Monday, July 2, 2018

Monday's Mystical Magic: The Medium by Bonnie Dee


I have decided to add another feature to my weekly posts, this one is called Monday's Mystical Magic and will highlight all kinds of the paranormal/supernatural.  Now this won't appear every Monday, some weeks I'll post the anthology/box sets in Monday's Montage Mantelpiece, others will see Monday Morning's Menu with stories that have a food factor, there's also Monday's Musical Melody which highlight tales involving a music/dance element and the more recently added Monday's Memorial Moment featuring tales of historical settings. After all, as the saying goes: variety is the spice of lifeπŸ˜‰


To win a heart, he must risk his soul…

Cast out of his family for being a freak, psychic Justin Crump helps others find peace by using his ability. When he’s called upon to release a distressed soul from a haunted house, a child’s angry spirit draws him into a dark mystery. Equally intriguing is the skeptical homeowner, Albert. A man who has buried his sexuality deeper than the grave.

Albert Henderson humors his mother’s wishes by inviting the medium for a visit. While he doubts Justin’s gifts, he can’t deny one truth: the man stirs desire in him that Albert has spent a lifetime denying. Slowly, the walls of his proper life crumble. And when Justin proposes some emotion-free experimentation, neither imagines it might lead to love…and danger.

After learning the terrifying truth about the deceased child’s persecutor, the two men pursue a perpetrator of great evil. When they coax a confession from their quarry, the vengeful spirit unleashes power nearly beyond control. To free the earthbound ghost from the past that holds it shackled, Justin must risk his own soul. And Albert must find the courage to break free of the chains of doubt that will deny him and Justin the future of which they once only dreamed.

πŸ’₯Warning: Contains mention of child sexual abuse.πŸ’₯

Justin Crump, disowned by his family for who and what he is, uses his abilities to help others.  When he's called in to help rid a haunted house of a distressed spirit he finds himself pulled into a mystery he wasn't expecting.  Albert Henderson is skeptical of Justin's abilities but he humors his mother who is a believer.  Finding himself intrigued by Justin on multiple levels, will the pair find love among the danger once the truth to the spirit is discovered?

Followers of my reviews have long ago realized just how big a fan of historicals and paranormals I am and when the two are put together, well then I am in reader heaven.  Bonnie Dee has once again made history come alive, she has a way about her that makes even the paranormal element seem realistic without going over the top.  Whether you believe spirits, ghosts, and mediums to be real doesn't really matter, with this book the author has you believing in the possibilities.

Justin and Albert are such a perfect match, not exactly the "opposites attract" trope and not really "enemies to lovers" either but a little bit of both probably.  Justin is not your typical medium nor is he the typical con-artist that Albert believes him to be, he knows how the "upper class" works but he also knows the value of the "working man".   Albert's not lost to the ways of either as well but he isn't easily won over as he thinks his mother has been.  They both work for what they find and I really love that about both of them, it just adds to their chemistry. 

As for the mystery part, I won't say much but I will mention that it will break your heart and just how Justin is able to deal with what he learns and continue on is beyond me.  I would most definitely want to find answers but I don't think I'd be able to bounce back so quickly to do so but I think that is probably down to Albert at Justin's side.  I will say that I certainly shed no tears when the mystery was brought to a conclusion πŸ˜‰πŸ˜‰

The Medium is another prime example of the brilliance behind Bonnie Dee when she has her mind set on bringing history to life.  Throw in a little paranormal, a little mystery, and just the right amount of romance and you are looking at great entertaining fiction.  The title may be The Medium but the quality and talent that brought this gem to life is definitely The High.πŸ˜‰


The day Crump was to arrive, I could not concentrate on my work, even though the factory in York was faltering and I needed to review their finances. Our groom, Flint, had taken the pony trap to the Mewsbury train station to fetch the visitor. I kept drifting to the window to check if the trap had returned. I might have been a ghost myself, haunting the den where several generations of Kingman males had retreated for privacy. Fresh paint, new drapes, carpet, and furniture could not completely extinguish the odor of smoke from years of pipes or cigars. I imagined Sir Cyrus sitting at the fireplace with his cronies making plans for a fox hunt or to seduce a housemaid or whatever else their sort got up to for entertainment.

My father had sneered at the landed gentry who had run their estates into the ground through lack of any business or common sense. Father only believed in what he could own, bank, buy, or sell. He never let a penny lie idle and expanded his machinist father’s company into a conglomeration of businesses. But new Henderson wealth couldn’t buy the respect of our social betters. Father hadn’t cared, but of course, he’d never had to attend Eton as I had and suffer the snobbery of brats. Only breeding separated my tormentors from vicious lowlife thugs. Once one was appointed the role of victim, there was little hope to escape it.

I heard a noise and bolted up from my seat to make another trip to the window. My nape prickled as I waited for Justin Crump to arrive. Why did his imminent arrival affect me so? From the moment I’d looked into his pale blue eyes. I’d felt something akin to instant recognition, coupled with an electrical charge that set my body buzzing. It must be this magnetic personality that made him such an expert at winning converts. I could find no other way to explain why Crump influenced me so.

At last I heard the distant clip-clopping of hooves on the driveway and caught a glimpse of the pony and cart. I hurried back to my desk like a lad pretending to study when he’d been daydreaming the afternoon away. I stared at the quarterly spreadsheet for Drayton Ironworks, but listened for the sound of Lassiter’s footsteps in the hallway. After a light tap, the butler opened the door. “Mr. Crump has arrived, sir, and awaits you in the parlor.”

“Very good. Thank you.”

I forced myself to take my time putting away my pen set before walking casually toward the parlor. I refused to appear eager, although my pulse was racing as I entered the room and beheld Crump’s backside. That is to say, I beheld his back since he was facing away from me—not that I was staring at his arse.

He stood studying the large oil painting above the fireplace mantel, a pastoral featuring a forest at night with a full moon glowing between tree branches. He turned to greet me, the unusual light hue of his blue eyes stopping me short and stealing my voice.

“Good afternoon, Mr. Henderson. I was just admiring this painting. Quite an unusual scene, mysterious yet strangely welcoming.”

I looked at the artwork I’d hardly noticed before. Room decorations were not something I generally paid much attention to.

“One of Mother’s choices,” I remarked, wondering what he’d meant by welcoming. “She has greatly enjoyed overseeing the remodeling. Or she seemed to at first before this gloominess set in. Won’t you sit down?”

“Where is your dear mother?” Crump settled in the chair facing mine, his legs gracefully crossed. He had a gentleman’s way about him that told me he wasn’t some jumped-up sales clerk having a field day fooling the swells.

“She is resting and will join us directly. I wanted to take an opportunity to speak candidly. As I told you, I haven’t felt one iota of the negative energy in this house that my mother speaks of.”

“It’s not uncommon for most people to remain unaware of psychic disturbances which to others are as concrete as anything in this world,” Crump replied.

I cleared my throat. “At any rate, these negative feelings are very real to my mother. I’ve begun to fear she suffers from melancholia, but I would never send her to a sanitarium for treatment. The idea of cold-water baths or electrical stimulation jolting a person out of a dark mood is as nonsensical as believing in ghosts.”

If he felt insulted, Crump didn’t show it. “You’ve made your skepticism quite clear. I promise to do my best to dispel this darkness that haunts your mother, but it will be of great help if you refrain from using the term ‘nonsensical.’ She should feel she has your support.”

“She would see right through me if I pretended to believe, so I’ll simply keep mum.”

Crump glanced at the moonscape above the fireplace. “What can you tell me about the history of this house? Your mother mentioned it was built by more recent generations of Kingmans.”

“The ruins of the original structure are on a rise toward the north. Cyrus Kingman, the current baronet, could no longer keep the entail intact. I suppose some king granted the land and baronetcy to a Kingman forebear, but I couldn’t tell you the date or the king. I was far more interested in learning the condition of the masonry and roof than in historical details about the house.”

Crump’s smile formed crescent grooves on either side of his mouth. “You are a man who exists very much in the here and now.”

For an employee, he didn’t show much deference. I didn’t like the way his smile set off a skittering feeling through me like a dog trying to run on a polished floor. “It’s the sensible way to live. No good dwelling on the past, or in existing in a dream world. Such frivolity doesn’t affect the price of tea,” I snapped, sounding disgustingly like my father.

Crump’s smile died, and I immediately regretted my sharp tone. No need to start off on the wrong foot if he was sincere in his desire to help Mother, and I believed he was. He had a gentle, nurturing manner which might ease her troubled spirit.

I added, “There are estate ledgers in the library. Feel free to search the shelves for whatever might be of use to you.”

Crump did not reply. His eyes had grown unfocused, and I realized he hadn’t heard me. His mouth dropped open slightly, and his breathing grew shallow.

“Mr. Crump?” I prompted.

There was still no response, as if he could neither hear nor see me, and his chest rose and fell with shallow breaths. Was this the prelude to a seizure, or was he putting on a psychic show for my benefit, trying to draw me into his imaginary world?

“Mr. Crump.” I spoke louder.

He shook his head. “No. Please,” he murmured.

This was different from his display at the sΓ©ance, when he’d pretended to speak for Lady Barton’s son. He’d used his own voice then. Now his tone was lighter and higher.

I shivered as if a cold gust had invaded the room. “Mr. Crump!” I shouted, determined to either draw his attention back to this world or demand he quit playacting.

His body began to shake, and I grew truly frightened. What was one supposed to do for an epileptic? If he fell to the floor twitching and frothing at the mouth, I had no idea how to help.

I lunged forward, grabbed his shoulders, and shook him hard. “Mr. Crump, wake up!”

I felt the solid warmth of his body under his jacket and inhaled a whiff of the pomade that slicked his wavy hair. Tears had escaped his eyes, one of them cupped like a diamond at the corner of his mouth. Something stirred in me at that detail, something protective, yearning, and inexplicable.

He shuddered and blinked, lashes fanning slowly. When he opened his eyes, I noticed the navy ring of the outer iris wrapped like a frame around the paler blue within.

I exhaled a pent breath. “Good Christ! Are you all right?”

He nodded. “Thirsty.” His tongue darted out to wet his lips, and another indefinable pang of emotion shot through me.

I released him and hurried to the sideboard to pour a glass from the pitcher. His hand trembled as he took the glass from me, and he drank it without a pause, his Adam’s apple moving up and down with each swallow.

“What happened to you? Do you often suffer from such fits?”

He smiled, and the tear caught at the corner of his mouth trickled down. “Not generally. Usually my contact with the other side is under my control, but this…” He shook his head. “I’ve never felt anything quite like the misery and fear of this entity. Its feelings became my own.”

I wanted to hit him! Here I was worrying about his physical health, and he was offering more nonsense. It was all an act designed to get me to buy in to his story. Either that, or he was mentally unbalanced enough to have gone into some sort of fugue state.

I folded my arms and glared at him, distancing myself from the proximity that had put odd notions of empathy and protection in my head. “Perhaps your presence here is not a good idea after all. I’m not sure my mother should have—”

“Mother should have what? Her fancies indulged?” Mother swept into the room, as self-assured as I’d ever seen her with none of her recent querulousness on display. “I am not a child, Albert. I don’t need to be either catered to or protected. I am not suffering the ‘nervous melancholia’ we women are supposedly prone to.”

“I didn’t say that.”

She gave me a hard stare, then held out her hand as Crump rose to greet her. “Good day, Mr. Crump. Lovely to see you again. I am so relieved you are here.”

“I’ve already encountered the entity you’ve described. The experience was not pleasant.”

She took his hand between both of hers and gazed into his eyes. A momentary thought flashed that I wished I were in her shoes, before I quickly squelched it. “I never considered myself receptive to the otherworldly,” she said, “but all this has made a believer of me. If I ever had any doubt that life exists beyond this world, it has been extinguished.”

“I hope, together, we may do some good for this tormented soul,” Crump replied.

The pair of them stood united, excluding me, the skeptic. They were of one accord. I could only watch and wish I’d put up more of a fight about bringing Crump into our home. The man disturbed me in ways I didn’t understand, and I wanted him out—probably more than Mother wished to exorcise her ghost.

Author Bio:
Dear Readers, I began telling stories as a child. Whenever there was a sleepover, I was the designated ghost tale teller guaranteed to frighten and thrill with macabre tales. I still have a story printed on yellow legal paper in second grade about a ghost, a witch and a talking cat.

As an adult, I enjoy reading stories about people damaged by life who find healing with a like-minded soul. When I couldn’t find enough such books, I began to write them. Whether you’re a fan of contemporary historical or fantasy romance, you’ll find something to enjoy among my books.

To stay informed about new releases, please sign up for my newsletter. You can also find me on Facebook and Twitter @Bonnie_Dee.



Blog Tour: The Unholy by Paul DeBlassie III

Title: The Unholy
Author: Paul DeBlassie III
Genre: Fantasy, Paranormal
Release Date: March 19, 2018
A young curandera, a medicine woman, intent on uncovering the secrets of her past is forced into a life-and-death battle against an evil Archbishop. Set in the mystic land of Aztlan, The Unholy is a novel of destiny as healer and slayer. Native lore of dreams and visions, shape changing, and natural magic work to spin a neo-gothic web in which sadness and mystery lure the unsuspecting into a twilight realm of discovery and decision.

Elizabeth cradled the cup in her hands as she sipped. Claire had just begun to feel settled into the session as Elizabeth finished her tea, set her eyes hard on Claire, and threw a poison dart, in her gravelly voice, asserting, “You are a medicine woman—of Lozen—like your mother, Claire.” The words were hate-filled, meant to wound. Despite the culture in which she had been raised, Claire considered herself a natural therapist not a medicine woman, the distinction a matter of life and death. In her mind, she had long ago made the decision that being a medicine woman like her mother meant exposing herself to evil and injury and, potentially, death. Years ago, when handed the five-foot oak staff that had belonged to her mother, Claire had angrily rejected it, refusing initiation into the way of the medicine woman. Back then, she had often had fearsome memories of being a young child in the forest, an ominous black-cloaked man assaulting her mother, and hearing her mother’s screams— a child’s nightmare.

The words of her adoptive mother, her mother’s closest friend, reverberated in her mind: “You are of Lozen—a medicine woman. A time may come when only the staff can save you.” Claire’s stomach churned. None of her patients had ever attacked her so personally. She felt the blood draining from her head and a sharp pain shooting through her eyes. Elizabeth was trying to stop her from asking anymore prying questions.

“Are you all right,Claire?” she asked after a minute, her tone laced with sarcasm and a sneer on her face, expressions Claire was sad to see.

“You did what you wanted to do, Elizabeth. You shut me down,” Claire replied evenly, holding her gaze. She felt compassion for Elizabeth, realizing that all that she had locked inside of her must be nothing short of terrifying. Elizabeth didn’t let it go, though, saying, “You are of Lozen just like she was.”

This time her sneer was even more etched into the sunbaked lines that streaked across her face.

“I’m a natural therapist, Elizabeth, not a medicine woman,” Claire replied firmly.

The UnholyShe heard a voice whispering, Land of the forsaken, land of the lost… bring her to me…Claire. As she ran forward, out of nowhere the two crows flew at her, scraping the air near her face with their sharp talons. Fists clenched, she struck out at one and grabbed at the other. They flew up, circled overhead, then dove, talons flaring. Unmoving, Claire placed her hands by her side and held their gaze. They fluttered above her head for a minute, then left. Claire turned and saw an eagle soaring—a healer’s spirit manifestation. Medicine women said it came only when needed, when danger lurked.

Frantically tugging away bush, bramble, and cacti, she uncovered the mouth of the seventh cave and stepped in. She had the feeling somebody was watching.

Her eyes adjusted and she made out the contour of something. Squinting, she stooped and touched what seemed to be a circle of stones and charred, cold logs. She stood up and pulled back. A bat flew at her. She waved it away.

She stopped, waited for her breathing to slow, and, stepping sideways, touched the walls of the cave. They were damp and the stink of blood and guts was everywhere. Using the hard surfaces as a guide, her fingertips suddenly brushed through a hollow space roughly the size of a human body.

What Others Are Saying:
''The Unholy, an excellent novel by Paul DeBlassie III, keeps the reader engaged throughout in mystery, suspense, and church politics. In addition to vividly depicting the beautiful landscape and culture of New Mexico, it exposes and strengthens the traditional work of the medicine women of the Southwest. I am looking forward to Dr. DeBlassie's next book.'' --Eliseo ''Cheo'' Torres, author of Curandero: A Life In Mexican Folk Healing, professor, and university administrator.

"It is so awesome to have a kickass read that not only empowers women but broadens your horizons. Set in New Mexico's mythical city of Aztlan a woman takes on a very powerful man and confronts her past.

Author Paul DeBlassie III deserves more rewards for this masterpiece, because it challenges conventional beliefs. Trust a depth psychologist to grip you into a war between good versus evil, and make you research mythical versus historical .

I loved the way reality blurred with fantasy! You will never know what to expect next in this page turner." --Books On Fire Tours Review

"Mr. Paul DeBlassie III's novel is a story about a battle between the medicine women of Aztlan (Yes, I had to look it up) and an evil archbishop. It has an ending that you do not see coming. This novel also shows the author's vast knowledge of Aztlan's culture and customs. A good read." --Joseph Inzirillo, Author of "The Meeting."

Goddess of the Wild
Winner of the NYC Big Book Award, Goddess of the Wild Thing is a dramatic tale of one woman’s spiritual journey where magical happenings, unexpected turns of fate, and unseen forces impact her ability to love and be loved. Eve Sanchez, a scholar of esoteric studies, is driven into unreal dimensions of horror and hope as she encounters a seductive and frightening man, criminal lawyer Sam Shear.

Sam introduces Eve to a supernatural world in which the wicked powers of a surrogate mother’s twisted affection threaten love and life. Struggling to sort through right from wrong, frightened yet determined, Eve nears despair.

In the mystic realm of Aztlan del Sur, a mythopoeic land of hidden horrors and guiding spirits, Eve, with three friends and a wise-old woman, is caught in an age-old struggle about love—whether bad love is better than no love— and discovers that love is a wild thing.

Author Bio:
Paul DeBlassie III, Ph.D. is a depth psychologist and award-winning writer living in his native New Mexico. He specializes in treating individuals in emotional and spiritual crisis. His novels, visionary thrillers, delve deep into archetypal realities as they play out dramatically in the lives of everyday people. Memberships include the Author’s Guild, the Depth Psychology Alliance, the International Association for Relational Psychoanalysis and Psychotherapy, and the International Association for Jungian Studies.


The Unholy

Goddess of the Wild Thing

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Release Blitz: Badlands by Morgan Brice

Title: Badlands
Author: Morgan Brice
Genre: M/M Romance, Paranormal, Urban Fantasy
Release Date: June 27, 2018
Cover Design: Natania Barron
Publisher: Darkwind Press

Simon Kincaide owns a boardwalk shop in Myrtle Beach where he runs ghost tours & does seances and private psychic readings, a fresh start after his abilities cost him his lover and his job as a folklore professor. Jaded cop Vic D’Amato saw something supernatural he couldn’t explain during a shootout several years ago in Pittsburgh and relocated to Myrtle Beach to leave the past behind, still skeptical about the paranormal.  But when the search for a serial killer hits a dead end, Vic battles his skepticism to ask Simon for help. As the body count rises, Simon’s involvement makes him a target, and a suspect. But Simon can't say no, even if it costs him his life and heart.

Vic hadn’t grown up around the ocean. Pittsburgh had its famed three rivers, and friends had taken him boating or camping on lakes, but the ocean had always remained a special memory of his favorite childhood vacations. Just listening to the rush of the waves made Vic feel better, no matter how shitty the day might have been. And while he wasn’t much for lying still in the sun, walking at the edge of the water and feeling the wet sand under his toes went a long way toward cleansing his mood.

The wind had picked up, and Vic glanced at the dark clouds coming in. Too late he remembered the predicted rain and grimaced at the thought of riding home and getting soaking wet. He thought about heading for his motorcycle, but the lure of some fresh air and a good cup of coffee kept him where he was. He could survive getting wet.

He rested his forearms on the boardwalk railing and looked out toward the ocean, in part to ignore the couples laughing and joking as they walked along with their ice cream. Maybe it was time to think about getting out there again, dating, finding a boyfriend and not just a hook-up. Vic snorted. Even his hook-ups had been few and far between because he didn’t like being vulnerable with someone he didn’t know. That nixed dating apps since the cop in him wanted to get a read on a prospective partner in person, not just swipe right. Then again, he hated going clubbing—no telling when one of those places would get busted for something—and cruising for a date in a bar just felt desperate.

Yep, he thought. That explained why he was still single and spending most nights watching TV, tuning up his cycle, or going for a long ride along the Coastal Highway. Maybe he should get a dog, and resign himself to spending the rest of his life wanking off in the shower. God, he needed to get laid.

Vic pushed off from the railing and ambled down the boardwalk toward Mizzenmast Coffee. He didn’t usually pay much attention to the shops, couldn’t remember the last time he had even noticed the signs. But today, the “Grand Strand Ghost Tours” window caught his eye. What made him pause was the smaller lettering beneath “Tours, Maps, Books, Candles, and Supplies.” In particular, the line that read “Private Readings and SΓ©ances, by Appointment Only.”

What could it hurt, to come back and see if the psychic can contact any of the spirits of the dead workers? He thought. Not like we’ve gotten any other breaks in the case. And if I get a tip that pans out, no one ever needs to know where it came from.

Author Bio:
Morgan Brice is the romance pen name of bestselling author Gail Z. Martin. Morgan writes urban fantasy male/male paranormal romance, with plenty of action, adventure and supernatural thrills to go with the happily ever after. Gail writes epic fantasy and urban fantasy, and together with co-author hubby Larry N. Martin, steampunk and comedic horror, all of which have less romance, more explosions.

Morgan Brice will be a Supporting Author at the Gay Romantic Lit convention and a Hosting Author at RomCon in October.



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