Thursday, October 25, 2018

Random Paranormal Tales of 2018 Part 10

The Vampire King's Husband by Amber Kell
Vasska has waited his entire life to find his mate. In the end he puts all his hope into his goddess to find him someone to love, little does he know she’s listening?

Shay was at the end of his rope. His uncles had taken over and were trying to get control of Shay’s fortune. His parents were dead, his assets were tied up and no one wanted to hire a guy in his twenties to be an apprentice.

When a grey man hands Shay a note, he discovers it takes a goddess’s intervention to get his life back on track.

Nothing More Certain by R Cooper
Familiar Spirits #3
Emery Elward returned to Trinity Creek with no intention of doing anything but repairing the farmhouse he grew up in, starting a business, and tending to the graveyard linked to his family’s property. He has no interest in renewing past friendships. But one old friend is determined to get Emery out from behind the cemetery’s iron gates.

Crafty, delicate Ezra Bell, who tailors his coal-black suits, knits gloves to warm his cold hands, and couldn’t make a plant grow if he tried, isn’t someone Emery can ignore. Ezra was Emery’s best friend all through school, his first crush, and his first kiss. Then Ezra stepped back without ever acknowledging that anything happened between them and Emery left town. But now Ezra is free to tell Emery the secret that kept them apart—the town is steeped in magic, the old families are witches, and some of them, like Ezra, are a little bit more.

Amid gray skies, falling leaves, and the paper cutouts of skeletons that decorate the town in anticipation of Halloween, Ezra is going to woo Emery back to the land of the living. If anyone can convince Emery that he is wanted, that Ezra still loves him, and that magic is real, it’s Ezra. Emery may be stubborn, but he is about to discover that nothing is more certain than Ezra.

Ward & Weft by Parker Foye
In this male/male paranormal historical romance, warden and wolf must reignite the magic that first bonded them together. 

Wales, 1912

For generations, the magic wardens and the fierce werewolves combined forces to keep their enemies at bay. But when his family breaks longstanding ties to the pack that's been a part of his life since birth, warden Griffith Jones sets out on a journey to learn all he can of the magic that will reunite them. And reunite Griffith with the first—and only—man he's ever loved. 

Llywelyn ap Hywel, son of the alpha, can't let painful—or passionate—memories of Griffith distract him. His dwindling pack is in trouble, reeling from loss and locked in a grim battle with a dangerous rival—a pack with a warden who hasn't abandoned them. A warden whose dark magic could destroy them all. 

Up against enemies determined to steal their land and end life as they know it, Griffith and Llywelyn must fight as one to protect all they hold dear—their territory, their people and the fiery love they can no longer deny.

Ansel of Pryor House by Hayden Thorne 
Fifteen-year-old Ansel Tunnicliffe has lived a harsh life. Abandoned by his mother and his siblings to a drunk and abusive father, Ansel knows nothing more than hunger, fear, pain, and loneliness in his short life.

One evening, a wealthy stranger appears, challenges Mr. Tunnicliffe to a game of cards, and easily wins. The prize? Ansel. The terrified boy is whisked away to a remote and mysterious house, whose stern and aristocratic mistress takes Ansel in for a purpose that remains elusive to him.

Little by little, however, Ansel discovers additional secrets in every magical room of Pryor House -- secrets that are somehow linked to him and Miss Peveler’s strange interest in his welfare. One of those secrets also turns out to be a young boy who haunts Ansel’s lonely hours and who may very well hold the key to Ansel’s future and the shadowy history of Pryor House.

The Little Crow by Caitlin Ricci
In the Shadows #1
Detective Jamison Landry’s job isn’t easy. He’s dealt with the worst criminals imaginable and believes in his work and the community he serves. But he’s never met someone quite like Mal before. 

The mysterious man, rescued from a basement in which he was chained by cultists, keeps Jamison guessing. He both confuses and excites him, and Jamison isn’t sure how he feels about that. Plus, things turn from unusual to downright strange when people start insisting Mal isn’t quite human. And Jamison’s creepy dreams of crows and graveyards don’t make things any better for him. 

Will Mal stay around long enough for Jamison to figure out his secrets, or will this stranger leave him aching for more?

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Random Paranormal Tales of 2018

Part 1  /  Part 2  /  Part 3  /  Part 4
Part 5  /  Part 6  /  Part 7  /  Part 8
Part 9  /  Part 11  /  Part 12

Ansel of Pryor House by Hayden Thorne
Ansel had never considered himself a good judge of distance, but he was quite sure he’d ventured farther than this before. He paused in his tracks, straining his ears for sounds of Cedric, Willie, or his father’s dreaded apparition. Nothing but uneven snow, gently falling crystal flakes, and what seemed like an endless sea of leafless trees met his gaze. Only an occasional soft breeze or the falling of lumpy snow from a branch or two broke the silence. The footprints in the snow had already vanished, but they’d never been deep enough to begin with -- another puzzle to add to the existing one, seeing as how Ansel’s own prints were quite deep and visible.

“Like breadcrumbs?” he muttered, frowning as he searched the immediate vicinity for signs of recent wanderers.

Then he looked back and observed his own prints. Yes, he’d been walking forward in as straight a line as he could manage given the random peppering of trees in the wood. When he turned his gaze back to his original target point ahead, a sudden doubt seized him. He could see nothing for a good distance but the same leafless trees and snow-covered ground. Where on earth was he headed?

From some indeterminate distance, Cedric’s voice rose, the cheerful tone instantly sending a spike of pleasure through Ansel. Cedric said something, but his words were unintelligible, and at least to Ansel, it seemed as though Cedric were calling out to him. Beckoning to him as though in a dream, waiting for his answer while cloaked in the winter sun.

“To him,” Ansel murmured as he took a deep breath. “I’m headed toward him.”

Everything bright and beautiful came together at that moment: Cedric, his unbounded joy, Miss Peveler’s music and verse. And the pull at the very core of Ansel’s being was great. Beyond those trees in the snow lay the end of a special road, if not the start of a new one. There awaited hope, happiness, companionship -- everything Cedric had now come to represent to Ansel. Who knew what else was at the other side of the wood besides that mysterious yet familiar young man?

Ansel took a couple of steps forward.

A large, crooked shadow darted from the side and planted itself before him.

“You’re going to him?” the monster growled. “What the devil made you even consider the idea that you’re his equal in anything? What a sick little joke you are.”

The thing -- that half-man, half-tree creature -- shook every time it took a breath, as though its very core was so rotted that it could barely hold itself together whenever it tried to inhale some life-giving air. It only wore that same tattered and frayed cloak and hood, and since it stood directly in front of him, Ansel could see that its head, body, and limbs were more tree than man. The bark crumbled in several places, too, giving the impression of decay. Bits that fell to the ground littered the pristine snow with black rot. The monster stood close enough for Ansel to catch sight of dark worms wriggling out of cracks and struggling to hold on to dangerously loose surfaces. A few tumbled onto the snow as well, and there they’d stay, writhing like black maggots.

The monster’s eyes were perhaps the most human part of its anatomy, and they fixed their gaze on Ansel -- red and searing with rage.

“You ...” it hissed as its crooked form forced it to fight to stay upright. “You’re just like your pretentious little bitch of a mother. Your family not good enough for you, is that it? Eh?”

It took a teetering step forward, and Ansel stepped back.

The Little Crow by Caitlin Ricci
Detective Jamison Landry crept quietly through the ransacked house on Lightwood Terrace. The smell of incense was thick in the air, and he had to consciously hold his breath to keep from choking on the sweet stench. Behind him he heard the other members of his team coughing as they struggled with it as well. They’d been sitting on the house for weeks and finally had the search warrant to go in and seize what Jamison was sure would be a large cache of illegal drugs hidden somewhere in the nineteen fifties ranch-style house.

The dirty linoleum creaked under his boots as he and the team moved into the kitchen. Surveillance had told him the upper portion of the house was hardly ever used and that the people taking up residence in what had at one time been a nice home spent much of their time in the basement. He hated basements, hated that feeling of being exposed and bottlenecked as he went down the stairs to invade people in their holes. But when no one had come to the door after he’d banged, yelling that they had a search warrant and would be coming in, he had gotten a sick feeling that their search would lead to this.

His gaze caught on an occult symbol in front of the closed basement door, nothing that he was familiar with, but the dark rust-colored stain was something he was more than acquainted with, and not by choice. “Make sure to get a sample of this blood,” he whispered to the gathered team around him, pointing down. The blood was old, the stain clear on the floor even after he’d scuffed it with his boot. Around him the team seemed anxious, some even bouncing on the balls of their feet as he slowly pulled the door open.

He shouted that he was entering the basement a second before he and his team rushed down the stairs, guns up and ready to fire at anyone who happened to get in their way. What he met in the brightly lit cement room though was far different than anything he had expected as the acrid smell of sulfur assaulted his nose and tightened his throat. He’d raided meth labs, crack houses, and people growing pot in their bathtubs, and he’d never once expected to find the large circle of people dressed in bright-red robes, sitting cross-legged on the floor as they held hands and chanted in low voices. In front of them was a row of white candles, all lit, and in front of that line of dancing flames stood large object covered in black cloth.

Jamison couldn’t tell what it was, wasn’t even sure he wanted to know as he stood dumbfounded with the rest of his team, his gaze fixed on the circle of people who seemed to be in a trance.

Then one of them looked up, his eyes slowly focusing on the small group of intruders with their guns drawn on them. The man shouted and broke apart as he tried to make a run for it. His actions spurred Jamison out of his own startled daze, and he tackled the man rushing at him. With practiced movements that he could do in his sleep, the man was quickly put on his back, his hands cuffed behind him, and then sat up against the concrete wall. Jamison wasn’t as gentle as he could have been, but the safety of his team mattered more to him than the robed man’s comfort. As awareness dawned on the group, they began breaking apart. Some ran; some stood still, too in shock to do much else. Within minutes they were all handcuffed and placed against the wall, joining the idiot who had tried to rush past him to get to the only exit.

Jamison gave each of them a critical once-over. There were men, women, and some teenagers, all different ages and races. None of them seemed to have anything in common except for that they each had the same occult symbol marked in what appeared to be candle wax on their foreheads.

He wanted to ask them about the location of the drugs, but he doubted anyone would be honest about it. In his experience no one ever was, but he believed in giving people first chances to hang themselves with their own words. So few people ever asked for lawyers, even after hearing that their words could be used against them. He had just begun to ask his first question when a noise came from behind him.

He turned to the source of the soft shuffling sound, leaving his team facing the robed people. The black blanketed object was moving. He approached it cautiously. Nothing good ever seemed to be hidden under sheets, and his mind even drifted to some of his favorite horror movies as he stepped closer. The toe of his boot knocked over one of the candles, and he gingerly picked it up even as the murmuring began behind him. He was careful as he walked. Part of him knew there was nothing to be afraid of under the sheet. The other part of him, the one loudly screaming in his mind about ghosts and zombies, said nothing was ever so certain.

“No! Don’t touch him!” one of the men said, drawing Jamison’s attention.

“Him?” Jamison snarled as he turned to face the suddenly quiet man. Could the red-faced, obviously angry person sitting across the room from him be serious? Did they really have a man under the sheet? And if so, why wasn’t he getting up?

“You mustn’t go closer! He’s dangerous!” a woman screeched.

Jamison had to cough against the thick smell, so much like rotten eggs, that it had to be sulfur.

Amber Kell
Amber Kell has made a career out of daydreaming. It has been a lifelong habit she practices diligently as shown by her complete lack of focus on anything not related to her fantasy world building.

When she told her husband what she wanted to do with her life he told her to go have fun.

During those seconds she isn't writing she remembers she has children who humor her with games of 'what if' and let her drag them to foreign lands to gather inspiration. Her youngest confided in her that he wants to write because he longs for a website and an author name—two things apparently necessary to be a proper writer.

Despite her husband's insistence she doesn't drink enough to be a true literary genius she continues to spin stories of people falling happily in love and staying that way.

She is thwarted during the day by a traffic jam of cats on the stairway and a puppy who insists on walks, but she bravely perseveres..

She also writes under the name Mikela Q. Chase.

R Cooper
R. Cooper grew up thinking Mary Fisher from She-Devil and Joan Wilder from Romancing the Stone were role models. She also watched too many classic movies and read anything she got her wee little hands on, including encyclopedias. Unsurprisingly, this fantasy-prone nerd grew up to take to writing. Her published work is m/m romance and she writes in any genre which strikes her fancy and which allows her delve into new characters. It's the characters that interest her most of all. Well, and the happy endings. There should always be happy endings.

Parker Foye
Parker Foye writes speculative-flavoured romance under the QUILTBAG umbrella and believes in happily ever after, although sometimes their characters make achieving this difficult.

An education in Classics nurtured a love of heroes, swords, monsters, and beautiful people doing stupid things while wearing only scraps of leather. You’ll find those things in various guises in Parker’s stories, along with kissing (very important) and explosions (very messy). And more shifters than you can shake a stick at.

Parker lives in the UK but travels regularly via planes, trains, and an ever-growing library.

Hayden Thorne
I’ve lived most of my life in the San Francisco Bay Area though I wasn’t born there (or, indeed, the USA). I’m married with no kids and three cats and am a cycling nut.

I started off as a writer of young adult fiction, specializing in contemporary fantasy, historical fantasy, and historical genres. My books ranged from a superhero fantasy series to reworked and original folktales to Victorian ghost fiction. I've since expanded to New Adult fiction, which reflects similar themes as my YA books and varies considerably in terms of romantic and sexual content.

Caitlin Ricci
Caitlin was fortunate growing up to be surrounded by family and teachers that encouraged her love of reading. She has always been a voracious reader and that love of the written word easily morphed into a passion for writing. If she isn't writing, she can usually be found studying as she works toward her counseling degree. She comes from a military family and the men and women of the armed forces are close to her heart. She also enjoys gardening and horseback riding in the Colorado Rockies where she calls home with her wonderful fiance and their dog. Her belief that there is no one true path to happily ever after runs deeply through all of her stories.

Amber Kell

R Cooper

Parker Foye

Hayden Thorne

Caitlin Ricci

The Vampire King's Husband by Amber Kell

Nothing More Certain by R Cooper
Ward & Weft by Parker Foye

Ansel of Pryor House by Hayden Thorne

The Little Crow by Caitlin Ricci

Release Blitz: Dark Rivers by Morgan Brice

Title: Dark Rivers
Author: Morgan Brice
Series: Witchbane #2
Genre: M/M Romance, Urban Fantasy, Paranormal
Release Date: October 24, 2018
Publisher: Darkwind Press
Cover Design: Lou Harper @ Cover Affairs
One hundred years ago, a sheriff’s posse killed dark warlock Rhyfel Gremory, but his witch-disciples escaped, and their magic made them nearly immortal. To keep their power, each year one of the witch-disciples kills a descendant of one of the men in the posse, a twelve-year cycle that has cost dozens of lives, including that of Seth Tanner’s brother, Jesse.

Seth uncovers the cycle of ritual killings that feeds the power of the witch-disciples, and he's hell bent on getting vengeance for Jesse and stopping the murders. His fledgling romantic relationship with Evan Malone complicates his mission, but Seth can’t walk away. Seth and Evan are learning to navigate their partnership—as lovers and monster hunters—while they chase the next witch-disciple and avoid attracting the wrong kind of attention.

When the hunt takes Seth and Evan to Pittsburgh on the trail of the next killer, they’ll have to save the intended victim and take down the powerful witch. If the skills they possess and the bond between them isn’t enough, the evil will remain unchallenged, and more people will die...

“If the sun hasn’t set yet, and there’s no moon, where’s that blue glow coming from?”

Clouds covered the sky, blotting out the dull, late-afternoon sun, and the overhead branches dimmed the light even more. Yet beneath the trees, the snow reflected a twilight indigo, and the shadows all around beneath the trees seemed to have grown darker.

Seth wasn’t a medium, and he had no talent for seeing or hearing the dead. But his experiences hunting supernatural creatures attuned him to the presence of things that went bump in the night, and now he was certain that they weren’t alone.

“We mean you no harm,” Seth said to the blue glow and the empty forest around them. “We’re just looking for information about the witch. Can you help us?”

A sparkling haze gradually filled in between the leafless trees, and as it shifted on the wind, Seth thought he saw forms and faces. Evan was already laying down a salt circle around where they stood, reinforcing it with iron filings. Both substances interfered with ghosts’ ability to manifest and sapped their strength to cause harm.

“Seth, look.” Evan pointed toward the hanging tree. Where only moments ago, it had been nothing but bare branches, now, a shadowed form swung slowly, suspended by a rope around its neck, the head tilted at an unnatural angle.

“We’re here to end the killing,” Seth said, forcing himself to look away from the hanged man, pushing back the memories of Jesse’s body, suspended like that, soaked with blood. As if he could guess Seth’s thoughts, Evan placed a hand on Seth’s forearm, grounding him to the here and now. “We want to stop the witch that caused your pain, keep him from hurting anyone else.”

Overhead, a cold wind stirred the branches, and the trees creaked and rattled. Seth shivered as the temperature dropped. Figures now stood amid the headstones in the old cemetery, and their stance suggested that they were ready for a fight.

“Give me something I can use to stop the witch,” Seth begged the ghosts. “He went by many names—Thane. Carmody. Brunrichter. Wiegand. Whatever he called himself—we want to make him stop.”

The wind carried the whispers of spectral voices, and the blue mist roiled with internal energy. Evan yanked off his gloves, then withdrew a small slate writing board and a piece of chalk from the pocket of his parka. As Seth continued to talk to the ghosts, he saw out of the corner of his eye as Evan carefully drew one of the sigils he’d been practicing, a bit of rote magic that was likely to come in handy.

Seth feared they might need to fight their way clear since the ghosts seemed more interested in intimidation than supplying information.

Seth’s eyes widened as he saw movement. An invisible hand traced shaky block letters on a snow-covered embankment beside the road. W-A-T-C-H.

“Watch?” Seth repeated aloud. “Watch out?  Watch for something?”

He could feel the press of spirits all around them, and Seth remembered that the ghosts of Blue Mist Road had a reputation for being unfriendly to intruders. Whatever their cryptic message meant, Seth had the feeling they had worn out their welcome.

The mist grew thick around them. Seth realized that the ominous figures from the cemetery had moved closer and that the hanged man was no longer suspended from his noose. He and Evan were safe for the moment within the salt circle, but they were also trapped inside their sanctuary.

“Ready?” Evan asked. He’d been practicing the small magicks that involved drawing arcane symbols and activating them with concentration; those had come more easily to him than the spoken spells Seth had learned. Seth recognized the drawing Evan made on the slate and hoped to hell the banishment sigil worked.

“Go for it,” he said, crossing his fingers.

Evan closed the last line on the sigil and placed his fingertips on the magical symbol, imbuing it with his will and life energy. The drawing flared gold and then white, so bright Seth and Evan had to avert their eyes as a blast wave of light radiated all around them.

When they opened their eyes, the blue mist and the spirits it harbored were gone, as was the writing in the snow.

“Come on,” Seth said, grabbing Evan by the arm and pulling him toward the truck. “Let’s get out of here before they decide to come back.

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. Look for her other books—Witchbane, Burn (a Witchbane novella #1.5 ), and Badlands.


Dark Rivers #2

Witchbane #1

Burn #1.5

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Release Blitz: An Erie Collection by VL Locey

Title: An Erie Collection
Author: VL Locey
Genre: M/M Romance, Paranormal
Release Date: October 24, 2018
Cover Design: Meredith Russell
You can now have all four of the MM Lake Erie pack novellas in this one reasonably priced collection! Included in the set are the previously released novellas An Erie Halloween, An Erie Operetta, and An Erie Garden Party. To round off this whimsical and romantic shifter set is a brand-new novella, An Erie Uprising!

It’s been one wonderfully romantic year since skunk shifter Templeton Reed met Mikel Lupei, the alpha wolf of the Lake Erie pack. During that year, the two men fell in love and worked side-by-side to solve some tricky murder mysteries. They also opened up Lupei Manor, Mikel’s familial home, to other LGBTQ mystical beings in the Erie area. Sadly, being gay in the supernatural world Templeton and Mikel live in can be a death sentence.

During the past year, the magical world has slowly been coming unraveled. Civil unrest now runs rampant through the community as the lesser breeds revolt against the hateful dictates of the Elder Counsel. The uprising will surely touch every person residing in the magical world beside Lady Erie. Will the flames of unrest and war consume everything and everyone Templeton and Mikel hold dear as well?

Author Bio:
V.L. Locey loves worn jeans, yoga, belly laughs, reading and writing lusty tales, Greek mythology, the New York Rangers, comic books, and coffee. (Not necessarily in that order.) She shares her life with her husband, her daughter, two dogs, two cats, a flock of assorted domestic fowl, and three Jersey steers.

When not writing spicy romances, she enjoys spending her day with her menagerie in the rolling hills of Pennsylvania with a cup of fresh java in hand. She can also be found online on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and GoodReads.



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