publication. A resident of Seattle, Washington, Andrew is an active member of the Horror Writers Association and is currently working on his next novel.

About the Editor
Dr. Alex Scully is a historian of Irish Identity and the Victorian Era. Her research into the dusty tomes often intersects with the Gothic literature of the 1800s. There are dark secrets in the stories, poems, and novels of centuries past; secrets that have yet to be revealed to modern audiences. Yet the haunting charm and sinister fears that transcend time, so masterfully captured by the Gothic masters, live on in a new generation of writers. Our nightmares are not as far removed from the terrible undercurrents of Victorian society as we might want them to be. The past and present, side by side, are mirror images of the same ghastly face. All historians know one cannot forget the past. Nor can one ignore the present. Look them both in the eye and be afraid. Be very afraid.

Robert Dunbar:  Blog  /  Goodreads

Edgar Allen Poe:  Website  /  Amazon  /  Goodreads

BE Scully:  Website  /  Amazon  /  Goodreads

HP Lovecraft:  Website  /  Amazon  /  Goodreads

Joshua Skye:  Website  /  Amazon  /  Goodreads

Michael Meeske:  Website  /  Amazon  /  Goodreads

Chad Stroup:  Blog

Michele Cacano:  Facebook  /  Blog

Edith Wharton:  Amazon  /  Goodreads

Ted Cornwall:  Blog

Ralph Adams Cram:  Amazon  /  Goodreads

Richard May:  Goodreads

Andrew Wolter:  Website  /  Goodreads

T Fox Dunham:  Facebook  /  Twitter  /  Blog  /  Goodreads

Editor: Dr. Alex Scully:  Amazon  /  Goodreads

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Cover Reveal: Deeper by Allyn Lesley

Everything Avianna Linton thought she knew was shattered in one traffic stop. With her life turned upside down, she flees to the bright lights of New York City hoping for anonymity and a new life.

Rising from nothing, Noah Adams holds onto his power and control with a bone-crushing grip. No one dared challenge his authority until her...

Avi’s disdain for Noah is barely contained, and Noah does everything he can to restrain himself—a concept he has little experience with.

There’s more between the two than either of them realize. A force looms near, hovering with deadly precision and motivated solely by revenge.

Avi wonders who her new friends truly are and if she’s already in too deep. Noah, accustomed to getting what he wants, will do whatever it takes to draw Avi's in deeper.

Deeper is an interracial romantic suspense novel by new author Allyn Lesley.

     Noah shoved his hands in his pockets so he wouldn’t touch her without permission. “What’s your name?”
    She straightened her posture, meeting his stare while folding her arms over her chest. “What’s yours?”
     Noah laughed out loud.
     Well look at this. She has the balls to question me to my face?
     He stepped closer to the woman who piqued his interest. “I like that you don’t scare easily. But I asked you first.”
     Damn, she’s tiny. Her head just reached his shoulder. His gaze lowered to her open-toe gold shoes that showed off the cutest digits he’d ever seen. He appreciated that even in heels he towered over her. Her glare greeted him when he returned his attention back to her face.
     “And I asked you second,” she countered with a hand on her hip. “We could play this all night, Mister.”
     Noah’s gaze deliberately dropped from her tasty-looking lips down to her green dress with the cutout that flirted with her thick thighs. Noah slowly retraced his path up her body and conveyed his intent.
     Oh yeah, I’m so fucking you tonight.
     By the time their eyes connected again, Noah’s grin had split his face, revealing a set of deep dimples and gleaming white teeth. She failed miserably at making her small smile into a scowl. His grin disappeared when she took a step backward.
     “Noah Adams.” The name you’ll be screaming later. He stretched his right hand out, hoping she’d be polite enough to shake. The feel of her hand would have to hold him until he got to the rest in his bed later.

Trailer:  YouTube

Author Bio:
Allyn Lesley writes real stories about real people.

As a teen, Allyn lost herself in the pages of some of Romance’s heavyweights, trusting that a happy ever after was just around the corner. In Allyn’s own writing journey, as in life, she’s learned that people don’t always experience recovery and restoration after a fall. Her stories speak to the gritty side of life where the right choice isn't always easily identified and happiness not quickly gained.

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A Very Merry Black Hollywood Christmas by FL Jacob

Title: A Very Merry Black Hollywood Christmas
Author: FL Jacob
Series: Black Hollywood Series #2.5
Genre: Erotic Romance

***PLEASE NOTE These books are for 18 years and older. They contain sexual encounters and graphic language that some readers may find objectionable. Contains graphic material that is not suitable for anyone under the age of 18*** 

One evening.

What happens in the club stays in the club.

Be a guest at the hottest party of the year. Join Caston Black for the Black Hollywood Christmas party at the infamous Black Hollywood Club.

Anything can happen. Anyone could be there. Sex, Seduction, and Sin. Take a step into temptation with the BH crew.

**This is a novella taking place over the span of one night and it is told in alternating POVs. It is recommended to read the Have I Told You and I Won't Give Up on You to know who all the characters are but it isn't necessary. ENJOY!**

Have I Told You (Black Hollywood #1)
Caston Black has it all, according to the outside world. The owner of the best-selling gentlemen’s magazine, Black Hollywood, has good looks, fame, fortune, and a reputation that precedes him. He can have any woman he wants, as long as he doesn’t keep them. Caston sets his sights on Sabrina for his next Hollywood Sweetheart. Little does he know he will find the woman to share his life, the one he is meant to keep forever. 

Sabrina Bennett has been in a mentally and physically abusive relationship that has destroyed the beautiful, confident dancer who arrived at college three years ago. She thinks the only good thing left in her life is her abusive boyfriend. Keeping her boyfriend happy is her number one priority, no matter how impossible. She’s been broken and molded into a frightened, unsure girl desperate to be worthy of love. 

Meeting by chance one evening, sparks fly between Caston and Sabrina. Neither expected the feelings they bring out in each other. Trying to have a normal relationship in their abnormal world is almost impossible, happiness is a new way of life for the lovers. They want to move forward, but the past won’t let go. 

Can Caston help Sabrina heal from her past abuse? Can Sabrina show Caston he is as strong as he appears to be? When is the price of love too much? What do you do when the biggest threat to the person you love is you? 

I Won't Give Up on You (Black Hollywood #2)
Sabrina’s dreams are slipping away in the wake of the shooting. She’s lost trying to cope with the new reality of her life. Can Caston help her see that the scars on the outside haven’t changed who she is on the inside? 

Caston’s true past comes to light, bringing his present crashing down around him. In a life full of betrayal, how will Caston cope when the truth is revealed? Can Sabrina be the constant Caston needs to help him make the life changing decisions he needs to in order to move on?

When the web of lies is torn apart, who will be left standing? Will the right person take the fall?

Follow Caston and Sabrina through the aftermath and find out what happens when they each vow I Won’t Give Up on You.

     Caston pulls me into him, wrapping his arms around my waist.  “You better believe that I’d knock someone out, anyone, who is kissing you with the wrong intentions.”
    His mouth finds my hot neck and he places a few kisses under my ear before sucking lightly.  My pussy throbs knowing what he is saying.  My love for him is beyond words.
    “So you’d let someone kiss me that we both agreed on?” I ask between moans.
    I can feel his mouth turn up in a smile on my skin.  “Of course.”
    “Possibly tonight?” egging him on without saying outright what I want.
    “Possibly.” He leans back to look at me and his crystal blue eyes have deepened with lust.  “Someone in particular you had in mind?”  I can feel his arousal grow as our conversation keeps going.
    Before he has a chance to respond, I feel another set of arms slide around me.  I know who they belong to immediately.  It’s been a while since I’ve felt them but it sounds like I might be getting more of them tonight.
    “Hey there, sexy lady,” her voice whispers in my ear sending a shiver down my spine and heated desire flows through me.
    “Sara,” I half whisper, half moan.


Author Bio:
I am a mommy of two, wife to an amazing man, and full time employee. Life is crazy and busy!  I started writing again for a group of women I met who shared my love for books. They brought back the passion for writing I haven’t seen since high school. Starting this process was tedious and nerve-wracking, but my amazing ladies and my fabulous husband have inspired me to take my love for writing to the next step.

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A Very Merry Black Hollywood Christmas

Have I Told You(#1)
Amazon  /  B&N  /  iBooks  /  Goodreads TBR

I Won't Give Up on You(#2)
Amazon  /  B&N  /  iBooks  /  Goodreads TBR

Signed PB set of all 3 books in the BH Series(US only)
3 Signed PBs of A Very Merry Black Hollywood Christmas(US only)
3 eBooks of A Very Merry Black Hollywood Christmas & a BH Christmas ornament(US only)
5 eBooks of A Very Merry Black Hollywood Christmas(International)

Till Justice is Served by Jerrie Alexander

Title: Till Justice Is Served
Author: Jerrie Alexander
Series: Killer Affections, #1
Genre: Romantic Suspense
Cover Designer: Meredith Blair
Release Date: November 3, 2014

Her life.
His brand of justice.

FBI agent Rafe Sirilli has made the war against narcotics drugs his personal fight. Home to settle his father's estate, Rafe has no desire to get involved in local matters. Yet, he finds himself involved in solving two homicides and busting a drug ring as he tries to prove the innocence of a girl he'd long forgotten. Erin has grown into a beautiful woman. The passion she ignites in Rafe is hot enough to incinerate them both. His commitment to the law will be tested.

High school counselor Erin Brady is committed to helping kids. Her world crashes around her when she's accused of making inappropriate sexual advances and suspected of murder. Erin's problems have only just begun. She has a secret admirer, one who vows to kill anybody who threatens to harm her or interfere with his plan. Rafe Sirilli agrees to help prove her innocence. Romance blooms, but Erin refuses to hope for permanence. Rafe is available for loan but not to keep.

Will facing old fears help Rafe capture the heart of the woman he loves? The woman who just turned him away?

"I can't imagine the horror of walking in to wake your child and finding her murdered."

The healthy glow of Erin's creamy complexion had vanished. If anything, she was pasty white. Death, sometimes bloody and gory as hell, had become the norm in Rafe's world, but not hers.

"How could anybody believe I could do something like this?" Erin pulled the rubber thing from her ponytail and dropped it on the coffee table, allowing her hair to fall in waves well past her shoulders.

All those caramel colored waves tumbling and sliding across her neck sent a bolt of heat blazing through his veins. The image of his hands buried deep in those silky stands flashed through his mind. He started to speak but his breath caught.

"Nobody in this room believes you're guilty," Harold assured her.

Rafe didn't comment for fear his voice might crack like a teenager. Truth be told, he was leaning toward believing in her innocence. Experience had taught him never to assume. This last undercover operation busted a drug ring run by the sweetest looking grandmother in Dade County. The sixty-five year old woman wouldn't have hesitated to slit anyone's throat if they'd crossed her or her family. She and her son were currently sitting in a federal prison awaiting trial.

"This murdered girl," Rafe asked. "When did you last have contact with her?"

Erin turned to face him. Her eyes revealed nothing, but her mouth drew to a tight line. "Does that matter?"

Author Bio:
Jerrie lives in Texas with her husband and rescue dog, Buddy. She writes alpha males and kick-ass women who weave their way through death and fear to emerge stronger because of, and on occasion in spite of, their love for each other.

Till Justice is Served, book one of her new Killer Affections series, releases November 3rd, 2014. Book four of the Hell or High Water series, No Greater Hell is scheduled for a 2015 release. Jerrie's books are available at Amazon, B&N, Kobo, Apple iBooks, and Google Play.

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eCopy of Hell and High Water

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